“Judge not, lest ye be judged.” A common misquote, I’m told, of Matthew 7:1 (“Judge not, that ye be not judged. “). Wise words, either way.
When should someone’s personal peccadillos materially matter to us? When is it actually fair to hold someone to a higher standard than we perhaps hold ourselves? When should it reach the level of ‘a scandal’? When should we care?
To this point, Rep. Anthony Weiner is guilty of no known crimes. Ethical lapses possibly occurred, but that is also not yet known. There will no doubt be investigations.
So far, Rep. Weiner is guilty only of very poor judgment in his personal life. His self-admitted bad behavior must be a terrible blow to his family and those close to him. That’s his personal burden, and I hope and trust that he will find peace and forgiveness from those who are personally important to him.
Anthony Weiner has disappointed a great many fans, including yours truly, but I will forgive him, as will many others.
A fair question is, “Why?” What is the boundary between actually important and merely salacious? Why forgive Anthony Weiner and not David Vitter, or John Ensign, or Mark Sanford, or Larry Craig? Why hold those others to a higher standard? Is it because they’re Republicans and I‘m a Democrat? Because they’re conservatives and I’m a liberal? Admittedly, probably a little.
Mainly, though, I believe it’s fair to hold those Republicans to a higher standard because they themselves claimed that they adhered to a higher standard. They preached a higher standard. They ran for office on a higher standard. They brooked no weakness in others, and publicly castigated those whose morals were lax in their eyes.
They were hypocrites.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.“
If the Vitters, Ensigns, Sanfords, Craigs and their ilk had only been guilty of too-human frailties in their private lives which had no bearing on their job performance, I would support them while still disagreeing with everything they stood for; but once they put themselves up on a self-proclaimed ‘holier-than-thou’ pedestal, that behavior became fair game.
Likewise vulnerable are those Republicans who were forgiving or weak-kneed in the face of Republican sex scandals, only to hypocritically leap at the word “Resign” for Democratic sex scandals.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
If someone can show me a time when Anthony Weiner publicly held others to a higher standard than that to which he held himself, I’ll reconsider my support for him. Until then, I’ll ignore the sanctimonious proclamations of self-righteous Republican idols with feet of clay.