Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A higher moral ethic

Today's Washington Post features a terrific editorial titled "Values Choice for the GOP" by Eugene Robinson http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/09/AR2006100901037.html
on how the Foley scandal could be the end to the "phoney trumped up culture war" or a chance for firing and disavowing gay staff members.

There are those on the right that are now expressing their surprise and dismay that there are gay staff members in Congressional offices.

Really --- and in your office, your family, your local doctor's office, every where you look...gay people are among us.

Living healthy, ethical moral lives. Raising children. Working for the public good.

One more time -- it is irrelevant morally that Congressman Foley is gay; the issue is that he solicited male pages. Would this situation have been any different if the salacious IMs were with a 16 year old teenage girl? Would America be more or less outraged? What do you think?

Robinson mentions that Republicans have tried to pain Democrats as "anything goes libertines." I have been accused of having "if it feels good, do it" morality by people on the right my whole career.

If people took the time to look, they would see that the Religious Declaration actually articulates a strong moral ethic that holds people -- all people -- to a high standard based on love, justice, mutuality, consent, nonexploitation, commitment and mutual pleasure.

Ex-congressman Foley must be held accountable, as well as the people who knew about his actions and did nothing. Their being gay had nothing to do with it though.


fausto said...

You said, "One more time -- it is irrelevant morally that Congressman Foley is gay and that he solicited male pages."

I agree that it's irrelevant that he is gay. I disagree that it is irrelevant that he was soliciting male pages. Soliciting minors for sex is wrong, regardless of whether they're male or female.

If it isn't, why are you also calling for Foley and others who failed to stop him to be held accountable?

Debra W. Haffner said...

Fausto, that was a typo...and what I get for writing blogs at 7 am before coffee...of course, what he did wrong was solicit these pages....thanks for picking this up...i fixed it for people who are wondering what went wrong...

Sparki said...

Would this situation have been any different if the salacious IMs were with a 16 year old teenage girl? Would America be more or less outraged? What do you think?

America IS less outraged. It's ridiculous for any of us to think that the teenage girl pages are not solicited by members of Congress. They are. Anybody who has been a page on the Hill can tell you that pretty girls have been getting it ever since they were allowed to become pages.

Everybody just shrugs it off, though, chalks it up to "dirty old men" and doesn't consider it a crime. So much for feminism, eh?

And frankly, many male members of the homosexual community greatly desire the age of consent to be lowered to 16 or so, so most of them don't consider it a crime, either. Foley, as a gay man, might well be part of the gay culture that supports Man-Boy love (I'm sure you heard of the MBLA). Not that it excuses his behavior -- I'm just saying.

IMHO, it doesn't matter if the victim is male or female, 16 or 17 or 15 or 18 or 12 or a young adult like Monica Lewinski -- our lawmakers and government agents at all levels ought to behave beyond reproach when it comes to sexual matters. And by that I mean, be faithful to your spouse if married; if single - keep your sexual escapades to an adult who freely consents if you have no moral reason to avoid premarital sex; and kindly keep the details about your sexual life private.

Unfortunately, this country has loosened up standards to the point where "beyond reproach" doesn't mean much any more.


Bill Baar said...

Foley was held accountable. Hastert asked him to resign when the cyber sex IMs revealed. I don't believe these were criminal either. Justice and FBI will tell, but again, Hastert did the right thing by forwarding to the FBI.

What would you have had Hastert do with the situaiton before the IMs? A known-but-closeted-Gay-man who seemed overly friendly to boys (young men really). Hastert sent Shimkus to tell Foley to watch himself.

Would you have had Hastert do more?

Would you have had Hastert do something different if Foley were overly friendly to young Women?

I think Hastert handled it well. Pretty much what I would have done.

Obviously in today's world, that's not good enough.

Unknown said...

I have been following what you have been saying and the Foley and Congress situation, and I have appreciated it.

Debra you asked how to post on revgalblogpals. Are you talking about the comment section? If so here's how by using this formula what you want the link to say . The other way to do it, is this, up at the top of your blog is blogger's toolbar, and at the bottom of a post is posted by Rev. Debra W. Haffner @ 4:39 AM 3 comments links to this post. On the toolbar is "blogthis", click it on, click on the html, copy the html code and post it in the comment section of revgalblogpals of the post you are commenting on. You can get the same result by clicking "links to this post" and then "create a link." clicking on your time "4:39" will open up the post and the links in the address bar. You can use the address to put in the formula.

You can send an nomination of a post you have written to wednesdayfestival@gmail.com.

Hope this helps.

Debra W. Haffner said...

Sparki, I agree with you that such solicitations of a 16 year old girl page would have been equally immoral -- but I can't leave unchallenged your equating the gay community with those who want to have sex with minors. There are some pedophiles -- of all sexual orientations -- that argue this; but it is always wrong for an adult to approach a child sexually, and one of the goals of treatment with offenders is to help them understand that there can never be consent in these types of relationships. I strenuously object though (see my other posts) to those who are trying to make the Foley scandal about his homosexuality.

Anonymous said...

The United Church of Christ has it's own problems now with this. According to UCCtruths.com the New Hampshire Conference is being sued over an alleged sexual assault of a minor at the Horton Center (run by the conference).

Since there is an allegation that the Conference knew there was a problem with the person accussed of the assault back in 1993 and in context to the Foley scandal (and for that matter, the Catholic Church scandal), the conference should be as forthright as possible and make some public statement as quickly as possible to identify what they knew, when they knew it and what was reported to the authorities.