“Local Democratic party leaders decided not to impede the campaign of an upstart state representative candidate, but many still aren’t forgiving Ben Lindy for the anti-research paper he wrote in law school.”
The article proceeded to explain that the resolution to strip him of “the essential benefits provided a candidate in order to run a fair campaign” failed by just a few votes, 26-21. Additional fuel for this uproar stemmed from the fact that “it was discovered last month that his Yale University research paper has been cited in a legal brief used in a U.S. Supreme Court case that could weaken unions’ collective bargaining agreement nationwide, including in Ohio.”1
Purpose of Research
It’s understandable that the party which counts on the backing of unions would be apprehensive of possible fallout from some of their supporters over this. But let’s step back for a moment. The purpose of the academic world is to make clear previously undiscovered conclusions. It aims to shed preconceived notions in order to reach these conclusions objectively.
The fact that a research paper is “anti-union” does not make it intrinsically evil, worthy of disdain. The presence of labor unions may or may not be beneficial. Unions are not inherently good or bad because it depends on the circumstances and application.
Intrinsic Evil vs. Prudential
This conflict exemplifies the confusion which has existed in our nation for a long time. For example, Prohibition was instituted because a majority was not able to understand that alcoholic drink is a prudential issue.2,3 A drink for an adult is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be if the person is predisposed to addiction or excessive use, but a drink itself is not inherently evil. Thus, the 18th Amendment was not only inappropriate for the purpose of the Constitution but it incorrectly labeled all alcoholic drinks as something to prohibit under all circumstances.
Abortion, on the other hand, is intrinsically evil despite attempts to rationalize it with reasons ranging from “privacy”4 to the erroneous assertion that we don’t know when human life begins.5,6 The act of abortion is always morally wrong even though the level of moral responsibility may vary for each individual involved.
An “anti-union” research paper does not carry the same moral liability. The subject of unions is a prudential issue requiring discernment for each situation. Each position deserves to be evaluated on its own merits. Regardless, “unforgiving” is not an admirable attitude.
Of course, if the Democratic Party strongly opposes a person’s views on this, perhaps he should switch parties.
1 –“Democrats back off sanctioning candidate,” by Jason Williams, The Kentucky Enquirer, 2/6/2016
2 – “Intrinsically evil acts are always immoral, regardless of the intention or purpose for which the act was chosen, regardless of the circumstances or consequences of the act, and regardless of the other acts that are chosen before, during, or after the intrinsically evil act. Nothing can cause an intrinsically evil act to become moral.” By Ron Conte, contributor to Catholic Answers Forums, http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=476417, 7/16/2010.
3 – Prudential issues are not clear-cut, but require sound judgment. “Man is sometimes confronted by situations that make moral judgment less assured and decision difficult.” From paragraph 1787 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997.
4 – “On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in the case of Roe v. Wade, which recognized that the constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions — including the decision to have an abortion without interference from politicians.” https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/abortion-access/roe-v-wade/
5 – “I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition.” spoken by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to Candy Crowley of CNN’s “State of the Union,” http://www.cnsnews.com, 7/28/2014 as reported in “Pelosi Blatantly Lied Regarding Church’s Teaching on Abortion, So Why Not Misrepresent Hamas, Too?” https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/pelosi-blatantly-lied-regarding-churchs-teaching-on-abortion-so-why-not-misrepresent-hamas-too/, 8/7/2014.
6 – “Furthermore, what is at stake is so important that, from the standpoint of moral obligation, the mere probability that a human person is involved would suffice to justify an absolutely clear prohibition of any intervention aimed at killing a human embryo. Precisely for this reason, over and above all scientific debates and those philosophical affirmations to which the Magisterium has not expressly committed itself, the Church has always taught and continues to teach that the result of human procreation, from the first moment of its existence, must be guaranteed that unconditional respect which is morally due to the human being in his or her totality and unity as body and spirit…” from the second paragraph of section 60 of “Evangelium Vitae,” by Pope John Paul II, http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae.html, 3/25/1995.