- If a Catholic uses a condom, are they a Catholic?
- If a Jew eats a cheeseburger, are they a Jew?
- If a Vegan drinks a glass of milk, are they a Vegan?
Personally, I’m more concerned with how one identifies than whether or not they qualify. This is a complex world, and sooner or later anyone with convictions can be made to look like a hypocrite, a liar, or a fraud.
I think Neal Stephenson wrote it best in The Diamond Age:
For, you see, even if there is no right and wrong, you can find grounds to criticise another person by contrasting what he has espoused with what he has actually done. In this case, you are not making any judgment whatsoever as to the correctness of his views or the morality of his behaviour–you are merely pointing out that he has said one thing and done another.
That we occasionally violate our own stated moral code does not imply that we are insincere in espousing that code.