A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on what young people can learn from Judge Kavanaugh during the contentious battles that came with sexual assault allegations from Christine Blasey Ford and others. You can read that here. I thought long and hard before writing this one for a couple of reasons: 1) I’m not a woman and 2) I’ve never been sexually assaulted. But looking at this outrage exhibited from both sides of the aisle, I think there is at least a few lessons to learn from it and Ms. Ford.
- Sexual assault is damaging. I would imagine that the word “damaging” is too soft of a word to use as a description. These heinous acts hurt the psyche, future relationships, physical health, and who knows what else. One can see this from Scripture when Abner raped his half-sister Tamar. “And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe that she wore. And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went. . .So Tamar lived, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom’s house,” (2 Samuel 13:19, 20e, ESV). The long-term effects of sexual assault can last a life-time.
- Sexual assault ought to elicit righteous indignation on everyone’s part. Even though he was family, Absalom gives the correct emotion, as he was righteously indignant at what Abner did to their sister; as was David, their father. “When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry,” (2 Samuel 13:21, ESV). A few verses later Absalom had his brother killed. We see something similar when Shechem raped Dinah. Except this time, we are not told how Jacob her father felt about it. Her brothers, however were outraged. “The sons of Jacob had come in from the field as soon as they heard of it, and the men were indignant and very angry, because he had done an outrageous thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing must not be done,” (Genesis 34:7, ESV). They too, specifically Levi and Simeon went on a murderous spree and killed all the men of Shechem. I am not saying that anyone should be a vigilante and put the accused to death. I am saying however that we should be outraged when sexual assault happens. I don’t think anyone denies that; at least, I hope they don’t.
- Report sexual assault as early as possible. This is where both sides seem to be at odds. Sexual assault is a serious crime that deserves righteous indignation and swift justice. It should be reported at any time but the sooner, the better–when minds are fresh, when witnesses can be found, when evidence can be gathered, and when motives won’t be questioned. I do not know whether Justice Kavanaugh did what Ms. Ford is saying he did. I wasn’t there; and apparently neither was anyone else except for possibly Mark Judge. I can certainly understand the position of the Republicans and conservatives who state there is no evidence, witnesses, or fresh recall of the alleged incident. I can understand why they would say that there is something fishy going on with the timing of the issue, hence questioning motives.
While there is no guarantee that witness and evidence could be found immediately following the alleged incident, it is much more likely to find them in 1982 than in 2018. On top of that, there would have been no reason to question Ms. Ford’s motives for reporting sexual assault, at least no political motive. I know each case has its nuances and complications, but if the incident had been reported in ’82, even if there was no conviction, even if it had not gone to court, Justice Kavanaugh would never have been nominated to sit on any bench let alone the U. S. Supreme Court.
That being said, I have read from many women who say they never reported their incidents because of varying fears: not being believed, retaliation, humiliation, etc. That is quite understandable. All I can say in response, and as lovingly as I can, is that it makes justice that much harder to attain this side of heaven the longer one waits.
- These allegations have shown how humanity can put their trust and faith into a person that they have never met personally. Many believe Ms. Ford, but have never met her, never spoken to her, and have never looked her in the eyes. Many believe Justice Kavanaugh, but have never met him, never spoken to him, and have never looked him in the eyes. Both persons have become more than who they are as individuals. Ms. Ford suddenly represents every woman ever sexually assaulted, and Justice Kavanaugh represents every man who was ever falsely accused (used only as to the fact that there is no evidence that proves he assaulted Ms. Ford), but beyond that, he represents a swing in the direction of the Supreme Court. Neither person has ever proven themselves personally trustworthy to everyone who believes them or believes in them. They simply seem trustworthy. We must recall though, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it,” (Jeremiah 17:9, ESV)? Certainly we cannot understand our own hearts, let alone another person’s. That isn’t to say that we can never put our trust/faith in others such as Ms. Ford or Justice Kavanaugh, but we must always bear in mind that their hearts, both of their hearts, are sinful hearts. Therefore we must be careful with how much faith/trust we place in either person.
Here is the good news in all of this: justice will be done. May we hope and live in that. If Justice Kavanaugh did assault Ms. Ford so long ago, though it cannot be proven here and now, God has seen it all. He doesn’t not sleep nor does he slumber. Justice Kavanaugh will stand before the Supreme Judge and must give an account. However, if Ms. Ford has unduly tarnished Justice Kavanaugh’s name and reputation, then she too will be one who stands before the Supreme Judge to give an account. Either way, though it may be justice delayed, it will not be justice denied.