October 1, 2009

"Hollywood's defense of Polanski is no different than the Catholic Bishops' shifting of child predators from parish to parish."

Marci Hamilton comes on strong:
This society is so sick, that even Polanski's first known victim now takes his side. I don't even want to imagine how many from his circle have worked, over the years, to persuade her to abandon her own interest and that of other likely victims. What child sex abuse victim has a chance, in a society where the largest church and the titans of Hollywood side with the perpetrators and publicly say, "Let it go"? To the millions of child sex abuse survivors in the United States, I apologize for the heartless and self-serving adults who thought when you were young – and continue to think now — that your issues are not their own....

Let us be absolutely clear: Those shielding Polanski are choosing the sex abusers over children. It is an either-or choice.

44 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

I am not sure Polanski's victim is taking his side, she sued him in a civil suit, that resulted in a settlement, presumably part of that settlement is not calling for any criminal prosecution of him or disclosing the terms of the settlement. Sad, but I can understand how something like that could happen.

DrSquid said...

Wow, likening them to the Catholic Church! That's really hittin' 'em where it hurts. Oooh, ucalled for!

Freeman Hunt said...

Ah, I see. Hit Polanski, yet stay cool with a strong smack at the Catholic Church.

The Crack Emcee said...

The church, the French, and Hollywood celebrities, all together in supporting what's finally being recognized as a sick and delusional point of view.

Put it all together with the subject matter of the ACORN scandal, and the recent death of 9-month old Gloria Sam, and I'd say my point of view (formally known as too-crazy-for-civilized-company) is making some serious inroads into contemporary American thought, wouldn't you?

The Macho Response

traditionalguy said...

The choice is also betweens a protection of individuals or a protection of the interest of the State in Films and in Performance Art by Priests. Americans usually pick the individual. A society that uses underage victims is unacceptible, even if the definition of underage varies from 14 to 18. I see the free use of Drugs at all ages to be responsible for permitting the harm that is done to sexually abused people of all ages and all genders.

paul a'barge said...

have you read this yet? <==click here

Now tell me what you think of Polanski.

Joseph said...

I don't see any legitimate reason for defending Polanski but his one act of unconscionable violence is nowhere near as bad as the massive facilitation of child rape the Catholic Church perpetrated.

paul a'barge said...

I'm not sure any of us need a new reason to bash the Catholic Church. What the papists did to children remains without exaggeration just as bad as what the priests did to young boys.

Fred4Pres said...

I want to watch this movie again.

Speaking right to power.

rdkraus said...

Joseph

Men who rape children do not do it one time.

edutcher said...

Paul and Joe, the Church did not endorse what those priests (all .5% of them, dare I add) did or try to justify it. Some corrupt diocesan officials in the American Church tried to sweep it under the rug. I don't see that as quite the same thing.

PS I'm sure 150 years ago both of you would have been among the first to say, "No Irish need apply".

Kensington said...

The comparison might work if the Harvey Weinsteins were condemning Polanski but then just shifting him around to the vicinity of other thirteen-year-olds and hoping for the best.

But instead, Hollywood is saying "no biggie." It's incompetence vs. immorality.

Drew W said...

Where were all these movie directors, actors, intellectuals, and philosophers when Gary Glitter needed them?

I scanned the very dense list of Polanski’s overwhelmingly male supporters, searching for a woman there whose name I could recognize. The only one I could find was Sylvia Kristel. So that’s it -- my Ultimate Emmanuelle Deluxe DVD boxed set now sits in the trashcan. And good riddance I say.

ricpic said...

Polygamy = Child Molestation?

Angst said...

Her article seems to attack more than just Catholic ...

""Big Love," which merely winks at the sexual degradation of girls in the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints enclaves"

wv: humboma No thanks, I'll leave this one for Titus or Sully.

Bissage said...

Ms. Hamilton exaggerates.

Joseph said...

edutcher:

I was raised Catholic in an Irish Catholic family. I know the Church well enough to be impressed by it as well as mortified by it.

The refusal to acknowledge well-documents culpability of the Church in systemically moving known child predators from one position of trusted authority to another is unconscionable at this point. Of course, the Church did not actively promote or defend child rape. But officials in positions of high authority knew it was happening A LOT and took steps to hide it, and declined to take steps to stop it, and took other steps that allowed it to persist. The Catholic Church will never recover its credibility as a voice of legitimate morality until it comes to terms with this issue. Trying to paint criticism of the Church on this issue as anti-Catholicism is no different than trying to paint any criticism of Obama as racist--cheap and usually wrong. Afterall, the people most affected and offended and active in this criticism are CATHOLICS.

Bender said...

Yay! Any excuse to bash the Catholic Church!!

Let's hear it for anti-Catholicism!!

Joe said...

Polygamy = Child Molestation?

The problem is that in many of these fundamentalist communities, children as young as 14 are married off and impregnated.

The incidence of incest is also frighteningly high. Many women have reported being "taught sex" by their fathers and brothers when they were barely pubescent.

To correct the sex imbalance, young men are kicked out of the community.

John Salmon said...

The difference is the Church finally (after far too long) did come around to stopping the perps.

MeJerry said...

From the same article:

"Let us be absolutely clear: Those shielding Polanski are choosing the sex abusers over children. It is an either-or choice."

A comment like this doubtless boggles the minds of the hypocritical Polanski supporters out there.

Be boggled. Just get out of the way.

Tibore said...

Funny she should invoke the priest pedophile scandals here. I'm not sure the comparison is apt. As someone else said, if this were Father Polanski, Hollywood stars would be lining up to condemn the guy. And on top of that, rushing out clich├ęd movies-of-the-week on the topic, as well as doing "Watch Me Cry" PSAs and other "Let Me Show You How Much I Can Suffer Too" appearances.

But since it's director Polanski... well now. Different attitude. While I'm ashamed that the Church had to be forcibly dragged into confronting the problem in the courts, to the best of my knowledge, no Priest or member of the "flock" circulated stupid "Free Father So-and-So" petitions. Members of the Church tried to, as edutcher said, sweep things under the rug, but at no point did you see this "He's guilty, but he's suffered enough" attitude, nor did you see any "it wasn't rape-rape" excuses. But aside from a few sensible Hollywood personalities - Kirstie Alley, maybe Kevin Smith (can't find any direct quotes from him, only third hand attributions) - that's exactly what you're getting from Hollywood.

Marci Hamilton may want to draw an equivalence, but in reality, there's not one to be had.

edutcher said...

Joe, I'm Irish Catholic also. As I said, we're talking about corrupt diocesan officials trying to hush something up. That was the point - few people knew and approved of what was being done.

It's one thing to talk about a few people doing something wrong. Trying to paint the entire organization as evil because of them is like using My Lai or Abu Ghraib to smear the US Army.

William said...

I was raised as a Catholic and have reasons to be grateful to that organization. Nonetheless, their behavior during the various pedophile scandals is indefensible. What I find more troubling is that the Catholic hierarchy seems unwilling to examine what about their teachings on sexuality caused them to attract so many pedophiles and so many others who were willing to shelter pedophiles. Sexual abstinence is a virtue only for pedophiles. They should lighten up.....Hollywood: What percentage of those that signed the petition for Polanski believe that the waterboarding of senior AQ members was an unforgivable crime?

Steven said...

Billboards. Billboards that read:

"[Hollywood Bigshot] says a man who drugs and rapes a 13-year-old should go free."

Plaster them throughout LA and New York. Hit every prominent signer of the petition.

Kensington said...

If it were Fr. Polanski, the Weinsteins would be condemning him, and we'd still be condemning him.

And William, since the Catholic Church has no more instances of child abuse than any other organization, including public school teachers and other, less celibate religious groups, then how can you lay the blame on celibacy?

The Catholic Church just gets more attention focused on its failings because they're a meatier target.

knox said...

The number of bad priests is surely miniscule. But the institutions's handling of it was systemic. Isn't Bernard Law* cooling his heels ... in the Vatican? The church authorities still have some learning to do. Instead of giving him the boot, they circled the wagons and gave him a new position in Rome.

Why do parishioners suggest that criticism of the church in this regard is anti-Catholic bigotry? The criticism is born of outrage at what the church authorities allowed to happen to your families.

*For those who don't know, Law covered up sexual abuse and moved priests -- repeat offenders -- from parish to parish.

PS I'm sure 150 years ago both of you would have been among the first to say, "No Irish need apply".

... and I don't like Obama's policies because I'm a racist. Got it.

knox said...

The Catholic Church just gets more attention focused on its failings because they're a meatier target.

I will admit that the media is probably especially hard on the Catholic Church, as it is with all Christian institutions.

Fred4Pres said...

Corruption exists in feminism too:

It’s bad a person was raped. But that was so many years ago. The guy has been through so much in his life. It’s crazy to arrest him now. Let it go. The government could spend its money on other things.”

Der Hahn said...

What I find more troubling is that the Catholic hierarchy seems unwilling to examine what about their teachings on sexuality caused them to attract so many pedophiles and so many others who were willing to shelter pedophiles.

Not quite.

An overwhelming majority of the victims, 81 percent, were males. A majority of the victims were post-pubescent adolescents with a small percentage of the priests accused of abusing children who had not reached puberty. ... The vast majority of the victims (78%) were between age 11 and age 17.

They need to be asking why they keep attracting men who act like Polanski, except with adolescent boys.

Joe said...

Trying to paint the entire organization as evil because of them

There are several splinter groups from the LDS church, but the group actually calling themselves the Fundamentalist LDS church has become extremely corrupt from top to bottom. The sexual abuse within the community is very wide spread. Attempts to prosecute these creeps is near impossible due to the organization being very closed. What I'm referring to is very real and very known, at least in the mountain west.

(My solution is simple: make polygamy legal. Give second, third and fourth "wives" real legal rights and benefits (one reason younger mothers don't leave is out of legitimate fear of losing their children.) "Big Love" actually does touch on that (though the point of "Big Love" is that Bill Paxton's character really believes in the principle of polygamy, but disagrees with his father's organization and sees their corruption.))

knox said...

Fred, absolutely. Look at their defense of Bill Clinton.

Revenant said...

Some corrupt diocesan officials in the American Church tried to sweep it under the rug. I don't see that as quite the same thing.

It isn't just the American branch of the Catholic church that had a problem with pedophilia and official covering-up of same.

PS I'm sure 150 years ago both of you would have been among the first to say, "No Irish need apply".

Perhaps. Tell me, 150 years ago would you would have been among the first to deck seven-year-old son across the face and say "how dare accuse Father O'Malley of that."?

Probably.

Republican said...

Hollywood = Catholic Bishops.

The comparison is so absurd it's not worth commenting on.

Lord!!

pst314 said...

"It is an either-or choice."

Absolute right and wrong?

"Only a Sith deals in absolutes"
--another Hollywood "luminary"

/sarcasm

AST said...

He didn't say Hollywood=Catholicism. He analogized the excuses of those defending the perps, and I see no problem with his logic.

Revenant said...

He didn't say Hollywood=Catholicism. He analogized the excuses of those defending the perps, and I see no problem with his logic.

Yes. Catholicism and the Catholic church hierarchy are not synonymous. It is possible for the Catholic church hierarchy to be profoundly corrupt and immoral -- ahem -- without that suggesting that the religion of Catholicism is bad.

Kensington said...

It's a stupid analogy, and it doesn't work. The Church hierarchy, unlike, say, Harvey Weinstein, doesn't dismiss the crimes of their bad priests as "so called" or try to depict their predators as victims of their prey.

You can criticize their responses as inadequate and inneffective, but the Polanski defenders are completely dismissing his crime.

Revenant said...

The Church hierarchy, unlike, say, Harvey Weinstein, doesn't dismiss the crimes of their bad priests as "so called" or try to depict their predators as victims of their prey.

The Church hierarchy didn't dismiss the crimes of of the priesthood. It denied the crimes existed, and helped cover up for them. Only after getting caught, repeatedly, and suffering a massive loss of support and (here's the important bit) donations from American Catholics, did they shape up and crack down on the pedophiles they had previously aided and abetted. You're right that Church officials don't do that anymore -- that we know of -- but the analogy is clearly being drawn to the days when it did.

So let me spell that out a little more clearly for you: Hollywood leaders are defending a pedophile. Catholic Church leaders knowingly helped pedophiles rape children. Repeatedly. For decades.

You're right that the analogy is silly -- it paints Hollywood in a worse light than it deserves.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

You guys are making me feel all warm and cuddly. Anytime a Jewish guy gets threatened the responsibility is Catholic. Heh, like in another movie, "He aint heavy, father. He's my brother." But I believe I'll carry him to the slammer.

Methadras said...

This sounds eerily like what Little Miss Sullivan would say.

AC245 said...

"Hollywood's defense of Polanski is no different than the Catholic Bishops' shifting of child predators from parish to parish."

Nor is it any different than Kevin Jennings, Obama's "safe schools" czar, condoning pedophilia when he was a teacher.

(Well, except for the slight difference that neither Polanski nor any Catholic Bishop has been appointed by the President as the "safe schools" czar.)

Rick said...

It is understandable that the left hates and blames Catholics. Priests are all child rapists!

Protestant Ministers and Jewish Rabbis *never* molest children, is that not true?

Revenant said...

Protestant Ministers and Jewish Rabbis *never* molest children, is that not true?

Certainly there are, for example, Baptist ministers who have molested children. But unless I missed something, the Southern Baptist Convention didn't help them cover up their crimes, nor did it arrange for them to be transferred to new parishes with fresh populations of children to victimize.

So, no, I don't think it can be said that Protestants and Jews are even remotely as bad as the Catholic Church on this issue. Nowhere near it.