Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

26 June 2009

Gov. Mark Sanford

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is a curious mixture of libertarian and conservative political ideas. His concepts of family life as publicly espoused are based upon common moral viewpoints of the Christian religion. It has become a major news story that this man who has been recently in the news for rejecting bailout money and his libertarian/conservative fiscal viewpoint has violated the Christian moral idea of marriage. Indeed, he has. This does show him to be a hypocrite.

But, all Christians are sinners. Some sin worse than others. At least Mark Sanford was not one of the common breed of governors who believes in hugely expanded government with all the additional use of force that entails to select the people's values for them and to force them to live their lives in accordance with those selected values. So, he is a sinner as an adulterer in accordance with his own stated moral principles, but these are impractical principles from a religion which frankly says they are impractical. That religion does not say that a politician has to lust mightily for power and to thwart the free will of the people, yet most of our politicians do just that. Compared to them, Mark Sanford is just a little sinner.

Judged by a more rational moral code than that of Christianity, it is not clear that his loving an Argentinian woman was immoral at all. Perhaps she is worthy of his love. We do know that she had long been a friend and that this was unlikely to have been a casual love. This may be a very genuine and deserved love and Mark Sanford may love his wife also, for all I know.

I can say that he should not accept the conventional Christian morality as being moral, but many people have that fault. Pretty much every politician claims to accept it, at least for the most part. This is also a fault of the people who elect politicians to office. We are hardly likely to see anything better in a democracy.

Clearly, he did fail to perform a duty as Governor of the state of South Carolina by disappearing and not staying in touch with the state government apparatus. It is fair and appropriate to take note of this.

In the end, this is another illustration of why even very capable and thinking people cannot live in accordance with Christian morality, which is inappropriate for human beings living on this earth. We all have an obligation to ourselves, to those we love, and to those we wish to live with in a civilized nation, to discover a rational moral code for life appropriate to human beings in the real world. Mark Sanford may be a tragically damaged man due to his and many Americans holding a much less than rational moral code for life.

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