The Founding Fathers Knew: Good Government Requires Good Culture

The following is from here, and worth re-posting:

One of the amazing things about the generation that founded America was that they knew we as a people would eventually drift into a crisis of bad culture and bad government. And they had no doubt which of the two would come first. They knew that bad culture leads to bad government — and good government requires good culture.

Consider just a few quotes from our Founders:

“…there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained…” — President George Washington’s First Inaugural Address

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” — George Washington’s Farewell Address

“Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams

“Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.” — Samuel Adams

“Reading, reflection, and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts … in which all religions agree.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Religion is the only solid Base of morals and Morals are the only possible support of free governments” — Gouverneur Morris

“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” — Benjamin Rush

©2009 John F. Biver