Allow me to ask you a question dear reader. Let us assume that you are a young woman, in her twenties, and that I am an elderly politician known for his deeply social conservative political stances. My wife and I have struggled for a number of years to conceive and so have turned towards surrogates in an attempt to have a child. I approach you and ask if you’d be willing to be a surrogate mother for my wife and I. Would you assume that I had just asked to have sex with you for the purposes of impregnation?
If so, you may be watching too much pornography. But this was exactly the reaction two young congressional staffers had when Republican Congressman Trent Franks posed that very question to them.
According to the original POLITICO piece which broke this story:
“The sources said Franks approached two female staffers about acting as a potential surrogate for him and his wife, who has struggled with fertility issues for years. But the aides were concerned that Franks was asking to have sexual relations with them. It was not clear to the women whether he was asking about impregnating the women through sexual intercourse or in vitro fertilization. Franks opposes abortion rights as well as procedures that discard embryos.”
The piece goes on to state that one of the two young women in question suspected that Franks had cut off contact with her after she had rebuffed one such offer.
Notice what’s missing? Proof? Common sense maybe?
There’s quite a few things I want to say here, so let’s focus on the elephant in the room shall we? Who in their right mind would come to the conclusion that a request to be a surrogate mother would involve actual sexual intercourse? The very idea is a pornographic fantasy, something which does not happen in real life generally speaking. Furthermore, the entire scandal here revolves around how the staffers in question, “felt” about Franks’ offer. No proof that Franks himself actually suggested he have sex with them. All we have is the feelings of two young women and apparently that was enough to justify forcing Franks to resign shortly after the story broke.
This is incredibly dangerous, especially when we’re discussing subjects as serious as sexual assault and harassment. In a just society, governed by the rule of law, we cannot settle for mere half truths and allegations. As a Christian society we have a solemn obligation to both God and our fellow men to consistently seek the truth and justice.
The #MeToo movement has failed spectacularly in this regard. Consider the second factor in the Franks case. Following Franks’, admittedly strange, request one staffer reported that she felt as though Franks had begun to give her the silent treatment as punishment for rebuffing him.
Have you ever felt somewhat paranoid about such a matter before? That someone is ignoring you because you did something wrong or because you had offended them in some way unknown to you? I know I have and I also know that in 99% of such cases it turns out that I am wrong and simply being paranoid.
Yet in the case of Mr. Franks, we’re expected to accept a young woman’s feelings (some might say delusions) as fact in and of themselves without any investigation into the matter whatsoever.
In order to truly seek the truth, and by extension justice, we must carefully pour over the evidence available to us. We must entrust such matters to professionals such as those in law enforcement and the court system to determine what actually did or did not happen. The same standard can be applied to literally any other case in this whole sordid saga of sexual depravity and degradation.
Rather than rushing to condemnation for the sake of signalling virtue or scoring a cheap political point against our opponents, let us silently reflect on the cases before us. Humbly submitting them to the proper authorities for proper investigation and deliberation. As far as I am concerned, Congressman Franks is completely innocent and most certainly not guilty of sexual harassment. But it is ultimately not my place to rule on such things. Nor should you, dear reader, take mine or any other media pundit’s word for it. We are not omnipotent, we do not know with 100% certainty what happened. We only speculate and submit to our own biases without actually knowing any of the facts. We rely on the reporting of incredibly biased journalists rather than the careful investigation and deliberation of law enforcement professionals and the courts.
Are there real victims suffering in all of this? Undoubtedly. But we cannot know any of these things ourselves, nor can a biased media or mob mentality lead us to the truth of such matters. Either we live under the Rule of Law or the Court of Popular Opinion. It cannot be both.