Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sotomayor and The Oath

The terrific Jonah Goldberg begins his latest column by displaying the oath that Sonia Sotomayor will take if she is confirmed as a Justice of The Supreme Court, and pointing out how she really has no intention of keeping it.Why is this so? What has happened to the state of honor in the human soul that the solemn promises a person swears to keep bear so lightly, if at all when the time comes to live up to that oath. I know, I know, we have had liars and other dishonest sorts among us since man was created. There is a quote that goes;

“A liar freely gives his oath.”

These are not the people I’m talking about. At least I hope not. I hope that society has not become so strewn with dishonesty that the honest, honorable people among us are being choked out. I’m wondering about people who hold positions responsibility, like a judge, or even a President and regular folks like bosses and spouses who easily cast aside their oaths in order to serve their short term goals.

And the President I was referring to is not Mr. Obama. George W. Bush, upon signing the McCain-Feingold campaign finance act, acknowledged at the time of the signing that the law he signed was unconstitutional. He knowingly broke his presidential oath to protect and defend The Constitution hoping that the Supreme Court would knock the law down. To his surprise it did not. And our Fist Amendment rights of free speech have been narrowed. Because when the time came for Mr. Bush to uphold his oath, he chose to mollify the electorate and seek political cover. If the Left truly wanted to impeach Mr. Bush they missed their chance.

The ease with which an unhappy spouse can obtain a divorce is another example of the deteriorating ability and desire within people to fulfill a sworn promise. There are cases where divorce is the best, but often sad option. Physical abuse certainly qualifies. Marital infidelity often cannot be overcome. But abandoning a marriage because a spouse has taken ill or money is too tight or one spouse is just plain unhappy is sad commentary on the way people who wreak this kind of havoc on their spouses and children were taught by their parents.

As a country, America has become a place where the stigma of dishonorable behavior has been fairly well eradicated. Oaths, vows and pledges have become quaint vignettes within elaborate ceremonies. Breaking one’s oath no longer brings any type of shame or opprobrium on the transgressor. The miscreant just makes an insincere apology, claims victimhood and resumes collecting his paycheck. Maybe even writes a book or goes on Oprah and makes a profit off his dishonor.

America does not need a draft to bring our youth into a culture of honor and loyalty. By 18 years old it is way to late for most kids to learn this type of behavior. No, what America needs for its youth are parents willing to instill the idea that honor is a virtue worth having. And second if Obama is serious about his “youth corps” or whatever he calls it, we already have two organization that teach young boys and girls about honor, duty and loyalty. They are called the Boy Scouts of America, and Girl Scouts of America. And both of their oaths begin with:

“On my honor…”


DonnieBallgame said...

Look at the way athletes and TV stars are always looking to re-negotiate their contracts after a little success. Same type of thing.

1stClassBSA said...

I found this quote from the Greek writer Aeschylus “It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath” We just need better men (and women)

2pennies said...

I agree with this article. Lots of people pay lip service to the value of virtues, but if acting on those virtues comes with any real cost then they say the hell with it, I'm looking out for #1!

And it is the cange in popular culture that started in the 1960's that paved over a lot of attitudes that were based in virtue.

Auguste Ballz said...

DonnieB...Sure is. I should've used the word "lust" in the post.

1stClass..OK, but you start by first putting your trust on the line, vulnerable to the dishonest. What I'm saying is, this has become a much more dangerous proposition in today's society. The men who would validate the oath seem to be getting harder to find. Today's society would still keep Diogenes looking for his guy.

2pennies...Remember these chestnuts.."If it feels good, do it"....and "Do unto others, then split" and it's brother.."Do unto others before they do unto you"

All brought to you by the great 60's philosophers.

2pennies said...

You forgot "love the one your with" LOL. Not really a laughing matter come to think of it.

RepugsSuck said...

I guess nobody here ever broke a promise or told a lie. What a bunch of preening right wing hypocrites.

Auguste Ballz said...

Repugs...That is not the point. Everyone knows that we all have told lies and have broken promises we made. But being guilty of these things doesn't mean that people of honor stop striving to live up to other promises and vows. You don't quit trying to do the right thing even if you have sometimes failed at doing so.

There is a huge difference between the person who tries to live up toa promise and fails to do so, and the person who ignores his promise to better and more quickly serve a new desire.

And you need to get a better understanding of what hypocrisy is. A dictionary is a good place to start.

RepugsSuck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Auguste Ballz said...

I broke my own rule. Never feed the troll.

Mat633 said...

Our materialistic, instant gratification driven society has taught people that no matter what your desire, you can have it now. But many times you give up what is priceless for that which has no value.

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