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Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?

Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?

All of the hoopla about Vice President Cheney’s hunting accident has made me pause and ponder. Why, in an ‘enlightened’ society, has honor gone the way of the do-do?

Consider for a moment the lowly place that honesty and integrity holds in our culture. What were once two of the most lauded values in a person now rank somewhere beneath what brand of socks a man wears. ‘ defines honor as follows:

High respect, as that shown for special merit; esteem: the honor shown to a Nobel laureate.
Good name; reputation.
A source or cause of credit: was an honor to the profession.
Glory or recognition; distinction.
A mark, token, or gesture of respect or distinction: the place of honor at the table.
A military decoration.
A title conferred for achievement.
High rank.
The dignity accorded to position: awed by the honor of his office.

And just what’s not to like about honor? Why is it our society applauds people like DeLay and KennyBoy Lay, until they get caught? Why do voters turn a blind-eye to corruption in the ranks of government until a watchdog media group shames them into voting for someone else? It is almost as if we encourage theft. “Right on there, chap. Just don’t get caught!”

I demand we return to honor…and I have a solution to make honor mean something: duels.

Not of the Yugi-Oh variety but good, old fashioned, walk twenty paces, turn and fire duels. Consider for a moment the events leading up to a duel.

Someone challenges a statement or action you have made. That person must back up their words with their very life. Likewise, you must defend your actions, words and deeds with your life. Would not someone be more careful of accusations if they might pay for those accusations with the forfeit of their life? How about you? How likely are you to lie if that lie might mean a gunshot to the chest or a blade run through your aorta?

You get my point.

When we stopped defending our “sacred honor” with the end of a sword, we lost the ability to make sure our words mean something. Where we once had “My word is like oak,” we are left grovelling in a land of “Sign this contract, which will not guarantee, indemnify or warranty any provisional services agreed to by the signants.”

No wonder our politicos are all going to jail. They don’t have to worry about their honor. Write your legislators today and encourage them to re-establish laws governing duels. Let’s codify them and maybe–just maybe–honor will again mean something.

I’m a quick enough draw and I know how to use a sword. Do you?