“You talk to God and work out your problems. But stay out of the public eye.”
That, in a nutshell, is the best statement that’s emerged from the electoral circus that next Tuesday’s New York City mayoral primary has become. Anthony Weiner’s campaign has tanked, and ultra-liberal Bill de Blasio leads the former congressman, City Council President Christine Quinn, and two other candidates.
The jokes could be flying: “A hard-left candidate, a sexual exhibitionist, and a lesbian walk into an election, and …” But yesterday afternoon a serious exchange at a Brooklyn bakery led Weiner to scream at a voter, “Takes one to know one, jackass.” (See video below.)
The voter—Politicker identified him as Saul Kessler— told Weiner, “You’re a bad example. … Your behavior is deviant. It’s not normal behavior.” Weiner’s mayoral campaign tanked this summer when news spread that he had continued sexually explicit online relationships after resigning from Congress after accidentally tweeting a crotch shot.
“You have the nerve to walk around in public, and you’re disgusting,” the voter said. Weiner, agitated, responded, “You know who judges me? You know who judges me?” Not you, buddy, not you … you’re not my god. Ask your rabbi who gets to judge me.”
The rabbi, I suspect, would say God gets to judge Weiner, and the Bible is clear that God would because he has acted badly. Still, the candidate is right to say it’s not for a voter to judge his personal life—except that by running for mayor, Weiner opened himself up to judgments of whether he has the character to be a leader.
Weiner and all of us should talk with God and ask for mercy in working out our problems—and none of us is without sin. But when our sins are overt, “Stay out of the public eye.”