Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My thoughts (and outrage) concerning Roman Polanski

A few years back I saw the movie The Pianist and it was hands-down one of the best movies I’d ever seen. Does this justify the director’s actions three decades prior? Absolutely not. You may have heard of the director, Roman Polanski. Back in March 1977 (the month of my birth) Polanski drugged and raped a thirteen-year-old girl. Once arrested Polanski pled guilty in a plea deal for the lesser charge of statutory rape to be applied. He was let out on bail pending sentencing and for fear of a heavy sentence he jumped bail and fled to France where he’s resided for all these years.

Upon a visit to Switzerland recently he was arrested and is now- finally- facing extradition back to the U.S. to pay for his crime. Hollywood is of course in an uproar over the “injustice” against Polanski. It seems his cinematic brilliance and his humanitarian efforts should exonerate him from his crime. Whoopi Goldberg even went so far as to justify Polanski’s actions, "I know it wasn't 'rape' rape. I think it was something else, but I don't believe it was 'rape' rape.” So we’re rewriting the law books to distinguish between rape-rape and just regular run-of-the-mill rape of a 13-year old? Sick.

The victim has publicly forgiven Polanski but does this mean he shouldn’t pay the consequences for his crime? Apparently Tom O’Neill, the editor for Hollywood gossip magazine In Touch thinks it is absurd to hold Polanski accountable, "It's mind-boggling why they're still pursuing this. It just seems that the prosecutors in Los Angeles won't let go these many years later." He’s not alone. Hollywood big shots like Harrison Ford, Debra Winger, and uber-producer Harvey Weinstein are lobbying everyone from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to demand Polanski not be extradited.

Weinstein argues in favor of Polanski because of what the famed director has endured in life, “It is a shocking way to treat such a man. Polanski went through the Holocaust and the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, by the Manson family.” These were truly horrible things for anyone to endure but not justification for rape. Admittedly I’m no expert on the law and have no idea what further punishment should await Polanski (he spent 42 days in a mental institution), but I’m certain that he should face the legal process that is required of everyone else. One lesson that is apparent in this case is how our culture typically views and rationalizes sin. It is so important for Christians to be clear about what sin is and what the ultimate consequences are.

HT: Fox News and The Independent

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