Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation Is Important

I Didn't Pay Too Much Attention To Brett Kavanaugh's Accusations Until The Situation Begged For My Attention

I thought there was no chance he was going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

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I'll admit, I'm not the best at staying up to date about current events; it took me a few weeks to really understand what was happening regarding Christine Blasey Ford's attempted rape accusations against Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. I had heard her name and seen an increasing number of news stories about him, questioning his confirmation for the Supreme Court. However, it was not until Kavanaugh grew closer to final confirmation that I really noticed what was happening.

To be honest, I still do not know the entire process of confirming a nominee for the Supreme Court or the process of the hearings against Kavanaugh. But I do know the history of women and sexual assault survivors speaking up and being silenced. Until I heard that Kavanaugh kept advancing toward a seat on the Supreme Court, I was proud of Congress for listening to Ford's accusations and taking them into consideration. However, it did not take me long to realize that her voice was not being heard or taken seriously. Ford risked judgment and further harassment when she courageously spoke up about her experience, only to have her alleged attacker still be confirmed for a seat on the highest court in the land.

At first, I tried to justify the Senate's decision to confirm Kavanaugh by remembering the 14th Amendment's principle that everyone should be innocent until proven guilty; however, these hearings were not a court-of-law procedure, but rather similar to a pre-screening prior to being hired for a job. I realized that it would have been completely acceptable and not unlawful for the Senate to deny Kavanaugh confirmation due to the suspicion that he MAY be guilty. But instead, he was confirmed, which not only shows disrespect for Ford's bravery, but it sends the absolute wrong message to others.

I'm sick of people, especially men accused of sexual assault, not being held accountable for their actions. Allowing Kavanaugh to sit in a position of power despite his accusations tells perpetrators that they can get away with the pain they cause victims. It tells survivors that their experiences do not matter and that they didn't suffer. It tells women and other people at risk of assault that it's okay that this keeps happening, and that people will continue to get away with it. Most important, it emphasizes that our voices are not heard. And now, as Justice Brett Kavanaugh sits on the Supreme Court, he holds a position in which he was the power to silence us further.

The entire situation is controversial, and there are many different perspectives to consider regarding what should have happened to Kavanaugh, or how Ford's accusations should have been dealt with. I agree that the accusations are full of tentative information that is difficult to use to decide the fate of either person involved. But that does not mean that someone's personal account of their own trauma should be ignored or swept aside. This situation calls attention to the lack of regard for women and sexual assault survivors, telling them that their experiences are not important.

The lack of accountability taken forces us to ask the questions: When is enough enough? What will it take for survivors to be heard and acknowledged? How much pain and trauma do survivors have to go through before perpetrators are held accountable for their actions? The government is supposed to set a good example for all to follow, and personally, I believe that is the opposite of what has happened with Christine Blasey Ford's accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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