Joseph Carson (73530.2350@CompuServe.COM)
07 Dec 96 00:15:58 EST
Bowl of pottage; Excise one demon and seven return; ASME and me;
Dear Fellow Professional and reader,
As you, I have (and will) spend the best hours of the best days
of my life either preparing for or pursuing my vocation in a
technical or scientific career, in my case Mechanical
As a result of much work and expense on my part, I am, as you,
eligible to join a prestigious Professional Society, in my case
ASME, International. ASME, International has unquestioned
national, and growing international, recognition as the
recognized, authoritative voice of my profession.
o It establishes consensus standards that are regularly
codified into statute by the State.
o It regularly contacts officials in the highest levels of our
Government and the Governments of foreign countries.
o It influences educational policy, industrial policy, tax
policy, again at high levels.
It claims, as it charter, a significant portion of the known
fields of human endeavor for its 125,000 members from over a
dozen countries around the world. It claims to represent my
interests, regularly solicits my volunteer efforts, asks me to
serve as its unofficial "Ambassador," in contacting elected
officials at State and National Levels, and has repeatedly called
upon me to proselytize new members.
As a condition of membership, it requires me to adhere to a "Code
of Ethics of Engineers," which, at root, is based on metaphysical
principles derived from unprovable presuppositions.
But it also states, as Dr. Belden's letter indicates, that it
avoids claims of religious discrimination against U.S.
Constitutional mandate for "freedom of religion" by it's self-
interpreted policy of "freedom from religion."
Somehow, as a Christian, as an American, and as a Mechanical
Engineer, I just don't think so.
For whatever reasons God has willed, I'm soon to become singular
in the history of Federal Government. No one else before has
ever prevailed in three straight whistleblower reprisal appeals
against a Federal Agency. Reader, I've been there and done
that - gone where no one else has gone before. What is the "root
cause" of the existence and persistence of the corruption I've
encountered and confronted? I say it's sin and the lack of an
overt, efficacious Christian presence in Engineering profession
to combat it.
Dr. Belden's letter is innocuous sounding and reasonable.
However, his reasoning that the "religion" or spiritual impulses
of ASME, International's members cannot be appropriately
recognized within ASME, International leads to a dismal result.
ASME being kept "free from religion" is, I argue, a necessary
pre-condition for the existence and persistence of the
institutional and personal evil I've encountered in the
Department of Energy.
Absent the validity of my faith in the Christian metaphysic, I'm
the most miserable of employees in DOE, and the most miserable of
ASME members who have ever risked significantly to comply with
its "Code of Ethics of Engineers."
Workplaces are inherently hierarchial and anti-democratic. Any
employee who thinks he/she has significant "rights" to his/her
job, needs to be disabused. Employment relationships,
particularly for professionals, are, in essence "at will." That
means the employee or employer can end employment relationship at
any time - for any reason or for no reason. Like the Mosiac law
for divorce that Jesus was asked about.
Professional Society membership is significantly different.
While I can resign from it at any time, the Professional Society
cannot revoke my membership without due cause and some process of
adjudication. Professional Societies exist for much different
reasons than private companies/public agencies do. They are
egalitarian and, in polity, representational. Leadership
positions, at least at local levels, generally go begging.
I submit that we may be trading our "birthright" - the most
productive hours of our lives spent in qualifying for membership
in these professional societies - for a "bowl of pottage" in
accepting, as spiritually sound, reasoning as expressed by Dr.
Belden of ASME.
Thank you for your attention and interest.
Your coworker in His creation,
Joe Carson, P.E.