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The American Episcopalian-Anglican site Stand Firm recently featured a summary of New York City’s mayoral candidates.

Timothy Fountain tells us:

In New York, what I think is the new legalism is on parade.  I’m calling it “justification by sexual expression.”  It’s all the rage these days. It’s there in the requirement that one affirm gay marriage in order to be a Good Person, for example, but not limited to that.

It seems that the Empire State, in particular its Big Apple, requires public sexual expression in order to be a worthy public servant.  Consider[:]

Anthony Weiner, candidate for Mayor of NYC.  This is a guy who resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives because he was texting pictures of his junk to various lady friends.  While he was married, no less.  But he’s a serious contender for Mayor.  In fact, his name recognition might be best of all the candidates, because he expressed his sexuality.

His main opponent? Christine Quinn.  Her main qualification? …

Yep, she’s a lesbian.  She should be Mayor because she expresses her sexuality.

But wait!  There’s more!

Now leaping into the NYC race as a candidate for Comptroller?  It’s Elliot Spitzer!

He was the Governor of New York, until word got out that his public pay and benefits included patronage of upscale prostitutes.

It’s not just the Empire State that faces challenges in this area:

Moving beyond New York Democrats, there’s Mark Sanford,  former GOP Governor and now Representative from South Carolina.  He created my favorite new sexual euphemism, “Hiking the Appalachian Trail,” which means “Flying to another country on the peoples’ dime to romp with my mistress while the people keep my wife and family in the Statehouse.”

The Revd Walter Bright wrote about Anthony Weiner’s problem at the end of July in ‘The Weiner in You’. Excerpts follow from his powerful post:

The question is what is this guy thinking? After being publicly humiliated and getting kicked out of office by his actions, he goes back to doing the same things that ousted him in the first place. It is my take that Anthony Weiner has a Weiner Problem. Even though he insists that he does not have an addiction to this kind of lifestyle, he most definitely has a problem. A problem that most believers can identify with: A disposition to sin and a return to it – just like a dog to its vomit.

The Weiner in you is a weakness,

A certain disposition to sin. Even though some of our weaknesses may not lead to a public scandal, every one of us has a Weiner in us. For some it is pornography, prostitution, strip clubs, money, alcohol, the party life, groupies, gossip, boasting, exaggerating, sexting, anger, masturbation, hustling and dealing. It is that thing that we wrestle with, fight against but it keeps coming back to knock us down.

The Weiner in you is a stronghold.

It has a grip on you. It is stubborn. It is not easily overcome …

The Weiner in you is deceptive.

It tells you that you are invincible. No one will ever find you out. You wife will never know. Your boss will never find out. The Weiner in you tells you that you are good at it. In fact it even convinces you that you can never change – this is who you are – embrace it …

The Weiner in you is pleasurable.

… It is the thing that keeps you coming back for more. Sin has a lot of pleasure in it. I don’t think anyone will be doing it in the first place if it wasn’t fun. But the tricky thing is that pleasure is fleeting and temporary. It bites in the end, and always lead to death – spiritual death …

Five decades ago, our more faithful family elders predicted this would happen.  We were younger then; some of us — myself included — told them that this was a new era which needed a new way of thinking. Now, many of my peers and I — the ‘me’ generation — see that what our parents and grandparents foresaw in their wisdom has, indeed, come true.

It’s hard to believe that so many people today value sexual relations and other sin above moral living. (I use that term because not everyone mentioned in this post is Christian.) Moral living is so much easier, but the problem is that it is less ‘fun’, less ‘satisfying’. And, where politics are concerned, many voters bought into the whole thing by rationalising Bill Clinton’s behaviour not so many years ago. ‘So what?’ they said. ‘French presidents and prime ministers have been at it for years. No one there cares. Why should we? It’s time America grew up and accepted sex as a fact of life.’

Sex is a fact of life, and not always in the best way these days. What example does this set for us and for future generations? We have a sexually saturated society. We also have a corrupt and crime-ridden one. Is one feeding the other or turning a blind eye to it?

For those trapped in this lifestyle, Pastor Bright has this advice:

The first thing one needs to do is accept or acknowledge that they have a Weiner problem. If you cannot accept the fact, you will not be able to confront the fact. The second thing is to be open about your Weiner problem, thus leading to the third thing – seek help. Finally we must humble ourselves under the mighty power of God and allow the word of Christ to dwell in us richly as we daily submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit. When we acknowledge our sins, openly confess our sins to Jesus and to others without shame and seek the help we need through counseling, accountability and for some – deliverance, drawing power from the Lord, allowing his word to saturate our lives as we submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit – we not only get set free, but also stay free and victorious.

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