Love Doesn’t Tingle

James,

It’s tough knowing how to say something like this. Honestly, it would be easier not to say anything at all. But I believe I have the responsibility to confront issues in the Church as well as treating others the way I want to be treated.

I’ve spent several weeks debating, and I’ve finally decided (if it were me) I would want to know if people had a problem with things I was writing in public. I hope this will be received in the spirit it’s intended, as a fellow Christ-lover who wants to see God glorified in all things.

So, here it goes.

I believe there are several things you’ve written on Facebook about your first marriage and your current engagement, which are bringing shame to The Body of Christ.

The first thing that disappointed me was a message written “to the woman who let him go.” (Specifically, it bothers me that your new girl posted a public declaration to your ex-wife, Krista, which boiled down to “You lose; I win.”) I’ve seen these types of things posted on Facebook before, and I find them completely tasteless.

“You failed” and “I’ll do better!”

What the heck? Seriously?

You ought to have removed the post…or put some balance on it…or said ANYTHING other than thanking her for “doing things to me that I’ve never felt before!”

Because–seriously–that’s something a 15-year-old might say to the girl he’s taking to homecoming.

If one of my daughters wrote to another woman saying, “I will never make the same mistakes you did” we would have a loooooong talk about WHY she thinks she’s going to have a better outcome than the last girl. God willing, by the time my young ladies are 20-something, they wouldn’t even think about posting “Thanks for letting him walk out of your life” because the Holy Spirit will stop them before I have to.

Saying “You Failed” and “I’ll do better” is bragging at best, and mean-spirited at worst. No good can possibly come from it.

This is especially true when the last wife didn’t “fail.” She was abandoned by an unfaithful husband. What a foolish thing to write.

But the shameful posts didn’t end there.

As I kept scrolling on your wall, I saw many references to “The ONE” and “best I’ve ever felt” and “happiest I’ve ever been,” which made me realize you think love is a feeling.

Again, if any of my siblings or my children talked like this I would warn them that the idea of “The One” is wrong and dangerous. I would tell them to start thinking with their minds–and stop following that tingly thing.

When we believe God created a special person just for us, then we can assume we’ve married the WRONG “one” as soon as the relationship sucks.

(And relationships ALWAYS suck eventually…)

Judging the status of a relationship based on how it makes us feel is selfish and wrong. If Jesus had acted on his feelings, he would have passed the cup of responsibility to somewhere else instead of sacrificing himself.

Furthermore, what’s with all the talk about “God’s plan?” As if God is the one who pulls people apart, through adultery, when he wants to see them happier with someone else? Are you suggesting Krista wasn’t your soul mate, so now God is fixing everything the way it was supposed to be?

That’s the kind of nonsense we end up preaching when we think God speaks to us through our feelings.

We convince ourselves it was a “mistake” when we married Ms. Wrong… and it was a “mistake” when our friends told us not to divorce her and we did anyway… but, then, it wasn’t really a mistake because it was just God’s way of leading us to Ms. Right!

8.9.18 Only Satan Brings Up the Past

Blech. Don’t get me started on all the “amen”s from Christians who are too cowardly to tell you the truth.

The “love of your life” is whoever you CHOOSE to lay down your life for. You promised to sacrifice for Krista. But you are making yourself a liar with every step you take toward following temporary feelings for another woman instead. That’s the wrong choice.

Perhaps you will go ahead and marry Breanna despite the fact that it’s a sin. (Not a past sin…it’s a current, premeditated decision to remarry immorally.) Perhaps you will continue your pattern of using women for your own emotional gratification–mistakenly calling it “love”–instead of choosing the self-denying path.

Perhaps you will throw yourselves a party regardless of what wise counselors have to say.

But, if that’s the case, then at the very least I must ask that you stop sharing fine-sounding quotes from secular support groups and pretending it’s Christian teaching. Please stop leading the weak astray with your poor understanding of how love and grace and forgiveness work.

I realize I could take some flak for speaking. (There are some people who think Christianity is about raising their hands or typing “amen.” And they don’t like when one part of the Body holds another accountable for hurting us.) But I have the support of those who want The Church members to have healthy relationships, both with God and each other.

Since love is an action, and not a tingly feeling, I’m doing my best to love you right now. I’m trying to love you AND Breanna AND Krista AND the young Christians you are damaging with your magnetic personality and shallow theology.

I’m praying that you’ll consider all of this through the lens of Proverbs 27:6–because I think you have a difficult decision to make: whether you’re going to accept difficult criticism from a real friend, or if you’re going to tell everyone I’m speaking for Satan because you prefer kisses from fans instead…

I’m asking God to help each of us grow in wisdom and discernment, so that all of our choices will be God-centered rather than self-centered.

Because of Him,

Amanda

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The Testimony an Atheist Can’t Forget

It has been more than a year and a half since I shared my testimony with an Atheist who goes by the avatar “Arkenaten.” (Note: he was trying to make reference to an ancient Egyptian pharoah “Akhenaten,” but he spelled the name wrong. True story.)

Anyway, Ark has a reputation for asking leading questions over and over–to lure Christians into discussing the specifics of Old Testament archaeology, though it’s a subject even he isn’t qualified to tackle.

If I had a nickel for every time Ark posted a comment with the word “Moses” in it…  (*rolls eyes)

For months, we tried in vain to keep Ark focused on the subject at hand, only to be sidetracked with questions about the Exodus and the Flood and “Tell me, what deep dark sin made you turn to Jesus?”

(Ick.)

But, despite regularly being frustrated by Ark, there was an evening in October of 2016 in which a supernatural ability to tolerate him swept over me. I felt led to demonstrate more patience than usual with the incorrigible, foul-mouthed troll.

I threw Arkenaten a bone.

Though he continued to ask all of the wrong questions, I gave him the answers I felt he needed, as gently and plainly as I knew how to give them.

I talked about darkness and hopelessness.  I talked about God, the Source of Life an ancient civilization called “Yahweh,” but you can call “Frank” if you want.

And I talked about humans being dependent on Light, exactly the way plants are… or we will shrivel up and die.

Overall, it must have been a pretty memorable gift of words I gave, because he brings up my bought with depression literally every time he thinks of it… I suppose you could say it drives him crazy that I’m no longer crazy.

Even though I haven’t spoken directly to Ark for MONTHS, he still can’t get my testimony about God off his mind…

I know, because my dad sent this to me yesterday:

37819599_10217002338995049_7586927069729128448_n

Lol.

I’m told Dad was talking with someone who doesn’t even know me (on a topic unrelated to suicide) when Ark jumped in with his insincere question.

It seems he’s still fighting against God (“Frank”), and giving up his mind in the process.

So, I got to thinking…

Maybe other Christians would want to read the original conversation about “Frank,” to see what all the fuss is about?

I mentioned I was being patient and “gentle, but maybe some readers would be surprised to see what I consider gentle.  🙂

Maybe some of you are worried you don’t have anything to say to rude, easily-distracted pagans demanding answers all the time.

Or maybe you’re in a dark, hopeless place yourself, and you’re looking for some encouragement.

I’ll include a few screenshots below,  but you can read the entire conversation in the comment section of this blog post.

(Oh, and Profanity Warning! The heathen like naughty words, and I occassionally try to reach them by speaking their language.)

7.26.18 Ark Conversation (#1)

7.26.18 Ark Conversation (#2)

7.26.18 Ark Conversation (#3)

7.26.18 Ark Conversation (#4)

7.26.18 Ark Conversation (#5)

7.26.18 Ark Conversation (#6)

(Ark continued to ask me to demonstrate Frank/Yahweh’s existence. So after a few back-and-forth comments, I wrote:)

7.26.18 Ark Conversation (#7)

 

…And, after almost two years have passed, Ark is still starving himself spiritually…pretending he’s fine when it’s very obvious he isn’t.

Instead of humbling himself and asking for God’s help, Ark finds ways to bring ME and my depression into conversations that have nothing to do with me.

If he can’t be saved, then let him stand as an example of depravity. Let the God-Resisters be a warning to anyone who wants to stay sane. And let those who love darkness be encouragement for the Children of the Light.

Atheists are going crazy thinking about my story!…

All Glory be to Frank.   🙂

 

 

Vengeance is the New Justice

More screenshots today, Readers.

Because, as usual, you just won’t believe me without picture proof.

Have you ever heard someone use the word “justice” and wondered which type they meant?  There’s a big difference between a person whose concept of justice comes from God and those who think humans are in charge of it…

I’m about to demonstrate why (as usual) adopting godless/humanist values will make you look like an idiot.

For the record, I’m trying to avoid constructing a saga of 20,000 words, because the pictures require a lot of reading.   But I also want to make sure I give enough background info.

Suffice it to say, the following conversation revolves around the Hensley Scandal, which I’ve written about here and here.

Now, as fellow students try to figure out the best way to support abuse survivors, there have been some concerns that a desire for “justice” may cross into gossip and vendictive behavior.

A good friend of mine, here represented in pink, was brave enough to ask whether we’re doing the right thing by encouraging people to “share their Hensley stories”…  …or if it’s doing more harm to victims.   (Summary below the picture.)

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #1)

So the TL:DR version is,  Pink: “How is this helping the victims?”   and Blue: “Victims need to be heard.”

Okay.

Continuing:

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #2)

Pink continues with very reasonable concerns, basically saying we need to encourage the victims to receive REAL help–and not allow ‘support’ to become a dog pile of hatred.

But, while Pink was trying to engage, I was having a parralel conversation with Blue…

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #3)

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #4)

 

Summary: I was trying to explain that social media shaming IS ANOTHER FORM OF ABUSE.  And that two wrongs don’t make a right.  But I didn’t get anywhere.

In fact, Blue admitted he doesn’t “feel sorry” for Hensley, as if feelings are the deciding factor in whether Christians show mercy.  (I can say for certain that I didn’t FEEL like responding charitably at that moment.)

Nevertheless:

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #5)

 

Meanwhile, Pink wanted to try again:

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #6)

Once again, I shouldn’t have said anything… because Blue only wanted to respond to MY comments (even my comments directed at Pink.)

He didn’t want to answer Pink, so he kept being distracted by me:

 

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #7)

Pay special attention to that first comment, where Blue used the word “publicly” twice.  Talking about self-identified victims publicly is bad–but being publicly “indignant” toward anyone deemed an abuser is good.

I found this uncited declaration interesting.

Where does his flowchart of acceptable social media “justice” come from, I wonder?

Can I get a copy of The Rulebook he’s quoting?

And on what page can I find the commandment,  “Close friends and family and professionals” are the only ones allowed to talk with victims about forgiveness.” ?

EVEN when those victims are sharing their story on Twitter and Facebook, even when they’re soliciting secular magazines to buy their story, and even when they’re seeking lawsuits to have judges (strangers) decide their case… even then, no one in the public is allowed to say anything.

Hm.

Not discouraged by being ignored, Pink spoke up again:

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #8)

Boom.

Mic drop.

The only possible mistake Pink made was to assume she was talking to “the Christian community” when far too many people in that “community” actually have Secular Humanist values.

(Later Pink told me privately, “There really isn’t much to argue against the fact that Christ called us to love them both, and show concern for Hensley’s soul, too…”)

But when you’re dealing with people who only talk about “Christ” when it’s convenient, it’s always possible to argue.

Observe:

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #10)

So, Green wants to make sure Hensley never gets forgiven.

And Brown repeats The Rule again, even more firmly.  “You don’t get to decide an abuser has been flogged enough.”

Reader, have you ever heard this nonsense spelled out so plainly?

Hear ye, hear ye: “Vengeance is the self-identified victim’s, declares Blue/Green/Brown.”

Apparently, if someone wants to burn down his house, we can’t object.

 

Paul of Tarsus disagrees. (1 Corinthians 6)

Pink tries to offer something true and encouraging again:

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #12)

After reading this comment, I literally couldn’t speak.

Pink is a RAPE SURVIVOR… and she’s being lectured about pain and forgiveness by the guy who is “bleeding” because his writing prof fell off his pedestal.

“Sit back and listen to us.”

“A time will come when we will ask for advice…”

He wants to get a few more juicy details and hopefully hold the University accountable for believing Hensley was nice, exactly like he did. (Maybe the victims can burn down the campus, too!)

And then there’s this gem, from somebody who popped in out of nowhere:

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #13)

Yes–now PINK is the “abuser” because she shared Bible verses…

And Brown has something to add before Pink can defend herself:

 

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit #14)

No words.

No words!

All I could do was laugh in bitter irony and frustration! This man identifies as the bigger victim than someone who was forcibly raped!

These yahoos don’t even use their own imaginary Rule Book consistently…

I’ve never seen somebody be this honest about wanting to keep their pain before.

Thankfully, Pink replied one more time, much more nicely than I would have done:

7.20.18 Double Standards (Edit FINAL)

What kind of insane culture have we created, where someone has to defend herself against the accusation of “trying to make things easier” for victims?

LOL!

If we’re not trying to help the victims, then what the hell are we doing?

Are we just joining whatever mob walks past with pitchforks, to make ourselves feel like good people?

Yeah, actually.

We’re godless sacks of warm particles now. That’s exactly what we’re doing: following our instincts and making up random “Rules” for absolutely no other reason than it feel good…


I’m sorry this is so long, Readers.

But this stupidity must be exposed.  Humanism has infiltrated the Church, and it’s doing far more damage than Hensley did.

Hensley tried to make advances on women who weren’t interested.

Humanism cuts their brains out.

Only someone who doesn’t understand morality could believe that humans are responsible for justice.  Only a brainless person could believe that being assaulted (or knowing a guy who’s accused of assault) makes you a “victim”…and that victimhood makes you responsible for justice.

It doesn’t hold up under critical thought, at all.

But, since we seem to agree that public outcry over misconduct is a good thing, I’m doing that now.  Readers–please let these gentlemen know that they’re harming people, and it will not be tolerated.

Please tell them how you feel about their treatment of Pink.

And please–please–be on guard against godless versions of “Justice.”

The last thing a hurting victim needs is an empty platitude and mindless feelings from self-righteous Atheists.

Keep your Religion of Rules to yourselves, guys! Godless “justice” is just more abuse.

Allow Me to Judge For a Second…

I noticed some people being judgmental on Facebook yesterday. So I took some screenshots.

The background story is,  Mr. Romantic (represented with the color blue) split up with his wife about a year ago. Almost immediately, he began his relationship with a new flame (in the black boxes).

Blue has been a leader in several churches the last few years, and many (most?) of his Facebook friends know both he and his ex-wife in real life.  That’s why it was a liiiiiittle surprising to see that Black posted THIS publicly:

7.18.18 To the Woman Who Let Him Go (edit)

I’m not sure what my readers are thinking after reading that.

But…

Is it along the lines of “That is so awesome” and “Love this” ???

7.18.18 To the Woman Who Let Him Go (edit #3)

That’s what the judgmental people said on Facebook.

Apparently they’ve judged there isn’t anything harmful about ragging on “the ex” with a self-promotional rant.

They’ve judged, simply, that two individuals are so deeply and thoroughly in love they can’t help but make declarations like this one (over and over and over).

Perhaps it’s obvious to them that his new leading lady WILL do a much better job loving Mr. Romantic than old Whats-Her-Name was doing twelve months ago.

7.18.18 To the Woman Who Let Him Go (edit #2)

Yes–and it wouldn’t be a bunch of Christians judging each other without the obligatory announcement that ALL of this was God’s plan from the beginning.

The first marriage.

The divorce.

The mean-spirited Facebook post horribly lacking in self-awareness.

God ordained all of it!  Probably.

It’s wonderful and beautiful the way our Lord pulls apart two people who were wrong for each other, in order to bring together the next Power Couple.

7.18.18 Power Couple (edit)

 

#GodHadandHasAPlan

Dear reader, what is your response to that?

(I’m going to guess it’s “Awesome.”)

…..

7.18.18 Power Couple (edit #2)

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Surely there’s no reason anyone should write a sarcastic blog post calling them out–as well as calling out all of their cheerleaders?

No good could come from that…

The best response should be praise. OR, if you can’t support their destructive decisions, the next best response is silence.

Yes–if we can’t say something nice, then we shouldn’t say anything at all.

Because the Power Couple isn’t hurting anybody. They’re not using eachother and damaging the credibility of church leadership and setting themselves up as examples of love, which they absolutely do not understand!

So just leave them alone.

Judge them positively, or don’t judge them at all.

In fact, judge anyone who dares suggest this relationship isn’t awesome, beautiful, and God-Ordained.

I Will Not Be Silent

I’ve done some hinting about abuse I’ve experienced in my life and that I don’t feel free to name anybody, because my story doesn’t just involve me. It also involves my “abuser.”

True, some would say it’s not the victim’s job to protect the feelings of an abuser. But the Holy Spirit just won’t stop reminding me that ALL of us have been “the abuser” at times.  That’s why I believe I still have an obligation to treat others the way I would want to be treated, regardless of the wrong they’ve done.

It’s complicated trying to balance mercy and justice.

(Note: I was going to link to a post about mercy vs. justice by James Watkins, but it appears he took it down.  Perhaps the Facebook comments might explain why it was removed.) 

For now, I’ve decided not to give details about my wounds, because I’m still Arguing With Myself until I feel more peace.  But the scandal at my Alma Mater has brought up another complication.

What if we suspect someone else is being abused and inaction could make it worse?

What if a potential abuser turns out to be an actual abuser, and the silence allowed him to continue?


 

Taylor University is being criticized for “covering up” abuse by one of their professors, because they didn’t share when accusations were made.  Some have claimed the school is partially responsible for the assaults carried out over 14 years, because they didn’t speak about the complaints from the very beginning.

When we don’t speak, it comes across as hiding something.

When we don’t speak, we appear to be sweeping dirt under the rug.

And that is why I’ve decided to speak up about a case of suspected abuse happening RIGHT NOW.

It has come to my attention that an Anti-Christian group is using one of the victim’s stories for a private purpose: attacking religion in general.

 

7.16.18 Being Abused By Atheists

 

The group is called “The Life After,” referring to the “life after religion,” because internet Atheists often pretend they they’re no longer blinded by fundamentalism–in order to avoid the same criticism they levy against pretty much everyone.

Ex-Christians running groups similar to “The Life After” are the most hypocritical judges I’ve ever met.

7.16.18 Being Abused By Atheists (2)

They tend to wait with gleeful anticipation for the next pastor to fall. They almost celebrate when people get abused in church, because it serves to validate the enormous chips on their shoulder.

They collect stories of abuse like trophies in their admitted quest to “empty the pews.”

 

7.16.18 Being Abused by Atheists (3)

 

But there’s a problem. Atheists can’t make moral judgements against hypocrites without being hypocrites themselves.

Naturalism can’t explain why a male member of the herd “shouldn’t” put his hands on a female before being invited, because their feelings about sexual morality are nothing but chemical reactions.

Science doesn’t tell us what’s right and wrong.

Here’s William Provine, to back me up. (He was an Atheist before he died.)

“No inherent moral or ethical laws exist, nor are there any absolute guiding principles for human society. The universe cares nothing for us and we have no ultimate meaning in life…”

Also, you can listen to  Fredrich Nietzsche:

“When one gives up Christian belief one thereby deprives oneself of the right to Christian morality. For the latter is not self-evident… Christianity is a system.”

Or how about Julian Baggini?  (Also an Atheist.)

“If there is no single moral authority we have to ‘create’ values for ourselves… that means that moral claims are not true or false in the same way as factual claims are…  you may disagree with me but you cannot say I have made a factual error.”

Therefore, to claim you have no religious beliefs AND claim that a Christian or church group has done something “shameful” is to lie.

Anti-Religion Nuts who wag their fingers at abusers are lying, both to themselves and to others. On one hand, they demand that churches stop “judging” people; but on the other they demand vengeance when a church DOESN’T judge a potential predator fast enough.

That makes them classic religious hypocrites!

Thus, we have to ask ourselves:   do they really care when someone tells a story about being abused in the church setting?   Or are they just using those people, to make themselves look caring?

Well–I’m sure the chemicals in their head swirl in such a way that they feel something.  I’m not denying that Atheists experience “sadness” and “rage” and…smugness.

But mostly I believe they’re just stalking hashtags like #MeToo, so they can promote their own platform when a Christian fails.

They are USING the stories of victims, for their own purpose and power. 

Which is the definition of abuse.

I don’t know how to handle these situations delicately.  I don’t know whether I’m doing the right thing, or if I should quietly pray for the anti-religion predators at “The Life After.”  I realize there are Christians who will shame me for calling out Atheist immorality so directly.

But, if the news breaks 14 years from now that someone affiliated with their organization has been charged with serious misconduct, at least I will be able to say I spoke early and plainly.

I will point out abuse WHEREVER I see it, and not just when it generates traffic on my Twitter page.   I will call out hypocrisy BOTH in the Church and in the hundreds of places online where Atheistic Fundies take advantage of suffering Christians.

If God is immoral and the Bible is trash, then Atheists must explain where their sense of justice comes from before they can stand up for it.

And, since they won’t be able to define justice without constructing a new religion…

…well, I’m afraid the only thing they’re doing is STEALING righteous outrage from Christian victims, just so they can fill their worthless, meaningless Twitter feed with content.

That’s abusive behavior which I refuse to cover up.

Updated Response to the Sexual Assault Allegations

Two days ago I wrote about the (former) professor at Taylor University resigning over charges of “serious misconduct.”

Since then, I’ve learned the names of two accusers–and that each of them is claiming that Dr. Hensley went beyond coarse joking or awkward hugs and actively sought sexual contact with women other than his wife.

In the broader culture, the line between “making a pass” at someone and “assaulting” her can be blurry. But, by Christian moral standards, there is absolutely no excuse for seeking sex outside of marriage. Inviting women to sin with you, whether they consent to join or not, is absolutely wrong. And I believe Hensley knows that, regardless of the social awkwardness I mentioned in the last post.

My heart is grieved for the women who believed they were in a safe space in church settings, and that they wouldn’t need to fend off the advances of a practicing Christian.

But I also feel encouraged by the responses from brothers and sisters who have rallied around the whistleblowers and agreed that there IS a time to demand justice.

I’m thrilled not to have seen ANY warnings that it’s “not our place to judge” when it comes to a man using his platform to lure women into bed. It’s my hope that we can use this situation to reacquaint ourselves with the practice of Church discipline, which has gone out of vogue in the age of “nobody’s perfect.”

A more detailed account of Hensley’s sins from one of the women can be found here:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10100513241638415&id=197401568

Note: I don’t agree with all of the tactics employed by Ms. Redding. (I’m not convinced she was motivated by a desire to protect others so much as by the satisfaction of watching the “mask come off.”) But hopefully this can lead to a discussion about restoring sinners vs trying to get even. And, again, now that the Church is being invited to judge the Hensley matter, I’m hopeful the various victims will be open to light criticisms about their own conduct as well.

———

Updating again on 7/15/18. Hensley still denies any wrongdoing. (In this interview he doesn’t address the accusation that he “tried to touch the breast” of Ms. Redding.)

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/07/16/prominent-taylor-university-professor-leaves-amid-sexual-harassment-allegation

It Wasn’t Me

The news broke yesterday that one of the professors who taught at my Alma Mater has resigned over allegations of “serious misconduct.”

According to a statement made by Taylor University:

Fourteen years ago (2004), a complaint was filed against Dr. Dennis Hensley by a student. Although the investigation at that time yielded conflicting stories, Hensley was disciplined and cautioned. During the next 14 years, two potential conduct concerns came to the university’s attention, neither of which involved students…

Recently we were made aware of significant and credible allegations of serious misconduct by Hensley. Although these allegations did not involve Taylor students or employees, we promptly commenced an investigation… On the same day that he was notified of his suspension, Hensley offered an unsolicited and unconditional resignation from Taylor University, which we accepted.

I don’t know what this means…

But I DO know what people are hearing.

They’re hearing, “A male teacher was allowed to prey upon his students over the course of 14 years because no one believed the girl who filed the complaint in 2004…”

Any maybe that’s true.  Maybe he left a trail of abuse victims wherever he went.

I just feel it’s necessary to go on record saying: Dr. Hensley never behaved inappropriately toward me.  At least, I don’t think he did.

Maybe it would be helpful to explain what the University means by “serious misconduct,” so I can be sure.


 

In all of my memories of Hensley, he was….simply… odd.  He talked too loud.  He repeated the same stories over and over.  And he seemed to lack the social awareness which tells most of us how we’re being received.

Most of the time, I got the impression that Dr. Hensley learned how to interact with people the way I learned to do math: relying heavily on formulas explained to me by others.

All of Hensleys “relationships” with his favorite students (and–yes–he definitely played favorites) seemed awkward and unnatural to me. 

Did some of those “relationships” cross a line into “serious misconduct?”

Perhaps.  I wish I knew what qualifies as “serious.”

I remember when Dr. Hensley found out I was engaged to marry Luke.  Hensley wasn’t very happy about it.  The exact quote has faded over the years, but I recall being told something like, “Girls often get married and then slack off in their studies.”

For a couple months after warning me that I shouldn’t let marriage become a distraction, my arbitrarily-assigned A’s and B’s started slipping into arbitrarily-assigned C’s.

Until one day after chapel, when Dr. Hensley rushed up to me and presented a magazine he’d taken straight from his mailbox.  He called over his shoulder, “I saw it and thought of you!” as he continued flying down the sidewalk at roughly 100 mph. (That was average Hensley speed.)

For a second I was confused, before realizing the magazine said “bride” in the corner.  “Good!” I thought, assuming this strange offering meant he was beginning to accept my future status as a married woman.

Sure enough, my grades improved again after that day.

Is it wrong to allow your disapproval of a student’s personal life to influence the way you grade her writing?   Yeah–probably.

Is it “serious misconduct”?

Meh, I never thought so.


 

Anyway, all of this to say, I don’t know how many female students will be coming forward in the next few weeks to testify that Dr. Hensley shared inappropriate jokes, or stood too close while whispering something that didn’t need to be whispered, or generally made them feel uncomfortable.

I’m not sure how many women will come forward and testify things even more “serious” than any of that.

But, I know how gossip works, and I know there will be students from the past 14 years playing their own sordid game of “Guess Who” with big question marks over all the girls’ faces, including my own.

So, in the spirit of #MeToo, I want to make a public declaration by saying #NotMe. 

From my perspective, Dr. Hensley wasn’t a life-changing mentor. He was more of a salesman than a writer… and more of a quirky acquaintance than a father figure.  But, in my experience, being weird never crossed into being evil.

And being weird isn’t “serious misconduct.”

Boy–it sure would be nice to know what that means…