June 29, 2009

What Does the Bible Say About Mark Sanford?

One of the common claims I have heard about the Christian bible is that it provides an excellent guide for living. Even though it was written a long time ago, many believers consider it to have been divinely inspired and thus timeless. It is only natural, then, that we would look to the Christian bible in times of tribulation. What wisdom does the Christian bible offer in the case of Gov. Mark Sanford's (R-SC) extramarital affair?

Put yourself in the shoes of the core Republican base for a moment. As a proud bible-believing "family values" conservative, you were dismayed to learn of Sanford's sin. You know that he will be seen as a hypocrite and that this sort of publicity hardly helps your party. Moreover, you feel personally betrayed by Sanford because he seemed to speak from the heart when promoting your shared values. He spoke your language, and you were convinced that he was one of the good ones, a true believer like yourself. It is perfectly natural that you would feel betrayed.

As an evangelical Christian, you are used to finding strength in your bible when you most need it. So what does your bible say on the subject of Gov. Sanford, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), and so many others? According to Leviticus 20:10,
And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
As State of Protest (update: blog no longer active) recently pointed out, Sanford had better hope that nobody takes his repeated references to "god's law" or his efforts to violate separate of church and state too seriously. Note to Sanford and Ensign: Stay the hell away from any future Palin rallies!

Of course, neither Gov. Sanford nor Sen. Ensign deserve death. But they do deserve to be labeled hypocrites. And the bible-believing "family values" conservatives? They deserve a therapeutic dose of reality.

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