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Another One Bites the Dust
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March 14, 2008                                                    

 

                      Another One Bites the Dust

 

For several reasons I am a little hesitant to write about the recently resigned governor of New York’s problems.  Nevertheless, there is much to be said.

First of all; I can relate to having a sexual addiction that involves the use of prostitutes.  I had a similar problem.  Although my use of them wasn’t frequent, I sinned in this way many times over many years.  Why an attractive, young professional would need the services of paid female companionship is a long, complicated story.  I thank the Lord that I have become a new creature in Christ and have been faithfully celibate for over five years. 

Another thing that I have in common with Spitzer is extreme risk taking.  Because of the prominence of a family member during part of the time I lived with my various addictions it would have been very likely that had I run afoul of the law it would have become news.

Also, being a member of the bar I also had a duty to act legally and morally.  However, having said that I note a minor distinction that sets this situation apart: I had not been given a public trust and placed in a position of authority. 

With everyone else piling on and the cameras focused so closely on this breathtaking collapse, saying anything else almost seems superfluous.  I am reminded of the song of Mary in the gospel of Luke.  Has the Lord done this?  Mary sang, "He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts" (Luke 1:51-52). 

People often question how the Lord can allow sinners to go unpunished.  I am confident in the ultimate judgment and justice of God.  However, we often forget times like these.  Jesus says that God will avenge those who cry out to Him "speedily" ( Luke 18:7-8). 

The speed of this downfall was remarkable.  Two months from the ordering of the wiretap to the endgame.  An amazing 48 hours from revelation to resignation!  Even though he's back on the air, this is reminiscent of Imus.

How can it be that a former prosecutor and a sitting governor can break the law in this fashion?  You just can’t do what he did.  His betrayal of his wife is more egregious but unfortunately all too common.  What was he thinking?

Before I get into all that, I must digress.  It is all too common amongst people of faith to discount sexual immorality.  This is so despite the fact that sex outside of marriage was punishable by death under the Law of Moses in the Old Testament.  People casually dismiss their own sin and the sins of others by saying; “Well, everybody does it” or “You can’t expect people to give that up.”

Actually, everybody is not doing it and I have given it up until I get married.  I am not alone.

Sexual immorality is a scourge particularly in low income communities.  The mental damage that results from sexual liaisons that go bad and promiscuity generally is beyond the scope of this post.  Suffice it to say that despite the reduced number of teenage pregnancies for most of the last decade or so; the problem of children raising children is a disaster for both the parent and the child in far too many cases. 

This doesn’t even get into the question of sexually transmitted diseases.  Although I will note that an AP story the other day, “1 in 4 Teen Girls Has Sexual Disease,” brought the problem into full relief in the midst of this “convenient” scandal.  The rate of infection is far more prevalent among black girls.  Hmm, could this be some kind of message from God?

I will leave that for another time except to say that because their manhood is so closely associated with sexual conquest, or because they just cannot control themselves; many African American men, in particular, who are incarcerated end up engaging in homosexual sex.  Many contract HIV/AIDS and then pass it on to African American women when they return to their communities because they refuse to wear a condom.  These problems are certainly not confined to the black community.

So anyone who says, “It’s only sex, who cares?” every time a politician gets busted like this really hasn’t thought the whole situation through.  Is he the only one doing it?  No, but so what?  If it’s wrong it’s wrong.

Back to Spitzer.  A New York Times op-ed piece in the wake of these events entitled “The Myth of the Victimless Crime” pointed out the fact that prostitutes often come from backgrounds involving child abuse.  They left out the negative psychological ramifications that often accompany this lifestyle. 

So Spitzer, like me and many others: took advantage of someone who though an adult was probably not in a position to think and act rationally.  He contributed to her problems.  In addition, he also put himself and his wife at risk of contracting an STD.

So, was his behavior really that bad?

If Spitzer would betray his wife, not mention God, he would betray anyone.  Whether this comports with your morals or not you have to admit that this is at least the fifth prominent politician in recent memory who has fallen because of their inability to control their sex drives. 

It’s not society being uptight, or some “old fashioned Victorian” values being foisted on an unwilling public; it’s a personal failing and a character defect.  Worse still, they've made it a public failing that teaches all the wrong lessons if left unaddressed.

Bill Clinton wasn’t impeached, but he accomplished nothing memorable or worth mentioning in his presidency after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke.  Sen. Larry Craig…well, enough said.  Sen. David Vitter and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick have been similarly shamed.  I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. Now this. 

Once again, I believe that God is showing us to not put our faith in laws, politicians, elections or government. 

Only put your faith in God (see Psalm 146:4).

Spitzer could have gotten away with it, sadly enough, if it was just an affair.  We still have a long way to go.  Part of the backlash is because people considered him to project a “holier than thou” persona.  But, to me it comes down to the unbelievable lack of judgment; not to mention the fact that he would drag his poor wife in front of the cameras for the obligatory mea culpa press conferences.  Because of all of these factors, he forfeited his right to lead.

I sympathize with him and I have compassion because I’ve been through similar things myself.  But he made the right decision when he resigned. 

Are we learning yet?

 

 

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LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE  YOURSELF REQUIRES TOTAL LOVE, TOTAL FORGIVENESS, TOTAL BROTHERHOOD AND SUBVERTING THE DOMINANT PARADIGM