Thursday, November 2, 2017

Harvey Weinstein and the Top-down Inquisition

Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

ROLF Harris, Bill Cosby, Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and now Dustin Hoffman, among a growing list of others. The ‘crisis’ is rippling through Western societies as we live and breathe. Weinstein has even been chosen as the Edenbridge Bonfire effigy![1]
Bring it on. That’s my initial response. The more historical abuse is exposed in the upper echelons the better.
Culture is influenced maximally when crooked pillars of society are shaken straight.
It has its eventual impact on our personal worlds. What was once held within the reach of lips tightened by yet another abuse, is increasingly being liberated, as “justice rolls like the waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24)
And yet, if we allow, the Spirit is sifting each one of us; have I subjected anyone to a similar harassment currently indicting these megastars?
If the Spirit is home in us — and, it’s a ‘yes’ as believers — an honest spirit will meet and align with the sifting of God. And yet there are so many who have been transgressed in ways they would never perpetrate. It’s horrifying to think that around one-in-five people have suffered sexual harassment — and statistically, mostly women (over 80%), and most before they turned 20.
As we pray the prayer of Psalm 139:23-24[2] the Spirit adjudicates. Having had God deal with us, however ‘innocent’ we are, our glibness is also tempered. Added to our empathy for victims is our forgiveness of perpetrators. We forgive them as God, in Christ, forgave us. Forgiveness is not the same as mercy, however. We can forgive perpetrators and, as a society, still withhold the mercy that would relieve them of paying the consequences of their actions. Justice means paying restitution.
What is happening in our world at present is very, very good. Truths are being exposed. The stifled are gaining their voice. How much better if the guilty seek to make amends before their day in court. And how glorious is it when those who have transgressed can own their fault and attempt restitution. Our prayers find completion when the abused experience justice and eventual healing.
The Inquisition is coming, even as it rolls into locations near each of us via our global community.
The best thing for victims of sexual assault is the righting of injustice. The best thing would be if it had never happened.

[1] Edenbridge Bonfire Society gains exposure from burning their effigies, so they can do more fundraising for charities.
[2]Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.” (NRSV)

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