Letter: Public official’s comments on Heames situation are scary

To the Editor,

This is an open letter to a commenter on Facebook who decided to shame a survivor of sexual violence in the name of her strong Christian faith. The woman in question is also a Mount Pleasant public official.
When women come forward with their experiences of sexual aggression and violence, they ought to be met with support and solidarity. So when Isabella County Clerk Minde B. Lux commented on Central Michigan Life’s Facebook post about the sexual aggression committed by St. Mary’s priest Denis Heames against a student, I was very disappointed.
Not only does the comment by Lux go against the teachings of the Jesus she supposedly worships, but she is a public official who is degrading a survivor of sexual aggression.
Lux’s comment reads, “Do not believe everything you read. Shame on her too for having a relationship. Two sides to every story. She is not a little girl, she is a grown adult and wanted a relationship with him and is now upset he left her. Ugh!”. What’s worse is that 13 people liked her comment. Is this what Jesus would say?
I should point out that I am not a religious person. I don’t believe in God and there are many Catholic doctrines that I disagree with. But since this aggression happened within a religious institution, I think the conversation is important to have: why aren’t those who claim to follow the teachings of Christ caring for “the least of these”?
Since graduating and moving to another state, Mount Pleasant has been held close to my heart. But this behavior by a city official worries me. How does Lux’s bias against survivors of aggression play into her career? What decisions have been made by her that might affect survivors and the perpetrators of violence?
A special thing about Mount Pleasant and Central Michigan University is a deep commitment for the advancement of peace amongst its residents. Between campus activism, peace education, and even a human rights commission, there is a collective effort to enhance the livelihoods of all individuals in the community. But the behavior by Lux scares me. How do her biases influence county decision-making? The people of Mount Pleasant and CMU support survivors … does the Isabella County government?

Brynn McDonnell
CMU alumna