Fiduciary Responsibilities: Trustees will act in a manner consistent with their fiduciary responsibilities to the University. Trustees will place the University’s interests ahead of their private interests. Trustees will exercise their powers and duties in the best interests of the Board and the University and for the public good.
Conflict of Interest: (a) A conflict of interest exists when a Trustee’s financial interests or other opportunities for personal benefit may compromise, or reasonably appear to compromise, the Trustee’s independence of judgment in fulfilling his/her Board duties. (b) Trustees will endeavor to remain free from the influence of, or the appearance of, any conflicting interest in fulfilling their Board duties. Trustees will exercise care that no detriment to the University results from conflicts between their interests and those of the University. (c) Trustees will attempt to refrain from accepting duties, incurring obligations, or engaging in activities that would be incompatible with, or in conflict with, their Board duties.
Now, I’m not a Harvard-trained Philadelphia lawyer, but I am an educated man who is perfectly capable of understanding basic legalese. And I gotta tell you, I’m having one helluva time reconciling that with this here 7 Action News investigation from WXYZ-TV in Detroit.
Why would a pro-life party embrace a culture of death?
The normal course of action for a pandemic is to mobilize medical resources in order to learn, as quickly as possible, as much as can be learned about the disease, specifically including source of infection and method of transmission. Until this information is learned, the victims are sometimes isolated from the rest of society as a reliable way to contain the outbreak, until either a cure or vaccine is developed. Even if a cure or vaccine isn’t yet available, the knowledge regarding infection source and transmission is made public as soon as it’s known, and widely circulated, so that others who aren’t infected can take appropriate precautions.
But what happens when both the principal source of infection and the principal method of transmission for a global pandemic are known to be directly linked to a lifestyle choice that is a political hot-button issue? Does elected leadership still speak the truth, so that those at risk can know the facts and adjust their lifestyle accordingly, or do they put reelection concerns above all else, bury their heads in the sand, and publicly chastise any of their own who dare speak the truth in public on the record?
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
Both pro-life and pro-murder activists observed the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision just under two weeks ago, and most Christian churches observed Life Sunday on one of the weekends on either side of that event. Given that the sanctity and dignity of human life is its own three-paragraph line item in the 2012 Republican Platform (on page 20 and 21 of the downloadable PDF version), one would have thought that the Republican National Committee would have had something to say regarding National Sanctity of Human Life Day during their recent winter meeting in the District of Columbia, especially given that they made a point of setting aside 3-1/2 hours on Wednesday specifically for the March for Life. Given that Michigan has such a deep pro-life tradition that Governor Snyder’s veto of a pro-life bill was promptly overridden by citizen initiative, one would think that the Michigan Republican Party would have had something to say regarding the same annual event.
However, a review of both the RNC and MIGOP websites reveals that the only mention made is by RNC Deputy Communications Director Sarah Isgur Flores, and seems to be in the context of responding to the DNC’s perpetual war on women. Other than that, the silence is deafening. Which leaves us wondering, what could have been so important that it should have taken priority over speaking up to defend those among us who are most vulnerable and least capable of defending themselves?
My pastor, when he’s discussing contemporary culture from either the sanctuary pulpit or the classroom lectern, likes to refer to what he calls, “itching ear disorder.” The primary Scripture reference is 2 Timothy 4:3-4, referring to a time when people will have no further interest in the truth, and won’t tolerate listening to anything that contradicts their philosophical predispositions. As a student of Scripture, I can say with some certainty that the prophets and apostles were well acquainted with this disorder. Hosea even wrote about a time when hostility against the truth would become so great that those who insist on speaking it would be considered fools and maniacs. According to a disputed George Orwell quote (“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”), “itching ear disorder” isn’t exactly an unusual condition in the human experience.
And this brings us to the current philosophical skirmish involving Michigan’s Republican National Committeeman, which involves the latest escalation by some unsavory elements within the Michigan Republican Party, who seem to be in a desperate quest to reclaim lost relevance.
On July 12th, 2011, the Michigan Republican Party State Policy Committee decided in closed session to recommend that the state republican presidential primary should be a “closed” primary, to be held sometime between February 28th and March 6th of 2012. On August 13th, the full MIGOP State Committee will make a decision whether to go with this recommendation or to adopt another process. There are several concerns about this, not the least of which is that there is the widespread opinion among various elements within the party that the process of arriving at this decision has not been as open and transparent as it ought to have been. Toward that end, the Michigan Faith & Freedom Coalition invited state committee members, grassroots activists, and concerned citizens to attend a series of town-hall style forums in order to voice opinions and gather information.
As the person asked to moderate the Kent County forum, I can say that the 2-1/2 hour discussion was very robust, amazingly civil, and quite informative. The strengths and weaknesses of each of the options were discussed in detail, and an opinion poll was taken at the end. Given how overwhelming the result of that poll was, I think that this is something that should be passed along to as many decision-makers within the MIGOP as possible, by any means necessary. I’ll warn the reader fairly that what follows is a tad lengthy and may require more two or three read-throughs in order to understand it all; but this is important, and it’s absolutely critical that we understand everything that is involved in not only the method of conducting the primary, but also the process by which that decision is made.