“What is Your Name?” by insanitybytes22 is a good, thoughtful post. Nevertheless, because something rubbed me the wrong way, I started a debate. What got me going? ‘s post is about that sexual harassment issue everyone is talking about. She liked a certain post.
Really sweet post from Sam Powell called, “What is your name?” I’m just going to drink it all in personally, enjoy the cool refreshing taste of, “ahh, so this is what it feels like to be heard.” Now that’s the sound of healing! It’s a sweet sound like an abundant river, like the flow of living water. (from here)
What was Powell’s post about? Well. His post is well-written, but we don’t know what it is about until we get half-way through it.
I think that we fall into the same trap. We who are pastors, who are trained to examine words and exegete scripture, are particularly bad at this. Recently, Oprah made a speech about how women have been sexually assaulted. She spoke of degradation and losing dignity. She spoke about how many women have just become used to being raped and silenced. They tolerate it because they have no choice. They cannot speak because their voice has been taken away. If they speak up, they are outcast and unable to work. So they suffer in silence just to put food on the table. She skillfully outlined the brutality of her upbringing and the tremendous suffering her mother went through, just to survive. She went on to encourage those who have been silenced to speak and not suffer in silence any longer. (from here)
Sneaky! Don’t you know?
Anyway, what bothers me is that all the noise about listening is about listening to the accusers. Don’t we still believe that the accused are entitled to a presumption of innocence? Therefore, the text of my comments protest like this.
What about listening? When we are talking about sexual harassment and even the possibility of an alleged crime (rape, for example), there are two parties. There is the accuser and there is the accused. I think it is a great idea to listen to the accuser, but I also think the accused deserves a fair hearing.
Obviously, when someone is accused a of foul deed, they have much to gain by refuting the charges. Therefore, we automatically suspect the truth of their words. Moreover, we wonder. What would anyone have to gain by making a false accusation? What do people gain from making false accusations? Well, some people do make false accusations. So both the accuser and the accused deserve to be listened to, especially when accusations are proffered against otherwise respected people years and decades after the supposed crime is alleged to taken place.
In our society, we have long tradition of a presumption of innocence. What do we have to gain by giving that up? (from here)
Do you actually believe 100 percent of the accusers can be trusted to tell the truth? If that is the case, then why do we need a commandment against bearing false witness and perjury laws? (from here)
What insanitybytes22 was trying to do was encourage Christians to listen to others more carefully. Even Sam Powell is just trying to get Christians to listen more carefully. There is nothing especially wrong with that, but everyone is entitled to a hearing, both the accusers and the accused. Unfortunately, none of us listen very well. Our ears and our eyes are too full of ourselves. So we tend to see and hear with preconceived notions, that is, with a bias. (from here)
Nevertheless, there is a certain lady, Condoleezza Rice on #MeToo: ‘Let’s not turn women into snowflakes’ (cnn.com), who spoke to the issue far better than I did.
(CNN)Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that while she believes the #MeToo movement is “a good thing,” people need “to be a little bit careful” about how they respond to it.
“Let’s not turn women into snowflakes. Let’s not infantilize women,” Rice insisted during an interview with CNN’s David Axelrod on “The Axe Files,” which airs at 7 ET Saturday night.
Rice said she didn’t want “to get to a place that men start to think, ‘Well, maybe it’s just better not to have women around.’ I’ve heard a little bit of that. And it, it worries me,” she told Axelrod.
Following last year’s downfall of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein after sexual harassment and assault allegations, people have begun sharing their stories of sexual harassment and abuse, using the hashtag #MeToo. (continue here)
The CNN link includes a video. Rice is definitely worth listening to. Admirable lady.
Also, please check out ‘s and Powell’s posts and the comment trails that follow.