Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Christians vs Pharisees

One of the big topics of the day was the aftermath of Nevada Senator John Ensign’s admission of an affair with the wife of one of his staffers. This sort of thing doesn’t surprise me anymore, and I’m apt to believe that this more than likely happens quite often amongst our political representatives at every level. 

But this is what pisses me off about this particular situation:

First, Senator Ensign publically and emphatically called for President Clinton to resign during the height of his scandal with Monica Lewinsky. Can someone say “hubris”?

Second, as noted in the first article, Senator Ensign was one of the toughest critics of former Senator Larry Craig during his own sex scandal in a Minneapolis restroom, calling for Craig to resign (which he ultimately did). According to Ensign:

“I wouldn’t put myself, hopefully, in that kind of position, but if I was in a position like that, that’s what I would do.”

Third, Ensign was an active member of Promise Keepers, a Christian organization aimed at making men more “godly.”

This is just another testament to the moral hypocrisy that seems prevalent within the Conservative ranks. Ensign is a walking, living, breathing representation of all that is wrong with modern-day Conservatism in America; an inflated sense of moral superiority without any sort of legitimate foundation to base it on. He ought to take his own advice and resign, because he has zero credibility left as far as I’m concerned (and as far as his constituency ought to be concerned).

Now, I’m not saying that Liberals aren’t hypocritical about things; they are, and I’ll be happy to discuss that. However, the problem is that many Conservatives are of the belief that they have “moral authority” (aka “Biblical Inerrancy”) on their side. A lot of Conservatives talk about morality and what not, browbeat and judge those people that they don’t feel are up to par, and then turn around and go against their own principles.

I already know the response - “Human beings aren’t perfect; they’re sinful, and are bound to fail.” Yeah, I guess. But riddle me this: why play the “God is merciful” card in situations like this, and then Bible-thump when it comes to gay marriage and abortion? Why wasn’t there an outcry when a man gets shot at church, even if he performed abortions? Why preach fire-and-brimstone unless it has to do with the glaring hypocrisy of one of your own?

It makes me absolutely sick to my stomach to hear any sort of argument on the grounds of “Christian” principles, and to me such arguments spit in the face of any sort of intellectual honesty. People like John Ensign aren’t Christians; they’re modern-day Pharisees. Maybe if there were more Christians and less Pharisees among Conservatives (especially at the top), I – and many other people – may take you and your principles a little bit more seriously.

Bottom line: if you’re going to make the claim to be a Christian, take your own principles seriously. Jesus gave you all a heads-up about this – take the log out of your eye before you take out the specks in someone else’s eye? Ring any bells? Obviously it didn’t ring any bells for John Ensign; maybe Promise Keepers ought to emphasize that a little bit more, rather than creating a sense of moral superiority in its followers.

“By their fruits you will easily recognize them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from brambles?” – Matthew 7:16

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