Putting one's trousers on backward is a mistake. Cheating on one's wife is not. The craven dissembling of politicians who betray their spouses, families, friends and constituents and they way it is accepted by the media is reprehensible. A mistake is merely a thing incorrect like a mispronunciation or the wrong phone number. One needs no absolution for wearing one brown and one black shoe. A mistake has no moral dimension for it informs no purpose or motive. A mistake can be corrected. Adultery on the other hand is a moral offense, a pre-meditated, hidden and improper sexual dalliance having self indulgence and self gratification as its end. It is base, deceitful and without concern for anyone but the adulterer. It cannot be undone.
John Edwards is only the latest phony creep to take the “mistake” plea. Jim Bakker, Bill Clinton and Elliot Spitzer, among others, preceded him. “I made a terrible mistake” offered the disgraceful ex-senator in an interview with CBS News. “I confessed the mistake to my wife and sought her forgiveness, and to God and asked His forgiveness”. “I used very poor judgment”. Philandering is not an act of poor judgment nor is it a poor choice. Whoring is an act of audaciously poor character committed by someone void of integrity. To claim it a mistake displays no sorrow for committing the affront only the pain and humiliation of getting caught.
One whom is shown grace and forgiveness is bound to offer grace and forgiveness. Forgiveness however requires honest contrition and repentance. Until John Edwards admits to the reality and depth of his willful delinquency, he has no claim on anyone’s indulgence. After all, a mistake requires no pardon only a correction.