Bad Advice

Since my surgery and subsequent serious illness this summer, I’ve noticed two changes in my personality. One, tears are far more common for me now. I’m deeply touched by human realities that show pain, bravery, deep desire. Two, I am far less patient with — and outspoken about — what seems like plain stupidity.

Fer’instance. . .Here’s a paragraph from “The Week,” pre-dated November 1, 2013. (Come to think of it, pre-dating magazines is itself pretty stupid.)

“‘Is telling women to stop being so drunk really the best advice you can give?’ said Alexander Abad-Santos in TheAtlantic.com. Yes alcohol often plays its part in rape. But every single rape involved a rapist. We should be loudly telling young men no to force sex on women ever, whether they’re drunk or sober, rather than lecturing women on how to behave so as to reduce their chance of being sexually assaulted.”

The paragraph continues,

“In our society’s ‘rape culture,’ blaming the victim is nothing new, said Katie McDonough in Salon.com,¬†For years, women have been threatened with ‘punishment’ if they make certain ‘bad choices,’ such as wearing a short skirt, staying out late — and now, drinking too much. ‘the list of reasons that Americans believe women deserve rape is long.'”

I most certainly do not wish to condone anything even vaguely like rape in any circumstances, but it is utterly stupid to say that we ought not to warn potential victims of any offense to exercise caution. Can you imagine parents saying to their daughter, “Enjoy yourself at the party tonight and feel free to get drunk if you want to. If you get raped, it’s the guys fault, not yours, so don’t worry about it.”

The question, “Who is to blame for what happened at the party?” is of little value. More importantly, we each need to be asking, “What is my responsibility in each situation of my life?” And clearly failure to retain clarity of mind and judgment is irresponsible.

Getting drunk means losing one’s good judgment and that’s something we ought never to surrender unless we’re in especially trustworthy situations, such as being anesthetized before surgery.

Getting drunk at a party? Never anything but foolish behavior without justification in terms of common sense or morality.

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About mthayes42

I am a retired pastor, interested in the Bible, cross-cultural ministries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the current and past history of western civilization.
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