Friday, June 26, 2020

Aimee Byrd, Deepfakes, and the importance of integrity

Aimee Byrd has recently kicked up a storm with her assault upon Genevan Commons, a private Facebook group. In her post, she linked to a "discernment" website which doxxed members of the group as well as posted doctored and deepfaked images of screenshots from the group, insinuating that the people there are ungodly slanderers and misogynists. This came after her forced departure from the Alliances of Confessing Evangelicals (ACE). In light of those images, it seems that the pastors and elders and all commentors on Genevan Commons are to be sharply rebuked and censured for their conduct, for after all, there is no excuse for such sinful behavior despite the fact that Byrd is in error in her egalitarianism.

The case agaisnt Genevan Commons however starts to unravel when one begins to peer beneath the surface, and noticing the way the comments are rearranged in order to mislead, as Seven Wedgeworth (whom I have criticized over his view of justification and therefore cannot be said to be a friend or ally of mine) had pointed out. Another commentor has joined in to show how the images had misrepresented his commment which was not directed at Byrd at all. Whatever one thinks of the wisdom of using the term "whore," the fact remains that "whore" is a perfectly proper term in the English language to refer to a prostitute, and pornographer Stormy Daniel deserves that label. Now, in order for sin to be sin, it must be truly a sin. In other words, if the comments in their proper context are not sinful, then the images, having misrepresented the comments, are guilty of violating the ninth commandment. Thus, the creator of those images and those who share them, including Byrd, are guilty of violating the ninth commandment. But instead, we see Byrd doubling down and refusing to aknowledge her sin. The question is very simple: Were those images misrepresentations of the comments? Yes or no? If yes, then they violate the ninth commandment. If no, then the onus is on the one asserting that it is not a misrepresentation to prove that the images are indeed a prroper representation of the comments. Instead, what we see from Byrd is a hysterical vent about how "tired" she is, portraying herself as a victim, while totally ignoring the substance of Wedgeworth's post.

None of this exonerates the ungodly conduct of some commentors. Those who do so ought to repent. However, if we are to be people of truth, then we must stick to the truth. Slandering Byrd is sin, but so is slandering her critics. Just because Byrd was sinned against does not in any way give her the right to sin against others as well.

The key question therefore, for Byrd and her defenders, are these:

  1. Do you agree that the images misrepresented some of the comments, and specifically Steven Wedgeworth and Paul Barth? Yes or no?

  2. If yes, do you repent of bearing false witness against them?

  3. If no, please disprove Wedgeworth's and Barth's assertion. Saying you are "tired" and playing the victim card gets no brownie points from me. Answer the question, and show you are interested in actually engaging the issue, instead of playing the victim card.

No comments: