Letters to the Editor

Re: What About This? by Wayne Cipriano.

Mr. Cipriano asked for responses to his comments about the Harvey Weinstein charges and verdict. The whole concept of sexual misbehavior has been widely ignored, exaggerated, accepted and condemned. The overriding question is  this: What is the standard of behavior?

Standards of behavior are vital. Without standards, behavior is dictated by those with the loudest voices, the strongest arms, the most money, or as in the Weinstein case, the most leverage.  Moral standards are the great equalizers: The quiet, the humble, the vulnerable, the poor and the unpopular are protected by a set of universally-accepted moral standards. The ideal situation is when the force of civil law agrees and supports moral standards. 

Who decides the standards? God. Not the god of this world, known as Satan, but the God of Heaven. He gave the world His moral standards 3500 years ago in the form of the Ten Commandments. He condensed them into a Reader’s Digest format later: Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself. People and nations who have followed His rules have lived in peace and prosperity. Those who attempt to create other standards are plagued with infighting, mental disorders, disease and poverty. 

So how would the standards of our Heavenly Father have affected the Harvey Weinstein case? Let us look at the applicable Godly standards: “You shall not commit adultery.” (Deuteronomy 5:18) “Do not accuse falsely.” (Luke 3:14) “…the unrighteous shall not inherit the  kingdom of God… neither fornicators… nor adulterers…” (1 Corinthians 6:9) “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Romans 13:9) And yet another applicable admonition is found in Romans 13:13 which says, “Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality…”

So how would the morality taught by God have affected the Weinstein case? There would have been no case. Weinstein would, with a neighborly sort of love, given opportunities to young women with talent and he would have kindly advised those with poor talent to enter another field. Young woman, following the standard of avoiding adultery, promiscuity, fornication, carousing, drunkenness and sensuality, would not have offered or submitted to sexual advances.

Should Weinstein go to prison? IN the American culture of today, that is no longer a moral question; it is a question of interpretation of laws, admissibility of evidence, talent of the attorneys and the moral standards of the judge and jury. We are drifting more and more in the direction of rejecting the standards of God as being an inappropriate application of religion. It is the God of Heaven who will decide the ultimate fate of Weinstein, whether he be in or out of prison. He is the One who will also decide the fate of any woman who has made a false accusation. 

Mr. Cipriano posed some very important questions that apply to all of American life and culture. The answers are not the answers of laws, of opinions, or of the trendy “me first” culture. The answers have been there for 3500 years. If Harvey Weinstein were following the laws of God rather than the opinions of his own culture, he would never have made a sexual advance outside of the bond of marriage. The women involved would never have engaged in sensuality (read as “tempting in appearance”), nor in sexual activity outside of marriage, nor would they have considered making a false accusation. 

Our Heavenly Father is infinitely wise. He knows the nature of man, He knows the weaknesses of man and He knew to prevent the conflict, chaos and heartbreak that man can cause by setting, resetting, debating and devising his own standard for his own behavior. There is little more to be said. 

Sincerely, 

Paul Payton