Category Archives: Religion and Philosophy

Anti-Abortion Deception And The Saint’s Excuse

Family Planning

Both of the extreme positions in the abortion war use the Saint’s Excuse, the historically destructive rationalization that roughly translates as We know what’s right, so we will shamelessly lie, cheat, steal, and commit mayhem to make certain our virtuous position prevails.” Prominent employers of the Saint’s Excuse past and present include Mao, the Spanish Inquisition, ISIS, and Ted Cruz’s marketing consultant, among others.

From the pro-abortion side, we saw NARAL embrace The Saint’s Excuse when, in the middle of its orgy of self-humiliating political correctness during the Super Bowl—NARAL said this ad was “transphobic” (the word they were looking for is “silly”)—

—it condemned a Doritos ad for “humanizing fetuses.”

Imagine that! Humanizing a growing organism with human DNA, created by two human beings that will, unimpeded, grow up to be a human being itself! The Horror.

That was just intellectually dishonest, however. What anti-abortion Pat Lohman is doing in her battle against abortion is far, far worse.

Until a few months ago, Amethyst Health Center for Women, one of Northern Virginia’s few abortion clinics, helped women considering abortions in Manassas. Lohman moved her crisis pregnancy center, AAA Women for Choice, right next door. Does “Women for Choice” sound like an anti-abortion organization to you? No? Well, that’s the idea, you see. Pat Lohman wants women seeking abortion to wander into her operation by mistake, where they will be told horror stories about abortions gone wrong and be pressured into changing their minds with “pamphlets, pleas, prayers, promises of help, used baby gear, bloody imagery, [and] God” until they either capitulate or leave.

Now, however, this unethical deception by the pro-life activist has moved to a new and even more dishonest stage. The operator of  Amethyst Health Center retired and the service closed.  Lohman and her allies bought the property using a surrogate (According to property records,  it now belongs to the Indiana-based Blessed Virgin Mary Foundation) so the abortion provider didn’t suspect their purpose before the title passed. Today everything about the abortion clinic seems the same as ever, except there is no way to get inside. The clinic’s Google ads are still live, and the phone number is still connected. When women dial that number, however, the call is forwarded to AAA Women for Choice.  If a woman seeking an abortion comes to the abortion clinic directly, she will try the door, find it locked, then go right next door, into the clutches of lying Pat Lohman and her devoted, virtuous, saintly minions.

Gotcha! Continue reading

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Filed under Bioethics, Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Health and Medicine, Religion and Philosophy

The Seventh Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Best of Ethics 2015, Part II

DavisHand

The Awards continue (Part I is here)….

Most Important Ethical Act of the Year:

The US Supreme Court’s Decision in  Obergefell v. Hodges in which the Supreme Court considered whether states had to recognize a right to same-sex marriages, and narrowly decided that they must. The prejudice against homosexuality is ancient, deep, and complex, mixed up in confounding ways with morality and religion, and deeply divisive. Nonetheless, I felt that the opinion should have been unanimous; it’s a shame that it was not, but in the end, this will not matter. The result was preordained from the moment gays began coming out of the shadows and asserting their humanity and human rights. Since the Stonewall riot, the nation and the culture has learned a great deal about the number of talented and productive gay men and women in our society and our history, the pain, ostracizing, discrimination and mistreatment they have suffered, and the falseness of the myths and fears that lead to this suffering.  In the end, as Clarence Darrow said about blacks, it is human beings, not law, that will make gays equal. No topic immediately causes such emotional and intense debate, on this blog or in society, as this one, but the Supreme Court’s decision is a major step toward changing the ethical culture, by asserting  that gay men and women have the same rights,  in the eyes of the state, to marry those they love and want to build a life with, and by implication, that the beliefs of any religion regarding them or their marriages cannot eliminate that right.

Outstanding Ethical Leadership

Senator Rand Paul.   I am neither a Rand Paul supporter, nor an admirer, nor a fan.  However, his June filibuster-like Senate speech against National Security Agency counter-terrorism surveillance was a brave, principled,  important act, and a great public service. The point Paul made needs to be made again, and again, and again:  there is no reason to trust the NSA, and no reason to trust the current federal government either. The fact that on security matters we have no real choice is frightening and disheartening, but nevertheless, no American should be comfortable with his or her private communications, activities and other personal matters being tracked by the NSA, which has proven itself incompetent, dishonest, an untrustworthy.

 

Parent of the Year

Tonya Graham

Toya Graham, the Baltimore mother caught on video as she berated and beat on her son in the street for participating in the Freddie Gray rioting and looting. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Childhood and children, Education, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Leadership, Love, Race, Religion and Philosophy, U.S. Society

An Obvious Ethics Note On The State Of The Union Address

San-Andreas-crack

Since President Obama has shown a willingness to lie outright to the American people in order to advance his policy agendas and acquire political advantage, there is no reason why any citizen should have cared what he said in the State of the Union message yesterday. One example should suffice, though there are dozens. As recently as January 7, President Obama pushed his anti-gun agenda by stating that “we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close.”  It’s a lie. It’s a lie because he has said this repeatedly, and repeatedly been told, even by reliable anti-gun sources that it is false. France suffered more deaths and injuries from mass shootings in the past year than the U.S. has during Obama’s eight years in office. That doesn’t diminish the importance of finding, if possible, effective policies to reduce U.S. gun violence. It just means that the President thinks it’s acceptable to lie to us, so he does.

The head-exploding moment in his speech last night (I read the transcript), if it did not come with the cynical and silly announcement of a Sixties space program-type effort to “cure cancer”—since we’ve all been ignoring cancer all these years–with Joe Biden—not Khloe Kardashian, an equally strong choice—at the helm (see, Joe’s son died of cancer, so that qualifies him for leadership in cancer research), came from Obama’s stated regrets for the divided state of the nation’s politics, and his failure to stem them, though Lord knows he tried.

Gee, why didn’t his advisors suggest to him that one way for the President to reduce societal division would to stop actively trying to divide people along class, race, religion, region, gender, generation and ethnicity? Continue reading

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Filed under Bioethics, Environment, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Race, Religion and Philosophy, U.S. Society

Observations On A Nauseating Development

Ah, those were the good old days.

Ah, those were the good old days. Now we’re REALLY desperate.

Observation One: If you don’t see what’s nauseating about it, you are part of the problem. Here:

Top Obama administration  officials, including Denis McDonough, Obama’s chief of staff, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers, and White House Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith met in San Jose, California, with representatives of Twitter Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., and other Silicon Valley companies to seek ideas on how extremist content online can be identified and removed, as well as help creating alternative messages to counter terrorist recruitment methods using social media. You can be thoroughly nauseated by reading about the whole embarrassing fiasco here.

Other observations:

2. The incompetence this displays is staggering, and the apparent unawareness of the optics of incompetence is staggering:

“The gathering took place as Obama announced a new counterterrorism task force to thwart extremists and their use of social media after recent deadly attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. The task force will organize federal efforts into several areas, including research and analysis, technical assistance, communications, and programs to help prevent radicalization, according to the Homeland Security Department.”

Translation: “We haven’t been taking this seriously at all and were caught with our pants down, big-time. Now we have to look like we’re doing something.” Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Leadership, Religion and Philosophy, Rights, Social Media

Cast Your Vote For The 2015 “Curmies,” Disgraces To The Field Of Education…

Charles Addams

Rick Jones, whose blog has been a past award winner at Ethics Alarms and who is also a much-cherished commenter here, has posted the nominees for his annual “Curmie Awards” (his blog is, after all, Curmudgeon Central.) The Curmies are “presented to the person or persons who most embarrass the profession of educator.”

This time, only one of his nominees were the objects of posts on Ethics Alarms. Following is the list of finalists; then go here to read more of Rick’s riffs on the nominees, and to recoil in horror at Rick’s dishonorable mentions, like the  Texas high school that “not only painted Christian zealotry on the corridor walls, they used made-up quotations from the likes of George Washington and Ronald Reagan to do it.” (I’m really sorry I missed that one.)…

1. …Gustine ISD in Texas, where Principal Alan Luker faced a rather unique problem: someone was leaving feces on the gym floor. So, naturally, a couple dozen 4th and 5th graders were carted off to separate rooms for girls and boys and made to drop their pants….

2. … Harrisburg (PA) Sci-Tech High School, where an (of course) unnamed Assistant Principal threatened senior Alexus Miller-Wigfall with suspension for wearing a dress that was “too revealing” to prom…apparently motivated by the fact that Ms. Miller-Wigfall has “more boobs than other girls,” who “have less to show.” (More boobs? Two aren’t enough for this girl?) [Ethics Alarms post here.]

3.…The State Education Department in Florida, which devised a testing apparatus whereby students who got perfect scores on a standardized test actually hurt their school and their teacher by not improving on the previous year’s perfect score. How often does this happen? Actually, tens of thousands of times annually. Yes, there’s a provision that allows districts to correct the record, and indeed the problem might have been fixed by now, but the mere fact that the default position was to punish teachers and schools for not improving on perfection tells us everything we need to know about the corporate-driven lunacy that now infests public education. [ I omitted this initially, finding it so incomprehensible that I, I don’t know, thought Rick was having a stroke or something. He assures me it’s real.]
Continue reading

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Filed under Childhood and children, Education, Gender and Sex, Religion and Philosophy

First Fick Of The New Year: Stephen Roseman

hamface

Web hoaxer Stephen Roseman posted a picture of a dog with a piece of ham on its face on Facebook, and counting on the power of suggestion, managed to horrify a lot of dog lovers while garnishing internet “prayers.” Here’s what he wrote along with the photo above…

This poor dog was badly burned and disfigured trying to save his family from a house fire
One like = one prayer One share = ten prayers

Lots of people liked and shared; I was previously unaware of the growing practice of equating “likes” on Facebook with prayers. Others, not so susceptible, and not so tender-hearted, perhaps, realized that the dog was a ham, and mocked everyone who fell for the scam. The hoax also set up religious Facebook users to be mocked by the likes of the Huffington Post and Ann Althouse, because equating Facebook likes and sharing with praying is so much more ridiculous than, say, Buddhist prayer wheels (one spin = thousands of prayers ), or, for that matter, folding your hands, closing your eyes, and moving your lips.

Once his hoax was discovered, Roseman posted the following admission on his Facebook page: Continue reading

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Filed under Animals, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Facebook, Humor and Satire, Religion and Philosophy

The Washington Post Drops Its Resident Op-Ed Socialist. Good.

Workers Unite

The Washington Post has jettisoned Harold Meyerson, who has been the leftest of the leftists on the Washington Post op-ed pages for about 13 years…not surprising, as he also serves as editor at large for The American Prospect. Mayerson, according to his last column, was told that he was a goner because he was losing readers and because his columns were repetitious, which they certainly were. How many times, after all, can one read “Workers Unite!”?  From Occupy Wall Street to BlackLivesMatter, there was no revolt of the oppressed and downtrodden that Meyerson didn’t support, nor any standard issue socialist/progressive position that he did not wholeheartedly embrace.

The Post has other kneejerk leftists among their pundits, a disproportionate number in fact (this was also part of the Post’s motivation to let Meyerson go), but I found Meyerson more infuriating than the others because he seemed so much more intelligent than his positions and statements would suggest. He was the epitome of an opinion journalist whose opinions seemed to be calibrated to achieve a grander agenda, rather than honest expressions of truth or even what he really believed. He is a columnist in the Saul Alinsky tradition of liberalism, willing to bend truth for the greater good, to win converts for the Great Worker Rebellion, or whatever it would be.

No newspaper should employ a journalist who is willing to deceive its readers, even on the pretense of saving the world.

Continue reading

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Filed under Character, History, Journalism & Media, Religion and Philosophy