Louis C.K.

In defense of Norm Macdonald

In defense of Norm Macdonald

Norm Macdonald has a point.

Not in his boneheaded dismissals of the #MeToo movement and the trauma undergone by victims of sexual harassment and assault, of course, but in his comments about forgiveness.

“The model used to be: admit wrongdoing, show complete contrition and then we give you a second chance,” the comedian told the Hollywood Reporter in a controversial interview published this week. “Now, it’s admit wrongdoing and you’re finished.”

Some might call that karma, just deserts for bad behavior. But if there’s no room to come clean, there’s no room for repentance, either — no lesson learned, no possibility for growth. As Mr. Macdonald noted, “the only way to...