The conservative evangelical Christian camp sometimes makes blogging on religion just too easy. The paper this morning reveals yet another evangelical, abstinence-only soap-boxer being caught with his boxers down. Indiana Representative Mark Souder is stepping down because of an extra-marital affair. To fill in the gaps on other such evangelical infidelities, I recommend Max Blumenthal’s Republican Gomorrah.
No, I do not rejoice in such revelations. The suffering of families brought on by such blatant hypocrisy cuts me deeply. The lesson we should all be learning from this is that self-righteousness is a sham. For all their faults, the more liberal factions of society are ready to admit that people are people and not cookie-cutter angels. They are inclined to admit that temptations exist, yet statistics demonstrate their marriages tend to be more secure and less plagued with infidelity. I tend to think it is because evangelical teaching has lost sight of what is truly important: people have always been, and still are, people. The belief that God has made one class of people better than others, and that saying sex doesn’t exist gives you the right to live in a pre-Edenic fantasy world, the Neo-Con is in very deep denial. No wonder many evangelicals distrust psychology!
I often ponder why this disconnect should exist at all. It seems that evangelicalism has been singularly poor at providing the tools to cope with reality. If temptation doesn’t exist for the blessed, then why bother developing strategies to deal with it? When the newspapers come out, it is easier to cast the first stone at the liberal media for airing dirty laundry than it is to examine your own hamper. Yet even the Bible itself has one important character criticizing the religious establishment as whitewashed tombs. No, I do not respond with glee to the sad outing of Mark Souder. I simply wish evangelicalism would truly advocate the honesty upon which it claims to be based.