Professional moral scold Dennis Prager, writing at National Review, wants you to know that he's had it up to here with all these people who feel sorry for Ariel Castro:
In August 2002, a homo sapiens known as Ariel Castro abducted 21-year-old Michelle Knight, the mother of a two-year-old boy. In April 2003, he abducted Amanda Berry, a day before her 17th birthday. And in April 2004, he abducted 14-year-old Gina DeJesus.Yes, it is important -- or it would be if anyone on earth had the slightest problem understanding its magnitude. I haven't encountered any such person, and I doubt Pragr has, either. But Prager is sure there's moral relativism going on around here somewhere, and it's all (of course) liberal elitists' fault.
For the next ten years, these girls were regularly raped, kept in chains, beaten, humiliated, and almost never allowed to see the light of day. When Michelle Knight became pregnant, Castro starved her for two weeks and kicked and punched her in the stomach to induce an abortion. He repeated this method of pregnancy termination on Knight four additional times.
It is important to try to understand the magnitude of the sadism and other forms of cruelty and suffering inflicted by this creature.
... I have found [this] to be the most accurate way of describing the Nazi guards and the Ariel Castros of the world -- monsters that look human.Find me one person -- one person, Dennis -- who thinks of Ariel Castro as primarily a victim rather than a doer of the unspeakable, apart from his own lawyers (who are just expressing that sentiment because that's their job, however loathsome the job may be) and Castro himself (and he's lying to himself). Go ahead, Dennis -- show me someone apart from those two people whose primary feeling toward Ariel Castro is sympathy or pity.
Not everyone agrees.
Castro doesn't agree. Nor do his lawyers.
In his long rambling statement after being found guilty, Castro denied a half-dozen times that he was a monster. He was "sick," he said. He himself was a victim -- of an addiction to sex and pornography.
Though loathsome, Castro's statement is not only an indictment of himself but of the amoral vocabulary of our time.
The elites have taught for generations that most violent criminals are victims, and therefore not fully responsible for what they do.
Poor and non-white violent criminals, we have been assured, are victims of poverty or racism. Likewise, all alcoholics are victims. That's why Castro repeatedly compared himself to alcoholics. In addition to its moral confusion, this violent-criminal-as-victim rhetoric has increased evil: Nothing produces evil -- both on a national and individual level -- as much as perceiving oneself or one’s group as a victim.
We have substituted therapeutic language for moral language. That's why we have substituted "sick" for "evil." And in that way, too, we have transformed monsters into victims.
And until you show me that individual, just shut the hell up, Dennis.
Three women suffered for years in that house at Ariel Castro's hands -- and if anyone is diminishing Castro's deeds, it's Dennis Prager, because his primary concern, for all his apparent outrage at Castro, is to treat him as a stick to beat liberals and "elitists" with, and nothing more.
But that's Prager's entire schtick. It's all he does. He tells us that the world consists of people who say and do depraved things because of modernity, along with victims of those modernists. That's the sum total of human existence right now, according to the collected writings of Dennis Prager.