John 8:1-7 (KJV)
1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
At this point a rock flew past Jesus’ head and hit the woman squarely in the stomach.
Jesus looked up to see who had cast the rock and said, “Oh, really Mother.”
The question of Mary’s status had been debated by the Doctors of the Church until Pope Pius IX in 1854 issued an encyclical promulgating the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, thus requiring all those in communion with the Roman Catholic Church to accept Mary’s status as a person who was conceived without sin. Please forgive the somewhat irreverent conclusion to the well-known story of the woman taken in adultery – but if one accepts Pius’ ex cathedra encyclical, it is theologically sound.
Fortunately for those of us who are not theologians, there has been no debate over the fact that all the rest of us have flaws, are sinful and are redeemed through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross (or so we Christians believe). That would, of course, include candidates for public office – even for president of the United States.
The two presumptive presidential nominees prove daily in the tabloids and other news media, neither of them is a candidate who any reflective person would support with unbridled, unquestioning enthusiasm. Perhaps the greatest difference between this and previous election cycles is that the turpitude of the candidates seems to have reached a new apex – or, if you will a new nadir. Notwithstanding, there are mathematically only those two choices and one will emerge as the leader of what is left of the Free World for at least a four year term. How did this happen? Because we as a collective people and nation have chosen to ignore the obvious warning signs of a nation in decline and, rather than attempt to rectify the sins of the past, have chosen a path of apathy until the proverbial wolf comes to our own door. That time has probably now come.
Seldom in my experience have I ever worked for and voted for a presidential candidate with unbridled enthusiasm – though it has happened. Like most people, the media find it more titillating to expose the flaws of a prospective office holder and that is the information to which we are primarily exposed. Negative news stories work to increase circulation and viewer ship. Positive stories, if they appear at all, are buried deep in the recesses of the paper and have no interest to those who believe social media is a reliable source of information – which they aren’t.
So the alternative in most elections is determining who is the lesser of the two evils, holding one’s nose and ruefully casting a vote for the candidate who is qualified by his or her opponents’ even greater concupissance. This year promises to exemplify that way of determining my vote – except that this is a year on steroids.
“It is indeed difficult to imagine how men who have entirely renounced the habit of managing their own affairs could be successful in choosing those who ought to lead them. It is impossible to believe that a liberal, energetic, and wise government can ever emerge from the ballots of a nation of servants.”
– Alexis de Tocqueville
Whether we like it or not, politics is at the core of each of our lives. If we vote for someone who brings about rules and regulations that adversely impact our day-to-day existence, vote for a more enlightened opponent who is defeated or, worst of all, choose to pretend that how we are constrained by government is simply not important and choose to try to validate that opinion by not participating in the political process by not voting, there will be consequences.
In the last two presidential elections, most of us conservatives were presented candidates by the Republican party who in only a limited way appeared to champion our core principles. Yet, most of us sucked it up and voted for them anyway because the alternative, Barack Obama was so odious. It truly disturbs me that Gov. Mitt Romney, one of the least conservative people within the GOP is now on what I can only take as a personal vendetta to bring down the presumptive nominee in the general election, Donald Trump not only by withholding his support but by trying to find a candidate who would be the sacrificial lamb spear heading the efforts of a third party run, thus assuring Hillary Clinton’s election.
It is at the least ironic that Mr. Romney who withheld his tax returns until Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) got up on the Senate floor, lied and said that “he had information that Romney hadn’t paid a cent in taxes for years” only then put out his own returns and is now squawking so loudly about Trump’s returns . (Frankly, I think this is a red herring issue – but, of course, the media loves it). What a hypocrite. Romney would better serve the Republican party and, more importantly the county, by insisting that the Clinton Foundation explain publicly the changes they made to their returns which, after scrutiny from outside organizations, forced them to amend and refile multiple years.
I’m not sure that Mr. Romney ever heard the old adage about people living in glass houses – but if he missed it, he might consider my version, the title of this piece:
LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN WITHHOLD THE FIRST VOTE