At this writing, everybody is currently angry at the current nominee for the US Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. In case you haven’t heard of this guy, he’s a conservative jurist who has been accused of sexual battery against a girl at a party when he was in high school. There’s also, last I heard, hints that there may be another victim.
You may think that I’m writing this post to either support Kavanaugh or to demand that his nomination be withdrawn. Neither of these is correct. I think that the current plan to investigate the matter to figure out the truth is a prudent one, and the action taken should depend on whatever the results are.
What I am writing about is an interesting article I read today entitled “One of Kavanaugh’s High School Teachers Did 6 Years in Jail for Child Pornography.” This is, of course, awful. It isn’t, however, relevant in any way to the Kavanaugh case.
Here’s the story: Bernie Ward, the teacher in question, was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic church in 1977. He quit the priesthood two years later to marry and taught theology at a string of Catholic high schools for one year each during the early 1980’s. In the mid-80’s he moved to San Francisco and started a religiously-themed Sunday morning talk show that ran until 2007. He was fired from his job after it came to light that he had been dealing with child pornography from 2002-2004. In the time since he served his three year jail sentence, he’s kept a low profile. This story is well-known to anybody who followed Bay Area news in the 2000’s.
To sum it up, this child porn sleazebag was Brett Kavanaugh’s teacher for one year in the early 1980’s. There is no indication that he had any particular mentoring or abusive relationship with Kavanaugh – merely that he was Kavanaugh’s teacher.
My point with all of this is to say that it’s ridiculous how we, as a society, have taken it upon ourselves to make everybody in the public eye stink of failure and corruption. I don’t know if Mr. Cavanaugh abused anybody when he was a teenager, but I’m quite certain that trying to associate him with a child pornographer is outrageous and brings nothing but sensationalism to the issue. Hinting that Mr. Ward somehow influenced Mr. Cavanaugh based on the available knowledge is ridiculous. By all means, if Mr. Kavanaugh is guilty of abusing women when he was in high school, it should be made known. However, to hint that he’s a bad guy because he briefly had a bad guy for a teacher is out of line.