Generous Orthodoxy  

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sex and human nature in The Wall Street Journal

That got your attention, right? Yep, the Murdoch version of the WSJ is (predictably) a lot more colorful, in both senses of that word, than the old grey version. No little drawing in black-and-white dots for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. His face in full color, together with a chronicle of his misadventures, fills up a tabloid-sized amount of space on the front page today. (Will we ever again be able to say we’re going hiking on the Appalachian Trail without irony?)

The former GOP chairman in South Carolina, Katon Dawson, said that Sanford’s purported Trail hike and further obfuscations were “the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen” and continued, “We’ve [the GOP) been struggling with our elected officials. We’ve run on values and we’ve been struggling.”

But more useful from the Christian point of view was this statement by State Senator John Land:

“The position he’s taken the whole time he’s been in office is, ‘I’m smarter than the rest, I’m more religious than the rest, I’m more godly than the rest.’ I just don’t see how he can come back and be a sinner like the rest of us and still function.”

The article went on to state that Mr. Sanford “in the past has emphasized his Christian faith and absolute moral values.” He voted to impeach Bill Clinton and he publicly disapproved of Rep. Bob Livingstone when he acknowledged extramarital affairs, saying “We as a party want to hold ourselves to high standards, period.”

The whole story is a gold mine for the study of human nature. "What fools these mortals be!"

And from a different angle, perhaps we might reflect on the saying of Rochefoucauld:

Hypocrisy is the homage [or tribute] that vice pays to virtue. (Maxim 218)