Joe Biden is now the presumptive Democratic nominee. Tara Reade has accused him of sexual assault, and a number of other women have complained of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching.
Eighteen months ago, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexual assault. Three other women subsequently came forward with similar accusations. The accusations against Kavanaugh sparked weeks of outrage, demonstrations, and some very contentious moments on the floor of the United States Senate. The current accusations against Biden have sparked, well, nothing. A few days later, and they are already almost gone from the headlines.
As Christians, we are called to believe women (Luke 24) and to withhold judgment against them (John 8), yet I am seeing so many colleagues and friends rush to discredit Reade based on nothing more than the same stale arguments made by Kavanaugh’s defenders just a few months ago. She supports a rival. Her timing is suspect. She wrote something weird about Russia.
There has to be a line, and that line has to be clear. The moment the #MeToo movement becomes a partisan weapon used only to smear those on the political right is the moment the movement dies. There has to come a time, even when it is hard, to practice what we preach (Matthew 23:3).
No doubt, as scrutiny on Biden intensifies in the coming months, there will be more accusations, and more details on the accusations that have already come. No doubt his campaign and others who have already tried to shut Reade down will continue their efforts. No doubt we will all be told—with merit—that the alternative has done the same and worse. In all of this, our obligation is still clear. Get the facts. Believe women. Hold ourselves to the same standards we would hold others.
There has to be a line, and that line has to be clear.
For more information on the Me Too Movement and their efforts to support survivors and end sexual violence, click here.