Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is it with politicians and adultery? Or, Don't Cry for me Argentina

Mark Sanford the Governor of South Carolina admitted today in a press conference that his recent camping trip in the Appalachians was actually an adulterous romp in Buenos Aires. I confess my cynicism regarding politicians flares up in moments like this. After all it seems that a disproportionate number of pols have, shall we say, "unconventional marriages."

What struck me as I was watching Governor Sanford's pathetic confession was just how powerful a sin is lust. Lust has led people to do extraordinarily self-destructive things. It has caused men and women to risk their families, their reputations, their careers, their savings, and even their lives.

Despite his deplorable behavior the Governor claims to be a Christian. Adultery is not unknown among Christians. Indeed the history of God's people includes some well known individuals whose lives were marked by saintliness and scandal. Christians should pray for the Sanford's. He has a wife and four sons. Hopefully their church will shepherd them through these difficult days.

One other thought before I heap too much disdain on Governor Sanford. I must take a moment to ponder the condition of my own heart. The very sin that drove him to wound his wife and sons, humiliate himself and his friends, and risk his career lurks within my heart and the only hope I have is the grace of my Redeemer.


Chad said...

Well put Todd! On a more positive note I think all these scandals point me back to Christ as you mentioned at the end of your post. Also, hopefully it serves as a reminder to all Christians who seek to put their faith in the "right" instead of our Lord.

toothdoc said...

Since I am feeling especially cynical this morning, my only comment is that I am glad he was able to freely use birth control methods because - as previous posts on this site and your FB site have indicated - like a teenager, lust is just too powerful to expect lifelong monogamy. The governor is an example to us of why we need more education on birth control and less talk of abstinence and self-control.

We reap what we sow.

Todd Pruitt said...


It's such a rare thing when either of us are cynical!

Fearsome Comrade said...

The only thing I think about this is...when in the heck did it become acceptable to intercept someone's e-mail and read it on air? I know Keith Olbermann didn't personally hack Sanford's e-mail, but whoever did committed a felony, and the fact that the press just winks at it so they can get ratings is pretty sick.

Todd Pruitt said...

Fearsome Comrade

You know this of course but there are different rules for different politicians. The media, although not nearly as centralized as it used to be, helps dictate the public debate. There simply will be no story about the illegalities of pirating the Governors emails. If it were another politician then you can bet the rules would be changed radically.

In many people's minds to bring down a guy like Sanford (a conservative) is justified regardless of the means. But I have no sympathy for Sanford in terms of the political consequences of his behavior. The man has behaved like a fool.

Mark W. said...

Not to make light of this terrible situation for Sanford's family, but the best headline to come out of the media coverage has to be "Sanford and Sins," provided by Fox News. I can just hear Fred yelling "Governor, you big dummy!"

BillPoll said...

I found Colson's commentary on this matter to be a sage reminder of how easily we stray from God's desire (control) when we trust in self-control and even birth control.

Kimberly said...

Perhaps it's a little late to comment on this, although it's a story that continues to prevail in the news.

I feel badly for Sanford's wife and family as he reveals in a recent interview how this woman with whom he's had the affair is his soulmate. He then goes on to confess (whatever for), that he's "crossed the line" with other women over the years (but clarifies: not in the way he did with his mistress). How humilating for his family. Is this kind of public confession really necessary? What's the point? Isn't anything private anymore?