Gov. Sanford: Its not the Sex, or the Hypocrisy; Its the Venality June 25, 2009Posted by Dwight Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
Tags: hypocrisy, Mark Sanford and family values
Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Terry Sanford, Governor of South Carolina, disappeared, incommunicado for a few days. He was traveling in Argentina carrying on an affair with a woman not his wife.
Some commentators have rightly focused on how irresponsible it is for a Governor to disappear for 5 days leaving the state with no one to make important decisions should an emergency arise.
Other commentators are tut-tutting about the sex lives of politicians and the hypocrisy of Sanford, who has been ranting about family values and pontificating about the sanctity of heterosexual marriage for years.
But the serious moral transgression for a public servant is not Sanford’s marital infidelity. That has little to do with his job as Governor. Neither is it hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is an all-to-human behavior to which most of us succumb. The problem is that Sanford not only acts in ways contrary to his beliefs; he would deeply harm others for beliefs that he doesn’t take seriously.
He seeks to use government to deny women and gays privacy rights in the name of beliefs that he apparently doesn’t hold. It’s one thing to do something that violates your belief system. It is another thing to punish or penalize someone for reasons that you don’t take seriously. That is not just hypocrisy; it is venality.
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