Sending the Wrong Message

Many of the names that we’ve seen in the news over the past several months have been those of men who have left their jobs, been fired, or were removed from a position because they were accused of sexual harassment or abuse.  They are, of course, the high profile individuals whose positions have them in the public eye already, so it seems that we are seeing some kind of epidemic.  It’s really not that, but the way we report news now is such that more people become aware of the high profile stuff more quickly.

The standards for the threshold of what defines sexual harassment, and sexual abuse of women are quite different among the various cultures and human populations of the world.  What we see as something that is intolerable and disgusting is viewed as common practice in some cultures, and there are places where women endure far worse abuse, and are considered subservient and unequal simply because of their gender.  Frankly, as far as I am concerned, it is correct to evaluate a culture as backward and inferior based on its allowance of abuse based on gender, race, or any other characteristic that separates an individual from the majority.

After what I’ve seen in the past months, I’m really wondering where we are on this issue.

It is apparent that the pass that is given for unacceptable behavior, especially toward women, depends on your political view.  Christian leaders, many of whom once declared that character and integrity were among the most important elements in a candidate for political office, have supported, at least twice within the past year, one candidate whose lifestyle, public actions, personal philosophy, and words, are virtually diametrically opposed to any form of Christian faith or principle, and another whose past wasn’t really all that much of a secret, who had been banned from a mall because there was enough evidence to indicate he, an adult in his 30’s, was stalking teenage females for the purposes of asking them out, and physically molesting them.

On the surface, they gave lip service to the right politics, and that’s all that matters now.  One of them, yeah, it’s Trump, actually provided a rationale for electing the other, Roy Moore, because he would be better than the other guy, a “liberal,” in the senate, and he would support the Trump agenda.  Lacking any real definition of “liberal,” other than some vague, nebulous, alleged support for abortion, and perhaps for same-gender marriage, it was white, conservative Christians who banded together to support Moore, leaving the job of redeeming Alabama from a reputation as some kind of political backwater full of inbred, paranoid nut jobs to the African Americans, inner city liberals, college and university students, educators, labor unions and high techsters.  They came through.  Among them were a few white, Protestant and Evangelical Christians who saw the credibility in the details and circumstances about Moore’s past, along with the insidious racism and irrational fear stirred by his political positions and previous actions.

Character has to matter again, and along side that contention, the realization needs to sink in that lip service to a pro-life, anti-same gender marriage position is not enough to ensure the effectiveness, productivity, and above all the integrity of an effective public servant.  Electing politicians to office who are verbally committed to ending abortion and preserving traditional marriage has been ineffective at best, and a failure, in all honesty, because both things are now more accessible and widespread than they were before the “Religious right” was formed.  In addition, a lot of incompetent individuals have been elected to office because voters were single issue, and didn’t look past the lip service to actual qualifications.

If you’re really serious about ending abortion, and you’re not in favor of same-gender marriage, if you’re a Christian, you actually do have an answer and a solution to the problem.  Put some effort into evangelism, and then put some more effort into effective Christian discipleship.  Heart issues require life transformation.  The Christian life teaches the sanctity of life, and it also teaches self-respect, accompanied by personal morality.   Life transformation and a life that glorifies God is the most effective way to lower the abortion numbers.  How can you teach that, and endorse, with support and a vote, candidates whose lives are examples of an opposite way of life?