Thursday, June 30, 2011
Virtue and the United States of America
It is nearing the 4th of July; my favorite holiday next to Christmas. I love this country and treasure the opportunity to celebrate its founding. I cry at patriotic parades when the flag passes by, or when military men and women, in their dress uniforms, salute that cloth of red, white, and blue. I feel the sacredness of Arlington Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. America is a land well founded.
I've worried of late for this country's future. It seems over the last few years we're had political leaders question the validity of what the Founding Fathers struggled to establish. The men who drafted the Constitution of the United States did so with intense study and debate. They knew that this forged document and the country it represented could only survive if the people of the United States were virtuous, and they looked to the home, the school, and the churches to fuel the fires of virtue from generation to generation. I fear that public and private virtue are in decline in the USA.
In his Farewell Address, George Washington declared:
"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...Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? 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...reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!