For your weekend Ethics Quiz, Ethics Alarms asks your assessment of a situation that may be that rarity, conduct that is illegal but ethical, by far the rarest in the spectrum that is…
Legal and Ethical—Legal and Unethical—Illegal and Ethical—Illegal and Unethical
In Nevada, Justin Lew Harris’ wedding at the Carson Valley United Methodist Church was underway when his mother burst on the scene, Dustin Hoffman-style, and loudly objected to the ceremony. As she protested, Harris physically carried her out of the church, which constitutes battery. Mom’s tactic worked, though: that stopped the wedding, at least for now.
Now Harris, 35, faces misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct and coercion, presumably being pressed by his loving mother. He was released from the Douglas County Jail on his own recognizance.
No doubt about it: his conduct was pretty clearly against the law. But was it ethical?
And thus your Ethics Quiz question: Is it fair and responsible to use physical force to stop a disruption of one’s own wedding, presuming that Harris didn’t do anything more than carry his mother out, and didn’t throw her into traffic or a trash compacter or something?
My answer: Absolutely. NOT doing it would have been unethical.
Especially once Mom started swinging that cross….