The Death of Recent Myths

November 21, 2012

There was an illusion, oh sometime around 14 years ago during the reign of Bill Clinton that certain behaviors by leaders no longer mattered, that we could parse one’s ‘private life’ (usually meaning one’s sexual proclivities) from one’s public performance. Of course, that was in the midst of the last economic boom, and many were willing to trade integrity in their leaders for some cash in their pockets.

But the times change, particularly when so many pockets are empty. The recent spate of high level adulterous affairs hasn’t been met with the same yawning indifference that Clinton’s was. Jonathan Edwards, Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer and now of course General Petraeus and General George Allen have all garnered resignations and reprobation. This is particularly the case in the latter two, given these men fell not only under the ethical considerations of political leaders (presuming some exist) but the auspices of military regulations as well. Perhaps the thought of our Generals engaging in sexual dalliances while boys die on battlefields is too much even for our promiscuous culture.

This is one of the great divides when Christians and secularists speak about ‘morality’. Atheists are fond of saying that Christians have no corner on morality, that one doesn’t need to believe in God to be good. More recently they seek to demonstrate this by highly publicized works of charity in order to demonstrate they can ‘be good without God’. When saying that, they are defining the ‘good’ to be those behaviors that have outward effects, not necessarily those behaviors traditionally understood to be good in Western society and by Christians. Adultery is one such behavior that seems to fall outside of the atheist prevue of morality.

New Atheist Richard Dawkins made this exceedingly clear in his essay on the subject, Banishing the Green-Eyed Monster . As he boldly asks:

Why are we so obsessed with monogamous fidelity in the first place? Agony Aunt columns ring with the cries of those who have detected — or fear — that their man/woman (who may or may not be married to them) is “cheating on them”. “Cheating” really is the word that occurs most readily to these people. The underlying presumption — that a human being has some kind of property rights over another human being’s body — is unspoken because it is assumed to be obvious. But with what justification?

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Assuming that such practical matters as sexually transmitted diseases and the paternity of children can be sorted out (and nowadays DNA testing will clinch that for you if you are sufficiently suspicious, which I am not), what, actually, is wrong with loving more than one person? Why should you deny your loved one the pleasure of sexual encounters with others, if he or she is that way inclined?

Given his casual indifference to marital vows I guess we shouldn’t be surprised there have been three Mrs. Dawkins – he appears to be, to paraphrase the character Ian Malcom from Jurassic Park, “always on the lookout for a future ex-Mrs. Dawkins”.

Dawkins’ assurances aside, adultery obviously has many victims. There are the bereaved spouses, the loss of trust in a community, and not least of all the pain of any children that might be involved. In the case of General Petreaus there was the opening of himself to blackmail and the communication of sensitive information, not to mention the damage to the trust the public had invested in him as the head of one of the most important national security agencies. If not in reality, people in powerful positions convey the perception of coercing those with less power into relationships with them.

For the Christian of course there is no distinction between public and private morality. Morality for the Christian is primarily an offense against God and His intended purposes for human life. In fact being moral for public purposes is considered hypocrisy, as Jesus plainly teaches concerning the Pharisees of His day:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. – Matthew 23:27-28

For a Christian being moral isn’t merely about what one does in public, but what one is when the public isn’t watching. At least for now our society, if not secularists, appears to agree with this standard.

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The Tax Man Cometh

August 1, 2012

I am not sure Barak Obama is the best person to be questioning Mitt Romney’s tax returns…


That Didn’t Last Long

January 20, 2011

The new civility that is.

In remarks in the House Tuesday night during the Debate of the repeal of Obamacare, Democratic Representative Steve Cohen made these remarks:

“They say it’s a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels,” Cohen said. “You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing.”

And he went further with his comparison:

“The Germans said enough about the Jews and people believed it–believed it and you have the Holocaust. We heard on this floor, government takeover of health care. Politifact said the biggest lie of 2010 was a government takeover of health care because there is no government takeover”

Everyone probably already knew this, but these remarks are simply a demonstration that the Left isn’t the least bit interested in civility or fresh approaches to politics, it is interested in winning. The have no qualms with using the exact language this week that they condemned last week. What is most disconcerting about this is that they actually believe the electorate to be so mindless as not to notice.

It is certain the media, which was so quick to address the term ‘blood libel’ last week won’t be protesting this use of that language yesterday or claim that the Congressman is creating an ‘atmosphere of hate’. This is because in the Orwellian mind of the Left, whatever the Left says is civil because it is true, and whatever the Right says is uncivil because it is false.

Thankfully most people know better.


Green with Hypocrisy

April 29, 2010

It seems Al Gore, sage of all things green, global, and warm, has decided to put aside another piece of property for the purposes of saving the planet.

Well maybe not.

Gore has actually bought a $9 million dollar villa in Montecito, CA. The charming little fixer-upper has a mere five bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a fountain, spa, swimming pool, and six fireplaces. In other words, a property with a carbon footprint the size of Guam. This in addition to his 10,000 sq. ft. shack in Tennessee.

Now I don’t fault the man for owning fancy digs, and if someone has the money and they want to keep a contingent of gardeners and grounds keepers and contractors busy maintaining mansions, more power to them. Heaven knows the jobs are needed in Obama’s economy. And if Al is making this much off his global warming shtick, he certainly wouldn’t be the first to make money on investments in a scam. But can we stop pretending he is a serious individual representing real science? I mean quite obviously he doesn’t even believe this whole global warming thing himself, so can the rest of us just admit it was one of those pseudo-science created mass panic attacks our culture has frequently endured like global cooling, nuclear winters, and the Y2K bug?

Are we over it yet?