Most politicians are secretly atheists.
They really have to be.
How else could someone, say a School Board member, justify to their own conscience that selling teaching jobs (or worse yet, using their position to obtain a contract or job for themself) is in any way shape for form ethical or moral?
Now I'm not so naive to believe that the rest of us live fully moral lives. However, there are degrees of evil to consider here. Bringing a pen home from work is different than exchanging votes for a teaching position that will pay $30,000+/year to start. Furthermore, I don't see that one leads to another: the nature of politics is such that those who partake in it will always be faced with greater moral challenges than the rest of us. In a way it's like being a Vice Squad Cop...if you are someone who has a drug problem yourself, then this is a not a good assignment for you. It makes you wonder then about the religious glad-handing that virtually all politicians...at every level of government...partake in as part of the election and then governing process.
Please, how is this any different than the stories about how mobsters who would donate money to churches and the like? The answer is that it is no different.
In the song "Minutes to Memories" by John Mellencamp (from the outstanding album Scarecrow...a must have for any collection), there is a verse that goes...
"An honest man's pillow is his peace of mind"
...by my reckoning that's pretty true. Why then so much seeming graft in the political arena? Well what we have in this country is a whole host of individuals in the political arena who have managed to delude themselves into believing that the normal rules of propriety, right and wrong, and basic morality are somehow suspended because they have entered into public service. They being to believe that they are somehow entitled to suspect the normal rules. They are kids at a carnival, mesmerized by the bright lights and the sounds of the carnies, eventually becoming a part of the show themselves.
In the end, money may be the grease that keeps the engine of politics moving, but that engine is almost always painted in a fresh coat of hypocrisy.
Maybe we should start looking for a few honest atheists to run for political office.