Principle #6: Free Republics are Maintained Upon Principles of Righteousness
Often my posts ask us to examine what kind of Government we want. Today I ask, "What kind of people must we be if we desire a free government?" This requires a discussion of morality. Why? Because we cannot escape the moral fact that George Washington taught us in his farewell address:
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens. The mere Politicians, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them... 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 on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle... This rule extends with more force to every species of free Government." ~ George Washington, 1796
In light of the fact that our Nation can not long endure the disintegration of morality, we have reason to be very concerned. American students are being taught that there are no moral facts. Children today are coming to view moral standards as opinions, only true as they relate to an individual's sense of right and wrong. How has this happened and what can we do to change it?
First, let me reference an article on this phenomenon published in the New York Times, "Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts," by JUSTIN P. MCBRAYER. McBrayer takes on the subject of how public education undermines the ability of students to discover moral facts using reason and judgement, he writes:
"Our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths... The curriculum sets our children up for doublethink. They are told that there are no moral facts in one breath even as the next tells them how they ought to behave."
Second, it should not surprise us that our culture is becoming so coarse and immoral when our people are increasingly disconnected from religious precepts, precepts that for ages have informed the conscience and enlightened reason among men, are now routinely undermined in the classroom, the home, and the media. In such truths individuals, and by extension nations, have set their standards and made sound judgments for private character and public policy. Without these truths we will certainly loose our footing.
Third, the culture (media & art) has followed the ill-education of moral precept and now lend themselves to further perpetrate falsehoods that further weaken the personal morality of individuals and by extension the civil society.
With all of our societies major institutions disintegrating -- including our most important institution and the foundation of all civil institutions, the family -- we are in great need of rediscovery and recommitment to moral precept. Our liberty can not long endure the erosion of it's bedrock. I believe that rediscovery and recommitment must begin at home.