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Moral relativists just a rationalization away from a crime

By Frank Salvato
web posted January 20, 2006

Recently, on Hannity & Colmes, a segment was aired on which one would have thought everyone to be in agreement. The issue was teachers having sex with their students. What I witnessed left me astounded. Not only did the representative from the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) condone a sentence for rape that didn't involve any jail time for the teacher, he tried to rationalize the relationship between the teacher and the student.

Maybe a person with a rational mind, a person who puts stock in common sense and the rule of law isn't capable of understanding the "progressive" mindset that prevails in Massachusetts. The fact that they continually elect Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, two of the most liberal members of the US Senate, should have been my first clue. Still, I want to believe there is hope.

The representative from the MBA sat in the "hot seat," looking as though he had actually attended the classes offered when he went to law school, and tried to explain – with a straight face – that because the student who had engaged in a sexual relationship with a teacher was "only six weeks shy of being sixteen" (the legal age of consent in Massachusetts) that the sentence of probation rather than jail time was "understandable."

If one lived in the fantasyland that is prime time television – both cable and the free venue – it might, and I emphasize might, be "understandable" why someone would want to rationalize rape as something that could be understood. With "desperate housewives" getting "nipped and tucked" so they can do "big brother" until they are "six feet under," the idea of a fifteen year old high school student – an expert at putting condoms on cucumbers thanks to the NEA approved sex education agenda in place in our schools – getting it from a teacher doesn't seem all that outrageous. Then, after watching a radical Islamist saw an innocent hostage's head off with a dull knife, watching a convicted mass murderer being put to death by legal injection is boring by comparison.

Welcome to the incredibly dangerous world of moral relativism. It's here. It's queer (please read this using the real meaning of the word). And it is something to fear.

As is always the case with talking head shows – and don't get me wrong, I like Sean Hannity, he's a great American – questions came to pass that weren't asked of the offending guest.

The MBA representative, this purveyor of rationalizations, stood his ground, proclaiming that although he "wouldn't approve" of his underage children having sex with their teacher, he thought the sentence was appropriate.

Let me state that another way.

The MBA representative, being a man who has taken an oath to uphold the laws of the land, a man who spent years in law school, a man who I am sure would say that he respects and perhaps even loves the law, looked into the camera and said to an audience of millions that even though the law says the age of consent in the State of Massachusetts is sixteen years old, the fifteen year-old student and the adult teacher had a "consensual relationship."

There is so much wrong with this statement I don't know where to begin.

Most obvious is the fact that if someone isn't of the age of consent there can be no consensual relationship. This should have been covered in "So, You Want to Be a Lawyer 101." Maybe the MBA representative was sick that day, or maybe he was at an anti-something rally with Monsieurs Kennedy and Kerry. Whatever the cause of his not being in class, his non-attendance left him appearing the fool decades later.

Almost as obvious is the fact that the teacher, being in a position of authority, should be viewed as a predator, not a "consensual partner." Any touchy-feely child psychologist would be able to talk for hours about how a child can be gently coerced and manipulated by an authority figure. This "teacher" is a danger to each and every child in his classroom, unless the course he teaches is "Introduction to Pedophilia," in which case the prerequisite for enrolling in the class should be something other than being the target of pedophiles.

But the most disturbing element of the MBA representative's argument was how he rationalized the minor's age. The raped minor, the MBA representative said, "was only six weeks shy of his sixteenth birthday." Somehow, this made all of it okay, even though the law said that it is not.

Let's apply this rational to other things and see how it works in real life, shall we?

Using the MBA representative's rational:

▪ 20 year-olds should be able to purchase and drink liquor in states where the drinking age is 21. After all, the minor is only 12 months shy of his 21 st birthday.

▪ 15 year-olds should be able to drive without restriction because, hey, they are only a year shy of their 16 th birthday.

▪ Illegal aliens living in the US should be able to vote because, well, they are only a process away from actually being US citizens.

▪ Drunks who drive should all be left off with a warning and perhaps even offered a cab ride home because, let's face it, their blood-alcohol levels really aren't that far off the legal limit.

Am I making my point?

The fact is – and this is indisputable – we are a country that embraces the rule of law. When moral relativists and "progressive" blowhards like the moron from the MBA defend judges and lawyers who disregard the law because, well, the defendant "almost" didn't break the law, our system breaks down.

The MBA representative – and I am sorry that I don't remember his name – should most definitely be disbarred and prohibited from ever practicing law again. Of course, that shouldn't mean too much to him. I mean really, he'll only be a law license shy of being able to practice law.

Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal.us. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, socio-political education project. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, numerous radio shows coast to coast and his pieces have been recognized by the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at oped@newmediajournal.us Copyright © 2006 Frank Salvato

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