February 17, 2009
Posted: 09:18 AM ET
by Ben Stein
In Biblical times, the Pharisees were a class of people who claimed superior religious and sacred status by virtue of their modest living and supposed lack of ostentation. Jesus railed against them as hypocrites because while they claimed to be humble, they really engaged in the worst possible sin: spiritual pride.
This subject comes to mind because of the New Phariseeism taking place in Washington under President Obama (and during the waning days of George W. Bush). Please understand that I like Obama and wish him success in his endeavors, especially in keeping this nation safe and prosperous. And I do not share the contempt that many in this country have for Congress.
But in the recent behavior of some of Obama's colleagues - especially those in the Treasury and Congress - we are seeing some extremely naive Pharisaical acts and attitudes that could cause real harm.
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