I may choose to ignore people who comment anonymously. I choose never to be anonymous online myself. I have little tolerance for this behavior.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Consistency and Integrity

In a special CNN article by LZ Granderson entitled, "Gays, Mormons and Boy Scouts' discrimination" the author makes a number of points, some I agree with and some I don't. He invokes the following philosopher:
. . . consider the words of Trappist monk Thomas Merton: "Unless we live what we know, we do not even know it." 
Amongst other things, Granderson appeals to people to live their lives consistent with their own personal convictions. I like his appeal to consistency.


But if someone willingly joins a private club that discriminates against a particular segment of the population, then each time that person pays dues or attends a meeting, he or she is indirectly expressing agreement with the discriminatory policy.
Any membership requirements of any organization can be considered "discriminatory policy" by others' analysis. However, Granderson appeals to our integrity and on this I can wholeheartedly support him.

What is technically legal may not be moral. We have the responsibility to follow the moral path.

Would we have the integrity to remove ourselves from entities even if it affected our careers and other things like our personal safety?

Could we resign from a country club, a fraternity/sorority, church, civic group or even a neighborhood organization if our indirect involvement would constitute support for something we thought was wrong?

I'm reminded of a question I got from a student in one of my classes in the 1990s. He asked me if I knew whether a certain housing development in town prevented blacks from owning property in it. I didn't know and asked a colleague. The answer was that the neighborhood covenants prohibited black people from ownership. The prohibition was still on the books but was never enforced.

Should moral persons not purchase a home in such a community? Should they purchase a home and then lead an effort to change the policy? The truly moral decision is not clear.

Moral questions are never easy but I suggest we keep Granderson's point about how we may be indirectly supporting individuals and entities in mind.

If we do not support the Church we have no business being in it.

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