I do not have any idea whether or not Brett Kavanuagh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court or destroyed by the time this column goes to press, but in the grand scheme of things it really does not matter. The truth of the column will be as relevant to current events next month, next year, and in the coming decades if nothing changes in our society.
Let me state two undeniable truths right up front. One; sometimes women are victimized by men who sexually assault them. Two; sometimes women victimize men by falsely claiming to have been sexually assaulted.
We have reached a fairly hysterical state in society, I think, when the second of those two phrases is actually somehow in dispute. I can think of one man in Scripture who knew the truth of that second statement all too well, his name was Joseph.
Genesis 39:10-15 “And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, that she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: and it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.”
Joseph, of course, went to prison for a long time based on this false accusation.
To think that women are somehow genetically incapable of lying is to ignore ancient examples like Potiphar’s wife, Delilah, and Jezebel, and also modern example such as Tawana Brawley, Crystal Mangum (of the Duke Lacrosse case) Nikki Yovino (of the Sacred Heart case) and many others.
Men and women are biologically different, with men in general being blessed with greater size and strength. And there are few things as heinous as a man using those advantages to assault a woman. People I love very dearly have been so assaulted, and I would be perfectly satisfied with the application of the death penalty to the perpetrators of the crime.
But a close second to that in the heinous department is a woman who is so evil as to ruin a man’s life by falsely accusing him. In Deuteronomy 19:16-20 the command was given that if a person was found to be a false witness, whatever the punishment the accused would have undergone was to be instead meted out against the false witness. That is still, I believe, a fair way to handle matters. No one should ever be allowed to simply accuse a person, be found to be lying, and the matter simply be dropped.
Concerning the Kavanugh case, I was not there, not were any other of the millions of people spouting firm opinions on what did or did not happen. As such, I have my opinion, but that is all I have. But it is absolutely not an opinion that people lie, whether man or woman. The idea that anyone, therefore, should be believed simply because they say something is both foolish and anathema to our system of justice. People have the right to the presumption of innocence, and the weaponization of the #MeToo movement is taking that way. But those who are intentionally perpetrating this weaponization of #MeToo are, I think, committing one of the worst crimes of all; they are using real victims as pawns to get to bigger fish that they want to fry, and in so doing they are hurting those real victims.
For every Potiphar’s wife and Tawana Brawley there are likely a multitude who are telling the truth. If we cannot learn to dispassionately investigate and distinguish between those who are victims and those who are lying to push an agenda, then people will instinctively push back against the whole movement. Further, those ladies who are victims likely have fathers, brothers, and sons whom they love, and they no more want them to be the victims of false accusations than they themselves wanted to be the victims of a true assault.
Everyone deserves the presumption of innocence when accused until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt. Everyone deserves to be heard out when making an accusation. Everyone needs to be regarded as equally capable of lying, regardless of gender. And no innocent person ever deserves to be destroyed, regardless of gender.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at email@example.com