Sam Adams and Blood of Jesus

January 25, 2009

I’ve come around to the view that Portland Mayor Sam Adams should not resign for lying about his relationship with another gay man. I say man because that’s how Beau Breedlove describes himself at age seventeen, though both say the sexual side of their brief relationship began when Breedlove turned eighteen.

As awful as Adam’s lies to the public have been, he’s the best person to run the city. Considering the deteriorating economic challenges we face, I’d rather have as mayor someone who’s progressive and pragmatic and proven. The only remaining question: can Adams be effective after all the shame he has brought upon himself. If he’s ineffective and a state investigation of his relationship with Breedlove discloses illegalities, then he can be recalled after his first six months in office.

If one steps back from the situation, it’s clear that the most severe punishment Adams can face is working every day as mayor knowing every person he encounters will think of his lack of integrity. Even his friends and supporters. It’s a just penance to pay, like religious zealots who flog themselves while on pilgrimages, only worse. Adams will endure more pain remaining on the job than if he resigns. (Word today is that he won’t step down.)

And I’m a big believer in second chances. Maybe that’s more than Adams deserves given the sanctimony of his denials of improper behavior when questions about his relationship were first raised in 2007. Then again, there’s a lot of sanctimony among his harshest critics, especially the anti-gay Christianists.

Funny how they conveniently forget that Jesus was more about forgiveness than anything else. Then again, people of that ilk consider gays and lesbians a rung below human.

Yesterday, on a much-loathed trek to Costco, I saw this dump truck parked in a yard a few hundred yards from the mega-store:

I guess I’m confused about the “blood of Jesus never fails” sign. My semi-Episcopalian upbringing taught me that the blood of Christ washes away the sins of the repentant. And I can’t help but wonder what goes on behind the walls of the house where the dump truck is parked. Sinless? Or holier than thou?

Or just bad spellers, judging from the other side of the “blood of Jesus” sign: