George Washington’s farewell address (September 17, 1796) must be recalled.
“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.
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.”
America’s founders frequently conveyed the theme that our nation could only be great if it would be good, and that America could only be good in as much as its citizens had morality conceived from a reverence of Heaven’s King.
On August 28, 1811 John Adams, our second president wrote,
“Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society.
In other words, any government system can only be successful as long as its citizens are virtuous. A selfish and corrupt population may not be successfully governed no matter how artful and fail-safe that government seems to be.”
In a letter to Thomas Jefferson December 25, 1813 Adams wrote,
“Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue?
The quality of your life and mine morally and spiritually will determine the success or failure of the “The Great American Experiment.” Let’s remember the wisdom of our founders and watch our spiritual and moral P’s and Q’s.
Steven C Johnson