Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Is it just me?

We were sitting in the audience at Trip's school, watching Les Mis, and the girls behind us kept chatting. During intermission, my mother turned and asked them to please stop. Instead of apologizing, they denied that they had been talking during the performance.

I recall a laboratory class I was teaching once: One student was chewing on the end of her hair, and I asked her to stop, reminding her that there were things in that lab she might not wish to ingest accidentally. She became indignant, denying that she ever chewed on her hair.

More recently, some kids threw a snowball at my car (hey, kids do stupid things without thinking...). I stopped, and they all ran away, except for two girls who stood there and said (as their mother came out of the house) that no one had thrown any snowballs.

In Annika's German class, some kids use their cell phones to cheat, by "texting" or accessing the internet. One boy, she tells me, blatantly leaves his book open during tests. She confronted him, asking how he justified cheating, but he said he only did it at German school, not real school.

Trip tells me that kids in his class cheat "all the time."

At the University of Notre Dame, the president claims to have invited Mr. Obama to give the commencement speech for the sake of "dialogue." Does anyone believe that?

Do liars and cheats really think they are getting away with something? Probably. Why not? If we take a long look at public figures who have been caught cheating and telling lies, people like Biden (plagerism), Kennedy (cheating), Dodd (utter nonsence), Sebelius (pro-choice but anti-abortion--gimme a break), we can see a pattern dishonesty in the public attitude of these politicians. Without examples of honesty from the people who are constantly paraded before us in the news, and without a free press to call them on their lies, what hope is there for the young people who are told in one moment that they ought to be honest, and in the next that there is no absolute truth? In a world where you can be both "anti-abortion and pro-choice" is there ever any reason to to take an moral stand on honesty?

The dishonest have their own apologists out there backing them up: In an outrageous example of the problem of improbity, one blogger points out that Catholic honesty is lacking by pointing to supposed distortions by devout Catholics. This in itself is dishonest, as the author makes excuses for policies endorsed, individuals nominated, and ideas promulgated by the current administration. You see, though the president may have overturned the Mexico City Policy, there are other pieces of legislation in place (Helms Amendment) that prevent (for now) any federal money being used for overseas abortions. Furthermore, Gov. Sebelius' connections to Tiller are not "all that close" so we don't have to worry. And the Dickey-Wicker Amendment is a roadblock (for now) to the president's embryonic stem cell policy, so we should all be honest about what the president is really doing (Nothing! We may all breath easily!) . When devout Catholics shout about the president being pro-abortion, they are being dishonest, according to this blogger; the president must be pro-life, since his anti-life policies are all null, and we pro-lifers should all be more honest.

Yeah, right.

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