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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

David Vitter and Double Standards
Posted by Jill | 7:34 PM
I'm not sure I entirely agree with Amanda that David "Diapers" Vitter, the most famous prostitute patron in Louisana, keeps his career because he patronizes FEMALE prostitutes and it's all part of the patriarchal worldview of the Christofascist Zombie Brigade. I'm sure that the Helpless Man in the Face of Evil Temptresses meme has something to do with it, but I think it has more to do with what I call the "clean slate" Christianity practiced by the most self-righteous of Republicans.

I was once told by a fundamentalist Christian woman that even though she had cheated on her husband and I have never been unfaithful to mine, that she was going to heaven and I to hell because Jesus died for her sins and she knows that she is forgiven. Adultery seems to have a very special place in the hearts of such people. It's almost as if they choose this particular brand of Christianity because it allows them the freedom to do whatever they want, as long as they then avow the divinity of Jesus. It's hard to make sense out of a group of people who talk about liberal hippie values to someone like me, who has been contentedly married for nearly 25 years without looking elsewhere but then forgives every single Republican who cheats on his wife and then invokes Jesus. But here's the kind of pretzels into which they're able to twist themselves in order to justify their inability to practice what they preach:
Maybe you think a person who is an adulterer cannot be forgiven. You could not be more wrong. In fact, Jesus wants to forgive adulterers! We have an example of this in the Bible: “Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?’ This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

“So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first. And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last.

“And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more. Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:3-12)

It is interesting in this story that the man was not brought in also. Who knows, maybe that is what Jesus wrote on the ground the first time. The statement that Jesus made next was “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Maybe the second time He wrote on the ground, He was writing their sins, starting with the oldest. If we are honest, all of us have committed this sin of adultery, in our hearts at one time or another. Jesus said another time: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28) You could also say, “Whoever looks at a man to lust for him has already committed adultery with him in her heart.”

Notice that she was not told by Jesus that she had not sinned. In fact He told her to go and sin no more. He also told her that He did not condemn her. Jesus said He came the first time to this earth to be our Savior. It is not that He does not hate adultery. He does, and Scripture talks about this a lot. He hates the sin, but He loves the sinner. He could see this woman’s heart, though, and He knew she was repentant. She called Him Lord, and I am sure she went from there a changed person, knowing how much God loved her!

See how they turn adultery into something special? Those who live virtuous lives are never touched by Jesus as much as those who sin in this particular way do. Perhaps they stray BECAUSE they want to be like the woman in the Bible who was singled out by Jesus. I guess it's the evangelical equivalent to being the kid invited on stage at a Green Day concert during East Jesus Nowhere:

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Anonymous jb said...
I've been saying something like this for years: Some Christians use the concept of "forgiveness" as a free pass to do whatever the hell they want, knowing they can repent later. If not consciously, then unconsciously. I don't mind what they do half as much as I mind the stunning hypocrisy of what they do--whatever it is--and the way they're utterly oblivious to that hypocrisy.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
If you praise Jesus then you don't have to obey him !

Anonymous Anonymous said...
That passage in John is also controversial. It was not written in the style of John and, style-wise, would be a more comfortable fit in one of the other 3 Gospels.