It appears alcoholism and religion have claimed another one of our best and brightest in congress. Former Rep. Mark Foley announced he is entering rehab treatment for “alcoholism and other behavioral problems” after being caught sending sexually explicit messages to underage boys. The terrible disease of organized religion may have had a hand in Foley’s behavior as well. A day after announcing his struggles with alcoholism Foley added that as a minor he had been sexually abused by a clergyman.
Foley’s bought is another in a sharp rise in congressional alcohol related incidents this year. Foley joins former congressmen Patrick Kennedy (crashed his car near the Capitol) and Bob Ney (took illegal gifts from Jack Abramoff) in the battle against this terrible disease. The Catholic Church has also been mired in high profile scandals this year as it fights pedophilia among its ranks.
Republicans, initially passive about Foley’s behavior toward underage boys, are now expressing shock and outrage at his behavior and his attempt to alleviate personal responsibility, a ploy usually reserved for bleeding-heart liberals.
"I don't buy this at all. I think this is a phony defense,” said Republican Peter King of New York. “The fact is, I think he's responsible for what he did here and I think it's a gimmick."
Other alcoholics are equally offended and upset.
Mel Gibson issued this statement: “Alcoholism is a serious problem. It should not be used as an umbrella or political move when it is the responsibility of the person to control his or her actions.”
Ralph Bunker, a bum living under a dumpster off 43rd street was also annoyed. “I’ve been an alcoholic for most of my 60 years and I’ve never propositioned young boys. I’ve talked to other alcoholics and we don’t want him.”
Some have been more sympathetic.
“These things are pervasive in our society,” said psychologist Maria Ellison. “I think you’d be surprised at the amount of unexplainable behavior that has its roots in alcoholism or religion.”
Foley has checked himself into a rehab clinic in Florida and we wish him the best of luck on his quest to control this terrible disease. Read more about Mel Gibson’s fight here.