There is an insidious influence growing in this country — something that threatens the very heart of what makes us great. The recent brouhaha about Roman Polanksi and ACORN only further demonstrates how bad this problem has gotten. I speak, of course, of right-wing Christian moralizing.
Certain segments of our population are an unthinking, brutish lot. While sophisticated people understand that there are nuances and moral gray areas, these ignoramuses see only black and white, and right and wrong. And this simplistic thinking is threatening the advances that progressives have made.
Take what has happened to the great film director Roman Polanski. Back in the seventies, he apparently drugged and raped a thirteen-year-old and fled justice. Yes, it seems like such a minor thing hardly worth mentioning. It was Hollywood in the seventies; people were just less puritanical back then. They were also more open-minded and into trying new things like raping young girls and fleeing to France. Smart people, like those in Hollywood, just knew and accepted this. That’s why they continued to work with Polanski for decades afterward. A great film — and we’re talking real art here, not some blockbuster with lots of explosions to entertain the yokels — means people are going to get raped.
The point is to not focus on the “victims” but instead to look at the art that is produced. When you see an Oscar-winning film, it hardly seems worth whining about rape.
Of course, you can’t explain that to the right-wing Christians. According to them, the invisible sky fairy they got their instructions from says rape is wrong. Even if done by an award-winning director. There is no reasoning with them on that point. And this myopic thinking apparently has spread beyond the States, as Polanski was arrested in Switzerland for this rape charge we figured no sophisticated person cared about. Some of Hollywood’s forward thinkers have, of course, gone to his rescue, but most of America is demanding he face trial for this minor peccadillo. Haven’t they seen Chinatown? They were probably too busy watching another Michael Bay movie of random explosions.
It really seems this right-wing moralizing stuff has just gotten worse and worse through the years. For instance, take their reaction to the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. For decades, Ted Kennedy served just fine as a senator and everyone praised him as a tireless advocate for progressive causes. But when he died, guess what the troglodytes on the right focused on? That he drowned some nobody in his car forty years ago.