It’s the one thing
Ask the average man or woman on the street what’s the one thing most necessary for securing freedom and you’ll likely get one of two answers:
- less government control
- more government control
But according to our Founding Fathers and others with knowledge and wisdom, the answer is not in the government of a nation at all but in the government of oneself. Virtue is that one thing most necessary for maintaining the blessings of freedom.
I’ve already quoted a number of these wise men on the critical connection between morality and freedom. Here are a few more.
From Samuel Adams, “Father of the American Revolution,” instigator of the Boston Tea Party, and signer of the Declaration of Independence:
“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.” (1)
From Jedediah Morse, American educator and “Father of American Geography”:
“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism.
All efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness.
Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.” (2)
And from Horace Greeley, founder of the New York Tribune daily newspaper and The New Yorker magazine, and one of the founders of the Republican Party:
“It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.” (3)
(1) William J. Federer, America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia Of Quotations (St. Louis: Amerisearch, Inc., 2000) p. 23.
(2) Ibid, pp. 456-457.
(3) Ibid, p. 266.