Thursday, June 25, 2009

And Now, Equal Time

Anyone who thinks sexual morals discarded as easily as a wardrobe do not have an effect outside the two people enaged in the throws of whatever, need only look at the most recent example, the South Carolina Governor and his girlfriend in Argentina.

If you read the injured wife's piece as posted on Real Clear Politics, it is a beautiful reflection of what this man has lost, and it isn't his position of power in the world, but the relationship, the communion with a good woman and their four sons. Four young boys who must be heart broken to see suddenly themselves taller than their father at tender ages, and who now must shoulder a burden unasked for, trying to defend their broken family from an unloving prying world while each nursing their own individual highly concentrated pain they do not understand.

As an outsider, we can easily scorn, easily condemn, and easily judge, but this wife still loves this man and as outsiders, we should honor and mirror her behavior. Hers was a holy response to a complete betrayal, without being a doormat or an enabler.

In an age of instant access but no actual intimacy, this is what we as a society have, 24-7 armchair coaching/commentary on anyone and everyone who falls into the public eye. So keeping one's dignity when one is emmeshed in an undignified situation becomes difficult. She has managed it.

He has not.

In an age of blackberries, twitter, facebook, cellphones, Youtube and cameras placed everywhere, no one should consider themselves capable of living an anonymous life. And no one should be certain their worst moments as human beings won't become the subject of fodder for millions; least of all, politicians and people in positions of authority.

Perfection in our public leaders should not be a prerequisite of electability, but honesty and ethics ought to be at least skewed in the right direction. On a tangent, I have to rant, "Where to the Republicans go to find these sorts of people?" There have been moments when I have heard people remark that "This is the best." and then they reveal something, a school, a book, a show, a movie, a politican. And my first thought almost always is after I've read/watched/ listened, tasted, "If this is the best there is, then MAN are we in trouble." But I also know that my heart likes to try and harden, to be clever and cynical and that I have to beat that impulse down with a stick on a daily basis, but the world keeps giving me targets.

And then I remember, this is one family put under a microscope because of one family memebers' supreme stupidity and lack of moral and political judgment. I don't care how respected he was six days ago, he was stupid in his life and careless with those he professed to love. Dumb is the only word that is charitable in this circumstance. It is difficult not to want to unleash a score of seemingly righteous word rage on this person.

Fidelity is the first obligation of a spouse. It ought to be a willingly given given. Mark Sanford may have been a competent governor, but he put a woman before his wife, before his sons and before his God. Fortunately for him, his God and his wife love him enough not to strike him down, but those who do not love him, have struck and will continue to do so. If he had any sense, he'd understand that he is the most fortunate man in the whole world if he only lost the Governorship and the mistress. But if he had that same sense, he probably would have recognized, he had everything and surrendered it willingly for the wrong things.

I'd excoriate the man except I'm tired of all these cads and all these cackling harpies who glory in the destruction of a family as much as they do the emoliation of a career for political reasons, or because it justifies their own behavior, or because they hate the morals professed to be held true by those who have fallen.

So I've made a promise to myself to be restrained the next time and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next, regardless of political affiliation, because stoning the adulterer is not good for any of us, and this world encourages emotional and intellectual stoning. The men who left the adulteress behind had been the recipients of Christ's mercy as much as the woman herself.

I know I shouldn't have enjoyed raging at the Democrats for lining up to defend Bill Clinton, and I shouldn't stand with the firing squad to shoot Mark Sandford, because we aren't called to set fire to people, only to light the world on fire with the purity and holiness of our spirits and our lives.

And I've made myself a promise to give up being a snark about this President. This does not mean I will not disagree or fight to articulate why I disagree with his policies when I disagree with them, only that I don't get to be mean to satisfy my own spleen with ooh...that's a good line, that will get 'em type commentary.

Being funny by being clever and catty and making being funny a goal just to get attention is self serving and soul scorching, and I have to remember that for me, humor is supposed to be merciful, healing. Humor without mercy is satire, and I conceed, I have a natural progression, from quips to bites, from Horace to Juvenal, from Pope to Swift. The humor gets more acerbic and less merciful the longer I focus on a subject. The truth of the matter gets lost in the shuffle of clever phrases for the sake of a few comments and a few extra hits on the blog counter.

So pray for this broken family and all those who do or do not make front page news or go viral, to be healed by the only thing that can, God's love.


MightyMom said...

good post!

I"m working on being Charitable in all things and to all's taking a lot of work

Anonymous said...

Good article, Sherry.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!