Fantastic cogent comment from Metafilter commenter Pastabagel:
How colossally arrogant is it to think that you can be a congressman and hit on underage pages and not think you are going to get busted? How arrogant is it to be the head of the organization that has made ant-gay preaching a foundational principle and then go hire a male prostitute on a monthly basiss and not expect to get caught?
It’s addict mentality. They know they shouldn’t do it, but they can’t stop themselves, like the drunk who can’t say no to the next drink. Weak, pathetic losers, just like their congregations – soft, comfy, middle-class weakness. Unable to sacrifice, unable to deny themselves even when it’s in their best interest, unable to resist their appetites.
That’s why you evangelicals need such a literal rules-based religion, because you’re too weak willed to do it yourselves. But don’t project that onto the rest of the country. I can control my appetites, most people can. We can control our drinking, our eating, etc.
We can control our tempers and our feelings, and we don’t need fairy stories of gods and demons and prophets and wizards and unicorns and whatever the hell else is in the Bible or Book of Mormon or the Urantia book or Battlefield Earth. We don’t need magic when we have self control and compassion.
If you are so obssesed with sex that you turn a great work of moral philosophy into fuck manual, then you don’t need a priest, you need a therapist. You need a university faculty analyzing you around the clock.
Or as Jerry says to George:
You know you really need some help. A regular psychiatrist couldn’t even help you. You need to go to like Vienna or something. You know what I mean? You need to get involved at the University level. Like where Freud studied and have all those people looking at you and checking up on you. That’s the kind of help you need. Not the once a week for eighty bucks. No. You need a team. A team of psychiatrists working round the clock thinking about you, having conferences, observing you, like the way they did with the Elephant Man. That’s what I’m talking about because that’s the only way you’re going to get better.
If we take the Joseph Campbell vein and look at all explanations of human nature ( and nature in general) as ‘myths’ then this makes even more sense: these men and women are disgusted with their own desires and appetites and find a black/white rules-based spirituality and system to explain that it isn’t their own perceived moral failing (or authentic hypocrisy), but that the Devil is fighting over them with God for their soul. George Bush isn’t an lazy, redneck, racist, whoremongering, cokehead, alchy, lying, hypocritical, profiteering war criminal – he’s been Born Again and Jesus has cleansed his past sins so that he can live in wealth and freedom because only the poor are lazy and only the rich work hard and the middle class is there to keep everyone disrtacted… That the Evildoers are out there – this is a bit like a paranoiac casting themselves in the middle of a global conspiracy – they get to be The Star of their own X-Files wet dream. Granted Bush isn’t really a paranoiac – he actually is at the center of a massive global network of strangeness and crime.