Over the last few weeks, the United States of America hasn’t seemed so united. After President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court, numerous opponents have risen to the challenge to find a kink in his armor. With what started as an anonymous accusation, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was eventually encouraged to come forward to accuse Judge Kavanaugh of sexual assault from an encounter when he was 17 and she was 15. The alleged encounter happened 36 years ago.
After this week’s hearing, both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh has presented their side of the case to the Senate judiciary committee and to the watching world.
Here’s what my opinion is from the hearing:
- Both gave impassioned sides of their stories
- Both had elements in their story that seemed very credible
- Both had elements in their story that made me skeptical
- I don’t think Kavanaugh won over many Democrats
- I don’t think Ford won over many Republicans
- I think everyone viewed the proceedings through a set of predetermined lenses and most everyone walked away confirming their original opinion
Someone Is Lying
While that is my opinion, where do we go from here? If there are still so many loose ends, how can anyone make a call in this he-said vs. she-said moment of epic consequences? With so much unknown and unconfirmed, what do we know for sure?
Here’s what we know for sure: someone is a very good liar.
I’m not confident concerning which one it is, but someone has a knack of making a convincing case on a completely fabricated story. And it’s not as simple as identifying the liar based upon if they are a part of your opposing political party.
- Kavanaugh isn’t a dirty, rotten sleaze-bag just because you are a Democrat.
- Ford isn’t a crazy, manipulative liar just because you are a Republican.
- Kavanaugh isn’t guilty because you’re a woman.
- Ford isn’t guilty because you’re a man.
- Kavanaugh didn’t necessarily do this unthinkable act because other men have committed sexual assault.
- Ford didn’t necessarily do this unthinkable act because other women have lied with an attempt to ruin a reputation.
Regardless of who is lying, someone has ruined another’s life, and we can’t even listen to the situation without making assumptions based on our biases.
Justifying a Lie
The human mind and heart are both very tricky things. Every skeptical thought can find reasoning within the human psyche. Fear, jealousy, anger, bitterness, and resentment can make us do all types of things. Either the act that Kavanaugh did 36 years ago or the act that Ford is doing now comes from a sinful disposition. The desire to discern what is good and what is evil (Gen. 3:5) can lead people to act out a selfish demand to get what you want, a desperate cry for any type of attention, a careless feeding of a sinful appetite, or an impassioned hope to find revenge for any degree of hurt received.
Why does each seem believable? One might be a seasoned, talented liar. One might be so afraid to lose something in this moment that he or she will lie at whatever cost. There is another option though. I have known people who have rehearsed edited versions of a story in their mind so much that the fabrication eventually becomes the reality. He or she might be lying about what happened that night, and after 36 years of telling yourself one version, even in the lie, they might think it to be the truth.
Someone is lying, and regardless of who it is, I think our country just needs the truth. Unfortunately, I don’t think we will know for sure. Whether Kavanaugh is appointed or not, half of the country will think the system failed. His service in whatever position he finds himself in will be defined by these moments.
The Truth About Liars
I may be crazy for thinking this way, but I hope justice is served.
- If Kavanaugh is lying, I hope justice is served.
- If Ford is lying, I hope justice is served.
If Kavanaugh did this unthinkable sin, Ford has been living in unthinkable pain for 36 years. If Ford has a personal or political agenda to lie about this situation, Kavanaugh will be living in unthinkable pain for 36 years. There are so many possible versions of what could have happened in this story, it is mind-boggling.
Even if the truth has been altered in one or both minds, only three people know what really happened back then: Kavanaugh, Ford, and God.
And while the truth may be kept in the dark at this time, one day, it will be brought to light (Luke 8:17). While it will take another post to unpack the dangers of drunkenness, promiscuity, carousing, assault, and the dangers of teenage freedom coming back to haunt you later, lying is the one sin I am confident of that has happened here – even if I don’t know which one is the liar. But God will even bring that to light one day.
Lying lips are an abomination to him (Prov. 12:22) and they will not go unpunished (Prov. 19:9). Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), and God takes unrepentant deceit as a sin worthy of barring the gates of heaven (Ps. 101:7). Lying is a sin (Ex. 20:16), but thankfully, it is a sin that can be forgiven by a gracious God (1 John 1:9). While I am not sure of which one is lying under oath, I pray that both of those raised hands will one day confess to a willing gracious God their wrong in this moment and in the one 36 years ago.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.