There is a story of a pious young soldier who was occupying a foreign land. He was a gentle soul, unlike most of his companions. He did not smoke, drink or swear, but was diligent and faithful in all his duties. In time, he made friends with two children, a brother and sister about 10 and 12 years of age. He would give them things, play with them, take them to activities, and share each others’ language and culture. He loved them and treated them as if they were his own children. In return, they admired him greatly.
He even shared his religion with them explaining why he was not like the other soldiers, and did not drink, smoke or even use harsh language.
One day, they invited him to meet their grandfather, a wizened, cultured gentleman.
The grandfather greeted the foreigner warmly, and asked him to sit while they talked. In time, a traditional drink and two tiny cups were brought out to toast their new friendship. The grandfather explained that this was a special alcoholic mixture used to commemorate special occasions. The soldier thought it would be best to partake of this drink, not much more than a thimbleful, so as not to offend the gracious host, and to keep with the traditions of another land. And so he sipped, and then the whole room changed. The grandfather became cold, and the children silent. After some moments of discomfort, the soldier decided it was time to leave. Walking back to the post, the children were despondent, and wailed,
“Why, why did you take the drink? You said you never drank such things. Our grandfather said you were just like the rest, and now we can never see you again.”
President Obama, The White House, December 31 2012
“Keep in mind that just last month Republicans in Congress said they would never agree to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. Obviously, the agreement that’s currently discussed would raise those rates, and raise them permanently.”
When you abandon your principles “for the greater good”, you leave yourself open to charges of “Thou hypocrite! Thou art no better than those who have no principles!”
Your reward is to be reviled by all, as one professing faith but lacking conviction.