Reblog: Church and State: Are there Limits to Loyalty?

Superb essay!

(And it has nothing to do with the fact he praised my book.) 🙂

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

The definition of loyalty as unwavering devotion to a person or idea is something of a misnomer.  Whether voluntary or not, people are loyal only as long as the conditions upon which it is based remain in effect.  Marital loyalty is lost when one or both spouses break the vows they had made to each other or the mutual trust they had shared.  Dictators lose the loyalty of their subjects when it can no longer be sustained through coercive or manipulative means.  Ideas lose the loyalty of supporters when exposed as being fundamentally flawed or fraudulent.

Loyalty is a trait highly regarded in human cultures precisely because it is so transient.  Disloyalty is as conversely reviled because it is perceived as being ubiquitous.  Loyalty requires continual conscious effort.  Disloyalty requires only impulsive behavior.  To maintain the loyalty of others, people commonly employ guilt and even fear

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