Ethics Exclamation Points, 3/16/21: Duh! Whoa! Yay! Gag! Asshole!

1 Duh! The competition for most incompetent host on CNN continues to be neck and neck, with Chris Cuomo, Brian Stelter and Don Lemon threatening a photo finish. Lemon rounded the turn and made up some ground by visiting “The View” (Lemon coming to the idiot-infested ABC uninformed opinion fest is the very definition of “carrying coals to Newcastle”) and, when asked to respond to the Vatican’s announcement that Roman Catholic priests cannot extend a sacramental blessing to same-sex unions, set a new high for egomania and presumptuousness. Lemon answered in part,

“I think that the Catholic Church and many other churches really need to reexamine themselves and their teachings because that is not what God is about. God is not about hindering people or even judging people… do what the Bible and what Jesus actually said, if you believe in Jesus, and that is to love your fellow man and judge not lest ye be not judged.”

Gee, thanks Don for answering the question that theologians have been debating for centuries: “What is God about?” And nice mangling of that quote, though even if you got it right, it still doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make judgments about people. The New Testament passage carrying that message (Matthew 7:1) holds the we should be prepared to be judged by the same standards we use to judge others. In several other places the Bible specifically instructs us to “judge,” and God repeatedly reserves the right to judge human beings, so to say He “isn’t about judging” is an eccentric interpretation at best. Meanwhile, the Ten Commandments, like all laws, are about “hindering people.” Lemon isn’t competent to discuss politics; who cares what he thinks about theology?

2. Whoa! Fresh off of disgracing itself by attacking Tucker Carlson’s questioning the wisdom of having pregnant women in combat, the U.S. military, represented by National Guard soldiers, agreed to accompany Guam Delegate San Nicolas to Rep. Margery Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) office on Capitol Hill as a political stunt to mock Greene’s gaff declaring that Guam, a U.S. territory, was a foreign country. Whoever allowed the Guard to be used for partisan grandstanding was abusing his or her position. As several commentators have pointed out, if Senator Cruz had marched over to, say, AOC’s office with members of the Texas National Guard hoping to embarrass her the media would be howling about violent intimidation and improper political use of the military….which, in fact, it would be.

3. YAY! President Biden asked Equal Employment Opportunity Commission general counsel Sharon Fast Gustafson to resign, and when she refused, he fired her. She did not go quietly, because she is not a weenie. Gustafson was appointed in March 2018 by former President Trump and was confirmed by the Senate in August 2019 to a four-year term, which will not expire until August of 2023. The EEOC is an independent agency within the federal government.

“At the time I was nominated, I was asked if I would commit to do my best to fulfill my four-year term, and I answered yes,” Gustafson said in a pointed letter to Biden when he asked for her resignation. “Unless prevented from doing so, I intend to honor that commitment. I have confidently given this advice to countless embattled clients of the last 25 years: hold your head high, do your best work, and do not resign under pressure. In solidarity with them, I will follow that advice….So far as I know, no previous General Counsel has been fired for being appointed by the wrong political party.”

She went on, “Your request that I resign provided no reason for the request, and I do not know which of your advisors recommended that you make the request. But please be aware that there are those who oppose my advocacy on behalf of employees who experience religious discrimination and on behalf of constitutional and statutory protections for religious entities. I would like to continue my work on the EEOC’S mission to prevent and remedy illegal employment discrimination.”

Wait! Didn’t Joe promise not to be divisive and to avoid partisan warfare? Andrea Lucas, another appointee to the EEOC by Trump, tweeted,

“I find the action taken today by the White House against our independent agency to be deeply troubling, a break from long-established norms respected by presidents of both parties, an injection of partisanship where it had been absent, and telling evidence of what ‘unity’ actually means to this President and his Administration.That, however, does not seem to apply to Sharon Gustafson.  And if such a principle does not apply to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—the very agency charged with preventing and remedying discrimination and retaliation—where else does it apply? In the days leading up to the President’s decision to fire Ms. Gustafson, a report and related materials dealing with religious discrimination were removed from the EEOC’s website shortly after inauguration….The actions taken by this Administration are quite telling as to their priorities . . . and one can safely assume that combating religious discrimination—or retaliation, frankly, given Ms. Gustafson’s firing—is not one of them. Instead, it appears that this Administration intends to achieve unity through uniformity by removing all dissenting actors, thought, and content from the federal government, the public square, and the marketplace.”

Joe violating “long-established norms”? That can’t be right: we were told that only Donald Trump did that, and it was the mark of a dictator…

4. GAG! Last month, the Marshalls permanently crossed a food delivery service off our list for repeatedly pointing us to “black-owned restaurants” so we would discriminate on the basis of race. Blogger Amy Alkon had a similar reaction to an article headlined, “26 Essential Woman-Owned Restaurants To Support In Los Angeles,” tweeting, “When you choose a restaurant, probably the first thing on your mind: no, not whether the food is good and you feel good in the place, but whether the owner has a vagina! Benevolently insulting! Suggests women in restaurant biz are somehow handicapped & need special help.”

5. Asshole! This is how low some Democrats will stoop to try to unsettle the conservative SCOTUS majority. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D- RI), who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Attorney Garland questioning the FBI’s 2018 investigation into allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Whitehouse suggested in the letter that the investigation had been “politically-constrained and perhaps fake.”

“Dr. Ford’s testimony obviously justified further investigation to seek corroborating or inconsistent evidence,” Whitehouse wrote, citing examples that suggested the FBI had been reluctant to accept or gather evidence into the allegations.

A “discovered memory” of an undated alleged episode that resulted in no complaint or reports, took place 30 years ago in high school, and was over 30 years old should not have been ‘investigated” at all.

16 thoughts on “Ethics Exclamation Points, 3/16/21: Duh! Whoa! Yay! Gag! Asshole!

  1. 1. Somehow, Lemon managed to forget an entire book of the Bible about God judging the world at the end. His version is a diluted, feel-good philosophy that has no resemblance to the actual theology.
    3. Oh, I think we know which religious practitioners will be protected and which ones will be left to flounder.

    • Lemon didn’t just forget the Revelation, he didn’t even bother to read the rest of Matthew’s seventh chapter. That same chapter, which starts with “judge not lest ye be judged” goes on to “you will know a tree by its fruits”. In other words, one is able to judge the quality of a tree by it fruit. It’s something of a cliche that “you can’t judge a book by its cover”. Well, Jesus didn’t say that…he said just the opposite. You CAN judge a book by its cover. A tree is known by its fruits.

      Anyways, Don is probably best to leave the Bible alone…actually, better yet, he should lock himself in a closet for a few months and actually read it…all of it.

  2. He also missed that minor point in the biblical narrative at which the Father judges the Son guilty for the sins of many.

    • That sounds about right. The Coronatarians want to make sure no one has any fun. In high school, these were the girls that thought no one should be happy until we made sure that not a single person was hungry in the world and all injustice was solved. They hate happy people because they are miserable people. They get joy in bossing others around.

  3. Fresh off of disgracing itself by attacking Tucker Carlson’s questioning the wisdom of having pregnant women in combat, the U.S. military, represented by National Guard soldiers, agreed to accompany Guam Delegate San Nicolas to Rep. Margery Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) office on Capitol Hill as a political stunt to mock Greene’s gaff declaring that Guam, a U.S. territory, was a foreign country.

    Remember the good old days when people in Congress were wary of the deployment of national Guard troops at the capital?

    http://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/6420-0

  4. 1)

    Oh look, someone who hasn’t cracked open a bible in decades hopes to lecture Christians or Jews on Judeo-Christianity.

    Here’s the whole passage from Matthew-

    Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”

    This comes from the famous sermon on the mount

    And here’s Luke’s parallel in context-

    “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

    If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

    He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

    The closest, yet still loose, but providing clarifying value anyway, that can be found in Mark:

    And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand
    For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

    The general summation as far as my own bible study shows me is that we are to be exceedingly careful when we “judge”. Whatever “judging” actually means when Jesus says it versus when the modern secular excuse-maker says it.

    So many people fret about the “pearls before swine” and the “holiness before dogs” line, but to me its an incredibly clarifying statement, especially in light of Mark’s and Luke’s accounts. It seems that Christ is informing his followers with what attitude to approach other people – if they are penitent, humble, open to the Gospel – then be forgiving and patient and withholding of condemnation – if however they behave like wretched scoffers then don’t spread your pearls before them. Sounds like quite a bit of what is called “Christian Discernment” or what the modern secularists would deem “judgmentalism” (without even the slightest notion of what they are talking about).

    Here’s some other fun sayings from the mouth of the Son of God:

    “As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

    “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

    “I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.”

    “Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge.”

    Never mind all the passages referring to God as the supreme judge of this world.

    —–

    Abusing culturally inherited aphorisms to avoid accountability is a favorite past time these days, and while I’m on my soap box, we should discuss the phrase “Walk a mile in another man’s shoes”. While a clear opening to empathy towards another before analyzing their conduct or attitudes, the phrase is often relied upon as a discussion stopper by those who would never expect the subject of the discussion to ever possibly improve.

    Yes, before we hope to critique another’s behavior or suggest a better option, we should first understand where that person is coming from – not because that inherently changes the ethical or moral nature of the bad behavior at all…it doesn’t… but rather to seek any underlying factors that caused the person to believe the unethical or immoral conduct was the better choice of all other options.

    But framed that way, the discussion CANNOT end. If one has rightly seen *why* any particular individual chose to engage in unethical or immoral behavior then that person is OBLIGATED by the golden rule and the need to improve society if only incrementally, to try to show the offending individual a better decision making process based on a better weighing of values.

    “Don’t judge someone before you walk a mile in their shoes” must always be followed by “ok, I walked a mile in their shoes and I understand why their shoes are uncomfortable, but I also noticed some ways they can change their shoes, or their pace, or their destination and I cannot be silent”

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