Thursday, August 12, 2010

ON SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS: Dedicated To Pseudo-Rev Daniel H. Chew


ON SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

by Edwin F. Kagin
Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 48
Union, KY 41091




self-righteous: confident of one’s own righteousness, esp. when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others. - Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary

Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she wouldn’t. She said it was a mean practice and wasn’t clean, and I must try not to do it anymore....And she took snuff too; of course that was all right, because she done it herself. - Huckleberry Finn
The self-righteous are everywhere, trying to control our lives. With the zeal of reformed nymphomaniacs peddling AmWay, they freely vend their negative judgements on the behavior and opinions of others. Unable or unwilling to control themselves and their unhappy lives of frustration, insecurity, and despair, these petty dictators seek solace in desperately attempting to control others. For they are right. Those who disagree with their toxic tyranny are clearly and obviously wrong, if not evil. And they do attract followers, persons easily led, seeking certainty, and willing to praise, to flatter, and to sing unto them, How great thou art. Self-righteous leaders reward fidelity and elevate select obedient disciples, especially worshipful ones who are confused but shamelessly self-righteous, to CULT (Counseled Until Learned Truth) status.

The existence of such personalities is not new. Jesus is reported to have said, "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" There are similar references, for self-righteousness is justly and frequently condemned in the bible ... Indeed, we recommend you read [the Bible]. The book is much better than the movie.

Self-righteousness and hypocrisy may be joined, as in the widow’s views on tobacco reported by Huck. But they are quite different concepts. Hypocrites, like the widow, do themselves that which they so freely condemn in others. Most hypocrites are self-righteous, but self-righteous persons are not necessarily hypocrites and may in fact practice what they preach. A priest who rapes little boys, and preaches against homosexuality and violence, is clearly both, while a practicing virgin, who moralistically urges this unhappy fate on others, is not. It’s all in how you study it. Many have rejected religion largely because it is home to lots of goodie-two-shoes type persons of self-righteous or hypocritical persuasion. Sometimes, in their attempt to live justly in an unjust world, the disillusioned seek solace from religion in the perceived rationality of secular humanism. And guess what?

This may come as a shock to some secular humanist readers, but the self-righteous are also to be found among the ranks of the supposedly rational, among those who look for meaning apart from the supernatural, among those who decry the artificial goodness of the godly. Bummer, ain’t it? Thus, instead of holier-than-thou, we have those who feel rationaler-than-thou, or skepticaler-than-thou, and who demean, abjure, reject, and avoid those they feel don’t quite measure up to their standards. Such are no less self-righteous than the widow.

Whether religious or secular, the self-righteous and the con-artist are sisters under the skin. Both become outraged if they don’t get their way. The slightest reasoned refusal to consent to manipulation or control is punished. The uncooperative mark may witness a presumably well meaning, but terminally self-righteous, friend go into an inexplicable rage, answering disobedience with irrational and unpleasant emotions, until the victim seems, as best worded by Shakespeare, "beyond reason hated." To further complicate matters, the person deluded by self-righteousness cannot understand when others are disinclined to share their hostility and fail to concede the justness of their attitudes and actions. The world as one conspires.

The self-righteous are troubled by democracy. Why debate or vote on any matter of behavior or morality when truth is available by decree, and when correct answers may be so readily had from those who know the answers beyond any need for question or discussion? To challenge such persons is, in their view, malum in se--in the vernacular, reprehensible, wicked, and wrong in itself--denoting a defect of character revealed in the very act of rebellion against ultimate authority. Thereafter, every action or motive of the errant sinner will be understood and punished as an indisputably vile thing--another example of evil attacking good. The psychological mechanism of projection, and the transparent narcissism of the self-righteous, is beyond the scope of this digression. The analogies to theology are scary. If afflicted leaders possess small power, they are merely annoying, comical, or pathetic. If they hold real power over nations or ideologies, the graveyards of history harbour their heritage.

The sad part is that they don’t have to be like this. The self-righteous prigs can get over it, or get therapy for it. They don’t have to expose themselves to the misery. Misery is optional, for predator as well as prey, even if one thinks they have no free will. Rational beings don’t have to live with sustained rage, or with the chronic paranoia of waiting for some other imaginary shoe to drop. Those who live to control others could, using the power of reason they mock, come to realize that compromise and resolution of disagreements can be something more than capitulation or appeasement, and that, in some things at least, they just might be--as impossible as it seems--wrong. One is entitled to be smug, arrogant, and self-righteous only if one has figured out how not to die. The outcast may well be the better person. That’s what the bible story of the good Samaritan is all about.

If we can’t avoid the self satisfied--the better option--we can laugh at them. A healthy person loves to see the pompous taken down a peg or two, and delights in mocking their phony goodness and proper ways. This is why the common folk laugh when a stuffed shirt slips on a banana skin. But what about self-righteous secular humanists who, in hardening their hearts and softening their minds, do real harm to those who actually favor free inquiry? Maybe we should create a Secular Humanist Hall of Shame. Here could be enrolled and acknowledged those whose actions have earned them the herein proposed SHAME (Secular Humanist Arrogantly Making Enemies) Award.

As adolescent fantasies are best left to adolescents, so childish needs to have one’s own way are best left to children, who will hopefully outgrow them. Adults should, to borrow again from the bible, "put away childish things." It would be sad to die without growing up.

For everything there is a season,
For every act there is a reason;
As a garden reflects its seeds,
Deeds of life tell that life’s needs.

27 comments:

Not Atheist said...

Indeed, it has come down to this: Pseudo Reverend Daniel H. Chew is rebuked by the "spiritual" writings of an atheist, Edwin Kagin.

How edifying!

Anonymous said...

>>>Whether religious or secular, the self-righteous and the con-artist are sisters under the skin. Both become outraged if they don’t get their way. The slightest reasoned refusal to consent to manipulation or control is punished. The uncooperative mark may witness a presumably well meaning, but terminally self-righteous, friend go into an inexplicable rage, answering disobedience with irrational and unpleasant emotions, until the victim seems, as best worded by Shakespeare, "beyond reason hated."<<<

This explains Chew's list of former friends.

All are currently "beyond reason hated."

Anonymous said...

I like this post. Good article. No doubt, an atheist lawyer has more spiritual insight than a self-righteous prig who wastes his father's money on some theological degree, so as to quarrel on the WWW.

Protestantpope said...

Very good article, AT. Even if it did not come from your hands!

Protestant Pope

幸平平平平杰 said...

上班好累哦,看看部落格轉換心情~~~先謝謝啦!!............................................................

孫邦柔 said...

謝謝大大分享 我難過了ˋ 3ˊ............................................................

Rahul Shastri said...

Quote - "A healthy person loves to see the pompous taken down a peg or two, and delights in mocking their phony goodness and proper ways. This is why the common folk laugh when a stuffed shirt slips on a banana skin."

Indeed, this is also why I love to read about Mr Chew on this blog. The evils of Chew which are praised by his "christian" friends are promptly torn down here "on a banana skin."

Keep writing!

怡靜怡靜怡靜怡雯 said...

打聲招呼,祝你一切平安!............................................................

Li Choo said...

Hoho! I guess you were referring to Daniel Chew when you posted this fine article. Do you realize that Daniel Chew's facebook account has an extremely FINE photo of him ... in a pretentious "puritan" garb and a crooked smile? Just search for daniel h chew.

He looked like a complete PHARISEE! I just can't believe he would go to THAT extend to make himself look good. The pharisee of pharisees indeed!

hoho!

Anonymous said...

Yep! I saw THAT photo on Facebook.

What a self-righteous prig he is! It's all written on his face and PHOTO!!!

Anonymous said...

Whoa! THAT photo of Chew on facebook is a WINNER!

Only chinese nutcases would sell his 'birthright' (as a chinese) in order to drink a bowl of puritan-costume-pottage. Chew must be ashamed of his own heritage.

What a nutcase.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shastri,

May I know if you had personally crossed swords with Chew?

You comment suggests a more intimate knowledge of Chew.

Rahul Shastri said...

Hi Anonymous,

Many had cross swords with the evil Chew. That is not the point.

The point is: how shall we deliver Christianity from the likes of him?

Anonymous said...

Chew is the bane of Christianity. He would be a great evangelist for Atheism; in fact, with his personal testimony and blog, he is bringing more people away from Christianity than the numbers brought to Christ by Billy Graham.

Anonymous said...

The decline of Christianity in S'pore is evident by the very fact that people like Chew get to be recommended to study in seminary. What was his pastor thinking???

These are religious freaks who are not hungry for souls, but hungry for a fight. Feed that pride with seminary studies and you get the ultimate Frankenstein in the form of Daniel Chew.

May the Lord has mercy on the Reformed Churches in Singapore.

Not Atheist said...

Christianity is not in her decline; this recommendation of Chew by his church to study in Westminster is a sign that Christianity is AT rock bottom. Chew was never an actively serving member, and I agree that it is unfathomable that he was given a recommendation by his church!

It's a sign of utmost depravity.

Anonymous said...

now this is getting interesting, so based upon what Chew get to study in seminary, especially when he is not recommended by his church to be a minister? Did Chew get merely letter from some pastor to say that he is a Christian so-and-so, and he can afford it?

Anonymous said...

Com'on, Chew was never recommended by any church to be a minister. According to his friends he got a letter from his ex-pastor that he was able to ... hypothetically ... complete his studies, and has money enough from his family to support his ambitions.

Anonymous said...

Yes yes yes, just to confirm: Chew only 'forced' (if you know what I mean) his ex-pastor to give him a reference letter to be a "student." Well, anyone can enroll to study in seminary if you got the money. And anyone can get such a reference letter if you had attended the church for a time, and if you know how to make the pastor feel guilty if he didn't write that reference letter i.e. that you can be a student.

But no, Chew did NOT get a call from any Reformed church to go and study, and then come back to serve in a local church or to be a minister.

But this speaks badly of his pastor - whoever he is. How can he give such a recommendation to such a fellow? No service, no commitment to local church etc.

Anonymous said...

Yes yes yes, just to confirm: Chew only 'forced' (if you know what I mean) his ex-pastor to give him a reference letter to be a "student." Well, anyone can enroll to study in seminary if you got the money. And anyone can get such a reference letter if you had attended the church for a time, and if you know how to make the pastor feel guilty if he didn't write that reference letter i.e. that you can be a student.

But no, Chew did NOT get a call from any Reformed church to go and study, and then come back to serve in a local church or to be a minister.

But this speaks badly of his pastor - whoever he is. How can he give such a recommendation to such a fellow? No service, no commitment to local church etc.

Anonymous said...

why so quiet theses days ?

Anonymous said...

yeah why so quiet? where are U AT?

Anonymous said...

we miss you

Anonymous said...

where art thou ? Its been ard 2 months

Kee Tong said...

I have encountered Chew on blogosphere. It is strange that a self-professed Christian would spend so much time promoting himself. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence would be able to discern that his mind is full of Self, not Christ. His money is spent on Self. His time is used for Self. And his ambition is to make him-Self famous. God knows.

Former Friend of Chew said...

Behold! Antithesis comes like a thief in the night!

Chew beware! You'll be bound for a thousand years for deceiving many ... you Prince of the Air (as in flatus).

Chan Kim Chye said...

Flatus!

That explains why Chew is so puffed up!

Oh come quickly and bind that Prince of the Air (Flatus)!