Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Romney vs. Gingrich -- A modern Parable of the Prodigal Son

Mitt Romney is like the dutiful older son in Jesus' Parable of the Prodigal Son.

He obeys the rules. He has not stepped out of his marriage vows, engaging in illicit sexual relations. He "deserves" to be the next GOP nominee.

Newt Gingrich could be no better example of the Prodigal Son. He took his Washington power, squandered it on great ideas with little coherence in Congress. After resigning in disgrace, he continued to cheat on his second wife while leading the charge to impeach then President Clinton for lying about an illicit affair with White House Intern Monica Lewinsky.

He is a hypocrite; he is not a good boy, at all. He has broken every rule in the book.

Yet the GOP primary voters love him, because he is not afraid to speak from his core, no matter how moral bereft his actions have been. He may be cheating on his current wife now, but he is not afraid to run for this office. He has no dirty laundry to hide; the world has seen his dark side, which is considerably sinister.

Yet just like the Prodigal Son, who returned to his father's house intent on establishing a better life for himself, so Gingrich has come forward, warts and all, unafraid to present himself as he is, refusing to dissimulate himself.

Romney, on the other hand, has demonstrated a penchant for changing positions in order to appeal to voters. He wants approval. Gingrich wants to win.

In the parable, the Prodigal Son was welcomed warmly by the father, demonstrating, just like the Love of God the Father for every person who has gone astray and come back to the one source who can supply them, that God is willing to forgive. So are the American People.

Grace is greater than law, mercy greater than sacrifice, honest yet reprehensible is more appealing than presentable yet untrustworthy.

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