A world where accusations mean guilt


There are times I try to unplug from the news cycle. I just need a breather, a break to something a little less ... overwhelming.

I was a pretty normal kid growing up. Played baseball, went to church, rode my bike around the neighborhood, wrecked the go-cart a few times – normal stuff. One thing probably not typical, though, was my gravitation toward current events. I read the local paper and watched the evening news from my bean bag. I wanted to know what was going on and why.

This was before the current never-ending news cycle fed by media outlets as numerous as the grains of sand on Tybee Island. Today, the trick of finding the truth is figuring out what people aren't reporting, how is it they're defending their position.

That brings me to Brett Kavanaugh.

I would expect a Supreme Court justice nominee to receive scrutiny, a lot of it. And when an allegation of sexual misconduct comes up, I want it to be looked at. However, if everything I see before me as of the time I'm writing this is all we have to go on, the further maligning of Judge Kavanaugh is setting up a horrible precedent for our country.

Here are the facts. Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, has an accusation with no evidence or corroborating witnesses. She first mentioned the incident in a couples therapy session in 2012, roughly 30 years after she says it happened. Her husband says she named Kavanaugh. She says two other young men were in the room with her; the therapists' notes say there were four (Ford says that was a clerical error on the therapists' part.).

Over the last year we've seen stories like this pop up. Almost without exception it led to other women stepping forward to tell of their own encounters with that individual. This has not been the case with Kavanaugh. Also, in the course of his nomination, the judge has been through six FBI background investigations.

Like anyone else should, I believe allegations of sexual misconduct should be taken seriously. You don’t have to be a father of a daughter or husband to feel this way, either. It’s something anyone with a modicum of decency should have in their moral fiber.

However, the high stakes on which our political leaders have placed the Supreme Court and the looming midterm elections have brought us to this point. Whenever our desire for a preferred outcome surpasses the evidence speaking to the case, everyone loses.

Based on the evidence laid out above, some have already declared Brett Kavanaugh a rapist, no trial or testimony required. As such, he is not only unworthy of the Supreme Court but the Federal bench he currently occupies. Furthermore, since Maryland has no statute of limitations on rape, some are asking that such charges be brought against Kavanaugh.

Just to review: Up until a little over a week ago Brett Kavanaugh was a married father who fed the homeless and coached his daughters' basketball team. Based on a single accusation from 35 years ago with no corroborating witnesses and no evidence, his life could be ruined.

Before critics start, I don't want rapists to go free. I want my daughters to be valued and my sons to respect women. Should the accusations be true I'd want Judge Kavanaugh to be held accountable. But, we can't live in a world where an entire individual's life can be altered based on the evidence provided here. That said, we also can't live in a world where victims are scared to bring accusations to light (looking at you, people who have issued death threats to Ford.).

Deuteronomy speaks to this in chapter 19:15-17: “One witness cannot establish any iniquity or sin against a person, whatever that person has done. A fact must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."

At this point it's common for Bible critics to point to other passages in Deuteronomy to discredit whatever's cited. I'd ask them to hold off on that and just consider 19:15-17 for the moment. Can't we agree that it's important to make sure guilty parties are just that ... guilty?

And yes, false accusations do occur. Ask the 2006 Duke lacrosse team. Check with Brian Banks, one of the top high school linebackers in the country before a false rape accusation derailed his football career and put him in prison for five years. Like many, I was enraged by a Rolling Stone article three years ago detailing a culture of rape at the University of Virginia ... before finding out it was fabricated.

We're currently in an environment where women are taken seriously when making an abuse allegation. That's a good thing. No one should have to weigh how they value their career versus subjecting themselves to ungodly behavior. However, like anything else there's a danger in going so far that you lose a movement's original contribution to society.

That's the danger playing out with the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process. It's important to know the facts. It's important to make wise judgements, not those based on our feelings.

The Bible says a lot about justice and guilt in the relationship between mankind and God. It says just as much about man's responsibility to dole out earthly justice. Read through those passages on justice in the Bible, like I did, and you'll see it's an important topic to God.

But administering justice applies to both the accused and accuser, and it must be done correctly.

#MeToo, Brett Kavanaugh, politics, Supreme Court