Amidst all the craziness of l’affaire d’Tigre there are some important questions being raised about the linkage between power, wealth, and faithfulness.
The Wealth Report at The Wall Street Journal asks, “Is it harder to stay faithful with large wealth?”
The initial sociological findings don’t seem to correlate wealth with adultery, at least at any higher rates than the general population of males (interestingly enough, a 2007 survey led to the conclusion, “When it comes to infidelity, money has a bigger impact on women than men.”).
Jesus gives us an apt axiom: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
And so there’s the corollary question of whether dishonesty in one area of life should lead us to question whether there is dishonesty in other areas. Tiger Woods’ apparent and alleged marital infidelities might make us wonder about his emotional control, for instance. Does his robot-like and highly-controlled exterior hide deeper emotional turmoil, as his outbursts on the golf course (both positive and negative) suggest?
And should we wonder whether Tiger would cheat on the golf course? If he’s willing to cheat on his wife, would he cheat at golf? Or does his great love and respect for golf, the ultimate gentleman’s sport, exclude that possibility? And if so, what does that say about his love and respect for his wife?
On the one hand it is clear that one need not be prosperous to be adulterous, greedy, or dishonest. But wealth can sometimes help to insulate us from the common consequences of these sins, and perhaps make facilitate their commission, while at the same time potentially exacerbating the fallout if and when it does come during this life.
Update: A timely word on the economic implications of recent events from SNL, “The PGA Tour: No Tiger, no problem!”