Morality Is Indispensable for Liberty

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Maybe you’ve seen this but I haven’t — an actual article at a libertarian website that admits that morality is needed — not just the wonders of markets. Here is Becky Akers writing at the Foundation for Economic Education:

Those stodgy Founding Fathers! Not only did they study hard, work harder, and marry one woman for life, they also insisted on – get this – morality. As in obeying the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and the basic moral teachings of the Bible in general. So strongly did they venerate morality that they frequently observed its unbreakable link with liberty. They believed that moral people alone remain politically free.

John Adams, for example, claimed, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

His cousin Sam agreed. “Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.” Indeed, he feared, “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 once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”

Singing the same song was Charles Carroll, one of the Declaration’s signers: “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time…”

And George Washington considered morality so necessary to freedom that he spoke at length of their connection in the Farewell Address that capped his career: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. … And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.”

Read more: FEE.org

Image credit: historywiz.com / Chaplain Jacob Duché leading the first prayer in the First Continental Congress at Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia, September 1774: mezzotint, 1848.- Granger Collection – artist unknown.

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