politicians can use a variety methods to win favor and manipulate citizens, whether it be making false promises or just trying to show that he's one of them, by saying he's the same religion. but their true underlying motive is still the same. many religions specifically condemn oppression and violence, so its hard for politicians to justify their actions using religious script. therein lies the reason some dictators condemn religion.
Agreed, and manipulating people is always wrong. Anything less than the truth and compassion is destructive.
I think that most ideologies, that can be joined without material membership or vetting, allow it's members to take on their own perception of any portion of their doctrine and ignore whatever portions they also choose to ignore. It's turned into a numbers game... quantity over quality. I know four self titled Christians who are actually outwardly loving toward their fellow beings, show kindness and consideration, and are in a constant state of pointing their finger at themselves in order to learn from their mistakes - rather than pointing their fingers at others.
The rest don't have any mirroring actions of the kindness of Jesus. They just seem to like the title... like a moron who has no friends but joins a gang.
hypocrisy exists among all groups, including those identifying as religious.
your 4 friend understand that no one is perfect, there is good and bad in all people, including themselves. and certain types of judging is wrong.
....I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done.