Friday, August 13, 2004

Admiration and Prayers for Governor McGreevey

I have been thinking about the resignation of New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey. A couple of things come to my mind when I think about this tragedy, and make no mistake it is a tragedy.

The first thing I feel is admiration. Governor McGreevey absolutely did the right thing in this situation. The affair was wrong, having a relationship with somebody you appointed was wrong. Owning up to that and taking responsibility for it is an act of amazing courage. Accepting the consequences of your actions, taking personal responsibility and stepping down are acts of unbelievable integrity. So, I admire the man.

In my mind this is contrasted with what happened over the Abu Ghraib prison torture photos. Testifying before congress, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, “I accept full responsibility.” After making that statement he then proceeded to categorically deny responsibility by not cooperating with congress. When it came time for some one to bear the consequences of the torture Secretary Rumsfeld demurred, indicating that the seven servicemen in the photos would be held accountable. I thought that was irresponsible and craven then, and I still do today, especially in light of the memos he signed off on approving methods of torture.

The second thing about the McGreevey affair is this: if he were having an affair with a woman who attempted to blackmail him, would he have had to resign then? I don’t think so. He is being required to pay a heavier price because he is gay and that is fundamentally wrong.

Third, I hope that McGreevey will be able to remain close to his wife. Obviously they spent years building a relationship and I hope that is not destroyed. I know she must be in terrible pain over this, but I hope she is not ashamed or humiliated. She has no reason to be, despite the fact that others in this world will try to make her feel so. I also hope his daughters can remain close to him. Goddess be with him and his entire family.

Finally, I love what McGreevey had to say about God. He said: "I do not believe that God tortures any person simply for its own sake. I believe that God enables all things to work for the greater good."

In the end, self, family and Deity is all that really matters anyway.