I blogged earlier on South Carolina’s Republican governor Mark Sanford, who’d been carrying on an affair with a woman in Argentina for at least a year, and pointed out the brazen hypocrisy inherent in a man who strays in his own marriage but who, while in Congress, had condemned then-President Clinton for having strayed. I further pointed out that, while such hypocrisy is common in the Religious Right no one else in the Religious Right ever seems to have a problem with it. One wonders how hypocrisy in Christians can be acceptable to other Christians, since Jesus himself explicitly and clearly forbid his followers ever to be hypocritical. It’s almost as though they’re unaware of Jesus’ orders on the matter, even though they’re right there in scripture for all to see.

But it turns out that the Religious Right does not view the hypocrisy of others in the Religious Right as true “hypocrisy.” Rather, they view it as an external imposition by infernal outside forces. “The Devil made me do it” is an expression that encapsulates this notion. Recently something akin to this was proposed in defense of Gov. Sanford, by none other than Rush Limbaugh, Lord High Champion of all things Conservative and Religious. According to Limbaugh, Obama’s stimulus package caused the affair! Blogs around the world have flared up on the matter, such as the following:

The manner in which the Religious Right rationalizes and/or explains away their own transgressions, is astounding. Limbaugh’s rationale in particular is factually impossible, since Sanford had begun his affair long before Obama was even elected. Therefore it cannot possibly have been the product of Obama’s stimulus package (and Sanford’s own irrational rejection of it).

What would be better, of course — and grant the Religious Right some genuine credibility on the matter — would be for others in the R.R. to reject Sanford and his sniveling excuses, to say there is no good explanation for his adultery, to say that adultery is anti-Christian, and for them to blame Sanford and his mistress only for the adultery.

But they won’t … and we all know they won’t … because ultimately they are not actually interested in morality; they’re interested, instead, in running the country according to their own metaphysical beliefs, and that means they cannot jettison Sanford — a heretofore successful politician — because that might impede their goal of ruling the country.

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