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Whatever Happened To Fidelity?
Concerned Women for America ^ | 5/23/06 | Janice Shaw Crouse

Posted on 05/27/2006 11:02:16 AM PDT by wagglebee

Broken promises are serious business. Every parent has heard the familiar childhood lament, “But you promised!” More often than not, the scene is highly emotional with bitter tears and anguish that rips your heart out. Sometimes there is blazing anger or hostility. All parents who have experienced such scenes mentally kick themselves for having created impossible expectations.

Thankfully, relationships don’t require perfection, but they do have to be based upon honesty and trust. There is a limit to the broken promises a relationship can absorb. Since we all stand in need of God’s forgiveness, there is no better time to model humility and penitence than in sincerely asking forgiveness when we mess up on something we promised and didn’t deliver.

If promises are often broken, however, the child’s protest is likely to be accompanied by an air of caustic resignation that implies, “I can’t believe you; you never come through.” When an outsider observes such attitudes in children, it is distressing and sad because, in such circumstances, the shameful history behind the development of those attitudes is obvious.

Such situations outrage fair-minded people. They offend our sense of justice and our belief that all children are entitled to consistency and honesty from those entrusted with their care.

Whatever the circumstances, the standard parental reply usually begins, “Yes, but . . .,” as the parent tries to explain to the aggrieved child – frequently justifiably – that something unexpected intervened that was beyond her control. But it better be the truth! Kids develop a special ability for detecting lies not long after they learn to yell “No” and “Mine.” Even if we manage to fool them, something in us, something at the core of our being, is damaged.

Lies do that, you know. Like other forms of injustice, lies consume innocence.

Fidelity, along with its antonym infidelity, is an old-fashioned word. In this era of “me-first” individualism, the significance of fidelity is often minimized. But the realities behind fidelity are integral to our interactions –– our negative responses to a broken promise or other violations of trust are as innate and reflexive as blinking the rain out of our eyes. No one has to teach us to be upset or offended when someone “lets us down.”

Fidelity also counts within our own selves. Break a promise you make to yourself and the damage is as real as when you renege on a commitment to a loved one.

Christ’s second great commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourselves.” On the surface, the commandment seems obvious –– and easy to fulfill. The truth is that it is remarkably easy to break promises to ourselves. And, nothing is a surer road to self-hatred and loathing. Of course, there’s always rationalization – which most of us are very adept at – but a steady diet of rationalization compounds the damage to our self-respect. Experience soon teaches us that there are good reasons not to want neighbors who don’t love and respect themselves or who don’t keep their word.

We all have an innate desire for love, but love without fidelity is meaningless. No one has to teach us this truth; we know it intuitively and it figures in our decisions as to whom we want to know and be known by, in every sense of the word.

What has happened in the last 40 or 50 years to our regard for fidelity and honor? Why have these virtues become so neglected when the betrayal of trust is such a devastating injury?

In part, fidelity has been displaced by phony lip service about being nonjudgmental. Why has this latter virtue – which so many people talk about but few actually practice – become so elevated? Perhaps because not being judgmental seems, on the surface, to be so much less difficult than it actually is; on the other hand, it doesn’t take long to learn that keeping your promises is sometimes going to be an expensive, thankless proposition.

Call it Gresham’s Law of Virtues: pick the virtue that costs you the least.

Sometimes, being nonjudgmental is a rather dignified way of saying, “Hands off. Mind your own business. I’ll live my life the way I please, thank you very much.” More often, it is simply a dodge, a means of rejecting the constraint of moral boundaries.

In recent months, we have seen these principles played out in popular culture by movie star Tom Cruise.

Cruise put aside the vows he made to Nicole Kidman, divorced her just as he did his first wife and, after a couple of high-profile affairs, took up with a much younger (perhaps more malleable) woman who is not much more than a girl. He’s in love, you understand, and he went on television to jump up and down –– telling Oprah and the whole world how deliriously happy this new love has made him. But . . . despite getting Katie Holmes pregnant, he simply couldn’t find the time in his busy, busy, oh-so-very-busy schedule to marry her before their daughter, Suri, arrived.

Of course the public is supposed to join Katie in making allowances for him because he is a celebrity and because he’s rich, famous and charming (at least in the eyes of his fans). Also, there’s his recent revelation that he was abused as a child. Still: Can someone explain to me why this young woman should take Cruise at his word that he loves her? Because she’s pretty? Well, Nicole Kidman wasn’t exactly run-of-the-mill. Why should Katie expect that he will be true to her when at least three previous, beautiful women couldn’t count on his promises? Besides, Katie won’t be pretty forever.

Oh sure, even if they, as the saying goes, “grow apart,” there’ll likely be more than enough money to pay the bills, assuming Cruise has a decent investment advisor. But ask most kids if the money is what’s really most important to them. Those children who’ve been down this road tell a bitter story about how it feels when mom and dad don’t stay together and in love.

At any rate, all the publicity – either because the wedding makes a huge splash, or not – might help Katie’s career. Careers are important, you know. Maybe Mission Impossible III will shore up Tom’s career. Its opening box-office receipts, however, indicate he may be past his peak. Their child, Suri . . . who can say? Maybe she will, and maybe she won’t, have to adjust –– like the star’s other two kids and the millions of other children whose world gets ripped apart when their folks trade down from “'til death do us part” to merely “as long as love shall last.”

Without fidelity, life can have an awful lot of “maybes.”

Please spare me the threadbare cliché about “how resilient kids are.” Sure, wounds do heal . . . but they can leave really ugly scars – some that disfigure and impair – and they tend to last a lifetime. Kids really do have this huge need for unconditional love from the kind of parents who keep their promises to each other and to their children.

And, fidelity? Isn’t that the name of some bank or insurance company?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: cwa; familyvalues; fidelity; lies; moralabsolutes
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This is a powerful commentary.
1 posted on 05/27/2006 11:02:18 AM PDT by wagglebee
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To: Alexander Rubin; An American In Dairyland; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; BIRDS; BlackElk; BlessedBeGod; ...
MORAL ABSOLUTES PING.

DISCUSSION ABOUT:

Whatever Happened To Fidelity?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To be included in or removed from the MORAL ABSOLUTES PINGLIST, please FReepMail wagglebee.

2 posted on 05/27/2006 11:03:16 AM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Salvation; NYer; Coleus

Ping.


3 posted on 05/27/2006 11:04:30 AM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

Yes, this is an excellant report of a large moral problem we face.


4 posted on 05/27/2006 11:06:07 AM PDT by Quark606
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To: wagglebee

Oh, boy.

What a great article. If somebody goes back on their word, how good are they? How trustworthy? How attractive?

And it finished up with an absolutely correct analysis of what infidelity and its consequences does to the children.

God help us all.


5 posted on 05/27/2006 11:09:36 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (When you believe in nothing, then everything is acceptable.)
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To: wagglebee

Nothing irritates me more than people who use the cop out "I don't make promises"


6 posted on 05/27/2006 11:12:02 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: wagglebee
An excellent commentary.

Divorce is the ultimate vow a Christian can have outside of that of accepting Christ. Yet, per capita, more Christians divorce than the general population. Worse yet, rather than remaining single or reconciling (as required by God via Paul's words in 1 Cor. 7:10-11), Christians aid the sin by saying "Move on and find another. After all, God wants us to be happy." And so they marry another (while their spouse is still alive (remember, people vow "until death" not "until divorce")) and commit adultery.

There is nowhere in Scripture that states that God wants our personal selfish happiness to be fulfilled. Whatever happiness He may want is strictly in loving and following Him.

When the moral center of a society has such a perverted way of making God condone our sin, it's no wonder we can't figure out why the word "fidelity" matters.
7 posted on 05/27/2006 11:14:06 AM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: wagglebee
If anyone REALLY wants to know the answer to that question, HERE IT IS!!!  (hint:  it's called, "feminism")

· Feminism is another facet of Communism (Feminism is the vehicle for Communism)
· Feminism is dedicated to the destruction of family
· Feminism is about HATE and VIOLENCE
· Feminism and the butcher of children
· Feminism and the connection to homosexuality
· Feminism and sex
· Feminism's tie to the occult and witchcraft
· N.O.W. Remains Dedicated to the Right to Marry for Same-Sex Couples (Feminism - on the FRONT LINES of the Homosexual Marriage push)
· Feminists Destroying Marriage and Relationships (Whats hers is hers, and whats his is hers too...)
· Criminalizing masculinity (Feminist MISANDRY - Passionate HATRED of Males)
· Andrea Dworkin as the Feminist Queen of HATE (Feminism is all about HATE)
· Feminism is INSANITY (Feminist Logic Only Leads to Disaster)
· The State Matriarchy (Enforced Destruction of Society and Marriage by feminist ideology)
· Planned Parenthood Perversity - promoting statutory rape? (Radical Feminist agenda to advance sexual perversion and the destruction of young girls)
· What Have Feminists Done to American Fathers? (First rule of feminism, SLAUGHTER THE TRADITIONAL FAMILY)
· FEMINIST NEO-MARXIST HATE GROUP ADVANCES LEGISLATION IN THE CONGRESS (Is N.O.W. an anti-American Marxist Front Group?)
· Where's Dad? Fatherlessness is DESTROYING America - do YOU know WHY? (We may be the only society in history that has voluntarily chosen mass fatherlessness)
· FEMINISM IS COMMUNISM (Still MORE Quotes. Some may be duplicates, but there are many)
· What Feminist Leader Betty Frieden Didn't want you to Know! (Feminism and its roots in Communism)
· Bush Anti-Divorce Proclamation (LARGE image - 479K) (Bush Attack on Feminist Anti-Family Policies)
· Eradicating The Heterosexual Family (How Feminists and Democrats Seek to Undermine America)

8 posted on 05/27/2006 11:20:18 AM PDT by woodb01 (ANTI-DNC Web Portal at ---> http://www.noDNC.com)
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To: woodb01

Great links, thanks.


9 posted on 05/27/2006 11:21:51 AM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: cripplecreek
Nothing irritates me more than people who use the cop out "I don't make promises"

Another one of those CYA phrases people are so fond of these days.

10 posted on 05/27/2006 11:21:58 AM PDT by virginiaspook
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To: woodb01

Thanks, Woodb01. Very useful links. I agree with you that feminism is the cause of many problems.


11 posted on 05/27/2006 11:23:18 AM PDT by virginiaspook
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To: wagglebee

I thought Fidelity Investments had gone belly-up!


12 posted on 05/27/2006 11:41:30 AM PDT by Mears
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...


13 posted on 05/27/2006 11:43:49 AM PDT by Coleus (I Support Research using the Ethical, Effective and Moral use of stem cells: non-embryonic)
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To: virginiaspook

What truly bothers me is that Conservative Women continue to opine about Men refusing to Marry. When Christian Women in the Bible Belt Divorce their Husbands at a higher rate than Non-Christians. Do you know the Divorce rate in California? It is at 76%. And Women initiate 75% of Divorces.

Feminism is killing our Republic. Conservative Women you cannot have it both ways. Either defend true Equality or stop the pretenses already. Why do so many Conservatives pander to the FemNags? The US Senate reauthorized VAWA 2 with 100% voting for this FemNag Pork.

Anything remotely Masculine is impugned in this culture. And major Corporations in this Republic support Feminist Activists like Oprah. Her car give away was done by GM. FemNag Liberal shows are funded by Advertisers pandering to US Women their primary customers. US Women make 85% of Consumer purchases. Are buying 50% of US Luxury Cars, making 90% of Home purchase Decisions.

US Men have been reduced to Beasts of Burden. This according to a Feminist Attorney who marched with Gloria Steniem in the 1960s. Her conscience no longer allows her to remain silent. Who will fight the Islamo Fascist Thugs? Metrosexuals who care about Hair Products? Please give me a Break. If this Republic is to survive hard choices will have to be made. Freedom's death is one generation away. It must be fought for, it must be defended. Choose our Republic or your Bhurkas.


14 posted on 05/27/2006 11:44:41 AM PDT by Khankrumthebulgar
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To: wagglebee

http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/athome/1950/objects/phonograph.htm


15 posted on 05/27/2006 11:48:22 AM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: Khankrumthebulgar
Feminism is killing our Republic. Conservative Women you cannot have it both ways. Either defend true Equality or stop the pretenses already. Why do so many Conservatives pander to the FemNags? The US Senate reauthorized VAWA 2 with 100% voting for this FemNag Pork.

I agree with you. I am a conservative woman who doesn't cater to them at all. I frequently call them on their inconsistencies. Equal pay for equal work is about as far as I'll go. Beyond that, we need to understand that equality does not mean "the same" and it's about time women understand that. We've been sold a bill of goods for the past 30 years by a bunch of radical, man-hating women and haven't taken a good hard look at our own part in it. Women complain about men not wanting to marry, about men expecting free sex, about men not wanting to be protectors and providers. As Maya Angelou once said, "we teach people how to treat us." That is the answer. We taught men to behave that way and until we expect more and clean up our own act, we will get more of the same.

And, no, I am not a woman-hating woman. I believe we are quite blessed to be women. It's about time we start acting that way.

16 posted on 05/27/2006 11:52:07 AM PDT by virginiaspook
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To: MarkBsnr

>God help us all.<

I have been a member of CWA for over 25 years, and I heartily concur with Janet Crouse's article. It all breaks down to being true to one's word, which should occur with maturity, if not before. Everywhere one looks the past fifty years or so, the more one finds an excuse to be less of an honorable and responsible person. I do not think this is by chance. People, like the example of Tom Cruise, don't have to mature, "because no one else is doing it." Thus the breakdown in the strength and backbone of a country -- the family. Jesus showed us the way. It's all in the Bible, the greatest handbook to life every written.


17 posted on 05/27/2006 11:56:29 AM PDT by Paperdoll
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To: wagglebee

I think that went down during the Savings and Loan/Keating 5 scandals...


18 posted on 05/27/2006 11:58:09 AM PDT by Osage Orange (Molon Labe)
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To: wagglebee

Alive and well here on Free Republic, I'd submit.


19 posted on 05/27/2006 11:59:54 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: wagglebee
A former colleague of mine left his wife (and their children) to move in with another woman, whom he eventually married. I never understood it. His first wife was charming, intelligent, and attractive; so far as I know, she was always faithful to him. They had several wonderful children; I had always though he was devoted to them.

I wonder: How can he look himself in the mirror in the morning? How can he take any pleasure in his new marriage, knowing he walked out on his first wife and family? What does he say to his children?

And how can his new wife ever trust him?

20 posted on 05/27/2006 12:00:56 PM PDT by Logophile
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To: Paperdoll

Only minutes ago, just before finding this thread, I had an argument with my wife....A woman we know decided she didn't what to be married anymore and just divorced her husband. She had been a SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER...he a devout Christian.

She had NO Biblical grounds for the divorce. Yet, my wife uses the "But, Jesus wants us to be happy" straw argument to defend what she did. My response: Find for me in the Word where Jesus said it is OK to divorce if that makes you happy.


21 posted on 05/27/2006 12:09:44 PM PDT by Moby Grape
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To: Impeach the Boy
She had NO Biblical grounds for the divorce. Yet, my wife uses the "But, Jesus wants us to be happy" straw argument to defend what she did. My response: Find for me in the Word where Jesus said it is OK to divorce if that makes you happy.

Oh, *&^%$~!!!! I can't believe she buys into that "I have a right to be happy, no matter what" crap! I don't know about her, but there's no small print on my birth certificate guaranteeing that I'll always be "happy".

With all due respect to your wife, she needs to rethink that position.

22 posted on 05/27/2006 12:16:36 PM PDT by virginiaspook
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To: Logophile
And how can his new wife ever trust him?

Not if she has any spare brain cells at all!

23 posted on 05/27/2006 12:17:59 PM PDT by virginiaspook
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To: wagglebee

Great article bump.


24 posted on 05/27/2006 12:23:21 PM PDT by msjhall
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To: virginiaspook

I'm afraid my wife buys into the OPHRAH world view. But, many women do

My wife thinks that there "had to be something wrong with (the husband", or she wouldn't have wanted a divorce. (Never mind that the woman was having an affair). Nevermind that the young woman the husband thought to be his wife's younger sister was actually his wife's illegitimate child.

We live in an age where people what to pick and choose what to believe in Christianity (sort of buffet style). The "What I Feel" brand of so called Faith.

The Bible warns against this when we are told not to trust the heart as it is deceitful above all things.


25 posted on 05/27/2006 12:25:49 PM PDT by Moby Grape
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To: Impeach the Boy


God hates divorce. Even if two people are no longer "in love", if they have integrity, are not self-centered, and stay true to their marital promises, I think a finer, deeper and more induring love results. But it takes two dedicated people to attain this. I have been divorced very early in my life before I gave my life to Christ, because if I didn't I don't think I would still be among the living. There are reasons why divorce is acceptable by God. And there are far worse states than being single. Unfortunately, you are right, the divorce statistics among Christians are nearly on a par with the secular world. We have all been tainted by Society's destructive example. That is why thirsting for God's Word is more important than ever. There are Christians, and then there are Christians. No where will anyone of them find advice more valuable than the words of Jesus, especially now that Satan is taking the gloves off in his final effort. As a couple, as a family, read Ephesians 6:10-18 every morning.


26 posted on 05/27/2006 12:28:41 PM PDT by Paperdoll
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To: Khankrumthebulgar

Get out much?


27 posted on 05/27/2006 12:30:57 PM PDT by dakine
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To: Impeach the Boy

We live in an age where people what to pick and choose what to believe in Christianity (sort of buffet style).



Doesn't apply to me. I am a true believer in the Eight Commandments!


28 posted on 05/27/2006 12:31:47 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: wagglebee
This is a powerful commentary.

No kidding. Zing.
29 posted on 05/27/2006 12:34:26 PM PDT by Old_Mil (http://www.constitutionparty.org - Forging a Rebirth of Freedom.)
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To: wagglebee

All part of what happens when we let the Political Class walk from their crimes. It's clear now that they think they are above the law. It started with Clinton and has now reached the point where House members defend somebody from a legal search warrant and Senate members grant amnesty to an entire class of lawbreakers.

Fidelity is dying because our political "leaders" excuse wrongdoing rather than hold people accountable and force them to confront the consequences.

Moral "trickle down".


30 posted on 05/27/2006 12:36:21 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (I wish a political party would come along that thinks like I do.)
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To: ConservativeMind
I meant to say that Marriage is the ultimate vow one can have, not Divorce.

Thanks to Hazwaste for the head's up.
31 posted on 05/27/2006 12:38:41 PM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: Tall_Texan

Interesting point.


32 posted on 05/27/2006 12:39:04 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Paperdoll

I do not claim all divorce wrong, as I know you do not as well. Divorce is always sad, but the Bible is clear about acceptable divorce for those who claim to be BELIEVERS. If a NON-Believer wishes to leave, let them leave, and adultery is Biblically acceptable grounds.

I am bothered by those who claim the belive the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, yet lean on this, "But, Jesus understands how I feel" crap, when it is 180 degrees opposite of what Christ SAID about the subject.

And sadly, the Church of today is not helping very much, due to a watered-down approach that allows people who divorce their spouses without Bibical ground, to remain members in good standing.


33 posted on 05/27/2006 12:39:13 PM PDT by Moby Grape
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To: virginiaspook

Look,the whole fidelity thing went down the drain during the Sixties sexual revolution of which I regrettably admit I was a big advocate of back then.
Too bad because even though the monogamy of my parent's era-with many exceptions even back then,of course-seemed boring at least you felt you could trust your wife or husband not to act like a total whore.
I talked a good game back then but in practice I was generally pretty faithful to whoever I was with.Yet seeing all the cheating and promiscuity around me completely soured me on ever trusting women again.
And If I was a woman,no way in the world would I trust a man!!


34 posted on 05/27/2006 12:39:23 PM PDT by Riverman94610
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To: Impeach the Boy


Oprah = New Age = anti-Biblican thinking = the reason we're where we're at today.


35 posted on 05/27/2006 12:39:43 PM PDT by Paperdoll
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To: Tall_Texan

Fidelity is dying because our political "leaders" excuse wrongdoing rather than hold people accountable and force them to confront the consequences.

Moral "trickle down".





What about business leaders?


36 posted on 05/27/2006 12:39:59 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: woodb01

Thanks for the links


37 posted on 05/27/2006 12:59:11 PM PDT by Canedawg (In God We Trust)
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To: wagglebee

ping


38 posted on 05/27/2006 1:16:23 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: wagglebee

Gotta read this later!

And BTTT while I'm at it.


39 posted on 05/27/2006 1:45:53 PM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: durasell
What about business leaders?

Was Enron corrupt because they saw Clinton get away with it or was Clinton corrupted by granting favors to Enron?

40 posted on 05/27/2006 1:59:24 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (I wish a political party would come along that thinks like I do.)
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To: wagglebee
lies consume innocence.

Mr. Clinton, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Kennedy, Ms. Feinstein, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Schumer. You're being called out here.

41 posted on 05/27/2006 2:01:19 PM PDT by Hardastarboard (Why isn't there an "NRA" for the rest of my rights?)
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To: woodb01

Major BTTT for your links.


42 posted on 05/27/2006 2:01:58 PM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: Tall_Texan

Not everything can be traced by to politics. We live in an age of very little fidelity in any field. It amazes me that some folks believe that marriage is immune...


43 posted on 05/27/2006 2:04:01 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: Khankrumthebulgar

what does the stat which you state non source that women initiate 75 percent of the divorces have to do with infidelity?


44 posted on 05/27/2006 2:05:17 PM PDT by sabe@q.com (Yes, I'm a SW freak!)
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To: Impeach the Boy

"A woman we know decided she didn't what to be married anymore and just divorced her husband."

Only she and her husband knew the real reason.


45 posted on 05/27/2006 2:07:08 PM PDT by sabe@q.com (Yes, I'm a SW freak!)
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To: Tall_Texan

Oops, sorry. My first response was based on a misreading of your post. My answer -- based on a correct reading -- is that we live in an age of Richard III's. Smooth talkers...from Shakespeare:

Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls:
Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devised at first to keep the strong in awe:
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.


46 posted on 05/27/2006 2:07:55 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: marajade

Only she and her husband knew the real reason.


Yes, but that shouldn't stop us from speculating. I'll kick it off:

A)Allergic reaction to latex
B) Distaste for Penguins and Puffins.
C)No more wire hangers!
D)Dish versus cable...


47 posted on 05/27/2006 2:10:25 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: Riverman94610
Look,the whole fidelity thing went down the drain during the Sixties sexual revolution of which I regrettably admit I was a big advocate of back then.

All that has really changed is that it used to be "out of sight, out of mind". Mistresses and affairs have never been uncommon, but they were relatively discreet. People just care less about appearance now, and I would guess that is in part because people are more anonymous now in many ways.

48 posted on 05/27/2006 2:16:30 PM PDT by tortoise
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To: wagglebee
I can't tell you how many times I've read, just in the last week, that "men aren't wired to be monogamous". That's what happened to fidelity - "science" is telling us that men can't do it, that men can't control themselves.
49 posted on 05/27/2006 2:26:40 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (Colossians 4:6)
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To: MarkBsnr

They say that if a man will lie to his wife, he'll lie to anyone... his co-workers, his boss, his siblings, etc. Better watch him carefully.


50 posted on 05/27/2006 2:33:31 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny. "--Aeschylus)
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