Constitution 101, Lesson 3 – Virtue And Morality Are Vital!

Posted By on July 9, 2010

History is written by the victors, or so the maxim states. History can be rewritten, revised, censored and even changed to fit the needs of a particular mindset or worldview, BUT it is extremely difficult to erase all the evidence of past generations. Those who truly seek to find the true evidences of history may be required to study, to conduct tireless research and to endure hardship, but their quest will be rewarded.

Such has been my story over the past almost 30 years as I have sought to confirm items I have heard, and to clarify the most accurate understanding of the Founding Fathers possible. I cannot tell you the excitement I feel when I identify a possible source, and then begin tracking it down. The excitement is only heightened as I commence reading the source. Yes, sometimes reading those old documents is hard; the language – while the same – is different, the syntax, or rhythm is different from modern English and some of the words are unknown (thus explains the nearness of my handy-dandy dictionary, OR ready access to Merriam-Webster Online).

Then there are the frustrations! Invariably they arise when I’m reading these old documents and find something that contradicts what I have been taught in the past. The frustrations were even greater when my daughters were in school and I would attempt to help them with their homework. I was always thrilled when I thought I could help with History, or Math, or Science, but then I would see the utter garbage contained in the textbooks. OY! It would drive a grown man to drink!

Anyway, back to the subject matter.

I have recently been reading The 5000 Year Leap, by W. Cleon Skousen, and I am impressed. Typically I don’t read modern historic writings as I find them to be laced with error, inaccuracies and misconstructions of established historic facts. This book is different. I have owned the book for almost a year, but hadn’t cracked it cover until a couple of weeks ago. A friend had asked me a question, and requested source documentation for my answer. So, I dutifully turned to the Index of The 5000 Year Leap and found some references to provide. Upon turning to one of the pages I found what I believe to be a slight error, BUT the remainder of the paragraphs surrounding the sought out subject caught my attention. So, I turned to the beginning, and have been captivated ever since. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is easy to read, easy to understand and hard to put down. So, instead of me quoting this book in excess, go out and buy it for yourself, or you can order it online through MyStraightTalk.com’s Recommended Reading page.

In a Republic, however, each man must somehow be persuaded to submerge his personal wants into the greater good of the whole. This willingness of the individual to sacrifice his private interest for the good of the community – such patriotism or love of country – the eighteenth century termed public virtue…. The eighteenth century mind was thoroughly convinced that a popularly based government “cannot be supported without virtue.” (Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 [Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1969], p. 68)1 (Emphasis added)

Dr. Wood’s words make him truly a rare historian of the modern age.

Indeed, it was the concern for private and public virtue which dominated the debate surrounding independence in the early months of 1776. The question was, “Are we virtuous enough to govern ourselves?”

Let’s listen to the words of John Adams calling out to us from the pages of time:

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.2 (Emphasis added)

Or, how about from his cousin Samuel Adams:

The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves.3 (Emphases added)

How aptly this describes our situation today within these United States.  “We the People” have become virtually “abject slaves” to the over-reaching Federal government in the taxes we pay, the regulations and laws we must comply with and as a result of our voices not being heard by those holding power, or authority, in Washington, DC. Why? Because we have become “universally vicious and debauched in our manners…”, our communications and our treatment of our neighbors and those around us.

As a matter of merit, we are witnessing the fulfillment of the words of both Misters Adams. Our Constitution is not being upheld, and we have abdicated our responsibilities to the government. We are not governing ourselves, and therefore “the government” thinks they must govern us.

Let’s hear the words of Benjamin Franklin, who modern historians wish to identify as a deist and a “womanizer” even though the public record from that era present a totally different view of this venerable and wise man:

Let me add that only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.––Smyth 9:569 (1787.)4

Now “our masters” try to tell us what we can eat, what we can drink, who our doctor can be, how much we can make before it is too much, how to climb ladders, what chemicals we can use at work, when we can and cannot refer to God, when we can pray, how we can pray, what subjects we need to learn, and on and on and on and on. Why? Because we have become “corrupt and vicious” as a people. Don’t believe it. Watch the movies in the theaters today, listen to the music of today, watch television shows, observe the behavior of our children, teens and young adults; if that doesn’t reveal “corrupt and vicious” nothing does. We have rejected God in the public arena, and now we are paying a severe price.

Let’s hear from the Father of the nation, George Washington, in his “Farewell Address” to the nation. This was basically a “letter” he wrote to the nation when he decided not to run for a third term as President.

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?5 (Emphases added)

I could have made the entire excerpt bold. We must heed these words carefully, and with all due diligence.

Finally, we must consider what the Founding Fathers considered “religion.” While the majority of our founders were Christian, did they except other religions? Did they attempt to change others to their specific beliefs? Listen to the formula Benjamin Franklin provided:

Here is my creed: I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. that the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion. (Smyth, Writings of Benjamin Franklin, 10:84)6

Any member of any Christian denomination can accept these basic principles. Additionally, I do identify anything within this which disagrees with even the basic principles of Judaism.

The Founding Fathers were not interested in converting others to their specific beliefs. To the contrary, they respected the rights of the individual to believe in, adhere to and worship God in the manner of their own choosing. Adams did not require Jefferson to become a Puritan to share his friendship, neither did Washington mandate Franklin to become Anglican, or Episcopalian, to merit his honor and respect, and none of these necessitated Chaim Solomon become Christian to be trusted and admired by them.

It is time we returned to this primary principle so that the Constitution may be revived and sustain in the arena of politics, in the manner in which our country is governed AND in the manner in which we treat our fellow men and women. Otherwise, we are doomed to see the demise of this great country of our. Finally, we must hold our politicians to the same standards, and remove them from office when they don’t meet the demands of virtue, honor, self-sacrifice and morality.

_________

1 Quoted from The 5000 Year Leap, W. Cleon Skousen, National Center for Constitutional Studies, © 2006, p. 50.

2 Ibid, p. 56

3 Ibid, p. 56

4 Quoted from The Real Benjamin Franklin, Allison/Skousen/Maxfield, National Center for Constitutional Studies, © 2008, p. 497.

5 Cited from Archiving Early America®, © 1996-2010, Retrieved July 9, 2010 from http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/farewell/text.html

6 The 5000 Year Leap, pp 77-78

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Comments

One Response to “Constitution 101, Lesson 3 – Virtue And Morality Are Vital!”

  1. David Bozarth says:

    Margo, from the Denver area, writes via email,

    The primary solution is to bring God back in our lives in every manner we can. This is what all the American people are lacking. Until we put God first, we will remain under the thumb of the vicious and power-hungry devils.

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