I believe we should hold people accountable for how they do their jobs, not for how they conduct their private lives.

Did David Patraeus' affair endanger anyone or anything besides his marriage? My mother, God rest her soul, would have been of the opinion that the general's wife should have put her husband's bragiols in one of those toothy, rusted, non-humane traps for a few days before dumping him. (Maybe that's why he resigned: He knew that he wouldn't be able to give his full attention to his job and defend himself from a wife who's going to be trying to kill him.)

But if he was a good general (I have no idea if he was; some say so) and did his job well, and yet felt compelled to resign because of his affair (he was not fired, is my understanding), I am not sure how this is different from someone feeling pressured to quit a job because he or she is divorced, or gay. I am not equating infidelity with homosexuality or with being divorced; far from it. I am saying, if someone does a good job, then, to quote the song, "What's love got to do with it?" Or more accurately, what's sex got to do with it?

There is support, both scriptural (Luke 16:10) and legal (falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus), for the argument that if you are faithless and untrustworthy in one area, you will be faithless and untrustworthy in all areas. Perhaps. Maybe I've got this wrong (and I'm sure that we shall be heartily sick of this entire episode before all the facts are in), but I don't think General Patraeus was taking advantage of some young soldier, or pulling the kind of criminal abuse of trust of which some psychologists, priests and teachers have been guilty. Nor was he stealing from poor-boxes or drowning puppies.



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