Musing on the WSJ’s Reaction to Lance Armstrong

A fallen "Wall Street" saint

A fallen “Wall Street” saint

The Wall Street Journal recently published a short piece (subscription required) on Lance Armstrong’s flagrant violation of the Ninth Commandment (“Thou shalt not bear false testimony against thy neighbor”).

Yesterday afternoon I was musing about this story. It seems to me its appeals to a higher authority and bar of justice are not really surprising (even coming from a secular NY newspaper) given what Armstrong represented. For years, Armstrong portrayed himself as the saint of honest hard work, responsibility, self-made success, overcomer of cancer by sheer will-power, and most of all WINNER. In other words, he was the paragon of virtue for Wall Street. This explains why they sponsored him and made him their patron saint. So it comes as no surprise to me when Wall Street’s idol is shattered and revealed a fraud, that the WSJ finds it necessary to appeal to a higher authority to balance the scales of judgment. Their god is not a god of mercy and justice, but only justice. He “blesses those who bless themselves”, blesses winners, and pardons those who atone for their own sins with a lifetime of apparently spotless penance (e.g., Chuck Colson). Those who mock their god deserve judgment, and because the scales can’t possibly be balanced in this life, they are forced to hope for justice in the next. Looks to me like another example of judging someone else who commits the same sins, only “worse than us” of course.

That’s my take. Perhaps I’m wrong since I don’t know the person who wrote the article. But it seems ironic coming from the WSJ.  What do you think?

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