Friday, January 25, 2013

When Our Values Become Inconvenient

I was intrigued to see a Roman Catholic hospital win a malpractice suit in Colorado on the claim that fetuses aren’t really human.  The story of the lawsuit is here.

It is intriguing because a major tenet of Roman Catholic belief is that:

Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

Unfortunately, it appears that this Catholic hospital is ok with living the values and tenets of the Catholic Church until they become legally inconvenient, at which point they make an abrupt turn to protect their own interests.

Whatever side of the pro-choice / pro-life dialog we find ourselves on, I still find it an interesting reflection on humanity that the dialog is even taking place while we admit that should we find bacteria on Mars, it will be automatically hailed as a sign of Life.

Meanwhile, we can’t agree on whether or not a fetus is alive (or even human, as in this case).

This case also reminds me of how wishy-washy many of us are when it comes to living our values, ethics and morals.

We claim to live by them when convenient or when Life is not squeezing us too hard.  But when Life squeezes us to the point where it is safer or more convenient to abandon them, then we do so as this hospital did.

Einstein reflected on this lack of personal fortitude when he said:

“Relativity applies to physics, not ethics”

Twain wondered about it as well when he noted:

It is curious - curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.

The world would be a much better place if we were authentic in living the values, ethics and morals that we claim to embrace.

As Robert Kennedy said:

Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.

Are you authentic as far as your values, ethics and morals are concerned?

Or do you have a price, after which you find it easy to allow them to “slide” a little.

Or even worse …. do you present them as a facade portraying that which you do not really care about but which serves as a convenient platform for the purposes of reward / self-promotion / elevation?

How do you know?

Do you even care?

Someday you will.

In service and servanthood,


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