Thursday, September 2, 2010

Our Word of Honor

By: Bastiatarian

Another soldier has enlisted then decided that he's against what the military was already doing when he enlisted.

There are a couple of issues here. First is that if you're such a moron that you don't know that the U.S. military is (regardless of what the Effete-Fop-in-Chief and his Cabinet of Prisses say) fighting against Islamofascists, you shouldn't be joining the military, and you really shouldn't even be going outside unattended. If you're not okay with shooting fellow Muslims, don't set foot into the recruiter's office. Unless he has been living in North Korea for the past couple of decades, Pfc. Naser Abdo knew who the enemy was when he crossed that threshold.

The other issue is a more general one, that of the responsibilities we take upon ourselves when we voluntarily become part of a group or organization. When we use our own agency to make that decision, we also make the decision to adhere to the existing rules of that group, regardless of whether we want to or not. If we don't want to follow those rules, we are free to abstain from joining. If we do join, we are under obligation to conform.

Things like this always remind me of my undergraduate alma mater, Brigham Young University. As many people know, BYU has a somewhat strict Honor Code that students and faculty are required to agree to before admission or employment. Here is the Honor Code Statement from the BYU website.
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. . . . If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things (Thirteenth Article of Faith).
As a matter of personal commitment, faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University—Hawaii, Brigham Young University—Idaho, and LDS Business College seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will

Be honest
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
Respect others
Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
Participate regularly in church services
Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code
Specific policies embodied in the Honor Code include (1) the Academic Honesty Policy, (2) the Dress and Grooming Standards, (3) the Residential Living Standards, and (4) the Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement.
(For reference, Dress and Grooming Standards consist of things such as wearing modest, non-revealing clothing, short hair and no beards for men, no extreme hairstyles or hair colors, etc.)

Now, these standards are likely unattractive to many students at colleges and universities around the United States. Many people view them as overly strict, puritanical, oppressive, etc. They are free to have such views, of course, and are free to avoid applying to BYU, or to stay away from the BYU campus altogether. BYU is certainly not for everyone.

However, I have met students at BYU (fortunately a very small minority) that constantly complain about the Honor Code and the rules, and sometimes seem to go out of their way to violate those standards. From my perspective, this is the epitome of dishonor. If you disagree with the requirements of an organization, refrain from joining that organization. Do not give your word that you will conform to the expectations of that organization. If you join the organization and give your word that you will adhere to the rules, but then complain about the rules, you are an irresponsible, self-centered child. If you violate those rules regardless of your promise to adhere to them, you are a liar and not worthy of trust.

In a previous post, I quoted Karl Maeser in relation to the topic of integrity. It has full application here as well.
I have been asked what I mean by word of honor. I will tell you. Place me behind prison walls—walls of stone ever so high, ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground—there is a possibility that in some way or another I may be able to escape, but stand me on that floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of that circle? No, never! I’d die first!
Integrity means that we keep our word when we have chosen voluntarily to give that word, regardless of our personal feelings, convenience, etc. Pfc. Abdo brings not only brings shame onto himself for his lack of integrity, but does more damage to the reputation of Muslims as well, something that they can ill afford.

28 comments:

  1. the kid is an idiot and either misdirected or being used by someone else to make a statement...

    But then again, now that you have made me aware of the BYU honor code and the fact that you have swore to uphold it...you are one really poor example of the results of that code...

    ReplyDelete
  2. >the fact that you have swore to uphold it...

    I am currently neither a student at, nor an employee of, BYU. (By the way, that should be "sworn." Reference: Past Participle)

    >you are one really poor example of the results of that code

    An interesting, although wildly bizarre and 100% uninformed observation. To accommodate your special needs, I'll take each point of the Code one by one.

    1. Be honest

    I continue to be honest in all of my dealings with others.

    2. Live a chaste and virtuous life

    I am completely faithful to my wife and strive to adhere to strict moral standards in all aspects of my life.

    3. Obey the law and all campus policies

    I obey the law (including making full stops at stop signs) and adhere to the rules and regulations of the university at which I am currently employed.

    4. Use clean language

    I don't even use "Biblical" swear words ("d--n," "h--l," etc.).

    5. Respect others

    I respect others by responding directly and honestly to the actual content of their words and behavior.

    6. Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse

    I don't even drink cola.

    7. Participate regularly in church services

    I participate in normal Sunday worship services and also serve in a variety of capacities in the congregation.

    8. Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards

    Although I am occasionally unshaven for a few days, I dress modestly, bathe daily, and have no hair for any type of extreme hair style.

    9. Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code

    I consistently encourage others to set high standards for themselves and to live up to those standards.

    Your assertion that I am "one really poor example of the results of that code" therefore implies that you view honesty, clean language, virtuous living, obedience to law, relevant and truthful interaction with others, healthy living, reverence for the sacred, high standards, and bathing as somehow contemptible.

    I'm not surprised that you would take such a stance, but I hope that you are aware that such a stance says nothing about me, and many rather unpleasant things about you.

    Congratulations again on making your true nature clear. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

    ReplyDelete
  3. TAO - you said...

    "you are one really poor example of the results of that code..."

    On what possible information could you make that allegation? What is the basis for the remark?

    Bastiatarian makes valid argument and an honest one. My father always talked about accepting personal responsibility for your choices. And once made living by them and the consequences.

    I have to agree completely with Bastiatarian s post.

    ReplyDelete
  4. >either misdirected or being used by someone else to make a statement

    This is another indication of the tendency of the left to abdicate responsibility. It couldn't just be that Pfc. Abdo simply doesn't have the honor and integrity to stand by his word! There must be some evil force manipulating him, and it's probably George Bush!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I made the observation by his posts and his comments on this website...

    Particularly in regards to point #5...he does not "respect others" and his response to that totally dances around any concept of "respect"

    He cannot comment nor post without insulting someone...

    Like calling this kid a "moron" there was no need to even use that word...

    ReplyDelete
  6. >I made the observation by his posts and his comments on this website...

    ...he said with a wink.

    >he does not "respect others"

    I give each individual exactly the appropriate amount of respect he or she has earned, based on the actual words and actions of that individual. Would have take something that you have not earned?

    >and his response to that totally dances around any concept of "respect"

    Or maybe you merely have a distorted understanding of "respect" and think that it is something that is a one-size-fits-all gift that you somehow deserve without displaying behavior worthy of a greater amount of respect. If I were not showing you a certain amount of respect I would likely write something such as "Tao, you are a retarded, self-absorbed scumbag, with the personality of a 13-year old girl and the wisdom of a pile of festering fecal matter." However, because I am striving to show you a certain amount of respect, I will refrain from writing "Tao, you are a retarded, self-absorbed scumbag, with the personality of a 13-year old girl and the wisdom of a pile of festering fecal matter." If your words and behavior indicate that you are worthy of no more respect than a statement such as "Tao, you are a retarded, self-absorbed scumbag, with the personality of a 13-year old girl and the wisdom of a pile of festering fecal matter," I will write "Tao, you are a retarded, self-absorbed scumbag, with the personality of a 13-year old girl and the wisdom of a pile of festering fecal matter." Until then, however, I will refrain from writing "Tao, you are a retarded, self-absorbed scumbag, with the personality of a 13-year old girl and the wisdom of a pile of festering fecal matter."

    >He cannot comment nor post without insulting someone...

    I do everything I can to state the truth in clarity and simplicity. If you are insulted by truth, that says something about negative about you, but not me.

    >Like calling this kid a "moron" there was no need to even use that word...

    Again you are displaying your illiteracy. I did not call him a "moron." I wrote "if you're such a moron that you don't know that the U.S. military is (regardless of what the Effete-Fop-in-Chief and his Cabinet of Prisses say) fighting against Islamofascists." All I did was present a definition of "moron." I can use a different word if you would like. Any person who doesn't know that the U.S. military is fighting against Islamofascists is a moron, or an idiot, or a fool, or stupid, or an airhead, or an imbecile, or an ignoramus, or any other word that refers to a person with a deficiency in brain function, cognition, or the acquisition of fundamental information. I hope you noticed that I refrained from including your name in that list. That would have been disrespectful, so I resisted the obvious temptation.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bastiarian...

    You are more cute than you are honorable...and all fluff and no substance...

    ReplyDelete
  8. >all fluff and no substance

    I continue to address your comments directly, responding to them point by point. You avoid addressing comments directly and attempt (very poorly, by the way) your usual tactic of diversion. Fluff and a lack of substance is something that you clearly know very intimately.

    Try again when you develop even a tiny bit of intellectual rigor. Right now, you're just a very uninteresting troll, and I'm getting tired of having to dumb things down so much in the hope that you'll be able to comprehend.

    ReplyDelete
  9. As a former grunt, and one who has chewed up quite a bit of the landscape serving our Nation, I will say this:

    I am embarrassed that this kid is "Infantry". He really should have enlisted for a pogue MOS or some other such MOS that would have given him REMF status, and he could remain far and away from combat, and get pedicures with the other women.

    Hey. Kid. Your Islamic god is as feminine and as cowardly as you are.

    Duty is duty. Seeing how you come from a generation that cannot even use a pen to write with, and one that thinks the exploits of Lindsey Lohan really matter, I reckon I shouldn't be so hard on you. By your lack of honor, I can see no one has ever been hard on you or forced you to grow up. Shame, really.

    Donald Borsch Jr.
    Bethel, CT

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bastiatarian,

    I will save my intellect for a subject matter of importance and so far, having visited this blog and your own for a few months you have not written one item on anything even remotely important or worthwhile.

    ...some little muslim punk in the military ranks right up there on the scale of uselessness...

    But then again, it does feed mob frenzy, and gives Donald something to come out of hiding on doesn't it?

    Don't worry, I like to have you dumb things down because then it shows your true character...

    ReplyDelete
  11. >I will save my intellect for a subject matter of importance

    That you do not view one's word of honor as an important subject matter once again confirms that you are void of any integrity whatsoever.

    >you have not written one item on anything even remotely important or worthwhile

    Then why do you persist in responding?
    Or rather, not responding. You certainly do persist in making irrelevant comments.

    >I like to have you dumb things down because then it shows your true character

    It does. It shows my patience and generosity, even with trolls such as you. However, even when I dumb it down for you, you're still completely incapable of responding directly and coherently.

    ReplyDelete
  12. TAO - You are showing your snark side. Something you readily criticize others for.

    >But then again, now that you have made me aware of the BYU honor code and the fact that you have swore to uphold it...you are one really poor example of the results of that code...<

    I do believe the above comment was yours that started this comment thread.

    Was it not?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Here Rational let me give you snarky..

    Pull out a totally worthless little bit of news about some stupid little muslim soldier and then spend most of the article writing about your own honor...

    That is pathetic...

    I am really glad to know that Bastiatarian has more honor than the kid in the story...its not like he set the bar real high did he?

    I also bet that Bastiarian can run faster than his grandmother...and in Bastiatarian's mind that would make him a world class athlete....

    If you do not want snarky comments then you might want to raise the bar on what you consider worth publishing there Les, Mr. Editor In Chief...

    ReplyDelete
  14. TAO - I am trying very strenously to bite my tongue.

    Bastiatarion pointed to his undergrad experience to make a broader and yes valid point.

    I find his point a valid one and every bit as cogent,if not more so,than some of the stories I read on some liberal sites.

    If you find the material not worthy of your time perhaps you might consider not visiting.

    That would be okay by me, and likely the rest of the RN USA team. Although I certainly won't speak for them.

    When I find the need to lower the bar on what I publish I certainly will do so. Until such time as that occurs I will continue to publish the quality posts that my contributors offer. For it is better to reach for higher standards rather than stoop to grasp the lower.

    As always thank you for your opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The BYU honor code is not 'voluntary' as continued enrollment and employment is based upon strict adherance to the code.

    In Saudi Arabia this is referred to as "The Committee for the Propagation of Virture and Prevention of Vice"

    A set of established rules and proceedures that are strictly enforced with punishment does not ensure honor but rather obedience.

    ReplyDelete
  16. >The BYU honor code is not 'voluntary' as continued enrollment and employment is based upon strict adherance to the code.

    Again you're attempting to divert away from the point. The point of the post is the importance of keeping one's word and adhering to the requirements of a group when one makes the voluntary decision to join that group, and in particular when one has promised explicitly to follow certain rules. Students and employees at BYU all know the Honor Code BEFORE they decide to enroll or accept employment. Enrolling at BYU and accepting employment at BYU are both 100% voluntary, just as enlisting in the military is.

    If you want to continue being a student or employee there, then continued adherence is, of course, mandatory (and something that students and employees have ALREADY committed to), but you can choose to leave at any time, so even there, it is 100% voluntary.

    Saudi Arabia is unrelated, unless you are talking about non-citizens who choose to go there. Those individuals are also obligated by honor and integrity to adhere to whatever rules are there. If they do not want to do so, they should not go there. In general, citizens of Saudi Arabia are in a different situation, in that those rules/laws have been imposed on them and they have been placed under them involuntarily.

    Is the concept of keeping a commitment that you have made really that hard for you to understand? Are you really that opposed to taking responsibility for your own decisions? Is it really that difficult for you to understand and focus on the point of a post?

    ReplyDelete
  17. TAO - You run a business. Do you have employees working for you? Do you not have standards which you expect your employees to meet? Is not their employment voluntary? Do you not have the right to expect compliance with the guidelines you establish for your business?

    Are your employees free to leave you if they find your requirements to stringent after they have worked for you for awhile?

    What is difference between your employees and students or employees of BTU? and BYU?

    BYU IS A VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATION AND I CAN ONLY CONCLUDE THE DOORS SWING BOTH WAYS.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The point is, this article is useless...

    This soldier will receive a dishonorable discharge and be sent on his way...if he is deployed prior to receiving a dishonorable discharge and he refuses the deployment then he is AWOL and or will be locked up in the stockades.

    Nothing about honor here...

    The reality is this article could have been written about someone with two loyalties, one to his religion and another to the military.

    Which one does he honor?

    Yes, I have a business and we have a personnel manual...it clearly states that the work week is Monday to Friday and that at times overtime will be scheduled that is mandatory.

    So, schedule overtime on Saturday and do I fire anyone who cannot HONOR that commitment? What if their religion requires Saturday church services?

    Have a policy where if you miss three days of work and if you do not report in you are fired. So, a young girl has a misscarriage and misses three days of work...and does not call in. Do I fire her?

    So, the boy joins the military and all of the sudden has a religious awakening...if he is willing to pay the consequences then is he not doing the honorable thing?

    He might be a very honorable person....his recruiter may have promised him that he would not serve in a fighting unit...who really knows?

    Can't just honor until you have been in that persons shoes can you?

    ReplyDelete
  19. @TAO,

    Hm. For being such a useless article, you have invested quite a bit of your valuable time to it. I would say that in itself gives this article relevance and worthiness.

    The best thing about liberals is they simply cannot exercise self-control or restraint. It is always about having people hear them and being forced to endure the rhetoric of liberalism.

    Even though I rarely comment here, I do visit now and again, and you seem to always be flapping your lips about something or other. Please just admit it and be honest: You need this blog. It gives you an arena to openly opine and air out your political theology.

    I think it's rather wonderful that Les allows you to do such a thing, even though you regularly seek to offend and belittle.

    Thanks for reading my brief tirade and assessment.

    Donald Borsch Jr.
    Bethel, CT

    ReplyDelete
  20. No Donald, I only read this blog to see how many responses Les is getting to his posts...

    When I see he isn't getting much I chime in to drive traffic and readership to his blog...

    I have more than enough avenues to express myself...

    I just consider myself "red meat" for the likes of you...

    Somebody has to feed you!

    Besides its always fun to watch reactionaries such as yourself use any possible thing that you can come up with to give yourselves a sense of superiority...

    ReplyDelete
  21. >What if their religion requires Saturday church services?

    Then he or she should come to an agreement with his or her employer that would exempt him or her from work on Saturday. Or he or she should not take the job.

    As for the miscarriage example, physical incapacity changes the situation completely, and makes it completely unrelated to the issue of honor. (In any normal miscarriage, there is nothing that would prevent the individual from contacting the employer for three days, or even for one day for that matter. And yes, I know what I'm talking about.)

    If a person takes a job knowing that he or she will have a conflict and will choose not to adhere to the conditions of employment, that person has committed an act of fraud.

    A religious awakening after making the commitment is a somewhat different situation, but that is not the case with Pfc. Abdo. Even in such cases, however, the individual is not absolved of the commitment that he or she made.

    Ultimately, though, if it were up to me (which of course it is not), I would recommend that Pfc. Abdo be discharged from the Army, without benefits. He is unworthy of military service and presents a danger to the honorable individuals that serve around him.

    >I only read this blog to see how many responses Les is getting to his posts

    You don't have to read anything but a number to see how many responses a made.

    >use any possible thing that you can come up with to give yourselves a sense of superiority

    Don't worry. We're not arrogant. We really are better than you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. "Don't worry. We're not arrogant. We really are better than you."

    So, when do you start ruling the world and mold the rest of us in your image?

    Why let a little thing like democracy get in your way?

    ReplyDelete
  23. >when do you start ruling the world and mold the rest of us in your image?

    Not that it is even remotely connected to anything, but I have no desire to do that. Maybe you've forgotten, but I'm not a "liberal."

    >Why let a little thing like democracy get in your way?

    Again, how is that even remotely relevant to anything in my original post or in anything I have written subsequently?

    More and more it becomes clear that "TAO" stands for "Tangents And Obtuseness." I'm not sure which crevice of your body you keep pulling things, but you do continue to get more and more bizarre and disconnected. Not in an amusing way. Just a creepy stalker kind of way.

    ReplyDelete
  24. TAO - You said;

    "No Donald, I only read this blog to see how many responses Les is getting to his posts...

    When I see he isn't getting much I chime in to drive traffic and readership to his blog..."

    A bit presumptuous. But what the hell...

    and you said;

    "So, when do you start ruling the world and mold the rest of us in your image?

    Why let a little thing like democracy get in your way?"

    Hm, there are many times I have wondered the same about you TAO.

    And in closing I do not need favors from you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. By God, LES...

    You Are Right! I am starting a "TAO For President in 2012" exploratory committee...

    Care to be on the committee?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hm... Should you get elected Secretary of Defense with complete autonomy or no deal.

    ReplyDelete
  27. For a guy that claims to be an isolationist you want an odd job...

    ReplyDelete
  28. TAO - I m not an isolationist.

    I am pro defense, and anti interventionist foreign policy.

    Why prey tell this makes me an isolationist? Are the two terms mutually exclusive?

    I think George Washington and Thomas Jefferson advised to stay away from foreign entanglements. This by no means meant not to engage in mutually beneficial trade. As in capitalism. That concept that I am sure in it's correct context you and I would have little problem agreeing on.

    ReplyDelete

As this site encourages free speech and expression any and all honest political commentary is acceptable. Comments with cursing or vulgar language will not be posted.

Effective 8/12/13 Anonymous commenting has been disabled. This unfortunate action was made necessary due to the volume of Anonymous comments that are either off topic or serve only to disrupt honest discourse..

I apologizes for any inconvenience this necessary action may cause the honest Anonymous who would comment here, respect proper decorum and leave comments of value. However, The multitude of trollish attack comments from both the left and right has necessitated this action.

Thank you for your understanding... The management.