October 19; Is There Truth In a Compromise?
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Ten: Deciding 19 October

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie,

and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—

who is forever praised. Amen.

Romans 1:25

Is There Truth In a Compromise?

Do Good

On the eve of World War II over 900 Jews escaped Germany to find sanctuary in the Americas. They would see Havana. They would see Florida.

Half would die in the Holocaust.

***

Bad management decisions often start with a long-range rationalization. Or, as is often noted: rationalize = rational lies. “I will make this short term compromise,” the manager under pressure thinks, “And I will be able to do a greater good later.”

Author Arthur Brooks, Ph.D., wrote,

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson laid out his vision of “a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

The purpose of public service, and today, very large public companies, is to restrain evil.

“Don’t do stupid [stuff],” says President Barack Obama. “Don’t be evil,” says Google. Leaders and companies will often attempt to avoid ‘rational lies’ in using a motto-mantra as a vision statement. The results are mixed but the intent is noble.

“It was very important to engineering that [Google engineers] were not going to be like Microsoft, they were not going to be an evil company.” Levy, Steven (2011-04-12). In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (p. 144). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

Avoid evil and do the right thing. But is this the same as a do-gooder doing good?

Why would it be so difficult to trust the restraining of evil and not the promotion of doing good? It depends on the decision maker, the manager, the executive of public policy. Are they accountable to a Higher Authority?

American writer Mary Flannery O’Connor (1925 to 1964) writes,

In the absence of this faith now, we govern by tenderness. It is a tenderness which, long since cut off from the person of Christ, is wrapped in theory. When tenderness is detached from the source of tenderness, its logical outcome is terror. It ends in forced-labor camps and in the fumes of the gas chamber. O’Connor, Flannery (1969-01-01). Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose (Kindle Locations 2072-2073). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.

Bernard Nathanson, MD, was the founder of the National Abortion Rights Acton League or NARAL. He oversaw tens of thousands of abortions performing thousands himself. His position on this issue was changed by technology: he watched an abortion by ultrasound. The video was made into a documentary Silent Scream. He knows the spirit of our times citing Walker Percy and Flannery O’Connor in The Hand of God

We live in an age of fulsome nihilism; an age of death; an age in which, as author Walker Percy (a fellow physician, a pathologist who specializes in autopsying Western civilization) argued, “compassion leads to the gas chamber,” or the abortion clinic, or the euthanist’s office.”  (Nathanson 1996).

And so we exchanged the Truth for a lie.

***

“To serve the public faithfully and at the same time please it entirely is impossible,” said Benjamin Franklin. (Manchester 1973)  But Franklin and Roosevelt understood how to serve the passions of the American public.

In 1939 over 61% of Americans opposed Wagner-Rogers Bill. This legislation would have allowed the Jews on the St. Louis to land in the USA.

It would not pass. The ship remained at sea. This came to be known as The Voyage of the Damned.

FDR was silent about the proposed law, which could have saved the Jews.

Why?

Dr. Diane Afoumado, Chief of the International Tracing Service Research, Holocaust Survivors, and Victims Resource Center at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC explains,

The [St. Louis] passengers sent a telegram directly to Roosevelt, asking him to allow the children in. “They never received a response,” said Afoumado. She attributed Roosevelt’s inaction to two factors: anti-Semitism in the State Department and his fear of risking his reelection in 1940 by stirring up controversy.

The US Coast Guard was dispatched to locate the St Louis. The USCG cutter was not there to bring the St Louis into a safe US harbor. No. The Jews had to leave US territorial waters.

FDR sacrificed the St Louis with 900 Jews to appease Southern Democrats in Congress. He knew how to make an immediate compromise for his long-term interests. Democrats had threatened to not support Roosevelt in the 1940 election if Jews were allowed to immigrate. Laws to help the German Jews were stopped. FDR made the decision to do nothing.

FDR, we can imagine, knew that he could do what was right for America if he, and only he, were re-elected president.

Roosevelt would ignore the St. Louis Jews in order that he could do a “greater good.” A simple decision. The thinking goes, “I am the only man who can save America and I can only do this continuing as president.”

The liberal FDR knew better and was not going to let a few hundred Jews interfere with his ambition.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated president for a third term in 1941.

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:25

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