Today we hear yet another Republican elected official confess to an episode of extramarital sexual activity. Again, he admits to behavior that is out of line with the fundamental values that he has fought for (as well as the minimum standards expected of an elected official in America), but refuses to resign his office. Since Newt Gingrich there have been about two dozen of these among Federal elected officials and it seems the rate of discovery is increasing.
How can the right-wing position maintain any credibility with all of this? Are we to conclude that the people who push for a marriage amendment to the constitution, making even limited abortion a jailing offense, and abstinence-only sex education for teenagers evidently include many who do not really believe in these things? Or, are those who feel these values are more important than helping the poor or reforming health care simply so tempted by extramarital and premarital sex that they are driven by their strong, inner needs. (In other word, if I am terrified that I might violate a certain moral standard, perhaps I would like to see a law passed to reinforce the "guard rail" or "fence" against this temptation.)
Why have none of the religious leaders who have pressed so hard for "traditional family values" come forward to suggest that the Senator and Governor who have most recently confessed to extramarital affairs need to resign from public office? Is the political strength of the Republican Party more important to these religious leaders than traditional family values? Do they really believe in promoting Christian values in public life, or is it simply a ruse to use Christian faith to promote a certain brand of politics?
People of faith in the Republican Party have some very important questions to answer deep in their own hearts. Christ is the onlooking Lord they need to answer to, not political opponents. But, the fundamental sincerity of the conservative political groups that promote "traditional family values" is clearly in question. How many of these groups are simply fronts to manipulate Christians and how many of them are authentic expressions of faith? Stay tuned. Evidence is surfacing.