There is religious piety, there is also religious hypocrisy.
There is secular piety (patriotism, for example). There is also secular hypocrisy.
To make a point pk often pretends to take some belief literally. (If you know my theory of Macroinformation (K. / Teaching / Thinking Tools / Information / Macroinformation) you know that I don’t “believe” “anything” “literally”: it’s all symbolism, all information contending against and with information: all macroinformation, all conceptual; not literal! (Thus it is with pk and god, pk and Christ, pk and science, pk and democracy, pk and truth … pk and love, pk and pk!) (I should be famous for not taking self literally!)
Judaism is a religion. They say so, we say so. Christianity is a religion. We say so, they say so.
The Jews, according to the Christians, accused Jesus, whom Christians call Christ, believing him to be the son of God, of blasphemy. Was that piety? or was that an error in piety?
When is piety, religiosity, up to the group claiming piety, religiosity? and when can another group endorse or deny the claim? In other words, if a Jew claims to be a Jew, at what point does it matter what a Nazi, or a Christian, thinks?
If the Christian accuses the Jew of deicide, and the Jew ingores the accusation, does there ever come a point where we hear God’s own opinion? judgment?
If the Jews say they’re good, and pious, and God loves them, and the Nazis say the Jews are evil and must be liquidated, should the rest of us all just mind our own business? (What is our business?)
Piety is a metaphor pk has not yet exercised let along exhausted; but I’ll begin here, letting it branch in several directions, right off:
Piety is a synonym for religious feeling: (in that case, Boy have I been pious all my life, still am.)
Piety may also be understood to be a false claim to religiousity:
(for example, in the Christian story, the Jews were being religious when they sabotaged Jesus, attributing blasphemy to him.)
Piety may also be a metaphor for behavior in other spheres formally (and informally) analogous to religion: patriotism is a form of secular piety.
Which leads us where I want to go:
When is it valid to demand that a group’s claim to piety be substantiated by something objective?
If Americans say that bombing and napalming little girls is good for democracy, should Americans care what non-Americans think of the claim?
If the Christian believes that his piety will win Jesus’ love, and God’s forgiveness, does the point ever arrive where we can ask Jesus or God if they agree?
If the Chinese believe that Chin Shih Huang Ti has heaven’s mandate, and can therefore do anything he wants, does heaven ever get asked to validate or falsify the claim?
If Bush says he won the election, is it legitimate to ask that the votes be counted? or recounted? If the electoral committees are not competent to count the votes, what makes the Supreme Court competent?
If the US can purge from the universities all intellectuals who don’t think that dropping bombs on little girls is good for their Christian soul, how long can the US prevent the rest of the world from speaking?
and when the rest of the world drives a plane into the WTC, how long can the US deny that it means what it looks like it means?
There are all questions of religion, faith, piety … and control of opinion. What they have in common is the religious group monopolizing the press. The Jews display no records of their murdering Jesus; the Christians keep no records of potentially valid objections to Jesus’ teaching made by the priests of the Temple of the time. The Chinese don’t care what the Tibetans think. The Pentagon doesn’t care what anybody thinks: thinkers having been flushed by federal money from all functioning institutions of the kleptocracy.