I recently read that 67% of San Diego’s residents want Mayor Filner out of office (Does this mean 33% have no problem with the Mayor’s behavior?).
The Mayor has thus far refused to step-down over sexual harassment charges from multiple sources and has instead opted for two weeks of intensive therapy. Filner has not denied the allegations and has confessed to “not respecting women.”
Personally, I wonder what kind of therapy he needs in order to respect women. I mean seriously, how do you fix that? Are we to expect the Mayor to emerge from two weeks of therapy cured? “Yes” says the newly cured Mayor, “I used to disrespect women, now I don’t, can’t we move on?”
Filner’s problem is not uncommon. Most men (and women for that matter) struggle with lust at one time or the other and to greater or lesser extent. Filner’s additional problem is that he seems to have a total lack of self-control, any sense of good judgment and any kind of discretion. Those are issues of arrogance, not lust.
At best the behavioral therapy Filner receives will teach him a smidgen of self-control and perhaps a little sneaky discretion. He’s counting on psychobabble to help him keep his lusts out of sight. Perhaps he will succeed and stay in office. Clinton did and he didn’t have therapy.
Jesus sums up the problem underneath THE problem nicely:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
(Matthew 5:27-30 ESV)
We sin from the inside out, not the outside in. What is in the heart (lusting) drives the behavior (adultery, sexting, sexual harassment, etc). Filner’s therapy will not deal with the heart. Filner does not need therapy. He needs the Gospel. If he had the gospel and understood the gospel it would not require 67% of San Diego’s residents calling for him to resign.