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Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger Woods: "Man-Caused Disaster"

Tiger Woods: “Man-Caused Disaster.” (Or, if you prefer, a “Weapon of Vast Indiscretion.”) In a sad way, the greatest golfer in the world has done the Obama administration a service. He has clarified what is meant by this ambiguous (and ridiculous) phrase. With 12 mistresses now revealed, if there ever was a “man-caused disaster” it’s Tiger. 

Of course, none of this is funny. It is a tragedy played out far too often today, especially by celebrities who have the fame and fortune to attempt to pull off something like juggling 12 women along with a wife and children. Male athletes especially seem to have the penchant for this kind of activity. At least Woods’ many trysts did not produce children (that we know of). Consider former NFL running back and Tennessee Volunteer, Travis Henry. In August of 2007, the AJC reported that he was in financial ruin, having fathered 9 children by 9 different women across four states. Talk about a disaster! 

Tiger is just the latest (though perhaps the “greatest”) in a seemingly infinite line of public figures to have his indiscretions laid bare before a gawking public. Adulterous behaviors have brought down some of the most powerful men in the world. 

Glenn Richardson, Speaker of the Georgia House, recently resigned his position due to his adultery. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who had been mentioned as a strong GOP candidate for President, has seen his political career and personal life in upheaval because of his adultery. Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards saw his political career go up in smoke due to adultery. Bill Clinton, one of only two U.S. Presidents ever impeached, was put on trial as a result of his adultery. 

Truly, as Proverbs says, “For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.” 

Undoubtedly, the consequences of adultery are far reaching, especially when it leads to divorce. As C.S. Lewis points out, divorce “is more like having your legs cut off than it is like dissolving a business partnership or even deserting a regiment.” Thus Woods’ children could end up as the most tragic victims here. 

The list of handicaps is long for children of divorce: They are more likely to experience mental and physical health problems, run away, commit suicide, engage in promiscuous sex, drop out of school, go to prison, etc. Woods’ marriage is certainly on shaky ground, as would be any marriage with such infidelities. If his marriage is broken beyond repair, the consequences will sadly play out most significantly in the lives of his children. 

Practically every one of us knows a marriage broken by adultery. This is just one of the consequences of living in a culture that is obsessed with sex. As John MacArthur concludes, “Within the moral realm in our society the conflict is almost exclusively about sex.” Abortion, fornication, homosexuality, divorce, etc., he adds, are all sexual issues. 

Writing on sexual morality, C.S. Lewis said, “Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from it: the old Christian rule is, ‘Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.’” However, Lewis adds that, “perfect chastity—like perfect charity—will not be obtained by any merely human efforts. You must ask for God’s help.” 

To truly straighten out his life, this is where Tiger (and anyone else in such a situation) must turn. No amount of therapy, etc. will produce the results that the Creator of the universe can. Just as with any other human being’s transgressions, there is redemptive hope for Tiger—even to the point of saving his marriage. Remember, nothing is too hard for God. 

One last point. As we gaze upon this disaster, we must remember that without God, any of us is capable of terrible sin. None of us can truly trust ourselves, even in our best moments, to continuously live the life that we should. Everyone’s struggles and temptations are different. What is constant is the path to true joy and peace. Here’s hoping that Tiger finds himself on that straight-and-narrow way very soon. 

Copyright 2009, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

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