Can the Government Function In the Absence Of a Moral People?
“The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion… If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen indeed.” These words, penned over two hundred years ago by Patrick Henry, demonstrate the importance of morality in government. (www.restoringourheritage.com) Current topics such as abortion, homosexual marriages, and biological research make us realize the impact of our perspectives on morality. It is my belief that morality is fundamental to this great nation. Thus, if I had fifteen minutes to speak with the next President of the United States, I would discuss his viewpoint on morality, because issues regarding morality are vital to the foundation, the framework, and the function of the government.
At the birth of our nation, the Founding Fathers recognized the importance of establishing a government that protected civil liberty and religious freedom. The foundational documents that they wrote reflected biblical principles: the Mayflower Compact emphasized the sovereignty of God; the Declaration of Independence acknowledged man’s God-given rights; the Constitution illustrated the rule of law; and the Amendments safeguarded basic rights such as the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech (www.faithfacts.org). According to a study undertaken at the University of Houston, thirty-four percent of documents written when establishing the nation referenced quotes from the Bible (www.faithfacts.org). The foundation of the nation is directly tied to a moral viewpoint. As George Washington said, "Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society." (www.truthusa.org)
The framework through which the government operates is also built upon morality. History demonstrates that when morality is undervalued the structure of the country significantly weakens. The fall of the ancient Roman Empire is a prime example of this regression. Although the Roman Empire was one of the strongest empires to come to power on earth, gradually the empire weakened as officials became corrupt, citizens refused to volunteer for the military, and people committed immoral acts for their pagan gods. (ancienthistory.about.com; www.roman-colosseum.info) Because of the lack of morality, social conditions declined drastically; and the empire crumbled. (www.roman-colosseum.info) Regardless of the strength that the Romans had once obtained, the weakness of their moral foundations eventually caused the entire framework to collapse. (www.roman-colosseum.info) A strong, functional framework is dependent upon strong moral values.
Morality is essential to the function of the government. The government’s ability to function depends upon strong leaders and strong families. Jal Mehta and Christopher Winship, professors at Harvard University, maintain that political leaders’ moral intentions, moral capability, and moral standing all directly impact the outcomes of their actions. (www.wjh.harvard.edu) Politicians’ decisions directly influence the choices that people make. Annually, over $10 billion dollars are spent on welfare for teenage mothers, $4 billion dollars are spent on AIDs, and more than $15 billion dollars are spent on combating drugs. (www.tmcint.org; www.kff.org; www.cbsnews.com) These extreme costs all originate from acts of immorality that destroy people’s lives and families. The strength of our nation depends on our leaders and our families. The next President of the United States has a unique opportunity to be a strong influence for good, to strengthen morality, and to help secure the future of this nation.
In the end, Patrick Henry was correct. If we lose virtue, morality, and religion, we lose fundamental principles that are integral to the success of this nation. Our country was founded upon biblical principles, its framework is supported by biblical principles, and it functions best when we value biblical principles. As John Adams adequately stated, “We have no constitution which functions in the absence of a moral people." (www.truthusa.org)
Attkisson, Sharyl. June 17, 2011. www.cbsnews.com Accessed September 15, 2012.
www.faithfacts.org Accessed September 15, 2012.
Gill, N.S. ancienthistory.about.com Accessed September 15, 2012.
Kates, Jennifer. Wexler, Adam. Lief, Eric. Gobet, Benjamin. July 2012. www.kff.org Accessed September 15, 2012.
Mehta, Jal. Winship, Christopher. www.wjh.harvard.edu Accessed September 15, 2012.
www.restoringourheritage.com Accessed September 15, 2012.
www.roman-colosseum.info Accessed September 15, 2012.
September 2012. www.tmcint.org Accessed September 15, 2012.
www.truthusa.org Accessed September 15, 2012.