On Christian Lynch Mobs
By now, I think most people in the Reformed segment of the internet have heard something of the accusations against Tom Chantry. I won’t detail them here. While I won’t be so foolish as to say “I abhor your curiosity,” I will advise that if you don’t know, it is most likely that you don’t need to know.
Having been associated with Chantry in the past, I am apparently expected to have something to say about this. I don’t. That doesn’t make me guilty of covering up, or trying to sweep it under the carpet. Nor are any of his more high-profile friends, who have been the target of some very venomous slander. My reasons for keeping silent are well-explained in the following, by R. Scott Clark (click here to read the whole post):
What we may not do, however, is to confuse charges or an indictment with a conviction. These are two different things. An indictment means that a prosecutor has enough evidence to go to trial. A trial presents the opportunity for the prosecution and the defense to make their cases from the facts and from the law. A conviction means that the prosecution has made its case, met its burden of proof and that a judge or a jury has agreed with them. An indictment is only the beginning of a long process.
There is a class of advocates for victims, whose work I have admired, who have taken it upon themselves to act as prosecutor, judge, and jury and who have convicted both men in what can only be described as internet mob justice. These cases illustrate both the power of the internet as a medium by which victims and potential victims can call attention to their plight and get help but also the dark side of the internet where charges and indictments instantly become convictions. In this regard, the mob is quite like the so-called “Pizzagate” matter. Add Speculation to conspiracy theories, which are impervious to evidence, to the internet mob and before long someone is firing rounds into a business. In other words, innocent people can get hurt.
Let me be very clear on one thing: There are no more heinous crimes than these. The abuse of position and betrayal of trust, combined with the actual acts, are no less vile and monstrous than the crimes of Hitler and Stalin (I do not speak hyperbolically). For anyone guilty of the charges in question, there is absolutely no penalty—that man can inflict—severe enough. Furthermore, that opinion applies to anyone with knowledge of the crime who fails to report it.
But we aren’t there yet, are we? There has been no trial, no verdict. Based on the evidence so far made public, I have my opinions, but I consider it not only prudent, but morally obligatory to keep them to myself.
While it would be foolish to “abhor your curiosity,” I most certainly do abhor any rush to judgment. I particularly despise the vilification of those who refuse to do so, and gladly join their number.
And that is probably all I will ever need to say about that.
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