By Scott Tibbs, November 26, 2012
But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. -- Proverbs 6:32
The fall of General David Petraeus due to his adultery with Paula Broadwell can be an example of how sexual sin can destroy lives, but our increasingly depraved culture sees it as a way to tear down our standards for behavior. We have seen this in Rachel Maddow's uncharacteristically dim-witted comments about this being a "private" matter and a shallow editorial in the Washington Post.
Why does this matter? Even if you set aside the issue of morality in public service, this was a national security risk - Petraeus could have easily been blackmailed with the threat of exposing the affair. Petraeus is an honorable man and would most likely not give in to blackmail, but why take that risk? Does anyone remember the "sex for secrets" scandal in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1986? More recently, young Russian spy Anna Chapman was found to be attempting to use her aesthetic gifts to get information for her government.
Of course, the national security risk presented by this scandal is not the only reason it was right and proper for Petraeus to step down as head of the CIA. As Americans, we should expect a higher standard of morality by those in positions of authority. It is a good thing that adultery is a criminal offense in our military. This lets our soldiers know that they must hold themselves to a high standard and is a merciful protection for the wives of adulterous soldiers. The Petraeus adultery scandal should not be an opportunity to destroy this godly standard.
I do agree with agree that it is wrong to sympathize with Petraeus while condemning Broadwell as some sort of seductress. Petraeus knew what he was doing was evil (yes, evil) and the scorn should fall much more harshly on him than on his mistress, because of his position of authority.
Adultery is a terrible and destructive thing. The national security dangers of high officials committing adultery and the moral corruption it brings is more than enough reason to keep our high standards for both our military and our high government officials.