State Rep. Rob Briley apologized to his fellow members of the Tennessee House of Representatives for driving drunk and leading police on a high-speed chase. After his speech, House speaker Jimmy Naifeh said, “We love you, Rob.”

Doesn’t that just warm your heart?

Briley claims to be an alcoholic and, after a stint in rehab, is ready to get back to work representing his constituents.

I won’t even get in to the unimaginable disdain I have for people who drive under the influence. Quite frankly, I feel that anyone who is caught drinking and driving should have their licenses permanently revoked. I had a high school friend killed by a drunk driver, and there are very few people in this world I find more despicable than one who finds everyone else so unworthy of respect that he would get behind the wheel of a 2,000 pound bullet after drinking. Jerks. Unimaginable jerks.

What I loved most about the Tennessean article is a toss up between Rep. Gary Moore’s comment, “Some of us are alcoholics. Some of us are thieves. Some of us are adulterers. Truth of the matter is we reflect society.” or Rep. Kent Williams’ (from our own Carter Country), which is one of the most common misrepresentations of scripture, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”

Let’s start with Moore’s asinine assertion that some of our representatives are alcoholics, thieves, and/or adulterers merely reflecting society. Is he serious? The last time I checked we tend to hold our government leaders to a higher standard than your average, run-of-the-mill Joe Schmoe on the street. If I wanted a man-whore representing me in Nashville I’m sure I could find some boob in my neighborhood to do the job. Interestingly, I would prefer someone with some semblance of a moral standard running the state. So, I would like for Rep. Moore to point out to me the alcoholics, thieves, and adulterers so we can run some sort of opposition campaign against their sorry behinds and replace them with decent individuals whom I don’t have to worry about running from the cops at 100mph or impregnating some intern behind his wife’s back.

Now, for Williams’ statement that we should “remember the scripture.” This is one of my favorite misrepresentations of scripture. Those who use this verse typically mean, “Don’t you judge me!”, and say it after they’ve gotten busted driving drunk, stealing from little children, or cheating on his wife. How sweet that Williams would use it to defend someone else.

What Williams apparently doesn’t know is that what Christ meant was “he who is without this particular sin may cast the first stone.” If only he who is sinless was able to judge sin, we certainly wouldn’t have had the justice system presented in the Old Testament, nor the one that we use today. For I’m sure Williams isn’t asserting that our judges are without sin?

Furthermore, church discipline, which is a biblical concept, is an act of putting an unrepentant member out of fellowship and involves judging others’ sin. The last time I checked even those of us in the church aren’t “without sin.”

Then there’s parenting, in which a father punishes his son or daughter for wrongdoing…surely Williams isn’t saying that parents are in error for correcting their children when they are not “without sin!”

My guess is that Williams wanted a sweet little sound bite in which he sounded super-spiritual (that’s the cool thing to be nowadays, right?) by quoting scripture and “forgiving his brother.” While I certainly can’t oppose forgiving one who is truly repentant, I do take issue with a misrepresentation of scripture when doing so. Williams would have been better served by saying something a bit more simple, like, “Briley apologized, and I forgive him. His behavior will reflect whether he is truly sorry.”

But I’m not sure “simple and authentic” is what Williams was going for…

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