Friday, August 23, 2013

The Arrogance of Power

I am absolutely amazed at the audacity of some celebrities, sport figures, and politicians when it comes to wrongdoing. First of all, I’m shocked at all the wrongdoing that occurs – don’t they realize they’ll eventually get caught? Paparazzi, investigative reporters, and a familiar face make it difficult for them to do much of anything in secret. There’s always somebody who wants their 15 minutes of fame and is willing to expose what these celebrities have been doing.

Second, I’m amazed at how some of these offenders, who betrayed trust, want us to forget and act as if nothing happened. The Bible says we are supposed to forgive, but I believe that commandment applies primarily to one-on-one situations. With the celebrity sinners, we might forgive since we ourselves weren’t hurt by their actions, but do we really want to put them into positions of trust? Many of them think we should.

The most glaring example is Anthony Weiner. He was caught with his pants down (and sent the photo of it in a text message). He left the House of Representatives in disgrace, reconciled with his wife, and then did it again! Now he’s running for mayor of New York City, asking us to forget about his sordid acts and the humiliation of his wife by his behavior. I believe he must earn our trust, something he hasn’t been able to do so far. I believe his run for the mayor is pure ego: “I’ll show them.”

The disgraced Vito Lopez, who sexually harassed many women, is thinking of running for office once again – I believe for the same reason – ego. I hope nobody votes for him.

Elliott Spitzer was a good Attorney General of New York State and probably would have made a decent Governor had he stayed in that job. However, he had to quit because of his patronizing of prostitutes. That’s a betrayal of trust of the marriage covenant, not to mention tacky and disgusting.

Now Spitzer is running for Comptroller of New York City, the city’s chief financial officer. Is he someone we can trust? He might be, because he seems to have learned his lesson, appears to be repentant, and wants to be a productive member of society once more.

Alex Rodriguez, like so many sports figures, wanted an edge. Unfortunately, he tried to gain that edge by using performance enhancing drugs, and allegedly encouraging other athletes to do the same. It is sad that so many sports and teams have been compromised by such actions. The famed cyclist, Lance Armstrong, paid a stiff price, as have others who didn’t “play fair” by using drugs. A-Rod is now appealing his suspension, and I believe his appeal is driven mostly by ego. He should take his penalty like a man. You do the crime – you should be prepared to do the time.

Why do all these things happen? It’s the human condition: humans have an inborn propensity to do wrong. That’s why we must have laws to control human activities, police to enforce those laws, and the courts to punish offenders who break them. As people drift further away from the Judeo-Christian tradition and knowledge of God, behavior will get worse. Leaders will get more corrupt.

People of faith should share their faith with those who aren’t attending worship on a regular basis so that we as a society can reverse this trend away from God. Parents should train their children in faith, morals, and ethical behavior (including by example), and send them to Sunday school so they can learn about God. We’ve got to reverse these trends.

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