Sunday, May 02, 2004

More Jesus Factor

As predicted, the Blogosphere now shows quite a few more posts about the Frontline program, The Jesus Factor.   Unfortunately, the information content in most of the posts is rather low.  I have rounded up the meaningful commentary from the 'sphere, followed by some comments of my own.  I conclude with a personal opinion about the lessons, both from the documentary, and from the blogbuzz about the documentary.

From the bog twinkle twinkle blah blah blah etc. scintillates with the following:

Jesus met GW at the well*

Did anyone else watch Frontline last night? It was called "The Jesus Factor," and it was a terrifying look into how the Evangelicals have sneaked into this administration like Ali F----- Baba and his 40 Thieves.

Blogicus dispenses with the cussing and states:

Jesus and President Bush

Because of his "faith", the president has received substantial criticism from those who assert religion has no place in politics. This assumes that it is possible to make decisions and govern without beliefs (that require faith). Humanism, apparently the prevailing belief system of the president's critics, is somehow seen as objective and non-religious despite a strong underlying faith that man can save and govern himself. The point I'm trying to make is that all individuals subscribe to and live their lives according to a fundamental belief system that is inherently based on faith driven presuppositions. These inward beliefs are acted upon and become externally manifested in each person's life.

The question I have is whether or not President Bush has effectively put is professed faith into practice. What do you think?

On Livejournal, in their Antiwar section, user Funnygurusdca comments on The Jesus Factor; there are some good comments that follow:

... holy glow-in-the-dark florescent f---! ...

“The Jesus Factor” exposes how the ‘religious right’ (which is neither, really) has hijacked the U.S. political system (and for this current four-year term at least) the White House. The program also give some background about how religion has defined who Dubya is, how it affects his views and actions and how scary it will likely be if you're not a “True Believer” in this country or any other, should Bush win in November!

User Mondie adds this comment:

[...] Speaking of uh... "sacred cows", I'll bet Bush is gonna have one when he sees this...if he's really and truly as much of a fundie as he claims and it's not all part of his surreally elabourate character construct.

Under that, user Mickey Maschke added:

I've heard about this before. In the 1980's "60 Minutes" ran a segment called "The Government Takeover" in which the religious right talked about their plans to take over the government and put all non-Christians into jail or make them indentured servants with no rights. Mike Wallace did the interview and, at the time, the government said that there was no way that anything like this could happen. But when you come to think about it, it's happening right now. Everything that was discussed in that interview is being tried by the government short of the double class system. But that's even being tried in different parts of the country. So yes, it's funny, and at the same time scary. Not the kind of country that I want to live in or die in. It's not the America I was raised on and I'm 53 years old. I remember an America where all faiths had equal rights, not like it is today.

Another Livejournal user, Trinker, picks up on one particular point made in the documentary:

"The Jesus Factor" asks what's behind the president's religious beliefs.

As the Rev. Welton Gaddy, leader of a liberal Christian coalition, points out, in a nation founded on freedom of religious practice, promoting the Good Book as a manual for public policy is a disquieting choice. Especially since, of the $100 million so far dispensed to faith-based charities by the Bush administration, not one dollar has gone to a Jewish or Muslim organization.
In a speech to mark the first anniversary of Sept. 11, sharing the frame with the Statue of Liberty, Bush compared America's mission to conquer terrorism to "the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness shall not overcome it." Cut to a shot of an open Bible—the line comes directly from the beginning of the Gospel of John, where, as Wallis points out, "the light that shines in darkness" is a prophetic reference to Christ's mission on earth. If the campaign against terror is indistinguishable from the will of God, the rest of the world might be forgiven for feeling that Muslim extremists are not the only fundamentalists engaged in a potentially infinite religious war.

The soon-to-be-former Ann Arbor blogger, Nick Troester, writes on Anti-Climacus, also mentioning the the apportioning of the faith-based initiative funds, and indirectly offering criticism of the Slate commentary on The Jesus Factor. (I guess -- he seems to be referring to the Slate author's reference to Mr. Bush as "a born-again Mr. McGoo" -- but I don't know how he knows that the author is not a Christian.) 

LINK: Isn't it cute when non Christians talk about Christians as if they were describing the behavior of chimpanzees? No, I don't think so either:

"During a televised debate in the 1999 presidential primary in Iowa, the three Republican contenders, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes, and George Bush, were asked what "political philosopher or thinker" had most influenced them and why. Forbes cited John Locke; Keyes, the Founding Fathers; and Bush, "Christ, because he changed my heart." In the clip of this moment that appears in The Jesus Factor, Bush's sincerity is evident; unfortunately, so is his intellectual poverty and lack of historical referents. We're told that he reads the Bible every day (the way some of us might read, say, the newspaper) and that he once brandished a copy of it during a speech on federal funding for faith-based charities, saying, "This is the only handbook you need. This handbook is a good go-by." As the Rev. Welton Gaddy, leader of a liberal Christian coalition, points out, in a nation founded on freedom of religious practice, promoting the Good Book as a manual for public policy is a disquieting choice. Especially since, of the $100 million so far dispensed to faith-based charities by the Bush administration, not one dollar has gone to a Jewish or Muslim organization."

the group blog, Crescat Sententia (does anybody know what Crescat Sententia means?) has the following post, not directly critical of the apportioning of the faith-based initiative funds, but rather questioning it:

Especially since, of the $100 million so far dispensed to faith-based charities by the Bush administration, not one dollar has gone to a Jewish or Muslim organization.

-- Jana Stevens, "Oh, God: 'The Jesus Factor' asks what's behind the president's religions beliefs," in Slate

That can't be true, can it? The Faith-Based and Community Initiatives site lists the grant program types funded under the plan, which seem safely non-religious. I can't find a list of the actual recipients, though, when I google for it. Surely this information must be disclosed somewhere.

Berkana, at Christdot, similarly picks up on only one point; but it is a different point:

FRONTLINE: the Jesus Factor

As an evangelical Christian, President George W. Bush has something in common with the 46% of Americans who describe themselves as being "born again" or having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Often has the president recounted praying about major decisions facing the nation — but what do we actually know about the rudiments of Bush's faith? The Jesus Factor examines the extent to which the president's spiritual beliefs affect or influence his political decision making. It also looks at how closely Bush's religious views mirror those of the country's burgeoning and politically influential evangelical movement

Bog of Ethan goes back to the issue of the distribution of funding for faith-based initiatives, noting:

The Jesus Factor

I watched Frontline last night. They had an episode called "The Jesus Factor." I found it to be pretty amazing. It discussed George Bush's faith and how it effects his policy making. He's President of the United States which means he's there to defend the constitution. But all of his speeches and actions do not depict this. It interviewed religious leaders from both sides, and I believe it gave a very balanced argument. One of the most impressive things it pointed out was one of GW's faith Based initiative plan. Where it was made to donated money to non profit Faith Based groups that help the homeless, abused, etc. So far most Christian organizations have received funding, but no other faith biased organization that has applied has received funding. I recommend watching it. I don't know when it will air again, but it looks like you can watch the full program on line starting May 1.

Jesse McPherson, at an eponymous site, dispensed with the specifics and stated:

Scary Picture:

I really would like people to keep their religious beliefs out of politics. I don't think it's right. Religion should be a personal thing - keep it to your person.

In one of the more substantive posts on the subject, Tim Bednar, on the bogging site e-Church, wrote:

The Jesus Factor: President Bush Is A Man Of Faith But I Won't Vote For Him

I watched Frontline's film, The Jesus Factor, last night on President Bush's faith and the influence of evangelicalism on the White House. I am very familiar with the experience George W. Bush had in Texas at the Midland Community Bible Study. His "born again" story or testimony is familiar. He also had followed the tradition of evangelicals of the second half of the 20th century in engaging politics.

[...] Bush separated himself from leading evangelicals (i.e. Franklin Graham) when they started labeling Islam itself evil. I supported Bush in this. This I think was an important point Frontline missed. This I believe demonstrates what Frontline outlined as Bush's two faiths: one is authentic, the other is calculated. I also think they had the sophistication to say that even he is not sure which is active in his decision-making. NY Times quotes form the film,

And even some of the president's closest allies say they are not sure when he is speaking from the pulpit and when from the Beltway. "There is no question that the president's faith is calculated, and there is no question that the president's faith is real," Mr. Wead says. "I would say that I don't know and George Bush doesn't know when he's operating out of a genuine sense of his own faith or when it's calculated."

I also wish they would have given more time to Jim Willis of Sojourners magazine, who wrote Theology of Empire, because I think he rightly pointed out how Bush's theology is flawed. Like I said, I respect the man for actually using his faith in the public sphere and I encourage any believer to do so. However, I will not be voting for him because I think he is wrong.

Do I think his faith is wrong? No. I trust the authentic part of the President's faith, what I disagree with is how put it into action. I also do not trust those around him (Cheney and Rumsfeld).

The e-Church article, in addition to being a thoughtful commentary, incited some good comments.  His links, particularly the one pointing to the Midland Community Bible Study, are worth reading. 

The group blog, Rightwing, has an author, P A, who wrote the following:

The Jesus Factor

Two things struck me hard. One, American liberal evangelicals are really creepy. It's all Chomsky, Marx, Freud and Darwin and not Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for the lefty born-agains. That said, interestingly, one of these lefty Christians, characterized Bush as someone who was transformed by 9/11 from a "Self-Help Methodist" into some kind of visionary Calvinist. I have to chew this over more, but I have heard UofT's Stephen Clarkson and other left-lib weirdos warn that Bush is the most "messianic" president in a long while, but, as this documentary made crystal clear, this "messianism" is more about America and its proper place in the world and not about Bush as a sort of wannabe messiah. It's this sense of America with a mission and purpose and not some post-modern amorphous state of convenience that really bugs the Left.

April, at Blinkbuzz, has a post that expresses -- indirectly -- a negative opinion; and echoes the common sentiment about the disbursement of funds to faith-based organizations:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...

We're told that he reads the Bible every day (the way some of us might read, say, the newspaper) and that he once brandished a copy of it during a speech on federal funding for faith-based charities, saying, "This is the only handbook you need. This handbook is a good go-by." As the Rev. Welton Gaddy, leader of a liberal Christian coalition, points out, in a nation founded on freedom of religious practice, promoting the Good Book as a manual for public policy is a disquieting choice. Especially since, of the $100 million so far dispensed to faith-based charities by the Bush administration, not one dollar has gone to a Jewish or Muslim organization.

Jonathan, on the group blog, The Ivy Bush, doesn't beat around it when he says:

The Jesus Factor

I hope you saw Frontline this week, and/or listened to Fresh Air on NPR. Both shows were about the faith of George W. Bush, and there is just so much bloggable material in them, that I just gotta put it out there.

The underlying theme of both shows is that George W. Bush is a "born again" Christian, and there are two ways to respond to that "fact." Some people are so happy because he is unabashedly bringing his "born again" faith into the public realm. Others are unhappy because that religious stuff really ought to be kept private. Those are our two choices. Which one are you?

I am neither, of course. Basically my problem with George W. Bush is not that he is bringing Jesus into politics. My problem with George W. Bush is that he is not bringing Jesus into politics!

Now think on that for a spell.....

Fresh Air and Frontline, because they are not very familiar with Christian theology, assume that George W. Bush is bringing Jesus into politics. But George W. Bush is actually bringing a privatized, pietistic Jesus (stripped of all his eschatological and social rough edges) into politics. The only problem with that is that, from a Christian perspective, the Jesus he is bringing into politics bears very little if any resemblance to the Jesus of Scripture who is confessed by the catholic church.

[...] George Bush has not brought the real Jesus into politics. The contrast between George Bush and Jesus Christ could hardly be more striking: Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace, and George Bush the president of war. They just don't mix.

[...] I will give Front Line credit for interviewing Jim Wallis for about 30 seconds. He was the only one who challenged the basic premise of the show: that you must be either "for" or "against" the mixing of Christianity and politics.

I actually liked it when George W. Bush was asked what thinker has influenced him the most, and he answered, "Jesus Christ." I just wish that were true.

The blog, Insignifica, has another detailed post on the subject.  I was not able to determine the name of the author.

On the subject of things I'd watch if I could The Jesus Factor. It's a (frightening) look at U.S. President Bush and his version of faith. As is painfully obvious, his personal beliefs play a major role in the way he governs and the decisions he makes on behalf of the entire country, whether or not we share those beliefs.

[...] What scares me about all this is that I was just thinking about how a lot of Evangelicals came out in support of The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre. People talked about that movie as an indie flick that attracted a major audience base that the studios didn't really know was there. Sure, it's unreasonable to watch a two-hour movie of some guy getting tortured, but did lack-of-reason stop these people? Did it make them question the validity of this film? For the most part, no. I'm afraid that these are the same people who will buy Bush's special connection to their god because he's the candidate willing to take their side in this cultural war.

An oddly-titled blog 101 - 365 (baby!), has a post on the Iraq War.  While it is not focused on The Jesus Factor, it does include the following:

The War

Now, after watching Frontline's The Jesus Factor and having listened to evangelicals talk for the last 40 years or so, I believe President Bush's evangelical beliefs are being used by the greedy, vengeful right to sway what was quoted as 40% of Americans and 70% of voters who are deeply religious, into thinking that the Armageddon war is upon us, thus we need God's chosen president.

On the blog, Jesus Politics, Carlos Stouffer expresses his belief that mixing religion and politics essentially cheapens religion:

The Politicization of Religion and the Religiofication of Politics

[...] Much of the criticism that I offer --constitutionally, politically, and even more specifically related to the president -- are about what his way of treating religion ultimately does to undercut the authority, the uniqueness, the power of religion.

Every time that religion has identified itself or entangled itself with a particular political movement or a particular government, religion has been harmed by that. I see religion as a powerful positive healing force for this nation and the world. But that force is blunted, weakened, compromised inestimably, if we turn religion into a tool for advancing political strategy; if we make it a matter of how to win political office; if we treat it as anything other than a sacred part of life from which we ought to draw sustenance and values and strength for living courageously as good citizens.

It is because I am for religion that I critique making religion secondary and houses of worship political institutions.

A journalist, Murray Fromson, writes on The Fromson File:

Bush and God

[...] imagine if you were a Muslim, had taped the PBS program and put it in the hands of the people who run al Jazeera and every other television station in the Muslim world? It would be not be difficult to predict the consequences. It would be enough to convince viewers from Morocco to Malaysia that the U.S. president is the Crusader of the 21st Century, that George W. Bush is not only committed to promoting democracy in the Muslim world but to spreading the gospel of Christ. That, it can be said with some certainty, is a recipe for an on-going clash of civilizations; Iraq being only the first phase of that conflict.

[...] For those who believe in a secular American society and the separation of church and state, it will be a chilling reminder of how little understanding the President has of what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the U.S. Constitution.

On The Rough Woodsman, swamphopper makes a similar point:

Faith: frightening or flaky?

I think the FRONTLINE documentary supports the notion that the “frightening” effect of Christianity is two-fold:

One. People who fear absolute values are frightened when confronted by a person of obvious conviction. The Apostle Paul wrote that Christians are a fragrance: “...to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.” (II Cor. 2:14-15) No apologies should ever be made for this type of offense. Two. I believe that the misapplication of religion in politics is sometimes as insensitive as secularists accuse. Some Christians, in their fervor to make a distinction between Christianity and Islam, burn bridges with those whom they should be striving to reach with the gospel.

[...] Before we Christians start pointing accusing fingers at the secularists for being frightened by faith in politics, we should first make sure the faith we're representing is authentic. If our faith is going to be frightening, let it be the fear of God that scares them, not the fear of weirdo-Christians who try to force Jesus into waving their flag.

An Anglican priest, on his blog Father Jake Stops the World, has a long post about the Desert Fathers.  I've included a couple of his paragraphs for context, and the mention he makes about The Jesus Factor.  Along with the two bloggers mentioned above, he seem disturbed, not by the fact that Mr. Bush is a Christian, but by the particular way he mixes his religion with his politics. 

Walking Away

I've been thinking today about the Desert Fathers. They walked off into the desert rather than participate in the scurrying for status within the Church that occurred once it became a legitimate religion under Constantine. The scramble to purchase real estate and to quickly establish liturgical customs borrowed from the Roman aristocracy left them no choice but to simply walk away.

[...] At some point one must admit that an attempt to be a catalyst for change from within is most likely based on delusions of grandeur. People are going to do what they want to do. We can't change them, and it is questionable as to what degree we can even assume to have the right to change them.

But, at the same time, can a person continue to be a part of a system, or a society, that is becoming a culture of death and a machine grinding out destruction?

[...] Don't miss The Jesus Factor tonight at 9 on Frontline. They will explore the spirituality of George Bush. Maybe more reasons why the desert is looking more and more attractive?

D. Lature amplifies this point on his blog, Movable Theoblogical.  There are a few different posts on the subject, written over the course of a couple of days:

Richard Land's view of the left

As if he has any clue (which he does not), Richard Land says on the Frontline special last night that "the left doesn't think God has a side on these issues"....and I said aloud to the TV screen: "Yeah they do, it's just that they think you're on the wrong side".....which is true for just about every social policy issue there is.....due to his (and much of the SBC Leadership's) view that spiritual values are largely confined to personalistic issues, and that "God has ordained the magistrate" to work his purposes in all the "political and social" areas of life......in this case, the "magistrate" is the Bush administration, on whom the Religious Right heaps their blessing, further alienating the deeply spiritual people who care about the social and economic chasms between us in this country. These caring folk have learned to dismiss Christianity as they have seen it at the hands of the Religious Right. I don't believe they are rejecting Christ at all, but only a pale , distorted imitation of it; one which is almost indistinguishable from a crass nationalistic, triumphalism, filled with macho calls to "bring it on".

I am NOT comforted

One NPR reporter on the story from the previous post: Religious people were comforted by the idea that Bush claimed to feel "called to be president", and the "secular people" were concerned. Well, you have to consult OTHER Christians. Not the "Religious Right", but the "Right Christians" as one website calls itself (a site for the "alternate vices" in Christendom --- usually branded as "liberal" or apostate by many of the Religious Right groups.) [...]

In a similar vein, Gracewatcher, on an AOL Journal, objects to the notion that religion should be thought of as Republican turf:

"Jesus was a liberal" Part 1

PBS will be broadcasting a very important one-hour program that will hopefully show how shrewdly people like Karl Rove, Tom Delay, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed and others have enabled the Republican party in general and George W. Bush in particular to translate "The Jesus Factor" in America today into victory all over America for the "Greedy Old Party". [...]

But can Democrats do anything to prevent this travesty of Jesus being used to persuade poor people to vote against their own interests?  In the words of the father of the one black Republican member of congress in recent memory (the now retired Congressman J.C. Watts), "A black person should no more vote Republican, than a chicken should vote for Colonel Sanders!"  [...]

We "Liberals Like Christ", however, have been arguing for years that "The Jesus Factor" should be a tremendous asset, rather than a liability for the Democratic Party. We have developed powerful web sites, including http://www.JesusNoRepublican.Org / which shows why Jesus would abhor today's Republican Party,  & http://www.LiberalsLikeChrist.Org / which shows why Liberal Democrats are more like Christ than are Conservative Republicans. 

If you happen to be able to read Korean, you may wish to read 어느 블로거의 독백과 방백, which Babelfish translates as:  Which blow almost monologue and room hundred.  I read the Babelfish translation, but it is not very good.  All I can really tell is that the author was bothered by the show:

Jesus Factor

Tonight American public management broadcasting PBS it reveals  recently from the book of Plan and of Attack position Bush is distorted the root of the Christianity tube which and it searches it comes out.

[...] The journalist rice right which is famous tu it draws from the Plan of attack book of word and position it is in the Republic of Iraq warfare which it blows to do and "us all the history like that thing mind is not in order to die and" "it dies and the Heaven it goes and and (it comes out one end" a person had to accept Christ to go to heaven")" "only only the broad way which the God orders" it does in 1993 Texas widely known company electing and and and what is called a Holy War (the sanctuary: guerrilla warfare) in Ron it was being caught with the company.

The Republic of Iraq warfare blows to do, indeed. 

On Skydiver Salad, the author -- apparently a secular person -- discusses the opinion that Mr. Bush's brand of religion departs from traditional Evangelical theology:

More Thoughts on "The Jesus Factor"

{...] Now, evangelicalism by its nature is an expressive and expanding movement. But the accumulation of secular or civil power to create a platform through which God can spread God's word, to my understanding, has been anathema to the Evangelicals since their earliest days. Many don't realize that evangelical Christians were some of the staunchest adversaries of Nazi Germany, particularly because they recognized a bastardization of their faith through Hitler's insane view for society. This is not to compare Bush to Hitler, but merely to suggest that the evangelical tradition, while it embraces personal and even communal salvation and redemption through rebirth in God, has not placed domination of world ideology through the accumulation of secular power at its heart. The relationship with God must be a personal one, not a state-enacted one.

On the popular blog, Asymmetrical Information, Mindles H. Dreck addresses the question I posed in the title of my last post: How alarmed should we be?

Dowdification on Frontline?

[...] Which raises the question of how scared we should be of religion in the Presidency (should I say 'odious religiosity'?). If anything, I have become less religious as I age, yet I have had to endure public religious gestures from a succession of presidents from Carter to Bush 43, with only Bush 41 as a short hiatus. It is unclear to me why we should be any less threatened by Carter's public religion than Bush 43 - unless, that is, such fear is cultivated in service of a partisan agenda.

On Bushout, a blogger who refers to him/herself as "Ghandi" [with the quotes] takes the opposite view: we should be very alarmed.

It's a Crusade Against the Untermenschen Arabs

Just FIVE DAYS after 9/11, George W. Bush said:

'This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile.'

It was already sewn up, folks. The most horrible alliance of oil-grabbing corporate swine, neo-conservative ideologues and evangelist Christian nut-cakes.

If you didn't see the US Frontline program's "The Jesus Factor" last night, read about it here. For any in the Muslim world who doubted: Yes, it IS a crusade!

What can we make of the diversity, and the content, of the opinions found on the 'sphere?  It seems that the majority of the opinions I found were negative about Bush, but positive about the show.  This is not what I expected, since I have heard (somewhere) that the majority of blogs express conservative views.  If there are conservatives who approve of Bush's brand of religion, they should say so.  A person's opinion does not count unless it is voiced in some way.

 Even the religiously-oriented blogs seem critical of Bush.  They are bothered by the report that all of the faith-based initiative funding has gone to Christian organizations.  They are troubled by their perception that Bush's way of mixing religion and politics somehow sullies religion.  They are right, of course: mixing politics into anything  will taint whatever it is mixed with.  Another oft-cited criticism from the openly-religious bloggers is what they consider to be the warlike nature of Mr. Bush.  They point out the inherent contradiction between proclaiming oneself a Christian, and starting a war that did not have to be started. 

Another curiosity is that, despite the volume of blogging about The Jesus Factor, most of the more popular bogs are silent on the subject.  I expected to find something on Evangelical Outpost, Dean's World, Daily Kos, Eschaton, Insapundit, etc., but they seem to have nothing to add.  Maybe they are too busy with their computers to watch television.  Maybe they don't even have  televisions.  Maybe Rosemary's new cats have chewed through their TV's power cord. 

If the Higher Beings have chosen to ignore the subject, then why has CC devoted so many virtual inches to it?  Like many reasonable persons, I am worried that Mr. Bush could be re-elected.  It is a bit of a relief to see that not all religious persons -- indeed, not all conservative  religious persons -- find Mr. Bush's mixing of religion and politics to be a good thing.  Perhaps they can speak up a bit more, and break up The Base of evangelical voters.  Also, many Christian persons are troubled by the Iraq War.  I remember watching Bush use the term "Crusade." and wincing when he said it.  It looks as though I was not alone.  I do not think that it was merely an unfortunate choice of a word.  I think that his use of the term reveals something very important, and very disturbing, about the man who used it. 

When I was in training, I learned that a person's choice of individual words can be astonishingly revealing.  I developed an intuition to notice word choices that have an idiosyncratic emotional content.  When Mr. Bush said "Crusade," I became convinced that he was revealing the truth about himself.  One of the major points in The Jesus Factor was that Mr. Bush's religious devotion is both sincere, and calculated.  Sometimes one; sometimes the other.  This is a point that I agree with.  I think that one of the sincere parts of his devotion is the belief that the Iraq War is justified on religious grounds. 

I am comforted  by the finding that not all Christians have bought into Mr. Bush's brand of Christianity.  However, I am troubled  by the thought that the man with his finger on the thermonuclear button thinks it is OK to start a war because his religion tells him it's the right thing to do.