Here's a dilemma: You come to find out that Cilla, the sister who's been generously contributing thousands of dollars to your three kids' college funds, is actually a porn star. The college cash turns out to be the ill-gotten gains of immoral exploitation. You're horrified and consider returning the money. Your husband disagrees. What do you do?
“G-Rated Sister in San Diego” wrote to the syndicated advice column “Dear Abby” for advice. Understandably, she wrote, “Abby, I don't want my sister's sexual exploits paying for our kids' education … Should we return the money? And if we do, is it possible to do it without causing a rift between my sister and me?”
If “Sister” was hoping for the easy way out, she turned to the right advice columnist. Jeanne Phillips (the “Dear Abby” writer) replied that “Sister” was being “emotional;” her husband, “pragmatic.”
“If you refuse her generosity, it will appear that you are rejecting her. Nor do I think your children should be penalized because you don't approve of Cilla's lifestyle.”
[Sigh] Don't be such an up-tight prude. The important thing is that the money makes your life easier and your porn star sister doesn't feel rejected.
Phillips went on: “You're not going to change your sister. You may not approve, but love her for the generous and caring aunt she is trying to be and let the money be used for something positive.”
If you really must be [shudder] judgmental, then rationalize taking the money by telling yourself it's for a “positive” goal. Just so long as you don't do anything to harm you sister's self esteem.
As the Culture & Media Institute has chronicled, Phillips is a reliable advocate for liberal sexuality and moral relativism. CMI found that in 2007, 53 percent of her columns rejected traditional morality, and she rarely found adultery or teenage sexual activity wrong.