Sen. Jean Carnahan

Words for Lusty Larry

The next time you're in a public place and some politician peers into your eyes, broadens his stance, taps for your attention, and begins spouting "family values" rhetoric, run for the nearest exit.

Since Larry Craig was once a co-worker of mine in the U.S. Senate, I feel compelled to comment on his undoing.

I found it a strange cosmic coincidence that caused Larry Craig and Mother Teresa to occupy the same news cycle. This week we were astounded by Sen. Craig's attraction for airport restrooms and by more evidence of Mother Teresa's long and painful struggle with faith.

Now, I hesitate to mention both their names in the same sentence, but hear me out ... I'm going somewhere with this.

Both had everything going for them in terms of public esteem: Craig a long-time U.S. Senator and Republican leader up for re-election and, she, a much-revered, compassionate nun on the verge of sainthood.

Yet personal revelations put both their futures at risk. Mother Teresa apparently suffered from a spiritual condition endured by many who seek to lead a holy life. She told of the "dark night of the soul" in which God seemed distant and unavailable, even non-existent.

Few in high ecclesiastical circles would ever admit to such personal feelings, either to themselves or others, much less write about them, as she did. But, the elderly nun offered us an unsolicited, heart-revealing confession -- one that made her seem all the more human. From her writings, we learn of the agony her troubled thoughts caused during the later years of her life.

Now back to Larry. Here's a sorry, mixed-up soul torn by allegiance to a political party and his yearning for a potty party.

When literally caught with his pants down, does Larry come forth and tell us his torrid tale, though it might threaten his Senate-hood?


Instead, Larry sends us mixed messages: first, with a signed confession, then with the current version of "I'm NOT a crook" and "I DIDN'T have sex with that woman!" Larry gives us a new and memorable battle cry in today's War on Hypocrisy: "I am NOT gay. I have never been gay!"

What's needed here is a little more contrition and a little less contradiction.

In the pursuit of truth, Mother Teresa was willing to risk sainthood as she bared her troubled soul to God and man.

There was obviously something more she desired than being venerated for piety. Maybe she simple wanted truth, no matter what the awful cost might be.

If that was, indeed, the case, she has a lot to teach both saints and sinners alike.


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