Why What We Want to Believe About Kavanaugh Should Make Us Pause

I’m sure you’re familiar with the Brett Cavanaugh situation. He is President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court. He is a nominee that seeks to make decisions based on the intent of the original framers of the constitution. That makes him a conservative, and therefore supported by conservatives. Write in most protestant and evangelicals in that list as well.

He’s not yet confirmed as of right now, and has recently been accused of not one, or two, but three cases of sexual abuse of some kind from his high school and college days. Those accusers are Julie Swetnick, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and Deborah Ramirez.

Dr. Mohler’s Point

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has stated on his daily podcast The Briefing, that we all must admit that we don’t just believe Kavanaugh or his accusers, but that we want to be believe one of them. Dr. Mohler is exactly right. Which leads me to my main point: since it will be highly unlikely that the truth is ever clear on this issue from 30 years ago, followers of Jesus should avoid siding with either the accusers or Kavanaugh.

The If Game

If Kavanaugh is in fact lying and did these things, then he was not only a sexual predator, but he is covering it up for the sake of power. No philosophy of interpretation of the constitution is justifiable for that.

“But what if he gets on the court and is the swing vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?” That’s too soon. There’s no way to tell whether or not that would come before the jury or whether or not Kavanaugh would vote to overturn it. And yes, I welcome the day when Roe v. Wade is overturned.

But look at the flip side. Side with the women who have accused him. Believe they are right and that Kavanaugh truly is guilty of these crimes, and perhaps more. If that line of belief and thinking carries through and he eventually isn’t confirmed, and it turns out he’s innocent, then siding with the accusers is unjust. It truly would be a “smear campaign” to tarnish the reputation of an innocent man and to pervert the country’s process of confirming Supreme Court justices.

If Kavanaugh admitted to doing these things and expressed remorse and repentance, does that justify him being confirmed, particularly because of how long ago these alleged events occurred? Maybe, but he’s not admitting to them. He’s adamantly denying all of them.

It is unwise to side with someone because we want him to be innocent or because we want the accusers to be right. Why? Because just because we want to believe something doesn’t make it true. At least we must admit that when we side with a party in a situation like this, that we might be wrong.

Belief must be grounded in truth. Right now, from what I’ve seen, it’s impossible to know whether or not Judge Kavanaugh truly did the things he has been accused of. Someone is lying. Does that ultimately mean he should be confirmed? I don’t know. Perhaps?

The Most Important Part

But the reality that we might not ever know the truth should make us tread lightly in having great confidence (or criticism) in the character of a man we’ve never met and never will. It should make us hesitate to discredit (or laud) women who may or may not have been treated like no woman ever should as image-bearers. And ultimately, it should lead us to entrust things of this nature to a God of immutable wisdom and supreme justice, who knows all things and will one day make all things right.

Or, what if we had the power to say to both parties, “Since someone is lying and you can’t agree, we’ll just take the open seat away altogether.” I wonder which mother would allow the baby to live in that case.