Every morning, Twitter asks me what’s happening.
Our “United States” seem to be falling apart, that’s what.
(And a whole lot of Americans are at risk of being buried beneath the rubble.)
The past few weeks have served up an acrid mix of leaks, low blows, accusations and interrogations. With a heaping side of voyeurism and vitriol.
The folks in charge seem to be very busy playing their fame/shame/blame games. Preening, posing and pontificating. Politicizing… and demonizing. Ad nauseum.
(Anyone else feeling sick?)
As I observed bits and pieces of the congressional proceedings last week, I drew several obvious conclusions which I’ve listed in no particular order. I hope we can agree on this:
Sexual assault is heinous… and rampant.
Binge drinking is an open invitation to disaster. (And frequently leads to despair… or rehab.)
People who leak private information suck.
Media – right, left or so-called-centrist – is making very little effort at producing unbiased, non-sensationalist news. (I hold a journalism degree, and this isn’t what we were taught. Not even close.)
Americans are gluttons for sordid details, dirty laundry, and sexploitation.
Accusations can do nearly as much damage as physical violence.
D.C. seems more like a circus these days than a capital.
Again and again, I’ve heard the same refrain with regard to allegations against the Supreme Court nominee:
It’s a “he-said, she-said” dispute. One of them is lying.
Or maybe they both are, to some degree. We humans have a tendency to do that: deflect or mislead, hedge or hide, stretch or distort the truth, especially when we have a lot to gain… or lose. (I know I’m guilty.)
But there’s another (arguably remote) possibility here too. What if they are both telling the truth as they remember it? What if the disparity is entirely due to wildly divergent recollections of the events of 1982? (If someone asked me to reconstruct the summer of ’82, I can assure you I’d have a slew of gaps, gaffes and glaring oversights myself. Heck, I can’t even remember what I wore yesterday. I’ll have to check the laundry hamper.)
Memory isn’t always infallible. And perception isn’t always truth. But it is relevant… and real. Especially to the one who holds it.
I’m not an eyewitness, private investigator or forensic scientist in this matter. So I clearly can’t access and analyze all the pertinent information and evidence. (Though I hope the FBI does.) I’m not a prosecutor or public defender, so I need not argue on behalf of the accuser or the accused. (Why do people feel compelled to do that… like it’s their job?) I’m not a judge or jury member either, so my personal opinions have no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of these proceedings. (In fact there’s no judge or jury at all because this isn’t a trial… although I’m sure it feels like one to both the accused and the accuser.)
There was no verdict after Thursday’s hearing. But plenty of people passed judgment:
“The nominee is a drunk/mocker/predator.”
“The accuser is a liar/lackey/loon.”
You know what I think? I think every single person who says (s)he has been a victim of sexual violence ought to be heard. Allegations of sexual assault have to be taken very, very seriously and investigated thoroughly. Every. Single. Time.
And I think every person who believes (s)he has been falsely accused ought to be able to defend her/himself rigorously. Without exception.
Because everyone – every single soul in this embattled, beautiful country of ours – has a story, a voice, and a right to speak freely.
(But beware the backlash. It can be brutal… and cost plenty.)
Ultimately, the Supreme Court will get a justice (either this one or another). Some people will gloat because they got what they wanted. Others will grouse because they didn’t. And life… and politics… will go on.
What do I want?
Well, here’s what I don’t want. I don’t want politics to be the center of my life. I don’t want my political views or someone else’s to dictate who can and cannot be my friend. And I certainly don’t want politicans to do my thinking for me. No, thank you.
I want the truth.
“You can’t handle the truth.”
You may be right, Jack. But it’s still what I want. It’s what we should all want.
More importantly, it’s what God wants.
For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all. (Luke 8:17, NLT)
And I want justice.
Like Father, like daughter:
For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face. (Psalm 11:7, NIV)
Praying for truth, justice and a better (rather than bitter) American way.
P.S. If anyone in Washington is wondering what to do, here’s a hint:
The Lord has shown you what is good. He has told you what he requires of you. You must act with justice. You must love to show mercy. And you must be humble as you live in the sight of your God. (Micah 6:8, NIRV)
Special acknowledgment: Accompanying artwork is courtesy of our artist-in-residence, Chloe Louise. (She has quite an eye for detail, don’t you think? 😉