Can I Get a Witness?
As I watched the trial of the century (albeit not an actual trial) I reflected on Proverbs 18:17; “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (ESV)
Folk Should Know Better
More disconcerting than the actual testimony was the almost giddy speculations coming from people in the news media. You would think that the years of seasoning – necessary to reach the heights of national and international news – they would know better. Are they really that naïve, or are they pushing a carefully crafted narrative on the American people in order to influence them? As frightening as the naiveté scenario is, the narrative one is even worse.
More than a Feeling
Two specific networks I consumed were CNN and NPR. Immediately following Dr. Christine Ford’s testimony, various commentators expressed how “moved” they were by Ford’s testimony and unequivocal thirty-six-year-old recollection of her attacker. They expressed concern about future generations watching the proceedings. They believe they will be haunted by Ford’s account of her attacker’s laughter.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
One NPR pundit said that Ford had “set a high bar” for Judge Kavanaugh. I suppose he forgot that in America – unlike banana republics – we rely on evidence and corroborating witnesses before depriving a person of their Constitutionally recognized right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Those two things were not only lacking in this hearing, they were completely absent. Even the witnesses that Ford herself named, denied remembering any such gathering – much less an attack.
Where Did that Come From?
Sure enough, many of these same pundits had the wind knocked out of them in the afternoon when Judge Kavanaugh gave his impassioned opening statement which denied the accusations every bit as unequivocally as Ford as made them.
Kavanaugh informed the panel of the painful nightmare his family has suffered because of the unproven allegations. The Judge pointed out that he has been investigated by the FBI six times since the alleged incident without anything remotely similar being raised. He reminded us how several members of the opposition had made public statements defaming him and promising to do everything they could to destroy him BEFORE the accusations were even made.
A Right Way and a Wrong Way
The Judge then let the committee know, in no uncertain terms, that the circus could have been avoided had they quietly turned the allegations over to the FBI forty-five days earlier when they first learned about them. This one act would have been better for Ford and her family, better for Kavanaugh and his family and better for all of America. In fact, the only people it would not have been better for are those seeking power through the personal destruction of individuals with whom they are not politically aligned.
By the time he was done, anyone who was not ideologically and politically motivated was forced to admit that adequate evidence of the alleged crime did not exist, and that political motivations were most certainly underlying at least some of the recent events.
The Wisdom of Solomon
Solomon was right. When Ford presented her case, it was difficult not to be moved by her story. However, when Judge Kavanaugh forced those statements to be examined in a different light, the initial certainty disappeared. All honest people were forced to admit that at the very least, they couldn’t be sure.
Something to Learn
This current free-for-all serves as an excellent object lesson for all of us. We need to be very careful about buying hook, line and sinker into the first story we hear. Sure, it sounds credible, and the person telling us may very well believe everything they are saying. We also need to be careful that we don’t have our own personal motivations that incline us to believe what we are hearing without a fair examination of the facts.
Do Unto Others…
We should all know by now that there are always at least two sides to every story. All parties have the right to be heard. Or in some cases, we would be better off to mind our own business and move on. After all there is another Biblical principle we would do well to heed, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matt 7:12 NLT)