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Knights of Hoosier Chivalry?

Posted Monday, May 21, 2012, at 9:42 AM

Every election, we hear candidates of both sides adamantly affirming their allegiance to something called "Hoosier Values." It is part of the shtick in getting elected in Indiana, and none dare to not so ascribe.

In this observation, however, no one actually inserts much substance to what they believe "Hoosier Values" to be. One begins to suspect that each knows very well how poorly they stand when compared with specifics, thus preferring generalities and political buzz words.

None claim Christian Ethics, as done in days of yore. It is no longer possible to proclaim yourself a "Christian." Being Christian is politically verboten (and standards too high). Also, those clinging tenaciously to exacting and established ethical standards tend to not get re-elected. True, most go forth honorable enough, at first. But, time, trouble, and compromise take their toll. One false step and Christianity itself comes under fire. Much better to avoid Christian Ethics at the start.

So, Indiana politicians proudly cling to "Hoosier Values." But, would somebody please stand up and say what they are?

Maybe we don't need another pledge to a mixture of nebulous, indefinable "values." As these values are as unlikely to be defined as lived out, I hereby take it upon myself to propose all candidates going forth to joust in the legislatures take up a Pledge of Chivalry.

In order to become a Knight of the Round Table, a knight had to swear an oath called the Code of Chivalry. This meant they promised to uphold the rules given to them once they became a Knight of the Round Table. Penalty for failure to uphold the Code, most appropriately, being instant death.

The "Knights Code of Chivalry" described by various historians (and modified here to fit the 21st century) include:

To fear God

To live by honor

To always flee treason

To despise financial reward

To fight for the welfare of all

To at all times to speak the truth

To protect the weak and defenseless

To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit

To refrain from the wanton giving of offence

To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun

I could stand with a politician who lived by such a Code, even if he did eschew Hoosier Values. The appropriate penalty previously established for failure to uphold the Code would just be a nice bonus.



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