Wednesday, July 11, 2007

God's forgiveness = self-forgiveness, part deux

Here's another hilarious example of how Christianity allows anyone to wash away their own sins with ease and without ever actually being troubled by having to feel bad about what you've done. The following amusing quote comes from the latest in a long line of hypocritical right-wing politicians, in this case, Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter, incidentally one of the chief sponsors of a proposed Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. This is a man who has publically compared gay marriage to Hurricane Katrina (I know, only a right-wing Christian could make a remark so baffling and bizarrely hyperbolic). This fine public servant, who has also called marriage — the straight kind — "the most important social institution in human history," didn't feel it was important enough to keep him from availing himself of a certain Canal Street escort service. But hey, never fear. It's religion to the rescue!

"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter said in a statement given to reporters Monday night. "Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and from my wife in confession and marriage counseling." (Emphasis added.)

Isn't it great to be a right-wing Christian politician? I mean, you're so within the Big G's inner circle that forgiveness comes your way faster than snapping your fingers. Then again, you never really hear Christians caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jars ever say anything like, "Well, I've asked God for forgiveness a few times...still haven't heard back from him, but I'm sure everything will be okay. I know He's a very busy God, you know, off creating galaxies and nebulae and stuff. He'll get back to me with that forgiveness when He has time, I'm sure He will..."

No, they always ask for and receive the forgiveness they seek — pretty easy to do when you're talking to yourself.

Anyway, I suppose this is the cue for all our Christian commenters to chime in with the usual "not a true Christian" responses.


  1. That's the idea with Xianity, though. If you sincerely ask for forgiveness, and you're a Xian, you get it.

    Although I've seen some Xians post that real Xians are "transformed" and no longer sin, I don't think that's the majority.

    I will say, though, that I've met Xians who have continued to hammer themselves for years (and years) for past "sins"--who have asked god to forgive them. This hits on your point: It's about forgiving yourself. You either will or won't.

    I also don't hold someone's past against them. I've made mistakes and lived through them. I don't guilt myself about them. I acknowledge them, do what I can to correct them, learn from them, and move on. And I don't begrudge anyone the same consideration.

    But I do agree that it's misplaced "forgiveness" to credit god with something one has clearly done for oneself.

  2. This hits on your point: It's about forgiving yourself. You either will or won't.

    I'm glad you brought this distinction up, Tracie, as I'm certain there will be some readers who miss the point. I never imply in my article that no Christian ever feels remorseful about doing bad things. My point was that, for those people who enjoy the way Christianity allows them to classify themselves as morally superioir to others, while adopting a "do as I say, not as I do" approach to life (we call them hypocrites), then their religion provides an easy tool for such a moral quick fix. That tool is the imaginary being God himself. God is made in man's own image, and he'll do whatever is required of him.

    For someone like Vitters, he gets to pontificate about the alleged evils of gay marriage, wag his finger pompously at others for their sexual peccadilloes, but, when he's caught out on his own, instead of any sincere remorse (you know, "Hey, I guess I'm a raving hypocritical asshole, aren't I?"), he can just say, "Hey look, it's no big deal, 'God' forgave me already (ie: I forgave myself), so let's blow over this and treat it like a non-issue to keep me out of the newspapers, please, thank you."


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