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January 18, 2014


Francis W. Porretto
...loyalty begins at home.

That's an Arab / Muslim maxim, not an American or Christian one. It demeans your entire essay.

Loyalty, to have meaning and validity, must be awarded to one's conception of what is good and right, and therefore to those who uphold those things. Loyalty directed on any other basis is mere tribalism.


Fracis W. Poretto,

I had never heard this before but it is really, really true. I usually agree with the author but not in this case. You have opened my eyes. Thank you.

R.J. Godlewski

Francis, Susan,

Thank you for your comments. However, I would offer the following:

“Love towards oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality.
“…since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.” CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, #2264

“The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:

-- the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in keeping with the family’s own moral and religious convictions;” CCC, #2211

“…So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it.” CCC #2240

“Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action, and morals.” CCC #407.

“The New Law practices the acts of religion: almsgiving, prayer and fasting, directing them to the ‘Father who sees in secret,’ in contrast with the desire to ‘be seen by men.’” CCC #1969

“Do not go in pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 10:5 New American Bible

I will, therefore, continue to suggest, “loyalty begins at home” as that represents the “position to which God has assigned” us. As Americans, are we not duly bound to devote ourselves to our communities and states BEFORE we worry about the country as a whole? As Christians, are we not duly bound to devote ourselves to our families and society BEFORE we worry about saving the world? If we do these things, then we can influence the greater body of humanity. No one ever served any good by worrying about the green grass on the other side while neglecting his or her own lawn.
Simply saying that loyalty to one’s own family, clan, community, or culture is exclusively an Arab or Muslim maxim ignores 10,000+ years of civilization.



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