The Honor Alliance

In the United States a growing but disharmonious chorus tries to sing a new song. Some cry for "values," sometimes specifically called traditional, or "family," or middle class, Christian or Judeo-Christian; some cry for morality; some cry for civility.

In the city of Republic in the state of Missouri, the city council recently devised a new seal for the city which included a stylized fish of a type associated with Christianity from its very beginnings. This symbol has become popular in the United States as a means of publicly identifying oneself or one's organization as Christian. However, when the city council was criticized and later sued on the basis of the Religious Disestablishment principle expressed in federal and state constitutions, members claimed that they chose to include the fish only to reflect the city's moral character, not to assert devotion to a particular religion. Even if we accept this, it reveals an unfortunate ignorance or an unfortunate arrogance on their part. Though the fish has achieved its popularity across adherents to many forms of Christianity in the US, it is still a Christian symbol, and the set of religions includes members that are not Christian.

But the council's choice also reveals something which US society, like many societies, lacks. We have no symbol to represent the Good in social affairs that is not limited to particular religions or nations, whose limit is instead the whole zone of Human activity currently this planet. To satisfy this need, consider geometry's first polygonal construction: the emergence of the equilateral triangle from the conjunction of two circles of the same radius, each centered on the other's circumference. This symbol expresses the necessity of rule and proportion to the production and maintenance of form in a diagram or a society.

We call this a matter of honor because the term has fallen out of use to a degree that leaves it open for re-interpretation; because it has old connotations of something which can be religious or patriotic but which can be many other things besides; and to offer a positive corollary to some of the voices in the chorus who cry for the restoration of shame.

If you would like to publicly identify yourself as a supporter of a more civil society who, as part of her own civility, respects all people and the groups they organize, consider joining the Honor Alliance by displaying the First Construction and linking to this page. There are no obligations beyond those you already have as a member of society. Below is a snippet of HTML that will render the symbol in a way suitable for display against many backgrounds, but feel free to compose whatever mark-up best suits the structure of the page.

<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center">
     <tr>
          <td><a href="http://www.lasatha.org/ha"><img border="0"
		src="http://www.lasatha.org/ha/honor.gif" width="100"
		height="100" alt="the First Construction"></td>
          <td>&nbsp;</td>
          <td><font color="#800000" size="5"><em><strong>H</strong>onor<br>
          <strong>A</strong>lliance</em></font>&nbsp;</td>
     </tr>
</table>

The Honor Alliance may be contacted via <honor@lasatha.org>.