Like just about everyone in America, I’m stunned at the verdict Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner received for three felony counts, including sexual assault and attempted rape. It was a unanimous guilty verdict but the judge in the case, Aaron Persky, decided to only give the kid a six-month sentence of what could have been a 14-year maximum. Persky apparently is a Stanford grad and didn’t want the sentence to unduly affect Turner’s future.
It gets worse. Turner’s father, Dan Turner, wrote this to the Judge, “His life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That’s a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”
Or is it?
As our country has slid down the proverbial slippery slope of moral relativism should we actually be surprised when a judge basically let’s a white kid off the hook for raping someone? Should we be surprised that nobody really cares about the victim, who herself has written a gut-wrenching account of her attack? Does it really surprise us that the father called rape “20 minutes of action,” effectively teaching his kid that rape is the same as sex? Does it surprise us that a Stanford grad looks as if he was protecting another Stanford prodigy?
The funny thing about moral relativism is it’s great when you’re the one receiving the benefits of “all things are permissible” because my truth is as valid as your truth. But we all blanch when we see something like this Turner case where his truth was “she liked it” and the victim’s truth is ignored.
But that’s how far our country has fallen away from the absolute truths of scripture. Jesus told us that the greatest command was to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. If we do this, Jesus tells us, all the other laws of God will fall into place.
We live in a culture where we neither love God nor our neighbor. We love ourselves, which gives us license to believe that whatever we personally believe is right and true. This Brock Turner kid believes what he did was okay not only because of his self-centeredness, but it’s clear his parents enabled his views on women, which says a lot about them as well.
Unfortunately, Brock Turner is just a symptom of a much larger problem in America. We don’t love God and we don’t love each other and the result shouldn’t surprise anyone – violence, injustice, corruption, and everyone saying they did nothing wrong. Perhaps we are in that time 2 Timothy 4:3 warns us about: “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
I pray for Brock Turner’s victim whose life has been “unduly” affected. I pray for the Turner family because they don’t get it. I pray for our nation because we continue to move away from God’s will. And I pray for you that you don’t fall for the lie of moral relativism. There is only one truth and that is God’s truth. The sooner we realize this the sooner we can stop reading stories as repugnant as this one.