Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Real Enemy

So apparently Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) pleaded guilty a couple of months ago to seeking out gay sex in an airport bathroom, even though it is only just now coming to light. His excuses for this are flimsier than Mitt Romney's theology (oh, zing!), and he should resign right now, regardless of the consequences to the GOP. But that's not what I want to talk about. Both Dean Barnett over at Hugh Hewitt's blog and David Freddoso over at the Corner raise the more important question: why do these things seem to "happen" to supposedly conservative politicians with greater frequency than to their Democratic counterparts?

Freddoso raises and then handily dismisses the possibility that liberal pols and their supporters are just "less repressed" and thus not discombobulated by such scandals of a prurient nature. I agree with him there. Barnett raises the spectre of self-loathing and a desire to be caught and "outed", but I don't think that comes close to answering the Why-the-GOP question. And of course there's always the "liberal media gives a free pass to non-GOP offenders" tack. While some of these notions have merit, I don't think they tell the full story.

The real answer, as is quite often the case, lies in looking at it from a spiritual perspective. As a Christian, I firmly believe not only in a Good and Perfect Creator who loves me and wants the best for me, but in an Enemy, whose primary goal, whatever its motivation may be, is to separate me from the Creator, with as much "collateral damage" as possible to those over whom I have influence. (Aside: far from taking the Manichaean point of view, I understand that the war is already over, for I have been irrevocably bought with Christ's blood. Too bad the Enemy isn't in on that little secret.)

So why then do "family values" politicians tend to be the "victims" of the worst, most depraved scandals of all? Is it because they're all secretly amoral hypocrites who are only using their stance to further their lust for power? No, that would be a silly thing to say. Rather, it is because of their stance that they become primary targets of the Enemy. Under the assumption that there is such a tempter, it only follows logically that it would focus its efforts on those through whom the most damage could be done -- namely, advocates of moral living. An old illustration that I've heard several preachers use is as follows: "if you don't cross paths with the Devil every day, you're probably heading in the wrong direction." If you're already focusing on an agenda that is anathema to the Creator's Divine Will, why would the Enemy divert its focus onto you? You're doing its job already!

This is not to say that I believe that all ostensibly socially-conservative politicians are 100% legitimate, honest, and forthright -- many people are already fallen before they rise to power. Many may already be struggling with private sins, and believe they have overcome them prior to their political careers, only to fall again. But in general, who is the juicier target? The advocate of sinful lifestyles, or the opponent of sinful lifestyles? Bring down the former, and no one is likely to be surprised or discouraged (umm, Barney Frank, anyone? Teddy Kennedy?). Bring down the latter, and you can destroy or diminish the faith of thousands.

So public advocates for moral living are the greatest targets of the Enemy. What, then, is to be done? Constant prayer is sometimes the only recourse, I believe. We as civilians cannot do much to hold them personally accountable at all times, but we can bathe them in prayer. When was the last time you prayed for your congressman, or your senators, or your pastor (assuming they are described by "advocates of moral living" -- never guaranteed to be the case)? If what I am saying is correct, and I believe it is, they are in need of more constant prayer than anyone else, for they are the closest to the edge of the Pit.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Marty said...

Off on a tangent: Your post made me think of a turnaround of a famous quote, misattributed to Trotsky. The quote is "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." I once heard a turnaround of this quote but I can't recall the attribution. It goes, roughly: "You say you were never interested in sin. Perhaps sin was never interested in you." I think the sense of it was that the person being addressed thought himself pure and sinless, having never done any "big" thing wrong. It's a kind of insult as well as being a veiled admonishment; the person being addressed is actually still under the sword of sin. Perhaps he thinks he has done nothing wrong. But this is a kind of pride. In fact, he has probably never risked anything, always done the safe thing, has kept his light under a bushel, wasted his talents. All these things are sins which Christ warned about. He is still in the Devil's snare. Maybe Larry Craig

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Marty said...

Those last three words were the start of a thought which I did not complete but forgot to erase.

8:21 AM  

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