The election campaign is showing some interesting signs. On Monday, NDP candidate Ray Lam withdrew from the race after some online racy photos appeared on Facebook. Yesterday, Solicitor General John van Dongen had to surrender his drivers license because of too many speeding tickets and it was discovered that a third candidate, Liberal Jesse McClinton was charged with some serious traffic offenses several years ago.
Depending on your perspective, the indiscretions that have caused this attention for the candidates may be relatively minor and almost 'incidental' or these could be matters that you find beyond the realm of acceptable conduct for candidates for public office. The Opposition is calling for Mr. van Dongen's resignation as Solicitor General this afternoon. It will be interesting to see what happens.
I confess that the temptation to offer my thoughts on what should happen is nearly overwhelming and I've hit the delete button multiple times as I've written this post, but here's what I'd really like to say.
I think we are fascinated by the misdeeds of others. I think that knowing that others have fallen and made poor choices along the way somehow satisfies our own sense of guilt and regret. When their sins are deemed worse than how we may see ours, we are empowered with a sense of self-righteousness that allows us to pass judgement and demand resignation, pennance or withdrawal. It's usually only when our sins are caught in the spotlight that we are driven by a desire for mercy over justice.
I'm reminded of the words of Jesus when he was confronted with the woman caught in adultery. 'Let him who is without sin cast the first stone...' I think it was probably one of those moments where the silence that followed thundered so loudly that it surpassed the normal chatter of everyday life. It had the intended effect and soon it was just Jesus and the woman standing alone on the street. His response to her was one of grace and direction. 'I don't condemn you either. Go and sin no more.'
I wonder what Jesus might say to the three men who have had their sins exposed to British Columbians over the past week? I wonder what response He might require of them and I wonder what He requires of us.