All of a sudden I am inundated with Comments of the Day. This one, by Michael, is the most recent, but I am jumping it in the queue because it provides a provocative counterpoint to today’s essay on the John Lewis funeral.
Here is Michael’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Ethics Observations On The John Lewis Funeral”:
First, W. I listened to every speech,, every eulogy. I tried to follow every nuance. W’s presence and his speech were healing in nature, and I (am I alone in this?) believe that is why he was there and why he spoke as he did. It therefore moved me, but of course that is an emotional rather than logical response. Was it unethical for W to speak that way or for me to respond as I did? I think not, if what we are really discussing is ethics and not politics and ideologies.
What about Obama? I did not “like” his eulogy, but it was not speaking to me. It was a funeral, people! He was consistent with the spirit of Lewis. No matter what one thinks about Lewis’ merits as a legislator or his oppositional “stunts” toward those with whom he disagrees, there is little doubt that his reputation as a “fighter” for justice for African Americans was earned and is admirable. For Pete’s (John’s) sake, the 14th Amendment came into effect 152 years ago, the progress made after the protests of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s was more than half a century ago, and here we are; still trying to address (as they must be) racism, inequality, and justice. No, Obama’s speech was not out of place for a funeral. The primary purpose of a funeral is to honor the dead; and Obama did indeed say “what John Lewis would have liked to hear”. Continue reading →
There are many, too many, aspects of President Obama’s conduct of his office that deserve to be singled out for legitimate criticism. Shaking hands with Raul Castro at a non-political gathering of world leaders is not one of them. It’s not even close.
The fury with which Republican and conservatives large and small, prominent among them Sen. John McCain, have attacked the President for this obligatory, unremarkable and essentially meaningless nod to civility shows that they are in full fever with Obama Derangement Syndrome, a crippling malady with antecedents in the Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and Bush 43 administration. Rapid psychiatric intervention is called for. In this instance, President Obama is blameless. He did what any responsible President would do, and what many before him have done. Continue reading →
Should the state board that licenses embalmers have yanked the license of Massachusetts embalmer Troy Schoeller after he described his work in graphic and disgusting terms to a reporter?
Schoeller is suing, claiming that the discipline violates his First Amendment rights, and I would think that he has a strong case. That’s a constitutional law question, however. My question is: did Schoeller do anything so unethical that it would justify taking his profession away…by telling the Boston Phoenix writer how he works to restore traumatized corpses, how the bodies of fat people react to the embalming process , how revolting the fumes emanating from bodies can be, and, most memorable of all, how he reconstructed the smashed body of a baby “that looked like a bearskin rug,” saying…
“I had to rebuild it in nine hours. I used everything: duct tape, masking tape, tissue builder, wound filler. … I put, like, coat hangers and caulk in there and put him into a little baby outfit. … He looked awesome.” Continue reading →