politics are never fun

This story broke some time ago and I am a little behind the curve. For those who haven’t heard, Crisis magazine’s publisher- Deal Hudson- was involved in some sort of “inappropriate sexual relationship” with a freshman female student during his time at Fordham University; the relationship led to his resignation in 1994.
Deal Hudson, in addition to being the publisher of a conservative Catholic magazine, was, until his very recent resignation, also an advisor to George W. Bush on Catholic affairs. A liberal Catholic publication, the National Catholic Reporter broke the story.
There are many comments being said about the story. People are saying that this story is retribution for Hudson’s part in getting a John Kerry supporter fired from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or that this is another attempt to force-fumble the Bush’s moral high-road political angle.
First, one quick political point. Both parties sin. Sin is not Democratic nor Republican. We learned this during the Clinton scandel fallout- Republican Senators had their own little scandels pop up around the same time. On the same token, both parties can repent and start anew. Sexual sins are committed by man (mankind) and are not limited to only the immoral, poor, Democrat, Republican or whatever.
Virtually everyone has their weak point, their cross to bear so to speak. Sometimes we carry that cross in ways that would make everyone proud, if they knew of the true struggle. Sometimes, we fall. Sadly, we take others down in the process many times.
I am not attempting to defend Hudson. I’ve met him once and spoke with him for a couple of minutes after a lecture he gave at The University last year. He seems like nice enough of a guy that has a deep passion for orthodox (or conservative or what-have-you) Catholicity. I’m sure he probably is in many ways as well. What he did, however, was wrong and he acknowledges it. He repented and is trying to start anew. I will give him the benefit of the doubt on that he is sincere in his repentence and his attempts to “go and sin no more.”
The news media picking up the story and running with it is not surprising. For better or worse, it is news. What many people forget though that to sin is human. It is what seperates us from the divine and it is a seperation we must work to close.
Just because someone has a checkered past does not, by definition, make them a horrible person or makes them anything subhuman. However, those who fall the hardest and the furtherest have the most to gain from the experience.
Should someone who has committed that sin not be able to function as a moral advisor to the White House? If it is someone who saw no fault in the sin, he probably would not be the best candidate. If it is someone who knows it was wrong and acts in a positive fashion upon that regret, I cannot think of a reason that he is unable to perform.
I am no fan of the political process and so it makes no difference to me if Hudson remained an advisor to the White House or not. However, I think it would have been a good story to tell for him, or the White House, or whomever, to tell him to stay in that post and let people know that you can be more than your worst action. To sin is human, but to forgive is divine. I think it would have been a good story to hear of that- not just of another political operative shut down by a night of regret.






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