I TRY not to be a hypocrite.

The operative word here is “try.”

But as you all well know, it’s not that easy. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s almost next to impossible.

It’s like telling the sun to leave the sky or asking a baby not to cry… it’s just impossible.

However, it does make for a convenient excuse not to attend mass on Sundays. Trust me, I don’t want to add to my plethora of sins.

That’s why I communicate with God directly.

But there are occasions that I do go to church. Unfortunately, in the last few years, these involved the passing of family members or friends.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I love attending religious festivities, especially if these involve drinking--lots and lots of drinking--and singing.

I also have many friends who are active in church. Heck, I even have relatives who are of the cloth. They make for excellent company. Not only are they intelligent conversationalists, they’re also great drinkers.

So why am I talking about hypocrisy and religion in the same breath?

That incident a few meters outside the Basilica del Sto. Niño last Monday night brought it on.

To those who don’t know, there’s this video of a woman attacking a taxi driver several steps away from the basilica that is going viral on Facebook.

You don’t exactly see her face but you do see her trying to wring the hair out of the guy. She even allegedly punched him in the face. At least, that’s what the driver told an FM radio station.

So what did he do to warrant such a reaction from a woman who, presumably, just came out of the church? (And I had to presume since the video does not show her emerging from the basilica’s gate but let me just say, for argument’s sake, that she did.)

Well, the driver refused to ferry her and her companions to their destination. They were going to Talisay while the driver claimed that he was on his way to their garage in Mandaue.

The person who uploaded the video said he was the one who initially flagged the cab when the woman and her companions suddenly cut in.

Anyway, this column is not about taxi drivers ignoring the LTFRB’s Oplan Isnabero.

It’s about those people who go through the motions of devotion, whose display of piety is all for show.

Admit it, there are many of them.

Why else would Basilica rector Fr. Jun Nohara remind devotees to remain true to their Christian vows when facing the challenges that hound them every day?

“Let us remember that God is not happy with those who hate his fellow human being. God doesn’t favor the proud and unrepentant,” he said.

He must have had a reason.