By Reverend Paul N. Papas II
January 6, 2021
Benedict Arnold (21 December 1615 – 19 June 1678) was president and then governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is more famous for betraying Patriots of the American cause for Independence, a Traitor who committed Treason.
Arnold won some important battles for American Independence before switching sides.
Arnold became one of the most infamous traitors in U.S. history after he switched sides and fought for the British. Debt and the resentment Arnold felt over not being promoted faster were motivating factors in his choice to become a turncoat. He concluded that his interests would be better served assisting the British than continuing to suffer for an American army he saw as ungrateful.
Petty persecution of the commander-in-chief by slighting and insulting his favorite officers was kept up until the last year of the war, and such men as Greene, Morgan, and Stark were almost driven from the service by it. On 19 Feb., 1777, congress appointed five new major-generals–Stirling, Mifflin, St. Clair, Stephen, and Lincoln–thus passing over Arnold, who was the senior brigadier. None of these officers had rendered services at all comparable to his, and, coming as it did so soon after his heroic conduct on Lake Champlain, this action of congress naturally incensed him. He behaved very well, however, and expressed his willingness to serve under the men lately his juniors, while at the same time he requested congress to restore him to his relative rank. On May 2, 1777, the United States Continental Congress promoted General Arnold to Major General. (1)
Benedict Arnold’s Oath of Allegiance – In 1778, Benedict Arnold, like all military officers, [and those serving in public office today] swore allegiance to his country. In 1780 General Arnold betrayed his oath by conspiring to surrender West Point to the British. – From the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records National Archives. (1)
There are quite a few politicians who forgot how to be servant leaders. These politicians promised many things to get elected. They promised to represent and fight for the people who elected them. They instead served their own interests including increasing their own wealth even to the detriment of the people they are supposed to represent.
There is perhaps no greater insult to relationship than betrayal. Betrayal robs us of a sense of security as in when someone close to us has proven untrustworthy. We must work through the pain of the betrayal so that we might trust again, so that we might find the true foundation of our security.
Betrayal is one of the most painful human experiences. Discovering that someone we trusted has deeply hurt us pulls the reality rug from under us. (2)
A damaging aspect of betrayal is that our sense of reality is undermined. What felt like solid trust suddenly crumbles. Our innocence is shattered. We’re left wondering: What happened? How could this happen? Who is this person? (2).
The violation of our trust is at the root of betrayal. It makes sense, then, to try to identify where that feeling of trust comes from. According to Shuxia Yao and colleagues (2014), of the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, trust involves oxytocin, a hormone manufactured by the brain’s hypothalamus that is involved in mother-infant bonding. However, oxytocin also acts more generally in social bonding, and some believe it is a key component in the psychological experience of trust. (3)
While we tend to think of trust as essential mainly to romantic relationships, Yao and her research team maintain, on the basis of previous research, that oxytocin is also involved in business or economic transactions. When you make a deal with someone, you want to know that the person you’re shaking hands with will come through on his or her end of the bargain. If not, there would be no point in making an agreement. In business, as in romance, you need to be sure that your partner will treat you fairly. We tend to presume that people will look out for their own best interests, but also that they, in turn, will respect ours. (3)
No matter how much the person apologizes, you can’t manage to tap into your inner reservoir of forgiveness. To ease your pain, you seek retribution, if not revenge. (3)
When anyone you entrusted with your future betrays you it is quite natural to seek retribution, if not revenge. I don’t condone violence; however I certainly understand the frustration of the patriots who were once again where betrayed by their elected officials. The betrayal legitimized perhaps the greatest fraud in history. I would say this is going to get worse before it gets better.
Most people have overcome betrayal in our lives, just not to this scale. Perhaps those who betrayed us will retire to another country as Arnold did.