OREGON—(ENEWPF)—October 2, 2016
By: Rosemary Piser
“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or worse, in good times and bad, forsaking all others, for as long as we both shall live.”
These are the traditional vows that most take when getting married. Many of us who make these vows do so in a church promising not only our partner, but God that we will keep them.
The vows are pretty straight-forward. You promise your partner that no matter what happens, you will always be there for them, and that you will be faithful to them forever. Those who make these marriage vows believe that they can trust their partner will keep them no matter what.
Yet many of us, myself included, have experienced the pain when your partner, the person that you feel you can trust the most in this crazy world, breaks these vows and has an affair. Statistics show that most will react to this breach of trust by getting a divorce. Sometimes couples will grudgingly stay together for the sake of their children. But even in these times when disposing of one’s partner is considered the status quo, some couples do work very hard to salvage their relationship and regain the trust that has been lost. It seems to me that these are the couples that we should hold in high esteem, especially if we are Christians.
I think it’s fair to say that when most of us learn that our partner has cheated on us, we do not initially react as we normally would. While most of us rationally know that cheating is a symptom of troubles in our relationship, our gut reaction is to blame the person our partner is cheating with for this breach of trust. We call this person all sorts of terrible names, and, if you watch any daily television, sometimes do terrible things like keying cars, flattening tires, and things we would never consider doing under different circumstances. Is this the right way to act? Hell, no. But as we know, sometimes the head does not rule the heart.
And before we waste any sympathy on the women Bill Clinton cheated with, let’s remember that all of them were adults and fully aware that he was a married man. What does this really say about them?
It has been my personal experience from knowing couples that have worked through the adulterous acts of their partner, their relationships are stronger than ever. Unfortunately, I was part of the majority that could not regain the trust of my partner, so we eventually divorced.
So if most of us go through this experience, why is it fair to chastise the Clintons for how they handled their marriage after Bill’s public affairs? Aren’t those in public office allowed to have a private life? And if we naively think that only ‘perfect’ people without any flaws can run for public office, we are not only disqualifying almost every person in this country from seeking office but we are being as insane as Donald Trump thinking that this issue has any bearing on the Presidential election.
John Kennedy, Jr. once said in an interview that he didn’t think his father could ever be elected President in this time of social media because of all his transgressions during his marriage. Bill Clinton certainly was not the first sitting President to cheat on his wife, we simply did not have the Internet in the 60s to learn about the intimate details of everyone’s life. You simply can’t have one set of standards for yourself, and another for those who seek public office. None of us is perfect.
Ah, the Donald. The stalwart of virtue. A man of integrity, who adores his children and values the sanctity of marriage. Yet with all we know, and continue to learn about Trump, we find that this is just another load of Trump BS.
Because during Monday’s debate, Trump did not bring up the fact that Bill Clinton had affairs during his marriage and that Hillary didn’t always act so lady-like when she found out about his transgressions Trump is to be considered a noble man. But Trump sure wasted no time telling reporters numerous times about his noble act. He’s even had the nerve to tell reporters this week that he didn’t believe his chronic infidelities during his marriages were a problem. I would love to hear Ivana Trump and Marla Maples say the same thing.
But faced with his failure in the first Presidential debate, ongoing questions about the people scammed by Trump University, the shady dealings of the Trump Foundation, and potential violations of the Cuban embargo, Trump now believes that he, and most his paid surrogates, can deflect these issues by rehashing the Clinton’s marriage. What happened to Trump’s feelings that raising this matter would hurt Chelsea Clinton? Guess that’s no problem when Trump’s poll numbers are falling.
But for all his bragging about how much he loves his family, does Trump even realize the collateral damage that opening this can of worms will cause them? Does Trump not understand that criticizing the Clinton’s marriage makes comments about his past marriages and adultery fair game for discussion? Does Trump not recall that the New York papers were filled with the on-going saga of Trump’s very public affair with Marla Maples while he was still married to Ivana? Does Trump not remember that his oldest 3 children were old enough to be knowledgeable about their father’s philandering and how much this must have hurt them? Does Trump even consider how this will hurt his daughter, Tiffany, the child that he barely acknowledges exists? Maybe the Donald doesn’t think that his marital indiscretions are a big deal, but I would like to hear his children, and the spouses of his children, say the same.
And while we’re at it, let’s not talk only about the Donald’s hypocrisy about remaining true to his marriage vows, let’s talk about the hypocrisy of his followers, many who claim to be Christians. Conservative Christians are always so quick to use the Bible to support their views. God hates gays, marriage is between a man and a woman, women’s reproductive rights are sins, etc. Yet, when it comes to looking at their so-called ‘heroes’ through the Biblical looking glass, behavior that is inconsistent with the Bible’s teachings is alright. Just where in the Bible is this taught? As a former Catholic, I don’t recall in all the years of my Catholic education that the priests and nuns ever told us we could selectively choose which Bible verses were applicable to ourselves and others.
As Christian author Philip Yancey so correctly says:
I am staggered that so many conservative or evangelical Christians would see a man who is a bully, who made his money by casinos, who has had several wives and several affairs that they would somehow paint him as a hero, as someone that we could stand behind.
I would think that Christians would be holding the Clintons up as the model for marriage because with all the problems in their marriage, they worked through them and have honored their marriage vows. On the other hand, we have Donald Trump who has consistently demonstrated his inability to honor his marriage vows, similar to his inability to honor his business contracts.
So before we criticize the Clintons marriage, or Hillary’s alleged response to learning her husband has cheated, let’s hold Donald Trump to the same standards. It seems like the Christian thing to do.
You have used up your free articles for this month. To continue reading click here to login or subscribe.