I got a lot of responses from my last blog post about forgiveness. Some of your stories are rather intense. There are those of you who have been a victim of a violent crime and those who have had their children kidnapped by an ex...I don't know how you forgive any of that. In fact some of you might want to push the forgiving part to a later date and use the present to channel your anger into the fight that you may need to engage in.
It is important to remember that, to quote my Facebook friend Adi, "...asking for forgiveness is for the sake of the other party, and forgiving is for your own good." That's very true. But as it says in Ecclesiastes there's a time to tear and a time to mend (ect.). So if this is the time to fight please fight. Just remember that when the battle is over you should try to find a way to forgive or if that's not possible at least let go of the anger for your own good.
But what really worries me is that a lot of people seem to confuse forgiveness with excusing people of responsibility. A bank teller can forgive the man who held a gun to her head during a robbery but that doesn't mean the robber shouldn't go to jail.
And that's why the line of defense being used for Polanski is so disturbing to me. I actually heard some guy on the radio say that people should consider all the wonderful movies Polanski made before judging him.. Another said that he shouldn't be judged on this one "mistake."
Drugging and raping a 13 year old isn't a mistake. Yes, I know the victim wants the charges dropped but when you commit a violent crime the victim doesn't get to decide if you are going to be prosecuted or not. If that was the case very few people would ever be arrested for domestic violence. That's not to say I don't feel for Polanski's victim because I do. How horrible must it be to have to relive that moment even once, let alone over and over again. But if we just turn the other cheek we might as well not have any laws.
Of course Polanski and his supporters say that he was dealing with a corrupt judge who wasn't going to honor the plea bargain agreement. They would say that he served his time (45 days) and paid for his mistake (literally since he settled the civil case against him). I also think that since he was a Jew in Poland during the Holocaust it might be understandable that his first impulse after assessing (perhaps correctly) the judge's intentions to throw out the plea deal was to flee. And there are very legitimate questions regarding why they are arresting Polanski now when he seems to have been in plain sight for the last 30 years.
To be honest I do feel for Polanski. I know there are child survivors of genocides who grow up to be functioning adults but I don't know how they do it and I can't say that I can really blame those who are unable to pull off that miracle. People brought up in places where evil is the norm are obviously more likely to do some pretty awful stuff. But we can't change the rules for people who have had a bad, or even a horrible life and to paint this admittedly guilty person as a victim because he has to actually participate in the American justice system is more than a little gross. If his friends and fans want to forgive him then they have the right to do so but their forgiveness doesn't give him diplomatic immunity. Again, this man admitted to his crime and if he feels that he has served his complete sentence then he should tell it to the judge and if he doesn't like the judge's verdict he should appeal. Yes, it's a long and arduous process...it's the price you pay when you rape a kid.
In the end I think Polanski might have had even more supporters if he had stayed to face the music. For most of us forgiveness becomes much easier once there's accountability.
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