Principal 2: A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong.
Consider the writings of Benjamin Franklin: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
George Washington proclaimed that the American Constitution could survive only "so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people."
Our fathers knew that in order be a self-governing people, we must be a people with morality, integrity and honor. They defined morality by the Ten Commandments and mandates of God in the Bible. When people lack virtue, when they steal, lie, cheat, take bribes, and are more concerned with their own selfish pursuits than others around them or their country, how can they make good choices in government? How can they choose worthy leaders? And what happens when those leaders become corrupt and only look out after their own power, wealth and success? (Does the word, Congress, come to mind? But I digress)
Here the words of John Adams: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
And finally James Madison:
"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 lilbery or happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical (imaginary) idea. If there be sufficient virute and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men; so that we do not depend upon their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers but in the people who choose them."
Our founding fathers knew what they were doing, and I believe they'd be rolling over in their graves if they saw what happened to their precious republic. I'm not talking about Republicans or Democrats. I'm talking about corruption and an attitude of self serving power and greed that seems to have taken over Washington.
The more I study the founding fathers' wisdom, the more I realize we've strayed. Next week I'll talk about the strenght in virtuous leaders and how people in office were never meant to be paid huge salaries!
Have a great weekend!