You could almost feel sorry for Focus on the Family founder James Dobson (if he weren’t so self-righteous, judgmental, and intolerant) since he is often called on like a priest in a confessional to hear the admissions of those who seek absolution. Some of this stuff has to make him nauseous. Obviously, counseling the fallen Rev. Ted Haggard was a task Dobson couldn’t stomach, so he quickly removed himself from the situation. Haggard, you recall, admitted to having sex with a male prostitute after which he checked into a rehab for intensive therapy. Three weeks later, he emerged, announcing that he is “completely heterosexual.”
When former Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich needed to unload (no pun intended) about his extramarital affair, he selected Dobson to interview him. This urge to purge is politically motivated, undoubtedly. Seems Newt is testing the base of the Republican Party, airing his cheating past to see if an admission to indiscretion will hinder a run for the presidency. “There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There’s certainly times when I’ve fallen short of God’s standards,” said Newt. Oh, what perfectly chosen words. The mention of “God” is particularly priceless.
Of course, we’ve all heard the rumors about Gingrich. One of the vilest is that the former House Speaker went to the hospital bedside of his wife while she was recovering from cancer surgery-not to provide comfort but to talk divorce.
Gingrich, loved by conservatives, has campaigned on family values. He was one of the most vocal in crucifying Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky brouhaha and impeachment of Clinton.
Certainly, the Religious Right (RR) will lap up Gingrich’s casting off of sin. Especially this: “There were times when I was praying and when I felt I was doing things that were wrong. But I was still doing them. I look back on those as periods of weakness and periods that I’m not proud of.” Yes, another excellent choice of words that will earn Newt so much mileage and a huge round of applause from the RR. Because he was praying while he was sinning.
Simply put, I don’t want to hear about Newt’s doing the nasty with anybody. You see, I’m a very visual person. The image of Gingrich’s boinking is repulsive enough, but that picture in my mind of his praying while boinking is really too much to bear.
Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com