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A Leaven In The World… The Other Side Of #MeToo

October 8, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

“Believe Women” says a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal.
The accuser Christine Ford and the accused Brett Kavanaugh had both been heard in a historic hearing on Capitol Hill viewed by millions of Americans the Thursday previous to when this column was written. Both witnesses were emotionally compelling, but she had a very loose relationship either with the truth or with her own memories.
Victims are very sympathetic characters. No one with a modicum of compassion wants to victimize a sexual assault victim a second time by lacking a sympathetic response. All victims need to be heard when they choose to speak out.
Many of us, however, seem erroneously to confuse compassion with believing absolutely everything a victim says. I have met with many wounded people in my work as a priest and chaplain. What was always clear to me was the distinction between my compassion due to all of them as persons balanced with a sober analysis of the veracity of their words.
Very little was precise in Ford’s testimony except the fact that she was 100 percent certain Kavanaugh was her attacker. Her case broke down upon further examination because the few facts she did remember changed as necessary in order to make her accusation stick. But she didn’t need to tell the truth to do damage. The objective was to stop Kavanaugh as one battle in the larger war against a sitting president. In our current national blood sport of politics, all it takes to botch due process is to sully a Supreme Court nominee enough to give politicians cover to vote against him.
Roe v. Wade, a bad ruling held to be very fragile, is also at stake. This is another case of “Catholics need not apply.” Unlike many Catholics in public life, Kavanaugh holds for the authentic Church teaching on the sanctity of every human life, born and preborn. He cannot allow himself to get pulled into the abortion quagmire by commenting publicly on the issue. It might come before the Supreme Court and he cannot say how he would vote because justice is blind and all the facts of each case must be weighed.
Liberals for decades have legislated their toxic agenda from the bench because they couldn’t get it through Congress, as explained very well by Sohrab Ahmari in an essay for Commentary magazine. If Kavanaugh is seated on the High Court, their window on power closes. They can’t let that happen.
For weeks pundits have pleaded with the public to recognize that there is no sex gene linked to telling the truth or not. To no avail. The politics-fueled feeding frenzy has declared Brett Kavanaugh its latest victim. He is a man, therefore he is guilty until proven innocent because a woman accused him of attempted rape. “Women must be believed.”
No matter that Christine Blasey Ford’s story has collapsed under examination. She is now the proud recipient of a million-dollar Go Fund Me account, free legal assistance, and wide public support. Signs indicate that she is lying but, because she is a woman and very possibly also a victim, emotion wins the day. Most crucial of all, she may have compromised the three swing votes in the Senate. By this time next week we may know if her allegations have derailed due process. Though the accused should be judged innocent without a preponderance of evidence, that may not be the outcome in our overheated political atmosphere.
According to news reports, a former boyfriend of Ford’s said he witnessed her coaching a friend on how to take a lie-detector test — but Ford answered “no” when asked if she had ever done so by Rachel Mitchell during the Senate committee hearing. If the boyfriend’s testimony holds up, will Ford be charged with perjury after lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee? Or will she be let off the hook as a wounded victim who should not be held responsible for the selective fogginess of her memories? For these and other reasons Brett Kavanaugh comes out more the victim.
In response to the WSJ ad, I tweeted “Believe Truth.” There is no sex-specific truth gene. Christine Ford may be lying and Brett Kavanaugh may be telling the truth. In the hysterical and emotional media storm that swirls around them due process has been denied.
In a Fox interview Judge Kavanaugh spoke as an expert on justice and one seeking it for himself: “Process protects you.” “I just want a fair process where I can be heard, defend my integrity. I’m telling the truth.” “Process means hearing from both sides.”
He was fighting to keep his head above water in a context that should have treated him with respect, as one “innocent until proven guilty.” The media, elected officials, and very unreliable accusers waged a very successful campaign to try him in the press and cast enough doubt on his suitability to sit on the Supreme Court to achieve their goal of stopping the nomination. After weeks of this steady attack on his sterling reputation he remains bloodied but unbowed: “I’m not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process.”
There are two sides to every story. In the wake of a “he said, she said” scenario everyone is left to the last best judgment of the voice of their own conscience.
Confirm Judge Kavanaugh and put a justice on the court who has experienced life on the other side of the bench, as it were. He has undergone the injustice of having his reputation sullied and his family demoralized by unsubstantiated allegations, publicized on the national stage through a compromised Senate confirmation process. If anything would give a judge deeper credibility this must be it. If Christine Blasey Ford is credible because she’s a victim, whoever committed the crime, how much more so is Kavanaugh credible as a justice because he now, thanks in part to her, is also a victim as a result of false accusations and denial of due process.
Justice upheld and reparations made would see Kavanaugh confirmed, and I hope that by the time you’re reading this, he will be our newest Supreme Court justice.
In the Church, too, we are living through a time of accusations of sexual assault and abuse. Victims must be able to speak out. The process must respect the principle of innocent until proven guilty.
Priests have nowhere to get their reputation back if falsely accused. Judge Kavanaugh might be able to find work again after this sliming by partisan Democrats and their operatives, though he may never be able to coach girls’ basketball with his daughters again. If what his accusers say is true, he should even lose his current position as a circuit judge. Priests, however, can’t just do something else once their reputation is besmirched and all trust is lost.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. @MCITLFrAphorism

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