Naked pictures are no reason to not hire me

Google search of "What kind of bad things has Megan been doing?"

During my Catholic Moral Theology class yesterday, our professor spoke about how the majority of human resources managers now believe it is acceptable to Google a job candidate as part of the interview process. He was speaking in the sense of how we should be careful about what we put on our blogs, Facebooks and Twitters as those things stick around, especially if our real names are attached to them in any way. He used the rule of if you wouldn’t want your grandma to see it, don’t put it online. This lead to an even more in depth discussion among me and some friends today and there seem to be three basic opinions: the hard line, the “well it depends” position, and my position.

The hard line says you are responsible for what goes online, you know it is visible to other people, and if you lose your chances at a job, that is your own fault. The thought here is that employers have a right to weed out possible bad employees in any way possible.

The “well it depends” position tends to agree with the hard line, but says employers shouldn’t jump to conclusions and should give applicants a chance to explain things found online.

My position is this: Using Google to look up a job candidate is a form of stalking. It is morally reprehensible and I would never accept or continue in a job with a company that used such tactics. I know from personal experience that things can be said online that are harmful to someone and those things often occur through no fault of our own. A few weeks ago, I made a comment on Mashable calling people on “4chan” criminals for attacking and shutting down websites over stealing movies and songs. By the end of the day, they had made posts on their little area of 4chan using my full, real name, my picture and they had found an out of context tweet to say I supported that girl throwing puppies into the river. Of course some of them also commented on my Youtube that they had killed my cat, but the fact that 4chan is made up, generally, of some rather vile people is beside the point. If someone Googles my name, they can see “Oh, Megan, she favors drowning puppies, let’s not hire her.” Not only do we need to account for malicious attacks by others, we need to be able to overlook people’s behavior on their own free time. If a girl puts up a naked picture of herself on Facebook, that has nothing to do with the type of employee she will be. How many of the people doing the hiring will stand up to having their lives inspected?

I remember having a discussion about this with my dad, who is an attorney who practices in employment and labor law as a defense counsel for corporations. I remember this quote from him when we talked about this issue: “If a company routinely uses Google to check out potential employees, I know some great plaintiff’s attorneys who would like to depose their management.” This is his point about why companies shouldn’t do this. Imagine you interview someone and it goes well, you think you may hire them. Then you do a Google search that leads you to Facebook, Twitter, whatever. Through that, you find out the person has AIDS. For totally different reasons, you decide to hire someone else, but the person finds out you do the Google searches. What are the odds, that when you end up at your deposition, you will get asked about AIDS and if that had anything to do with your hiring decision? The odds are about 100%. Doing a search is making it likely that a company will find out information about someone that they are not supposed to know when it comes to hiring people; information about disabilities, religion, and even sexual orientation. My point is, I am not just some whining girl who does not want to be held accountable as someone at school called me. Companies that do this are not only acting immorally, they are acting stupidly, and acting stupidly in this area means they probably act stupidly in most other areas.

The internet doesn’t mean we have given up our privacy or the privilege of doing dumb things and being forgiven.


Killing people for the environment

First off, I consider myself to be a very strong proponent of the environment; the threat of global warming is real and the claims are backed up by legitimate science regardless of what the “deniers” try to say. That is a huge reason why this type of advertising campaign bothers me, among many other reasons. When the pro-environmental message is mixed in with this kind of stupidity, it makes the message easier to mock and dismiss. So this is a video from the British part of the group 10:10 Global, which is a group that advocates cutting carbon emissions by 10% per year starting this year (10%, 2010 = 10:10); a good intention despite the fact that the entire thing was clearly made up in meeting rooms by marketing experts. The video is, and let’s see if I can exhaust my adjectives here: gross, inappropriate, juvenile, tasteless, unfunny…you get the point.

The group took the video down and put up a half-hearted, rather condescending apology. But beyond the disgusting video content and the amazingly poor judgment needed to depict kids in this way, the video poses a serious question about the beliefs of many of those who are advancing the pro-environment cause. This goes hand in hand with the overpopulation hysterics of those who think all procreation should have ended the second after they were born. The correct message that we should embrace when talking about global warming is that this is an issue about saving lives; it is in some ways the ultimate “pro-life” movement. What possible place does exploding people who don’t step in line with the message have? And what about the lies told to the unfortunate exploding people? It’s ok if you disagree, you are free to do so. It reminds me so much of so many so-called “open-minded” people online; they are all about freedom of speech and tolerance right up until the point that you don’t agree with them.

I’m not

Stupid. You have a different life experience than me, and probably more life experience. That doesn’t mean that you are more intelligent or capable than I am. My grandmother has far more life experience than you and she doesn’t go around calling you stupid.

A cynic. People are always capable of doing better and they usually come through. I don’t believe in questioning the motives of others unless they have given me a good reason to do so.

Sarcastic. If you have known me for any length of time, you know of my contempt for sarcasm; I consider it a tool of an uncreative mind and, even more certainly, a serious lack of writing skill.

Confident. The confident girl you see here does not actually exist. I push myself to do things but so much of my time is spent in doubt.

Thick-skinned. You really don’t know how easy it is to make me cry. I wish it wasn’t and I wish I wasn’t usually lashing out at people through tears.

Calm. I’m anti-calm. I am alternately excited, moody, angry, forgiving, bellicose and at any time in mid meltdown or temper-tantrum.

I’m not.











More s**t my dad says

I wrote one of these probably a year ago. Since then, like Justin on Twitter, I have written down some of the more interesting things my dad, who I think can be just as funny as Justin’s dad, says.

(Talking to my step-mom) “When the baby pulls the cat’s tail, he gets mad. He doesn’t know she is a baby. He thinks she’s a hairless cat that doesn’t know how to use the litter box. Right now he’s wondering why you never wipe his a**.”

“Sweetheart, there is nothing wrong with a little experimentation in college. Beakers, test tubes, throwing pumpkins off buildings…all that crap. Have at it.”

“I don’t see gay marriages as working. The foundation of our marriage is that Cathy decorates the house, I don’t have a say in how, and I don’t care. When that dynamic is lost, you have instability.”

“Megan, I wish you wouldn’t sit in your school library and use Google. I don’t feel like I’m getting my dollar’s worth. At least Google the Dewey Decimal System.”

Last year, I explained our residence hall visitation hours for boys.
“Midnight? Why are men allowed in the dorm after, say, 10:00?”
Me: “Studying!”
Dad: “Studying what, the mating habits of the North American college co-ed?”

“Do you like your new iPhone?”
Me: “Yes! I can read both my Xanga and Twitter on it.”
Dad: “Thank God for that.”
Me: “Dad, is that sarcasm?”
Dad: “No, not at all, those are splendid ways to waste time.”

(I was watching iCarly)
“Why do these Nickelodeon shows have so few adults, and the few adults they show are complete idiots?”
Me: “It’s reality TV, dad.”
Dad: “Touche.”
(A minute passes) “Go clean your room.”

“Your cat is coughing up too many hairballs, I’m going to get him shaved.”
Me: “Daddy, you can’t! He needs his fur!”
Dad: “Megan, he never leaves the house. He has neither weather nor the mocking stares of neighborhood cats to worry about.”

“Mary has been telling me ‘no!’ all day. You know what it is? It’s that mouthy E-Trade baby. Freaking television.” (Turns off TV)

“I better not see you text messaging in Mass again or I will turn you over to the Amish. You will be writing “kthxbye” by candlelight, using a quill.”

“Megan, you need to speed up when entering the highway. It’s like you’re Morgan Freeman and you’re trying to drive me to the store.”

“I understand that, at school, there are no responsible people monitoring your eating habits but you’re back in civilized society for the summer and in civilized society we eat tomatoes in non-pizza sauce form.”

Catholic-hating homosexual advocates sex with 9-year-olds

The Holy Father’s visit to England is bringing out commentary from that nation’s top atheists; not surprisingly Richard Dawkins (the Church is “the greatest force for evil in the world.”) and awful novelist Phillip Pullman (“I hope the wretched Catholic Church will vanish entirely.”) are among them. But also among those participating in something called “Protest the Pope” is a “gay activist” named Peter Tatchell who has said:

“Several of my friends—gay and straight, male and female—had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.” (Link, so you can attempt to argue the source instead of the issue.)

So, let’s see if I have this right. The Church is the only entity on earth, according to almost all atheists/secularists, that should be called out for sexual abuse of Peter Tatchellchildren. This is despite the fact that sexual abuse is far more prevalent in U.S. public schools, but those are controlled by liberal teachers’ unions, so we can’t be telling the truth about that! This is, of course, the typical thought process of those who hate the Church. About 4000 priests, among a faith of over one billion adherents, over 60 years, condemn the entire institution, and it is perfectly fine that a leader of that condemnation be a man (pictured here, perhaps after someone’s father met him in person) who openly advocates sex with children.

But the Church is a force for evil?

Science and disproving God

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

There is no question that Stephen Hawking is a brilliant man; he is probably the only living scientist that can be positively compared to Albert Einstein. I don’t consider myself an expert on physics or cosmogony, so I am not going to be stupid enough to take on Professor Hawking on his own turf, but there is a serious issue with his claim when we consider the goals of science.

The reason that most scientists, even those with strong atheistic tendencies, can keep their scientific credibility in the science vs. faith “argument” is that they recognize that the goal of science is solely to explain the natural universe by objective, observable means. It is this goal that allows reasonable people of faith to trust in science. The goal of science is neither to prove nor disprove a God/creator/Intelligent Designer. It is here where Hawking has crossed the line from neutral scientist to dogmatic ideologue.

We can dispute Hawking’s claim about the creative powers of gravity forever. His theory relies on huge leaps of faith that can never be empirically proven nor denied (sound familiar?). He relies on the assumption that gravity is a naturally existing force that, instead of being a function of mass, may exist across universes (multiverse theory is for another day, but Hawking’s theory, logically, presupposes multiple universes); even leaving open the possibility that electromagnetism and strong and weak interaction do not also cross universal barriers. Hawking’s problem is that he seems to have proposed a scientific theory for the sole purpose of disproving God. Hawking no longer appears content with allowing for the idea that God lit the fuse on the Big Bang as he certainly was when he wrote A Brief History of Time. He wants to exit the arena of science and take on Aquinas; that round little monk was wrong…science and faith cannot coexist!

Perhaps it is his insatiable need to be written about in mainstream media, but Stephen Hawking is now no better than the most ignorant young-Earth proponent. Any time science adopts an agenda, science is damaged. I would have never thought that one of the world’s greatest scientists would be the one doing the damage.

Glenn Beck: Catholic Hater

Much of the news and political discussion now is centered around yesterday’s “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington D.C. hosted by radio talk show host Glenn Beck. In addition to the normal partisan reports about the rally, there are the wildly fluctuating estimates as to how many people were actually there.

Peter and Paul claim 750,000 people show up in the hills of Galilee to hear Jewish preacher; CNN estimates the crowd to be closer to 86,000.

Much of the news also seems to be centered on Beck’s calling America back to Christian values. I don’t have all that much interest in the politics of a radio host anymore. They all remind me of Lewis Prothero

That’s quite enough of that, thank you very much.

But Beck’s focus on Christianity this weekend causes me to revisit something from earlier this year that he said on his show.

“I’m begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!” (audio)

The term “social justice”, as applied to the teachings of the Church, is rooted inGlenn Beck the encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum; believe it or not, the first time the Holy Father deemed it necessary to address the issues of labor, corporations, economics, the poor, and property rights in an official Church document. As an encyclical, the contents of Rerum Novarum–literally “Of New Things”…in 1891, industrialization and the rights of workers were new things–are binding upon Catholics as teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium. This is not to be confused with an ex cathedra or infallible teaching, but still binding on Catholics who follow Church teachings yet absent the threat of excommunication for heresy for standing in opposition. The fact that the term did not come into widespread use until it became part of the teaching of the Church, and the fact that no other church or faith uses the term to describe social teaching makes it clear that Beck was referring directly to the Catholic Church in his screed. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states “a large part of the Church’s social teaching is solicited and determined by important social questions, to which social justice is the proper answer.” (ibid 81) The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the official reference of the teachings of the Church (aside from Holy Scripture, of course) dedicates a section to social justice.

There is no doubt that Beck is referring to the Catholic Church as he later tells people that if they have a “priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish, go to the Bishop“. It isn’t even so much that Beck later equated the teaching of social justice to communism and Nazis, he tells Catholics to leave the Church if they hear this teaching. Let me repeat that: if Catholics hear their parish priest refer to what is an official teaching of the Church, they should leave the Church. Make no mistake, Glenn Beck is, in his clumsy code, telling all Catholics to leave the Catholic Church for political reasons. He is telling me, he is telling my friends, he is telling those going up for first communion today to leave the Church that was designated by Christ Himself as His one and only Church. That is Matthew 18:6 type stuff.

Such a statement can only come from a deep-seated hatred for the Catholic Church. Beck is a former Catholic. He left the Church for a reason, and my experience has been that those who leave the Church are often the most bigoted toward the Church. All this talk about Glenn Beck as this wonderful Christian man is making me sick to my stomach. The fact that fellow Christians will not refute this man’s bigotry because they like his politics speaks volumes about the state of Christianity in America today. And I don’t ignore the fact that many, many Catholics fall into this same group and I would tell them to seriously reflect on if they believe authority lies in Christ, as given by Him, to the Holy Father or if it lies in your own personal political leanings. If you truly believe that authority lies in your political beliefs, then you need to think about taking Beck’s advice. I would prefer a smaller, stronger Church over a large Church watered down by those who use Christ as a political tool on either end of the political-philosophical spectrum.