What do George Carlin, Evangelical Christians and this Jewish mother have in common?

less slimy than the other one

It’s not too often that I find myself in agreement with the Christian right when it comes to politics. But this week, when RIchard Land, Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called on Newt Gingrich to address and apologize for his history of marital infidelity, we were strange and fleeting bedfellows. Not literally, mind you.


Some people suggest that a politician’s private life should be just that – private. And to an extent, I agree. There are many personal issues that have no obvious impact on the way s/he would serve office. Often these kinds issues are brought to light by political opponents, sometimes in unconscionable ways.

But infidelity? On one level, yes, I agree it’s private. Certainly the details should be kept private. (And the text messages. Those should most definitely be kept private.) But when candidates for office (or the actual president, for that matter) have committed adultery (and by the way, who coined that ridiculous term – is there something really grown-up about cheating on your spouse?) then they have demonstrated some qualities, or absence of qualities, that are quite relevant to the job they are seeking: they don’t take vows seriously, and they don’t hold honestly in terribly high regard. I’d like to believe that when my president takes the oath of office that s/he is a) telling the truth, and b) actually believes that promises are meant to be kept. I’d like a president who hasn’t gotten into the habit of lying on a daily basis to the person s/he raised a family with. Because if you’ll lie to your spouse, I have little doubt you are going to lie to me, your staff, the Congress and the entire nation.


As George Carlin points out, in his routine about the Ten Commandments:

…when you think about it, honesty and fidelity are really part of the same overall value so, in truth, you could combine the two honesty commandments with the two fidelity commandments and give them simpler language, positive language instead of negative language and call the whole thing “thou shalt always be honest and faithful.” 

Are you listening, Newt? Geroge Carlin, the Southern Baptists, and at least one Jewish mama can’t all be wrong, now can we? (And no, we don’t buy the excuse that your patriotism made you do it….)


I don’t agree with everything Obama has done, but he comes across as someone with an incredible amount of integrity. And while I’ve never voted Republican, (well, actually I did once, but it was Lowell Weicker against Joe Lieberman) I think I’d actually be more likely to vote for an honest Republican than a democrat in the tradition of Bill Clinton and John Edwards. (The “i can’t keep my pants on” tradition, that is.)

But enough ranting….and if the current political nonsense is as discouraging to you as it is to me – did you read this beautiful story in the NY Times today? True love. Far away from our nation’s capital and the Iowa caucuses.

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Frume Sarah

posted December 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I don’t understand why these guys think that they won’t get caught. Does power really make them blind in addition to their other moral failings?

An honest Republican would have to have more going for him/her than just being honest in order to get my vote. But that’s for another day…

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Jay Sweren

posted December 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I try not to be a single-issue voter but sometimes I just can’t help it. But how in the hell can any Jew cast his or her ballot for one who has demonstrated time and again his anti-Israel, pro Arab bias? Why are all Jews, save the Orthodox, such knee-jerk Democrats, regardless of which Democrat and regardless of other circumstances? I’m guessing you still found a way to reconcile a vote for Bill Clinton.

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posted December 14, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Hmm, I never thought about this with the integrity angle – I kind of lumped it into “not our business”, but you’re right, it really does speak to what kind of person he/she is.

However, I also think people who are motivated to go into politics at those high levels, are generally people who are power-hungry and have a different set of values than I do. So that’s unfortunate…

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