Let’s Hear it for Monogamy

            On the one hand, I really appreciate what former President Bill Clinton is doing in Africa.  I read an article online that said he is over there talking about the AIDS crisis.  He told his audience that one way to combat the spread of the disease is for people to practice monogamy.  I like the fact that the former President is speaking up on this issue, and I like what he’s saying about it.

            On the other hand, I can’t help but note—um, let me be diplomatic here—how ironic his position is.  The problem is that because it’s Bill Clinton talking about this, people might not focus as much on the message as the messenger.  Imagine Richard Nixon lecturing business people on ethics in leadership, or George Washington talking to young people about the importance of dental care.  (Remember Washington had wooden teeth.  But I guess if I have to explain it then it’s not funny.)  Moving on.

Perhaps Bill Clinton should have paid someone else to fly to Africa to give this speech.  Clinton can certainly afford it, and he has the connections to get a big name.  Oh well. 

Monogamy would also be a good message to preach to our current crop of politicians.  A big city mayor is facing charges for (among other things) having an affair with a city employee and lying about it in a civil case.  A Republican Senator was accused of making homosexual overtures in a men’s room. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge (disorderly conduct).  A former 2008 Democratic presidential candidate is facing allegations that he had an affair and is now making payments to the mother of his love child.  All three men have denied the accusations, and maybe they’re telling the truth. 

Or maybe they feel they’re above the rules.  It doesn’t help that our culture’s message for the last several decades has been that we deserve to be happy all the time and truth doesn’t mean anything except what we want it to mean.

I think it was C.S. Lewis who wrote about a culture that laughs at morality then acts scandalized when leaders behave immorally.  The sad thing is that increasingly our culture isn’t scandalized any more.  One segment of the culture (generally the opposition party) gets upset when a leader stumbles; the other segments defend, excuse, or shrug at the moral lapse.  What would Lewis think?

Hey, this week’s blog seems like kind of a downer so far.  Let’s see…gas prices are lower—that’s good news.  But, you know, if I could choose between cheap gas and having everybody honor their marriage vows, I’d vote for marriage.