Religious hypocrisy

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{{wiktionary|pot calling the kettle black}}
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[[Image:Copper Kettle.jpg|thumb|right|A pot blackened from use over open fires]]
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{{Wikipedia}}
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'''Hypocrisy''' is the act of professing a belief, emotion, or moral value, while acting in a way inconsistent with those statements. People are usually charged with hypocrisy when they either insist that others do something that they themselves do not do, or else condemn others for acting the same way as they themselves do.
  
The phrase "'''''The pot calling the kettle black'''''" is an [[idiom]] used to accuse a person or thing of being marked with or guilty of the very thing they are pointing out; in this interpretation, it is shown that there is something shared.  This may, or may not be [[hypocrisy|hypocritical]] or [[contradiction|contradictory]]. There is also an [[#Alternative interpretation|alternative interpretation]].  
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Often what is most frustrating about hypocrisy is not the actions themselves, but the fact that the hypocrite refuses to acknowledge any contradiction between their words and actions, or may even try to hide certain actions. This is a blatant form of intellectual dishonesty.
  
==Alternative interpretation==
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== Causes ==
  
The actual idiom is "The Pot Bottom Calling The Kettle Bottom Black". A subtler alternative interpretation, included by some,<ref>Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, by William Morris, Mary Morris</ref><ref>Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1870, revised by Adrian Room (Millennium Edition)</ref> but not all,<ref>[http://www.bartleby.com/81/13550.html Pot] in Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, by E. Cobham Brewer, 1898 edition</ref> sources is that the pot is sooty (being placed on a fire), while the kettle is clean and shiny (being placed on coals only), and hence when the pot accuses the kettle of being black, it is the pot’s own sooty reflection that it sees: the pot accuses the kettle of a fault that only the pot has, rather than one that they ''share''.
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There are many possible causes for hypocrisy. A hypocrite may be an outright fraud, promoting a cause he or she doesn't at all believe in. A hypocrite may be experiencing cognitive dissonance, or somehow try to rationalize an action by giving an excuse ("It's OK when I do it, because...").
  
Poem found in "Maxwell's Elementary Grammar" school book copyright 1904.
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In some cases, a hypocrite who commits a "sin" may be unable to stop doing it and cleanse their conscience, because of addiction or coercion, because they just enjoy it too much, or because it is a one-time error that is too terrible to forget about. In those cases, unable to escape their feelings of guilt, the hypocrite may condemn that sin even more strongly in public, as a way of atoning for it.
 
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<poem>
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"Oho!' said the pot to the kettle;
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"You are dirty and ugly and black!
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Sure no one would think you were metal,
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Except when you're given a crack."
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"Not so! not so! kettle said to the pot;
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"'Tis your own dirty image you see;
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For I am so clean -without blemish or blot-
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That your blackness is mirrored in me"
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</poem>
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==Similar phrases==
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* In the [[Gospel of Matthew]], [[Jesus]] is quoted as saying, during the [[discourse on judgmentalism]] in the [[Sermon on the Mount]], "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Many scholars have interpreted this as a proscription against personal attacks in general, not just particulars.
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* An [[aphorism]] sometimes attributed to [[George Herbert]] states, "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones".
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== Similar idioms in other languages ==
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*[[Arabic language|Arabic]]: "The camel cannot see the crookedness of its own neck"
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* [[Bangla language|Bangla]]: ''চালুনি কয় সুঁইরে, "তোর পিছনে ফুঁটো" '' ("Mesh sieve tells the needle", "You have a hole in your back"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Bulgarian language|Bulgarian]]: ''Присмял се хърбел на щърбел.'' ("Nick laughed at dent"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Chinese language|Chinese]]: "五十步笑百步", "乌鸦笑猪黑" ("The soldier that has fled 50 steps mocks the one that has fled 100 steps."), ("[[Crow]] laughing at the [[Boar|pig]] for being black"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Croatian language|Croatian]]: ''Rugao se lonac loncu, a oba crna.'' ("Pot mocked another pot, and they were both black"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Czech Language|Czech]]: ''Konvice nazývá kotlík černým. Hrnec hrnci káže, oba černí jako saze - ''Čelakovský''<ref>Lacinová E., Nejužívanější anglická přísloví, Levné knihy KMA 2006, ISBN 80-253-0371-3</ref>
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* [[Dutch Language|Dutch]]: ''De pot verwijt de ketel dat hij zwart ziet'' ("The pot reproaches the kettle for looking black"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Estonian language|Estonian]]: ''Pada sõimab katelt - ühed mustad mõlemad'' ("The pot reproaches the kettle - yet both of them are black"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Finnish language|Finnish]]: ''Pata kattilaa soimaa'' ("The pot reproaches the kettle"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[French language|French]]: ''L'hôpital qui se fout de la charité'' ("The hospital mocks the charity"), ''La pelle se moque du fourgon'' ("The shovel mocks the poker"),<ref>
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{{cite encyclopedia|last = Brewer|first = E. Cobham|encyclopedia = Dictionary of Phrase and Fable|title = Pot|url = http://www.bartleby.com/81/13550.html |accessdate = 2007-11-17|edition = 2nd edition|year = 1898|publisher = Philadelphia: [[Henry Altemus Company]]}}</ref>
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* [[German language|German]]: ''Ein Esel nennt den andern Langohr.'' ("One donkey chides the other for being a long-ear"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Greek language|Greek]]: ''Είπε ο γάιδαρος τον πετεινό κεφάλα'' ("The donkey called the rooster a fathead"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Hebrew language|Hebrew]]: ''הפוסל במומו פוסל'' ("The disqualifier disqualifies based on his own fault")[http://hebrewlog.blogspot.com/2004/06/blog-post_108771123693970305.html]
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* [[Hungarian language|Hungarian]]: ''Bagoly mondja verébnek, hogy nagyfejű'' ("The owl tells the sparrow that it has a big head"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Italian language|Italian]]: ''Il [[:it:Bos taurus|bue]] che dice [[:it:Fare le corna|cornuto]] all'[[:it:asino|asino]]'' or ''Il bue che dà del cornuto all'asino'' ("The [[ox]] labelling the [[donkey]] ''[[cuckold#Cultural usage|cornute]]''"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Japanese language|Japanese]]: "目糞鼻糞を笑う" ("For the sleep in one's eyes to laugh at the snot in one's nose")[http://www.sanabo.com/kotowaza/arc/2001/11/post_333.html]
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* [[Korean language|Korean]]: "똥 묻은 개가 겨 묻은 개 나무란다" ("The dung-stained dog reproaches the chaff-stained dog.")[http://endic.naver.com/endic.nhn?docid=2247950] or "겨 묻은 개가 똥 묻은 개를 흉본다" ("The chaff-stained dog disparages the dung-stained dog.")[http://endic.naver.com/endic.nhn?docid=2042150]
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* [[Lithuanian language|Lithuanian]]: "Juokiasi puodas, kad katilas juodas" ("The pot is calling the cauldron black"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Macedonian language|Macedonian]]: ''Магарето на эајакот му рекло ушло''  ("The donkey is calling the rabbit long-eared"){{Citation needed|date=November 2008}}
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* [[Norwegian language|Norwegian]]: ''Å kaste sten i glasshus'' ("To throw stones in a glass house")<ref>http://www.ordtak.no/index.php?fn=Nordiske&en=ordtak</ref>
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* [[Persian language|Persian]]: ''دیگ به دیگ میگه روت سیاه'' ("The pot tells the other pot your face is black")[http://www.tebyan.net/index.aspx?pid=19667&BookID=17465&PageIndex=8&Language=1]
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* [[Polish language|Polish]]: ''Przyganiał kocioł garnkowi, a sam smoli'' ("The [[cauldron]] was reprimanding the pot and it soots itself")<ref>{{cite web|url=http://usjp.pwn.pl/haslo.php?id=4875425 |title=''Uniwersalny słownik języka polskiego'' (The Universal Dictionary of the Polish Language |publisher=[[Polish Scientific Publishers PWN|Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN]] (Polish Scientific Publishers PWN)|accessdate=2008-08-26}}</ref>, often contracted to ''Przyganiał kocioł garnkowi'' ("The cauldron was reprimanding the pot")
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* [[Portuguese language|Portuguese]]: ''O sujo falando do mal-lavado'' ("The dirty slandering the unclean [as being unclean]") / ''Diz o roto ao nu'' ("One with torn clothes mocks the naked"  / ''Olha quem fala'' ("Look who is talking"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Punjabi language|Punjabi]]: ''ਆਪ ਕਿਸੇ ਜਹੀ ਨਾ, ਨਕ ਚੜਾਨੋ ਰਹੀ ਨਾ'' ("You are yourself good for nothing, and still trying to ridicule others"){{Citation needed|date=March 2009}}
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* [[Romanian language|Romanian]]: ''Râde ciob de oală spartă'' ("The shard laughs at the broken pot"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Russian language|Russian]]: ''В чужом глазу соломину видеть, в своём—бревна не замечать'' ("To see a little straw in other's eye, and not to notice a log in his own")
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* [[Spanish language|Spanish]]: ''Apártate que me tiznas, dijo la sartén al cazo'' ("Move away, you are blackening me, said the pan to the pot") ''El burro hablando de orejas '' ("The donkey talking about ears"), México: ''El comal le dijo a la olla, qué tiznada estás'' ("The grill said to the pot, look how blackened you are"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}, Venezuela: ''Cachicamo diciéndole a morrocoy conchúo'' ("An [[armadillo]] telling a [[turtle]] it is too hard shelled"), Colombia: ''El que tiene rabo de paja, que no se arrime a la candela'' ("if you have a tail made of straw, you'd better stay away from the fire").
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* {{lang-th|ว่าแต่เขา อิเหนาเป็นเอง}} (wâa dtàe kăo ì-năo bpen eng) ("As for Enau, he is the same") [http://www.thai-language.com Look up อิเหนา]
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* [[Turkish language|Turkish]]: ''Tencere dibin kara, seninki benden kara'' ("Pot, your bottom's black; no, yours is blacker than mine"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Uzbek language|Uzbek]]: ''Ishtoni yoʻq ishtoni yirtiqdan kulgan ekan'' ("A man without pants laughed at man with holey pants"){{Citation needed|date=August 2008}}
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* [[Welsh language|Welsh]]: ''Sbia adra'' ("Look at home")
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==Uses in literature==
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* [[Miguel de Cervantes]] in ''[[Don Quixote]]'' — "said the frying-pan to the kettle, get away, blackbreech"<ref>[http://www.online-literature.com/view.php/don_quixote/125?term=kettle Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes: Chapter LXVII<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref>
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* [[Henry Fielding]] in ''[[Covent Garden Journal]]'' — "Dares thus the kettle to rebuke our sin!/Dares thus the kettle say the pot is black!"
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* [[William Penn]] in ''[[Some fruits of Solitude]]'' - "For a Covetous Man to inveigh against Prodigality... is for the Pot to call the Kettle black."
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* [[Margaret Mitchell]] in ''[[Gone with the Wind]]'' — "The pot's calling the kettle black."
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== See also ==
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*[[Tu quoque]]
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in law / juristic context:
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*[[Unclean hands]]
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*[[Equity (law)]]
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*[[Equitable remedy]]
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
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[[Category:English idioms]]
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[[no:Å kaste sten i glasshus]]
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[[ru:Отбежав на 50 шагов, насмехаться над отбежавшими 100 шагов]]
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[[zh:五十步笑百步]]
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Revision as of 20:56, 25 June 2010

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For more information, see the Wikipedia article:

Hypocrisy is the act of professing a belief, emotion, or moral value, while acting in a way inconsistent with those statements. People are usually charged with hypocrisy when they either insist that others do something that they themselves do not do, or else condemn others for acting the same way as they themselves do.

Often what is most frustrating about hypocrisy is not the actions themselves, but the fact that the hypocrite refuses to acknowledge any contradiction between their words and actions, or may even try to hide certain actions. This is a blatant form of intellectual dishonesty.

Causes

There are many possible causes for hypocrisy. A hypocrite may be an outright fraud, promoting a cause he or she doesn't at all believe in. A hypocrite may be experiencing cognitive dissonance, or somehow try to rationalize an action by giving an excuse ("It's OK when I do it, because...").

In some cases, a hypocrite who commits a "sin" may be unable to stop doing it and cleanse their conscience, because of addiction or coercion, because they just enjoy it too much, or because it is a one-time error that is too terrible to forget about. In those cases, unable to escape their feelings of guilt, the hypocrite may condemn that sin even more strongly in public, as a way of atoning for it.

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