Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Privacy, Hypocrisy, and Casting the First Stone

In a recent interview with James Dobson, potential 2008 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich admitted that he was having an affair at the same time he was involved in the push to impeach Bill Clinton for his involvement with Monica Lewinsky. Nevertheless, Gingrich, who is thrice divorced and who served divorce papers on one wife when she was in the hosptial with cancer, maintains that his actions were not hypocritical, as he claims his actions were motivated by Clinton lying about his affair, rather than the affair itself.

Apparently Jerry Falwell, who was also a vocal critic about Clinton's extramarital activities, doesn't judge Gingrich with the same yardstick, as he's invited Gingrich to deliver the commencement address at Falwell's Liberty University. It would seem as if he considers nonmonogamy to be a sin making one unfit to be president only for Democrats.

"I well remember the challenge we evangelicals faced in 1980 when our candidate, Ronald Reagan, was the first presidential candidate who had gone through a divorce. We wisely made allowance for God's forgiveness and America was the beneficiary of this historic champion," Falwell said. Well, that's mighty big of you, Jerry. Apparently your "forgiveness" doesn't extend to people whose political opinions you disagree with. And let's not even get into the real sin of thinking you have any business playing God and judging others' private lives in the first place.

I personally think that Gingrich's private life should be irrelevant in regards to his run for the presidency, just as Clinton's should have been irrelevant during his term in office. This goes for Rudy Guiliani and John McCain, both having been divorced, as well. The private lives of all political candidates should remain just that -- private.

However, I do have a problem with hypocrisy. Unlike Bill Clinton or Rudy Guiliani, Newt Gingrich has been a big proponent of the so-called family-values agenda. He's talking the talk, but not walking the walk.


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