I READ THE commentary by Robert Jewett ("The Abandonment of Trust," November-December 1998), and while I agree that by his "campaign of lies" President Clinton has damaged public trust in our political institutions, I completely disagree with Jewett's conclusions. He states, "The integrity of our governmental system is now in jeopardy....We cannot survive the abandonment of trust itself."
Although I detest the way President Clinton has betrayed the trust of the American people, perhaps he has inadvertently done us a favor by shaking our complacency about "trustworthy politicians." Our system of government is based on the mistrust of too much political power in anyone's hands. That is what our system of governmental checks and balances is all about.
Of course, it is easier to just trust our politicians and our government, and trusting provides a simple solution to a complex problem. It's very comfortable to believe that we are clear on our Christian duty. But as Christians we should have a more realistic sense of human sinfulness. When we misunderstand our duty as Christians or as citizens and place our trust and confidence in our political leaders, there is often a very high price to pay for our naivete.