A dissenting view of "A man for all seasons"
Instapundit has a post today invoking the movie, "A man for all Seasons" posted by Gail Heriot.
Not so fast! Thomas More sent Protestants to the gallows very enthusiastically when he had the power to do so. He also courted martyrdom. Plenty of Catholics escaped to France when they realized they were in danger. Escape might have been difficult but it was possible. Instead, he courted martyrdom, no matter how unpleasant this outcome would be for his family. The man slept in a hair shirt, for God's sake.
The movie was esthetically very pleasing, beautifully acted and photographed. The script was very persuasive. But you don't get to change history for esthetic reasons. Facts should not be falsified. But they are. Look at all the movies about the Hollywood Ten. They may have been persecuted but they were unpleasant individuals. Dalton Trumbo was particularly elevated to undeserved sainthood. And Elia Kazan was vilified.
I'm not saying More should have been executed for his beliefs; no-one should be. But he might have saved himself and did not attempt to do so. He was not a martyr for free speech, as portrayed in the movie. He sought martyrdom for religious reasons. It must have been an unpleasnt surprise for him to die and wake up in hell.