Congressman Anthony Wiener has been the source of much attention this last week, as an inappropriate picture was published from his twitter account. At first the congressman claimed he was hacked, but didn’t know if the picture was of him or not. Then, he refused to speak of the matter at all. Finally, though, yesterday the congressman came clean. He told the media that he had sent the picture under question, and multiple other pictures, to 6 women before and during his marriage.
There are several ways that Christians could look at this story. And I thought of several different applications. For instance, Mr. Wiener did not admit to any of this until an investigator was able to uncover more evidence. This leaves him open to the question of whether he was sorry he did it, or sorry he got caught. Also, it shows the stupidity of lying as it makes matters worse, not better. Or we could have discussed whether moral choices should be taken into account when individuals are in public office. However, in this case, the simplest application is the best.
The simplest application is integrity in social media. For some reason people have the mindset that a computer and a closed door gives them security. Or, as I have written earlier, that sin doesn’t count when it is online (read that article here). But if we could ask the congressman’s wife about whether it made it easier for her knowing that he was only doing this online, then I think we would realize online sin hurts.
Empirical evidence proves this same fact. We do not know what will happen to the marriage of congressman Wiener, but we do know that marriages have been destroyed because of an internet usage. Whether it was for pornography, Facebook, twitter, or some other means the internet has increasingly become a listed reason for divorce.
The real problem as mentioned above is integrity. Integrity means that we are the same person no matter the circumstance. Our online image is the same as our day-to-day real life one. A person of integrity does not have to hide their sins behind DMs, or block people from their Facebook wall. They are open because they are happy to have their lives examined, because they know they are living a consistent life.
Anthony Wiener will not be the last person to be caught up in sin (and it was sin not a mistake) because of social media. But my prayer is that people see this as a clear warning that no matter how hard you try to hide your sin, you are only one letter away, or one click of the mouse away, from revealing it to the world forever. And more importantly God sees through filters.