Fischer: Time for Craig to Resign

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Can't say we're surprised: Bryan Fischer has asked U.S. Sen. Larry Craig to resign this morning.

Here's the statement from Bryan Fischer, Executive Director of the Idaho Values Alliance:

By now virtually all of America is aware that Idaho’s Sen. Larry Craig pled guilty on August 8 in Minnesota to a charge that he engaged in lewd behavior in an airport restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. (The charge was technically reduced to disorderly conduct.)

There are disturbing questions raised by the police report that the senator needs to address in full, so that Idahoans will have all the information they need to make an informed judgment about what happened and how it reflects on Sen. Craig’s fitness to continue in public office.

The report suggests that the senator was familiar with the protocol used by homosexuals to arrange anonymous sexual encounters, which, if true, indicates that this is not the first time the senator has practiced this behavior. According to the Minnesota Monitor, the restroom where the senator was arrested is “well known among men who seek sex in public places.” Directions to this particular restroom are posted on a gay website bulletin board, and one visitor to the website said, “This is the best spot for anonymous action I’ve ever seen.”

The police officer had no motive to lie, particularly since he did not know who was in the adjacent stall at the time, whereas the senator, out of simple self-protection, had reason, when the events came to light, to shape them in a way that put his conduct in the best possible light.

It strains credulity to think that the senator can provide an explanation for his guilty plea if he did nothing more than accidentally brush someone’s foot with his shoe and pick up a piece of paper off the floor.

The Judeo-Christian tradition says that the standard for identifying the truth is that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact is confirmed.” The senator’s guilty plea, when added to the officer’s testimony, satisfies the biblical standard for confirming the essential truth of what happened, and unless the senator can provide a compelling and convincing explanation for his plea, we will need to regretfully accept that the fact of his behavior has been established. It seems unlikely that he can “unring the bell” his guilty plea has sounded.

If the senator did indeed engage in the behavior to which he pled guilty, then the appropriate thing for him to do is to resign from office. Character is an essential qualification for public service, and the essence of character is what you do when you do not think anyone is looking.

Additionally, the senator will need time to focus on his own rehabilitation and the needs of his family, and it will be virtually impossible for him to do that given the enormous demands placed on a senator’s time and energy.

Respect for the senator and courtesy for him and his family does suggest that he be given an opportunity to provide a satisfactory explanation for his conduct and his guilty plea, and answer tough and direct questions about the episode. If his answers prove unsatisfactory, the right thing for him to do will be to step down from public office.

Regardless of how this circumstance turns out, the families of Idaho will always owe Sen. Craig a debt of gratitude for his faithful advocacy for public policies that protected the sanctity of human life and the American family.

As the Executive Director of the Idaho Values Alliance, I received approximately five dozen emails and phone calls from homosexuals and gay sympathizers from all over the country yesterday afternoon and evening. The one thing they all shared in common was an unseemly glee over the senator’s apparent fall from grace.

Not one expressed compassion for the senator, or for the toll this incident must be taking on his family. To have such utter disregard for the anguish involved in this circumstance, from the very people who pride themselves on their compassion, is both revealing and disappointing. Perhaps they are not the paragons of tolerance they imagine themselves to be.

It is certainly time for people of faith to pray for Senator Craig and for his family, and my wife and I will be among those who lift him up before the God of grace and mercy.

One larger issue must be addressed. The Republican Party platform clearly rejects the agenda of homosexual activists. The Party, in the wake of the Mark Foley incident in particular, can no longer straddle the fence on the issue of homosexual behavior. Even setting Senator Craig’s situation aside, the Party should regard participation in the self-destructive homosexual lifestyle as incompatible with public service on behalf of the GOP.

No member of the Republican Party in the 1860s could represent his party and be a slaveholder at the same time. Nor can the Republican Party of today speak with authority and clarity to the moral issues that confront our society and at the same time send ambivalent messages about sexual behavior. It is time for the Republican Party to be the party that defends the American family in word, deed, and by personal example.

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