A friend of mine once told me, "We Christians aren't better than anyone else, just forgiven." What a refreshing, honest, attitude! I get so tired of Christians (and Jews and Muslims) with their smug superiority, who claim that their religion makes them more moral than others.
Today, two stories in the news hammer this point home. First, Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) admitted to having an affair with one of his campaign staffers. This would hardly be noteworthy except that Sen. Ensign is an conservative Christian, an outspoken member of Promise Keepers, and was a vocal critic of Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) when he was arrested for trying to solicit homosexual sex in a public airport bathroom.
Second, a Catholic priest in Miami who was photographed kissing his girlfriend on the beach finally left the Catholic Church, became an Episcopal priest, and married his love. Rev. Alberto Cutie finally did the right thing when he rejected the Catholic Church's unhealthy and unnatural ideas about celibacy.
We're all humans, and nature has endowed us with a wonderful attractive force called sexual appeal. In the past, the possibilities of disease and pregnancy made it important for societies to develop strong rules about who could have sex with whom; womens' virginity in particular was highly prized. These common-sense rules were, unfortunately, turned into religious law, and those who didn't follow them were branded "sinners."
With advances in birth control and protection against disease, these ancient practices are nearly irrelevant. Today, a couple should consider their commitment, their compatibility, their desires, and anything else each one feels is important, and nothing more. Unfortunately, outdated morality still causes untold harm, in the form of frustration, secretive and/or harmful outlets for sexual desires, lies, guilt, and missed opportunities.
Men like Rev. Alberto Cutie must go through terrible angst before they finally reject the perverted celibacy that the Roman Catholic Church expects of its priests. The Church lost a good man, and Rev. Cutie must feel like he's lost his family.
But worse, men like Senator Ensign brag about their purported "better" morals, and insult non-Christians by implication as morally inferior. Yet in the end, as my friend said, "Christians aren't better." At least some of them have the courage and wisdom to admit it.