Now THIS Is A Level 8 Apology!

I’d consider a new head-shot, Father.

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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11 thoughts on “Now THIS Is A Level 8 Apology!

  1. I think there can be a place for a deceitful apology. Once, a fellow student laughed at someone’s antics immediately following a seminar. The professor who had been speaking is a petty, childish man who’s very sensitive to apparent slights to his ego. He was completely convinced the laughter was at his expense and could not be dissuaded that it could even be possible that laughter in his presence could have been directed elsewhere. He demanded to the student’s academic advisor that he apologize. The student’s advisor was one of those diabolically utilitarian sorts more willing to subject an underling to the fate of issuing a nonsensical apology than risk his professional network.

    The other students and I composed this apology and suggested he deliver it to Doctor Manchild:

    I understand you’ve requested an apology from my research advisor, and that’s why I’m here

    He gave a real, fake apology instead out of fear of his academic fate.

    I would’ve refused and sabotaged his research, personally. The continued success of someone that petty is an indictment of the University. His destruction through guerrilla warfare is at least as justifiable as the Vietnam war.

    Alas, his research didn’t require sabotaging…

    Anyway, knowing the USCCB, this priest was probably made to grovel at the feet of the Mohammedans in the name of “”accompaniment”” or “”dialogue””. I’d prefer open denouncement of his wretched, sniveling superiors, but an obviously mandatory non-apology, to me, is more acceptable than an apparently real one.

  2. I’m somewhat with Benjamin here. This is not a personal apology, it is pretty obvious it was mandated on high from within a very hierarchical organisation. I’d rather he made a clearly fake apology than something that simulated honesty, but was actually an obvious lie itself.

    Should he have stood by his guns, of course; Would I, or you under those circumstances? Of course we would – never having had to.

    Lets face it, if he didn’t comply he’d have been assigned as the Priest on Maatsuyker Island before the day was out, and his Bishop has let him off by approving this ‘I’m apologising without apologising so that people can say I apologised’ apology.

  3. Jack:
    “Without debating each component of his statement and the Constitutionality of preventing immigration based on religious views.

    Politicians are sworn to uphold the Constitution, but surely even they can question it and recommend that there should be changes made. The left is doing this constantly as we speak. They appear, especially in your country,to be actually going so far as to be seeking ways to subvert it since they can’t get the changes they want!

    I firmly believe that a Citizen has the right to speak to any issue with the Constitution that they believe needs addressing, and to use whatever legitimate forum is available to do so. To question this Priests apology is perfectly valid, but to question his right to speak publicly about the Constitution is, I believe, wrong. We obey the law as it stands; that doesn’t mean we can’t seek to change it!

    If you question why he is talking politics from the pulpit rather than preaching the Gospel, that again would be a reasonable area of enquiry.

    • You misunderstood what I mean by “Without debating each component of his statement and the Constitutionality of preventing immigration based on religious views.” It has nothing to do with the priest’s right to speak publicly at all. Of course he can say anything he wants. In addition, that statement wasn’t just political, it was directly related to Christianity. The problem with the opinion is that it is probable that barring immigrants because of their religion would be knocked down by the courts. That was the source of controversy with Trump’s travel ban. He can advocate it, but it’s like saying “We need to get rid of all the guns.”

  4. And, on a slightly different strain.
    RE: “Constitutionality of preventing immigration based on religious views.”

    You have recently presented your thoughts under the title “The Vital Concept Of Culture, Part I: Ignore It At Civilization’s Peril” At what point do these two concepts clash? I don’t have a problem with freedom of religion at all – although in Australia we only have it because of UN Treaty – but there must come a time where other factors come into play. If I found, as in create, a religion that says I have the right to kill you if you disagree with me I’m confident that the law of the land won’t say: “Fine, you are entitled to practice your religion here.”

    From my perspective, Islam – in it’s predominant ‘denominations’ – is not a Religion. It is a Religious, Political, and Legal system that is incompatible with Western culture and law. At what point do it’s political and legal aspects override it’s religious protections?

    • Oh, we agree, it clashes. On this, the Constitution IS a suicide pact. That’s why we need to require conditions of immigration and citizenship that point to the ability and willingness to assimilate…beginning with an English as national language law.

  5. Let’s see if I can re-write it for him.

    “My homily on immigration contained some words that were hurtful to Muslims. That’s unfortunate, because it was all very true and reasonable. I don’t mean to cause pain, but if words and ideas are painful to you, then the issue is you. You must learn to get over yourself and face hard truths, or else be willing to engage in a friendly debate if you disagree.

    As I say this, hundreds of Christian girls in Pakistan are being shipped off to China by Muslim traffickers to be child brides. Palestinians are rejecting, for the sixth time, an offer of their own state, because they refuse to live peacefully near Jews. If we’re going to invite a limited number of refugees into the United States, it should be people who are victims of oppression, not perpetrators. It should be people who long for our way of life, not the ones who detest everything about it. Islam, as taught in its authoritative sources, is not compatible with the values of the United States Constitution.

    I realize now that my comments are not reflective of the teaching of the Catholic Church on Islam. Eh, they should be.”

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