For a Moral and Religious People

For a Moral and Religious People

by Diane Robertson

Following the ratifying of the US Constitution, John Adams rightly foretold, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Citizens of the United States are getting ready to cast their votes for the next president. The scene drawn out before the people every day can be nothing more than disheartening. Crude language laces nearly every headline. Accusations have been flung, and old deeds brought to the surface.

As one popular blogger has pointed out, the problem is that what the candidates are accusing each other of is all true. One candidate has bragged about assaulting women and has encouraged violence at campaign rallies. The other candidate has broken federal laws regarding national security and attacked women that claim to have been sexually assaulted by her husband. Many citizens feel that “they’re both gross, so the only sales pitch they really have is the one Prince Humperdink proposed in the “Princess Bride”: ‘Please consider me an alternative to suicide.’”

Many have asked themselves why? How have we gotten to this point, or what has caused us to descend so far? Alexander Pope penned a poem that easily answers these question.

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

While we watch the presidential election unfold and decide what we personally will do, we ought to ask ourselves both as families and individuals if or how we have contributed to the degradation of our nation. Have we brought crudeness, violence, anger, dishonesty, foul language, and sexual deviancy into our homes through our music, books, and movies? What have our tv shows taught us and our children? What have we been taught in schools and what have we allowed our children to be taught? Have we allowed ourselves to indulge in crude or foul language? Have we been rude and unkind? Have we endorsed or accepted sexual deviancy as normal? Do we first endure and then pity and then embrace?

The US Constitution is barely functioning. The judicial branch is legislating, the executive branch is legislating, and the legislative branches are barely doing anything at all. The checks and balances have not been invoked. States’ rights have been infringed upon. The freedoms of speech, religion, and the press are degrading and other freedoms are being regulated. There is fear that they may even be revoked in the next 4 years.

When John Adams said that the Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people, he may or may not have known that without morals and religion, the people would not vote for people willing to uphold the Constitution and that over time it would be changed, eroded, and ignored.

Is there anything that can be done now? A wise man once said:

“No nation ever rises above its homes… We are no better as a people than are our firesides, our homes. The school, the church, and even the nation, I feel confident, stand helpless before weakened and degraded homes. The good home is the rock foundation, the cornerstone of civilization. It must be preserved. It must be strengthened.”

We must clean up our own homes and our own lives. We must not embrace or even pity vice. We must teach our children the importance of good, clean language. We must be honest and honorable men, women, and families. Like John Adams said we must be a moral and religious people. If things are going to change for the good, the change will begin at our own homes. It will be taught at our own firesides.

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