Maximum Loyalty: “Thou Shalt Be One With Me”

George P. Fletcher

in Loyalty

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780195098327
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852901 | DOI:
Maximum Loyalty: “Thou Shalt Be One With Me”

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Minimum loyalty is satisfied by non-betrayal, avoiding treason, idolatry and adultery. The devotional dimension of loyalty requires rituals of attachment and devotion expressed in patriotic observances, religious worship and sexuality intimacy. Patriotism implies more than loyalty to the state. It is a romantic passion for a people and a culture. Patriotism is expressed through rituals such as saluting the flag. The loyalty oath, in contrast, in its current usage, is merely an ineffective and offensive device for weeding out the politically unreliable from positions of responsibility. In Western religious thought, idolatry is the basic sin because it is an act of disloyalty to a jealous God who has entered a covenantal relationship with the community of believers. Religious rituals express and confirm loyalty to God. In monogamous relationships, sexual acts serve as ritualistic confirmation of underlying emotional devotion. Fidelity provides reassurance of the other partner's commitment to the relationship.

Keywords: loyalty; devotion; religious rituals; patriotism; loyalty oaths; idolatry; adultery; fidelity; commitment

Chapter.  6853 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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