America can't stop talking about South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, the cheating state executive who disappeared for several days to make a love connection with his Argentinian mistress. In fact, Sanford is probably the only person in the United States who was giddy to learn that Michael Jackson had died because it would eat up some of his air time on the evening news.
It was this scandal that inspired the L.A. Times to run a fascinating story entitled, "Will scandals inspire evangelicals to stray from the Republican party?," which bolsters a trend that I have seen for some time. Christ-followers are becoming fed up with their traditional party of choice, but aren't finding the alternative Democratic Party a much better option. Instead, they are becoming increasingly convinced about "the unholiness of the political realm."
"The...rumors and sexual details make me want to avoid the voting booth altogether," Margaret Feinberg told the L.A. Times. "My head says that every vote counts, but my heart aches at the impropriety. How can I trust someone to uphold the laws of the land when they can't uphold their marriage vows?"
While Sanford's particular story is unusually shocking, political scandals in general have sadly become commonplace to many Americans. If you are like me, a Fox News Alert about a Governor who has embezzled money to bankroll his secret addiction or a Congressman whose been getting some nookie from his housekeeper doesn't make me bowl over anymore. As I speak with others like me, I am realizing that this creeping cynicism toward all things political may be pushing evangelicals into a less political phase of cultural engagement.
Have Western Christians placed too much trust in one particular political party? How can we be appropriately involved in the political arena as good citizens while maintaining our convictions as good Christians?