Principle #2 - A free people cannot survive unless they remain virtuous and morally strong
Religion and Morality are the foundation of a free people.
In his Farewell Address, George Washington declared:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports..."
James Madison agreed:
Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people is an [mythical] idea.
How does a community create virtue in the people?
Thomas Jefferson suggested:
Virtue has to be earned and it has to be learned. Neither is virtue a permanent quality in human nature. It has to be cultivated continually and exercised from hour to hour and from day to day. The Founders looked to the home, the school, and the churches to fuel the fires of virtue from generation to generation.
Benjamin Franklin stressed how precious good teachers are:
“I think with you, that nothing is of more importance for the public weal than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue. Wise and good men are in my opinion, the strength of the state; more so than riches or arms... "
“I think also, that general virtue is more probably to be expected and obtained from the education of youth, than from the exhortations of adult persons; bad habits and vices of the mind being, like diseases of the body, more easily prevented [in youth] than cured [in adults]. I think, moreover, that talents for the education of youth are the gift of God; and that he on whom they are bestowed, whenever a way is opened for the use of them, is as strongly called as if he heard a voice from heaven....”
The founders issued a strong warning to us today
John Adams warned:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Benjamin Franklin shared his lifetime earned wisdom:
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
How can I learn more?
To read more about the Principles of Freedom, please read the book The Five Thousand Year Leap by my friend, W. Cleon Skousen. This book is a classic and is worth reading over and over and should have a very special place in your Liberty Library.
The National Center for Constitutional Studies
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