On Roles and Respect, Part 3

One author writing for the Washington Post last year observed that the “first name” basis culture even between the elderly and the young stemmed from fear that someone might feel “beneath” someone else. I heard of a Christian couple recently in the Pacific Northwest who encouraged their children from their earliest days to respond with “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am.” The people from the church they attended demurred their supposed authoritarianism.
I am arguing, in contrast to modern sentiments of equality, that referring to a man as “sir” or calling him “Mr. __________” is a way to produce and perpetuate the great tradition of honor. When we lose such things, we lose the foundational structures of a society; yes, we lose the necessary boundaries formed by the fifth commandment.

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