“Sure, she had an affair. But you made it easy for her to cheat on you.”
-A Stupid Thing Christians Say
I have heard or read a version of this statement more than once. It seems like a common mindset some have–even pastors–towards faithful spouses. And this is a subtle blame-shift.
For the ethics flunkies out there:
The level of difficulty or ease of committing a crime or sin has no bearing on who is responsible for committing said sin or crime!
-If a thief snatches grandma’s purse, the truly just do not blame grandma for not hitting him with her cane and thereby making it more difficult for him to have stolen the purse. The truly just hold the thief fully responsible for choosing to steal from a grandma. He is fully guilty for the theft.
-If a woman becomes drunk and passes out, the truly just do not hold her responsible for making it “easy” for her to be raped. The truly just hold the rapist responsible for violating her and the law. He could have chosen otherwise–e.g. call for a medical assistance for her–but instead he decided to exploit her vulnerability.
-If someone leaves their house’s door unlocked and a thief comes in to steal all their expensive possessions, the thief still is responsible alone for said crime. It does not matter whether or not the theft was hard or easy. The thief never ought to have stolen in the first place.
The circumstances of the marriage–good or ill–is immaterial as to the question of culpability when it comes to adultery. So, he made it easy for his wife to cheat on him? That does not mean that she is excused for choosing sin over godliness. And that does not make him responsible for being victimized by her.
Anyone who suggests otherwise is unjust, ungodly, and cruel to infidelity victims. Sadly, too many in the evangelical Christian world need this basic ethics refresher when it comes to infidelity.