Slime Factor

America (17)
Late last evening, it was announced that Sarah Palin had been cleared of all wrong doing in the not so scandalous "Troopergate." I have heard nothing in the media about it today… shocking. Though, I'm sure the report's was just coincidentally released at night before election day.

Or not.

One of the reasons I'm glad the campaign is coming to an end is because the dishonesty that a campaign brings with it, will likely subside for a while. In America, our thirst to win brings out our worst white-collar sinfulness…the kind that makes us willing to do whatever to win the balance of power. The slime factor in campaigns is huge.

Every study available shows that public trust in the formerly trustworthy voices of society–news, politicians, judges, and yes, churches, is on the decline. For me, it's getting harder and harder to believe that what I watch, read, or hear from allegedly trustworthy sources is coming out clean–that is…it isn't being skewed to manipulate my perspectives, but coming out as purely as it can for the purposes of…INFORMING. I'm not talking only of bias here…but also plain untruth used to advance the agenda of the communicator(s).

If you haven't read David Callahan's hair-raising study, "The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead," a text packed with alarming anecdotes: High schools where 80 percent of the students cheat academically, unrepentant stock-market analysts who enjoy bank accounts fattened by the dot-com bubble, Sears auto mechanics bullied by commission systems into padding estimates, and lawyers who bill 50-hour days.

If Callahan is correct — and some, but not all, of the stats he quotes suggest that he is — today's most competitive high schools are training grounds for plagiarists and scam-meisters of every variety. These get funneled into top colleges, which in turn feed junior employees into the law, the media and the financial industry, among other society-shaping professions, where the fudging and finagling continue unabated. So it's no wonder that we seem to have Jayson Blairs and Andrew Fastows (the former CFO of Enron) everywhere we turn.

My prayer is that whoever is elected today will be honest. I pray that he will do our country the service of speaking truthfully to us. And, I pray that the church would take advantage of it's opportunity to be salt and light in this area. We must avoid the temptation to be less than forthright and honest in our dealings with culture as we seek to advance a kingdom agenda.

The church represents the Truthful One, and we can't let our emotions and fears lead us into the trap of becoming another place where dishonesty, spin, and "the end justifies the means" trumps godliness and forthrightness.

I'm praying for an honesty revolution. We need it…even if the truth hurts.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Slime Factor

  1. I was just attempting to summarize this article about the two reports regarding Palin: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081104/D9480AK83.html
    You are right when you say that neither report found that she did anything illegal, but again we’re getting into semantics – one can do many things that are “legal” and still be unethical. Bottom line for me is a second report exonerates Palin, while the first one found her guilty of abuse of power. I do still support your main point, although it’s not hard to see why this story was buried – unfortunate timing with the second report being released less than 24 hours before poling places open. Yikes! In that sense, it’s no big surprise that it wasn’t front page news…

  2. Jeff, neither commission found she did anything illegal. The independent investigation of Alaska’s personnel board (not the legislative led by a Democrat) cleared her (and all other Alaska officials) of all wrongdoing. Even the legislative found her guilty of no law-breaking…
    My point can be found in that while the first investigation made the front page in virtually every newspaper in the country, the latest, clearing her, is currently not making headlines on any major news site…on election day. That was the point in bringing it up. It wouldn’t be fair whether it was Palin or Biden involved.

  3. Totally agree with your overall point here Tim. An honesty revolution is indeed desperately needed and it’s always important to remember that our ultimate allegiance is to the Kingdom of Heaven.
    That being said, the specific report you’re reference clearning Palin is only half of the story. The first report that came out of Alaska was an investigation conducted by the state legislature – that report concluded that she had abused her office. The second report, released last night (the one you are referencing), was a separate investigation on the same incident conducted by the state election board – that report concluded that she violated no ethics laws. In actuality, she’s been found guilty and now not guilty by two different investigative agencies.
    Grace & Peace