A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Mark Foley Debacle: A Scandal for Both Parties

The recent resignation of Republican Congressman, Mark Foley, for inappropriate behavior with Congressional pages reveals at its heart, what is wrong with current American politics. Pundits and talking heads on both sides of the political aisle have been quick to point out how this scandal demonstrates the shortcomings of the other party, while finding a way to insulate their own; but at its core, I believe the Mark Foley matter is a scandal for both the Republicans and the Democrats.

Having served on a District Committee on Ordained Ministry and having to deal with some clergy whose actions were rather unseemly, I understand the difficulty in proving something for which one only has innuendo. It may indeed have been the case that last spring Representative Dennis Hastert had only overly friendly e-mails from Foley to a page. In addition, Hastert was put in a difficult position because the parents of the young man in question simply wanted the e-mails to stop and to keep everything quiet. What I cannot accept, however, is the fact that the information was kept from key Democrats who would have normally been consulted in reference to such matters. The only conclusion to be drawn here is that there was a cover-up for the sake of politics.

On the other side, it is now clear that there were Democrats in Congress who knew about Foley last spring, but said nothing. In addition, there were certain liberal political groups who also had the incriminating instant messages betwen Foley and another page, which were kept secret until they could spring an "October Surprise," in the hope of influencing the election. In other words, some Democrats were willing to continue to put Congressional pages at risk of Foley's advances all in the hope of gaining power once again. They too produced a cover-up for the sake of politics.

"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely," said by Lord Acton, is as true as it ever was. It is also true that the desire for power also corrupts. It is nothing short of arrogant to believe that one's politics are so true and so correct, that any and every act or, in this case, non-act, is justifiable, moral or not, in order to secure the power necessary to implement one's views. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have a monopoly on such arrogance and pride. In recent years, both parties have clearly demonstrated how self-righteous they are as they castigate each other for their sins, while covering-up their own, or at the very least, spinning them in a way to try to convince the American people that their own failings are simply venial. The Mark Foley situation shines a bright light upon the culture of corruption in politics and that culture has two names, which on a moral level are synonymous: Democrat and Republican.

Frankly, neither party deserves to be in power. I very much believe that voting is a duty; as long as Caesar gives us that right, we should exercise it. At the same time, however, I sympathize with those who get so discouraged, that they stay home on election day. I do not think staying home is the answer to the problem, but given the choices that are usually before us in the voting booth, it is no wonder that I am often looking at the ballot scratching my head.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Allan. I believe we need no less than a revolution in both parties. There really needs to be some serious reform in Washington D.C. This does reflect badly on politicians who really are in it to serve and do well, and are not in it for power.

But given the moral state and condition of our nation, I find it little surprise that our officials often do not measure up by God's standards.

Anonymous said...

Good post. Sad.

If I HAD to pick one or the other, I guess I'd pick Republican, for their prolife stance and the idea of "less government" (although lately the Reps don't seem to sing that tune too well!). But I TRULY don't like either major party. For the past 12 years my party has officially been "Decline to State."

I like the link in your blogs' section to REDBLUECHRISTIAN. The idea of Christians in both major parties rethinking EVERYTHING through a biblical worldview is a refreshing thought...! I am currently reading a book called Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy that really calls Christians to think think think biblically. It is a difficult book to get through as every page gives me another thought to consider -- but I really like the book.

Blessings to you and yours, and upon our country!


P.S. Off the subject -- HOW DID YOU GET CATEGORIES IN BLOGGER? Do you have a link to a website that tells how to do this? I thought it was impossible! I would like to switch back to blogger for various reasons, but the category feature has kept me at wordpress.

John said...

H.L. Mencken said "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right."

Allan R. Bevere said...


Thanks for the quote. Mencken states the matter quite well.

Allan R. Bevere said...


Thanks for your comments. I have been a registered Independent for my entire voting life. I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats and on some issues I tend to agree with the GOP and others the Dems.

Nevertheless, I do think Christians need to fundamentally rethink what politics is about in light of the conviction that in Jesus Christ God has ushered in his Kingdom. I do not believe that we have done that on a large scale, although it sounds as if the book you are currently reading attempts to do that. (Thanks for the recommendation!)

I too like the redbluechristian weblog. It is a step in the right direction.

As far as blogger: they have updated templates that allow for categories, which is indeed a nice feature; but it no longer seems to allow for recent posts. I am having to do that manually.