Anthony Weiner is not alone. He is joined by the ranks of millions who too suffer from some form of displaced passion. His passion was supposed to be for his wife and his job as a legislator. The public good was his professed vocation. Somewhere in the mire of all the politics I believe in his true and good intentions. He started on the right foot and toward the right goal. Even now, those same intentions have led him somewhere for rehabilitation. He is on a long, hard road but he doesn’t walk by himself. I share his scandal. I know what it’s like to stand before strangers, confessing my deepest and darkest behaviors, thoughts and misdeeds. I also know what it’s like to be granted unmerited mercy and grace. For these reasons and these reasons alone, I mourn for the congressman.
Anthony Weiner is a sick man…and he’s not the only one. I don’t chalk our sickness up to mere sexual perversion either. To pervert something is to lead astray, misdirect, replace inappropriately, falsely misconstrue. It is to lead something or someone to a less, excellent state. The congressman traded his calling for momentary pleasure. Anthony Weiner is sick because he’s not healthy, well or whole. His wholeness won’t come from a program or even escaping to the wilderness for a season. There are doctors he could meet: psychological, physical and sexual in practice. These doctors study in palliative methods for the good congressman. Their medical degrees are greatly beneficial but in the case of this congressman (and my case) they fall shy. “There [never] was even an allegation that Weiner had a physical relationship with any of the women with whom he maintained virtual relationships. That made his case a departure from the norm, a sex scandal without sex, a phenomenon of the age of Facebook, Twitter and other social media.” His scandal is our scandal. The battle for our fidelity now rages in a new digital frontier. Battle lines are drawn.
If Anthony Weiner needs help, then we all do. There is another Physician who declares profound truth and I share His words here: It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Perhaps in this wilderness that Anthony Weiner finds himself in, a voice will be more clarion than ever before. A voice of healing extending from a seat of mercy. May our prayer for this congressman and surely ourselves be that of healing, mercy and hope. What would be more scandalous than the best TMZ has to offer? The scandal of the Cross, which says you and I are more than the sum of our failures and fears. Whether Congressman Weiner chooses to resign his seat or not, then so be it. I pray his wilderness experience will yield two things. One, is fresh insight into how he wandered in the first place. The second, that he (and we) will hear the voice of our Lord calling out, not for the righteous but for the sinner, the sick and the lost.