thursday afternoon, waiting to go home

I have read some truly awful media coverage of and pundit reaction to the public meltdown of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford over the past couple of days.  And then I came across this.  Grace appears from the least expected quarters.

An excerpt:

The minute Sanford started speaking, the reviews poured in via e-mail and Twitter. He was rambling, confused. He didn’t tear up enough when talking about his wife. He favored his mistress. He answered the questions too thoroughly. All these judgments seemed absurd. A man standing in front of a bank of cameras in the middle of a complete collapse is going to say a lot of things poorly.

The snap judgments failed to acknowledge a grain of the fundamental human carnage we were witnessing. You can laugh at Sanford, as you can laugh at a video of a wrecked Amy Winehouse falling all over her house. But at some point, even though they did it to themselves, you have to feel sorry for them as human beings. You can do that, I think, and not be a fan of adultery or drug use.

Feel free to discuss in the comment thread, but this is probably all I’m going to say on the situation.

****

In other news, I just read (last night) John Mark Hicks’ new essay, “The Struggle for the Soul of Churches of Christ (1897-1907): Hoosiers, Volunteers and Longhorns,” which he blogs about today.  (The essay was included in the Gedenkschrift for Michael Casey.  You can find a link to the whole thing here.)  I hope to have a brief review posted in the next couple of days.

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6 responses to “thursday afternoon, waiting to go home

  1. As you might imagine, I felt I should at least make one comment on the situation: as I said on my Facebook status, I am stunned and saddened by Governor Sanford’s announcement. All politics aside, this is the last thing I ever would’ve expected. And, yes, I do find Slate’s offer of grace pleasantly surprising.

  2. In the midst of human brokenness, grace is God’s response as it should be ours, it appears to me. Instead of judgmental incisions into his psyche which people could never know in any event, gracious acceptance of his repentance and confession images God.

    As for the review….now you must keep your promise. 🙂

    One acknowledgment before you review….I did not trace out any Tennessee influences in the 1940s-1950s noninstitutional movement in this article. I was focused on 1897-1907. The Tennessee expression of noninstitutionalism that owes more to Harding than Sommer is worthy of an article itself….maybe a future one. 🙂

  3. Hiya, Chris.

    What’s really strange is that Sanford was a rare politician: one who actually had principles and would stick by them no matter the cost to his career. That is, of course, why he was so unpopular with the rest of the GOP leadership here in SC: he was consistently opposed to graft and corruption and willing to do something about it, whereas they were only opposed to graft and corruption when the Dems did it. For all the grief he got about opposing some of the “stimulus” money as grandstanding, it was perfectly consistent with the rest of his political career.

    Unfortunately, his family life seems to have lacked the principle and will he showed politically. Sad, and a true waste. He was at the top of this independent’s wish list for 2012. Goes to show why our faith is not in men, though.

    BTW, thanks for the mention on the other blog.

    • Hey Jeff,

      I didn’t know you were from South Carolina. Where? I went to school at Furman in Greenville and was a member at the Taylors Church of Christ (Bill Moseley was preaching there at the time) while I was there.

      And I thought that the work you’ve done on the Wiki article on NI churches is really good. I suppose there’s always more to be said, but it’s as a good of a concise introduction to the topic as any I’ve seen.

      Chris

  4. I moved to Charlotte (NC) in 1996. Three years ago, we moved from 4 minutes north of the state border to 4 minutes south of it in Fort Mill (SC). Usual reasons: schools, government, more house for less, etc.

    Thanks on the Wikipedia article. As I said over on the other blog, much of it draws from the structure of Jim Jonas’ workbook. It’s lasted better than I thought it would, considering it skirts a fewWikipedia policies (ex: I was suprised no major work overtly made the obvious connection between the Cogdill/Wallaces rift being the cause for Foy Wallace reassociating with institutional churches, so it’s technically “original research,” I guess) and considering the damage done to the main “churches of Christ” article since I wrote the original draft. Guess that’s an advantage of it being a rather obscure article. The biggest disagreement over it was with a possible relative of GC Brewer objecting to the treatment of him in the piece.

  5. Pingback: a review « Anastasis

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