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Daniel John Sobieski
The chickens of the era of moral relativism are coming home to roost in the scandals that have rocked the studios of Hollywood, the green rooms of media moguls, and the cloak rooms of Congress. Are the cases of Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein. John Conyers, Charlie Rose et al any surprise in an era where traditional marriage and fidelity to one spouse of the opposite sex have been under assault and routinely mocked?
We live in any age of transgendered restrooms, where transgendered athletes like Caitlyn Jenner are given courage awards by sports channels like ESPN. Harder work is done and truer courage shown every day by those who get married, stay married, stay in the body God gave them and withstand the mockery of a society that considers such people as fossils on the verge of extinction.
Vice President Mike Pence was roundly mocked for his rule that he would not travel, meet, or dine alone with a woman other than his wife. He saw that the best way not to be led into temptation is to not lead yourself into it and it is hard to get into trouble if the only woman you find yourself alone with is the woman you married, the mother of your children. That did not sit well in the age of gay marriage, transgendered people, and cohabitation as if marriage came with a warranty and was a commodity you could exchange if you were later not pleased:
Vice President Mike Pence was roundly ridiculed when it was revealed that he makes an effort never to be alone with a woman who is not his wife, but the policy is looking less prudish and more sensible as accusations of sexual misconduct against powerful men proliferate.
Accusations first surfaced last month against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and have since reverberated through Hollywood, the media and government at every level. On Wednesday, Matt Lauer, a longtime host of NBC’s “Today,” and Minnesota Public Radio’s Garrison Keillor were fired by their respective organizations amid accusations of improper behavior. …
The “Pence rule” is a variation of the personal conduct policy popularized by the Rev. Billy Graham, who refused to travel, meet or dine alone with a woman. In addition, the vice president does not attend parties where alcohol is served without his wife by his side.
Feminists have criticized the Pence rule as a potential barrier to women’s advancement in the workplace, although there is no evidence to suggest that women who worked for Mr. Pence were held back by the rule….
Jay Richards, research professor at The Catholic University of America and executive editor of the conservative news website The Stream, said the Pence rule is a reasonable response to the dramatic social changes that have torn down the boundaries between the sexes over the past half-century….
In addition to guarding against infidelity and other sexual misconduct, Mr. Richards said, the Pence rule preserves the reputations of all parties involved.
“It’s as much or more about preserving the reputations of himself and other women,” he said. “A simple guardrail is absolutely reasonable if you want to prevent the rumor mill from starting, let alone even worse sexual transgressions.”
Moral fortitude and a healthy fear of human weakness was not shared by Hollywood and television moguls and liberal politicians who, while looking away from the Sodom and Gomorrah in their midst, mocked Pence as a prude who was merely trying to hide his inner predator. They were led by the profane ad unhinged Steven Colbert:
According to Colbert, Pence’s rule about not dining alone with women “can only mean one thing: Mike Pence is such an out-of-control, force-five bone-icane that he has to be monitored by Karen Pence at all times. One Amstel Lite and he’s dry-humping the bread basket. O.K.? Oh, there’s snow on the roof—but there’s a fire in the furnace.”…
“He is so naughty, if you left him alone with a bottle of whiskey, he might try to have sex with it,” Colbert quipped. “And Jim Beam and Jack Daniels are both dudes, and he’s not into that scene. All right? He has to pray away the Mount Gay.”…
Even Pence’s engagement story—he hid a ring and a bottle of champagne in two hollowed-out loaves of bread when he and Karen went out to feed some ducks—became fodder for ridicule.
Colbert admitted the anecdote was charming, but he also couldn’t help himself: “It’s a good thing Karen was there, because you do not want to leave Mike Pence alone with one of those seductive loaves of bread. The yeast isn’t the only thing that’s rising.”
Colbert’s view is not unique among the cultural elites and helps explain why we find ourselves world where even those who write our laws about sexual harassment have a secret slush fund to silence the victims of their sexual harassment. One would think that a world that followed the Pence rule would be a feminist dream – a world of respect where merit and not allure mattered in your career and a world where you need not fear your boss locking the door behind you because he was on his way to meet his wife for dinner.
It is easy to mock fidelity and, yes, we are all sinners. It is one thing to lust in your heart as long as you keep it there.
Do the Colberts of the world want to live in a Weinstein/Lauer world where there are no rules and no restraints on our behavior, or in a world where the Pence rule reigns, based on a set of rules established two thousand years ago by the highest authority on such things.
Matt Lauer, John Conyers, Harvey Weinstein, and Charlie Rose did not follow the Pence rule. Neither did Bill Clinton, whose wife Hillary road his stained coat tails to political power while handling the “bimbo eruptions” of those he preyed upon. Mike Pence honors his wife and his marriage. Bill and Hillary saw women and marriage as expendable in their quest for pleasure and power.
We do not know how this will all play out, but one thing is certain. Somewhere Mike Pence will be pulling the chair out for his wife as they sit for dinner.
Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.