(Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/Vance McAllister)
In light of the recent controversy surrounding Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.), Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson has advised the politician to "work things out privately," while a spokesperson for Focus on the Family, a social conservative group, has told The Christian Post that there needs to be more "personal accountability" among politicians.
McAllister announced Tuesday that Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson, who's among his constituents, advised the congressman to work out his issues privately, away from the media spotlight.
"Willie told me that he was a friend and that I needed to work things out privately," McAllister told the News Star of Monroe, La.
Carrie Earll, senior director of issues analysis for Focus on the Family, told CP that "sexual temptation is a fact of this fallen world, so we should all be mindful of how small steps toward sin can lead us into sexual immorality."
Earll emphasized that if politicians were held to higher standards of accountability it would benefit their moral lives.
"Personal accountability is essential for everyone, even more so for elected officials who work long hours – often with staff and away from their families," she said. "Americans generally value marriage and see adultery as morally wrong and as a violation of the relationship covenant. Elected officials have more visibility, so when infidelity occurs it gets more attention."
"Having close friendships with accountability is one way to protect your heart and mind," Earll added. "Christians should also pray for our elected officials, and their marriages and families in this regard."
Earlier this week a surveillance video was released online showing McAllister, a married father of five, kissing staffer Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock. She has since resigned from her position as a scheduler for the congressman.
Posted by dkostv on YouTube, the video garnered over 275,000 page views in less than 48 hours and was tagged with the one word description "Ooops!"
After the video of the affair was posted online, McAllister released a statement asking for forgiveness from his wife and God.
"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness," said McAllister in The Ouachita Citizen, which first reported on the congressman's infidelity.
"I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve. Trust is something I know has to be earned whether you're a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I've disappointed."
In a special runoff election last November McAllister upset an establishment Republican candidate to win the vacated Fifth Congressional District seat of Louisiana. McAllister defeated state Sen. Neil Riser in a vote of 59.7 percent to 40.3 percent.
"I would like to thank everyone for your support and prayers! I am grateful to each and every one of you who made our victory possible. Together we will make a change in Washington," read an entry on the Facebook page for the McAllister campaign.
Many commentators attributed McAllister's victory to the efforts of Duck Dynasty's Robertson family, who released ads calling for Louisianans to vote for the candidate.