Parity of misbehaviour — 7 Comments

  1. I think it depends on what they have done to some degree. We removed a book from the playcentre shelves by William Mayne after he was convicted for child abuse. The book went in the bin. He had used his position as an author to lure children into his house. The children in the playcentre may not have known this and enjoyed his book anyway but my colleague and I both wanted his book off the shelf when we found this out. It left a distinctly bitter taste.

  2. Maybe the passing of time also makes a difference. The silly behaviour of P.G Wodehouse during World war II comes to mind. He was to live in exile thirty years, but few people now would even think about his broadcasts from Berlin.

  3. I don’t think you can separate the person from their acts of folly/abuse. It’s like allowing prisoners to profit from telling their stories or a paedophile to hold a Department of Community services portfolio. As for ‘evil’ ministries . . how can the sacraments be delivered by evil men . .ministers are God’s representatives and need to be wholesome, truthful and live the doctrine they teach otherwise, I agree with Paula again, it’s a misplacement of trust and entirely hypocritical.

  4. I think my concern is about “just judgment”. Everyone is entitled to due process and in our media driven age, things quite irrelevant are sometimes adduced as a reason for attacking a person.

    Clergy are never “worthy”. I think the Sixteenth Century of “evil” would have reflected a fairly lengthy list of prohibitions – wasting time would probably have been amongst them!

    I did not vote for Ahern or his Government, but I do believe that if he is to go from office, it should be through the proper process of losing a vote in the Dail and not because of certain editorial lines – just judgment is required.

  5. If you mean Cathal O Searcaigh (apologies for my rubbish Irish spelling), I think the controversy relates to trips to Nepal not Thailand.

    The point about the efficacy of the sacraments in the hands of evil ministers is surely that God can work even through inadequate vessels. Unless one believes romantically in the actions of the muse, literature doesn’t arise in quite the same way. I would argue strongly that the art can be good even when the person isn’t (I’m a Wagner fan!), but it depends how far the art can be disentangled from the person, and this is harder with a living artist. In the case Paula mentions, the writer seems to have used his writing in a horrible way and I too would feel it was tainted by that use. The situation of a politician is different again, because elected politicians act through popular mandate. If Bertie Ahern has lost the confidence of the electorate then his authority and right to govern is undermined.

  6. Alice, thanks for the correction, I have a habit of screening nasty stories out of my mind and then getting the details wrong! I have changed it.

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