Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bad Medicine

New South Wales Health Minister, John Della Bosca, has, in his words taken his medicine for some poor choices. What he actually said was that he had taken his medcine (sic) so perhaps he should take some more medicine. Maybe a dose for his poor pronunciation of the word medicine and another dose for his poor choice of words. Health Minister takes his medicine? I'm sure he wasn't trying to be funny.

This story strikes again at the very core of our society's value system. In a world which is drowning in the quicksand of relative morality, one man's sin is a beacon of light which shines on him and away from us. Exposing his misdeeds while leaving ours in the shadows of our private lives. Rare indeed is the person who does not misbehave, or make poor choices or sin - whatever word or phrase you choose to describe it. Less rare is the person with a high public profile who falls and has to suffer the embarrassment of everyone knowing about it.

What bothers us most about this story? The woman involved in the affair with Della Bosca which ended only weeks ago, shared her thoughts on the issue with the Daily Telegraph.

"It is about the character of a man who is supposed to represent the values of the community and who is constantly talking about wanting to be the premier. If he is capable of lying to his wife and children - and John really does love his sons - and of manipulating a woman into believing he actually loves her, then why wouldn't he do that in other aspects of his life and career?"

The woman accepts responsibilty for her part in the affair but in order to avoid being called a hypocrite has not criticised the Minister for his role. She seems to not think the affair was wrong. It's the deception that bothers her. Being lied to and manipulated is what troubles her more than the fact that she willingly participated in a sexual liason with a married man.

If the affair had continued, or if it had turned out the way she wanted it to, would she have gone public? Probably not. Nobody confesses until they get sprung. We all think we can get away with doing the wrong thing, deluding ourselves, and justifying our actions until we get found out and then we admit that we made poor choices.

Although it sounds terribly lame to accompany an admission of guilt with the the words, "I made a mistake", it is actually a valid argument. Very few people deliberately set out to do wrong, to break the law either in a legal or a moral sense. However, most of us have been guilty of making poor decisions and choices have consequences. Choices always have consequences.

The consequences of John Della Bosca's actions are painfully obvious so maybe taking some medicine is exactly what he needs. How about a dose of grace and forgiveness?

Which is worse?
Committing adultery
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