I’ve remained silent on the controversy surrounding Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, thus far.
Rather than a cut-and-dried confirmation process, Kavanaugh finds himself the subject of weaponized, #MeToo-styled accusations.
For those who haven’t been keeping up, Brett Kavanaugh was on his way to an easy confirmation process, when Senator Dianne Feinstein decided to make a grandstand play, revealing a letter she’d allegedly been sitting on since July.
The letter was from a California college professor by the name of Christine Blasey Ford.
Professor Ford claimed in the letter that she had been assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh in the 80s, when they were both in high school.
The story has gone from being locked in a room by Kavanaugh and a buddy, to being groped and fearing he was going to kill her.
Of course, Feinstein’s stunt (and please, let’s not pretend that this was anything other than a political move) had the desired effect of calling Judge Kavanaugh’s character and accomplishments in question.
In fact, all anyone is talking about now is if Kavanaugh is a sexual abuser.
I’m not prepared to jump on that bandwagon. I dare say, that for everyone over 30 years of age – myself included – there are some obnoxious, boneheaded things we did as teens that we would not do or condone as adults.
Kavanaugh said it never happened.
Ford says a lot – most of it through her lawyer – as she makes the rounds on TV news talk segments.
So who do we believe, and if Kavanaugh is forever branded by his actions as a child (YES – 17 years old is a child), assuming it actually happened, then are we all to be held accountable? Is there no redemption? Is there no allowances for growing, maturing, and becoming better people than we were as kids?
Ford has been given an opportunity to face the man she says ruined her youth, and to tell her side where it matters, but for some reason, she’s not about that. She prefers to go to a sympathetic media.
She wants the FBI to check out a decades old case of teenaged shenanigans, before she’ll speak before the Senate that will decide on confirmation of Kavanaugh.
Now, that being said, I’m not prepared to say it didn’t happen and she hasn’t been damaged in her spirit because of it.
I can absolutely point to things from my childhood that haunt me to this day. What I don’t do is dwell on them. I can’t. They’re over and done with, and I need to live my life.
Ford says she first told a therapist about the encounter while going through marriage counseling. If true, that would suggest she sees that as a crucial moment in her life development, so much so that it’s affecting her relationships today.
I’m not going to slam Professor Ford. Even though I find this all very distasteful, and even suspiciously timed.
I think grace requires we allow room for both sides to be heard.
We don’t label Kavanaugh a sexual menace for something he may have done as a testosterone-driven young man. What has he done to redeem his character, since maturing?
We don’t call Professor Ford a liar. We don’t tell her to suck it up and move on. We don’t say her pain is “irrelevant.”Which brings me to Franklin Graham, who, once again, disappoints with his response.
“It’s just a shame that a person like Judge Kavanaugh who has a stellar record — that somebody can bring something up that he did when he was a teenager close to 40 years ago,” Franklin Graham said in an interview Tuesday with the Christian Broadcasting Network. “That’s not relevant.”
It’s apparently relevant to Ford.
Graham went on to say this was an attempt by Democrats to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination, and he’s not wrong, there.
Democrats couldn’t care less about Christine Blasey Ford. She’s simply convenient to them, now.
“They couldn’t find anything else in his record and so this is just an attempt to smear him and to smear his name and put a black dot on it,” Graham told CBN News’ Heather Sells.
When Sells questioned him about the message his views send to sexual abuse victims, he said, “Well, there wasn’t a crime that was committed.”
Graham then betrayed a lack of knowledge about Blasey’s allegation ― suggesting that even if the encounter did happen, “she said no and he respected it and walked away.”
That’s not what she’s claiming happened. She’s saying someone interrupted.
Reverend Graham wasn’t completely off. He also feels there’s a point where you have to acknowledge that kids do dumb things.
“There’s a lot of things that I’ve done when I was a teenager that I certainly am ashamed of and not proud of,” he said. “People are up in arms over this like ‘oh, this is such a disaster.’ You’re talking about two teenagers 40 years ago. That has nothing to do with what we’re talking about today about this man being a judge on the Supreme court.”
“And they call it sexual assault?” he added. “No, I don’t believe it.”
If it happened in the way she last described it, then yes, it is an assault.
The problem with Graham wading into it, defending Kavanaugh with such vigor, is that he has shown no grace to Ford.
As a pastor of some repute, you would expect to see him speak more reasoned and softly, when dealing with such a sensitive topic. The problem is, he can’t go back, now that he’s thrown himself in fully behind a man like President Trump.
Trump was a grown man when he boasted of sexually assaulting women, feeling his wealth and celebrity gave him a pass to do so.
The Trump that over a dozen women have accused of taking advantage of them was an adult, and Graham has defended him.
The damage being done to the Christian witness of evangelicals in this country may be irreparable, and it is the “leaders” who are leading us all to perdition.