A New Mission — A New June: Fidelity Month Begins
The darkness is obvious by now. It needs no more announcement. We feel it every day. We know well the destruction being wrought. We see a foreboding future for our children rather than a hopeful one if our course is not corrected. So what do we do?
Cursing the darkness accomplishes nothing. Darkness is only dispelled by light. It’s as simple, and as challenging, as that.
The way forward is a return — not a vain attempt to go back in time, but a return to the virtues and values that never fail to build healthy, disciplined, happy people: humility, honor, temperance, charity, gratitude and fidelity. With such tools as these, by God’s grace, we can rebuild our crumbling, still-beloved nation.
This is the impetus behind Fidelity Month, inaugurating this June 1st. Fidelity Month is “a month dedicated to the importance of fidelity to God, spouses and families, our country, and our communities.”
It is the vision of Dr. Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and is quickly growing into a lively new movement.
I interviewed Dr. George about what Fidelity Month means, who it is for, and how we can realize it.
What is Fidelity Month and who is it for?
RG: Fidelity Month is an invitation — and a movement! — to remind ourselves of the importance of being faithful to God, our spouses and families, and our country and communities. Who is Fidelity Month for? It’s for EVERYONE!
How did the idea for Fidelity Month come about? Why does our country need Fidelity Month?
RG: Survey data show a precipitous decline in Americans’ view of the importance of religion, family, patriotism, and other core values that have always been sources of our nation’s unity and strength. To me, that’s a flashing red light warning us that we need to rededicate ourselves to our core values. I believe that a renewal of our understanding of these values and our support for them will help to heal many of the wounds and maladies we are facing these days.
In our current culture, fidelity is not a word often heard, even less an idea often encouraged. What does “fidelity” mean?
RG: Fidelity means being faithful — faithful to the values that are most important; being faithful in our spiritual lives, in our marriages, in our lives as citizens and members of communities. Fidelity means honoring one’s obligations and commitments. It means keeping one’s promises, being true to one’s word. To be faithful, one must have integrity; often one must have courage. People who are faithful to the most important values live for others, not just for themselves. They serve. They bring care, compassion, and healing to those who need them. They love others and do not allow themselves to fall into the trap of mistaking sentimentality for love. They are deeply committed to the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of each and every member of the human family. They seek true justice, and will not be sold a counterfeit. They are determined truth seekers and bold truth speakers.
John F. Kennedy challenged an earlier generation of Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” That is the spirit of Fidelity Month! We need to reaffirm President Kennedy’s call for patriotism and add to it: Do not ask, what can my wife or husband do for me. Ask what can I do for my spouse. Do not ask, what can my local community do for me. Ask what can I do for my community.
What is the symbolism behind the logo?
RG: Myrtle has long been a symbol of fidelity — hence the myrtle wreath that is the centerpiece of the Fidelity Month logo.
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. 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.
The color blue symbolizes truth, loyalty, responsibility, and peace.
In summary, “Fidelity Month proposes a positive vision: we stand for fidelity to God, to spouses and families, and to our county and communities. Our aim is to renew our own commitment, and encourage our fellow citizens to renew their commitment, to the values that have historically been among our society’s main sources of strength and unity, despite our many differences.”
How You Can Take Part
Visit the website, www.fidelitymonth.com
If you’d like to learn more, there will be a webinar on June 1st at 1:00 pm, Central time.
Fidelity Month shirts and hats are available to purchase from Silver Screen Designs. (Note: this is not a fundraiser. Costs have been kept as low as possible.)
Do all that you can, in your community, to promote Fidelity Month.
Resigning our nation to the quagmire of perpetual division, disgrace, and chaos must not be our plan. There is a clear way forward, though it will take sacrifice and patience. It will demand commitment and courage. Let’s get to it.
“With pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God and go forward without fear.” – Abraham Lincoln