The Crime of Cheating!

So it seems that in America we have a conscience. Albeit a conditional conscience, but nevertheless a conscience.

Tiger Woods and many other super athletes, famous actors, rich folks and presidents have all been caught cheating on their spouses. The only difference between 70 years ago and now is that today we act like we really care. When we look at the fall of marriage in America, our attempt to keep it sacred is to crucify the ones who get caught violating the bonds of marriage as a reminder for us all. It’s sort of like in medieval times when they would have public executions.

Well, Tiger Woods was the latest victim. Sad to say for me I won’t see him and golf the same anymore. The reason is not what you think. I DO NOT condone cheating on your spouse, but it happens. I don’t condone lying either, but guess what? It happens. However, here we have this rich guy, who has made this woman rich beyond her wildest imagination. He’s a very powerful man who does many charitable things – including a state of the art school for inner city kids to provide them with a first-class education. One reporter made the comment that he shouldn’t have the school anymore because he’s not a good role model. Seriously?!?

The man plays golf very well — better than anyone else on the planet. Let’s say that he is a role model. Wouldn’t that role model status be limited to just golf? Or are we really to believe that because he’s an awesome golfer that he has to live up to the standards of moral excellence as well? Is there some secret code that says a man who excels in anything, must be as good in everything else?

Tiger shouldn’t have cheated. He probably shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place, but for this adult to be reduced to this scrutiny about his personal life is not fair. The crime for this cheat isn’t the cheating – it’s the self righteous views of the public. Cheating doesn’t mean Tiger is now a bad golfer, a bad father or even a bad husband. It just means he cheated and it was a bad decision.

It’s not even our business. Some argue that this is the price for fame. It’s not. He is a victim of circumstance. Seventy years ago, this wouldn’t have made the news. Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and many other athletes, rich folks, presidents and famous actors cheated. Men particularly would cheat because they could without much of a penalty back then. There were not even laws to take care of the victims back then. So guess what the victims did? They stayed. They made adjustments and they remained married. It was what men did and women were expected to take it and be thankful for what they had. (Rent the movie Mona Lisa Smile for more info on this).

Again, I am not condoning cheating. What I’m saying is that if this is the standard we are going to maintain, then we should do it for everyone. Not just the rich and famous, but everyone. But we can’t stop there. What about the victims in these cases? When is there a judgment against them? Maybe Tiger’s wife when she got angry with him, she withheld sex. Maybe Tiger likes to do really kinky things that she doesn’t want to do. Maybe she’s not as clean as Tiger would like her to be and it’s a turnoff for him. Or maybe she’s just a spoiled little daddy’s girl whose attitude of entitlement has pushed Tiger away. Or maybe she has done nothing to deserve this. In all of these cases, they don’t need public commentary, they need private counseling.

I hope my point is clear. If not I’ll spell it out one last time in these three easy points:

1)      A marriage is sacred and we should worry about what’s going on in our own homes and stay out of other people’s homes unless we’ve been invited in.

2)      Super athletes are great at one thing – the sport they play – and we should admire the talent and honor God for the gift, but point the moral finger at ourselves. We shouldn’t place expectations on other people. We should only place them on ourselves.

3)       If there is a mistake a person can make to wipe out the many things they’ve done well, then we’ve condemned everyone…because everyone makes mistakes.

Those that live in glass houses should not throw stones!