Say it ain't so, Mark!
Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, has certainly disappointed a lot of people including myself. I liked him because he told the federal government to keep their bailout money and stop interfering in South Carolina's business. I can't imagine how embarrassed he must be now that millions of people are reading his personal love notes to an Argentine mistress. He described it as a "hopelessly impossible situation of love". I don't know if its love anymore but its certainly a "hopelessly impossible situation" for Mr. Sanford.
The governor is no better and no worse than any of the rest of us. We all have done stupid and sinful things worthy of the condemnation of the Almighty. I find nothing in God's word that says we should tar and feather Mr. Sanford. Everything I read says we should attempt to "restore" and "forgive" and "pray for" men who fail or fall away.
I feel much concern for Mark Sanford but I feel great pity and sorrow for what he has done to his wife and children. Another thing disturbing to me is not so much that one man has pretty much committed political suicide, its the overall tone of the party I belong to that so troubling. The thing that keeps me in the party is the thing that seems to be more and more absent. It is the Republican Party that is suppose to be the party that stands for morality and family values. The one who said that GOP stands for God's Own Party is certainly taking it too far. Some of those preening loudest for family values have chosen NOT to live the life they preach. Remember Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, and Rep. Bob Livingston of Louisiana. And what about the politician who attended Baker High School here in Columbus, Georgia, where I taught for nine years, Newt Gingrich.
Ralph Reed, very popular here in Georgia, is a very 'conservative' political activist and fund raiser who was involved in Jack Abramoff's lobbying scandal. Or, how about Mark Foley, the Florida Republican who resigned in 2006 after admitting to sending sexually explicit e-mails to underage males who worked in the congress as pages. Any married man can be overtaken by temptation but those who advocate for family values and then lie to their families reflect poorly on the socially conservative Republican Party as well as provide great fodder for the Democratic Party.
All human hearts lean toward sin. Republican hearts are no exception. Mark Sanford led the charge against Bill Clinton who lied to his wife, his daughter, his friends, his colleagues and the nation. "The issue of lying is probably the biggest harm, if you will, to the system of democratic government, representative government, because is undermines trust. And if you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything," said Sanford.
I hope Mark Sanford will contemplate his own words. More than that, I hope Mark Sanford will listen to the words of Christ the Savior, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." A lot of people are never going to forgive Mark Sanford but Christ is in the business of dishing out forgiveness and giving to us what we could never deserve.