5 Evangelical Reactions to the New Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh

3. Denny Burk

Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. | (Photo:

Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote a blog post Monday titled "Does guilt or innocence even matter anymore?"

In the post, Burk responds to an argument laid out by New York Times pundit Ross Douthat. Douthat argued that even if Kavanaugh is innocent, giving such prominence and power to a man who is "credibly accused" would "leave an unnecessary taint on his future rulings" and "alienate social conservatives from the persuadable Americans."

"Yesterday I read a column by Ross Douthat that is perplexing," Burk wrote. "If I'm being truthful, it's worse than perplexing. It is an absolute disappointment. Douthat makes the case that it doesn't really matter whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent of the allegations against him. Even if Kavanaugh is innocent, he has been tainted by accusations made against him and on those grounds alone could be unfit to serve on the Supreme Court."

Burk continued by arguing that "this is the worst argument I believe I have ever read from Douthat."

"How can it not matter whether Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent?" Burk questioned. "It seems to me that his guilt or innocence is the most important question to be answered in assessing his nomination. And yet, Douthat says that even if he is innocent, Kavanaugh's nomination might very well deserve to fail. It's an incredible claim."

Burk added that he has no "special insight" on the merits of the allegations against Kavanaugh.

"Like everyone else, I will watch and see where the evidence points. If the evidence shows that Kavanaugh is guilty, then that indeed would be discrediting," Burk said. "But if the evidence does not demonstrate that he is guilty, it would be a great injustice to pretend that it does."

Burk concluded that "this is one the darkest, most cynical moments" he has ever witnessed in American politics.

"And it is only made worse by those who would argue that guilt or innocence is irrelevant in our moral and political judgments," Burk stressed. "Perhaps they are irrelevant to some people, but that is no excuse for the good guys to surrender to such cynicism. We can do better than that. We must do better than that."

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith Follow Samuel Smith on Facebook: SamuelSmithCP

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