Jeff Hullibarger and his wife, Linda Hullibarger of Temperance, Michigan, met with Father Don LaCuesta about what the priest would say at the funeral of their son Maison (above) at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church. Maison, 18, had killed himself.
Father LaCuesta, however, without giving any notice to the family and after leaving the parents with the impression that the homily would be appropriate, told mourners that the youth may have ruined his chances of getting to heaven by ending his own life in a lengthy homily about the sin of suicide.
The teen’s dad, Jeff, said, “We couldn’t believe what he was saying. He was up there condemning our son, pretty much calling him a sinner. He wondered if he had repented enough to make it to heaven. He said ‘suicide’ upwards of six times.”
At one point in the service, the deceased’s father walked to the pulpit and asked the priest to “please stop.” LaCuesta wouldn’t.
But wait! There’s more! Continue reading
(Why am I up writing at this hour? All I will say is that its is unwise to frustrate a Jack Russell Terrier. That’s all.)
Peter Vlaming, a high school teacher in West Point Virginia, refused to use the pronouns demanded by 9th grade student who had announced that she was a female transitioning to male, was fired this week. The West Point School Board fired him after a four-hour hearing, and its position was that Vlaming was fired for insubordination.
Some news reports on the matter fail to note that there was no allegation that the West Point High School French teacher insisted on referring to the student using female pronouns in class. Apparently he used her name only. No, he apparently slipped when when the student was about to run into a wall, and Vlaming told others to stop “her.” When discussing the incident with administrators, Vlaming said he would not use male pronouns, because his Christian faith prevented him from doing so.
Principal Jonathan Hochman testified that he ordered Vlaming to use male pronouns in accordance with the student’s wishes. Vlaming’s attorney, Shawn Voyles, says his client offered to use the student’s name and to avoid feminine pronouns, but Voyles says the school was unwilling to accept the compromise.
“That discrimination then leads to creating a hostile learning environment. And the student had expressed that. The parent had expressed that,” said West Point schools Superintendent Laura Abel. “They felt disrespected.” Although the school’s policies were updated a year ago to include guidance regarding gender identity, gender pronoun use was not included. Vlaming’s attorney argues that the school cannot require his clients to speak words that violate his conscience. This is undeniably true. Vlaming says he is being fired for for having views held by “most of the world for most of human history. That is not tolerance,” Vlaming said. “That is coercion.”
He has not decided on his next steps.
Yikes. I do not see how speaking words that are not blasphemy can qualify as a breach of faith. I do not see how calling a student by name rather than pronoun can be called discrimination or create a “hostile environment.” I do see how a teacher calling an apparently female student by male pronouns could confuse other students, suggest that gender is more flexible than it is healthy to believe, and be something parents could legitimately object to. I think that the First Amendment pretty clearly prevents a government institution like a school from demanding that a teacher use specific pronouns simply because a student wants him to do so, when using the opposite pronouns are still arguably accurate and the teacher is willing to use the student’s name only.
I think that’s sufficient background to ask this perplexing Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz question of the day:
Was it ethical for the teacher to refuse to use the student’s preferred pronouns in referring to that student?
1. So you think baseball ethics controversies end with the season? Not at Ethics Alarms!
- Did you know that baseball has its own Colin Kaepernick, sort of? Free-agent catcher Bruce Maxwell can’t find a team, though he was once considered the front-runner to be the Oakland A’s starting catcher. In 2017 Maxwell, who is white, became the first and only major leaguer to kneel during the National Anthem. The buzz coming out of baseball’s winter meetings was that taking a knee was enough to make him persona non-grata among baseball owners.
Of course, the fact that Maxwellwas arrested on a gun charge in 2017 and later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and also played poorly last season in the minor leagues doesn’t help. “This is not a Colin Kaepernick situation,” said an anonymous source at the meetings. “This is if Colin Kaepernick had knelt for the anthem and also been arrested for a gun crime.”
Except that things like gun crimes are not that big a deal in the NFL…
- In a debate with baseball commentator Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa inadvertently gave a lesson in why conflicts of interests are a problem while simultaneously showing that he has no idea what a conflict is. Russo correctly protested that Harold Baines, recently a shock election to the Baseball Hall of Fame by a 16 member committee that included close associates of Baines, was unqualified, and noted that several members of the committee, includiing Baines’ long-time manager LaRussa, had a conflict of interest. LaRussa’s rebuttal: “Do you think the people who know him better than the average expert, fan or even other baseball executives, have actually been teammates with him … when they speak with more knowledge about the type of player he was, I think that speaks more to his credit, not less.”
No, Tony. Those who knew and admired him are biased, and Baines should have been elected or not elected by a panel that knew him no better or less than it knew the other candidates. That Baines’ pals have inside knowledge that he, let’s say, likes puppies, always held the door open for the manager’s mother, once bailed a team mate out of jail and often played despite a sore toe has nothing to do with his qualifications for the Hall. And LaRussa has a law degree! Maybe this explains his ultimate career choice. Continue reading
I detest memes, but like all other rules, there are exceptions. Sometimes, only a meme will do.
Of the many warpings and distortions of a healthy culture we have seen emanating from the ideologically extreme, one of the more insidious is the antagonism towards humor. This episode speaks for itself.
The UNICEF on Campus chapter at the University of London sent five local comedians a request to perform at a club sponsored event. However, the requirements to be hired led all five to turn down the job.
Fisayo Eniolorunda, the club’s event organizer, wrote in an email, “Attached is a short behavioural agreement form that we will ask for you to sign on the day to avoid problems.”
Problems like actually being funny, apparently.
The “behavioral agreement” states,
“This comedy night… aims to provide a safe space for everyone to share and listen to Comedy. This contract has been written to ensure an environment where joy, love, and acceptance are reciprocated by all. By signing this contract, you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-atheism. All topics must be presented in a way that is respectful and kind. It does not mean that these topics can not be discussed. But, it must be done in a respectful and non-abusive way.”
Respectful of whom and not abusive in what way? Oh, never mind. The agreement is a joke itself. What does “love and acceptance” have to do with humor? Does Fisayo Eniolorunda know what “Comedy” is? Of course comedy doesn’t have to be cruel or mean, but then an audience that would lay out such rigid standards can’t be trusted to judge what cruel, mean, respectful, non-abusive, safe—lordy, especially “safe”–or funny is. These are subjective standards being judged by people who are so besotted with ideological mania, virtue-signaling addiction and political correctness that they can’t be trusted. Continue reading
Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Around the World, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Humor and Satire, language, Popular Culture, Race, Religion and Philosophy, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President, U.S. Society
…because of this…
I cannot think of a sufficiently descriptive headline or even a category for this Christmas display at Saint Susanna’s Parish in Dedham, Massachussetts, and others—yes, there have been others--like it.
Here I was, about to point out the arrogance and anti-religious bigotry of Democratic chair Tim Perez, who just suggested that the only reason anyone opposes abortion must be that they are ignorant and foolishly pay attention to religion, and here is something that supports his view that at least some of those preaching from pulpits on Sunday may not be all that bright, since they have the grasp of reality of a six-year-old.
The dimwit who approved this abomination, Pastor Stephen Josoma, told radio station WBZ, “We try to take a picture of the world as it is and put it together with a Christmas message.” That message this year questions about peace on Earth. He says Jesus represents migrant children being held at the southern border separated from their parents. The wise men represent the caravan of migrants behind the border wall. “Jesus was about taking care of one another. This is not the way to take care of one another,” said Josoma.
How do you even begin to unpack all the ignorance, false logic, bad analogies, historical fatuousness and political nonsense in this statement along with the offensive creche scene it attempts to justify? I’m not up to it. It would probably begin with “There are material differences between 6 B.C. in Gallilee and the 21at Century United States of America. You idiot” and expand out from there. For now, all I will say is that turning Christmas into a divisive, ugly, partisan debate while exploiting the symbols of Christmas into simplistic social justice warrior propaganda is a betrayal of the season, the event, the spirit behind the event, and the cultural purpose it endures to serve.
“Justice Breyer final (and actual) concern is with the death penalty itself. As I have elsewhere explained, it is clear that the Eighth Amendment does not prohibit the death penalty. The only thing “cruel and unusual” in this case was petitioner’s brutal murder of three innocent victims.”
—Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, rebutting the arguments of Justice Breyer, a long-time opponent of capital punishment regarding the denial of certiorari in a death-penalty case, Reynolds v. Florida.
Justice Breyer’s statement reiterated themes he has echoed before in death penalty cases:
- “Lengthy delays—made inevitable by the Constitution’s procedural protections for defendants facing execution—deepen the cruelty of the death penalty and undermine its penological rationale”;
- Jurors (in this or other cases in which the Court has recently denied review) might not have had sufficient information to “have made a ‘community-based judgment’ that a death sentence was ‘proper retribution’”; and
- The constitutionality of the death penalty should be reconsidered.
Justice Thomas’s entire statement in rebuttal, ending in the section quoted above, is excellent… Continue reading