On the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale, a Level 8 apology, among the worst, is described as “A forced apology for a rightful or legitimate act, in capitulation to bullying, fear, threats, desperation or other coercion.”
Lonsdale, Minnesota priest Nick VanDenBroeke provided one of the finest—well, that’s not the right word since such apologies are insincere and indications of hypocrisy and cowardice, but you know what I mean—examples of such apologies after he was excoriated for saying in a sermon on immigration,
Both as Americans and Christians we do not need to pretend that everyone who seeks entry into America should be treated the same. I believe it’s essential to consider the religion and world view of immigrants or refugees more specifically we should not allow large numbers of Muslims asylum or immigration into our country. Islam is the greatest threat in the world both to Christianity and to America – of course there are peaceful Muslims, absolutely, but the religion as a religion and as an ideology and world view it is contrary to Christ and America.
I am not saying we hate Muslims, I am absolutely not saying that, they are people created out of love by God just as each one of us is. But while we certainly don’t hate them as people we must oppose their religion and world view. And if we want to protect our great country, not only as a Christian nation but also as the land of the free then we must oppose the immigration of Muslims, that’s an example of keeping bad ideas out of the country that we have the right to do as a sovereign nation.
I’m not a hater for saying this I’m not saying something anti-Christian because the religion is anti-Christian. I’m simply a realist to acknowledge that fact, they are the greatest threat to Christianity and America and we need to recognize that fact and our laws of immigration need to reflect that.
Without debating each component of his statement and the Constitutionality of preventing immigration based on religious views, we should be able to stipulate that much of it is true. In particular, the assertion that Islam is a threat to Christianity and America is demonstrably accurate, much as current political correctness edicts forbids admitting as much. Islam is anti-democratic, anti-woman and intolerant of other religions. Its principles are anathema to this nation’s.
Nonetheless, it didn’t tale long for Father VanDenBroeke to realize, perhaps through divine guidance but I strongly suspect through a desire to keep his job, that everything he said and appeared to have thought about and believed fervently was just a big misunderstanding. Three days later, with all the credibility of the filmed confessions by captured U.S. airmen during the Korean War, VanDenBroeke grovelled,
My homily on immigration contained words that were hurtful to Muslims. I’m sorry for this. I realize now that my comments were not fully reflective of the Catholic Church’s teaching on Islam.
His new words are also a classic non-apology apology [That’s a #9: Deceitful apologies, in which the wording of the apology is crafted to appear apologetic when it is not (“if my words offended, I am sorry”)], so it’s not even a sincere #8. He says he’s sorry his words were hurtful, but not sorry about the content of what he said. In addition, it is literally impossible for him to have not intended hurtful words, since saying any group or individual should be kept out of the country and is the “greatest threat to Christianity and America” is per se hurtful. What he means is, “I never thought my remarks would get back to the Muslim community.” Also, saying that his comments “were not fully reflective of the Catholic Church’s teaching on Islam” fall far short of withdrawing them.
How depressing. If priests don’t know how to apologize ethically, what chance do the rest of us have?
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