Tag Archives: Law

NYT Opinion: A Christian Case against the Pence Rule

When the NYT writer understands that we can’t make a rule big enough to solve the problem of sexual harassment, I have to stand up and cheer… and repost.

The answer is not to ask women to leave the room. It’s to hold all men in the room accountable, and kick out those who long ago lost their right to be there.

via A Christian Case Against the Pence Rule – The New York Times

And this too…

{R}easonable people know the difference between a business meeting over breakfast and drinks at a hotel bar at night. And what the Pence rule fails to grapple with is that the Weinstein story wasn’t, at its root, about attraction but abuse of power. The producer’s behavior wasn’t fundamentally about lust gone wild. It flowed from male consolidation of power in Hollywood, and the lack of opportunity and influence that women have there and in many other industries. Mr. Weinstein could prey on women because of his undue influence over actresses’ careers. He knew they would have little recourse if they spoke out. Those women wouldn’t have been helped by greater isolation from men. They needed a stronger voice in the industry and greater agency over their careers.

The Pence rule arises from a broken view of the sexes: Men are lustful beasts that must be contained, while women are objects of desire that must be hidden away. Offering the Pence rule as a solution to male predation is like saying, “I can’t meet with you one on one, otherwise I might eventually assault you.” If that’s the case, we have far deeper problems around men and power than any personal conduct rule can solve.

Quotable Luther

Joey found this quote from Martin Luther, the controversial spark of the Reformation.

“We must not…reject [or] condemn anything because it is abused. This would result in utter confusion.
God has commanded us in Deut. 4 not to lift up our eyes to the sun (and the moon and the stars), etc., that we may not worship them, for they are created to serve all nations. But there are many people who worship the sun and the stars. Therefore we propose to rush in and pull the sun and stars from the skies. No, we had better let it be.
Again, wine and women bring many a man to misery and make a fool of him (Ecclus. 19:2; 31:30); so we kill all the women and pour out all the wine. Again, gold and silver cause much evil, so we condemn them.
Indeed, if we want to drive away our worst enemy, the one who does us the most harm, we shall have to kill ourselves, for we have no greater enemy than our own heart, as the prophet, Jer. 17, says, “The heart of man is crooked,” or, as I take the meaning, “always twisting to one side.” And so on – what would we not do?”
-From Martin Luther’s fourth Invocavit sermon from 1522, found in Works [American edition] 51:85

I like that line toward the end:
Indeed, if we want to drive away our worst enemy, the one who does us the most harm, we shall have to kill ourselves, for we have no greater enemy than our own heart.

It’s easy to nod in unthinking agreement with Luther’s quote because his examples are so clear-cut (except for wine, which remains controversial in the American church).

It’s another thing to fully realize the impact of what he’s saying — that to define sin correctly, we must localize it in people (namely ourselves) and not in things.

… but it’s always so much easier to condemn things (or places or events) rather than deal with our own hearts and face our continual need for redemption, sanctification, and grace from a source beyond ourselves.