Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Clinton: Capitol crimes?," Sept. 26, 1998

Irrelevant church?

In all the discussion of the sins of President Clinton, there is sadly one missing element that even Christian journalists and American pop preachers have failed to grasp ("Clinton scandal," Aug. 29).
It is true that Bill Clinton must answer to God and to those against whom he has sinned, but not primarily in private confession, or by a personal choice to face a television audience. It is the church to whom God has given the responsibility of judging the sincerity of repentance, even in public servants. It is the church that God has ordained to deal with matters requiring public confession of sin. It is the church to whom God has given the right to proclaim forgiveness of sins. Where is President Clinton's church in all this? No wonder the church is considered irrelevant in America! - Larry E. Ball, Kingsport, Tenn.

A god of his own imagining

One troubling comment from Bill Clinton's confession was that it was between himself, his family, and their God. Their God? How many Gods are there? Bill has his god, you have your god, here a god, there a god, everywhere a god god. If, instead of the almighty holy God described in the Bible, Bill is answering to a god of his own imagination, no wonder we can't relate to this man's ethics. - Chuck Siebsen, Minneapolis, Minn.

Presidential handcuffs

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Although I'm sure the pose of President Clinton sitting in the map room prior to his televised statement (cover of WORLD, Aug. 29) was intended to portray a thoughtful, presidential, repentant president, his spin doctors will be sorry to hear it did not have that effect on me. In fact I had to take a second, closer look, because at first glance I thought he was in handcuffs! (Is that my wishful thinking or foreshadowing of justice?) - Barbara Geatches, Alexandria, Va.

Clinton a King Saul?

I found your article "Poetry of anguish" (Aug. 29) perplexing. Rather than compare President Clinton to King David, I think the comparison should rest with King Saul. In 1 Samuel 15:14-21 the verses reveal a tragic character weakness in Saul. Here in 1 Samuel 15, Samuel confronts Saul with his sin. Saul first claims to have obeyed (v. 13), then blames the people (v. 15), and again seeks to justify himself and blame the people, the true mark of a worthless and hopeless leader (vv. 20-21). The similar responses of President Clinton and King Saul to sin is uncanny. Through confession and a contrite heart, David dealt with his sin. Saul chose to be led by it. To compare David with Clinton is to compare apples with oranges, or better yet, ripe fruit with rotten fruit. - Evangeline Dillon, Mt. Vernon, Wash.

Poetic truth

Thank you very much for your magazine. I really enjoy it. I've been reading all the articles about the scandal, and I think the most disturbing thing is not President Clinton's relationship, but the way America has shrugged. Alexandar Pope wrote in "An Essay on Man":
Sin is a monster of awful mien,
That to be hated needs but to be seen
But seen too oft, familiar with face,
First we endure,
Then pity,
Then embrace. - David Clayton, via Internet

Pleasing the sinful nature

Joel Belz's Aug. 29 editorial (and accompanying photo) reminded me of something. I distinctly remember that in January 1993 CBS Radio News reporters commented that the president had his mother's Bible open to one of his favorite passages: Galatians 6:8 ("The one who sows to please his sinful nature from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life"). I was astounded at that time, and now as I consider again the context of the surrounded verses, it is indeed chilling that a man could be so brazen. Indeed, let us pray for mercy for our nation! - Ben Robeson, Augusta, Ga.

A "skilled" politician

As "Newer Democrat" (Aug. 29) points out, Geoffrey Fieger has an array of dramatic skills in his repertoire. These "skills"-proficiency in shouting, ridiculing, insulting, and cursing-are unfortunately what enabled him to win the Democratic nomination for governor in Michigan. Without his ability to seem passionate by being provocative and profane, Fieger would be forced to rely on his weak grasp of state government issues and a nonexistent plan for Michigan's future in order to define himself. Since that approach wouldn't earn him the media's interest, let alone votes in an election, he has instead decided to rest his political fortunes on tactics of bombast and beratement. Fieger's "say one thing, do another" pattern of behavior was perhaps never clearer than when he announced that he would sign a "clean campaign pledge" in the race. It was a classic, contradictory, and shameless utterance from the man who has written the book on personal and vulgar attacks, religious insults, and crude discourse. - John Truscott
aide to Governor John Engler,


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