Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Staggering Down The Morality Path Into Em Dash Trouble

This morning another Cal Thomas column greeted me courtesy of the Spokesman Review. He disconnectedly rambles and pontificates on adultery and the voice of temptation.

Gov. Sanford should have been familiar with the voice because of the Bible studies he attended. The voice began seducing humanity a long time ago... The voice told them that God knew that if they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they would be like God.

Here he picks and chooses from the Bible. Adam was also told (and Eve knew of this and repeated it to the serpent), "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." They ate and did not die. So they were twice deceived.

Good marriages are the result of hard work. Forsaking all others is more than a wedding promise. It is a daily denial of one’s lower instincts. Temptation is everywhere. The key to overcoming it is to realize you are fighting an adversarial force that wants to destroy you, embarrass you and cause ridicule to be heaped on the God you claim to worship.

There is so much more to a good marriage than forsaking all others in a daily denial of one's lower instincts. I get the feeling he holds a pretty low opinion of people. There's temptation everywhere? Since Thomas speaks only of men throughout the column, just who is the temptation coming from? That danged Eve fooled me again!

I once asked evangelist Billy Graham if he experienced temptations of the flesh when he was young. He said, “of course.” How did he deal with them? With passion he responded, “I asked God to strike me dead before He ever allowed me to dishonor Him in that way.” That is the kind of seriousness one needs to overcome the temptations of a corrupt culture in which shameful behavior is too often paraded in the streets.

What's interesting about this is that throughout the column Thomas addresses this from the perspective of man acting of his own free will and suffering the consequences of his choices. Graham's answer is from the perspective that God "allows" him to stray. Graham asks that he suffer the consequences should God allow him to choose poorly. That sort of seriousness may work for whatever shameful behavior our corrupt culture--there's that low opinion of us again--parades in the streets, but it doesn't do much for the man, or woman, in the driver's seat.

Any man who has sought the help of God and other men in helping him to honor his marriage promises to his wife and children is a hero, especially in today’s morally exhausted culture.

What of the men--again, why are we only speaking of men?--who keep their marriage promise without any help? Are they not heroes? Maybe superheroes? Is our society that morally exhausted? (More low opinion.) Or does that type of news attract more viewers? What is the news anchor going to tease you with? "When we come back another governor is caught cheating on his wife." Or, "Another governor has remained faithful to his wife for yet another year bringing his grand total to 26 years of faithful marriage to the same woman."

You can never take a marriage — or the voice — for granted; it’s always on the prowl looking for new people to destroy.

Marriage is always on the prowl looking for new people to destroy? I don't think he meant to say that.

1 comment:

Lucas said...

You know, something that Sanford said the other day really bugged me. He said that he felt that God wanted him to remain governor. Where this all gets me is that means Sanford believes in at least some form of predetermination. Which means it was also God's will that he have that affair with the woman in Argentina, and who is Sanford to deny God's will? Even though it violates a couple of commandments. I have always struggled with the idea of predetermination and its implications for society - if your life's path has been chosen by God then any actions you take are at God's direction, which can excuse a lot of really unpleasant behavior. I dunno, stuff like that bugs me. Especially considering he said the woman in Argentina is his soul mate but he trying to learn to be in love with his wife again. What a slap in the face to his wife "You'll do!" Ugh. Any way, I read the Cal Thomas piece today and thought he was being a sanctimonious prick. It is no great struggle to remain faithful to my wife. First off, who on earth else would want me? Also, I deeply respect her as a human being and would never dream of doing something so disrespectful. The feelings that lead to affairs are valid - sometimes marriages just don't work. But you owe it to your partner to talk about those feelings and take every measure possible to try to make it work before just going out and cheating. I realize that if you just want out cheating is a much easier way to go, since in most cases its pretty much over at that point, but it is certainly the cowardly way out.

Also, I think I was (way) behind you on the way home today, did you ride up Addison/Standard?