Ethics


"P-P" day, today. Every once in awhile I take a day off from work to "Pray and Play." That's how come today I found myself reading the April issue of Philanthropy Journal. I have never heard of this illustrious magazine. But this morning found me surfing the web for "ethics," and I came across this interesting article by Tim Delaney.

It all started with my reading of the blog by Fr. Tim Finigan, "The Hermeneutic of Continuity." Fr. Tim comments on an article by Jason Berry in the National Catholic Reporter. Father Tim relates how ironic it is that the media is attacking BXVI, who wouldn't accept gratuities for speaking engagements.

This resonated with me because we're suppose to sign an "ethics statement" at work. Some co-workers are pissed off about it because they feel that our wages are so pitiful that when someone wants to tip us,it should be accepted, maybe even acceptable--sort of part of the job (much like tipping the paper boy). However, the Town Administrator, Jeffrey Nutting thinks that the best way to handle the ethics question is to refuse all gratuities. Then you don't have to even think. "Just say 'NO.'"

Having the time this morning, I looked up the Federal standards for ethics. which sounded like the state of Massachusetts'. All this is governmenteese for "they're covering their asses."

OK. I see the government's point; also Jeff's. It would be best, not to take anything. But why? It's against the Ethics' Law is one reason, but I wanted a moral reason. So I did a "ProLifeInternet.com" search, (a moral version of Google). This is how I found Tim Delaney's article, "Ethics require background, not compass."

The article lists some of the trouble that ethical failures have recently been noted for: Enron, governors' taking bribes and breaking vows, members of Congress-likewise, priests causing scandal, investors influencing the Baptist Foundation, ditto American University, ditto again the Smithsonian Institute, etc. Ugh.........

Delaney ends his article with an admonition that if you have to ask if it's permissible for you to accept a gift, then don't do it.

Don't do it. It's just easier. Don't even start. Don't take anything from anybody. Make it a rule.

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