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God takes ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ seriously, punishes hypocrite

Personally, I think the sex life of anyone — including elected officials — is their own damn business, but you can’t help but shake your head at the behavior of people like Governor Mark Sanford and you may even enjoy watching him squirm. After all, he preached morality to others while sinning himself. He publicly called for President Clinton to resign for his sexual indiscretions. He tried to force Larry Craig to resign after his public bathroom caper and arrest. He opposes gay marriage (even civil unions) based on the “sanctity of marriage”, and talks about “family values” while spending father’s day with his lover, away from his children.

What is worse, the only reason Sanford admitted to his infidelity was because it was discovered. So when he says he’s sorry, it seems like he is only sorry because he got caught. Plus there is the issue that as a governor, he shouldn’t just vanish without telling anyone where he is. On top of all that, he used public money for at least one of his visits to his girlfriend. It doesn’t make it any better that he is paying that money back — now that he got caught.

Even so, reading the emails between Sanford and his love, I do feel sorry for him. Love is a powerful thing that makes us stupid. Nobody is immune to it. I refuse to judge him, even though he judged others. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.

But I do find it especially annoying that some conservatives are claiming that Republicans are judged more harshly, and are forced “into resignation or disgrace more easily than their equally adulterous Democratic counterparts.” As if they didn’t deserve harsher judgement for their “family values” rhetoric and hypocritical condemnation of others. But George Stephanopoloulos points out that while Republicans Sanford, John Ensign, David Vitter, and Larry Craig stayed in office after sex scandals, Democrats Eliot Spitzer, Jim McCreevey, and Kwame Kilpatrick all resigned (not to mention that Clinton was impeached). How hypocritical is it to be hypocritical about your own hypocrisy?

UPDATE: Just when I thought this couldn’t get any more hypocritical — Rush Limbaugh blames Sanford’s affair on Obama and the Federal government.

UPDATE 2: A journalist argues convincingly that some politicians invite judgement on themselves in an article entitled “Attention, Narcissist Horndogs”.

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8 Comments

  1. Daniel wrote:

    I disagree with part of this post but the last sentence takes the cake. Truly, that is a new low.

    Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    A new low? For me? Or for Republicans?

    Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink
  3. starluna wrote:

    I am not without sin from any religion, but adultery is unforgivable in my view. All the more so when coming from these sanctity of marriage boneheads.

    I do understand falling out of love, falling in love, and all that. But these folks do not subscribe to the late 19th century view of romantic marriage. They believe in the 14th century view of biblical marriage which is about control and procreation.

    Nope. Sorry. I’m an unforgiving woman. Pass me the stone.

    Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Permalink
  4. Sammy wrote:

    I’m still trying to get my head around, “How hypocritical is it to be hypocritical about your own hypocrisy?”

    Brilliant line.

    Friday, June 26, 2009 at 9:53 am | Permalink
  5. *passes Starluna a stone*

    I really don’t care about other’s problems with adultery, but I can respect the anger of someone who does want to express community disfavor to those that break a promise.

    I wonder if that’s some of the rest of what’s going on in these scandals. Marriage is a promise–in most traditions I know, it’s a promise between the partners, the State, a Deity, and the community that observers it. What the State will do if the promise is broken is part of the laws, what the Deity will do is … up to that Deity (if there even is one, and not just a cultural institution that is a second version of the community’s will). But the community is part of that promise–there’s a congregation in the Church for the ceremony for a reason.

    For members of that community, I can see a justification for wanting to inflict a punishment for when someone breaks so significant a promise. The promise was, in part, made to them as well. And for that part of it, a response could be justified.

    So, yes, I’ll pass Starluna a stone, even though I won’t use one myself (I’m not part of the groups that had a promise broken).

    Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 6:02 am | Permalink
  6. Jon Schuller wrote:

    Sanford’s real sin for me is his apparent lack of contriteness. He’s more upset about being exposed than what it’s done to family, friends and the people who voted for him.More chutzpah than brains. He is the new poster-child of “The Republican Attitude”, my own pet phrase to describe how Republicans frown on others who criticize or fault their methods and opinions. Stop us if you can should be their slogan. Sanford is just another in a long line of politicos who get the power and do everything and anything to keep it. Thank you.

    Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 6:14 am | Permalink
  7. Tiffany wrote:

    Your quoted examples of Democrats who left their positions after a sex scandal don’t quite fit.
    -Clinton was impeached not because of his scandal, but because he committed perjury by lying about it while under oath and was accused of obstructing justice. Furthermore, he was acquitted.
    On the Stephanopoloulos reference of Kwame Kilpatrick ‘being forced to resign’ after his sex scandal broke, that is a gross misjudgment of that situation. Kwame was one of the worst mayors Detroit had ever seen, and he too was facing several felony counts including perjury (for lying about his extramarital affair with a Chief of Staffwhile under oath), obstruction of justice and misconduct in office, among others. Every politician in Michigan (Democrats and Republicans alike) were petitioning to get him removed from office. He resigned to save what little dignity he had left. His sex scandal was NOT the reason he resigned.
    Spitzer also resigned only to save face, as was being threatened impeachment.
    Finally, the last Democrat victim you list appointed his not qualified, gay lover to public office. No wonder he resigned, since he obviously had trouble keeping his job performance from being affected by his personal life.

    Friday, December 4, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    Tiffany, I never gave those as “examples of Democrats who left their positions after a sex scandal”. I was only quoting George Stephanopoloulos, who was was pointing out the hypocrisy of a conservative article that claimed that Republicans are judged more harshly when they cheat on their marriages.

    If you would like to argue whether or not Republicans are judged more harshly when they have affairs, I would encourage you to do so. But isn’t Spitzer resigning “to save face” a result of his being judged harshly?

    And just why were Sanford, Ensign, Vitter, and Craig able to stay in office? Why didn’t they have to “resign to save face”? All but Senator Craig are still in office, and Craig served out his full term and then decided not to run for reelection.

    Friday, December 4, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

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