McCain – Obama Dance Off…Business Ethics? – NO… Campaign Fun? – YES!

October 27, 2008

As a 51 year old business ethics speaker, I must say…this presidential election has been interesting.  Not only is it historic but the level of creativity has been over the top.

For the younger generation – history has been made as the first black man in history has won the nomination of his party and is a viable candidate for president of the United States.  And, had it not been Obama chosen, then history would still have been made as the nomination of her party would have been a female.  Either way, this is an historic election.

Likewise, the selection of Sarah Palin as a VP candidate has been attention getting in and of itself.  Should McCain win – many will credit his victory to Sarah’s down home charm.  Should he lose – there is not doubt she will be blamed.  Either way the governor of Alaska has received national attention.

So…with a race that some say is not so close…what can we do to bring some excitement to this race.  Well…here’s a solution.  Click on this next link – give it time to download and enjoy.  As I said, the creativity that has come from all sectors is rather amazing.

Dance off


Politics, Religion and Ethics – Obama’s Presidential Campaign and Messages from the Pulpit!

October 27, 2008

Let me begin by saying, this writing is 100% about law, ethics and the application of the law.  I am in no way, taking a political stand through the content of this entry.  Rather, I am amazed as what I believe is the flagrant violation of the law when it comes to influencing votes in this presidential campaign.

According to Merriam-Webster the definition of ethics is the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.  Now, that definition is broad and clearly subject to interpretation.  However, good and bad must also be judged in accordance with the law.  One might judge a particular action to be good and ethical, but that same action might be against the law.  Hence, regardless of opinion, the action is unethical.

So, what does this have to do with the election?  Well…it is generally presumed to be against the law for a non-profit religious organization to use their pulpit (I use that term loosly) to influence public opinion for election results or outcome.   Non-profit religious organization can lose their non-profit status if they openly work to endorse a political candidate.  This loss could be costly indeed.

So how would one know if such a thing is happening?  Funny you should ask.  But today I received information about the link I am providing.  It was sent to me raising a question as to what my opinion was related to ethics, politics and the law.  What I saw was amazing – a flagrant disregard for the law and the non-profit status at stake.

PLEASE NOTE:  The following, should you decide to watch, is anti-Obama.  The message is clear.  What is more serious is that someone would knowingly and publically risk the non-profit status with such a clear political message.

Judge for yourself.  Here’s the link.  The message is from ATLAH World Ministries and it’s steamy.  Again, I express no opinion other than the amazement as to the message and risk inherent in its delivery.

WHAT ARE OTHERS SAYING:

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked the IRS to investigate the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, N.J. and Rock Christian Fellowship in Espanola, New Mexico.

According to AU’s letter to the IRS, Roman Catholic Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli has published a letter on Catholic Diocese of Paterson, N.J.’s website and newspaper attacking Barack Obama.”

The letter criticizes Obama for his pro-choice stance and encourages parishioners not to vote for Obama.

AU also wants the IRS to investigate Rock Christian Fellowship in Espanola, New Mexico for posting a large display that encourages voters to support republican candidates over democratic candidates.

In my opinion, what the above mentioned organizations have done is small change in contract to the ATLAH video.

An NPR article states the following:

On Sunday, 33 ministers will take part in a nationwide effort to violate the 54-year-old ban on political preaching and endorse or oppose a candidate from the pulpit. The effort is called the Pulpit Initiative.

Two weeks ago, more than 100 pastors squeezed into a hotel meeting room in Washington, D.C., to learn about the Pulpit Initiative, a brain child of the conservative legal group, Alliance Defense Fund. Attorney Erik Stanley walked them through it.

“If the IRS chooses to come after these churches, we will sue the IRS in federal court,” Stanley said.

Stanley says pastors are fed up. In the past four years, the IRS has stepped up its investigations of clergy. It sent letters to 47 churches, including some liberal ones — not just for explicit endorsements, but also for using code words like pro-choice or pro-life in relation to candidates.

“What’s been happening is that the government has been able to go into the pulpits of America, look over the pastor’s shoulder, and parse the content of their sermon. And that’s unconstitutional,” Stanley said. “No government official should entangle itself with religion in that way.”

HERE’S THE QUESTION FOR YOU – THE READER:  Which is ethical – (1) for the church to follow the dictates of the law and avoid endorsing or disparaging a politicial candidate or (2) to make a “good” decision based on a moral duty and obligation (in the face of the law)?

If you watch the ATLAH video…come back to this site and share your opinion.  Otherwise, your comments welcome on the ethics of religion and politics.


Clinton, Obama, McCain, Romney – Are There Ethics in Presidential Campaigns?

January 8, 2008

With New Hampshire behind them and other states primaries staring them squarely in the face – I wonder if the population feels that the front runners in this presidential campaign are ethical?

As I began to ponder that question, a larger more important question loomed. What is the definition of ethics or ethical behavior?

The copyrighted world wide definition of ETHICS involves two parts:

  • Doing specific things to make yourself and the world better, and
  • Avoiding doing other things so that you don’t needlessly hurt yourself, or others with bad personal judgement.

While I am sure that those who have clearly found the candidate they wish to support in this 2008 presidential election will have a strong opinion, the question is – do the front running candidates (thus far) have the ethics or ethical foundation to stay the course and make American’s proud?

All the candidates (as far as I can tell) would meet the first qualification for ethics – doing specific things to make yourself and your world better.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won New Hampshire’s Democratic primary Tuesday night, pulling out a stunning victory over Sen. Barack Obama in a contest that she had been forecast to lose.

“I come tonight with a very full heart and I want especially to thank New Hampshire,” she told a jubliant crowd at her campaign headquarters in Manchester. “Over the last week I listened to you, and in the process I found my own voice.

Clinton has stated that she is an agent for change. She clearly wishes to get the message out that she desires to do something good for America.

Barack Obama speech excerpt: “We are choosing hope over fear. We’re choosing unity over division, and sending a powerful message that change is coming to America.

The time has come for a President who will be honest about the choices and the challenges we face; who will listen to you and learn from you even when we disagree; who won’t just tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to know.”

Obama, likewise, has a vision and passion for where he sees America headed. Clearly the first definition of Ethics – meet.

Senator John McCain speech excerpt: “We live in momentous times. We face a global threat from enemies for whom no attack is too cruel. The world is changing in profound ways. We need to make those changes work for us and for all people who share our beliefs in free markets and free people. Our government has failed to meet some of its most basic responsibilities and the American people have lost trust i n their leaders. This election is about big things, not small ones. We can’t muddle through the next four years, bickering among ourselves, and leave to others the work that is ours to do.”

McCain – ethical – yep – as far as the first definition goes as you can see from his remarks above.

Mitt Romney comments in a speech: “My campaign is about changing Washington to strengthen America: I want to build a stronger military, a stronger economy, and stronger families. I call these the three legs of the Republican stool. These three unite the coalition of conservatives that Ronald Reagan championed – defense conservatives, economic conservatives, and social conservatives.

“We won’t win the White House with only two out of three or one out of three. Republicans win the White House by motivating all three parts of our coalition to carry us to victory. We’re not going to beat Hillary Clinton by acting like Hillary Clinton.”

Well…by my account much less vision here with Romney than with the others, but it might be in appropriate to judge based on a quote from a speech.

The real issue with ethics won’t necessarily be found in the first part of the definition, that’s the easy part for most. Rather, it will be found in the second part. “Avoiding doing other things so that you don’t needlessly hurt yourself, or others with bad personal judgment.”

When the heat of the campaign arises – the real test will be who sticks to the VISION for the future of America or who gravels in the mud to sling the most dirt.

Chuck Gallagher - The Ethics Expert

Speaking of Ethics a little advertisement:

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