Friday, December 19, 2008

Compromising Professionalism

My part time job as a wedding disc jockey provides moments when I am the unwitting instigator of behavior of which I might approve, not just on religious grounds, but grounds that certain acts are simply beyond the pale. I am no fan of drunkenness. There's enough of my mother's upbringing in me to be a bit of a church lady about people who imbibe so much alcohol as to purposely render themselves public idiots. I have no problem with casual PDA, but there are moments when said acts become more than casual. Stuff best left for private has no place on a dance floor at a wedding reception.

I also worked, for a time, as a DJ in a bar. A woman, suffering the effects of too much drink, enjoyed teasing her boyfriend/husband/significant other of one sort or another. In the process she, well, ahem, grabbed me, and said SO was not happy. At all.

I continue to do my job, providing a soundtrack to drunken debauchery, even as my private nanny-voice tut-tuts much of what I see. It's called being a professional. An adult who recognizes that sometimes doing one's job means acting in a way that runs up against acts of which one does not approve. It's part of life. All I can ever do is be me, and let others be themselves, and let my inner scold rant away.

While for some this might not compare with, say, being a doctor who is asked to perform abortions against his or her conscientious objection to the practice as far as I'm concerned, the principle is the same. I might even go a step further and insist that, if you are entering a profession that violates a core ethical or moral concern, you might want to consider another profession. Don't become an OB/GYN if you oppose abortion. If you have a late-life conversion, hie thee to a Catholic hospital. If you are a pharmacist, but believe that contraception is evil, you might want to consider research as an option, rather than standing behind a counter and denying someone a prescription because you believe the Pill is a scourge from the devil that is destroying the social fabric of our country.

In other words, there are options.

I am all for freedom of conscience. The Bush Administration rule, which it seems clear, will last until January 21, 2009 or thereabouts, however, is not about anyone's conscience. It is an end run around the legislative process which would include discussing the issue in public, debating the why's and wherefore's, and offering alternatives.

Virtual Tin Cup

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