Infidelity has Nothing to do with Politics

by debi9kids on January 19, 2012

I remember a while back that a few friends of mine had brought up the subject of Newt Gingrich and infidelity on Facebook. I honestly, hadn’t known much about Speaker Gingrich’s personal past*and while I did do a little research at the time, I didn’t feel as driven at the time to become offended as I do now.

And likely, not in the way you would think.

Tonight, an interview will air on ABC with Speaker Gingrich’s second wife Marianne talking about why he lacks moral character to be the president. And, I know this might come as a shock, but this sickens me and not because Newt Gingrich has been a cheater in his past, but because his ex-wife, a cheater herself, has waited until now, a decade later, while he’s surging in the polls, to publicly decimate his character.

Why?
Why now?

Now, let me be clear, there is nothing in me, nothing in my being, that makes me happy to hear about infidelity in anyone’s life.
Infidelity sucks.

But, I do have to wonder, what place does a man’s marital failures have in his professional life?
I can get where it might make one question the integrity of a man, but when the infidelity occurred 10 years or 20 years prior and forgiveness has been sought, at what point do we actually forgive???

At what point do we actually allow a man to re-set, or don’t we?

What I find alarming, I suppose, is that I, a woman who has been cheated on, can find it in my heart to forgive and allow my husband and, honestly, any cheater who asks forgiveness, to have a chance to prove himself and yet those who haven’t stood in my shoes can not. (Or, perhaps they have stood here and didn’t forgive and therefore, don’t know how?)

Back when Speaker Gingrich was originally surging in the polls, prior to Iowa, was when his infidelity first came up and I was surprised that it seemed most of the people that were truly offended by his actions were not only women, but Democrats. And, when I questioned them as to why it mattered so much to them if the Republican candidate had been unfaithful in his marriage when it didn’t matter that President Clinton had cheated, the response surprised me:
“Because conservatives say they care so much about family values and it would be hypocritical to have a candidate who had been cheater.”

Are they right?
Would it make me a hypocrite if I supported a man who had been a cheater?
Or, would it make me more of a hypocrite if I, as a Christian, couldn’t forgive him?
And, what would matter more?
If I was a hypocrite to society or a hypocrite to God?

(clearly, the answer for me is a simple one.)

83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. And 42% of Americans consider themselves to be conservative and I’d like to believe that at least 20% of those people live by their faith and walking by your faith often means finding the ability to forgive even when the ability to trust might come only through hope.

It’s not easy. (trust me)
But isn’t that what blind faith is supposed to be about?

Main Entry: blind faith
Part of Speech: n
Definition: belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination

Trusting someone in a political office who has led more than a “sketchy” life isn’t something new.
Infidelity and the presidency have sadly gone hand-in-hand almost dating back to the very beginning (with Thomas Jefferson). Infidelity has touched both political sides more than a few times and while the character of the married man can certainly be called into action, many of the men in question still somehow managed to be incredibly respected Presidents (ie Eisenhower, JFK, FDR, Clinton) …

So, what does this all mean?
Can a man who was unfaithful become a decent leader?

Why not?
If a man who is unfaithful while in office has been a decent President, why couldn’t a man who was unfaithful while out of the office?

So, then it begs to question, do we as a society have a right to judge?
If we are Christian, we know the answer and we know there is one true judge.
We know it isn’t our place.

Now, I am not saying go out and vote for Newt Gingrich, but I am saying, vote based on the man you see before you today.

Remember that people make mistakes and unless you have led a perfect life,  judge not lest ye be judged.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. ~ John 8:7

*I do want to note that the site I have referenced, while informative, may or may not be completely accurate.

Just FYI, if I was voting today, I’d be voting for Rick Santorum. So this post is not based on who has my vote but rather on my feelings alone.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa January 19, 2012 at 11:16 am

WEll written. Now i don't know a thing about politics. However i do strongly believe it is a personal decision whether or not to forgive someone. I know many people who have moved on successfully and many who have worked it out.

You are an amazing writer Debi..and I really do see a future book…am i right?

xx

Lisa

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debi9kids January 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

one of these days. I would love to be able to sit down and sort out my thought but right now, they are sooooo garbled. (is that a word? LOL)

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Kimberlee Walker January 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I think you can forgive someone without giving them a second chance. Personally I am neither a Republican or Democrat but rather vote for who I think is best for the job based on their character. It does say something about a persons character to have multiple divorces and infidelity. But everyone can change! The problem with public figures is that we will never know their true character/intentions. Our country/media can put a very beautiful veil over a very ugly situation or make a wonderful person look horrible with lies and photoshop. It makes it very hard to decide because you never know if you are being deceived.

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Diana W. January 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I agree with you to a point….mostly MY PERSPECTIVE IS…..why is it ANY BUSINESS what a candidate does in his or her personal life, especially marriage. Since when is my marriage open to public opinion? I am really irritated that it is NEWS when someone ends a relationship, cheats or has had an affair. It is crappy of them to do it, oh YES! and it affects their families in a bad way but it is personal business. It isn't MY business or YOURS what they do in their personal life. It doesn't make them any less capable to do their job. I wish more people felt this way and the media would quit reporting this kind of thing, as if it were NEWS….

Great post!

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Kerry January 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Thank you for wonderful insight. I enjoy reading your blogs daily 🙂

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debi9kids January 20, 2012 at 3:00 am

I do agree. It is absolutely hard to know who to trust in the political field when generally every one of them seems like a liar to some extent or another. (much like the land of Hollywood is…)

While I agree that I don't always forgive and then allow someone a second (or third) chance, I do have to wonder what people need to do to "truly" be forgiven.

Sadly, I have been on the receiving end of hate and unforgiveness. (for stupid gossip I said about a friend). She not only refused to forgive me, but convinced many, many of our mutual friends that I was an awful person, unworthy of forgiveness.

It still hurts to this day, as I lost what I thought were some of my dearest friends over stupid gossip… but it certainly showed me how badly it feels to be unforgiven, when I have done everything I possibly could to be forgiven.

And it's also shown me how bitterness can turn to true anger and ugliness. (this same group of "friends" treated me openly with hate at a funeral for a child, something that was extremely painful and uncalled for.)

Obviously, I know those people were never really my friends to begin with, but it does make me pause when I think about forgiving someone and makes me realize how bad it can feel…

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Kimberlee Walker January 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Wow it is funny that you should mention loosing a friendship due to gossip! I lost a friend a year ago because I didn't have enough "time" for her, I am married with 4 kids, she is single with 0 kids, and I quit my job to stay at home with my children so I didn't have enough money for her either. She said all kinds of hateful mean things (gossip) about me to others that were not true after she decided not to be my friend anymore, and to make it worse she decided this while she was watching my dog, it was august in the south and we went to the beach. She just brought my dog back and left it in the back yard, I had watched her dog no less that a dozen times and this is the first time I had asked her to watch mine. It took me a while but I have forgiven her, she didn't ask me too or say she wanted to be my friend again, but for me I needed to forgive her. I even prayed about trying to reach out to her again, we had been best friends since middle school. Then I found out she was moving to California, I feel like that is God saying not to let her back in. After all that, I was willing to forgive her, even reach out again. I am sorry your friend could not do that for you and the others treated you so badly in a completely inappropriate situation. I have to ask myself though if I could do for my husband and children what you did for Russ and your kids. And honestly I don't think I could, I admire that about you. I have been reading a long time and my heart broke for you during that time. It makes me wonder why I feel like I could do this for a friend but not for my soul mate and my children. I hope I never have to find out what I would do.

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Mimi January 21, 2012 at 8:07 am

This was so great! It's definitely not easy to forgive. I've been in your shoes so I understand about giving the other person a chance to redeem themselves. I think it's sad that Newt is now having to defend himself yet again, but that's what happens when cheating occurs. It typically never leaves their trail.

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Cara Rogers May 24, 2013 at 6:24 am

Very impressive article and I completely agree with you. Something that is so old and yet pushed out there at a key moment is done inspite. My personal opinion is that those types of problems do not belong in the pubic eye. There is already enough drama in out world daily we don't need to know everyone's secrets and it sickens me at how many want to hear more and more. Leave it private and go to therapy, fix the problems and move on.

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