Posts Tagged “adultery”
I already blogged about Religious Right rising star — and married man — Dinesh D’Souza, who appears to have had a fiancé prior to getting a divorce from his wife Dixie. Well, D’Souza finally spoke out today on his own blog, and denied having done anything wrong. Citing a New Republic article that I’d noted myself, D’Souza blamed the whole affair (pun intended!) on WORLD Magazine‘s editor-in-chief and on the reporter who wrote the story (locally-cached version):
Denise and I were trying to do the right thing. I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced, even though in a state of separation and in divorce proceedings.
Really, Dinesh? The Right considers you the most brilliant man in the country … yet you had no fucking clue that being affianced while still married doesn’t look right? I’m not a Christian, but it sure looks weird to me, and it would look weird without regard to the religion of the people involved.
D’Souza also confuses “taking action to get a divorce started, someday” with “actually having initiated a divorce proceeding in court”:
While World notes that my divorce filing was registered with the court on October 4—giving the impression that I moved quickly on the day their reporter spoke to me—in reality I had been working with a San Diego law firm on this for the previous two weeks.
Sorry, Dinesh. Hiring an attorney to talk about divorcing, is most assuredly nowhere near the same thing as actually having filed for divorce. Not at all.
D’Souza then launches into a plaintive whine about WORLD, its editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky, reporter Warren Cole Smith, and the organizer of the event he’d attended:
… Smith apparently deployed conference organizer Alex McFarland to call and raise the issue with me. I clearly told McFarland that Denise and I stayed in separate rooms. McFarland knew he didn’t have what he wanted, because he subsequently called me back and asked me again. I realized McFarland may be fronting for Smith, so I told him I didn’t have any further comment. I’m not sure whether McFarland is lying or Smith is lying, but one of them made up the quotation attributed to me that we stayed in the same room but “nothing happened.” This is pure libel. …
So why would World write such a misleading, sensational story that we would normally expect from the tabloids? Actually there is a back story here which was noted by Amy Sullivan at the New Republic, as well as numerous other sources. Marvin Olasky, the editor of World, is the former provost of the King’s College. Olasky was on the search committee when I interviewed to be president, and he vehemently opposed my candidacy. Olasky publicly admitted that he was resigning his position as a consequence of my appointment. The reporter who wrote this story, Warren Smith, also used to work as a consultant for King’s until I decided not to renew his contract. And what was Olasky’s gripe against me? As he put it, I was seeking to make King’s a non-denominational “mere Christianity college” in the image of C.S. Lewis. This for Olasky was simply intolerable. Having nursed his grievance for two years, now apparently Olasky is using World to continue his vendetta.
D’Souza eventually comes around to a good old “We’re all Christians we have to stick together so you’re obligated to accept my claim that I haven’t done anything wrong” speech:
Ultimately this is not just about Olasky or even World magazine. It is also about how we Christians are supposed to behave with one another. And the secular world is watching.
You see, then, D’Souza’s appeal here: Don’t think badly of me, because if you do, the “secular world” we all hate, will love it!
But the most precious part of this little screed comes near its beginning. It’s the part where he throws his wife (or ex-wife, or something) under the bus:
My wife Dixie and I have been separated for two years. Dixie approached me and demanded this before I came to King’s College to become its president in late August 2010.
The whole situation is Dixie’s fault, you see. She threw him out, you see, and forced the poor little thing to take up with another woman. What a fucking loser. At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s obvious to me that Dixie is now much better off without this cretin in her life.
Note: The totally-innocent D’Souza announced his resignation from The King’s College. Hmm.
Photo credit: PsiCop original.
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Why, of course they can! Newt Gingrich, for example, is a serial adulterer. David Vitter was an adulterer too, and what ought to be worse in the eyes of their co-religionists, Ted Haggard and George Alan Rekers committed adultery with male escorts/prostitutes.
Yet, none of these men … nor several others I might name … seem to have paid much of a price for their “sins.” They all remain relatively popular among Religious Rightists. Newt Gingrich nearly became the GOP nominee for president, a few months ago; Jimmy Swaggart’s ministry has continued for decades; David Vitter remains a respected GOP Senator; Ted Haggard has a new, growing church; and Rekers remains professor emeritus at a public university.
The rest of the Religious Right doesn’t seem to be very disturbed by anything any of these guys has done. That they moralized endlessly about the “sins” of others, and professed concern over the “sanctity of marriage,” yet failed to live up to those ideals, makes them hypocrites, of course. But in spite of the fact that the supposed founder of their own religion explicitly and clearly forbid his followers ever to be hypocritical, they went ahead and did it anyway. And the rest of the R.R. quite frankly don’t give a flying fuck that they did so.
Thus, I predict that the latest Religious Rightist to be a brazen fucking hypocrite isn’t likely to lose his stature over his “sin.” And that man — as reported by the evangelical Christian WORLD Magazine — is rising R.R. star Dinesh D’Souza (WebCite cached article):
About 2,000 people gathered on Sept. 28 at First Baptist North in Spartanburg, S.C., to hear high-profile Christians speak on defending the faith and applying a Christian worldview to their lives. Among the speakers: Eric Metaxas, Josh McDowell, and—keynote speaker for the evening—best-selling author, filmmaker, and Christian college president Dinesh D’Souza.
D’Souza’s speech earned him a standing ovation and a long line at the book-signing table immediately afterward. Although D’Souza has been married for 20 years to his wife, Dixie, in South Carolina he was with a young woman, Denise Odie Joseph II, and introduced her to at least three people as his fiancée.
This obvious little transgression did not go unnoticed, as WORLD explains:
The next day another conference organizer, Alex McFarland, distressed by D’Souza’s behavior, confronted him in a telephone conversation. D’Souza admitted he shared a room with his fiancée but said “nothing happened.” When I called D’Souza, he confirmed that he was indeed engaged to Joseph, but did not explain how he could be engaged to one woman while still married to another. When asked when he had filed for divorce from his wife, Dixie, D’Souza answered, “Recently.”
According to San Diego County (Calif.) Superior Court records, D’Souza filed for divorce only on Oct. 4, the day I [reporter Warren Cole Smith] spoke with him.
As I said, I predict this news will not harm D’Souza’s renown among the R.R. He is, after all, the architect and presenter of the conspiratorially Rightist documentary 2016: Obama’s America. The vast majority of the R.R. will dig its heels in and refuse to repudiate D’Souza or disassociate from him. At worst, he might … just might! … lose his job as head of the indoctrination center known as The King’s College. But that will be the worst that happens to him; within a year or two he’ll be back on his feet, with a prestigious job at some Rightist think-tank or a posting at some other Rightist college. Ultimately, D’Souza’s adultery will have been forgotten and he will have paid no appreciable price for his “sin.” And … he’ll continue moralizing over the failings of others, as though he’s guilty of none himself.
Unfortunately that’s how Christianists are. They do not reject, ostracize, or discipline their own … not for any reason. They will not admit their heroes might not be the upstanding citizens they claim to be. They do not concede any error on the part of anyone in their little “club.” It’s a reflexive, tribalistic instinct in them, that they largely can’t help, because their minds are so primitive and their thinking so delusionally paranoid.
Late addition: Peter Montgomery at Religion Dispatches points out D’Souza’s special brand of hypocrisy, culled from the pages of his book, What’s So Great About Christianity. Within that book, D’Souza bellyached and whined about the evils of adultery and divorce. Then he went and got himself a “fiancé” before he’d gotten rid of his “wife.” Isn’t that precious?
Another tidbit: The New Republic chalks up D’Souza’s adultery not to his own moral failing, but to his rival Marvin Olasky, who just happens to be WORLD‘s editor-in-chief (cached). So you see, if D’Souza did anything wrong, it’s because Olasky’s magazine reported it. Or something like that.
Hat tip: Religion Dispatches & Friendly Atheist.
Photo credit: Mark Taylor, via Wikimedia Commons.
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Brit Hume of Fox News offered some unsolicited advice to the beleaguered Tiger Woods … and in the process, revealed his ignorance of religion. The (NY) Daily News reports on his stupid comments:
Fox newsman Brit Hume is evangelizing to Tiger Woods — and upsetting some peaceful Buddhists along the way.
Hume, speaking on Fox News Sunday, said he wants the beleaguered golfer to convert to Christianity because he believes Buddhism leaves no place for the “redemption” Tiger needs.
“Whether he can recover as a person I think is a very open question, and it’s a tragic situation with him,” Hume said.
“The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith,” Hume continued. “He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith.”
Hume said his message to Tiger would be, “Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.'”
Like most Christians, especially of the Religious Right sort, Hume has no clue how any religion other than his own works. I’m not a Buddhist myself, but even I know that the reality of Buddhism is that it has a great deal to say about both forgiveness and redemption. “Forgiveness” figures prominently in Buddhism, especially in that it helps ameliorate attachments. Here, for example, is a Buddhist meditation on it. As for “redemption” in Buddhism, that is integral to one of the core principles of Buddhism, Nirvana.
As is typical of Christians, Hume assumes Christianity to be utterly unique … so much so that no principle it deals with can possibly be found in any other religion. Unfortunately this is erroneous.
I’m fairly sure that Buddhism can find a better way to deal with the sin of adultery, in any event, than Christianity can. After all, the faithful Christian, Gov Mark Sanford of South Carolina suggested that, if adultery was good enough for King David, it’s good enough for him.
Finally, Hume’s claim that Buddhism offers no forgiveness or redemption, and only Christianity does, places him in my lying liars for Jesus club.
Update: Courtesy of Religion Dispatches, here is a Youtube video of Brit Hume revealing his brazen ignorance — and as RD suggested it might be called, “Christian chauvinism” — to the planet:
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Mark Sanford, the moralistic crusading governor of South Carolina who this summer skipped his state — in fact, he skipped the country! — in order to visit with his Argentine mistress, may finally have to face the consequences of his sneaky behavior. I’ve already blogged about this sniveling, contemptible character — whose backers have claimed that everyone else in the universe but him was responsible for what he did — and even went so far as to compare himself with the Biblical hero King David. But at long last he faces a number of specific ethics charges, as reported by the New York Times:
Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina will face formal ethics charges on 37 counts of using his office for personal financial gain, according to a list of allegations issued by the state ethics commission on Monday.
The charges on the list include spending state money on business-class plane tickets, instead of flying coach; using state aircraft to attend political and personal events, like the birthday party of a campaign contributor; and using his campaign fund for non-campaign expenses like a ticket to President Obama’s inauguration.
The idiot triggered this ethics probe, as well as a separate impeachment investigation in the SC legislature, by conspicuously disappearing this summer:
A separate impeachment resolution has been filed in the state legislature, but the ethics commission and the legislative action so far have dealt with different accusations. The ethics commission reviewed charges of misuse of public resources, while the impeachment resolution deals with the governor’s secret trip to Argentina in June to visit a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.
A legislative committee will take up the impeachment resolution on Tuesday.
It turns out that Sanford has flown high, on SC tax dollars, for a very long time … although only a few times while making booty-calls to his mistress:
The 17-page document released Monday, which is similar to an indictment, lists 18 occasions when Mr. Sanford flew business class or first class when, it alleges, “no exigencies existed to justify an upgrade from coach,” as required by state law. All but two were international flights, but in one instance Mr. Sanford flew first class from Columbia, S.C., to nearby Atlanta.
That’s just the start of it, of course. By contrast to his own behavior, Sanford has acted the role of a conscientious steward of public money, going so far as to fight off federal stimulus money offered his state, earlier this year (as reported at the time by The State):
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Wednesday became the first governor to reject some of his state’s share of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus money, spurning $700 million that he said would harm his state’s residents in the long run. …
Sanford turned down the federal money despite new data showing that his state’s unemployment rate had risen to 10.4 percent, the second highest in the country.
“We don’t think it’s a good idea to spend money that you don’t have,” Sanford said in Columbia.
Yeah yeah, governor, as though anyone believes you … because at the same time you were professing to protect the wallets of South Carolinians, you were upgrading from coach to first- and business-class, on their dimes. How nice — and hypocritical — of you.
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Islamism continues to make the world safe for barbarity. The latest example of the triumph of fundamentalist Islam, can be seen in this report from the BBC:
Islamists in southern Somalia have stoned a man to death for adultery but spared his pregnant girlfriend until she gives birth.
Abas Hussein Abdirahman, 33, was killed in front of a crowd of some 300 people in the port town of Merka.
An official from the al-Shabab group said the woman would be killed after she has had her baby.
Islamist groups run much of southern Somalia, while the UN-backed government only control parts of the capital.
Gee, that sounds all merciful and everything … but what kind of future will the baby have, as s/he grows up? Will s/he be “marked” for life as the product of adultery, and mistreated because of that? (I have no idea, I’m just asking the question.)
Naturally there are folks in Somalia who are trying to distance themselves from this:
Meanwhile, President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has accused al-Shabab of spoiling the image of Islam by killing people and harassing women.
“Their actions have nothing to do with Islam,” said the moderate Islamist during a ceremony at which he nominated a new administration for the capital, Mogadishu.
Well, here’s a clue, President Ahmed: The reason this happened is because, for nearly two decades, the so-called “government” of Somalia (of which you are now the head) has been dithering around, unable and unwilling to control any of the factions trying to maintain control of their own pieces of the country. Instead of playing footsie with other warlords and looking to the UN to take care of it all for you — which, given its dismal track-record in creating stability, is not a good idea — maybe you should summon the courage and take measures to actually run your country? OK?
This is not an isolated incident in Somalia, as the BBC explains:
Last month, two men were stoned to death in the same town after being accused of spying.
A 13-year-old girl was stoned to death for adultery in the southern town of Kismayo last year.
Human rights groups said she had been raped.
Another man has also been punished in this way in the Lower Shabelle region.
Isn’t theocracy wonderful? Can you imagine what would happen if the Religious Rightists in the US got their way and this country became a theocracy? Oh wait, I don’t need to “imagine” it … its proponents have already shown what they want. And by all means, let’s continue ranting and wailing that only religion is capable of making people upright and moral. Yeah yeah, that worked out so well in this case, didn’t it? (Not!)
Hat tip: Skeptic’s Dictionary.
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What do you do when you’re a career politician who screwed up big-time, and has been watching other politicians, pundits, and the media write your political obituary over the last couple weeks? That’s the quandary facing South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, about whom I’ve blogged a couple times already. Like a dope addict who can’t get enough of a favorite drug, Sanford somehow cannot resist seizing back the spotlight of attention he once enjoyed. Toward that end, he’s indulging his “attention” compulsion once more … by sending a missive to South Carolina newspapers (here it is, via the Columbia State, the paper which originally broke the story of his infidelity and hypocrisy):
It is true that I did wrong and failed at the largest of levels, but equally true is the fact that God can make good of our respective wrongs in life. In this vein, while none of us has the chance to attend our own funeral, in many ways I feel like I was at my own in the past weeks, and surprisingly I am thankful for the perspective it has afforded.
Like any dutifully religious GOP southerner, Sanford drops the “G”-word almost at the beginning, and keeps inserting it repeatedly, along with lots of other traditional Religious Right canards and code-words:
One, forgiveness and grace really do matter. I used to believe that at an intellectual level; now it is at the level of heart. …
Two, life is indeed about way more than public standing or political views; it’s about recognizing that none of us is the arbiter of truth, that there are moral absolutes and that there is a God to whom we will all report for our actions. …
It’s in the spirit of making good from bad that I am committing to you and the larger family of South Carolinians to use this experience both to trust God in his larger work of changing me and, from my end, to work to becoming a better and more effective leader. …
It means less time fighting the tide, and a greater awareness of the fact that God controls it.
Note his mention of moral absolutes, his desire for forgiveness, his mentions of “the heart,” grace, and trusting God. These phrases and more are all terms his slavering religious worshippers will eagerly devour … or at least, he hopes they will. He also claims some humility:
I’ve been humbled and broken as never before in my life, and as a consequence have given up areas of control in a way that I never have before.
This is, of course, disingenuine. There is absolutely no “humility” to be found in dispatching a letter — ostensibly to all the people of South Carolina — to be published in major newspapers! True “humility” would have been the exact opposite … i.e. for Sanford to get back to work, quietly, and without trumpeting himself all over his state’s media outlets once again. Once again we have an example of Sanford being a brazen hypocrite, doing the exact opposite of what Jesus had ordered his own followers to do, as seen in the following:
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Mt 6:1-6)
Governor Sanford … if I may be so bold as to ask … how is it that I — godless heathen that I am — know your own Bible, and the teachings of your own Jesus Christ, so much better than you do? I wonder if you have the courage to answer that question.
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