Albert Mohler on Herman Cain’s Alleged Affair

Yesterday, a Georgia woman alleged that she has carried on a 13-year affair with presidential candidate Herman Cain. Cain’s lawyer responded with a public statement arguing that a candidate’s private sexual life was a not a legitimate subject for public scrutiny. Albert Mohler

It is sheer nonsense to state that no candidate for public office (or public official) “should be questioned about his or her private sexual life.” Reporters did not just ask these questions out of the blue — they came only with public accusations. Once such an accusation is made, it must be answered. In a situation like this, the public’s interest is not lurid, it is moral. Voters know that a candidate’s sexual life is an essential dimension of character. So is the candidate’s fidelity or lack of fidelity in marriage.

Declaring that the right to know and the right to report meet a boundary that ends “outside of one’s bedroom door” is both moral and political insanity. That boundary was exceeded the moment such an accusation was made and it will be so for so long as the charge remains credible…

Character does not end at the bedroom door. Any effort to make this claim will be recognized by the public for what it is. We live in a morally confused age, but there is little confusion about the fact that sexual behavior and personal character are inseparable. The question of character is among the most crucial issues of a political campaign. Americans may come to different conclusions about the significance of sexual misconduct in its different forms (as in the case of President Clinton), but they know better than to accept being told that it is none of their business.

We do not yet know if Herman Cain had the affair with which he is charged. We do know, however, that the argument put forth by his attorney is shameful. When charges like these are made, a candidate cannot hide behind the bedroom door.

Read the rest here.


  • Dan Phillips

    Oh, goodness. I’d heard Cain flatly deny it yesterday, and that’s one thing. But this line of argument? Oh dear; if Cain doesn’t immediately slap the lawyer down, that’s it for him.

    Can you say “Bill Clinton”? The world resolves into two kinds of people: those who learned sadly from the living admonitory parable of Clinton that character matters, and those in denial.

  • Nate

    I will withhold judgment until the facts really come in, but Cain is getting the Clarence Thomas treatment. To compare Cain to Clinton at this point is unfair. Cain is being harassed because he is a conservative black man. This is the one area that liberals can’t handle because should Cain prosper it would lead the way for others to follow. This attack dog mentality by the liberals is typical and I’m glad to see Cain fight it.

    Now, all these allegations could be true, but the liberals had so much junk to go after Obama with in the last election, Ayers, Wright, etc. and they refused. Yet they will bring to light any and all allegations (no matter how unfounded) against Cain.

    This is, by the way, why J.C. Watts left public office because he refused to allow his family to be decimated by unfounded allegations simply because he was a black conservative.

    • Dan Phillips

      I think you’re right about the real impetus behind the search for dirt.

      Do you know anyone who’s comparing Cain to Clinton? However, if the lawyer’s Clintonlike rationalization is allowed to stand, that comparison will regrettably be unavoidable.

  • Derek

    So let me get this straight… the lawyer of a Baptist minister is telling us that an affair is a private matter?
    I’m sorry to say this, because there is a racial element here, but there is a cultural reality here – black churches often engage in omerta on sexual sin in the clergy, not to mention the laity. I didn’t know a single thing about this until a friend of mine – who grew up in a fairly conservative black church – told me that this code exists and that it sometimes involves protecting pedophiles, very similar to what we’ve seen in the Catholic church. I don’t believe that Eddie Long’s predatory homosexual behavior or the sad story of Zachary Tims (megachurch pastor from Orlando who engaged in a long term affair with a stripper and then died of a suspected drug overdose) are outliers, unfortunately.
    My main point here is that if we maintain a culture of “forgiveness” and silence on matters of gross sin in the pulpit and leadership, we should not be surprised if the cancer becomes unmanageable and destroys many lives, communities and churches.

  • Paul

    “Cain is being harassed because he is a conservative black man.”

    Oh, come on now. If someone’s claiming a 13 year affair, they’re going to have proof. Enough of this “the world picks on conservatives” stuff. The world, especially in the US, does not pick on you. I have to suffer the likes of Ann Coulter, the entire Fox News staff and the giant RNC bumper sticker that is Wheaton, IL because conservatives are not picked on nearly as much as you’d like to think.

    I know that playing the victim is the cool thing to do in some circles, but five women coming out and saying they were harassed or propositioned by Cain and a woman claiming a 13 year affair? There’s some truth in there somewhere.

    Not to mention, how can you possibly support a candidate that presided over such awful pizza? America may need a president that runs the country like a business, but then at least pick a decent business. Conning pizza starved markets that ketchup, white bread and Wal-Mart Cheese Product equals pizza does not represent the business model that I’d like to see run America.

    • Nate

      “If someone’s claiming a 13 year affair, they’re going to have proof.”

      We live in a world full of irresponsible media and journalism. Cain has been a powerful figure in business for years, but it is only now that he is running for president, and that he actually was leading the polls, before any of the allegations came forward. And, let’s not pretend that in todays day and age that the people who are accusing didn’t want their reputations tarnished. That day has long passed. And in most sexual harrasment charges there doesn’t have to be proof, only allegations

      Now, I will say it again, Cain could be guilty of all of this. Let’s wait and see.

      However, the media consistently refused to advance any of the allegations against Obama in 2008 that were brought out, especially his association with Ayers. Currently the media is not going after Obama on Solyndra, so please spare me the snipe about Cain’s lousy pizza (even though it is) and his poor business practices. We currently have a president that has no business practices or morals.

  • Paul

    The reason nothing was made of Obama’s association with Ayers is because there’s nothing to it, unless you work for Fox News. Obama and Ayers were neighbors and they sat on a board or two together — 20 years after Ayers had turned himself in, and at least 25 years since the last acts of the Weather Underground. Ayers is now a respected professor and do-gooder in the Hyde Park and Kenwood areas. I would even venture to say that he has done more for his community than you have for yours.

    And where do you get that Obama has no morals? Just because you don’t like his political stances doesn’t mean that you have any place to judge his moral compass.

  • Adam

    Sadly, the history of the American presidency is an almost non-stop parade of infidelity scandals. I will let you all debate whether or not it *should* be an issue of public scrutiny, but most certainly *it has* been an issue of public scrutiny.

  • Derek

    Ayers is now a respected professor and do-gooder in the Hyde Park and Kenwood areas. I would even venture to say that he has done more for his community than you have for yours.
    Anyone who says such a thing is either a) ignorant of who Bill Ayers is or b) is a hard core left wing idealogue. Read Ayers’ bio on Wikipedia if you don’t agree. There is a reason that Obama threw him under the bus. His arrogance and repeated, dismissive comments about his own terrorist actions are indefensible. They hint at a tortured and disturbed individual, even to put the most positive spin possible (on Ayers).

  • Paul

    “read it on a wikipedia page?” You do know that I could go on Wikipedia right now and write that he juggles fireballs while serenading elephants, right?

    That said, you’re reading stuff into that Wikipedia page that simply isn’t there. And to say that he isn’t a well respected college professor is to be completely ignorant of this thing called reality.

    But, as Stephen Colbert once famously said, “reality has a liberal bias.”

  • Nate

    Ayers being respected is a personal choice of those that associate with him. And, you have no idea what I do in my community. I have just as much a right to my opinion on Ayers as you have on backing Cain’s accusers. And, as for my right to judge Obama’s moral compass on his associations, his kowtowing to foreign officials, stance on abortion, etc., you should be backing me all the way Paul, because that is exactly what you are inferring by claiming that there has to be proof simply because a woman says she had an affair for 13 years with Cain.

    Your political viewpoint (personal morality) of Cain has just as much to do with your assessment of his supposed guilt as mine with what Obama has already done in the office, and his moral choices (based on my moral values) on policy.

  • Derek

    Of course Ayers is popular among liberal academics and those who wear their favorite red hammer and sickle t-shirt at Occupy rallies! Duh! And I’m sure that all the atrocities of Stalin as documented on Wikipedia are also fabricated by Fox News zealots too.

    Paul, by any chance, do you wear a tin foil hat when you go in public so that Fox News and the Feds can’t hear your thoughts?

  • TT

    A man who can keep this a secret for thirteen years… that is talent rare among politicians, and rarer among money moguls. This kind of thing typically would end in a divorce and a huge alimony. So, it seems, that there is a lot to the story that is missing. But, perchance it is true, a president who can operate in public with this kind of stealth ability behind closed doors, might just be the real deal we have been waiting for… I mean, if he can work out intimate deals behind the scenes without the Democrats destroying his efforts before the even get off the ground, he is the kind of backroomsman we need. On the other hand, if it is only about sneaking out of the WH to get a piece… of pizza… well, that’s a whole other slice of reality.

  • Jeremy

    I agree with Mohler that “Voters know that a candidate’s sexual life is an essential dimension of character. So is the candidate’s fidelity or lack of fidelity in marriage.” My only concern is that the freshness of this revelation is granting it unequal emphasis in the political arena. Shouldn’t the same considerations of character also be applied to Newt Gingrich who is known to have been engaged in multiple affairs, or will this perhaps only be emphasized if his candidacy reaches a certain threshold (and he seems to be on the rise)? Are we evangelicals content with the level of repentance that has been displayed by Gingrich, or are we overlooking these moral failures in his case because we like his policies better? Even with proper repentance, should there be no consequences of such failures? I’m not trying to be facetious, I’m just fleshing out the debate in my mind and trying to gauge where the consensus is among us, if one exists. I personally don’t have a preferred candidate in the presidential race at this point.

    • Derek

      Newt’s infidelity is a major reason that Newt’s numbers are not higher than they are. I think he would probably be beating Romney in many polls if not for this.

      Still, the coverup is pretty much always worse than the crime because it demonstrates the continuation of an ongoing pattern of rebellion and deception. His own inartful, smoke screens and pathetic “denials” are an admission of guilt. David had to come clean in order for his own spiritual rehab to even begin. Newt has at least owned up and apologized. Herman Cain doesn’t get a pass – he needs to fess up and demonstrate some contrition before he earns any trust at all.

        • Derek

          I believe Newt will probably lose to Romney in part b/c of his affairs.

          This election is tough. It seems like it comes down to 1) a man with an uneven temperament, who has twice betrayed his spouse – and God – and 2) a man who has very strong allegiances to a powerful and growing false religion.

          Is it too late for Governor Pawlenty to re-join the race?

          • Paul

            You could just vote for a sensible candidate with tons of foreign policy experience and a decent head on his shoulders…John Huntsman.

            Of course, he isn’t certifiably insane, so no Republican will deem him electable. What you forget in your scheme to take down America through horrifyingly bad presidential candidates, however, is that there are lots of independents that would go wild for the guy in a head to head with Obama. And there are lefties like me that would give such a qualified candidate the benefit of the doubt.

          • Derek

            Since when do liberals accept conservative suggestions about who they should vote for in the primary?

            Personally, I am going to run in the opposite direction of taking advice from someone who feels at home with a party that won’t allow any dissent within their party on abortion.

            That would be certifiably insane.

  • RD

    I’m not sure a person’s sex life should be open to scrutiny, actually. I know that sounds as if I am condoning sexual indiscretion, but I’m not. I just think there are some things that should be off limits. And I’m not sure it’s really even relevant in determining how someone would lead as commander in chief. FDR had his own issues with marital unfaithfulness and led the world through the darkest days of the 20th century. Gen Eisenhower was unfaithful and was a brilliant military leader. JFK’s sexual adventures are well known now, yet he steered the country through the first major nuclear crisis and also advanced the cause of civil rights. My point isn’t to say that sexual indiscretion isn’t a big deal. The point is that all human beings are flawed, and leaders are often more flawed than others. Poor judgement in one area doesn’t necessarily translate into someone being incapable of leading.

  • Paul


    1) stop with the adversarial yammering. It’s pointless, childish and absolutely not the way to treat your brother in Christ.

    2) tell me that this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    3) Maybe think through what I’m saying: put up a reasonable candidate, and you might have favorable results. Put up Perry, and I’ll be looking forward to the daily YouTube clips of the side-splitting gaffes he will commit.

    4) Maybe try reasonable conversation instead of throwing “baby killer” epithets.

    • Derek

      The party you support IS the baby killing party, no matter how many euphemisms, obfuscations and smoke screens are employed.
      My simple point is not childish – it is that most of us, including myself, will not accept unsolicited input on who to vote for from a person who supports candidates and a political party that is responsible for genocide. You described conservatives as certifiably insane if they will not vote for John Huntsman (a truly childish comment) and I simply say that if you won’t listen to our unsolicited input on who to vote for, don’t expect your input to go anywhere either. In fact, it will probably make us even more suspect of your preferred candidates.

  • Paul

    Derek –

    1) WE ALL HAVE TO LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY TOGETHER. That means that I want the best candidates running on both sides. And on “my side,” no, I do not think that Obama is the guy. But I’m stuck with him.

    2) realizing point #1, all of the other candidates on the Republican side are deeply flawed. Romney and Gingrich are bought and paid for. Cain is proving to be a mess. Perry can’t handle the national stage. Bachmann is flat out crazy ($2 gas? Really? Without another meltdown of the economy? REALLY?). Ron Paul wants to put us back on the gold standard. Santorum is too focused on social issues to be a decent president of a country ruled by mammon, and not God. That leaves only Huntsman.

    It is not my fault that my opinion holds no weight in your eyes. It is also not my fault that your hatred of liberals gets in the way of a rational conversation. We are brothers in Christ, and instead of approaching me as “a member of the baby killing party,” maybe, just maybe, you should approach me as a fellow Christian that does not share your view on politics.

  • Derek

    I’ll let Denny’s readers review this thread to see who is inflammatory here – I never called you a baby killer – but what I did say and stand by is that a party that systematically eliminates pro-life candidates from any meaningful leadership position within its party is morally bankrupt.

    Just as corrupt, if not more corrupt than a political party that required its candidates to support slavery.

    Do we not believe that God would hold a person accountable for supporting a political party that was dedicated to slavery’s existence? I believe so. And I believe that God will hold people accountable if they knowingly support a corrupt political system that supports the genocide of our day and culture. Do I know what consequences God will impose? No, I have no idea. But I believe that they will be sobering consequences, particularly people who are aware of the disturbing connection between said party and Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups.

  • Paul

    “Just as corrupt, if not more corrupt than a political party that required its candidates to support slavery. ”

    In the 1860’s. And in the 1960’s, most of the Democrats that supported the Jim Crow laws eventually became Republicans.

    “I’ll let Denny’s readers review this thread to see who is inflammatory here”

    In this case, that would be you. I pointed out a few facts. You suggested that I wear a tin foil hat.

    “Do we not believe that God would hold a person accountable for supporting a political party that was dedicated to slavery’s existence?”

    If I was born in 1835, you might have a point.

    “And I believe that God will hold people accountable if they knowingly support a corrupt political system that supports the genocide of our day and culture.”

    That would be both sides of the aisle. Do a history check. Up until the mid 90’s, there were plenty of pro-choice Republicans in congress. And even now, I still hold true to the idea that most of the GOP lawmakers simply pay the religious right lip service — folks like Santorum excepted.

    “Do I know what consequences God will impose? No, I have no idea. But I believe that they will be sobering consequences, particularly people who are aware of the disturbing connection between said party and Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups.”

    Based on what? If the GOP REALLY wanted to see abortion laws made so strict as to make the procedure all but impossible, they could in probably 40 out of 50 states. But, they realize that in doing that, they’ll lose the House and Senate for 50 years. So, they talk a lot and get seemingly inactive every time they have the opportunity to do much of anything.

    With that in mind, I support the party whose other policies line up fairly consistently with mine. Sue me. You’ll still get farther in life if you try engaging people with whom you disagree instead of writing them off and treating them with scorn. (and again, I should probably hold myself more accountable in that regard as well, I fully admit)

    • Derek

      If I was born in 1835, you might have a point.
      You’re evading the obvious point and implication. As God will hold our parents’ generations responsible to the degree that they supported Jim Crow, the KKK and slavery, He will hold us acccountable for supporting leaders who have strong and unassailable alliances with abortion groups and PP.

  • Paul

    Derek –

    If that’s the case, then Westboro Baptist Church is right and we’re ALL up a creek without a paddle. BOTH parties have gotten behind some ideas that would be abominations in God’s eyes. And, like I said before, it might have been a democrat that filibustered the civil rights act, but remember that he switched parties, and his buddy that said that the country would have been better off with him in charge? Also a republican.

    Quit thinking you hold some sort of moral high ground because of who you vote for. It just ain’t the case.

    • Derek

      Classic evasion, Paul – point to wrong behavior on the part of some fringe element (Westboro) in order to justify yourself. I never once said that a Republican who supports abortion should be supported.

      I also live in Illinois and voted for Glenn Poshard (D) because he was pro-life and also because I believed George Ryan (R) was corrupt. I smelled a rat with him in part because he showed a ready willingness to throw pro-lifers under the bus.

      Meanwhile, I saw how Glenn Poshard was thrown under the bus by fellow Dems because of his pro-life stance.

      So I will support any Democrat who stands up to the rock solid orthodoxy of abortion. But these situations are so far from the norm that it is further evasion and obfuscation to blur the differences between the parties. And what I am saying is underscored by the overwhelming sum of dollars donated to the Democratic party for their allegiance to abortion “rights”.

        • Derek

          You’re right, YGG… I do have to say that if we could somehow manage to convince our fellow believers to take a hard line on ALL leaders and BOTH political parties on abortion, we could end it. Too many of us believe that it is inevitable that one party or both parties will support abortion. Abortion should be just as abhorrent to all Americans as Jim Crow and slavery and sex trafficking – if not more! – and yet for some reason, we can’t even get Christians to believe this.

          Well, one day it will happen – I do believe that.

  • Paul

    Derek –

    It’s funny to “debate” you because you only read the words you want to see. It’s cute, actually. If you’re anywhere near Wheaton, I’d love to meet up for coffee sometime so I can see how this all plays in real life.

    • Derek

      I’ve responded to your points – if you feel that I’ve not responded to your points I will either do so or show you how I already did respond to it.

      In particular, one of your overarching arguments, i.e. that there isn’t much of a difference between Democrats and Republicans on abortion is simply wishful thinking. That you can find exceptions on either side, I agree to, which is why I pointed to the example I did. And to the extent that there are individual Democrats, like Glenn Poshard, who do take a stand on the great moral issue of our day, I stand with them in support.

  • Paul

    So CHRSTIANS that don’t agree with you are trolls, YGG? What’s funny is that you look right past all of the things we do agree on, just so you can pitch a fit over a small number of differences. Oh well. It’s not like I’m going away.

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