In a nation where indiscretion is polluting so many of our major institutions, it becomes paramount that Congress, the remaining bastion of moral purity, be guarded against the incursion of impropriety. America was shocked by the recent news that even Hollywood is riddled with immorality—who knew. It is with deep regret that the media from time to time feel compelled to report manifestations of immorality within the church. And lately we were informed that West Point is graduating communists. Where will it all end?
Congress—that’s where. Impropriety may infiltrate other institutions, but the unsullied reputation of the moral purity of Congress must be maintained at all costs. When temptation confronts children of future generations, we will be able to counter by reminding them that someday they may aspire to be elected to Congress, and therefore they must maintain a reputation of unassailable integrity so that they may qualify to enter the hallowed halls housing that paradigm of virtue.
For this reason, it is fully expected and appropriate that when the likes of Roy Moore, a scandal-ridden candidate for the Senate, the august upper house of that body mind you, dared to continue with his candidacy, that its members gather around them their righteous robes and stood with righteous indignation in opposition to the very prospect of their house being contaminated by his presence. His supporters have protested that he has been convicted of no wrongdoing and that the opposition has a record of employing similar political dirty tricks, but when it comes to protecting the moral purity of Congress, such arguments fall far short. Every suspect must be held guilty until proven innocent.
A recent Fox report divulges the extent to which Congress has gone to maintain its impeccable moral reputation. Surprisingly, this article manifests that these efforts are not aimed at actually being moral but only at maintaining that image. The article, entitled “Taxpayer piggy bank lets Congress settle sexual harassment cases in secret,” reports on a congressional law prohibiting people from bringing legal action against a federal lawmaker without first consenting to a lengthy process that includes “a written statement within 180 days of the incident, 30 days of counseling and another month or so of mediation.” The person bringing the accusation must commit herself to keeping the identity of the accused confidential, even if he is found guilty, while at the same time agreeing that her employer will be informed. If the congressman is found guilty, Congress maintains an account, funded by taxpayer money, that will pay any fines. Consequently, the person making the accusation places herself in jeopardy while the congressman, even when found guilty, is not penalized either by exposure or fines.
We may feel confident that such a provision has actually been unnecessary and there has been no need for utilizing it, especially in light of the outcry against Roy Moore. Certainly, a body so grievously incensed by even the accusation of moral infractions would itself be innocent as the wind-driven snow. Consequently, it comes as a terrible shock and disappointment to learn that between 1997 and 2014 $15.2 million has been paid out by the good citizens of the United States to cover the fines of 235 claimants.
This realization exposes Roy Moore’s real sin. He should have gotten himself elected to Congress before these women made their charges. Then his reputation and money would have been safe. No sitting member of Congress can be charged with that sort of incompetence.
My point in all this is not to condemn the sins of Congress. All of us, if we take an honest look inward, find ourselves identifying with the tax collector who, “standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’” However, it is incredible that a Congress that has passed and heavily employed such a law for itself would be so quick and aggressive in condemning Roy Moore, who has not at this point been found guilty of anything. In so doing they identify themselves with the other person described by Jesus who prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.” It seems that the one indiscretion that this law has not managed to camouflage is hypocrisy.
Oh, did I mention Al Franken?