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The Letterman sex scandal

By Scott Tibbs, October 8, 2009

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. -- 1 Corinthians 6:18

Last week, David Letterman disclosed on the air that he had affairs with female subordinates, in response to efforts to blackmail him by threatening to expose the affairs. Some argue that this made for "compelling" television, but there's a deeper issue here that needs to be explored.

The primary problem with Letterman's sexual romps is the power imbalance between Letterman and the women he had sex with. Letterman is a big time TV star and could have these women fired on a whim if they displeased him. Having sex with subordinates - whether you're a man or a woman - is a recipe for disaster, and a significant embarrassment for his employer. Letterman foolishly exposed himself and his employer to multiple lawsuits - not only from the women he had sex with, but with other subordinates who could charge that they were unfairly denied promotions, raises and so forth because they didn't have sex with the boss.

This is one of the primary reasons behind the numerous laws and corporate policies prohibiting sexual harassment. In the 1990s, sexual harassment became a hot, including some high profile cases such as the rather disgusting and depraved behavior of disgraced former Republican Senator Bob Packwood. Corporations cracked down on sexual harassment, making it very clear that it would not be tolerated and that retaliation would also not be tolerated.

There is another innocent party here as well. Letterman and his wife Regina Lasko have "been together since 1986" before finally getting married a few months ago. Letterman - who made a profit by mocking politicians for committing adultery - betrayed Lasko and their relationship of two decades. It's not funny or "compelling" television to admit you betrayed a commitment with foolish, sinful and incredibly unprofessional sexual liaisons.

A few months ago, Letterman mocked Sarah Palin's daughter with a fabricated account of her getting "knocked up" by a professional baseball player in a crude segment that drew a great deal of criticism. I can't help but notice the irony in Letterman's hypocritical mocking of Palin's daughter. Perhaps he should take the beam out of his own eye before mocking the speck in another's eye for ratings and profit?

Of course, there is only one place where sexual intimacy belongs: in a lifelong, monogamous marriage of one man and one woman. This was the plan established by God and those who abuse God's gift of sexuality outside of those boundaries bring destruction upon themselves. We have seen the physical destruction sexual immorality brings with diseases such as AIDS and the destruction broken marriages have brought on children, on families and on society. Thankfully, there is an escape from sexual sin through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that provides forgiveness for sin, and the power the Holy Spirit gives believers to resist sexual temptation.