Fidelity Month

Fidelity Month June 3, 2023


A month dedicated to Fidelity
A fitting symbol for Professor George’s proposed month of commemoration and celebration


We’re now well into “Pride Month,” so it’s perhaps appropriate to register a trio of recent dissents from the now-dominant orthodoxy.

Here’s one that comes from the great Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University and, incidentally, a good friend to Brigham Young University and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:  “A Return to Fidelity: Princeton Professor’s Brilliant Move to Flip ‘Pride Month’ on Its Head”

And I recommend this, from the indispensable and fearless Cassandra Hedelius, who currently chairs the Interpreter Foundation’s sister organization, FAIR:  “Proclamation Month: Be proactive in shaping your children’s minds and hearts”

Incidentally, the text of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” — which seemed, to me at least, so little needed when it was issued by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve back on 23 September 1995 but which now strikes me as both boldly prophetic and urgently necessary — can be easily accessed here:  The Family Proclamation

The third of the three recent dissents that I want to mention here is an extraordinarily powerful monologue from Megyn Kelly.  It’s not quite eighteen minutes long, but if you can access it, I strongly recommend that you watch it.  This is where I came across it, though it may also be available elsewhere:  “A Great Day on The Megyn Kelly Show”

Now, I feel that I need to explain — although, even as I do so, I do it without any hope that my explanation will be credited in certain predictable quarters — that I am not calling for the mistreatment of transsexuals or of people suffering from gender dysphoria.  In all such cases, as everywhere else, civility, kindness, and charity are and should be the rule.  So, too, though, should be the truth.  And it is far from evident that recent orthodoxy on this matter is actually kind to those that it purports to want to help and support.

As regards “Pride Month,” specifically, I see no reason either to be proud of what — as the gay man quoted by Megyn Kendall observes — is, after all, “an attribute” and not “an achievement” or to be ashamed of it.  I’m not proud of being male or heterosexual or blue-eyed or fairly tall, let alone of being near-sighted.  Nor am I ashamed of such traits.  They just are, and I’m obliged to cope with them.  Moreover, there is no reason to persecute anybody for being male, heterosexual, blue-eyed, tall, near-sighted, or the sheer fact of being gay.  In any case, though, “pride” is always a two-edged sword.  In some senses, it can be a very good thing.  In others, it can be a danger to oneself and to others:

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.  Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.  (Proverbs 16:18-19)


Dee in a meadow
The River Dee near Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, whence come some of my wife’s ancestors.
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


But now, on to more edifying things.  Here are some thoughts of mine that draw upon Andrew Loke, Investigating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: A New Transdisciplinary Approach (Routledge, 2020), 137-140.  Dr. Loke, a native of Singapore who is currently an Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, was a practicing physician before he returned to school first in the United States and then in the United Kingdom, where he earned a doctorate in philosophy and theology at King’s College London.


Matthew 27:62-67 records that, upon the death and burial of Jesus, Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sought and obtained from Pontius Pilate the delegation of an armed guard to ensure that there would be no tampering with either the body or the tomb:

Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.  Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.  Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.  So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

However, according to Matthew 28:11-15, among the first explanations given by unbelievers for the claim that Jesus had risen from the dead — and probably the very first — was that his friends had come and taken the body away:

Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.  And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.  And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.  So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

So an obvious question arises:  Was this done — if it was done — before the guards had been assigned to the tomb, or afterwards?

If afterwards, the action would seem to have been extraordinarily risky, given the presence of a company of presumably armed guards at the tomb whose careers (at the very least) would have been in serious jeopardy if they simply permitted a group of Christian disciples to roll the stone away and carry off the corpse.  Could they have done so without being caught by the guards and without anybody else noticing?  While theoretically possible, it seems extremely unlikely.  If nothing else, rolling a large grave stone away from the entrance to a tomb would take several strong men and would make considerable noise.

Could it have been done before the guards arrived?  Possibly, given that some time had elapsed.  But it seems most probable that the guard, whose military careers (if not their lives) depended on ensuring that the body remained unmoved, would have checked upon their arrival to make certain that the body was actually in the tomb before they “made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone.”  They were there to prevent grave-robbery; surely they would have inspected the tomb to certify that it had not already been ransacked.

Could Jesus have not rolled the stone away from inside the tomb?  Again, not very likely.  Moving the stone would have been a remarkable achievement for even a healthy and strong man, but the severely wounded and dehydrated Jesus, even if he had somehow failed to die at the hands of his experienced Roman executioners, had suffered a brutal lashing that probably opened up his back, along with multiple grievous wounds from large spikes in his hands and feet and a spear into his side, to say nothing of the crown of large thorns driven into his head.  It would be amazing for him to be able to walk with such wounds and so much loss of blood, let alone to move a massive stone, overcome the military guards outside, and lope to freedom.

Posted from just outside Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

"Jack: "I don't think the Savior needed to move the stone in order to exit ..."

Fidelity Month
"God likes to delegate. A seminary teacher pointed that out when he was talking about ..."

Fidelity Month
"The proclamation on the family becomes more prophetic with the passage of time."

Fidelity Month
"I don't think the Savior needed to move the stone in order to exit the ..."

Fidelity Month

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

Close Ad