The Corner

“Niceness” and a New Methodist Proposal

A personal e-mail links to today’s story in the NY Sun about a United Methodist Church proposal to divest its pension plans from companies that do business with Israel.  My correspondent asks me: how can anyone call that proposal “nice”?  It is a disgusting proposal, which I had not known about, and it reminds me of the ancient proverb: Corruptio optimi pessima.  A loose translation applicable to the present discussion is, “The corruption of the nicest is the worst.”  Unless it is self-critical, niceness can be a vice.  It can lead to stupid, thoughtless deeds, such as voting “yes” on such a mad proposal.

           

Michael Novak was a Catholic philosopher, journalist, novelist, and diplomat.

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