Monday, May 5, 2003

For me, this is interesting for the broader issues it raises.

Which is why I blog on it. I have no particular interest in William Bennett, one way or the other. I have a couple of his Virtue anthologies, but really haven't read anything else by him, other than op-eds or essays here and there. His gambling doesn't interest me on a personal level, for I don't look to people like Bennett as my moral guides, and I don't expect anyone on the planet to be any less than human, through and through.

But, as I said, it raises interesting issues:

I think the most interesting people to watch in this are going to be Bennett's social conservative allies who depend on evangelicals as their base: Dobson, Bauer, the Family Research Council, and, as a side note - the Christian Booksellers' Association. These are all people and organizations who do not look favorably on gambling, who see it, unlike Bennett, not just as a hobby, but as a pretty serious sin. If they excuse this (which I can't imagine they will), they - far more than Bennett - are the real hypocrites in the game. These are some of the same people, for example, who have excoriated the likes of Amy Grant for divorcing and remarrying, pulling her recordings from their shelves, devoting inches of column space and hours of radio time parsing her behavior and, for the most part, condemning her for it. If they give Bennett, a pass on this, I think they'll be quite open to charges, not only of hypocrisy, but of servile power-cravenness and even a bit of misogyny as well.

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