Phew! I have just been involved in lively discourse following my post on Facebook titled: “Christians who love Trump”. I realize that posts of this nature are for some “friends” like red rags to a bull. I have also had another sobering exchange concerning the recent death of Charles Manson, reminding me that in the era of flower power and youthful optimism there was a darker side to our culture and things were going on that even now most are unaware of and yet bear some relevance to our present time. Among the infamous intentions of Manson at the time he rose to notoriety that resonates today was to stir up societal discontent and start a race war.
According to Wikipedia: “Charles Milles Manson (born Charles Milles Maddox, November 12, 1934 – November 19, 2017) was an American criminal and cult leader who formed what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune in California in the late 1960s. Manson’s followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations in July and August 1969. In 1971 he was found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of seven people, including the actress Sharon Tate, all of which were carried out at his instruction by members of the group. Manson was also convicted of first-degree murder for two other deaths. At the time the Family began to form, Manson was an unemployed ex-convict who had spent half of his life in correctional institutions for a variety of offenses. Before the murders, he was a singer-songwriter on the fringe of the Los Angeles music industry, chiefly through a chance association with Dennis Wilson, drummer and founding member of the Beach Boys. Manson believed in what he called “Helter Skelter”, a term he took from the Beatles’ song of the same name to describe an impending apocalyptic race war. He believed the murders would help precipitate that war“.
Part of my discussion was around Trump’s alleged sexual related improprieties e.g. “Sixteen women have accused Trump of sexual assault and Trump is on tape admitting to having done this kind of thing in the past. How anyone, let alone Christians, can think he is a suitable leader is beyond me”. My simple responses include I don’t defend the indefensible, if I am an apologist for Trump, it is with reluctance and that when there are accusations these need checking out – we all deserve some benefit of the doubt, and as far as sexual misconduct claims the jury is still out. While I dislike his “locker room banter” remarks, I think he has shown himself to be a surprisingly suitable leader. One tendency though is when it comes to “our” man / woman, we are inclined to believe the best about them and we follow those news outlets that back up our opinions.
I suspect one of the annoyances of political lefties at those on the right is they tend to believe the worst of their opponents and overlook the bad in those they support. The same observation applies in reverse. I grant that is wrong to cover up or even gloss over wrong doing, and while we should aim to be impartial and non-judgmental, that is something many of us could improve on. A similar situation arises with Roy Moore, currently running for Senate. There have been a number of accusations of sexual misconduct in his distant past, as I reflected on in an earlier blog, and I for one while wanting to grant some lee way to any who are so accused, if it transpired they have sexually violated someone, especially if a minor, covering up their misdeeds and crimes, then they should step down. This is irrespective of their political affiliation and applies just as much to Moore and Trump whose views are nearer my own, as to them whose views I oppose.
That there has been a spate of recent revelations about alleged (and often proved or admitted) sexual misconduct cannot be denied. Recently that around Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, high profile Hollywood figures, have been particularly pernicious and few doubt these are guilty as charged. The latest one to come to wider light, thanks to the Drudge Report for pointing this out, goes under the title: “She Said A Powerful Congressman Harassed Her. Here’s Why You Didn’t Hear Her Story.” The report is disturbing, not just because of the extent of what was alleged to have happen, but also the cover up and the despicable way victims were treated. It seems that we are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg, with much that is evil that remains to be revealed. As if that was enough, Drudge also linked to another report to do with sexual harassment, this time involving a news presenter: “Charlie Rose fired by CBS over sexual harassment allegations”. [Ed – A further Drudge today revelation, citing mainstream sources, is titled “John Lasseter Taking Leave of Absence From Pixar Amid Missteps“ and is to do with yet another powerful person in the entertainment industry sexual indiscretions and abuse of power: “one longtime Pixar employee says Lasseter was known for grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.”]
The good thing is that these crimes are not only coming to light as people step forward who are prepared to testify but those doing wrong are also being prosecuted. Some will put Trump in the category of those who by example etc. perpetrate a culture of sexual abuse, yet under his administration we are seeing more sex crimes being exposed and prosecuted than before, and to those who compare Trump with Manson, that is preposterous. While I am all for giving people the benefit of the doubt and showing leniency concerning past misconduct, when people have suffered as a result of what happened, the perpetrators do need to be held to account. I suspect the motives are as much about power as lust and it is wholly wrong that someone can use his / her power over someone to exploit them, sexually or otherwise. What worries me is part of the iceberg is pedophilia, and worse still minors victims of human trafficking (many go missing each year) and are held in slavery, traded as objects for sexual gratification and even sacrificed in the course of Satanic ritual. The recent passing of Charles Manson reminds me that this is more than mere conjecture on the part of conspiracy theorists, and the likely truth is that this has been going on for a long time and involves powerful people in the highest positions.
When I was a sixteen year old I recall a conversation I had with my Christian youth leader. I remember him reflecting on the subject of child abuse (although I don’t quite know why) and quoting a Bible verse: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea”, Matthew 18:6. I realize these words appear harsh, although they did come from the lips of Jesus. While I quite concur that no adult should be subject to sexual abuse, especially as a result of someone exercising power, this is even more so when it comes to minors. While rejecting witch hunts, people accusing for political and other gain or acting disproportionately or without allowing the right of the accused to defend him(her)self, I believe in the light of these stories it is high time to put an end to sexual harassment (or at least ensure as best we can it doesn’t happen) and we must protect our children.