Ohio residents, and especially those in Cincinnati, have been following the events of two individuals who aired personal views on contentious topics using social media. While neither expressed views “on company time” so to speak, each had different contractual and/or moral obligations involved. Nevertheless, from the news reporting it appeared that a majority wanted to hold the elected official accountable and punishable to the politically correct “secular moral standard” of the state (pardon the illogic). At the same time the public (or perhaps the news media?), wanted to dismiss the contractual and moral responsibilities of the one representing the Church.
Debe Terhar, a Republican from Green Township and president of the Ohio Board of Education, posted pictures on her personal Facebook that “seemed to compare gun control efforts [of President Obama] with Hitler1 and another article described her re-posting from a Conservative Facebook page as including “a number of anti-President Barack Obama, pro-gun posts and photos.”2 “The post drew fire from Democrats and Jewish groups after it was reported by the media.”1
Mike Moroski, a teacher and assistant principal at Purcell-Marian High School, gave support for same-sex “marriage” on his personal blog in contravention of his contract with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati which operates the high school. The only quote cited, other than his, came from a mother of a student who felt that “it’s unfair that a person cannot speak his mind on his own personal blog.”3
A motion in a Board meeting to remove Terhar from her position as Board president was defeated 10-6. The release of “dozens of emails about the incident” by department officials indicated a majority criticizing her and “critics on the board said her apology came too late, and that they thought the post compromised Terhar’s ability to lead effectively.”1
Moroski was fired2 for refusing to remove his blog statements which were in violation of the annual social media policy he signed along with its requirement that he “comply with and act consistently in accordance with the stated philosophy and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.”3 Four of five letters to the editor expressed sympathy for the “injustice” of the outcome as one respondent wrote.
So, What Really Happened Here?
Someone from another planet would conclude that criticizing the President for his political stances is condemnable. However, violating a legal contract and a moral obligation to represent timeless truths is trivial. No wonder our society’s values seem upside-down!
1 – Andrew J. Tobias, Hamilton JournalNews, 2/12/2013
2 – Paul E. Kostyu, Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/12/2013
3 – Cliff Peale, Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/10/2013