WASHINGTON – Its been viewed – and mocked – so many times that the abstinence video has become the shorthand reference to Mark Souders scandal.
Last year, during one of their scripted on-camera conversations, Tracy Meadows Jackson interviewed Souder about a congressional hearing on abstinence education.
Although Souder has not said when he started the affair with Jackson, a part-time employee, he hinted that it was going on when the conversation was taped.
Its provided fodder for comedians, and 200,000 people have watched the video on YouTube. Many have posted brutally sarcastic comments.
In the five-minute clip, Souder says, I should have probably abstained from the hearing. In response, Jackson laughs awkwardly and says, Oooookay.
The truth is that its funny, Souder said in the interview with The Journal Gazette. Youll go crazy if you dont have some sense of irony.
He said he didnt scramble to have the video removed from his congressional website because everything I said in the video is true.
Ive even acknowledged that its difficult, he said of sex outside of marriage. I said this in my (resignation) statement, but I passionately feel it: The ideas arent proven right or wrong whether an individual fails. The whole Old Testament, from an evangelical perspective, is to show that man cant be perfect. And the whole point of the New Testament is to show that Christ sacrifices for it.
Now, they expect a little better performance than I gave, especially if youre a public official. The more responsibility youre given, the more is expected. Therefore, ridicule is part of what happens when you fail.
Souder said there might be a silver lining in the cloud of scorn the video has produced.
If some people see this abstinence video, Im living proof of what were saying in it. If they actually listen to the words, maybe its worth it.
Just because a Christian says something and fails does not mean their words are wrong. If you took that principle, you should never advocate something where youre doing less than you think you should be doing. But it hurts the cause.
Besides, he said, if the abstinence video is the symbol used by TV broadcasts, late-night comics and Internet commentators, it means some other image isnt.
Quite frankly, Id rather have that kind of video than video of my wife crying at the press conference shown over and over again, the reason Souder asked his family not to join him at the microphone when he announced his resignation.
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