A pro-life Christian Republican congressman representing Tennessee says that God has forgiven him for sleeping with his patients when he was a doctor and pressuring them to get abortions.
Republican Congressman Scott DesJarlais has a history of behavior that directly contradicts his political platform. While married to his first wife, Susan Lohr, and working as a doctor, DesJarlais slept with two patients, three co-workers, and a drug company representative. He did this all during his three-year marriage to Lohr while he was working as the chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, TN.
While he was in a relationship with Lohr, but before they got married, she had two abortions. DesJarlais has said that he supported her decision to get those abortions. The second patient he had an affair with thought that she was pregnant at one point and DesJarlais offered to take her to Atlanta to have an abortion.
DesJarlais represents Tennessee’s 4th district and has proclaimed that he is “pro-life and proud of it”. When confronted with the claims of his sexual relationships with patients and subordinates, and that he pressured them to have abortions, DesJarlais does not deny any of it. Instead, DesJarlais says, “God has forgiven me.” How convenient! Why be morally accountable when you can just do whatever you want and then get forgiven by God?
The congressman’s behavior is detailed in 679 pages of court documents that the Daily Mail obtained from DesJarlais’s divorce in 2001 from Lohr. That was nine years before he made his bid for congress.
DesJarlais has now remarried and despite many of the facts of his divorce first coming out publicly in 2012, he has successfully won reelection in Tennessee three times. Meanwhile, the National Review named him “America’s Worst Congressman” and Politico named him “The Biggest Hypocrite in Congress”. That has not stopped the people of Tennessee from reelecting him.
What I really see here is another example of moral bankruptcy in devout Christians. I have written a couple of times about the Christian Right’s love of politicians like DesJarlais and Trump. Roy Moore nearly won the Alabama Senate election last month due to the support of the Christian Right. These are men who behave in ways completely contradictory to what Christians preach, but still win Christian support because they invoke God a lot in their speech. It really is maddening how easily these people are fooled by blatant religious charlatans. Hopefully the people of Tennessee will do the right thing and vote for one of DesJarlais's opponents in the next election.