Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How to Ruin a Dinner Conversation

What is it they say... never talk about sex, religion or politics at the dinner table? Well, I'm going to mix them. And in light of my recent (much-deserved) swipes at Democrat John Edwards, I'm going to provide equal time by sniping at some of the GOP field, at least in passing. Right now the "big 3" Republicans are Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. All three are going to allegedly make some sort of a play for the votes of "values voters" or "social conservatives" like me. Well, here's a news flash: if you want my vote, start by keeping your darn pants up! The main reason I didn't like Bill Clinton had nothing to do with politics--it was that he was unfaithful to his wife. I believed, then and now, that somebody who violates the marriage covenant with his wife and with God by violating the 7th commandment is lower than low, and that such a lack of character can and will show up in other areas under pressure. Of the three main GOP guys (plus Newt Gingrich, who gets mentioned if only for being a former history teacher), only the Mormon is on his first wife. Rudy's wife found out about her replacement in a press conference, for pete's sake! This doesn't mean I'm in love with Mitt Romney, nor does it mean that I will definitely not vote for the eventual GOP nominee if I think the other choice is even worse (like Hillary). But, PLEASE! How tough is it to find a decent man in Washington these days?

Here's an area where I think we evangelical Christian types need to tighten up. I read Dobson. I like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. I think "family values" are among the preeminent issues of our day (which is why I think the issue of judges is so important). But we on the "Christian Right" get all worked up about the issue of "gay marriage" and all its permutations, while that encompasses, what, 3-4% of the population at best? But we have gotten so used to adultery, fornication, and divorce that we almost entirely ignore the way they run rampant through our society, leaving something like half of all families in their wake. As Jesus said of the Pharisees, we are straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! Now don't get me wrong--I don't want to swallow any gnats, either. I'm not saying that until we deal with our issues in the hetero community that we have to give a pass to potentially damaging social changes--far from it. Adding more wrongs is never a way to get to right. But we ought to at least recognize that sexual sin comes in many varieties, and not think we're oh-so-moral for not watching "Will & Grace" while laughing our heads off at the promiscuity in "Friends" (or whatever the shows are nowadays--my TV is limited to sports and "Walker, Texas Ranger").

So, in the primaries, don't expect unbridled enthusiasm for the adultery caucus from this angle. And even my weasel-like squirming to maintain my options come general-election time won't change that. I'm very tired of voting against the "lesser of two evils." There will come a time, maybe this time, when that old line doesn't work anymore. But that's a post for a different day


bekster said...

I never thought about that before (the camel/gnat thing... we focus on the gay thing but don't give a thought to adulterers). I think the question is, "Do a person's personal actions and morals have any bearing on that person's ability to lead and make decisions for the larger group?" That question got brought up with the whole Clinton/Lewinsky thing, and at that time a lot of people would have said "NO". However, I would have to answer "YES". In our society now we tend to compartmentalize different aspects of life, but I don't think you can really do that. If you can't even make good decisions about your personal life (especially if you are impulsive), how can you claim to make good decisions for a whole bunch of people? I'm sure there's a better way to explain what I'm trying to say, but you probably get the point. Morality matters very much in a leader, so it is relevant to look at the actions and lifestyles of the various candidates. It just stinks though when, like you said, you are having to pick the "lesser of two evils".

Philip Murphy said...

Come on Coach Sal, tell us how you really feel.

I think Rudy and McCain have at least five wives between the two of them. That's got to make for some interesting expose' stories around Super Tuesday time.