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Preoccupation With Other People's Sex Lives


Jim R
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Congress recently took away a cornerstone of American Law, the right of habeous corpus. On the word of the Executive branch of the government alone you can now be arrested without charge, dragged away to an unkown location, held indefinetly, classifed as an enemy combatant, and executed without trial.

 

We now know that not only was George W. warned in August that an attack by terrorists was imminent but that Condolezza Rice was briefed in July with specifics of an attack pending by Osama and Al Quieda.

 

So the press and the media is all over this, right? WRONG!

 

They are all over the Congressman Foley's sex scandal. Yes he was bad. Yes he shouldn't have did that. Yes if Speaker Hastert knew about it he should have did something. Foley has resigned. Sure they should look into it. If any applicable laws apply he should be punished. Isn't this so much like Clinton's sex scandal, though? There were so many important things going on in the world and for two years all we heard abouit was Clinton's sex scandal.

 

Is this a "Brave New World" or what? Did anybody else ever that classic? The drunken and doped masses want sex and scandal, the other stuff is boring.

 

Do we need to feel the righteous anger that Jesus felt when he overtuned the money lenders table in the temple and spoke of the hyprocrisy of the pharisees?

 

What kind of people have we become?

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Well, I think had it only been about Foley's sex life (I mean personal), suppose we knew he had

relations with prostitutes or was unfaithful or had sex in the Senate chambers after hours,

then others appear to be covering up for him, well, I wouldn't be so concerned about it.

 

That is private sex life. BUT he has been at least emailing and stalking out children (admittedly teenage

children), AND it appears that others have known about and covered for him. I think that denotes

power and control and it is out of whack, as much as sex. We all know the executive branch is toying

with and experiencing a "rush of power". I actually think many people are responding as much to the

lack of controls of power as they are to sex. I am anyway. But I don't consider this Foley's "private" sex

life.

 

Someone on the news yesterday, I think it was conservative David Brooks (my favorite conservative), that

with the internet, he has arroused the fears of a lot of parents of what is going on with the own kids

during their evenings with the computer. So the fact that it was (afaik) all on the computer, makes it

scary to lots of parents in a personal way.

 

 

But for all that, I think there ARE more important things out there like the thousands of deaths in Iraq,

holding and torture without trial, global warming, etc. etc. Also I think that if this were about his private sex life, something like a Bill Clinton thing, it still would attrack more attention than these matters.

So I think you have it right in essense, though I think you missed some of the details (like the not so private

part of his sex/power activities).

 

I'm also wondering if you are right. Sex, gun violence, etc. seem to be all that resonate with the masses.

 

 

--des

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Well, I think had it only been about Foley's sex life (I mean personal), suppose we knew he had

relations with prostitutes or was unfaithful or had sex in the Senate chambers after hours,

then others appear to be covering up for him, well, I wouldn't be so concerned about it.

 

That is private sex life. BUT he has been at least emailing and stalking out children (admittedly teenage

children), AND it appears that others have known about and covered for him. I think that denotes

power and control and it is out of whack, as much as sex. We all know the executive branch is toying

with and experiencing a "rush of power". I actually think many people are responding as much to the

lack of controls of power as they are to sex. I am anyway. But I don't consider this Foley's "private" sex

life.

 

Someone on the news yesterday, I think it was conservative David Brooks (my favorite conservative), that

with the internet, he has arroused the fears of a lot of parents of what is going on with the own kids

during their evenings with the computer. So the fact that it was (afaik) all on the computer, makes it

scary to lots of parents in a personal way.

But for all that, I think there ARE more important things out there like the thousands of deaths in Iraq,

holding and torture without trial, global warming, etc. etc. Also I think that if this were about his private sex life, something like a Bill Clinton thing, it still would attrack more attention than these matters.

So I think you have it right in essense, though I think you missed some of the details (like the not so private

part of his sex/power activities).

 

I'm also wondering if you are right. Sex, gun violence, etc. seem to be all that resonate with the masses.

--des

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Des, I am not saying that Foley's exploits aren't newsworthy, they are. I also hope that if he has broken the law, he gets nailed. Where I am trying to go is all these other very important things are going on and this is the story that the media is feeding on and overwhelming us with and it took this story to get voters riled up.

 

I am not trying to take away from the importance of the story at all, just pointing the irony of it all.

 

I think you are right on about the power trip, BTW. What is that old saying," Absolute power corrupts absolutely." The Republicans now have it, President, Senate, House, and Supreme Court and they are corrupt beyond anything that is ever happend in American history.

 

Another huge story going on , underreported, is the Abramhoff, Delay, Ralph Reed scandal. Our brothers in the religious right once stood up and saluted when Ralph Reed came around. Now it is out there that he was playing East Texas fundamentalists agaisnt expanding gambling into that area because he was working for Abramhoff Abramhoff's clients were Louisiana Indian tribes who wanted no gambling competion from East Texas. Oh, if we could only get the Religious right to see how they fit into the scheme of things for the right.

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Yes, I see your point. It has certainly got a degree of coverage that is way over and above what it

should get. I did see the report on Abramoff by Bill Moyers. What a comparison the coverage has been?

(Very little). It is a very shocking story of tons of money, lying, cheating, defrauding one party to give

it into the hands of a defrauded second party. Reed of the Religious Right shares lots of blame in this

and was cynically using his conservative and Christian base for his own ulterior financial and power gain.

All the while, Delay had unpresidented power and control.

 

I just show Al Gores' "An Inconvenient Truth". You how underreported this humungous subject is. And then see Bush inviting a science fiction writer to tell him about how

overstated global warming is, instead of inviting scientists. It's an insane thing.

 

Then we get the silly cases that shouldn't even make it into the news/entertainment media. The case of Jon Bennet's (and why should she be a household name anyway?) supposed "killer" comes out as one.

He was never a serious suspect because no DNA tied him to the case (a case that shouldn't have been

national anyway), but he was paraded out for weeks.

 

 

 

--des

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[

 

Do we need to feel the righteous anger that Jesus felt when he overtuned the money lenders table in the temple and spoke of the hyprocrisy of the pharisees?

 

What kind of people have we become?

 

 

In stead of the righteous anger that Jesus felt at the temple, how about if we remember his reaction to stoning of the prostitute. Are we all really that morally superior that we can stone this guy with our indignation? Short of the Virgin Mary being in Congress or Jesus himself, we should just stay away from this.

Edited by john1520
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Isn't this so much like Clinton's sex scandal, though?

 

Yes and no, they were both sex scandals. One however involved the president perjuring himself, asking others to perjure themselves and lying directly to the American people and world at large. This same fellow was also married at the time. Those things are different. One was with an adult, the other was with at least one minor. There are plenty of differences. I also don't remember Foley trying to start any wars/bombing anyone to divert the public's attention.

 

As a total sidenote, if a person believes there are such a thing as sexual sins, why are they off limits for discussion simply because they deal with sex? I mean we don't say you should stay out of someones finances if they are a thief, or drug dealer, etc.

 

I think you are right on about the power trip, BTW. What is that old saying," Absolute power corrupts absolutely." The Republicans now have it, President, Senate, House, and Supreme Court and they are corrupt beyond anything that is ever happend in American history.

 

Firstly, only God has absolute power, and He is hardly corrupt. Seriously though, do you really think that the current US administration are really "corrupt beyond anything that is ever happend in American history"? Because I can think of things that were more corrupt, and I'm not even an American. The Gulf of Tonkin incident seems to be a bit more depraved if you ask me, sending draftees to fight is not on par with sending volunteers. US dealings in the softwood lumber trade talks are worse, lose in every possible court (not based in the States, and still slap huge duties on Canadian lumber). Prohibition was basically designed for graft and corruption. These are all examples from the last century. Manifest Destiny seems to have been a bit off the mark. How about the political candidates who are "pro-life" but won't "tell anyone what to do"? If killing is wrong, it's wrong no equivicating. Those things are all terribly corrupt and most are products of the left. I can appreciate some good histrionics and hyperbole, but it seems like you actually mean it.

Edited by jamesAMDG
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I wouldn't say this administration is the most corrupt in US History. That might be asking a bit much.

There are goings on that would make Nixon blush, for instance the Abramoff scandal, though there is no

(direct anyway) link to the Bush administration that we know of. We also have a president who knowingly

lied to get us into war, killing thousands of Americans and innocent Iraqis and starting a civil war.

 

God's power is not corrupt, but I think the quote about "absolute power corrupts absolutely", is not about God's power and never intended to talk about God's power. May be that some people WANT God's power--

that might be the hubris involved.

 

The Foley incident, to me, explains or shows up the corruption of the current Congressional branch, but isn't all that important by itself. The thing that separated Clinton from his predesssors was not sex, per se, but not being discrete about it (in other words getting caught). We think at least that many ex-presidents were involved in infedility, but only one was asked about it in the first place (so he could lie). I'm not defending him but if I were to chose which I thought was actually worse I would pick pedophilia as I think that the person being offered the sex for power is too young to resist (of course, we don't know just how far Foley's

pedophilia went-- not sure I want to know).

 

Again I am not defending Clinton's sexual activities (or lying under oath-- although I think it was out of line that he was asked-- and also very probably not entirely legal). In fact, a friend of mine

who taught 4th graders (perhaps more liberal religiously) is harder on him than I am. But I don't think they were grounds for impreachment, as he lied about what never should have been investigated, or at least in the way it was investigated. Watergate was little more than a failed land deal which cost the Clinton's money. I read an article in the rightist Economist, that determined there was nothing to Watergate.

The independent council had its own agenda, and millions of tax payer dollars to investigate anything and everything and it did. Put an independent council on the any administration, fund them for millions of dollars

and I'll bet there would lots of sex, money deals, etc. etc. And that's basically what I mean by how it was

investigated.

 

But I don't think Bush's administration is alone in corruption, and I think most administrations (including

Clinton's had corruption).

 

 

 

--des

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God's power is not corrupt, but I think the quote about "absolute power corrupts absolutely", is not about God's power and never intended to talk about God's power. May be that some people WANT God's power--

that might be the hubris involved.

I take the position that God exercises influence rather than power, but if we do assume that God actually does exercise "power", it is still a valid point that you can't compare the exercise of power by finite and imperfect human beings to that exercised by an infinitely good God.

 

But I don't think Bush's administration is alone in corruption, and I think most administrations (including

Clinton's had corruption).

--des

 

I think that corruption is rife everywhere in our political and economic system. The question then arises as to how our corrupt human "kingdoms" contrast with the Kingdom of God. To the extent that there is a system that creates social, political, and economic inequality that benefits some to the exclusion of others, then we see corruption. I don't think it is about which individuals happen to live in the White House, since both of the dominant political factions in our political establishment are clearly capable of corruption. I do think it is worth considering the ways that our society functions to create this sort of corruption within the halls of power, and to consider what lessons we can draw from how Jesus in his own teachings sought to resist the Kingdom of his day by promoting a Kingdom of God that was predicated on justice and inclusion of all.

Edited by Mystical Seeker
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>re:God's power:

 

>I take the position that God exercises influence rather than power, but if we do assume that God actually does exercise "power", it is still a valid point that you can't compare the exercise of power by finite and imperfect human beings to that exercised by an infinitely good God.

 

My position is more like yours. However, I was trying to make the same distinction that you did (a better

job than I did btw). The quote about absolute power, has to do with human power. It was never

intended to describe anything about the divine.

 

 

>I think that corruption is rife everywhere in our political and economic system. The question then arises as to how our corrupt human "kingdoms" contrast with the Kingdom of God. To the extent that there is a system that creates social, political, and economic inequality that benefits some to the exclusion of others, then we see corruption. I don't think it is about which individuals happen to live in the White House, since both of the dominant political factions in our political establishment are clearly capable of corruption. I do think it is worth considering the ways that our society functions to create this sort of corruption within the halls of power, and to consider what lessons we can draw from how Jesus in his own teachings sought to resist the Kingdom of his day by promoting a Kingdom of God that was predicated on justice and inclusion of all.

 

Yes, I think it is more what corrupting influences exist and to what extent they prevail. Money is one.

As long as humungous quantities of money are required to win elections, there will buying and selling of

favors and so on. I give you this large amt. of money, you do what I want. Another corrupting influence,

would be how much power is stacked in one party (whichever one). There were tons of scandals when the Democrats held all the power. So right now it si the Republicans that can have this access to power and control, and therefore are more corruptible in that respect. The highly adversarial relationship is yet

another area of concern. I have heard things are so adversarial they can no longer hold the House vs Senate baseball game. It was at one time common to have friends on the other side of the aisle. You

could argue all day and still be friends. Having this relationship creates "good guys vs enemies". Undoubtedly, there are many other influences.

 

Still there are highly principled members of both parties, who are not corrupt/ corrupted by these influences.

 

Your points on Jesus' lessons on this are quite appropos. Thanks.

 

 

--des

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