5 Evangelical Reactions to the New Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh
By , CP Reporter | Sep 24, 2018 6:44 PM 1 / 6 Expand | Collapse (Screenshot: Time)President Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, Sept. 6, 2018.
As Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing a involving sexual assault, gang rapes and drunken parties, commentators have taken to the internet to voice their thoughts on the newest developments in the quest to confirm the 53-year-old judge.
After last week‘s news cycle was dominated by the allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were in high school in the 1980s, two new accusations emerged on Sunday and Monday just days before Ford is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her experiences.
A second woman named Deborah Ramirez claimed in an interview with on Sunday that Kavanaugh forced her to touch his genitals while attending a party during the 1983-1984 school year at Yale University in Connecticut.
Additionally, attorney Michael Avenatti of Stormy Daniels fame on Monday that he has knowledge that Kavanaugh and his high school friend Mark Judge were involved in targeting women with drugs and alcohol in order to “allow a ‘train‘ of men to subsequently gang-rape them” during Washington, D.C. house parties in the 1980s.
Avenatti told the Senate Judiciary Committee that there are “multiple witnesses that will corroborate these facts” and argued that they each must be allowed to testify.
Kavanaugh has subsequently , saying “these are smears, plain and simple.”
In the following pages are five reactions to the new accusations facing Kavanaugh.
1. Mollie Hemingway
Expand | Collapse (Photo: /)Mollie Hemingway
Mollie Hemingway, a conservative pundit and senior editor for The Federalist, wrote an op-ed on Monday titled “.”
“Maybe Brett Kavanaugh is a gang-raping attempted murderer who managed to live a public life of acclaim and honor. Maybe the devotion to his wife and two daughters, his respect for countless women and their careers, and his wisdom on the bench is part of an elaborate plot to get away with it. Anything is possible,” she wrote. “But the idea that the country should convict him and destroy his life with no evidence other than and memories and creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti‘s is quite insane.”
Hemingway stated that it was “easily predictable” that the media and “other resistance members” would come forward with additional claims against Kavanaugh that she says are “even less substantiated than the initial one.”
“This all has political significance, but let‘s take a step back and think through the ethics of destroying a man without evidence to warrant it,” she wrote.
Hemingway wrote that there are rules for evidence in American courtrooms that “provide excellent guidance in the general culture.”
“One of these is that the burden of proof is not on the accused but the accuser,” Hemingway stressed. “First the accuser presents his or her case, buttressing it with all the evidence at hand. Then the accused responds to the accusation using the evidence he or she has. It is easy to make an allegation but difficult to prove one. This is as it should be.”
Hemingway points out that Kavanaugh isn‘t facing a criminal prosecution because “his accusers have come nowhere near the standard required for criminal prosecution.”
“And senators predisposed to vote against him are not the definition of an impartial jury,” she added. “That does not mean disputed allegations should form the basis of destroying a man‘s life, career, and reputation. It also does not mean that a precedent should be established of allowing the left to weaponize use of disputed allegations to thwart the seating of justices.”
Hemingway was also critical of the mainstream media, claiming that liberal journalists are acting more like “partisan activists instead of truth tellers.”
“The New Yorker‘s laughably disreputable Jane Mayer and previously well-regarded Ronan Farrow wrote up a story claiming that a progressive activist recovered a memory of sexual assault only after being prodded by Senate Democrats to do so,” Hemingway wrote. “Even The New York Times — which doesn‘t have a sterling track record when it comes to running with wild accusations — interviewed dozens of people in an attempt to corroborate the allegation and . They found that the accuser Deborah Ramirez had recently told classmates she could not be certain Kavanaugh was the man who she says exposed himself to her.”
2. Mat Staver
Expand | Collapse (Photo: Facebook/Mathew Staver)Liberty Counsel founder and Chairman Mat Staver says GuideStar and its political ally, the SPLC, “are intent on destroying pro-family organizations.”
Mat Staver, chairman of the conservative legal group The Liberty Counsel, issued a statement responding to the new claims against Kavanaugh in a press release sent out by the legal group on Monday.
Staver, who is known for representing high profile clients such as Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, stated that the accusations against Kavanaugh are a “charade” that is part of “the ‘resistance‘ movement.”
Staver said that movement is “motivated by two things — resistance to President Trump and fear that Judge Kavanaugh will interpret the law, not make it.”
“The resistance arises from those devoted to and blinded by abortion,” Staver said, referencing liberal fears that Kavanaugh‘s appointment to the court could tip the scales and put the 1973 Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade in danger. “This resistance movement is aligned with a political party and is perfectly happy to destroy anyone who dares not walk to their drum beat.”
3. Denny Burk
Expand | Collapse (Photo: DennyBurk)Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky.
Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote a blog post Monday titled “?”
In the post, Burk responds to an . Douthat argued that even if Kavanaugh is innocent, giving such prominence and power to a man who is “credibly accused” would “leave an unnecessary taint on his future rulings” and “alienate social conservatives from the persuadable Americans.”
“Yesterday I read a column by Ross Douthat that is perplexing,” Burk wrote. “If I‘m being truthful, it‘s worse than perplexing. It is an absolute disappointment. Douthat makes the case that it doesn‘t really matter whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent of the allegations against him. Even if Kavanaugh is innocent, he has been tainted by accusations made against him and on those grounds alone could be unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.”
Burk continued by arguing that “this is the worst argument I believe I have ever read from Douthat.”
“How can it not matter whether Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent?” Burk questioned. “It seems to me that his guilt or innocence is the most important question to be answered in assessing his nomination. And yet, Douthat says that even if he is innocent, Kavanaugh‘s nomination might very well deserve to fail. It‘s an incredible claim.”
Burk added that he has no “special insight” on the merits of the allegations against Kavanaugh.
“Like everyone else, I will watch and see where the evidence points. If the evidence shows that Kavanaugh is guilty, then that indeed would be discrediting,” Burk said. “But if the evidence does not demonstrate that he is guilty, it would be a great injustice to pretend that it does.”
Burk concluded that “this is one the darkest, most cynical moments” he has ever witnessed in American politics.
“And it is only made worse by those who would argue that guilt or innocence is irrelevant in our moral and political judgments,” Burk stressed. “Perhaps they are irrelevant to some people, but that is no excuse for the good guys to surrender to such cynicism. We can do better than that. We must do better than that.”
4. Al Mohler
Expand | Collapse (Photo: Facebook/Albert Mohler)President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, Albert Mohler.
Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, took to his online radio show to address the question of how “morally serious” people must weigh the accusations facing Kavanaugh, especially when they have come toward the “very end” of the confirmation process.
“The events that have taken place in the last couple days now make it even more difficult for a morally serious or thoughtful person to try and understand what moral issues are at stake and how they should be adjudicated,” Mohler said.
Mohler also responded to Douthat‘s implication that Kavanaugh is tainted simply because a “credible” sexual assault accusation has been made against him.
“If indeed Brett Kavanaugh is now tainted by an allegation and even if it‘s conceded the allegation might not be true, but because he is tainted he should not serve on the court, we just need to note that anyone nominated to the court … can simply be immediately destroyed by a similar kind of allegation,” Mohler said. “Once we as a society begin to accept that it really doesn‘t matter and it‘s beyond our consideration if an allegation is truthful, then we are just going to destroy one another with claim and counterclaim in which the only issue is the effect of the claim not the truth of the claim.”
Mohler asserted, though, that there is “enough in this picture that is disturbing and this is where Christians just have to be honest.”
“The picture of this kind of testosterone adult in prep school — a very elite school for boys — and the kind of parties in which there was so much alcohol, there seems to be a general concession on the part of many of those who were teenagers then that the alcohol was flowing radically and freely and had a very, very dangerous effect,” Mohler said. “Christians need to understand that we are looking at allegations that, if true, would be devastating for anyone in public life or, for that matter, anyone at all.”
If the allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh did take place, Mohler stressed that does make the Supreme Court nominee a “sexual assaulter.”
“He was an assailant and we are looking at something that reveals character, not just misjudgement and can‘t be excused by any kind of ex post facto explanation other than ‘It didn‘t happen,‘” Mohler explained. “At this point, we need to recognize the tragedy of this circumstance far beyond the immediate question of the nomination or confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh.”
Mohler stressed that over the last several decades, society has not taken seriously enough the allegations of sexual misconduct made by women against men.
“That pattern was clearly wrong and directly in violation of our understanding of the biblical mandate of love of neighbor and also just basic respect for one another,” Mohler said. “The #MeToo movement is at least a reminder of the fact that there has been far too little attention paid to women when they cry out.”
5. Jack Graham
Expand | Collapse (Photo: Courtesy of Prestonwood Baptist Church)Pastor Jack Graham, senior pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.
Jack Graham, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, took to Twitter to comment on the situation facing Kavanaugh.
Graham retweeted a from Federalist co-founder Sean Davis Sunday night, which argued that Senate Republicans can energize GOP voters for the 2018 midterms by standing up to “a coordinated Democrat smear campaign” by confirming Kavanaugh. The other choice, Davis wrote, is for Senate Republicans to “buckle under Democrat lies and give up congressional GOP majorities for a decade or more.”
In his retweet, Graham sent a message to Senate Republicans: “It is time to show strength of moral leadership or else lose the confidence of millions of Americans.”
Graham is one of several evangelical leaders who has engaged as an informal adviser with the Donald Trump administration.
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