What is Liberty and Do You Have It?
In the trenches with his men, his Excellency George Washington contemplated whether his infant country would be moral enough to hold onto its freedom.
Washington said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. … It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”
So what is morality? Morality is a set of principles or values held by an individual
that directs their choices about what is right and wrong; which actions are proper.
Morality goes beyond following the law (respecting rights of others). Jesus’
Sermon on the Mount speaks to morality. Jesus said don’t just refrain from murder; take the next step and don’t let hate for your neighbor build in your heart. If you stop hate when it starts, you will stay far away from murder.
Also, don’t just refrain from stealing from your neighbor; go further by not allowing yourself to be envious or jealous of your neighbors stuff (and work hard and save until you can buy what you need or want).
Our Founding Fathers fully understood that without a moral compass pointing
the people in the right direction, the country would be doomed before it had even begun.
John Adams said, “Our constitution was made only for moral and religious people. It is
wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
A republican form of government relies upon the people to select representatives
who are honest, hard-working, intelligent, patriotic and moral individuals. If the people
are moral themselves then they will choose someone who reflects their own beliefs.
James Madison explained this concept. “If there be sufficient virtue and
intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men
[representatives]; so that we do not depend upon their virtue, or put confidence in our
rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”
The common concern regarding our current political climate is that our
representatives are chosen not based on their morality but based on our own interest. If
I rely fully on welfare I will vote for someone who will grow government. If I own a
company that relies on a certain tax break then I will vote for someone is pro-tax-
I understand that a person can be moral without being religious (a statement
with which many of our founders would disagree). However, maybe it’s time for our
churches to start creating the next generation of politicians -- candidates for office that
are sponsored by Elevation, Gateway, Bethel, or Lakewood. Start by finding good, moral, intelligent Millennials who have a firm foundation about why America exists and solid
understanding of her founding principles.