Musings

Columbia University and rape.

Warning: Some explicit sexual references.

So a friend posted the following link on Facebook and I responded to it there. My response didn’t go ever well which is not a shock so rather than make enemies there, I suppose I shall make anonymous enemies here instead. First the link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/04/24/columbia-university-sued-by-male-student-in-carry-that-weight-rape-case/?tid=sm_fb

The quick and dirty version: Boy befriends girl. Boy and girl have sex a couple times. Boy and girl have sex a third time. Girl accuses boy of rape and boy says it was consensual.

A couple of things to remember here: 1) the prior sexual encounters were consensual and the third started out being consensual. This means that until after the third encounter, the girl did not feel threatened by this boy. 2) The girl did not report the violation immediately and only did so after consulting with a friend who suggested that she was raped.

So the situation can break down a couple of ways:

1) The boy became aggressive during the third sexual encounter and forced the girl to go farther than she wanted against her will, which in this case is sodomy. The girl is claiming that she showed up looking for normal sex only and that the boy forcefully penetrated her in an uncomfortable place. Apparently NOT like the back of a Volkswagen. Since she never wanted that type of extreme and dare I say deviant form of sex, she considers his actions to be rape.

2) The boy claims that there was a consensual agreement for them to engage in sodomy. He claims that she went on a smear campaign against him after he started pulling away from the relationship as a way to punish him for not reciprocating her feelings.

Most low-brows get hung up here trying to determine which person is lying. Is the girl lying or is the boy lying? Let me say that wanting to know who is lying is completely irrelevant.

I will repeat that: Wanting to know which party is lying is completely irrelevant. The issue is much simpler and much less complex.

Teach and uphold abstinence.

In 2009 Columbia decided to allow the dorms to become co-ed in order to satisfy every strange sexual circumstance imaginable. To help manage the circumstances that have arisen from that policy they have a guide to “proper” unmarried sexual etiquette. You can follow the link here. You can check it out for yourself so I won’t rehash it. What you will not find is any form of prohibition against fornication, masturbation, viewing or participating in porn, sodomy, oral sex, etc. So you want to watch porn? Check. You want to engage in homosexual encounters? Check. You want to just have hetero “normal” sex? Check. It’s all ok as long as it feels ok.

Here then is a glaring societal moral norm issue. According to our society it is ok to have sex as long as everyone directly involved agrees. It is only not ok when one person disagrees during or after the act is completed.

So I am going to put myself in this young man’s shoes. I am friends with a girl and we are out drinking. We start making out and one thing leads to the next. We have protected sex and everything is great. She is asleep, I am asleep, the evening ended in fun for everyone. The next morning, she decides that I took her farther than she wanted to go and that she was drunker than she or I realized. She claims rape, my life is over. Whose fault is that? Hers or mine?

If anyone thinks that I am not at fault they are a liar, stupid, or both.

If anyone thinks she is not at fault is also a liar, stupid, or both.

If I go to a wild party, get drugged, pass out and get raped I still carry the burden of being stupid enough to make myself vulnerable to people whom I do not know. You catch that? If you go to a party, drink their alcohol, get drugged, and get raped, you put yourself in a bad circumstance. You carry at least some of the responsibility.

Some of you are probably foaming at the mouth by now. Consider a different scenario: I go to work in a factory with lots of heavy machinery. There are robots that can crush and electrocute me and I am reasonably certain that it is unsafe there. So instead of remaining dead sober so I can navigate through the circumstance safely I pop some prescription pain meds and proceed to get myself killed. Would we blame the machines? Yes the machines would be the direct cause of my death. Would I still be totally blameless? No. I put myself in a dangerous situation and then took unnecessary chances.

Nobody drugged this girl. Nobody drugged this boy. They were “friends” by their own definition. They both drugged themselves with alcohol. They both entered a dark and private room together and they both had sex not once, not twice, but three times. She cried rape and he cried foul. They are both at fault.

So let us walk through my earlier example, add my mindset and advice and see how the situation plays out.

I am friends with a girl and I like her and she likes me. She invites me out for a few drinks. I respectfully decline. Situation ends well.

We are at a party and we both have had a few drinks. She wants to make out but I respectfully decline. Situation ends well.

She is at a party with guys other than me because I don’t go to parties where people are drinking and hooking up. Situation ends well.

She doesn’t go to parties where people are drinking. Situation ends well.

Get the point yet?

So now Columbia is in a quandary. They cannot ever police a bedroom enough to know if lines are being crossed in there. They cannot station security guards at the bedpost to referee private sexual encounters. Imagine having a bouncer in every bedroom. The conversations would be interesting. Um excuse me sir, I believe she is a little drunker than she should be. We are going to have to ask you to leave sir, your sexual aggression is too much. Your date is tapping out sir, she doesn’t like this weird deviant sexual behavior you are trying and you are in danger of crossing the rape threshold.

Columbia can police its campus against outside predators or real rapists who catch women or men unawares and violate them by coercion. How can they protect against two people willingly entering a dark private space to engage in private behaviors? In the former case you have a clearly distinguishable line of predatory behavior. In the latter case, it is indistinguishable from a “normal” sexual encounter at the campus. There is only one way to stop the latter case from happening. Ban the “normal” sexual encounter. Re-introduce gender specific dorms and uphold the curfews for students.

Admittedly, such a prohibition would not stop all forms of sexual aggression because rebellious and morally stunted students will still have unmarried sex. Nor does it mean that rape cannot happen when a sexual encounter becomes aggressive. However, It greatly reduces the opportunity for such situations on campus and it reduces the University’s responsibility to attempt to protect parties from “normal” sexual situations becoming “out of control” sexual situations. In fact it is the only way for the University to limit its liability to third party aggravated sexual assault claims.

The typical response to this idea is that unmarried sex is morally good, it is only bad when it turns into rape.

I say prove it. Don’t worry, I won’t hold my breath waiting for that logical proof to appear.

Explain to me how one comes to the conclusion that unmarried sex is morally permissible and I will show you how your morality is arbitrary and meaningless. This is the real problem anyway. People want to believe that what feels good actually is good. News flash… what feels good, can kill you, wreck your life, wreck your marriage, wreck other peoples lives, etc. That belief is unabashedly absurd and so are the fools who espouse it.

Hate the bride? You probably don’t know the groom.

Here’s the article Follow Link

So yet another complaint against the church purporting to show us why [post-modern] millennials are leaving the church en masse. As you read the article you may notice that certain thoughts come out. We want this, we don’t want that. We want genuine worship, but we don’t want exclusivity. We want integrity, we don’t want cool. We want, we want, we want…

As the article progresses, what begins as a harmless view of the preferred aesthetics of the millenials morphs into something else. You clearly can recognize some of the author’s own theological views as they start to color the piece. A child of post-modernism, Rachel Held Evans is heavily invested in ideas like inclusivism, tolerance, etc. Consider this quote:

Recent research from Barna Group and the Cornerstone Knowledge Network found that 67 percent of millennials prefer a “classic” church over a “trendy” one, and 77 percent would choose a “sanctuary” over an “auditorium.” While we have yet to warm to the word “traditional” (only 40 percent favor it over “modern”), millennials exhibit an increasing aversion to exclusive, closed-minded religious communities masquerading as the hip new places in town.

Notice the last sentence in her statement and ask, is her conclusion consistent with the data she just used? The “data” does not mention any measurement of “exclusive” or “close-minded.” That’s her insertion. If the words “close-minded” or “exclusive” are used in the research cited, I could not find them. Granted I read through the Barna Group findings somewhat quickly. Since this isn’t the only instance of her theology leaking out into the article perhaps it will be sufficient to show one more example. Consider her following words:

 When I left church at age 29, full of doubt and disillusionment, I wasn’t looking for a better-produced Christianity. I was looking for a truer Christianity, a more authentic Christianity: I didn’t like how gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people were being treated by my evangelical faith community.

Why mention the LGBT crowd at all? It seems that the context is forming up to be that people who stand firm in their rejection of the LGBT lifestyle as normative are close-minded and exclusive and that is a very very bad thing. In fact it is the one thing that can drive off these millenials whom you so desperately need to keep up your church attendance. The following is the most explicit conclusion she makes:

In other words, a church can have a sleek logo and Web site, but if it’s judgmental and exclusive, if it fails to show the love of Jesus to all, millennials will sniff it out. Our reasons for leaving have less to do with style and image and more to do with substantive questions about life, faith and community. We’re not as shallow as you might think.

If young people are looking for congregations that authentically practice the teachings of Jesus in an open and inclusive way, then the good news is the church already knows how to do that. The trick isn’t to make church cool; it’s to keep worship weird.

The words inclusive and exclusive leave no doubt as to the theological bent the author is coming from.

My search has led me to the Episcopal Church, where every week I find myself, at age 33, kneeling next to a gray-haired lady to my left and a gay couple to my right as I confess my sins and recite the Lord’s Prayer. No one’s trying to sell me anything. No one’s desperately trying to make the Gospel hip or relevant or cool. They’re just joining me in proclaiming the great mystery of the faith — that Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again — which, in spite of my persistent doubts and knee-jerk cynicism, I still believe most days.

One need not be an Episcopalian to practice sacramental Christianity.

Apparently one need not be repentant of one’s sins either. Is there nobody in this church who understands that communion cannot be had between practicing sinners and the redeemed? At this point I must conclude that the author who began to describe to us statistic based preferences of millenials is now trying to slip in her own ideas while claiming the authority of the prior data. In other words, she has found a soapbox to slip in her ideas and preach inclusiveness while feigning the benign matter of just informing us what millenials prefer aesthetically.

But I believe that the sacraments are most powerful when they are extended not simply to the religious and the privileged, but to the poor, the marginalized, the lonely and the left out. This is the inclusivity so many millennials long for in their churches, and it’s the inclusivity that eventually drew me to the Episcopal Church, whose big red doors are open to all — conservatives, liberals, rich, poor, gay, straight and even perpetual doubters like me.

This young lady would never be satisfied until she found a church made in her own image. She cannot love the God of the Orthodox church and the Bible because quite frankly she doesn’t know Him. The God she is describing above is of her own design, not that of Scripture. If she does not know God, she cannot love God. If she cannot know God, she cannot recognize his true church (or those who are in it). Her spirit cannot bear witness because it is ill-informed and lacking knowledge. Therefore her lack of love for the bride is only the symptom of the larger problem.

Therefore while I am encouraged that there is a return to traditional worship and sacramental Christianity, I fear that it is only due to aesthetics and not out of an honest search for the truth about God. It seems that the “hip” thing is to be “anti-hip” and that is just another fad that will pass away.

Ebola and the fear machine

As you may or may not have noticed, the Ebolavirus has reached American shores and has infected at least two American nurses and killed one Liberian man on American soil.

So here’s the deal, the mainstream media outlets (Fox, CNN, MSNBC) all want you to be terrified of Ebola, only not so terrified you stop being a good little minion of the state. I watched and read several, sometimes conflicted reports about why or why not to be terrified. This is the only conclusion I can think of at the current time for the contradictions in the reporting.

An anchor on CNN stated that closing schools down in Ohio and Texas was “insane” and then went on to say that several thousand people die of the flu every year. See? No big deal! Nothing to worry over here, all is still happy in America-land.

Now I understand the POTUS has decided to arbitrarily appoint (and pay) yet another bureaucrat to head up an Ebola task force here in the US. It seems that the solutions that the government comes up with always entail more government. Imagine that! I feel safer already despite the simple fact that there is a government agency already devoted to protecting people from disease. You remember the CDC don’t you? That crack squad of savvy motivated personnel. They failed so another bureaucratic organization will do better.

I am not scared of Ebola but I would not consider anyone who takes extra measure to keep away from infection to be stupid or insane. The schools in Texas and Ohio are well within their rights to close down for a day and make sure things are extra tidy. The people on the plane with the sick nurse should be extra cautious and report any fever or sniffles to the CDC. Their extra diligence may prevent yet one more American from contracting the often fatal disease. If some kids happen to miss a day of indoctrination into the tolerance society, so be it.

This disease was able to spread to two nurses who took great care to minimize their exposure. It has also devastated areas of West Africa. People should be afraid, just not afraid enough to question the all-powerful leaders of the state and their propaganda machine mouthpieces.