And so it goes, as the song says. Former Reagan advisor Dinsh D’Souza, president of The King’s College since 2010 and under investigation by that school for adultary since Tuesday, has stepped down from his post. The New York Daily News reported last night that “His resignation from The King’s College was announced Thursday by Andy Mills, chairman of the institution’s board of trustees.”
D’Souza, of course, is the filmmaker behind “2016: Obama’s America,” which he based on his book The Roots of Obama’s Rage (2010) The film has grossed over $30 million since its release in July. According to Wikipedia, this makes it the “fourth highest-grossing documentary (domestically) of all time.”
It was the Evangelical World magazine that first reported D’Souza’s misstep with morality. The magazine pointed out that the adultery was committed on September 28 and that D’Souza filed for divorce on October 4. D’Souza told Warren Cole Smith, writing for World, that he had done nothing wrong. On Wednesday, D’Souza gave an exclusive to Christianity Today, denying infidelity.
Smith pointed out that “D’Souza now receives speaking fees sometimes in excess of $10,000 from Christian groups, putting him in the top tier of Christian speakers. ”
The top tier of Christian hypocrites as well.
The delicious part of this whole scandal is that the 51-year-old D’Souza was still married when he took his 29-year-old fiancé to a hotel for a tryst and spent the night together. No, that’s not the delicious part. The delicious part is that they were attending a conference on Christian Values called Truth for a New Generation.
On top of committing adultery at an event about Christian Values, D’Souza subsequently lied about the tryst that took place at the event which had proclaimed Truth for a New Generation.
But no, there is something still more delicious about this scandal and it is this: Right Wing Watch revealed that D’Souza’s mistress/fiancée, Denise Odie Joseph II, was also married. The young woman said in April – and you will love this – that she was casting her vote for Mitt Romney, “because [her] husband told her to.”
D’Souza, an Obama hater, was also a family values Republican, as this Q&A from 2003 with Enter Stage Right shows. Here, D’Souza revealed that “Marriage does not civilize men. Women do.” Apparently, his wife did not succeed and civilzing D’Souza and I am certain he would blame her, and not himself, for his affair. After all, D’Souza’s moral flexibility allowed him to blame liberalism for the Republican-driven misdeeds at Abu Ghraib.
What do you bet he did it because he loved his country so much?
In fact, as Right Wing Watch points out, just last week “conservative pseudo-intellectual Dinesh D’Souza was featured on a conference call for Rick Scarborough’s 40 Days to Save America. D’Souza said Obama is “attacking the traditional values agenda” by supporting marriage equality and abortion rights, arguing that ‘Obama doesn’t like traditional Christianity because he identifies it with colonialism.’ ”
Why is Obama on the social issues — and I’m thinking here of abortion, I’m thinking here of gay marriage — why is Obama so aggressive in attacking the traditional values agenda? I think the reason for it is because when Obama thinks about colonialism, about the British and the French who went abroad to conquer other countries, or earlier the Spanish and the Portuguese, I come from a part of India that was a Portuguese colony at one time, I think for Obama colonialism is identified not just with the soldiers but also with the missionaries. Remember it’s the missionaries that went alongside the conquerors, the conquistadors, came to the Americas and worked on converting the Indians and later missionaries went to China, India and Japan. So I think this is the problem, Obama doesn’t like traditional Christianity because he identifies it with colonialism. Obama’s own Christianity is more of a Third World liberation theology, a very different kind of Jeremiah Wright type philosophy, summarized in the idea that America is the rogue nation in the world.
Ultimately there’s a political divide in this country but underneath that is a moral divide, and underneath that is a spiritual divide. I think that the deepest problems facing America and the West in the end are not political, they are spiritual. This is why it makes sense even as we debate policy issues, even as we debate moral issues, to turn to the maker of the universe, this maker of the universe that isn’t just an absentee God like Obama’s dad, a kind of absentee father who got things going and then took off but a God who cares about each one of us and certainly about our country.
D’Souza thinks gay marriage is wrong but apparently thinks sleeping with another women while married – while both of them are married – is perfectly compatible with Christian values. He says he didn’t know you couldn’t be engaged while already married to somebody else! D’Souza pushes the narrative that some nefarious “gay-ness” disease destroys society but it doesn’t sound as if he needed much help with that.
Moral compasses are apparently not “in” with aberrochristians.
In a way, there is nothing particularly shocking about the idea of a family values Republican getting caught visiting a prostitute, flying out of country to visit a mistress, or just generally being sleazy, like D’Souza. It happens all the time.
Hermant Mehta, writing at Patheos, explains best why this story matters:
Conservative Christians love to tell other people they have no right getting married because it goes against God’s Will. When they themselves break the rules, though, it’s just a “sin” that needs a bit of correcting. This is why you never see Christian groups trying to outlaw divorce — they don’t really care about maintaining “traditional” families. They only care about maintaining their own power, which means putting down same-sex marriage in the process.
And as Mehta says, D’Souza will just write another book as a result, the typical down-and-out story of redemption the Religious Right loves so much. Fundamentalists have a get out of jail free card nobody else in society can have. They are always willing to forgive their own, so nobody is really ever permanently out of play as a result of their misdeeds. They can literally have their cake and eat it too.
The ground-work for D’Souza’s redemption was laid with the announcement from King’s College when Andy Mills said, “God has a mighty future for Dinesh, but there are some things he has to go through first.”
But what can you learn from a mistake if you won’t admit you made a mistake? What value is there in redemption when it’s clearly not from the heart, when nothing is proved beyond the fact that hypocrisy and dishonesty are what drive the Religious Right’s agenda? That is not a question you will likely ever had answered by the sinners and hypocrites behind the drive for theocracy, because as Mehta said, all that really matters is power. Power that, for the moment, at least, eludes the unholy D’Souza.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.