It is as old as the first book of the bible, the man who accuses the woman with whom he has acted inappropriately and the woman who falsely accuses the man. Unfortunately, our tendency is almost always to believe the man involved is Joseph, not his brother Judah, and that the woman is Potiphar’s wife, not Tamar. (See Genesis 38 and 39. It is no coincidence that these two stories are told back-to-back. Perhaps it is also not a coincidence that there are two Tamars in Scripture, one wronged by her father-in-law and one raped by her half-brother. See 2 Samuel 13.)

And, so, we are again confronted with the question: is this man Joseph or is he Judah? And in answering that question, are we allowing our biases to influence our analysis? And whatever we may believe, are we going to just ignore the problem, like King David did with his rapist son Amnon and his injured daughter Tamar? Consider the consequences of that approach. (2 Samuel 14-18.)

As a registered voter in the state of Alabama, I don’t believe I have the luxury of ignoring these questions.