October 2, 2006

Understanding the response to Foley's actions

"The Catholic Church shields pedophiles in its midst because it fears that the reputation of the Church as a whole would be damaged if it were generally known that there are any significant number of pedophile priests, because it doesn't want to raise questions about the wisdom of demanding that clerics (pretend to) be celibate, and because it's easy to forgive people who agree with you on the issues you think most important in life.

For parallel reasons, the Republican Party shields pedophiles in its midst: it fears that the reputation of the Party as a whole would be damaged if it became generally known and understood that Republicans are no more "moral" than any other politicians, it doesn't want to appear to be hypocritical on specific sexual issues of intense importance to its Bible-literalist base, and it finds it easy to forgive people who agree with its positions on the issues that are most important to its other members and its voters.

The tendency to forgive people who say what we want to hear usually extends into a belief that, after they are forgiven, they will somehow be inspired to stop engaging in the embarrassing and proscribed conduct that we have forgiven them for. So it probably was with the GOP leadership and Foley. But most evangelicals seem to know better: I remember seeing bumper stickers a few years back that said something like "I sin every day, but Jesus forgives me!" Maybe Foley should have one of those bumper stickers on his car, so that when GOP hypocrites condemn his behavior, he can remind them that he sins every day, but that Jesus forgives him every day so that he can go out with a fresh slate to sin again tomorrow in the exact same way."

Taken from this conversation on Plastic.

Posted by duver001 at October 2, 2006 11:35 AM