I have no idea if there is a religion ghost somewhere in the sad story of Ashley Youmans Rae Maika DiPietro Alexandra Dupre -- the 22-year-old "escort" better known as "Kristen" in the icky story of Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York. I do know this. There are times when it is hard to cover the news and avoid the word "sin."
Read the whole New York Times report that pulled her out into the spotlight. Doesn't this leave you asking some questions? Is this whole story a parable for the post-feminist age or what? Has there ever been a responsible male in this young woman's life? Would she know one if she saw one?
Her story is full of painful passages, but here is one that gets to me:
Ms. Dupre said by telephone Tuesday night that she was worried about how she would pay her rent since the man she was living with "walked out on me" after she discovered he had fathered two children. She said she was considering working at a friend's restaurant or, once her apartment lease expires, moving back with her family in New Jersey "to relax."
Or how about this?
On MySpace, her page says: "I am all about my music and my music is all about me. It flows from what I've been through, what I've seen and how I feel."
She left "a broken family" at age 17, having been abused, according to the MySpace page, and has used drugs and "been broke and homeless."
"Learned what it was like to have everything and lose it, again and again," she writes. "Learned what it was like to wake up one day and have the people you care about most gone.
"But I made it," she continues. "I'm still here and I love who I am. If I never went through the hard times, I would not be able to appreciate the good ones. Cliche, yes, but I know it's true."
Or how about this snippet of lyrics from a stereotypical song from her work as a dance-club singer?
I know what you want. You got what I want. I know what you need. Can you handle me?
But there are no issues in this tale linked to marriage, family, sexuality, sin, guilt, abuse, lust, greed, abuse of power or anything else. If there isn't a religion ghost in this story, then there should be. Hypocrisy is just the starting point.
UPDATE: The Washington Post says that these kinds of public scandals used to be about sin. But that was a different America.
No more. The major advice from the Style gods to women today. Do not trust politicians. Why? They are wired for this kind of thing.
Think Clinton. Bill. Or Hart, as in Gary.
One reason is because they've got the ideal personality for it. Psychologists believe that certain types of personalities are more likely to engage in infidelity -- and that those traits uncannily overlap with traits common to politicians.
"Extroverted, prone to be socially dominant, those are traits associated with infidelity and with good politicians," says David Schmitt, a professor of psychology at Bradley University. "The ability to compartmentalize -- not necessarily to viciously lie, but to hold back some truths in one context and then tell those truths in a different context, that's almost the definition of a politician."
So there. Still no ghosts around here. Nope.
Top photos: From The Smoking Gun