Another politician (John Edwards) has admitted to having an extramarital affair, and another spouse (Elizabeth Edwards) has been forgiving. At what point does a person of faith cease to forgive? At what point does forgiveness become destructive?
Sally Quinn and Jon Meacham on August 25, 2008 4:21 AM
While I wish that all church bodies (and, by analogy, synagogue and such communities) did ordain women, it is not hypocritical to say that women can "do" ministry but not nation, or nation but not ministry.
Posted by Martin Marty, on September 8, 2008 6:44 AM
Why are we so obsessed with every politician's sex life? Here's breaking news: power is sexy. Men who have power (and most likely women, too, although it works somewhat differently for us) are mega-attractive, and they act on it. Politicians do it. Gurus do it. Televangelists, new age shamans, priests and princes do it. Democrats and yes, even Republicans do it.
In a certain sense, the ability to forgive (which is not the same as to forget) has a somewhat divine quality, because it contains the notion that the past can be deleted or, at least, not have any consequence or bearing on the future.
Posted by Adin Steinsaltz, on August 26, 2008 1:44 PM
If, as a society, we want to deal with the havoc extramarital affairs are wreaking upon our families, then we need to deal with that on a societal level -- not demand that individual women make the choices that would punish men who engage in infidelity.
Posted by Pamela K. Taylor, on August 26, 2008 9:20 AM
As to the recent story with John Edwards' infidelity, and frankly I don't know why its a news story at all, the only thing to decide about his wife's decision to forgive him is why we think she did it.
Posted by Brad Hirschfield, on August 26, 2008 7:45 AM
If the various faiths of the American people have not taught them to forgive, so that they too might be forgiven, their secular human decency should do the job. Let him (or her) who is without sin cast the first vote.
Posted by Wendy Doniger, on August 25, 2008 8:55 AM
The Christian faith is a faith of forgiveness. Jesus tells us we are to forgive one another. And when asked how often, He said seventy times seven. We who have been forgiven of our sins by Christ are to similarly forgive others.
Posted by Charles "Chuck" Colson, on August 14, 2008 4:59 PM
I don't think that Edwards deserves any forgiveness from voters or political associates who supported his campaign. He took their money and loyalty under false pretenses. He made a fool out of every one of his supporters.
Posted by Susan Jacoby, on August 13, 2008 9:02 AM
A cynic might say, in the wake of so many adulterous politicians, that in future they should issue a preemptive confession before running for President to save The National Enquirer excess ink. Why wait until you are caught?
Posted by Deepak Chopra, on August 13, 2008 8:33 AM
With public figures like John Edwards, we have to distinguish between forgiveness as a personal act and forgiveness as a public absolution. He has violated the public trust in a serious way, and we may well continue to entertain doubts about his ability to provide significant political leadership.
Posted by Richard Mouw, on August 13, 2008 2:06 AM