I’m perplexed – though not terribly surprised – by the base, tribal audience reactions to the revelation last night that David Letterman has been blackmailed by a woman – among several – with whom he had a sexual affair. No surprise there, I suppose. But what disturbed me was the audience reaction – a rowdy, soccerhoodlum level “hoot” explosion of mass approval.
What’s gotten in to us? A millionaire in his 60s “sacks” female employees in their 30s… Anywhere else in corporate America this would be slammed as an unethical abuse of power. Sure, it happens all the time, but that doesn’t make it right. And just because a man can make us laugh – often about other people’s sexual improprieties – we offer him a pass and cheer the fact that the “blackmail” is being punished while is sordid and sick obsession for conquest is considered “normal.”
Take this along with the utterly baffling reactions to Roman Polanski’s arrest from the entertainment and media elite and we might detect a trend: We’re moving from an acceptance of sexual freedom to an acceptance of sexual abuse. Troubling,to say the least.
I’m praying today for an awakening conscience in our nation. This doesn’t begin in the mob, where the problem is detectable. Crowds make up their own rules. I’m praying instead for a stirring of the sense of right and wrong, good and bad, pure and impure in us as individuals. A conscience is a personal thing, but universal in its standards. God has given every human a truth detector built in and he speaks to us about what is and isn’t right and good. He’s codified this in the Ten Commandments but also within our inner conscience. Join me in this prayer: that our own consciences would be sensitized. Taken together enough awakened consciences might save this nation.
“God, you have given us a conviction of right and wrong. Forgive us for dulling and rationalizing away our conscience. I ask now that you would give my conscience a “tune up.” Refresh my sense of decency and my detector of truth. Help me to love good and hate evil and to clearly tell the difference. Spread abroad this movement of conviction. In Jesus’ name…”