Afternoon Ethics Update, 4/8/2020: It’s A Wonderful Day To Think About Ethics!

—even if so many people are not.

And can’t.

Today is my wife’s birthday. All we can do to celebrate is to be together, and be grateful that we found each other, and are still together, a miracle of chaos theory in so many ways. She is, and will always be  my inspiration, my rock, my balance, the one who constantly keeps me from spinning out of control, and the love of my life.

1.  Pandemic ethics and religion. It’s unfortunate when religions misbehave during catastrophes:

  • The Pope made the fatuous comment in an interview that the pandemic offers an opportunity to slow down the rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world. “We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?” the Pope said. “I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses.”

Whatever that’s supposed to mean. Maybe it sounds better in Italian.

  • Yesterday, I turned on the TV only to see a live broadcast from one of the evangelical mega-churches, packed to the rafters, nobody wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

Irresponsible and infuriating.

About 44 percent of likely voters in the United States see the coronavirus pandemic and economic meltdown as either a wake-up call to faith, a sign of God’s coming judgment or both, according to a poll commissioned by the Joshua Fund, an evangelical group run by Joel C. Rosenberg, who writes about the end of the world, and conducted last week by McLaughlin & Associates, pollsters for President Trump and other Republicans.

David Jeremiah, a pastor who has been one of President Trump’s informal evangelical advisers, asked in a sermon recently if the coronavirus was biblical prophecy, and called the pandemic “the most apocalyptic thing that has ever happened to us.”

No, it’s really not. This “end of days” stuff is either hysteria from the ignorant whose knowledge of world and U.S. history begins in 2008, or it’s worse, deliberate scare-mongering by church leaders to goose membership. Yes, I know a recent earthquake in Utah even shook the Salt Lake Temple so hard that the golden trumpet fell from the angel Moroni’s right hand. That is exactly as significant a portent of the Apocalypse as Chris Sale having Tommy John surgery.

In other words, incredibly significant.

After I get this post up, I think I’ll go watch “The Omen”—the good one, with Gregory Peck. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Tina Brown

“The Monica Lewinsky confessional in Vanity Fair brings back a torrent of unfond memories of the appalling cast of tabloid gargoyles who drove the scandal. Remember them? Treacherous thatched-roof-haired drag-queen Linda Tripp, with those dress-for-success shoulder pads? Cackling, fact-lacking hack Lucianne Goldberg, mealy-mouthed Pharisee Kenneth Starr—the whole buzzing swarm of legal, congressional and gossip industry flesh flies, feasting on the entrails. And, of course, hitting “send” on each new revelation that no one else would publish, the solitary, perfectly named Matt Drudge, operating in pallid obsession out of his sock-like apartment in Miami… They were the face of the future. The things that shocked us then—the illicitly taped conversations, the wholesale violations of elementary privacy, the globally broadcast sexual embarrassments, all the low-life disseminated malice—is now the communications industry as it operates every minute of every day.”

—-Daily Beast publisher Tina Brown, in an essay titled “How Monica Lewinsky Changed the Media”

Tina Brown, revealing the ugliness beneath...

Tina Brown, revealing the ugliness beneath…

This is an unethical statement for the ages. It launches an dishonestly titled piece with an unethical premise and unethical motives, virtually every phrase in it is despicable, and it reveals the dearth of admirable values not only within Brown, but within the millions of people who think like her, many of whom she and her cohorts corrupted.

In Abby Mann’s important drama, “Judgment at Nuremberg” (it had three forms of presentation: TV drama, film, and finally, stage), based on the third and final stage of the post World War II war crimes trials devoted to trying the Nazi judges, a vulnerable female witness and victim of Nazi justice is harshly cross-examined about an infamous case at the heart of the trials. Her humiliation is interrupted when one of the defendant judges (in the film, Bert Lancaster), stands to halt the inquisition, asking, “Are you going to do this again?”

The answer clearly coming from the Bill and Hillary Clinton Ethics Amnesia Team is clearly “Yes! It worked before, why not now?”

Monica was responsible for the whole impeachment train wreck, you see, and all that followed. That was Hillary’s position (once the original cover lie that it was all the fabrication of a vast right-wing conspiracy became unsustainable, with that stained dress and all), and as outrageous and audaciously despicable as it is, that it is still what the corrupt, corrupted and corrupting supporters of these two Machiavellian blights on our culture and politics are determined to make Americans believe, no matter how much bending of history, facts, logic, fairness, decency and responsibility it requires. Continue reading