It Matters

During lunch today, I fired up the old Tivo and watched the first fifteen or so minutes of Letterman. He often gets on joke “themes” that he continues to reiterate during the course of the broadcast, and this one centered around Gov. Elliot Spitzer’s “Client 9” prostitution scandal. Letterman, albeit a funny guy, kept repeating something rather serious and fairly close to home: Gov. Spitzer is guilty of more than prostitution. The real problem is his abuse of power (see part of the Letterman’s rant here).

The reason this event strikes a chord with me revolves around the ordeal that took place a bit over a year ago regarding the pastor the church I was attending. While proclaiming that the church was going to be a beacon of hope and light to the “world” (and all the other rhetoric that pastors with illusions of grandeur like to repeat ad nauseum), he secretly conducted multiple extra-marital affairs while happily taking our “tithe” money to support this lifestyle.

When all this came out, he was rather indignant about the whole situation and, for whatever reason, did not see his abuse of power as a significant problem. He also continued to rail about his “calling” and how the “mission” was far more important than his personal faults. Ummm … yeah.

Look, it matters. If you can’t control yourself and continue to have sexual affairs outside the bounds of normalcy and legality, don’t become a public servant. This is not something new: in both my ex-pastor’s case and Gov. Spitzer’s case, it was a pattern of behavior that lasted over a period of several years. This may have shocked us, but it was only a matter of time before a person in that sort of limelight would get caught. Both gentleman could have simply decided to do something else and limit the collateral damage of their abusive behavior. There are lots of jobs out there for plumbers, programmers, electricians, small-company owners, etc.

There is a higher standard of expectation for public servants than for, say, a car mechanic because they are quite literally paid to not do bad things. If you’re a pastor, part of your job is being an example and leader on moral issues. Same with politicians. A mechanic is paid to fix a car. If a mechanic ever got caught with a prostitute, most customers probably wouldn’t care as long as their car runs. That’s what they paid the mechanic for. I didn’t pay my ex-pastor to sleep with other women while simultaneously espousing the ideals of abstinence and monogamy, and the people of New York didn’t pay Elliot Spitzer to crack down on prostitution while simultaneously spending thousands of dollars for the services of a prostitute.

What do you think?


About johnnywey

Welcome to A Regular Expression. This blog is designed to reflect my thoughts on life, music, software design, Apple, faith, philosophy, and whatever else I can think of.

Posted on March 13, 2008, in Life, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Perhaps not forgivable, in a sense it’s understandable. In these situations an amount of audacity is a helpful for these positions. From a systemic angle, how could we pick willing, capable, confident leaders without them being power hungry. I’m not sure there’s a great solution.

  2. Preach it Johnny!

    Titus 1:7-9
    Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

    Same applies to any leadership position, secular or religious…

  3. Here is my opinion….

    What frustrates me more than “sin” itself, it is the exposure. When pastors or politicians or whoever is in leaderships roles engage in sinful behavior, its not the indecency itself that is annoying to me, its the amount of energy others give to it. It is such a cliché to non-Christians for pastors or politicians to talk the talk and not walk to walk. We, the Christians that are tying to help others and live life according to the gospel, we lose are creditability bc we are guilt by association.

    I think when we come across “less-than-perfect” leaders, we need to stick together and pray for one another. Granted, their behavior has been brought to light and its a good thing! What Satan wants to use for embarrassment and cause shame, we can use as a sign of weakness and attack the very sin that caused these people grief and hurt with love and prayer.

    I say, followers of Christ, if one of our family members is struggling, lets embrace one another and stick together. I’m not saying “cover” the sin but we don’t need to expose it either or give it a lot of energy, address it. We need to be careful, with our words and judgment because the ones we judge are the ones we want to reach. People are hurting and if come across like a “dotting all our I’s and crossing all our T’s” Christians then we become unapproachable and unloving.

    WE all fall short, we all do. One struggles with adultery, the other a drug addiction, the other, small white lies that seem harmless…whether we are a fifty cents or a hundred dollars short, we still don’t have enough.

    We need to act in love and be in prayer. Whether its a politician, pastor or a mechanic, hell is hell and sin is sin and people are people and ALL hold the same value. The mechanic is just as valuable as the president bc those titles have a worldly value, not a heavenly value. Jesus loves and protects people not degrees and I say save everyone!

    We have ONLY ONE who can hold office in the White House, only one who can be a qualified politician or the ideal Pastor and his name is Jesus.

    I say, we protect our brothers and sisters in Christ. I have comfort knowing that if I was ever struggling, my family would love and protect me.

  4. My only comment is this:

    Gentlemen. An overstatement to be sure.

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