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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 27, 1989     The Message
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January 27, 1989

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'8 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Entertainment January 27, 1989 Record NC News Soce Columnist Forever Young P i Rod Stewart s new h t, "Forever Young," The song also crop,ha, sizes the importance of the support of others: ' I m right behind you, win or lose." We need others to help us find the best ple of on- act according As adults, we are asked to lead the way in In the face for happiness. Written by: R. Stewart, As we age, lifepresents new challenges, Copyright (c) 1989 by NC News SetWce Copyright :itizers must draw upon their com'age to tttt t t t i t t i tl i i ttt t i t t i t i t t t t t t tt t t tt t tttt PBS series to discuss everyday moral dilemmas - By HENRY HERX USCC Dept. of Communication NEW YORK -- One often hears, especially during political campaigns, that to- day's Americans are less in- terested in grappling with ques- tions of right and wrong than were previous generations. Those who fear that the nation's moral fiber is unraveling will be heartened by the public televi- sion series, "Ethics in America." In coming weeks the series will devote ten hours to discussing everyday moral dilemmas. The series premieres with "Do Unto Others," airing Tues- day, Jan. 31, lO-ll p.m. CSTon PBS (WNIN-TV 9). The first show examines per- sonal responsibilites in one's relationships with others and to society. Led by Harvard University law professor Charles Ogletree Jr., the program considers what advice members of a panel would give to a young man who asks about cheating on a college entrance exam. One panelist, Father Bryan Hehir of Georgetown Universi- ty, answers that the cheating might later be uncovered and destroy the man's career and adds that such dishonesty harms the student and his rela- tions to others in the school. With each answer Ogletree adds further complications to the moral dimension of what originally started as a fairly straightforward situation. For instance, he asks if the young man has a responsibility to turn in students who cheated on the adultery, whether to tell a friend that her husband is being unfaithful and what to say to a 15-year-old who is having an af- fair with a married man. The last question is answered quite simply by Midge Decter of the Committee for a Free World who says she would call the police and have the man ar- rested. The most challenging of the many provocative questions posed revolves around personal responsibility in responding to the needs of the homeless. The issue elicits heated discussion between panelists. Most say they would give a dollar or two if approached on the street by someone obviously in need, even if it might be spent on liquor. Willard Gaylin, president of the Hastings Center, protests this as misguided charity, which only makes the giver feel better about an intolerable situation. Gaylin argues that the homeless represent a societal problem that can only be solved by systemic economic reforms. In the meantime, he suggests, individuals can best help the destitute not by handouts but by donating one's time, efforts and money to the structured programs of private charities. Summing up the hour's pro- ceedings, Father Hehir notes that the discussion centered on assessing an individual's con- duct from the dual perspective of one's personal and social responsibilities. For some that may not be enough, but for many it is at least a start in thinking about the moral ramifications of their actions. ended" series intended to help people make up their own minds about questions rather than providing ready answers. On balance, "Do Unto Others" succeeds rather well in getting viewers enough involved in a moral issue to begin pondering the rights and wrongs of the matter. It is refreshing that this series ir does not make a big deal about the difference between social ethics and private morality, but uses both terms inter- changeably. In fact, Marilyn Smith, philosophy professor at the University of Hartford, uses the Ten Commandments as an authority in the discussion of adultery. Like any talk show, there are certain built-in frustrations. One might like to hear more on a particular subject or from a particular participant, and there is a fine array of articulate panelists including Surgeon General C. Everett Keep, Supre]ne Court Justice Antonin Scalia, broadcast journalist Lin- da Ellerbee and The Boston Globe's Ellen Goodman. Citizens Leadership Checking you get: No minimum balance. Unlimited chechwriting. First order of 200 checks at no charge. VISA or MasterCard at no annual fee. Special interest rate discounts on direct, personal installment loans. SuperSusie MoneyMover cards good all over the Tri-State area. Citizens exam. 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