Gov. Sanford of South Carolina is just the latest of a long line of political figures who think they can get away with it. Former NY Governor Elliot Spitzer thought he could get away with it, but he didn’t. A whole bunch of Washington politicians thought they could get away with it, but they didn’t.
Why do they think they can get away with these “indiscretions”? I think they believe that once they get into a certain position, they are invincible. They see some of their colleagues getting away with stuff, and feel they should be able to do the same. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Maybe if they went to church or temple on a regular basis they might be better equipped to resist these inevitable temptations. Maybe worshipping God in fellowship with others, hearing The Word proclaimed, and praying together as a body would make them more aware of God’s love for them, their responsibility to not dishonor God in what they do, and their obligation to observe God’s moral and ethical commandments.
As it is, I suspect most of these politicians are far from God. Their church or temple attendance is sporadic at best, and they are more interested in self-serving than in serving God. In Romans 12:1 the Apostle Paul exhorts us to worship God with our lives:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. NRSV
Even though you and I aren’t among the powerful, we can still fall into serious temptations. When we do something wrong and are found out, it just isn’t as public. So let us remain (or become) close to God, attend church or synagogue regularly, and pray every day. Then we can withstand the temptations that come our way.