In "Defending Anthony Weiner" (6/17/2011), a letter writer named Kool wondered why the U.S. representative had been pilloried for merely flirting with women on social media. "In the absence of physical contact, Weiner didn't even violate the Bible's commandment against adultery, right?" asked Kool. I agreed that Weiner broke no biblical law, but suggested that he had "indulged in sleazy behavior that Moses never dreamed possible."
Here's a response from a guy who apparently knows the Bible better than I do.
Sorry Tell All: You misinformed your reader, Kool, that adultery is only physical sin. It is not only that. Lust/adultery starts in the heart and mind and then may be manifested in the physical.
Matthew 5:28: "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
1 John 2:16: "For everything in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - comes not from the Father but from the world."
Proverbs 6:25: "Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes."
Dear Follower: I have to admit that your letter starts to make me more sympathetic to Anthony Weiner. I considered his behavior sleazy because of the lying involved - not only to his wife, but to the American public. But as soon as somebody - even somebody as important as God - tells me that we shouldn't so much as look at someone lustfully, I start to get resentful.
Matthew and John are entitled to their opinions, of course, but this column is firmly pro-lust. I mean, God can try to absolve himself from responsibility for making humans sexual beings, as he does in 1 John 2:16, but He's just blaming the victim. In my view, we are who we are, and that involves a healthy amount of interest in, as Proverbs quaintly puts it, "beauty." I'm all for self-control (the quality Weiner sorely lacks), but I believe we should all be free to lust to our heart's content.
So sue me, Lord. Or, if you must, send me to hell.