Sex , Sin and redemption
Some might find this piece about USA religion and politics written by someone on the 'outside'.
And why not?
Bill Clinton, the all-time extramarital champ, hung onto the presidency and remains a revered figure. His rather uninspiring explanation for having seduced a young intern during his time in office? "Because I could."
U.S. President Bill Clinton talks with Pastor J. Philip Wogaman as he leaves the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington on Feb. 9, 1999. Wogaman counseled Clinton after he admitted he had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Khue Bui File/Associated Press
David Vitter, the married Republican lawmaker who acknowledged using prostitutes in 2007 was re-elected to the Senate in 2010.
Eliot Spitzer, the Democrat who once governed New York, bounced back amazingly quickly after that cringe-worthy televised 2008 confession (with Mrs. Spitzer looking on miserably) about using the services of a $1,000 prostitute.
And Newt Gingrich, who was carrying on an extramarital affair with a Hill staffer while simultaneously trying to have Clinton removed from the Oval Office for the same behaviour, has now made his way to the head of the Republican presidential pack, taking Cain's top spot in the polls.
But all those comeback guys, and others, do have one other thing in common: each, in his own way, has done a version of the preacher Jimmy Swaggart's soul-baring 1988 performance after he was caught with a prostitute (in a sting arranged by another philandering cleric Swaggart had exposed two years earlier).
"I have sinned against you, my lord," declared Swaggart, face contorted in spiritual agony, in a televised confession before his Assemblies of God Church. "And I would ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God's forgiveness."
That's the best thing about a career in the moralizing racket (politics or religion): the Big Redemption. It is, in a sense, the American dream.