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Loyalty Day

Today is Loyalty Day in the US.  (Yeah, I wasn’t aware of it either.)  Washington taking the Oath of Office gives us a moment of reflection on the concept of loyalty.  George Washington was clearly loyal to the United States of America.  Prior to the Revolutionary War he had taken oaths of loyalty to the King.  Was he foresworn when he rose in rebellion?  No, because an oath can never take away from a man or woman their responsibility to defend what is at the core of every oath:  Truth.  It is impossible for us to remain true to an oath if remaining true to an oath forces us to betray God, country or some other value more precious than our lives.  Oaths are symbols of fidelity, but they cease to be binding when obedience involves betrayal.  It is a fine moral line, and it is quite subject to self-serving excuse making, but it is true nonetheless.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

4 Comments

  1. We must be loyal to God, to His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, to our families, to the Republic of the United States of America and to her Constitution. But to equate loyalty to the Church or the Republic with loyalty to a mere mortal man (whether Pope Francis or Barack Hussein Obama) is to place personalities before principles. We must respect the office of the Vicar of Christ (the Pope) and the office of the Presidency. We must obey duly appointed authority except when such obedience contravenes higher law. Indeed, no mere mortal man, whether Pope or President, replaces God’s only begotten Son to whom we owe everything, and by whom any legitimate authority exists at all.

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    From the Appendix in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous – it would do well for clerics and politicians to consider this:

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    “And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of Anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all.”

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    It isn’t about the person and how great he is – all the Pope’s photo opportunities and all the news media accolades for a liberal President. It is about Jesus Christ.

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    Matthew 6:1-4:

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    1 Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

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    Be loyal to Jesus, to the Church, to your family, to the Republic and to the Constitution. And do good without desire for notice – be anonymous in good-doing and responsible when having made a mistake. That’s the way it was given to me beginning on May 16, 1986 and it works.

  2. “an oath can never take away from a man or woman their responsibility to defend what is at the core of every oath: Truth.” the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God

  3. Here in Scotland, not a little blood was shed over this question. Could those who had sworn allegiance to King James VII & II and his heirs be released from that obligation? An ancestor of mine thought not and died in the braes of Killiecrankie, with the Glory of the Grahams (known variously as “Bludie Clavers” or “Bonnie Dundee”) Alas! Some, Catholics among them, believed

    “Ye’d better kiss’d King Willie’s loff
    Than come tae Killiecrankie-o”

    Doubtless, they are keeping the Prince of Orange company in the Hereafter.

    The Papists Act of 1778 (18 George III c. 60) granted relief from the Penal Laws to those who swore allegiance to the Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg (as my forebears would have called King George III) and abjured the “Pretender” (Bonnie Prince Charlie). Even though the Cause was hopeless after Culloden, few did so, until the autumn of 1807, following the death of the Cardinal Duke of York (King Henry IX) on 13 July of that year. The Sheriff Court Books of Ayr contain dozens who did so and Aryshire had few Catholic families..

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