A Matter of Honor

If honor were profitable, everybody would be honorable.

English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist, Thomas More was born on this day in 1478.

More opposed the Protestant Revolution. As a councillor to Henry VIII, More opposed the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon and refused to acknowledge Henry as Supreme Head of the State.

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More was convicted of treason and was beheaded on July 6, 1535.

Pope Pius XI canonised More in 1935 as a martyr. Pope John Paul II in 2000 declared him the “heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians.”

Convictions, it’s good to have them. But they can get you in trouble if you don’t go along with those in charge.

Sometimes that’s a hard lesson to learn. Not to go into too much detail from yesterday’s post, after all details are what the books are for, but let’s just say that there were reasons that I left DC.

But now, as someone who is working under his seventh Virginia Governor…yes seventh…I get the point.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not of eternal consequences like recognizing the head of the church.

We’ve come a long ways from the times when disagreeing with the supreme leader could get you beheaded.

Now you just get shamed on Twitter.

Yes, I went there.

My name is Michael, and I am a recovering political junkie.

I say that because I enjoyed the fight. I enjoyed the controversy. I enjoyed the whole aspect of being right in the center of things in Washington.

But I had to get out because there were no men like Thomas More to follow.

Ronald Reagan is gone. I believed in him.

I also believed in Jack Kemp and worked for him briefly. He’s also gone.

There are three other politicians I worked for over the years. One has also passed. The other two have removed themselves from elective politics. Should that ever change I’d be there in a heartbeat.

I don’t expect that change.

The problem is, and I talked about recently, that people can get involved in the political arena for the purest and most honorable reasons. Then it becomes about what has to be done to win.

Just yet another reason I’m out of the game.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe there’s a right and a wrong way (as I wrote yesterday). I most certainly do.

But I have to find places where I can influence that belief. Places where I know I can make a difference.

Centuries later, Thomas More still inspires.

I’m not likely to have that kind of a legacy.

But if I can make one or two people stop and think, or if I can inspire someone to get moving on a project, or a goal, then maybe that’s legacy enough.

After all, I’m rather attached to my head.

On a side note, if anyone is casting A Man for All Seasons…

I’m just sayin’.

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    • Shaun Kenney on February 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    I’m still in the cold waiting for a St. Thomas More. In fact, my living room has a rather large portrait of the man… a daily reminder to hold fast:

    “You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds…. What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can.”

    — St. Thomas More, Utopia (1516)

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