I am listing these because one of the past posts that keep drawing readers is going nuts today: the 2013 essay about the horrible Wanetta Gibson, who sent Brian Banks, a young man with a bright future to prison by falsely accusing him of rape when she was 15. If anyone has any idea why this would be, let me know; as far as I can find out, there are no new developments in the case.
It is gratifying that so many Ethics Alarms posts continue to find new readers. Here are the top ten that have “legs,” and my assessment of why.
1. The Rationalizations List. That’s no surprise, since I link to it so frequently, and it is also frequently updated.
2. Wanetta Gibson Is Even Worse Than We Thought
3.The Amazing Mouthwash Deception: Helping Alcoholics Relapse For Profit. I am proud of this one. The use of mouthwash by alcoholics is epidemic, yet now, as in 2010 when I wrote this, almost nobody who isn’t a drunk is likely to know it. This makes it easy for closeted alcoholics to hide their illness, and continue to harm themselves by gulping 54 proof liquor out of various convenient containers or their caps, which are coincidentally shaped like shot glasses. Incredibly, the Ethics Alarms post is still one of the few references on this problem on the web. As you will read, I think the makers of mouthwash intentionally keep it this way, because the alcoholic market is huge.
I regularly receive thanks from family members of alcoholics, who tell me that reading this post led to their discovering that a loved oned had relapsed. Continue reading
“I’ve got a dear friend [who has]an adopted son, a little kid from an orphanage down in Columbia. Child had brain damage, grew up weird. And you just never know what’s been done to a child before you get that child. What kind of sexual abuse [there] has been, what kind of cruelty, what kind of food deprivation, etc. etc. You don’t have to take on somebody else’s problems. You really don’t.”
—-Televangelist Pat Robertson weighing in against international adoption on his syndicated TV show, “The 700 Club.” He was responding to a letter from a woman who had adopted three children from other countries, and whose social life had suffered as a result.
Worse than weird
No, of course you don’t “have” to take on anyone’s problems, especially those of helpless orphans in poor countries. You can ignore them completely. You can concentrate on helping people here, and that’s admirable, or you can just help yourself and fulfill your minimal societal obligations without hurting anyone. It is certainly strange, however, to hear a Christian minister discourage the sacrifice and courage of parents who choose to rescue international orphans, and express such callousness in the process.
A fellow minister, Russell Moore, properly put Robertson in his place: Continue reading
A Rumanian child in an orpahanage for "incurables," circa. 1990, enjoys his "heritage."
A post that is a year old recently attracted two important comments, thanks to a link to the essay from another website. The topic is international adoption, an issue that I have a special interest in as the parent of an adopted son who was born in Russia. I have seen first hand the conditions described in these posts, and when I wrote the original article, I was unaware of the substantial movement opposing international adoption, a misguided effort with tragic consequences to the children these people supposedly want to protect. I am aware of it now. It is an especially tragic example of what happens when tunnel vision and ideology causes individuals to lose perspective and objectivity.
I am taking the unusual step of pairing two comments as the Comment of the Day. They arrived together, and compliment each other well. You might want to read the original post, “UNICEF’s Unethical War Against International Adoption.”
Here are the Comments of the Day, by Mel and Holly F. Continue reading
UPDATE, 12/19/2011: There is more on the topic of international adoptions here.
There are few things more harmful than a trusted organization associated with good will and good deeds that uses its influence irresponsibly, and there are few organizations with more accumulated trust than UNICEF, the United Nations organization dedicated to children’s rights, safety and welfare. That UNICEF could be promoting policies that actually harms children seems too awful to contemplate, but that appears to be what is occurring. The problem is that most people have grown up thinking of the organization as the epitome of international virtue. UNICEF doing something that hurts kids? Impossible. Since the group’s impressive moral authority seems to be focused in an unethical direction, the damage it can do before public opinion turns is substantial.
The area is international adoptions. Continue reading