Russell and Duenes

It’s just sex!

with 6 comments

Remember this mind-numbing mantra that our beloved American journalists served up day after day as Bill Clinton’s sexual immorality with Ms. Lewinsky became unavoidably public? We were lectured at constantly about the “fact” that Bill Clinton’s willingness to lie about his private sexual activity had nothing whatever to do with his ability to effectively lead as president, as though lying didn’t make one a liar. “It’s just sex,” after all!

Or recall Mark Sanford. Here you have another prominent politician and a Republican leader who was willing to forsake his covenant of marriage, secretly cavort around with his mistress and then lie to cover it all up. Further, as the NY Times reports, “Mr. Sanford still faces charges before the State Ethics Commission alleging that he misused state airplanes, used taxpayer money to buy business-class airline tickets, and misspent campaign donations. And the state attorney general could still level criminal charges against him related to the ethics complaints.” But as of now, he still holds his office.

I suppose we should be gratified that John Ensign, the Republican Senator from Nevada (adultery and bribery), and William J. Jefferson, the Democratic Representative (although the NY Times story about him fails to mention he’s a Democrat. Interesting!) from New Orleans who was sentenced last month to 13 years in prison on bribery and corruption convictions, have been caught and are no longer leading our country.

But what of those who are not caught? Or what of those who are caught but are allowed to continue in office? Or of those whose sins we might even today consider virtues? It’s no big deal; it’s just sex, after all. It’s just adultery. Adultery is not illegal. What a man or woman does with her sex life is their own business.  It’s just his own private affair, so what does it have to do with his ability to govern?And then we wonder why we have the governance we have.

For so long we’ve bought into the lie that one’s so-called “private” morality has nothing to do with good governance that we can no longer see the connection between a person’s character and his or her larger public actions. Why then should we be surprised when we have political leaders who are very willing to spend trillions of dollars we don’t have? Why do we assume that they will tell us the truth about public policy when they are quite willing to lie about their own personal behavior? Why should we expect foreign policy wisdom from people who show little wisdom in their personal dealings? Does this make any sense? Can we really be shocked when senators’ and congressmens’ votes, from both parties, are won, er, bought through bribery, er, political favors? If a leader is willing to live with sin in his personal life, does it follow that he will be able to compartmentalize it so that it doesn’t spill over into his public life? No, indeed. No one can doubt that our political halls – Democrat, Republican, Independent, Anything-crat – are filled with avarice, bribery (whether it’s legal or not matters none), lying, extortion, kick-backs, racketeering, and the like, and it can all be justified in the way that “it’s just sex” is justified. No one should be under any illusion, for we have ancient wisdom to predict all of this for us.

Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people (Prov. 14:34).

When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability (Prov.28:2).

When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan (Prov. 29:2).

If a ruler pays attention to liars, all his advisers will be wicked (Prov. 29:12).

The wicked take secret bribes to pervert the course of justice (Prov. 17:23).

If the godly give in to the wicked, it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring (Prov. 25:26)… When the godly succeed, everyone is glad.  When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding (Prov. 28:12).

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much (Luke 16:10)

Jesus answered them, “Truly, I tell all of you with certainty that everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin (John 8:34)

But oh no, we’re told. We can’t hold elected officials to a standard of godliness because there is a separation of church and state, and Jesus says “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” and this is a secular government, you see, and religion and politics don’t mix, as we all know.

I can never delude myself into thinking that my “private” sins will have no effect on how I relate to others and how I do my job in public. If I’m given to one form of sin, I will certainly be given to other kinds of sin. No one is excluded from this, including me. It is abundantly clear to me that my personal righteousness, or lack of it, is the single greatest factor in whether I will be an effective and influential teacher for my students’ good. The same would hold true for politicians. When we decide, as a nation and people, that having effective and judicious politicians has little if anything to do with their sexual ethics (including homosexuality), their personal honesty, the way they manage their own family checkbook, their own personal relationships…and we elect them accordingly, we can then expect rampant folly, corruption, vice and national misery as a result. Our policies will be shot through with failure and ruin, including health care, energy, the environment, education, the military and foreign policy.

If righteousness exalts a nation – and it does – then it must begin with our own personal repentance and in turn our election of leaders who live and practice biblical virtues and wisdom. To use a cliche, and a very true one: Jesus is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

December 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Posted in Duenes, Ethics

6 Responses

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  1. I can’t help reading this in Mr. Duenes’ voice.

    Jon Ellis

    December 29, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    • I’m glad you like my voice. Hope you’re having a good break.

      -D

      russellandduenes

      December 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm

  2. Very nice blog! Moderns are very determined to compartmentalize things that are inseparable and to turn a blind eye to vital warning indicators. I appreciate reading your thoughts and insights on the matter. And, I quite agree with your assessment of the present moral state of our contemporary American politicians.

    Silas

    December 29, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    • Couldn’t agree more, Silas. This health care bill is a prime example. This “legislation” stinks to high heaven for all sorts of reasons, but mainly because there has been so much lying in the process, there is so much dishonesty and covert spending in the bill itself and so much immoral spending of money we don’t have. The same could be said of lots of legislation from both parties. Regarding health care, Phyllis Schlafly put it well in her piece today: “The Senate bill contains at least a dozen of what can be described as bribes. Sen. Mary Landrieu received a $300 million increase in Medicaid funding for her state (known as the Second Louisiana Purchase), and a $100 million bribe to Sen. Ben Nelson gives Nebraska a permanent exemption from the costs of Medicaid expansion.” You can read her entire piece, which is excellent, here: http://townhall.com/columnists/PhyllisSchlafly/2009/12/29/ten_new_reasons_why_obamacare_can_still_be_killed?page=full&comments=true

      -D

      russellandduenes

      December 29, 2009 at 10:04 pm

  3. I finally agree with you on a political issue? (Though it is mainly a moral one). We have come so far:)
    However, as for your response to Silas using Schlafly’s piece at townhall.com, there is much more to the article than you say here. Schlafly has always used her republicanism-at-all-cost ideology to purport information in a much skewed way. Is there corruption in this bill? I am sure there is. Is there corruption in every bill? Absolutely. So, I agree that the corruption is wrong. But it is not “Obamacare” that is the problem: it is the way government conducts itself. You can see her bias simply by how she addresses the health care plan. Her use of the term “Obamacare” itself suggests that no matter what the legislation is, if Obama is attached to it, it is abhorrent. I think if Ronald Reagan was President right now and put forward this health care proposal, Schlafly would love it- and you might as well. I know I would be quite the Reagan supporter if this was the case.

    -R

    russellandduenes

    December 30, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    • I have a high level of respect for Phyllis Schlafly on the sole basis of her work shooting down the Equal Rights Amendment back in the 70’s. Passage of the ERA would have enshrined unbiblical feminism in our Constitution. But I digress. I agree with Schlafly in virtually the entirety of her piece, but having said that, I agree with you that a much bigger problem in general is the way our government conducts itself. But it seems to me that this healthcare bill requires lying, deceiving, bribing, etc. because to actually try and pass it on the up-and-up would never happen. The American people clearly don’t want it; and if they really knew what was happening, they would want it even less.

      Finally, you could not be more wrong on your point about Reagan. Obviously I can’t speak for Schlafly, but I can say with supreme confidence and a clear eye that in no way, shape or form would I support a government-run health care system along the lines the Democrats are proposing, no matter who was behind it. You could call it “_________care” and fill in whoever you want, and I would oppose it with great zeal.

      -D

      russellandduenes

      January 1, 2010 at 2:29 am


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