Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mark Sanford, bible scholar


Nothing new for Republicans--claiming to take their guidance from their so-called "Good Book"--but I think this guy is taking it to extremes.

Yes, we're still talking about Mark Sanford. Maybe we don't have much more to learn from this whole tawdry episode, but he keeps handing us the material.

Today's lesson: "Because the Bible tells me so".

First, let's delve into Mark Sanford's e-mails to his Argentine bombshell. I'm not talking about the Song of Solomon parts, which are plenty lubricious in their own right, but get this: I looked to where I often look for advice and counsel, and in I Corinthians 13 it simply says that, “ Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous or boastful, it is not arrogant or rude, Love does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice in the wrong, but rejoices in the right, Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things”
You've probably heard these very words read at many weddings in your life, but I'm pretty sure they were not talking about the two people getting married, not setting up an illicit relationship with someone outside of the marriage.

Then, yesterday, Sanford had a televised cabinet meeting, and the idea of resignation came up. Once again, where does he look for guidance?

I have been doing a lot of soul searching on that front. What I find interesting is the story of David, and the way in which he fell mightily, he fell in very very significant ways. But then picked up the pieces and built from there.

Don't remember the story about King David (taking for granted, of course, that he ever existed)?

David commits adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, while her husband is away at war. Bathsheba becomes pregnant and David sends for Uriah, who is with the Israelite army at the siege of Rabbah, so that he may lie with his wife and conceal the identity of the child's father. Uriah refuses to do so while his companions are in the field of battle and David sends him back to Joab, the commander, with a message instructing him to abandon Uriah on the battlefield, "that he may be struck down, and die." David then marries Bathsheba and she bears his child, "but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord." The prophet Nathan confronts David, saying: "Why have you despised the word of God, to do what is evil in his sight? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife."

David repents, but God "struck the child ... and it became sick ... [And] on the seventh day the child died." David then leaves his lamentations, dresses himself, and eats. His servants ask why he lamented when the baby was alive, but leaves off when it is dead, and David replies: "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, who knows whether Yahweh will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."

And what advice does Sanford glean from this?

I remain committed to rebuilding the trust that has been committed to me over the next 18 months, and it is my hope that I am able to follow the example set by David in the Bible - who after his fall from grace humbly refocused on the work at hand. By doing so, I will ultimately better serve in every area of my life, and I am committed to doing so.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but just maybe Sanford should buy another book.

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