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Archive for July, 2009

This week, the tragic death of former NFL QB Steve McNair and his lady friend, was blasted all over the news.

Indeed, it is tragic. However, McNair did not die for us; he did not sacrifice himself for our country.

On the other hand, the very young Marines in the blistering heat, carrying more than 100lbs of equipment on their backs, and “schlepping” through unknown and rugged terrain, in what the commanders have acknowledged to be one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan –get little individual media attention.

It seems to me that the kudos and coverage that McNair is getting, is out of proportion with the sacrifice, bravery, and price that the 10,000 marines are paying.

Let’s get balanced in the media – our values are screwed up.

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As the author of After the Apple – Women In The Bible: Timeless Stories of Love, Lust, and Longing, I devote chapter 9 of my book to the relationship between David and Bat Sheba.

The story of David’s adulterous relationship brings to mind Governor Sanford’s recent episode.  The Governor has said that he is using David as a role model, and that like the Biblical King, he plans to put the “pieces together.”

But Governor, not so fast, it is not that simple….

David’s story is a prime example of the Bible’s “tough love” approach to life. The Bible is compassionate when it acknowledges that humans are fallible, but it also holds us responsible for our actions. It teaches us that sexual behavior must be subordinate to a tradition of moral and ethical beliefs and restraints. It’s not so much whom we lie with, but whom we lie to.

When David flouts the biblical law, the consequences of his behavior impinge on the future lives of his family. The death of the baby born to the illicit relationship is both historical, and serves as metaphor to the dire consequences that followed his actions. David remains King and humbly confesses his sin, but his private life is strewn with tragedy and he ceases to be a moral authority to his children.

The Bible’s next point is to teach us in no uncertain terms that neither king nor pauper is ever above the law. Both must abide equally by the law’s boundaries and parameters. Repentance helps in the healing process, but at the same time our actions and choices will bear consequences to which we all must hold ourselves responsible.

While the Governor draws on some parts of the David story, it’s important that he study the story in its entirety in order to gain the full measure of its wisdom.

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