Thursday, March 11, 2010
Virtue and Morality
The second principle of freedom is based on the idea that a republican type of government needs virtuous and morally strong citizens to survive. The Founders had a great desire for independence but worried that they might not be good enough to make it work. They identified virtue and morality as being obedient to God's will, particularly the Ten Commandments. The Founders also understood that virtue comes only with effort and learning and that it must be cultivated and exercised. They wondered if their posterity would make the effort to teach the rising generations to be virtuous and moral. John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." (Quoted in John R. Howe, Jr., The Changing Political Thought of John Adams, p 189). Let us be virtuous and moral and teach our posterity to be the same. This is one way that we can protect the freedoms we enjoy.