Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Virtue and Morality

The topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday is the need for virtue and morality. This 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.

Benjamin Franklin understood the importance of virtue and morality in obtaining and maintaining liberty: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters” (Writings of Benjamin Franklin, 9:569).

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).

We must be virtuous and moral people and teach our posterity to be the same. This is one of the most important things we can do to protect the freedom, independence, and liberty guaranteed by our Constitution.

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