Polanski: Althouse dares to ask…UPDATED

Honestly, you’d think that -of all issues in the world- the rape of a 13 year old by a 44 year old man would be one issue on which people on the left and the right could come together.

Apparently not.

For the record, let Kate Harding remind us what Roman Polanski did.

As the chronic moral arbiters of the world, who work out of Hollywood, rush to defend Roman Polanski by signing petitions, crying about how they can’t watch movies in Switzerland “knowing Roman Polanski is sitting in a cell 5km away,” and redefining “rape” to mean something other than what it is, Ann Althouse dares to ask aloud a question some may have wondered privately:

Are Hollywood types defending Roman Polanski because they love him as a fellow artist or because of their own pedophilia? . . .Is it just art, or is there a particular love in Hollywood film art of the forbidden love between the adult and child? . . .I thought I saw a pedophilia trend in the most honored films of 2008. I talked about that in this blog post…

I’m seeing all the well-reviewed year-end movies, and there’s an awful lot of wrong-age sex. “Doubt” is about a priest accused of molesting children. “Benjamin Button,” with its backwards aging character, had scenes of an old man in love with a young girl and an old woman in love with a toddler. “The Reader” had a 36-year-old woman seducing a 15-year-old boy. “Milk” had a man in his 40s pursuing relationships with much younger (and more fragile) men. “Slumdog Millionaire” shows a young teenage girl being sold for sex. I say that Hollywood is delivering pedophiliac titillation with the deniability of artistic pretension.

Althouse has a second Polanski post, here, although it’s really about the ineffectual posturing of Richard Cohen, who seems unable to match Eugene Robinson’s moral clarity on the issue. I can’t but imagine that she will have a worthwhile observation to make about Whoopi Goldberg’s careful and deeply intellectual distinctions between so-called “rape-rape” vs you know, giving a 13 year old girl champagne and drugs and -you know the rest.

Watching that clip from The View, one cannot help but notice that Joy Behar was conspicuous in her silence. Possibly she disagreed, but hadn’t the courage to say so. Or, perhaps the issue was striking home in a way she preferred not to discuss. In any case, for once I was interested in hearing her thoughts, and she chose not to butt-in with them.

I was wondering, though, if Hollywood (and Whoopi) would work to make such belabored distinctions if Polanski were, oh, I don’t know, Rush Limbaugh. Or, for that matter, even Mel Gibson. Who gets defended on this charge and who does not, anyway? I’d guess if the late Charlton Heston were in this situation, his age or the time-lapse since the event would make little difference to outraged Hollywood, who would be riding the gun-lovin.’ civil-rights-marching former Democrat out on the rails. On the other hand, well, there is Polanski, so “cool,” so “brilliant,” so “insider,” such Royalty from the Hollywood Boomer Heyday.

How dare they come after one of the elite?

Great and sophisticated artistes are apparently immune from such plebeian accountability as might be expected of the rest of the world.

“Art,” of course, belongs “to the world.” And the world belongs to the Prince of the Air, the Prince of Nothingness.

Snark and Boobs: channels Hollywood: “It’s not rape-rape, if someone we like does it”. Is it really that simple and ignorant?

Ed Morrissey:

I’m curious how other Hollywood feminists see this. Debra Winger defended Polanski yesterday and demanded that the US drop the charges, after many years of feminist complaints from Winger about the Hollywood system. She doesn’t appear to apply her standards and values to a male director who victimized a child trying to break into the business, but Winger will gas on for hours about how older women get mistreated by Hollywood. This seems to be a big credibility test for Hollywood, one which they are flunking — badly.

Jazz Shaw:

Winger and Ms. Goldberg are both prominent activists in the protection of females and children. Unless, of course, the female child in question crosses paths with the great Roman Polanski, in which case, well… you know… we understand they’re all kind of whores at that age, right?

Allahpundit:

If there was substantial misconduct, why not come back to LA and litigate the matter at an appellate level? Answer: Because Polanski and his cretinous supporters don’t care if he’s guilty or not. They want him to walk free, in the name of “art,” without another word spoken on the subject.

Volokh:

When Orwell says that even a reborn Shakespeare couldn’t get away with “raping little girls,” he was either reflecting the mores of the times (1944) — or he forgot about Hollywood.

Ed Driscoll: And that old “climate of timidity” and repression.

Fausta:

I don’t understand why anyone watches The View, anyway, but could someone explain to me why The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence lists Whoopie as a supporter

The list of outraged brilliant artistes grows by the hour. All so enlightened!

Ace: Woody Allen is outraged for Polanski. Ace has more here.

Patterico: Holding people to their words

Language Alert: A year after he went on the lam, Polanski discussed the case.

Harvey Weinstein, who purchased the rights to an HBO documentary about Polanski, is leading the charge in this dubious battle. I dearly do love Project Runway but I don’t mind tuning it out, as I’ve tuned out so much Entertainment swill, if I must.

A little O/T: Your tax dollars at work

UPDATE I: Althouse DOES post more on the story but I am taken with this part and her remarks:

Quoting from this moral-crusading piece at Huffpo:

Seventy-six years old, a survivor of Nazism and of Stalinist persecutions in Poland, Roman Polanski risks spending the rest of his life in jail for deeds which would be beyond the statute-of-limitations in Europe.

Althouse responds:

Yes, he’s that old because he fled and because he was protected in other countries that apparently did not take rape so seriously, at least not when it was committed by a great artist. . .If a life of suffering excuses crimes, many, maybe most, of our criminals would escape prison. Wouldn’t the Nazis themselves have cried about their own suffering in the years preceding their rise to power? Philosopher, do you approve — as a general rule to be applied to all — that those who have suffered earlier in their lives should not be punished for the serious, violent crimes that they commit?

Hey, you know who else survived Nazi and Communist persecutions in Poland? Pope John Paul II! And do you know what he did, back when he was Karol Wojtyla -slave laborer under Nazi’s and underground seminarian and newly ordained priest- and he encountered a 13 year old girl who was all alone? He carried her on his back because she was too weak to walk, then he covered her with his cloak and started a fire to keep her warm!

That seems to indicated that a life of cruel suffering and loss does not automatically translate into a life of deviancy. Transcendence is possible. Imagine that.

UPDATE II: I expand on that comparison here. And have more thoughts here

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • http://www.anotherthink.com Charlie

    Thanks for the interesting links, Ann. Such blatant hypocrisy is amazing to see. I thought there was a legitimate and interesting comparison between Polanski’s case and a Georgia sex offender who is living in the woods because his status won’t allow him to live near children. You can read my thoughts here at a post I call Flawed Justice:

  • http://WWW.HERKYBIRD.INFO HERKYBIRD

    The obvious question to be asked is, “What if, instead of it being ‘Roman Polanski, Movie Director,’ it was ‘Father Polanski, Parish Priest’?”

    I somehow suspect we wold see a different dynamic amongst the ‘Beautiful People’ now springing to Polanski’s defense with facile excuses like Whoopi Goldberg’s outrageous exculpation, “It wasn’t Rape, Rape.”

    Reading the many comments in the papers today offering up excuses and justifications for clear-cut criminality I can’t help but remember Voltaire’s observation that the ‘conditio sine qua non’ for a Republic to flourish is the quality of Virtue within the population. I remember this, sigh, and move on. We’re doomed!

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    I find Woody Allen’s outrage at Polanski’s arrest absolutely stunning. This is one famous pedophile defending another famous pedophile in my view. Wasn’t his wife Soon-Yi underage when he first started having his way with her? And wasn’t he her mother’s inamorata at the time. Kind of incestuous that!

    What a bunch of dishonest trifling idiots these Hollywood types are. They get away with this because we let them!

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    Well, one thing is for sure about Hollywood’s motivations — it has nothing to do with (a) as you judge, so too shall you be judged, or (b) let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Nor, for that matter do these have to do with those gleefully picking up rocks now.

    I’ve always felt uncomfortable joining in with the torches and pitchforks crowd. Not only do they take such perverse pleasure in wanting to see people burn while drowning in their own moral superiority (those who cheer outside death row are the worst), but I seem to remember a guy who had an attitude of forgiveness — and that was when they were killing Him!

    It is true that justice is required, and justice requires that we as a society not simply act as if crimes did not happen, but when the victim of that crime herself has moved on and forgiven, who the hell am I to go grab a rope and look for the nearest tree?

    At this point, I say leave it up to God. I know that it is all the rage is to usurp Him and shove Him out of the way in our zeal to impose worldly “justice,” but sometimes maybe we just ought to leave it up to Him to deal with.

    [The Double Standard is the thing, Bender. :-) -admin]

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    And frankly, I really do not see the need nor the point in having to drag in and smear the Church over this, e.g. “if he were Father Polanski . . . “

  • Joel

    Dear Leader will let us know what to think…

  • Gerry

    interesting point made today by Thomas J. Reese, S.J in the Washington Post
    (too bad there’s no button to make links here)

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    By the way, that malicious scum Saul never faced justice either for advocating and aiding and abetting murder. Never mind what happened after the road to Damascus — nothing could ever make up for what he did. Justice must be done.

  • http://lowlytuber.blogspot.com tim maguire

    I’m pleased with the comments to the livejournal list of celebs. Especially since the journal author seems to think it’s ok to sign the petition.

    Someone there asked a great question–is there a list of celebs who want Polanski in jail. I did a quick search and didn’t find one.

  • Jeff M.

    I wonder if President Obama will declare that Polanski “acted stupidly”.

    I get a bad feeling sometimes, a feeling that President Obama is fighting for the other side in the big scheme of things, if you get my drift.

  • http://AmusedCynic.com driver

    I’m surprised that no one in the MSM seems to have remembered that Polanski began a “romantic relationship” with Nastassja Kinski when she was only 15. It was quite a scandal at the time.

    Maybe I just missed it.

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  • Andrew B

    I wonder if we could get any of Polanski’s defenders to give us a list of other child-rapists they support? Certainly he can’t be the only misunderstood genius out there, who made a little slip-up long ago.

    Come on, Hollywood! Give us the names of the other people who have drugged and raped children that you support and admire. Such a list would be very instructive, and would also relieve me of the burden of ever watching anything created by the moral cretins of Hollywood.

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  • Leslie

    Bender, it would be one thing if Polanski were repentent, as Saul/Paul was…but he clearly is not. It will not go well for him…

  • http://minoroutside.blogspot.com cminor

    Bender,
    1.That wasn’t a smear against the Church. Did you miss all the libels made by members of the entertainment industry against the priesthood and the Church in the wake of the revelations that a small percentage of priests were child molesters?

    2. In the matter of crimes against humanity, of which rape is one, the preferences of an individual victim are of secondary importance to the state’s interest in not encouraging further crime. In other words: if some guy gets to walk just because his victim forgives him, how do we discourage the next adult pervert who finds himself with a young girl in his power from doing as he dang well pleases? Forgiveness is admirable. The victim is to be commended for it. But that does not mean that the man who violated both her and the laws of God and man doesn’t still owe a debt to society. And society’s job is to protect 13-year-old girls from rape, not to administer absolution.

    3. Saul was not under U. S. law. His case is irrelevant to this one.

  • Jack B. Nimble

    Most likely the recognition that Mssr. Polanski will get years of hard time for what even Hollywood recognizes as criminal behavior is the basis for their misplaced support of him. I suspect they are looking at a crime and punishment equation that does not bode well for Polanski in his twilight years. To which I might ask….what about all those Nazi’s bought to their geriatric justice?

  • That One Girl a.k.a Bender’s Cheerleader

    Bender, it would be one thing if Polanski were repentent, as Saul/Paul was…but he clearly is not

    Whoa, Nellie, er, Leslie – how do we know he’s not repentant? I’m not a fan, but none of us know what’s in his heart. I guess I might have missed something here…I’ve been known to do that.

    Bender, as the more intellingenter of the two of us, please correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t recall Saul being repentant at all until Jesus ‘knocked him off his ass onto his ass,’ as my Confirmation kids like to say. :-) Would that Polanski were so lucky as Saul…

  • http://minoroutside.blogspot.com cminor

    Cheer,
    Would that Polanski had had a Damascus moment; he might have saved the justice system a lot of trouble.

    This post linked above doesn’t indicate repentance two years after the fact:

    If he’s repented since, shouldn’t it be expected that he would have apologized to his victim and turned himself in to the authorities for his violation of the law?

    He, like all of us, will face God’s justice and mercy in due time. In the meantime, he still has unfinished business with his brothers and sisters here below.

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    My equally intelligenter Cheerleader (don’t misunderestimate yourself) is correct — it took an act of God, literally, to knock some sense and humility and contrition into Saul/Paul.

    If this was 1979, rather than 2009, we might insist on society’s claim to justice, but that debt, so long overdue, has become stale. Justice is not possible in any real sense of the word from society’s perspective. Too much time has passed. Nothing would be restored, society would not suddenly be safer with Polanski off the streets, and after so much time, we would not have deterrence of others.

    Now, there is still time for retribution, there is still time for retaliation, there is still time for getting a pound of flesh — there is always time for that — but justice? It’s a little late for that from society’s perspective. Especially in a society where large segments approve of, if not advocate, young teenagers being sexually active; especially in a society where millions upon millions of 13-year-olds have had sex, and society no longer cares to prosecute those who have had sex with them. Selective prosecution, retribution, and retaliation, yes; but human justice? no longer possible.

    That leaves God’s justice, which is timeless. Of course, there is always the risk that God might actually take that justice and impose it on Himself, say by allowing Himself to be nailed to a tree, and thereby forgive. So leaving it up to God is a risky proposition for those who scream out for “justice.”

    And I think we owe the victim a little more than commending her for her forgiveness. We owe it to the victim, after so much time, to not victimize her ourselves with our own prurient bloodlust, by imposing our justice, not only on the victimizer, but on the victim. She has let it go. She has moved on. (One of the very wise practical benefits of forgiveness. A pretty smart fellow, that Jesus guy.) Time to let this one go, leave it to God, rather than stewing and revelling in the pursuit of “justice.”

    [I'm all for mercy and justice, Bender (see the "contrast" post, above), but I am not for doublestandards that can send extremely destructive messages to the society as a whole. At the very least, Polanski should be required to come back here, face the charges, speak his crime for the record and do some community service or something. Otherwise, what are we telling our young women? What are we telling men? That is people are the "right sort" of people, they can act in heinous fashion with impunity? And what about Polanski's own salvation? Perhaps being made to finally face what he has been running from, he can be made whole? -admin]

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    Let’s throw one more variable into the mix, one more factor to consider in this little moral exercise we are engaged in –

    What will tell young women and men when the most likely outcome happens? That is, when Polanski is granted bail by the Swiss authorities, and he simply returns to France?

    Do we continue the outrage? Do we storm the Swiss and French embassies? Do we scream until we turn blue in the face at justice denied?

    Or do we do tell young women and men about what that wise carpenter 2000 years ago suggested — and what the victim here apparently did long ago — forgive? Drop the stone, turn the other cheek, worry about the junk in our own eyes, let it go, etc., etc.? Don’t let the injustices of the world eat you up and destroy you. Because once he’s released and goes back to France, that’s going to be the only alternative left — to let it go and leave it to God to deal with.

    [That's a very good answer, Bender. But UNTIL that happens (and it probably will) why not at least pretend that maybe, just maybe, he will return to America, and what that should mean to us, not just spiritually but socially? admin]

  • dry valleys

    Pandagon speaks for the liberal elite of evil on the matter.

    Heresy Corner

    Personally I think he is just a common criminal. I have no fellowship with those who deify celebrities, but my views as to who is behind dumbing down, consumer worship probably differ from those found here :)

    You can see quite plainly the unequal relationship between an adult & a child, which is why I do not think relationships with such age disparity can ever be truly consensual, whatever the whataboutery its defenders may come out with.

    Yes, this is only acceptable because we, western society, allowed celebs to be exalted over us. Them as complain, for example, about football players’ salaries had better consider their own role when they go through the turnstiles every week.

    They are only there because we put them there, & without wanting to sound arrogant if more people were like me we’d all be reading about scientists, inventors, businessmen & philanthropists, & not about who they were marrying & divorcing either, only things that they did that matter to anyone. We might just be a bit better off.

    PS-
    What do people here think about chemical castration? I’d be willing to consider it. A lot of paedophiles are actually ashamedof their urges & want help in not acting on them, so they’d welcome the idea, & those who don’t haven’t really got much say in the matter considering what they have done.

  • plucie smith

    I DON’T THINK THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CAN TALK! AFTER ALL THEIR SINS AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE.

    [First of all, we don't yell here; we use our 'indoor' voices. Secondly, you're entitled to your opinion but it is quite a poorly thought-out opinion. Unless, to your way of thinking, the actions of a handful of bad soldiers in Abu Ghraib means that our whole armed forces can never credibly defend the nation? -admin]

  • dellbabe68

    I told Althouse she missed this one completely.
    Very disappointing.

    On Hollywood: I never had an expectation they would be anything less than hypocritical, so no disappointment there. It confirmed my view of many of them. Well, Harrison Ford was a surprise; I guess he’s been supportive of Polanski for a long time.

  • Andrew B

    I hope that Mr. Polanski has truly repented of his crime, and I am glad that his victim has forgiven him.

    And I hope he rots in jail. I “have skin in this game”, as the saying goes. A young woman very close to me was raped as a child, and for her it is a life sentence. No statute of limitations, no parole, no celebrity supporters, no plush homes in Europe.

    Either we are a nation of laws or we are not. If talent or popularity makes one immune to justice, then there is no hope of justice. I know of nothing that Jesus said that contradicts this. I hope and pray that God has forgiven Mr. Polanski, but then I hope and pray that God will forgive us all. That does not insulate us from earthly law.

    And for those who now use Mr. Polanski’s age as a bargaining chip, that is ridiculous. If he had been a man instead of a coward (but then all rapists are) he would have accepted his punishment more than 30 years ago. It was his decision to prolong this sordid affair, not the State of California’s.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Actually, Bender, I think we’d be better off telling young women—and men—to beware of pedophiles such as Polanski—and to be walk very carefully in a society that, if they ever are violated, will side with their attacker (especially if he’s rich, and an “artist), and piously instruct them to worry about the “junk” in their own eyes.

    It would also be good to remind them about another thing that same “wise carpenter 2000 years ago” said; something about those who offend little ones being better off if they’d had millstones hung around their necks, and drowned in the sea.

    While forgiveness may be good between a victim and his/her attacker, the larger society has to be concerned with justice, as well as mercy, and we’re far too “forgiving” of celebrities, and crimes against kids in general.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Anyway, what Hollywood, and the media, seem to be after here isn’t forgiveness—they don’t think Polanski did anything wrong, it wasn’t “rape-rape, right?—but, as the Anchoress points out, they’re asking Polanski simply be excused fro what he did, because, well—he’s one of them, and he’s rich, and influential and such an artist! And, really, it wasn’t “rape-rape”, right?

    This is not true forgiveness. It’s, well. . . something else, the exact name of which would be rude to use here.

    And it’s got nothing at all to do with the wise carpenter.

  • Mike Walsh, MM

    The available facts suggest there was more than one underage victim. It is often pointed out these days that this sort of criminality –this taste, if you will– does not change, and that –given his wealth, power, and the Europen attitude that protects him (where, BTW, child sex trafficking is a major problem)– in all likelihood there are other, unknown, victims. One might –maybe, maybe– have considered letting the matter drop if he had shown any notable contrition. But his only attempt at a public defense has been along the lines of: “I likes ‘em young; doesn’t everyone?” I say jail him.

    [I have not seen or read anything indicating that there has been more than one underage victim -I don't know if that charge can be made, and I would rather not entertain the notion here if it gives slander beyond what the man has actually done -admin]

  • Maureen

    Frankly, we have no evidence that Polanski hasn’t been raping and assaulting teenagers over in Europe all this time, just as we have no credible evidence that he even knows this crime he committed was wrong, or that he knows that running away from justice was wrong. Every time he’s had a chance to do the right thing in a way that would cost him anything real, he uses money and influence to slither out, or sheer brass to brazen it out.

  • SjB

    Here are 2 quotes from what I read this morning that pretty much sum up the sorry state of affairs in our nation:

    1. Honestly, you’d think that -of all issues in the world- the rape of a 13 year old by a 44 year old man would be one issue on which people on the left and the right could come together. (The Anchoress)

    2. “We live in a society that wouldn’t dare pass judgment on even deviant sexual practices, but we can’t let women make their own decisions on how to diaper their children.” ( Mollie Ziegler Hemingway in “White Flag in the Mommy Wars.”)

    We live in a time where good is called evil and evil is called good. Such vacuity.

    We refuse to condemn the evil of raping and sodomizing children, yet want to condemn people for being overweight and then make them the villains of high health care costs and justify taxing soda pop.

    We cannot condemn sin, but we condemn and insist on meddling in people’s private affairs where there is no sin and that are none of our business. Stupefying vacuity… she mutters.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    SjB, I know; we condemn smokers, and those who eat fast food, and support pedophiles.

    I’m afraid the lunatics are in control of the asylum, right now.

  • JuliB

    Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice means equal treatment under the law, rich or poor, famous or obscure.

    He skipped out on sentencing. Is that the message we wish to send – it’s ok to do so as long as we don’t catch you soon enough? If you’re famous – even better?

    Regardless of the case details, I find it shocking that we would debate ‘what justice is’. Justice is that he is sentenced for the original crime, and that he is tried for the crime of fleeing. Then we can talk mercy.

  • http://minoroutside.blogspot.com cminor

    Rhinestone,
    Elegantly argued.

    “…walk very carefully in a society that, if they ever are violated, will side with their attacker (especially if he’s rich, and an “artist)…”
    My husband was wondering last night if Polanski would have gotten so much support if he had driven a good truck rather than made a good movie.

    If time renders justice stale, why were the Germans still so anxious to accomplish the extradition of the ancient and very frail John Demjanjuk? Not to defend Demjanjuk; if he did the things of which he was accused he deserves justice. But many of the arguments being used here to excuse Polanski could also be used in that case.

    Postures of magnanimity and appeals to higher justice may make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. But the knowledge of eternal justice does not excuse us from our duty to protect the innocent or render such poor substitutes as we are able. Bender’s tactics, which wander from sanctimony to false pragmatism to “what the heck, 13-year-olds have sex all the time!” may stroke his ego, but they do not serve justice or mercy.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    cminor, thank you. Exactly.

    I don’t have the quote in front of me, but the late, great, C.S. Lewis once said something along the lines of; it’s a bad idea to excuse injustice on the grounds on charity. The example he used was, a boy who’d had his pencil stolen by another boy being exhorted to forgive the thief—rather than the thief being asking to return the pencil, and stop stealing.

    He said that sort of thing would only teach children (and adults, as well) that words like “charity”, “forgiveness”, “compassion” are simply cloaks for injustice, and letting teacher’s pets, or other favored persons, get away with anything.

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  • Greg S

    As a Christian we forgive but….

    we are also obliged to render unto Cesar..

    So I would forgive him then lock’em up.

  • shunha

    3 days ago, my opinion of Roman Polanski was closer to the Hollywood crowd then yours. Then I went to Smoking Gun web site and read the girl testimony and Roman Polanski guilty plea. The man should be in jail for the rest of his life. I saw a documentary or a news report years ago about Polanski and they whitewashed his crime to the point I felt he should be left along. The show made it seem her mother approved of the sex, the girl wanted it, and Polanski just got drunk at the wrong time.
    Anyone can see that my writing talent is lacking, but I hope more blogs can write what really happened. I fear most people feel like I did a few days ago.

  • SjB

    I just read the nuttiest set of information.

    1. Director Mike Nichols signed the petition to free Polanski.

    2. Mike Nichols is Diane Sawyer’s husband.

    3. Diane Sawyers on Good Morning America suggested that Polanski’s arrest could become a ‘true international incident’…

    Life shipwrecked on a desert island is starting to sound awfully appealing to me.

  • Tryptic

    This “Bender” person would not raise a finger in moral defense of a rapist who was not an artist that shared his sense of smug moral superiority. He would be the first to cast the stone. And he would dance outside the death house if a political enemy were to meet his demise therein. Such is the character of his message.

    The shame of it – to defend a child rapist with condescension masquerading as moral clarity.

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  • Bender

    Bender’s tactics, which wander from sanctimony to false pragmatism to “what the heck, 13-year-olds have sex all the time!” may stroke his ego, but they do not serve justice or mercy.

    Yeah, us criminal defense attorneys are the scum of the earth. Tell me something I don’t know.

    Meanwhile, you may one day hope to have someone plead your case (intercede) before a judge.

    Moreover, part of justice is — as you judge, so too shall you be judged.
    Not being pure and sinless like some, but being a pretty bad sinner myself, I would prefer a judge who leans toward the merciful. I need it. And if that is what I would prefer, I damn well better show it towards others.

  • Scumbag Bender’s Scumbag Cheerleader

    Here’s me – That One Girl, changing her name this time around to support her favorite Poster.

    Bender – perhaps if you clarify this statement, I won’t have to cyber-punch cminor for dissing you.

    It is true that justice is required, and justice requires that we as a society not simply act as if crimes did not happen, but when the victim of that crime herself has moved on and forgiven, who the hell am I to go grab a rope and look for the nearest tree?

    Just because you are advocating mercy does not mean that you are saying he should walk, does it? I don’t think so, but then again, I’m just your cheerleader – I don’t actually know what’s in your head.

    Besides stepping back and letting him answer to God, what do you suggest be done to Polanski, legal-wise?

    As an aside – a long, long, long time ago, I worked for Planned Parenthood. Newsflash – lots of 13 year-olds were having sex way back then. I don’t doubt more are now, although I believe that intercourse is not the ‘act’ of choice, if you follow my drift.

  • Andrew B

    I don’t personally believe defense attorneys are scum of the earth (I save that for personal injury lawyers), but I do believe that mercy in the absence of justice is not mercy, but license.

    Roman Polanski owes a debt to society. He commited a crime, admitted his guilt, but bolted before he could receive his punishment, a punishment he fully deserves. Wealth, talent, influential friends and the ability to avoid arrest for decades do not alter that.

    I hope and pray that I am never in such a situation. If I am, I will hope for mercy. But I will expect justice. When I am stopped for speeding, I hope the police officer will let me off with a warning, but I know whether or not I deserve a ticket.

    Coincidentally, that is exactly the posture I take toward God. I hope and pray that He will be merciful, but I cannot pretend that I don’t deserve His justice.

  • http://minoroutside.blogspot.com cminor

    “I have not seen or read anything indicating that there has been more than one underage victim ”
    Admin–
    Actually I have read that he also had an affair with the then 15-year-old Nastassja Kinski. I assume it was consensual, to the extent that such a relationship could be.

    Cheer,
    Kindly stay your hand and reread Bender’s comments. I’ve taught religious ed myself and I’m pretty darn sure there’s nothing in Church teaching that would indicate we should proceed according to his recommendations.

    Bender,
    You said it–I didn’t. And I don’t pretend to be anything but a sinner and haven’t indicated anything of the sort here, but even if I had it wouldn’t change the facts of the matter. I suppose hyperbole serves your purposes in front of a jury, but here it just highlights that you really don’t have a valid argument.

  • That One Girl a.k.a Bender’s Cheerleader

    Aww cminor, I was just trying to lighten things up as well as get Bender’s point of view. Besides, I forgot to include Tryptic in my threat, which was really all bluff anyway. ;-)

    I haven’t been reading this blog all that long, and commenting for even less time. As a CCD/RCIA director and instructor, I haven’t seen a lot wrong with anything Bender puts forth, and have seen a lot of good stuff; hence, the nickname I’ve given myself. I try to learn from this place, but I’m the first to admit that sometimes I just don’t get it.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Cheerleader, yes, a lot of underage girls are actually “dating” (a rather polite term), older men, who are, putting it bluntly, taking advantage of them.

    I wonder where these guys got the idea that exploiting very young girls is okay?

  • http://minoroutside.blogspot.com cminor

    No offense taken, ThatOneGirl. Haven’t been here that long myself.

    I don’t mind spirited debate, if there’s actually substance to the arguments. I do have a problem with sanctimonous bloviation, avoiding arguments you can’t exploit, switching arguments in midstream, insinuation about your opponent, and Machiavellian use of the sacred to forward your point when you can’t do it otherwise. Guess I’d make a lousy lawyer.

    Please do reread those comments, and the links to the case if you’re unfamiliar; cyber-punch away if I’ve spoken wrongly.

    BTW, I’m well aware that some 13-year-olds are sexually active. But when one is sexually active with a man old enough to be her father, bet on there being some serious exploitiation going on.

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