What is your “Sacramentum”


The “sacramentum” was the oath of allegiance made by a Roman soldier to the Emperor. To whom do you owe allegiance and to whom if any do you pledge your allegiance? If you have allegiance to anyone or anything what does it mean to do so? Can nations and institutions have a sacramentum?

Let us accept at least for the moment the notion that a religious body or community most assuredly has allegiance and that allegiance is to a person and or deity. The sacramentum in this case is comprised of obedience to this deity and or its representation. It also involves compliance to the principles and concepts of belief and behavior that the deity or its representation teaches and demands.

Next let us consider the idea that a nation has a sacramentum to its founding documents and or personages. Like religion nations have representations of its identity, language, laws and government. Without these representations a nation would be more like a clan than a country and would possess limited character.

A third area of consideration is the sacramentum of the law to the people and vice versa. The law must by the application and equality of justice and fairness hold elegance to the people it serves and governs. In return the people owe allegiance to the body of law that governs behavior and business so that the common welfare is protected and ensured. Officers of the law have a sacramentum of enforcement which does in no wise place them above the sacramentum of law and people.

In the Roman Legions if you betrayed the sacramentum made to your emperor and to those officers appointed by him you forfeited in most cases your life. What if that standard was enforced in the situations mentioned above! If so religion would be the first to be decimated followed by politics and with law enforcement quickly following suit.

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