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OPINION, Aug. 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- Rev. Rob Schenck submits the following for publication and is available for comment.
What Senator Craig Should Do
By Rev. Rob Schenck
President, Faith and Action
The spectacle of a Washington figure caught in a sex scandal is always painful. Of course, before saying any more about Senator Larry Craig's crisis, it goes without saying that in America, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The problem here is the Senator's admission of guilt that remained in place for six weeks. After all, he is a lawmaker--a legislator of the highest order, a U.S. Senator. One would think a professional like Senator Craig would understand the ramifications of pleading guilty in such a case. To reverse his admission now reminds me more of King Saul who was not sorry for what he did, but rather that he got caught doing it.
The saddest part of this story is that it's public at all. My pastor's heart wants this to be a quiet matter between the Senator, his wife and family, the reporting officer and, most importantly, the Lord. But once you choose public a life as a U.S. Senator, you are vulnerable to virtually everything going public. It's a risk you accept when you declare your candidacy, let alone win the office.
So, here it is; another public scandal. Though he hasn't asked for it, my advice to Senator Craig would be to go back to square one. As I taught my kids, it's never too late to correct a mistake. First, he must repent of any hidden sin in his life; second, confess it to his wife and family; third, beg their forgiveness and pardon; and fourth, commit to both long term pastoral and psychological counseling. After these steps (which don't take very long) the Senator should make this public statement:
"I am deeply humiliated and ashamed. I hope you will understand this has been a painful and complicated struggle in my life. I have sought forgiveness from God and my family. Now I ask for forgiveness and understanding from the people of Idaho, from the people of this great country and from my fellow members of the United States Senate. Please pray for me and my family during this very difficult time for us. In order to give proper attention to those I love and to my own healing, I hereby resign my seat in the United States Senate. Thank you."
This could be a great lesson to all people in how to handle our many failings, public and private. If this is what it appears to be, I ask Senator Craig to help us all by doing the right thing: Fess up to God and man, step aside and seek help.
Rev. Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) is an ordained Evangelical minister and a missionary to elected and appointed officials on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Mr. Schenck is chairman of the Committee on Church and Society for the Evangelical Church Alliance and serves on the boards of numerous religious organizations and institutions.