I think we can all agree that America is no longer one nation under God, indivisible.
Not since the 60’s has there been such a cultural divide with everyone insisting that they are right with no compromise and no middle ground.
Jesus called us to “Love our neighbors as ourselves,” which is the second greatest Commandment, but that seems impossible, an old-fashioned idea. “That’s a nice idea, Jesus, but really?”
Wait a minute. Jesus was saying this to the crowds who gathered around him, so, these concepts are not passé. Neither was this: “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also” (Luke 6:27-29).
We have become an irreligious, irreverent society, soon to become irrelevant. According to a Wall Street Journal article from March, patriotism, religion, and community involvement are disappearing faster than the Eastern Lowland Gorilla.
• They found that just 38% of Americans believe patriotism is “very important” to them, down from 70% who said the same thing in 1998.
• How important is religion? 39% of Americans said it was important, while in 1998, 62% believed that.
• 69% believed raising kids was “very important” in 1998. Today: 30%.
• Only 27% believed community involvement was important, when in 1998, 62% believed it was.
• How about tolerance? 58% believe that is important. But just four years ago, 80% did.
Concerned yet? That’s why it is encouraging to know that Dr. Robert George “by the authority vested in me by absolutely no one…have declared June to be “Fidelity Month”—a month dedicated to the importance of fidelity to God, spouses and families, and our country and communities.” (FidelityMonth.com)
“There are a million things we can and should do to restore the faith of our people and begin to heal the dreadful division in our county,” writes George, “but I would like you to join in one small one. I would be grateful if you and any organizations which you are involved in or have influence with to recognize and celebrate Fidelity Month. Put out a statement. Hold an event (like hosting a speaker on the importance of any of the values we need to restore). Use the symbol to make and fly a Fidelity Month flag and post it to your social media or website. Think of other things to do.”
The Fidelity Month flag is rife with symbolism: The myrtle wreath is a symbol of fidelity. “The circular shape of the wreath is representative of God and His eternal nature, while the openness at the top of the wreath is suggestive of a divine embrace.
“The branches and leaves that compose the wreath signify a family that is dependent upon and in union with God.
“The star and stripe at the center bottom of the wreath symbolize our common union as Americans—“one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
“The color gold symbolizes generosity and compassion—virtues that are closely connected to fidelity (supporting it and being supported by it). Fidelity, generosity, and compassion are anti-narcissistic virtues, reflecting the knowledge—the wisdom—that everything is not “about me.” It is a recognition of the duties we have to others, and that our true fulfillment is to be found in serving others: God, our spouses and families, our communities and country.
“Blue, our background color, symbolizes truth, loyalty, responsibility, and peace.”
I announced it to our congregation on Sunday and will ask our City Council to recognize June as “Fidelity Month” as well. It starts with you.