“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin…. Purify me with hyssop and I shall be clean” (Psalm 51:1,7).
“The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:9).
David remembered being clean and he missed it so badly.
Know that feeling?
On the farm, we would bale hay. The baler was the type that ran off the belt driven by the tractor engine. We would park the tractor and baler by a pile of hay, unhitch it all, turn the tractor around and hook up the belt and turn it all on. Then, someone feeds the hay into the baler, then throws the block in to separate the bales, and I go to work. I’m on the ground underneath all of this, hay (and dust and debris) falling all over me. I feed two baling wires into the block as it moves through the system, then wait for the person on the other side to return those ends back to me through the next block. I pull the wires through and tie off the bale. The machine spits it out as we continue feeding hay into the baler and work with the next set of blocks coming our way. Eventually, we moved on to the next pile of hay.
It was a dirty business. At noon, we shut it all down and walked to the farmhouse for lunch. But not yet. No way is mom going to let this dirty bunch into the house. So we rigged up an outside shower. One at a time, we each get under it, dry off and put on clean clothes. Only then are we allowed to sit in the dining room and partake of the amazing array of country vegetables mom and our sisters have been working on all morning.
I’m completely aware that the title is presumputous! I don’t live or vote in Alabama–although it is my native state–and in some ways might as well be chiming in on the alderman’s race in Jasper, Alabama.
But a pastor friend in that state sent the question: “How would you vote if you lived here?”
The quandary–for those who live outside the western hemisphere or in some distant future–is that the two primary candidates are Judge Roy Moore, Republican, who has been accused by a number of women of sexual overtures of one kind or other years ago when they were minors and he was an adult of 30 or so, and Doug Jones, Democrat, who espouses the party line in support of abortion and the usual liberal politics. There are a thousand details, but these two matters cause the ethical dilemma of my friend and many others like him.
The charges and counter charges, accusations and denials, have been swift and many concerning Judge Moore. Proving something that was merely verbal and occurred forty years ago is next to impossible. This means–unless I’m missing something–Judge Moore can do what Supreme Court nominee (and later Justice) Clarence Thomas did: deny, deny, and deny. It was Thomas’ word against Anita Hill. In this case, it’s Moore’s word against a half-dozen women.
The voters become the jury.
For those who come across this piece in some distant future, it would be helpful to state what’s happening in the U.S.A. at this moment, November/December 2017. An outbreak of accusations against well-known men by women who accuse them of sexual offenses (harassments, manipulation, pressure, molestation, and such) is a daily occurrence. Prominent men are resigning their positions or being fired by their boards. No one thinks we’ve seen the worst of it, but everyone expects this to be the leading edge.
A woman friend tells me she’d love to see a movement of men stepping up to say, “Me, too,” in some kind of admission that they are partly at fault for the climate of sexual harassment in our culture. “Either they have done the things we’re talking about–the sexual innuendos, the flirtatiousness, the manipulation–or they have been complicit by their silence,” she says.
I’m still thinking about that one.
It’s a minefield walking out in front of the world to say, “I’m to blame.” Particularly if you feel you aren’t.
And that’s what prompted what follows.