The balance is to do all the rights things and still have connections with other sinners, seeing ourselves in them, having compassion on them because really we are no better. We are sinners in need of mercy, too.
I think that is what our poet friend is getting at; clumsily I admit and probably in a certain black and white way that evangelicals think, is that a religion of rules and traditions can make us proud and detached from the world in the wrong way if we don't connect in compassion with our fellow man.
Sorry, but I don't buy it. Even if that is what he's getting at in some way, his way of expressing it is very irresponsible and actually a pretty good example of what he's supposedly against. Religious people are also our fellow man, not to be derided for not living up to some rube on the internet's arbitrarily chosen, incredibly malformed idea of what religion and faith are. I just can't appreciate anything about what he is saying or how he is saying it. It's self-righteous, sanctimonious garbage.
You don't have to buy it.
As I see it, it's the religious attitude that prompts a person to behave properly, or not.
I think that's the kind of thing our poet friend is getting at, not the person. I don't see him deriding people, per se, but hypocritical religion that might be driving a person or group to do hypocritical things. We don't deride Puritans or Victorians for being wrong. They are people no less than we, but we abhor their actions, especially when their lack of mercy and compassion is called God's work.
Christ had plenty to say about this, while still loving the person, still being prepared to die for them. A Christian must speak out against hypocrisy and not allow it to become so enmeshed in any religious group that they are blinded to it, or will even defend it against attack. We need to be alert to hypocrisy all the time. It's all around us. If it is present in ourselves, in our congregations, parishes, missions, whatever, we need to root it out and not shame the name of Christ in calling ourselves Christians.