During the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II, the US Government was afraid for the safety of both its merchant marine and its navy from the threat of German U-boats. This fear was manifest in many ways, whether it was from the attempt to build submarine nets in vulnerable inlets, attempts to enforce blackouts in coastal communities, and in efforts to educate American citizens on the value and importance of discretion, an aspect of virtue that does not come easily or naturally to me, I must confess, and probably not naturally or easily to many others as well. Among these efforts at education were posters showing a talkative American citizen discussing merchant marine timetables and showing how such comments led to the sinking of ships and the loss of American lives from German predation on the seas. Whether the efforts were successful or not, they demonstrated the seriousness of concern for the United States military about German military activity in the Atlantic, and the way in which an environment of threat tends to lead governments to greater efforts at privacy and secrecy.
This characteristic of American governmental behavior has remained constant at least since World War II. The information gathering aspects of American official intelligence combined with strict demands on secrecy has led to an atmosphere of great mistrust and suspicion both over the willingness of government to admit its faults and mistakes and failures to fulfill its duties and obligations, as well as the fear of those same governments for exposure of unpleasant truths about their own conduct and behavior increase with the gulf between that which is true and that which is openly admitted. Having had at least a little bit of an eyewitness view of the behavior of those involved in wikileaks and other related scandals, loose lips have indeed sunk ships in our time as well as in World War II.
For writers of fanfiction, stories written by fans of novels, television shows, or movies, relationships are often shortened into ships. At times the comparison between the slow and stately travels on the oceans and relationships (whether romantic or friendship) between people is explicitly made, though at all times it is at least implicit. The same sort of discretion that the frightened government of the United States (and other nations) desired of its citizens is desired by some regarding relationships. Whether people themselves either say this explicitly or implicitly, whether they respond to breaches of trust and confidence with hurt silence or with angry recriminations or with a godly and gentle rebuke, generally some reply is warranted by such behaviors, once a genuine and extensive effort has been made to understand the reality of the situation.
It is remarkable, though, to note that the United States never seemed to have found actual evidence of chatty Americans really costing lives on the high seas, appearing to vastly overrate the intelligence-gathering capabilities of the German submariners, who were able to spot the ships they targeted on their own without the need to listen to gabby citizenry in places where they most definitely were not welcome and were at risk themselves of capture and interrogation. Likewise, all too often people act and lash out in fear without having sufficiently investigated the matter to determine of their fears are in fact reasonable and appropriate to the situation. We need to be the masters of our fear, for perfect love casts out fear, and by knowing that the truth will set us free, and so that therefore we need not be afraid of what men might say against us, for we know we have a judge and advocate and defender in heaven who sees the words and deeds of the wicked and who will repay them in kind, while showing mercy and grace to His beloved servants. May the kingdom speedily come built on love and not fear, and built on truth and not deception, and may we all be fit servants of our Lord and King in our own conversations and conduct.