Sex, Lies, and Why I’ll Be Able To Get Away With it.
As the national jury (that’s the one where everyone decides whose guilty based on snippets and sound-bites from the media) does its thing with John Edwards and his sordid lust affair, it makes another story come to life.
We don’t actually need (or for that matter) want facts; they just get in the way of our verdict. The details leave us shaking our heads at the crass stupidity of the man in doing all the things he is alleged to have done. We are glad we didn’t ever think him fit for national office (or we hope others don’t remember any expressions of support we may have uttered back then.)
At some level we move from intrigue at the allegations of what he did and how he did it to dismay at how he thought he could get away with such things and maybe to outrage that he could behave so callously towards his dying wife at the same time as he played so loosely with the trust he was asking voters to place in him. Of course the case is still in progress so we have yet to react to the issues the defense will raise . . .
As if that’s not enough indignation for one week, now Piers Morgan goes and asks the Dalai Lama about his temptations concerning women. We are conditioned to expect him to deny all temptations and to talk about how his faith has delivered him from these carnal and worldly things but no, he goes and admits he’s still a man.
One blogger stirred the debate this way:
“Former senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is beginning his criminal trial on felony and misdemeanor counts dating back to his failed campaign. One of the key allegations against Edwards is that he received $1 million in illegal campaign contributions to conceal his pregnant mistress. Edwards says he wasn’t in the right, but he wasn’t breaking the law either. In response to this fiasco, world affairs columnist Frida Ghitis has just one question. Are men stupid?”
Now there are only four simple answers to this question and your own answer is a function of your personal experience, your aspirations and gender. The responses were pretty evenly divided among the these options:
a) Yes all men are stupid.
b) No, not all men are stupid
c) I’m not smart enough to decide
d) I won’t say (I have an opinion but someone else in the room wouldn’t like my answer.)
e) I spaced, what was the question? (Here’s my answer to something entirely unrelated. Some people do this, they develop a reply about their pet theory and then post it on every blog and comment page they can find regardless of the content of that page.)
Ghitis wrote,“Are men stupid? How else can we explain the endless parade of otherwise successful individuals, who by all appearances seem intelligent and competent, and yet risk destroying their careers and their personal lives over the chance to have a sexual escapade?” Her post covers a long list of examples that are hard to explain away. Mercifully her list does not include the long list of Christian leaders who have qualified themselves to be included.
She is in good company, others over the years have wondered the very same thing. The Bible is not silent on such things and as we get in touch with the emotion and sense of betrayal that goes with each act we realize there are two responses to temptation but only one of them produces good results.
So the Dalai Lama has confirmed the truth found in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.”
Joseph demonstrated the way of escape when he was stalked by his boss’s wife, ”How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” He paid a significant price for his failure to coöperate with her wishes and we need to understand that this was a genuine temptation (she was not by any measure the ugliest woman in all of Egypt!) The price he paid in resisting her advances was nothing compared to the price he would have paid if he had decided to go with the temptation.
King David shows us what that price looks like. He had the choice of limiting his temptation by looking away and by limiting where he let his mind wander when he spotted a woman bathing in full view, but he went past all limits. The object of his attention didn’t offer any protests (apparently we can excuse her from charges of stupidity by saying that she was not able to resist the powerful man but, reality check, she had options beginning with her indiscrete displaying of herself; she could have taken the Joseph path: she never tried it. Where did it all end up? The usual place, with lust, then sin then cover up and denial and subterfuge and . . . the public were suitably horrified when the truth finally came out.
The disbelieving reactions of people back then were about the same as ours today – “How could he be so stupid?” It gets really messy if we try to factor in “What was she trying to gain by throwing herself at the big shot while her husband was away fighting for his country?” so we just skip over that part, the same way as we excuse her for any complicity in his subsequent murder by her new (upgraded) lover (Every stupid man needs an equally stupid woman it seems but let’s not cloud the issue by going there.)
History has a habit of repeating itself for all who fail to learn that the way of escape begins with choosing to control our thoughts. Once we fail to take the first step it gets harder to avoid the downhill trail. The longer we play with fire, the better our chances of getting burned. There is no lack of cases to prove this.
We each have to ask ourselves, “What makes me think I’ll get away with following temptation?
. . .
Posted on April 26, 2012, in Relationships, Self-awareness and tagged Dalai Lama, John Edwards, Joseph, King David, lies, lust, Piers Morgan, sex, spin and cover up, temptation. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off.