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August 30, 2004



But then he might have to show compassion or answer questions about his own conduct. And in a pattern that has become distressingly prevalent, the only thing the Deal Hudsons of the world seem capable of doing when the ugly truth comes out is committing the public life equivalent of hara kari -- resigning. E.g., Livingston, now Schrock, and others. Better to "die" than to show empathy or compassion to a fellow (Democratic) sinner. The whole premise of their public life is antithetical to the Christian ethos of forgiveness and redemption, for themselves as well as for others.


You have a point, Barbara. Resigning may seem like a noble gesture, but perhaps it is more courageous to admit wrongdoing and work to rectify the wrong from within one's present position. That is what I always hoped Clinton would do (I was disappointed), but it was one of the reasons I did not want him to resign -- I wanted him to model for us repentance and responsibility simultaneously.


Hudson's resignation wasn't honorable. It was necessary the same way drinking hemlock was necessary for Socrates. Under the circumstances it was more convenient for all involved. When sanctimony fails the sanctimonious there is nothing to fall back on. Pleas to core Christian doctrines at that point are just so much hypocrisy. Just once I'd like to see an epiphany, a change of heart that demonstrates that, at last, they understand what forgiveness is. So far, no luck, but I'm always willing to be pleasantly surprised. (I think Charles Colson might be an example of what I'm looking for, but in the area of sexual ethics.)


"When sanctimony fails the sanctimonious there is nothing to fall back on."

There's no end to those who unwittingly become sanctimonious.


Agreed, Stephen -- all of us who write on morality at any level must guard against it, but the chances of periodically succumbing to it are close to 100%.

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