“This is our secret.”
This phrase strikes a chill through any parent’s heart. I remember being sternly warned as a child that this phrase was a red-flag warning. Nothing should be kept secret from my parents, that no one should ever make me feel violated or uncomfortable, and never to trust a stranger.
This is the phrase used by a 43-year-old man in an attempt to convince a frightened, naked 13-year-old girl to not rat him out, and allow him to get away with his abominable crime.
Unfortunately for Roman Polanski, this young girl did tell her mother, and her revelation led to him running to France for sanctuary after only 42 days in prison. Before his further sentencing in 1978, he fled. You all know the story by now–a warrant for his arrest has been in effect for the last 30 years, and Polanski was finally arrested this week in Switzerland.
A recent column in the Los Angeles Times states that “Polanski stood in a Santa Monica courtroom on Aug. 8, 1977, admitted to having his way with a girl three decades his junior and told a judge that indeed, he knew she was only 13. There may well have been judicial misconduct. But no misconduct was greater than allowing Polanski to cop a plea to the least of his charges. His crime was graphic, manipulative and heinous, and he got a pass. It’s unbelievable, really, that his soft-headed apologists are rooting for him to get another one.”
Who are these “soft-headed apologists”? Frighteningly enough, they are influencers of culture. Writers, directors, actors, people whom we watch regularly and often (mistakenly) look up to. Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Monica Bellucci, Tilda Swinton, Salman Rushdie, Diane von Furstenberg, Claude Lanzmann and Paul Auster, just to name a few.
Why would so many popular and powerful people let a despicable act stand unpunished? Do none of them have children they wish to protect?
I believe that we, as a culture, have bought the lie that popularity, beauty, power and art are what matter–rather than eternal values, such as strong character, morals and good sense. If this statutory rape had occurred yesterday, in some nobody’s house in a Southern state, the pop culture reaction would be very different. There would be wide outcry and demands for justice from the same people who insist that Polanski does not deserve punishment, simply because he’s directed a few films.
Polanski himself understands how corrupt our culture has become, but rather than bring it to light, he is willing to exploit the darkness. In an interview he stated: “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”
Let that sink in. He’s talking about rape, and appealing to the press.
It’s shocking that he openly admits that his actions appeal to some, and it should only galvanize our desire to see him come to justice and insure that his exploitive actions are still unacceptable in this country.
It’s fitting that Polanski told his young victim: “It’s our little secret.” As Ephesians 5:11 says: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
Our job is to stand firm on the justice and light of God, and to protect the innocent. Sadly, it seems that His values and those of Hollywood are getting farther and farther apart.