Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Weiner Gate; Is Weiner on a roll or does his apology cut the mustard?
Okay, I am sorry, I could not help it. However, the above joke is from Wiener himself.
I have only a few things to say about this whole fiasco. First and foremost as a society we have lost our understanding of how wonderful shame can be. What? Shame is a good thing? Yes, it can be. Before twitter and picture mail, a person would have to take a picture of themselves and take it to be developed then put it in an envelope and mail it.
Their conscience had a lot of time to discern and contemplate their actions. A person would have to consider that others would see their picture when developing it and they would have to go pick up the pictures once developed. This allowed for shame to enter into the picture and perhaps deter a person from these kind of bad choices. Now we are a society of shamelessness and of convenience. The fact that Congressmen Weiner apologized for his actions and called them "inappropriate" rather than wrong is just another example of how many people have lost the sense of shame. Wearing jeans and a t-shirt to a fancy restaurant is inappropriate, chewing gum loudly during a wedding ceremony is inappropriate. Why? Because there are occasions where chewing gum and wearing jeans and a t-shirt are appropriate. It is not intrinsically wrong or sinful to do either of these things. What Congressmen Weiner did, was intrinsically wrong and not just inappropriate. When Tiger Woods came forward and apologized he too watered down his apology. Both of these men barely accept responsibility much less acknowledge the inherent shamefulness in it.
In a blink of an eye, a person can make a bad choice or choices and the internet makes the possibilities endless. There has been a re-occurring theme lately of men sending half-naked pictures of themselves to women other than their wives. For that matter, there are a number of women doing this as well. In fact, this is an epidemic in high schools.
With modern technology, pornography is at a persons fingertips. Gone are the days when a person would have to go into an "adult store" and worry about someone seeing them or having to overcome the shame of being seen as they enter. In the privacy of our own homes, cars, or anywhere for that matter, we can access pornography.
Congressmen Wiener, Tiger Woods, President Clinton, are just some of the many men who have succumbed to sexual temptation but what is less obvious is that they have lost their awareness of the profound dignity of the human person. This is a failure to know what love is and how to live it out. All of these men are calling out to the world "See Me!" Congressmen Wiener's pictures of his flexed abs reveals a huge wound of "am I adequate?" Most men want to feel as if they have what it takes and that they are attractive.
Today, we are loosing the dignity of the human person through a spiritual leprosy that has reached such large proportions that the “leper colonies” have become the new communities of the world. But this spiritual leprosy as I call it, is one of a spiritual nature.
Many who are infected might not even realize they have it, since it is spiritual and therefore not visible upon first glance. Even those whose disease has permeated more deeply into their souls do not realize it as they too have lost their sense of dignity and so can not possible see it in anyone else. Therefore, the disease has progressed in such a way as to “numb” them to fact that they are in a process of decay and that their spiritual lives are in mortal peril.
If the process is left to itself, they will loose their souls and since they are surrounded by others who are as diseased as they are, they do not see what is right in front of their eyes. The result of this is the loss of dignity, while causing a spiritual numbness which then leads to a spiritual blindness. They do not see the loss of dignity of the human person who is engaged in pornography or see the loss of dignity of the human person in those who are living out the homosexual lifestyle, they do not realize that pre-marital sex or even sex with multiple partners is the furthering the disease.
I could go on with the many faceted levels of spiritual leprosy infecting our world today, but I think I have made my point and that is the loss of the dignity of the human person seems to be the source, the very disease of our world today.
I fear that with the fast paced internet and technological advancements, this problem is going to get worse, not better. In a world where a that age of 11 is typical for a boy to first see pornography (online doing homework according to most studies*) this man's transgressions is a drop in the bucket and merely a tiny miniscule speck of a thing compared to the elephant in the room. Read my article on Charlie Sheen, read my article on Tiger Woods, we are in big trouble and the only cure is restoring the dignity of the human person, made in the image and likeness of God, male and female He created them.
For more on this remedy and what I believe is a cure for what ails us read;
Theology of The Body by Pope John Paul II it will blow your mind and it will set you free.
*Michele L. Ybarra and KimberlyJ. Mitchell, “Exposure to Internet Pornography among Children and Adolescents: A National Study,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, Volume 8, Number 5, 2005, pp. 473-486.