Many Christian leaders are offering their opinions on Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and they are divided.
Though the schism has only become greater since Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault on two occasions, faith leaders were divided on his potential appointment well before then.
Here is what they have had to say:
Most notably, evangelist and president of Samaritan’s Purse relief agency, Franklin Graham, said to Christian Broadcasting Network “It’s just a shame that a person like Judge Kavanaugh who has a stellar record — that somebody can bring something up that he did when he was a teenager close to 40 years ago. That’s not relevant. We’ve got to look at a person’s life and what they’ve done as an adult and are they qualified for this position. So this is just an attempt to smear him.” Graham was met with much backlash after making this comment, many questioning the message the preacher was sending to survivors of sexual assault.
American Family Association President Tim Wildmon seemed to agree with Graham that the accusations are a part of a smearing campaign saying, “We’ve seen this game played before. Clarence Thomas. Herman Cain. Roy Moore. In some shape or form, each of those men had charges of sexual misconduct lodged against them during seasons of political rancor when it was impossible to prove — or disprove — the charges. In some cases, the fallout negatively affected their careers. All three are rock-solid conservatives who love our country and respect the Constitution.”
Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary also seemed to agree, saying on Twitter, “New allegations against Kavanaugh raise serious questions of credibility, motivation, and the knowability of truth.
The president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Russell Moore, took a more neutral position saying in an interview with CNN “We need to hear from both parties involved and so I’m looking forward to the open hearing.” He continued, “Obviously, if this did happen, that would be disqualifying, and obviously, if this did not happen it would be a horrible thing to wrongfully accuse someone of doing. And so that’s what I’m hearing mostly from evangelicals — is what’s going on? We need to hear from both of the parties involved.”
Christian commentator Eric Metaxas wrote about the “mobocracy” that is the Kavanaugh proceedings saying, “The horror of the Kavanaugh madness is that we are SUPPOSED to be a nation of laws w/the legal presumption of innocence. It's as though we've returned to the Salem mobocracy of 1692. Plays are written about such things years later, long after people's lives have been immolated.”
The horror of the Kavanaugh madness is that we are SUPPOSED to be a nation of laws w/the legal presumption of innocence. It's as though we've returned to the Salem mobocracy of 1692. Plays are written about such things years later, long after people's lives have been immolated. pic.twitter.com/uPLiKQgRuc— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) September 24, 2018
Prominent Christian writer Rachel Held Evans, however, spoke condemningly not only of Kavanaugh but also of other prominent Christians. Evans took to Twitter writing, “The same religious leaders who told me as a teenager that premarital sex was a grave sin that would ruin my life forever have declared that no one can fault a 17-year-old boy for a little attempted rape.” She continues, “They always said "the world" would not understand our sexual ethic because "the darkness cannot comprehend the light." Maybe the world just doesn't get a sexual ethic in which being gay is a sin but chronic infidelity, sexual assault, & "pussy-grabbing" are just guys being guys.”
They always said "the world" would not understand our sexual ethic because "the darkness cannot comprehend the light." Maybe the world just doesn't get a sexual ethic in which being gay is a sin but chronic infidelity, sexual assault, & "pussy-grabbing" are just guys being guys.— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) September 19, 2018
Additionally, a former rape crisis advocate for a Southern Baptist University, Sandi Villarreal, told the Fix in an interview “These men tend to brush off the youthful ‘indiscretions’ — of boys. Young women, on the other hand, are held responsible for causing boys to stumble or tempting them into sin by the way they dress, how and whether they flirt, really, by virtue of being a woman.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff