Why crit­i­cize Har­vey We­in­stein?

The Record (Troy, NY) - - OPINION - Cal Thomas Cal Thomas, Amer­ica’s most­syn­di­cated colum­nist, is the au­thor of 10 books

“Where there is no rev­e­la­tion, peo­ple cast off re­straint; but blessed is the one who heeds wis­dom’s in­struc­tion.” (Proverbs 29:18)

An­cient wis­dom from a Higher Author­ity, which is avail­able to any­one who takes the time to con­sider it, was pro­vided to con­strain peo­ple like Har­vey We­in­stein from acts he has been ac­cused of com­mit­ting.

In an age when we have cast off most re­straints -- from re­stric­tions on abor­tion, to sanc­tion­ing same-sex mar­riage, to nor­mal­iz­ing the use of nu­dity, crude lan­guage and sex in Hol­ly­wood films, not to men­tion wis­dom -- why is any­thing off lim­its? Who de­cides where the lim­its are these days? And on what do they base their de­ci­sion?

Haven’t some fed­eral judges been evis­cer­at­ing the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion for decades? Haven’t even some clergy made at­tempts to re­write or ig­nore Scrip­ture to con­form to opin­ion polls and align them­selves with con­tem­po­rary trends?

Many Repub­li­cans and con­ser­va­tives are joy­fully be­rat­ing and be­lit­tling Har­vey We­in­stein and his fel­low left­ists, but they should re­mind them­selves that sin is not ex­clu­sive to one party or po­lit­i­cal per­sua­sion. Rep. Tim Mur­phy (R-PA) re­signed his of­fice last week af­ter the Pitts­burgh Post-Gazette ob­tained text mes­sages be­tween Mur­phy and his mis­tress in which he told her to have an abor­tion if she thought she might be preg­nant. Mur­phy, who claims to be “pro-life,” co-spon­sored a bill that would ban abor­tion af­ter 20 weeks.

Much news­pa­per ink is be­ing spilled and nightly news time spent dis­cussing We­in­stein af­ter an in­ves­tiga­tive story by The New York Times in which many women, who claim to have been ha­rassed in the most dis­gust­ing ways imag­in­able, have come forward to tell their sto­ries. On Sun­day, We­in­stein was fired by his own com­pany.

Lisa Bloom, who re­signed last Satur­day as an ad­viser to We­in­stein, made the laugh­able claim that he is a “di­nosaur” who came of age at a time when such be­hav­ior was more ac­cept­able. Re­ally? Ac­cept­able to whom? Hugh Hefner, maybe, who fired the first shot in the sex­ual rev­o­lu­tion. Aren’t vic­tims of un­wel­come sex­ual ad­vances just some

of the ca­su­al­ties of that rev­o­lu­tion?

Hypocrisy is a word that is thrown around a lot. Con­ser­va­tives are guf­faw­ing that We­in­stein, who is a Demo­crat, was also an en­thu­si­as­tic sup­porter and donor to Hil­lary Clin­ton’s 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. The Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee is­sued a press re­lease de­mand­ing Demo­cratic politi­cians who re­ceived do­na­tions from We­in­stein re­turn the money. Repub­li­cans are not im­mune from the temp­ta­tions of the flesh and boor­ish, even crim­i­nal, be­hav­ior. In ad­di­tion to Mur­phy, you can Google “Repub­li­cans and sex scan­dals” and read some of them.

De­nun­ci­a­tions of We­in­stein are coming from all quar­ters of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, though the Hol­ly­wood crowd has been mostly silent. His crit­ics pre­sup­pose a stan­dard by which such be­hav­ior can be judged. But we are rid­ding our­selves of most stan­dards faster than a snake sheds its skin. What did we ex­pect the out­come to look like?

Is our moral life and col­lec­tive no­tions of right and wrong to be de­cided by opin­ion polls and per­sonal feel­ings, or is there a “Higher Author­ity” that should rule over in­di­vid­u­als, as well as na­tions? The ques­tion should not be rhetor­i­cal. It de­mands an an­swer.

This quote by Fran­cois de La Rochefou­cauld seems to fit our re­ac­tion to the We­in­stein af­fair, as well as many others: “Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.” Once again, ques­tions should be asked in this in­creas­ingly morally vac­u­ous age: what is “vice” and what is “virtue”? Who gets to de­cide? On what shall the def­i­ni­tions be based?

We­in­stein needs help that no coun­selor can fully of­fer. Only a trans­formed life can help him be­come a new and dif­fer­ent man. And such help can only come from a Higher Author­ity.

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