Saturday, August 9, 2008

Looking for the right adjectives for John Edwards



First, read this article.

Then add to my list of adjectives describing our former senator from NC and one time Democratic golden boy. Leno's having a field day tonight.




Hypocrite

Heel

Scumbag

Liar

Politician

Low life

Got some you'd like to add? Should we expect more from someone who presented himself as possessing the character and integrity to lead our nation? Wanna puke with me?

What burns me is that not only did he cheat on his wife - a heroic woman fighting cancer - but that he categorically denied any affair during the campaign.

Sounds sadly familiar, doesn't it. Are we really so morally bankrupt?



34 comments:

Mrs Redboots said...

Forgive me for saying this, but as Christians, shouldn't we be condemning his behaviour, rather than his person? What he did was despicable, sure - but he is nevertheless a person for whom Christ died, and who is every bit as dear to God as you or I are.

I really don't think that, as Christian people, we should use adjectives like "scumbag" to describe someone else, however badly they have behaved.

Rick Lawrenson said...

Consider the adjectives used by Jesus to describe the hypocrital leaders of his time who abused the trust of the people they led.

Terry Gray Sr. said...

I think that this a true example of how we all need to be more Jesus like in our everyday life. There are plenty temptations for each and everyone of us every day, and ONLY by trying to live our life like Jesus can we overcome them. It is unfortunate that Mr. Edwards did not seek more strenght from GOD to overcome his deplorable urgings, hopefully he can feel the humbling emptiness that could be a turning point for him to seek salvation.

It is truely a shame that he did not "gear-up" and have on his armor.

cdketchie said...

I have to agree with mrs redboots, just because Jesus used certain adjectives to describe someone, He is the ultimate Judge...he can say whatever He wants. He calls us not to Judge, so I can't agree that it is OK for us to call Mr. Edwards names like "scumbag." Yes, what he did is a sin, but if we, as Christians, are calling him names, what does that show the rest of the World? I think we should be praying for him and his family, not wasting time calling him names. Just my opinion!

Mrs Redboots said...

Indeed - his wife has forgiven him, according to the story, and God most certainly has, even if he has not yet received that forgiveness. Who are we to condemn?

"Judge not," said our dear Lord, "that ye be not judged."

And "let him which is without sin among ye cast the first stone."

Jennifer said...

I believe that we need to pray for Mr. Edwards and his family. It's God that will judge and as the judge and jury, we know that he will be forgiven if he asks for forgiveness.

Mistakes are made. Now as a human being, I think it is absolutely horrible that he would make the decision to cheat on his wife, but as a Christian I can't in my right mind use nasty names for him because I would be just as guilty in sin as he is. A sin is a sin.

So my prayers for him, his wife (who is battling cancer and she needs our prayers for that as well) and many many others who have done the same thing yet not in the public eye.

GinnyBerry said...

We need to vote for our leaders based on the information that we have available to us. Thankfully Edwards isn't a nominee for president right now.

I am terribly disappointed about Edward's lies and cheating on his wife. It makes me feel very sad. I think it is especially hard to handle because he portrayed himself as being such a good family man. I'm glad that this has come out.

Our Republican nominee isn't such a nice guy either. He's been married three times and the last time married someone much younger. He left his wife after she a back injury. The Reagans were terribly disappointed in him at the time.

Hopesrising said...

I was thinking about this when I heard it. My thought was simply where are his core values? Where is the respect for his wife as well himself or his family.
I don't like judging but he is a public figure. So now its out there he can't take it back. He had to know the media would have a hay day with it.
It makes me sick Christian or not his actions are dispicable. Just wrong. Now those he says he loves the most suffer. How is that right?

I will be honest I am a Christian and I thought *Scumbag* Simply because of the actions that came with it. I felt I trusted him to lead this country out of what we could choose from. I feel he let those of us who would of voted, down with his actions. He abused trust of his wife and family. Then he did of the people of this country as well.

What I want the world to know is that as a Christian and everyday person. Is that I do not condone his actions as a married man. I feel for him and will pray for him. However I am praying for his wife to and his kids. Who are deeply affected by his actions.

Would I think it if it were someone else not in the lime light. Yes.

Lying and cheating on his wife is wrong. So how are we suppose to feel good about that.I didn't like when it was our President and the black dress. It was wrong then to.

All I can think of is that we are accountable for our actions. But for me you do something like that even though I am a Christian I will pray for you. but you have to earn the trust back. And that won't be easy.

So if thats judging then I am out on a limb with sin.

Mrs Redboots said...

But we are all sinners, all just as bad as he is. The difference is, he is a public figure and we are not, so we feel entitled to describe him as a "scumbag".

Yes, okay, but only if we accept that we are _all_ scumbags. We may not have been faced with the same temptations he was, but we have all been faced with temptations of our own, and probably lost from time to time, too.

Otherwise we are disobeying our dear Lord's clear command not to call each other destructive names, and not to be judgemental. I don't mean we are to condone his behaviour - but are we, calling him names, any better?

Bill said...

Whoa, throttle back there brother!! I heard the same adjectives toward my neighbor Ted Haggard from the left upon his "revelations" and I didn't approve of them either. Sinner, yes, scumbag,uh...eh..?? I understand the anger but honestly, all of those adjectives, sans scumbag, could be describing me. However, Jesus said "he who is without sin cast the first stone". Jesus is without sin, I am not, he can say whatever he wants. I know, I might feel differently if he were my personal representative. Take a deep breath and remember, someone in Iraq loves you. Keep up the good work.
Your student, Bill

Rick Lawrenson said...

Interesting viewpoints.

I wonder, was John the Baptist (not the ultimate judge either) wrongly judgmental when saying to the religious leaders who came to witness his baptisms, "You are all snakes!"

Is there not a place for such a voice in our current society to call out those who claim to live one thing but don't?

And let me put my question this way. Suppose I had not given my personal feelings about Edwards licentiousness; and I had simply asked you ladies how you felt about a man who had an affair while his wife - who was your sister or your best friend - struggled with cancer?

And some of you have judged me, assuming I have not prayed for Edwards, but have only called him names.

Sorry, but if Mrs. Edwards was my sister there would be much more than words being hurled at him from me.

And who here has condemned the man? I've only described him in easily understood terms. I'm glad that his wife has forgiven him. She's both victim and heroine in this story. I hope he finds the forgiveness of God as well.

Mrs Redboots said...

John the Baptist, surely, was addressing those who were unaware they'd done anything to be ashamed of. Edwards, according to the stories I've read, is well aware that he has done wrong, and bitterly regrets it! Also, he wasn't quite as awful as you suggest - the affair was over before his wife was diagnosed with her cancer (read the BBC coverage of the story).

We are not in the business of condoning misbehaviour, but neither are we in the business of judging others. In fact, we are told that our first duty is forgiveness - to the point that if we do not forgive, we cannot receive God's forgiveness.

Rick Lawrenson said...

And I should add this thought...

If I ever did something similar (and I'm certainly capable of doing so) I would expect and deserve the same shame.

Grace does not excuse or overlook or water down. My word "scumbag" is simply a modern synonym for "reprobate" if you prefer biblical terms.

...but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more...

Rick Lawrenson said...

Since you are a preacher Mrs. Redboots I remind you that John the Baptist's remarks were made to the Pharisees and Sadducees, and precisely because they did know better. Hence his angry tirade.

Hopesrising said...

Rick if you had asked me that question. I would of told you the exact same thing. Being married for almost thirty years and a cancer patient for just about eleven years. I would of been devistated if that were me.
If it were a sister or a freind I would of felt the same.
Just hearing it was upsetting.
I also said I am praying for both him and Elizabeth she is the victim but one of my hero's as well. Forgiving isn't always easy.I am glad she is able to do so.
I pray he finds Gods forgiveness as well.
Kerry

Jennifer said...

Who would have guessed this would be such a controversial topic? My comment wasn't intended to suggest that Mr. Lawrenson has not prayed for Mr. Edwards (I certainly hope that you Mr. Lawrenson didn't think so .. b/c I didnt' intend that .. :) ). IT was Mr. Lawrenson just stating his opinion and probably the opinion of the vast majority of Americans.

Unfortunately, those same words have come to my mind as well and I immediately felt that I had done wrong by thinking those bad words.

Just as unfortunate, it appears that a lot of politicians lack moral fiber. "appears" being the operative word here. It just appears that way in my mind. Public figures don't have a private life. Their immorality is splashed all over the news.

AND our sins is open for our God to see just as their sins are open for the world to see.

Agan, my prayers for for Mrs. Edwards and also for Mr. Edwards. Though it is disappointing that he took the immoral road, it is encouraging that he decided to come clean to the public and ended the affair. I have not read any of the news on this subject (only know really what has been said here and what my husband has said), but I am with hope that Mr. Edwards has learned a most valuable lesson in fidelity, family and Christian Values. Our God wipes away all sins when we ask for forgiveness.

Though it's wrong to assume, I would like to assume that Mr. Edwards has not only asked his wife for forgiveness (which apparently has been stated in the News) that he has also asked our God for forgiveness so that he can be wiped from sin.

May everyone who was hurt by his actions be comforted.

May everyone here be blessed beyond measure and realize that everyone may have their own opinion on this most difficult matter (even pastors).

Hope you're having a great weekend (and hope you had a wonderful birthday)

marie/nhc said...

I appreciate men like Rick who are not only faithful to their wives but considerate of them as well.

What "forgiven" John Edwards did was revolting and his actions were scumbagish because:
1. Cheated on a DEVOTED wife who was/is battling/coping with incurable form of cancer but encouraged him to run for office anyway because "the country needed a man like him". Hmmmm.
2. Was running for office at the time--knows very well what the media would do if discovered.
3. Careless disregard for all of his supporters who worked for him or gave hard earned money to his campaign. I'm sure they expected better from him and are deeply hurt.
4. His innocent children are devastated seeing their father disgraced in a very public way.
5. Knew - YES KNEW - all of the above would happen if it was discovered and STILL did it. It's really hard to understand why he would put everything at risk for an extremely selfish decision to cheat on his wife.
6. Yes, he asked for forgiveness from God and Elizabeth and I suppose his children as well. That still does not absolve him from suffering the consequences of losing the public trust. I think many Americans are really looking for someone who they can respect and admire for their integrity. Talking about family values to get votes while living an immoral lifestyle is getting tiresome and all too common in the US.
7. Last thought. I have observed that sometimes people who get caught cheating on their spouse are actually only really sorry about getting caught and will deny, deny, and deny some more until they are confronted with evidence. Stinkin' Edwards denied to the public until he couldn't lie anymore. Please people--don't run for office if you can't live a moral life.

James Kid said...

This is one of the main reasons why I have such a problem with religion. So many times I have seen Men in a leadership role come out and bash or name call or want to physically hurt someone else when they have made a mistake. With all due respect Mr. Lawrenson, I hope this is not how you counsel the men in your church who have made this same sad and hurtful mistake in their lives. If a member of your church was thinking of coming to you for help for cheating and came to your blog today, I bet they may no longer want to seek out your help. I have read your blog for a while now and I was disappointed to see this type of commentary.

I dont mean for this to be disrespectful, please know that.

Mrs Redboots said...

Do you think they did? I'm never quite sure - it always seems to me that where they really went wrong was that they were so desperate for God that they were looking in all the wrong places, and totally missed out when He came to them as a laughing young man. They got it wrong, sure, but not because (most of) them wanted to, but because they couldn't see how else to find God.

And certainly some of them (and of the public, too), saw John the Baptist as a splendid side-show, better than the cinema, and didn't want to take what he was saying to heart.... even Jesus asked what they thought they'd gone to see! "A reed blowing in the wind?"

Mrs Redboots said...

To marie/nhc - I think, to be fair, that Senator Edwards had ended his affair several months before his wife was diagnosed with cancer. According to the BBC News story I read yesterday, she is on record as saying that, oddly, her diagnosis helped her come to terms with what had happened, and to forgive her husband. So yes, his behaviour was deplorable, but let's not make it worse by saying he did something he did not, in fact, do.

marie/nhc said...

Copied and Pasted from The LA Times:

July 6, 2004: Sen. John F. Kerry, the Democratic nominee, selects Edwards as his running mate.

Nov. 3, 2004: Kerry concedes defeat to President Bush. Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, is diagnosed with breast cancer.

2006: Edwards meets filmmaker Rielle Hunter in New York. His One America Committee pays her more than $100,000 to produce four videos about Edwards.


Dec. 28, 2006: Edwards announces his candidacy for the 2008 nomination.

Copied and Pasted from The LA Times

kaylee114 said...

Fact: Most men will cheat if given the opportunity to be with a beautiful woman.

Fact: If his own wife chooses to forgive him, and move on, then who are we to judge and condemn him?? He didn't cheat on you or your sister! Don't take it so personally. Some couples allow this within their marriage and still remain together, where as others would never put up with it! (Personally, I wouldn't!)

Mrs Redboots said...

Ah, okay. This was the quote that I have from the BBC site: "[Elizabeth Edwards] described the affair as "a terrible mistake", and said that coming to terms with it had been "a long and painful process".

But she added that the healing process was "oddly made somewhat easier" when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2007."

So I don't know when her diagnosis was officially made, but it certainly sounds from the BBC rendering of the story as though the affair was well over by then.

RHEA said...

The thing that sticks out to me is that all those adjectives (except "politician") can easily be applied to me, and everyone that I know (at least at some point in their lives). It just reminds me that without Christ, we're all in the same basket...even those who are Christians now, were at one point all those things (and more).

Andy Lawrenson said...

I like the description "Politician". I don't trust any of them.

bradsmom123 said...

I personally applaud Rick for posting his feelings. I am on the opposite side of some of these posts saying that religious people and/or leaders should just forgive and move on and sugar coat everything. THAT is my problem with religion. Everybody who feels they are truly religous claim to be perfect. I am inspired to hear Rick be a normal person and it changes my perspective on religious leaders. All of you who are condemning what he posted or disagree with it - I would like to see if this happened in your life how would you then react? Would you be so forgiving on just say oh shame on him its godlike to forgive him? I really doubt it. But if you would behave that way then more power to you, you are much more Christlike than I.
Thank you Rick for being human and not hiding behind being a religous leader. Its nice to see the leaders are normal everyday people too.

marie/nhc said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't clarify. The 2007 diagnosis was a reccurance of the breast cancer.
(I thought most everybody knew that). I hope the reccurance wasn't due to the stress of the adultery.

We are all sinners. I actually didn't believe the adultery was true until Mr. Edwards admitted it. I think I felt mostly sad for Elizabeth and sad that men & women like him who cheat are slaves to sin and are not able to experience the abundant life that Christ offers. I'm personally not confident in the sincerety of his regret, but will leave that up to God to judge. Forgiving him isn't hard with God's help, but trusting him to lead our country is impossible and I believe I have the right as a citizen to judge him on that basis. And I have. I am also grateful that he isn't the democratic nominee.

We are fortunate to have a loving and merciful Savior who will keep us close to him if we choose to repent and obey. I hope for John's sake that he has done that but of course that is completely up to John & God. God's will be done.

Rick Lawrenson said...

No disrespect taken, James.
And we do counsel men who have committed adultery. We even have been known to confront men who are guilty when their wives come to us broken, angry and hurt.

It's the ones who come with an "oops, I made a mistake" rather than a broken heart who need to be told in no uncertain terms the seriousness of their behavior. Some guys just don't get it until they're talked to man to man in, cutting to the chase and the quick.

When they see their sin for what it is and their hearts are broken, not because they got caught, but because they chose to hurt spouse and family and church, their chances for healing and restoration are greatly improved.

And I don't like religion or the religious either, James.

Mrs Redboots said...

Ah, but you see, Marie, I don't live in your country and only have a fairly hazy idea who John Edwards is, anyway! So all I can do is go by what the BBC chooses to report.

However, I understand from there that he is no longer a senator or involved in public life in any way, so perhaps we should allow him to come to terms with this (hopefully, as Rick so rightly says, being rather more honest with himself and with God than just "oops, I made a mistake!") in peace. It is not as though any of us are involved in counselling him.

Tammy C said...

I am sad to hear about John Edwards -reminds me of John F Kennedy!

Allison and Jeffrey Tomasek said...

I think it's horrible the Edwards put my party in danger of being ridiculed again in light of Clinton's misgivings. However, no man is without sin. Look at McCain. He cheated on his first wife with his current wife and there was some murmur of cheating on his current wife but he said it didn't happen and so the media quit asking/reporting. So, since no man in infaliable, you have to accept their actions and offer forgiveness if they ask.

I too am very angry at the fact that even if his wife wasn't diagnosed with terminal cancer at the time she was in remission from a previous occurrance and it was still insensitive regardless of her physical health.

But the first thing in my mind is to say, "scumbag".

Rick Lawrenson said...

I really don't think it's an issue of "party". As you so accurately pointed out, this kind of thing crosses party lines.

Rather, it's about character. And character has been defined as who you are when no one is looking. Or in Edwards' case when he thought no one was looking.

Andy Lawrenson said...

Problem with America, as we have seen in the past, is that our country doesn't question character. I remember when my president, President Clinton, pointed at the camera and said, "I did not. . . .".

Proven that he did, then he lied to we the people. How did we respond? "Let's vote him in again." How ignorant can we be as a nation?

There is a fake smile I spot a mile away on politician's faces. Sometimes I find one that is genuine, but most of the time though even the politician's smile is a lie.

jamie said...

right you are Rick. And in those famous words of a past illustrious president...."Depends on what your definition of is,is...." Bah