As the daily news headlines seem to carry the story of another high profile man accused of sexual misconduct, one message seems to be coming through from the victims: “Sincere apologies are not enough; we will make you pay and pay dearly for what your did to us.” That’s understandable in cases of rape or physical assault involving grabbing, groping, or forcible kissing, exhibitionism, or soliciting sex. But every small infraction a man could possibly commit physically or verbally is now viewed as cause for totally ruining his career, marriage, future, and life. This #Me Too movement now appears to be more than just an effort to obtain real justice for women and men victimized by serious sex crimes. It looks like a movement that is not only trying to change a cultural environment, but to change the whole culture’s view of human sexuality.
That begs a couple of questions from men like myself who know we have not always behaved in a perfect manner toward women. Likewise, our wives, sisters, and daughters are asking, “Who and what is really behind this?” One of the questions I have about this movement is, Do these women who have allegedly been violated desire to see true justice or vengeance? There is a distinct difference between the two, and I’m not sure this #Me Too movement is making that distinction.
Let me illustrate the difference by pulling one of the cases from the recent headlines: Charlie Rose. No matter what you might think of him personally, Rose earned himself the reputation as an old-school, hard-nosed journalist unafraid to ask the tough questions of everyone he interviewed, regardless of which political party, company, or organization they represented. That’s what a good journalist does.
Mr. Rose also earned the reputation of being a classic ladies’ man, the quintessential cool, smooth, suave, debonair British gentleman who could make women’s hearts flutter just by walking into a room. Unfortunately, many of those women recently learned that he’s really a dirty old man. His sexual antics, as reported by women hired to work for his news documentary show, and by several co-workers at CBS, caused him to have his program yanked off the air, and to be fired by CBS and PBS. That leads to the question: Will true justice be served in the case of Charlie Rose and his alleged victims?
Let me answer that this way. There is a three-fold purpose I have identified to true justice in the case of the perpetrator: 1)Conviction for and admission of guilt for wrongdoing; 2)Correcting the behavior and attitudes of the perpetrator so that they repent of their wrongdoing and determine to turn away from it, and 3)Restitution to the victim, if applicable, or the sincere apologizing and seeking forgiveness for the wrong done. This implies that true justice, if it is to be realized completely, requires something from the victim: the willingness to eventually forgive, if not for the perpetrator, for the victim’s own emotional and spiritual well-being. It is only when we choose to forgive someone for wrong they’ve done to us, that we ourselves are released from the control of that hurt. If we continue to hold onto that hurt and refuse to forgive, especially if the wrongdoer has repented, then that can grow into bitterness that eventually eats up the victim, while the perpetrator may still find peace and restoration through other means. The ultimate goals of true justice are healing and redemption: healing for the victim, redemption for the perpetrator.
This brings us back to the matter of what the women of the #Me Too movement are really seeking. In the case of Charlie Rose and the women he hurt, the question that has to be asked is, (this is the Christian minister in me speaking) Does anybody care enough about Charlie Rose, (not the journalist, the person), to find out what led him down the slippery slope into sexual misconduct, in order to possibly help him to take ownership over his actions, confess and repent of them, and allow others to walk and talk with him through the process of redemption and restoration? Does anybody care enough about him to see him become a changed man, one who honors and respects women, or is the desire of his victims and the #Me Too movement to see him spend the rest of his life isolated, broken, and bitter, dying a lonely and painful death, and then rotting in hell? If their desire is truly for the former, then that is seeking justice. If it’s the latter, then that’s merely a desire for vengeance.
Vengeance, in contrast to justice, has just 2 objectives: punish and destroy. It seeks to inflict as much misery on wrongdoers as possible, and ultimately, to see them completely destroyed as persons, and not just removed from positions of authority. According to the Bible, vengeance is only properly meted out by God, and He only does so when people are totally unrepentant and determined to do evil to others (Deuteronomy 32: 35-36). When people seek vengeance against those who violate them, it forces their enemies to fight back for their very lives and souls, not just their reputations, which can eventually lead to violence and bloodshed.
This brings me back to the original questions raised here: Who is really behind this #Me Too movement and what is their real agenda? If it is to seek true justice for victims of sexual abuse by changing the culture that lends itself to abuse through changing the attitudes and behavior of abusers, then this is a badly needed movement that’s been long time in coming. If however, this is a movement to destroy certain people in order to promote another political agenda, that will most certainly lead to a backlash, perhaps even a violent one. What I mean is this: I have a hard time believing that all these women bringing all these accusations against all these men really want to see the men completely destroyed, with careers ruined and marriages and families ripped apart. I’m sure most of them recognize this could backfire on them in the worst way, and even cause the cases of women who are victims of violent sexual assault to not be heard.
What I’m wondering is if this #Me Too movement has been concocted and instigated by militant gay rights activists, using the New York Times and Washington Post as well as real victims of sexual abuse, to paint a dark picture of heterosexuality itself. They might be seeking to discredit heterosexuality by using all these cases as a way of presenting the idea that homosexuality is to be preferred, with heterosexuality being cast as abnormal, inherently exploitative of women, unnatural, and undesirable. This ties in with the argument made increasingly by gay rights activists that gay people are the most evolved of all, and that all people should move away from heterosexuality and become gay. What better way to push this propaganda for the gay lifestyle than to daily mention more and more cases of sexual misconduct my men against women? The fact that any cases of gay men in positions of power who get accused of molesting boys are quickly squelched by the media is further proof of an effort to present gay as beautiful and most desirable, and straight as totally sick and undesirable. I’ve had enough run-ins with militant gays to know this could well be their latest tactic to force their agenda of making the gay lifestyle totally unquestionable, unchallenged, and the only acceptable form of human sexual behavior.
But there’s something the gay community and their supporters do not recognize: God is still on His throne. He hasn’t changed, and He hasn’t rewritten His Word. He will have the final word on human sexuality, guaranteed. That will be the ultimate justice for those who have faithfully followed Him through Jesus Christ, by being redeemed from lives of sin through His shed blood. That’s a promise offered to everyone who would place his or her trust in Jesus. To do so, simply pray by telling Jesus that you recognize you are a sinner in need of forgiveness, that you are willing to turn from your sin and want His help to do so, believing that He died for your sins, and then receive His forgiveness. That offer is there for you whether you’re a victim of sexual abuse, or a sex offender. If you pray such a prayer and find Jesus coming into your life, be sure to tell a friend or family member that you’ve done so.