(It's not that I don't have them, it's that I don't bother articulating them. Other people have told me that's the same thing as being unprincipled and I frankly have better things to argue about, so I'll just accept up front that I'm unprincipled.)

My short answer to that is: "Res non verba" (you'll have to forgive any errors in my spelling of that motto)

My long answer: Your friends are wrong. I believe that when you watch someone over a long period of time you will get an idea of what their principles are, whether they articulate them or not. I would believe someone I see actively contributing to their community before someone who just professes it.

The concept of being a hypocrite can be a difficult one. I am Anglican, not Catholic, and I would never convert. I have many fundamental disagreements with some of its teachings, and yet, I attend a Catholic church and the children will go to a Catholic school. I strongly believe that religion can play a positive role in the children's lives and so I will not undermine it by expressing dissenting opinions (for about another 18 years). Children crave certainty and security; they will learn about grey soon enough. Does this count as being a hypocrite?

I sympathise you on the troubles with pinheads in your neighbourhood, but alas, they are everywhere. There is an old lady who walk her dog along our street. The children just love the dog. One day, out of the blue, she
asked, "Aren't you teaching them Canadian?"

"Yes, they speak French"
"No, I meant Canadian, you know, English."
"Well, my in-laws are all French, and they pay their taxes in Canadian dollars, so I'm pretty sure they're Canadian even though they're French." (She seemed immune to sarcasm.)

She also hated seeing French labels on packaging although Spanish on stuff she bought in the U.S. was ok.

Things like this have caused me to make a full-fledged retreat from reality (I've tried reality and found it wanting). No more newspapers. No more news on the radio. No more coming home from work to read about the latest war, scandal, or tax. Instead, it's Tonka toys, a sandbox, Thomas the Tank Engine, Caillou, and if it's raining, jumping up and down in puddles 'til we're soaked. I think reality is over-rated.