Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Timothy Geithner and a holiday weekend: Rabbi Brad Hirschfield's ethical take on the news (Video)

Jul 01, 2011

Live with Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Does it not seem to you -- as it does to me -- that though the prosecution leaped upon Strauss-Kahn, someone in justice doubted the facts of the case, especially the credibility of the housekeep, and kept after it? What a mess, eh?

There has been a media focus on the fact that the accuser is from Guinea. I think this is unfortunate and suggestive of the media to say that should be a consideration in whether she is truthful or not. What is your take on this approach ?

The reaction to this latest DSK news has sparked conspiracy theories in France that someone set him up with this woman to create a scandal and stop DSK running for president of France. I see the prosecution now says the woman got a lot of money about the time she made the complaint. So it looks like this idea of a conspiracy to discredit DSK has some merit. Does it?

Here is what I don't understand: If the evidence against DSK is now regarded as so weak that his elaborate and very expensive house arrest has now been terminated, then why is there even a case against him at all? It seems to me that if the Prosecution is now no longer so concerned as to his whereabouts, then they must have an extremely weak case. Why don't they just admit that and drop the charges? Further: isn't it quite immoral that DSK was regarded as "guilty before presumed innocent" by both the NYPD and the Prosecutors? How is our system fair?

Clearly both DSK and the chambermaid have credibility issues. The fact remains that she had physical evidence of a struggle and her diminished credibility does not invalidate rape. Seems to me that he's guilty but has the money, power and influence to polish up his image. Will he make it back to politics as usual in Europe?

Even if there are some questions about her, that doesn't mean her story isn't true. Isn't this just another example of a powerful man discrediting a powerless woman?

Geithner is the last man standing of Obama's original economic team, as all the others on this team who came to office when Obama was elected are gone. I am not including Bernanke because he was a holdover from Bush. That he is the last means he's coming under a lot of pressure, but he appears confident in recent public appearances, and seems comfortable dealing with reporters' questions and handling himself. This would seem to me to indicate he's sticking. Am I wrong reading thees signals this way?

Independence Day is a secular holiday. Does religion really have a place in it?

I'm not sure what religion celebrates by launching an attack upon the heavens with rockets and explosives. Besides, July 4th won't be a religious holiday until the greeting card and candy companies convince us to celebrate the occasion by wishing others a happy one in short verse with a side of sweets.

LAST QUESTION: How do we reconcile celebrating freedom, as we have people who choose forms of religious expression which limit the freedom of others? (fundamentalists who limit women's freedom of choice, for example). Are these freedoms mutuallly exclusive?

In This Chat
Brad Hirschfield
Brad Hirschfield is the president of Clal - The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. He writes the For God's Sake blog for The Washington Post. A regular on Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network. he appears frequently on NPR, PBS, and CNN, and is routinely listed as one of America?s "most influential rabbis." His most recent book is You Don't Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism.
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