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One of the things I find amusing in all of this is how Bob Malm can trot out the “priest speak” (what one friend terms “Jesus gas,” as in, “Here comes another gust of Bob’s Jesus gas.”), then turn around and shun the very people entrusted to his care. Add to that Bob’s multiple lies (“Don’t worry about it, they’ll be retiring this year,” “Having resigned from the vestry, you were no longer eligible to serve as a trustee.”), his indifference to the stewardship of the resources entrusted to the parish, his failure to supervise parish employees, his false claims that he has been threatened, and his lack of respect for my mother, and the whole thing becomes a laughable moment of cognitive dissonance.

To see just how sharp the juxtaposition is between Bob’s words and his actions, check out his sermon, “The Easter Community,” found here, where Bob prattles on about the Great Commandment, which is to love God and your neighbor, and about perfecting love, never once mentioning his own hate-filled behavior or his indifference to the welfare of the “Easter Community” he is called to serve.

So my question is this: Is it healthy to have such a thorough disconnect between one’s words and one’s actions?

Jesus actually spoke to that, reserving his harshest criticism for those who “on the outside look righteous to others, but on the inside…are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” See, e.g., Matthew 23. Clearly, Jesus would have had little use for Bob Malm and his empty words, and even less use for Bob’s invocation of deity in support of his hypocrisy.

Meanwhile, I feel bad for all who are misled by Bob’s fine words and superficial engagement. But faith requires more than incense, a pretty church, and an engaging but hypocritical priest.