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April 1, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP) -- By now we've all read or heard too much information about the Secret Service prostitution scandal. At least 20 women were in hotel rooms with U.S. agents and military personnel just before President Obama arrived for a summit with Latin American leaders.
Eleven Secret Service agents and 10 military personnel are now under investigation. The 11 Secret Service agents were recalled to the U.S. from Colombia and placed on administrative leave after a night of partying that allegedly ended with at least some bringing prostitutes back to their hotel room. On Monday, April 17 the agency announced that it also had revoked the agents' security clearances. The 10 U.S. military personnel staying at the same hotel also were being investigated for their role in the alleged misconduct.
As with all immoral sexual encounters, a lack of truth is evidenced by multiple stories about who the women were. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee stated, "Some are admitting [the women] were prostitutes, others are saying they're not. They're just women they met at the hotel bar." A lie to yourself and others almost always accompanies sexual sins.
This incident is despicable enough. However, the vast majority of the commentary by national media is further evidence that we are a nation in trouble. On more than one occasion and on more than one channel, collectively we have heard the commentators attempt to justify the sexual immorality with phrases like, "boys will be boys," or "they deserved some down time and de-stressing," or "the women were simply providing services."
Obviously, from the national media perspective, the potential national security threat was of greater concern than the immoral behavior of the agents, service men or the prostitutes. There were those who used the word "shame" to speak about the breach in national security. However, the word was rarely attached to the immoral behavior of those involved in the incident.
This is clear evidence that the moral fabric of the United States is ripped apart. Be assured, our enemies know it. The only reason we don't confess it is because we prefer denial to reality and authenticity.
After decades of parading hedonistic behavior on the networks and in the movie houses, after decades of affirming self-indulgence (what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas), after decades of social experiments on our young through amoral educational processes and the affirmation of fatherless families, we are reaping a whirlwind of disaster.
The only hope for my great-grandchildren to experience the freedoms that we so love in our nation is a mighty movement of God. How can that happen? It starts in us when we value the purity of a relationship with God more than the sirens' song of our culture. It starts with God's people when our children and our friends see that we believe spiritual disciplines are better than entertainment, power or making the next buck. It begins when we use words that depict our authentic relationships and personal responsibility instead of cultural words of pleasure and individual rights.
Such a movement continues when the people of God embrace His agenda of transforming lives through the Gospel of Jesus our Lord. When thousands of churches are less concerned about themselves and begin to see the true condition of people's lives, we will know that God is moving across this land. When the altars of our churches are full of people shedding tears of repentance and calling out for the salvation of the people they know and love, then we will know that God is restoring the fabric of our nation.
Lord, bring us back to You.
John Yeats is executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention and recording secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention.