Yet another in a lengthening line of legislative moralizers will resign today as a result of his own hypocrisy.
Today's example is Congressman Mark Souder (R-IN), who has spent his time in Congress telling everyone else what is right from wrong and how to live their lives according to his definition of morality.
He is resigning due to an affair with a female staffer. He said in a statement that he "sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff."
He has voted for school prayer, but against funding schools, especially for minority students. He is rated as "anti-public education" by the National Education Association.
In June 2009, he voted against providing four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees, and for this and other similar votes is rated as having a 100% "pro-family" voting record by the Christian Coalition. (Clearly, definitions of "pro-family" may vary.)
He voted against expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program in January 2009 and also against expanding SCHIP to cover 6 million more children in 2008 and against adding 2 to 4 million more children to SCHIP in 2007. He voted in favor of denying non-emergency treatment to patients for lack of Medicare co-pay. (Feb 2006)
He voted against raising the minimum wage in 2007, and for limiting welfare payments to 2 years, while voting against support for low-income housing.
(Gotta love those family values).
And he is of course completely anti-choice, with a 0 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, and a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
He has a solid record voting against the health and rights of gay, lesbian, and transgender persons.
He is, of course, (of course!!!) a strong proponent of abstinence-only education and against condoms....(hopefully though, not during his own sexual pecadillos).
Future Answer for Trivial Pursuit: Tracy Jackson, the woman interviewing Souder in the above video on his strong position on abstinence-only programs is in fact the woman with whom he had the affair. Let's just say he's a multi-tasker.
He is also a fundamentalist Christian who believes that the Bible is "the inerrant, perfect, revealed Word of God and is our number-one guidebook" for politics and policy.
And of course, he believes in compassion and all that other stuff. Just not when it comes to the laws he supports.
In short, he believes that what he believes should determine what you believe and how you must act.
But...thankfully for Souder, he also believes in eternal salvation for the sinner, and so despite the clear morality that he has advanced in law to ensure how you live your own life, he knows that having lived as a sinner, he will be forgiven, by God and hopefully by his wife and three children.
And today, he starts that journey by resigning from Congress, cause it's kinda hard to keep legislating morality when your own sins so obviously diverge from the inerrant, perfect revealed truth by which you think everyone else (except yourself) should live.
But this is rich: He blames his downfall on the "poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., [in which] any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain. I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process."
How's that for personal responsibility? I'd say that the "poisonous environment" is the one created by people like Souder in the first place, and that he is being hoisted on his own moral petard.