|Republicans, Quit Whining|
by Matt Friedeman - (AgapePress)
October 14, 2006
|HIS WEEK REPUBLICANS are bemoaning the fact that the media, and none too few soccer moms, are holding the entire party accountable for the under-a-cloud resignation of Rep. Mark Foley, a congressman found to be a bit too intimate with minor-aged pages.|
The GOP feigns shock. After all, if the media is so relentlessly pursuing this the month before the November elections, shouldn't they at least try to put the Foley scandal in perspective? Recall the sexual liaisons of yesteryear involving Democratic Reps. Barney Franks, Gary Studds, Gary Condit, and President Bill Clinton. The rabid liberal media didn't seem nearly so interested in accountability then as they seem to be now with Foley and the GOP.
The real lesson in all this -- get over it. Get over it, Republicans, cultural conservatives and those pleased to be dubbed the Religious Right. If your favorite political party has a supposed moral core and advertises on issues such as what constitutes a family, the Judeo-Christian value system, and the protection of life at its earliest conception -- then don't be surprised that you might be judged by a higher standard by those to whom you are selling your vision of the world.
Jesus' Sermon on the Mount taught us that "with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." In other words, high moral principles mean a higher standard of accountability for oneself. So, when a member of your political party falls in sexual disgrace, don't be surprised if a liberal secular media jumps all over it with glee and then gladly pounds to a pulp your chances for majority power in Congress, just weeks before an election.
I, for one, consider it important to set a high standard and then live up to that standard with firmness, humility, and kindness. And when that standard is not met by our team, we should own up to our failing, take appropriate action, and let the political or public perception fallout drop where it may. What we shouldn't do is whine about how unfair it is that no one likes us now because (a) we didn't nip this problem in the bud when we could have, and (b) by golly, why can't people remember names like Frank, Studds, Condit, and Clinton when we need them to?
Two answers to that last question. The Democrats and the media have no such high standards, and the Republicans have advertised that they do.
Quit whining, clean up your House, and face the future in a state of renewed focus. Since the Republican House didn't deem this a good strategy a year ago, what we might really be talking about here is a well-deserved minority focus.
Matt Friedeman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary. Respond to this column at his blog at "EvangelismToday.blogspot.com."
More columns by Matt Friedeman