Rabbi Billy on How to Avoid Sex Scandals

There's been a lot of ink spilled this week over rabbinic sex scandals (e.g. Spiritual Renewal Leader Ousted For Sexual Behavior and On the Rabbi's Knee: Do the Orthodox Jews have a Catholic-priest problem?).

I continue to maintain that this is neither a particularly Jewish or Judaic issue. Where there are men and women, there will eventually be sex scandals.

How to avoid such unpleasantness, you ask? I've always thought the Rev. Billy Graham (as quoted in an interview published in Christianity Today, Vol. 32, No. 17, Nov. 18, 1988, pp.21-23) distilled the formula down to its essence.
Interviewer: What safeguards have you taken over the years to protect yourself and maintain personal spiritual purity?

Billy Graham: I decided there were three areas that Satan could attack in--pride, morals, and finances. Over the years I tried to set up safeguards against the dangers of each...

Concerning morals: I'm sure I've been tempted, especially in my younger years. But there has never been anything close to an incident. I took precautions. From the earliest days I've never had a meal alone with a woman other than Ruth, not even in a restaurant. I've never ridden in an automobile alone with a woman. Those kinds of precautions can lead to some misunderstandings. There was a time when Ruth thought I was too cold to women. But I always had this in the back of my mind. There is always the chance of misunderstanding.
Yes, I'd say the precautions themselves are how a man of the cloth will avoid the chance of any misunderstanding. This attitude sets the standard pretty high. But that's what morality is all about.

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