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  • Writer's pictureJack Hager

>The World Gets It Better Than the Body

>Sometimes the world “gets” it so much better than the church. When a pastor stumbles into adultery, all too often we talk about forgiveness and restoration (which is part of the package) but ignore the tragic hurt caused to the wife and children.

The July 13 issue of Time had a cover story titled “Unfaithfully Yours,” of course focusing on Mark Sanford and John Ensign.

Here’s part of the article:

“During the press conference in which he admitted his affair, Mark Sanford warbled that he had broken ‘God’s law,” a sentiment that served only to emphasize the narcissism that had gotten him in trouble. Wrestling with God’s law had apparently been the subject of many of his Bible-study group, a seminar that may have spent a little too much time on the Song of Solomon, given Sanford’s e-mailed encomium of his lover’s physique…Sanford told reporters the affair had begun ‘very innocently,’ which reveals that he still hasn’t been honest with himself about the willfulness of his actions. When a married man begins a secret, solicitous correspondence with a beautiful and emotionally needy single woman, he has already begun to cheat on his wife.

Just a week before, another blue-blazered elected official – Senator John Ensign of Nevada – was forced to make a similar confession, although he left God out of it, which must have been a nice break for the Almighty. Ensign had done ‘the worst thing’…’I violated the vows of my marriage.’ The mood on both occasions was funereal; it might have been touching to see two such buttoned-up guys welling with tears if the corpses weren’t their political careers.

The one thing both men refused to admit was that, back in the heyday of these affairs, they must have been having a blast…

In the e-mails exchanged between the governor and his girlfriend, they trip over themselves to praise each other’s virtues…These two humanitarians were engaged not only in worshipping each other’s high mindedness but also in destroying another woman’s home, hobbling her children emotionally and setting her up for humiliation of titanic proportion. The squalor and pain that resulted from the Sanford and Ensign midlife crises make manifest a bleak truth that the late writer Leonard Michaelson once observed in his journal: ‘Adultery is not about sex or romance. Ultimately, it is about how little we mean to one another.'” The whole article is worth reading…

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