Dinesh D’Souza’s Ethical Lacuna – UPDATED

UPDATE: Not really a surprise – D’Souza resigns as president of King’s College.

UPDATE 2: Apparently, D’Souza’s current fiancee’ is/was also married as of April, 2012. If you want some more irony, check out her blog at Smart Girl Politics – Give a Guy Enough Rope and He’ll Hang Himself.

More information about Mrs. Odie Joseph…

Here she complains about the effects of divorce.

I think this is the last thing for awhile. The lovely young lady would be Mrs. Denise Odie Joseph, D’Souza’s fiancee, on her blog asking the musical question…

………….

This isn’t good.

World Magazine reported Tuesday (see link above) that King’s College president Dinesh D’Souza is or was engaged to a woman while still married to his wife. D’Souza who has been a vocal critic of gay marriage has been estranged from his wife for a couple of years according to the World report.

Normally, I would not say much about personal issues but I am very interested to see how evangelical leaders handle this. D’Souza has a very high profile among evangelicals and conservatives as the president of King’s College. His opposition to gay marriage and conservatism on social issues makes his reasoning on his own situation noteworthy. And on that point, consider what he told Fox News yesterday about his relationship with Ms. Denise Joseph:

I sought out advice about whether it is legal to be engaged prior to being divorced and I was informed that it is. Denise and I were trying to do the right thing. I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced, even though in a state of separation and in divorce proceedings.  Obviously I would not have introduced Denise as my fiancé at a Christian apologetics conference if I had thought or known I was doing something wrong. But as a result of all this, and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, Denise and I have decided to suspend our engagement.

Consider now that this Bill Clintonesque reasoning comes from the president of an evangelical college. He didn’t know it was wrong? This lacuna in his understanding, if indeed he is sincere, is as disturbing as anything else being reported on this story. I am certainly not inclined to give much weigh to his reasoning on other matters.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not D’Souza’s judge. But evangelicals are often so quick to judge others while excusing themselves. And then as a group, evangelicals wonder why those outside the fold are skeptical and dismiss our judgments.

 

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  • Lynn David
  • Jim Guinnessey

    Nothing about right winger and dishonest polemicist Dinesh D’Souza surprises me. As a self proclaimed (and well-funded) herald of today ‘s shameless and unethical GOP, D’Souza’s blatant dishonesty has become a hallmark of today’s Republican Party where the Roverian doctrine of lie, lie, lie is paramount.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Lynn David – Indirectly, that is where the paragraph I cited from D’Souza comes from. So yes.

  • MWorrell

    Warren, all Christians are his judge in a sense (1 Corinthians 5:12).

    Whatever the particulars are, it is stunning to hear a Christian apologist say that he “had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced”. Uh, that’s considered wrong by many people in and OUT of Christian circles.

    I’m sure his situation is painful, but matters of propriety related to marriage and divorce are just not that complicated. They are difficult sometimes, but not complicated. It’s his own thinking and reasoning that has apparently gotten overly complicated.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    MWorrell – I understand your point, but I want to be so careful where people’s feelings are involved.

    Having said that, that excuse of “I didn’t know” is stunning for someone in his position.

  • http://realgrasshopper.wordpress.com Lauri

    My understanding Warren is that D’souza is Roman Catholic. Considering when WORLD decided to publish the article (on the eve of the TKC board meeting I think they could have done better. Though again the CT article which has an exclusive quote is a little telling…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

      D’Souza has minimized his Catholicism since he came in as King’s president, calling himself a non-denominational Christian.

  • Lynn David

    If he were Catholic, he would have gotten an anulment from the Church. I think that would be difficult to do considering his position. About the only reason the Church grants an anulment is that one is considered to have entered into marriage unawares and of an immature mind.

  • Richard Willmer

    On a lighter note: in the ‘response’ the Lynn David, Mr. D’Souza spells the word ‘fiance’ [sic] with just one ‘e’.

    Might this mean he has changed his mind on the subject gay marriage?!

  • Richard Willmer

    On a lighter note: in the ‘response’ cited by Lynn David, Mr. D’Souza spells the word ‘fiance’ [sic] with just one ‘e’.

    Might this mean he has changed his mind on the subject gay marriage?!

  • Gus

    In the unholy marriage of religion and politics, religion has lost its manners, humanity and grace.

  • Bernie

    “….and a haughty spirit take a fall.”

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Well .. I guess I will be the odd ball here and say that dating someone before you are (via the state) completely legally divorced is probably not that unusual.

    Granted .. the neat and clean way is to take care of all of that first. However .. people’s lives aren’t always neat and tidy in this area.

    You would be hard pressed to find an exact biblical formula for divorce and remarriage. Dont get me wrong here .. but Jesus calls divorce and remarriage ‘adultery’ about 4 times in three gospels and Paul .. in Romans 7 and 1 Corinthians 7 has similar sentiments regardless of who is issuing the marriage license or divorce decree. The whole concept of the government authorizing a marriage or a divorce is also foreign to scripture.

    Additionally ..due to the passages I mentioned above .. the church .. for a long time, condemned divorce and disallowed remarrige if the exspouse were still living. Other churches made (and some still make) distinctions on whether the remarrige happened before or after the individual became a Christian. Now my church and I myself have a more gracious view on all of this. .. It takes two cooperative people to make a marriage work and their are many circumstances that can bring about a divorce. And since the blood of Christ cleanses us from sin .. I do not believe that divorce is unforgiveable.

    Indeed the church’s whole current attitude about the allowance of divorce and remarriage .. has raised some eyebrows in the camp of those who are affirming .. the question being .. if you are going to ignore Christ’s instruction on divorce and remarriage why do you take so literally certain other passages?

    Although biblical guidelines are minimal in this area, this leader’s failure to follow what is today’s church’s current expectation for couples who are divorcing .. and his being clueless about those expectations .. along with the perceived hypocrisy in doing this while being against gay marriage is likely what raises some eyebrows here.

    I have covered this to open the door to the various problems presented to evengelicals with all of this. RE:

    1. Jesus never affirmed divorce and remarriage anyway.

    2 When from God’s perspective (who .. per Jesus is the only one who joins the couple together) has a couple divorced? Is it when the govt .says so or when the couple with actions and words have said so?

    3. If its not the government then why are we up in arms about what this person has done?

    4. If, per scripture, God estabishes marriage .. God joins people together .. then why are Christians concerned about what the government does regarding gay marriage?

    Blessings,

    Dave

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Dave

    I rather agree with your perspective here – although, strictly speaking, the issues of divorce and gay marriage are entirely separate ones (e.g. I’m no ‘fan’ of divorce, although recognize that it might , under certain circumstances, be the ‘best available option’, but have no problem with equal provision under civil law for same-sex and heterosexual partnerships).

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    if you are going to ignore Christ’s instruction on divorce and remarriage why do you take so literally certain other passages?

    Because I’m not Gay, and I want the option of ditching my spouse.

    Marriage is a purely secular institution anyway when it comes to divorce, the Church should mind its own beeswax.

    Marriage is only a holy, wholly religious institution with no secular component whatsoever when I talk about homosexuals.

    Well, that’s the actual reason they should give, if they were honest. But if they were honest, they wouldn’t be hypocrites, would they? And this hypocrisy has become a foundation of Evangelical Christianity, despite the valiant efforts of Evangelical Christians with Integrity,

    Hence we have religious and political leaders on their third or fourth wife who preach against polygamy, and about unbreakable bonds and the sanctity of marriage.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Zoe

    I think one fundamental problem is theological: when one takes a literalist and non-holistic view of the diverse collection of writings that makes up the Canon of Scripture, one is bound, sooner or later, to end up ‘in the soup’.

    The apparent hypocrisy does ‘grate’, including for many Christians; not least, it is acutely embarrassing, as well undermining the core message that many Christians seek to share – with love and humility, in the full knowledge of their own failings – with their fellow human beings.

  • Richard Willmer

    Just on the subject of ‘hyprocrisy’: I do take the view that hypocrisy is part of ‘the human condition’. We all have ‘ideals’ which we like to embrace and present to others – ideals up to which we so often do not live. (I was trying to end that last clause not with a preposition, like what I were teached when I were a little boy. :-))

  • Dan

    George Costanza, on being accused of having sexual relations in the workplace:

    “Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? I tell you I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon, you know, cause I’ve worked in a lot of offices and I tell you people do that all the time.”

  • TxHistoryProf

    Those in glass houses… The groups floating this attack on D’Souza’s extra-marital exploits are the same crowd who said it was not the public’s business for Clinton to have done what he did with his intern. These are Bartonesque tactics. If you can’t pick apart his scholarship tear him down personally. This wreaks of hypocrisy. Has anyone written a “Getting Obama Right” version of a rebuttal to “Obama 2016″. I would be interested to see such a publication. However, as I read his book and follow the logic of a Dartmouth educated Indian immigrant, I have doubts much like I had with Barton. I would love to see a scholarly rebuttal taking D’Souza down on the merits of his claims rather than the irrelevance of his personal escapades.

  • TxHistoryProf

    This is an interesting read. I LOVE controversy lol.

    http://www.dineshdsouza.com/archives/news/how_i_earned_obamas_rage/

    The irony, is that, unlike, Jefferson, Obama chose to attack his critics as he realized how damaging his past could be to his reelection bid should his childhood influences and his actions as an adult be exposed. He chose items that were easy to disprove as D’Souza points out in this article.

    Obama’s own autobiography provided the foundations for the claims in this movie and accompanying book. Unlike Baron, D’Souza makes legitimate points that do nothing more make people think “How well do we REALLY know this man? Are we really willing to risk a second term where he can do as he pleases without worries of reelection?” How many people on tis feed actually have rea the book and watched this movie? D’Souzas political bias is no secret and knowing that up front forces the reader to read with skepticism. I have looked up the recent videos of Unger, writings of Said and Davis. He talked to Obama’s half brother who lives in poverty. What happened to Obama lecturing US on being our “brother’s keeper” while HIS lives in poverty?

    I am halfway through the book. I want to see point by point rebuttal of his well documented claims. Unlike Barton, Dinesh ha impressive academic credentials and a “rags to riches” immigrant story. It seems supporters of Obama are so enamored by his “cool factor” and social justice policies and redistribution of wealth that they turn a blind eye to his questionable background. We knew more about Clinton, Bush 43 and McCain than we do this ,am who spent two years as a state senator less than a full term as a U.S. Senator who gets propelled to the presidency in a whirlwind.

    I am not saying I believe everything D’Souza has written but having read “Dreams from My Father” years ago, I am saying that when you grow up around a card carrying Communist, an anti-American neo colonial mother, domestic terrorist and liberation theologian who was bribed for his silence, I am incline, not convinced, to remember the words of my mother “You are known by the company you keep!”

  • TxHistoryProf

    His excuse for not knowing it was wrong is BS. He KNEW it a would be frowned upon to be engaged while still married even of separated. Married is married period. The World Mgazine piece has lost credibility once the axes to grind were exposed regarding the author and Olasky. Petty Evangelicals. At least Dinesh disputed the entire birther BS the “Obama is a Muslim” garbage.

  • ken

    TxHistoryProf says:

    October 23, 2012 at 2:43 am

    “What happened to Obama lecturing US on being our “brother’s keeper” while HIS lives in poverty?”

    And D’Souza say why Obama wants nothing to do with his brother? I have A LOT of relatives I’d want nothing to do with. And I have my reasons for it.

    Even from the link you gave of D’Souza defense it is can be seen how he distorted/deceived in order to create controversy.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    TX Hist Prof – I disagree that World has/had a vendetta. If they had been running lots of op-eds attacking him through the years, then perhaps but they reported a bona fide news story. World should be congratulated, they are the only Christian news source willing to take on some the sacred cows of evangelicalism.

    As to D’Souza’s theories, they are just that – theories. As a psychologist, I consider them pseudo psychology based on a thread of out dated Freudian wishful thinking. In Freudian renderings anything can mean anything and often does.

  • Boo

    TX HIst Prof- perhaps you could explain for us- even if Obama does have an “anti-colonial worldview” what precisely is wrong with that? And do keep in mind that the United States of America was founded due to anti-colonialist worldviews.

  • Hughuenot

    Both houses here appear to suffer from the pox of sin.

    Like comment likening WORLD to tabloid! ‘Vanity Fair’?

    D’Souza’s sleaze is getting too much press from leering worldly-sounding scandal sheet. D’Souza contra ‘Mundum Magazine’?

  • TxHistoryProf

    Boo,

    Great point. Obama feels that we have imposed our ideals on too many countries making us in his eyes colonial in terms of ideas where he wants to tear us down to build others up. That is not the natural order of things.

    Ken,

    By ignoring those we want nothing to do with runs counter to Obama’s “brother’s keeper” lecture as your interpretation would lead us to ignore the helpless we didn’t like such as race,gender,orientation ,etc so regardless of how much he despises his brother, by his own words he should be taking care of him after bing blessed with so much wealth.

    Warren,

    Olansky protested D’Souza’s appointment to the presidency of King’s College and saw this recent scandal as perfect cover to defame Dinesh. There are too many facts taken from Obama’s own books to dismiss as impossible. How many times has our government been caught lying to us? During Ben Ghazi,the White House was getting real time video feed via a drone of the attacks, then gets an email from the consulate at 4:05 PM EST that a deliberate attack is underway then another email at 4:54 EST is sent to the administration saying an Al Queda group has taken responsibility

  • Boo

    TXhistoryProf- Do even you believe most of what you’re saying? Have you ever tried stopping to actually think any of it through? You guys on the right have been repeating these ridiculous memes for so long about anti-colonialism and imaginary socialism and non-existent apology tours and anti-American worldviews but never once has it occured to you that there’s no actual evidence for any of it? Why don’t you ask Pakistan about Obama no longer imposing America’s will on other countries? Just watch out you don’t get hit by all the bombs he’s imposing on them. The guy’s been a freaking ninja assassin on foreign policy. He went to war with Libya without even bothering to get Congressional approval, he committed an act of war against Pakistan to get Bin Laden, he’s decimating Al Quaeda with Predator Drones. Couldn’t you criticize him for the actual things he’s done instead of just making stuff up? Now it’s certainly true he didn’t rush off half cocked and invade the wrong entire country, but he’s still been rather beligerent if you’re actually paying attention.

  • Sally J

    Yeah, Warren,

    But one EXCERPT of a paragraph completely distorts the truth. Be honest!

    Read D’Souza’s entire response at

    http://www.dineshdsouza.com/archives/news/response-to-world-magazine/

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

      Sally J – I supplied a link to his response as printed by Fox News. No truth was distorted. He said he didn’t know it was wrong to be engaged and married at the same time. Nothing in the rest of the response changes that admission, which is stunning.

      D’Souza wants to make his choices about World magazine, the messenger. However, it doesn’t matter why World reported the story, the sad facts remain the same: He claims to be a defender of Christianity when he doesn’t even know the basics about marriage and proper conduct. Instead of repentance and confession, he blamed World.

  • ken

    TxHistoryProf says:

    October 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    “By ignoring those we want nothing to do with runs counter to Obama’s “brother’s keeper” lecture ”

    I have no idea what Obama said in is “brother’s keeper” lecture, nor do I care, he is a politician, he says what he thinks will get him elected.

    “your interpretation would lead us to ignore the helpless we didn’t like such as race,gender,orientation ,etc so regardless of how much he despises his brother, ”

    You never answered my question about why Obama wants nothing to do with his brother? What if his brother was a con man who tried to scam him? A drug addict who threatened his wife? a pedophile who threatened his children? You imply Obama can’t have any reason to ignore his brother, I can think of several.

  • ken

    Sally J says:

    October 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    “But one EXCERPT of a paragraph completely distorts the truth. Be honest!’

    what is it you believe Warren is distorting in his post?

  • TxHistoryProf

    Boo,

    He wants those who worked hard for their income to give to those who haven’t. That in and of itself is redistribution of wealth which is a very tenet of socialism much like advertising billboards to encourage people to get on food stamps and Medicaid up and down highways near where I live and work. He feels we need government to solve our problems when government creates more than they solve.

    Where is he on Syria? He is all for countries where no innocents are slaughtered but in Iraq and Syria people are killed by their own leader and he ignores them. He knew at 4:05 EST on 9/11/12 that our consulate was under a terror attack and blamed it on a video rather than telling us the truth. You guys on the left refuse to see this guy for who he is. He loathes capitalism and hates conservative wealthy Americans. Taxing the rich only drives them and their wealth away. 23,000,000 unable to find full time work,$4300 annual income decrease, 70 million on welfare,11 million who stopped looking for work,500k women out of work, poverty at 15%. If he is so interested in creating jobs and energy independence why did he kill the XL Pipeline and turn and give offshore AMERICAN tax $$ to Brazil and Columbia?? He said f he couldn’t turn this economy around in 3 1/2 years that he would be a one term POTUS.

  • Boo

    TXHistoryProf- So… still no evidence, just more assertions?

    Newsflash- all taxation is “redistribution of wealth.” Clinton raised taxes on the rich and the right screamed and wailed about how he was going to destroy the country. How’d that work out again? The entire taxation debate is about letting the Bush cuts expire, which would… wait for it… take us back to the Clinton rates! The rich have enjoyed these tax cuts for several years now. If they can solve problems better than the government, why haven’t they? Are the low-taxed rich going to take over providing Medicaid and Food Stamps? They’ve been doing ridiculously well as the rest of the country has struggled. The rich are richer than ever. The stock market doubled under Obama’s watch. Businesses are sitting on a mountain of cash. The “job creators” aren’t creating jobs because too much wealth has been redistributed up and there’s not enough broad-based demand anymore.

    On Syria… let’s see; Russia and China are blocking any UN action. NATO is only supporting Turkey, which will only get involved if they’re attacked. Supplying arms would be problematic since we know at least some of the resistance is Al Quaeda linked, and we’re already in too many wars we can’t afford. Romney agreed with Obama in the debate about not getting involved militarily.

    Regarding the Libya attack, Despite Romney’s lie about the President waiting two weeks, he did in fact describe it as an act of terror right off the bat, as did Secretary Clinton. Their statements about the video were based on a CIA report which stated “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.” It was a tragic and chaotic situation where conflicting information was coming in and it took them a little while to sort it all out. Again, better than rushing to blame the wrong country.

    Your poverty statistics are all the result of the economy driving into the ditch BEFORE Obama was elected. It hasn’t turned around as quickly as we’d all like, but it has, in fact, turned around. Unemployment is dropping, housing starts are rising. The 12 million new jobs Romney talks about have been projected to be added regardless of who is in the White House. Obama has approved the southern part of the XL pipeline, although an independent Cornell ILR Global Labor Institute study says the oil would end up being exported to Asia anyway. Your assertion that Obama hates capitalism and rich people is, once again, without evidence. Simply asserting something doesn’t make it true. even if you do so over and over again.


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