Virtue or Vice

virtue-viceAs a young boy, I was stirred by the words of President John F. Kennedy when he said: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.

The prevailing attitude in present-day America is not that which was envisioned by President Kennedy.  Far too many among our lethargic citizenry are a paradox; they consume energy drinks and assume the rest of the country owes them a living while they watch the world go by.

There seems to be more of a focus on a person’s rights as a citizen and what he is owed and less of a conversation that focuses on a person’s obligations and duties as a citizen.  Is this due to a general lack of what the Founding Fathers referred to as “virtue?”

Virtue can be thought of as moral excellence. It is the “conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles.”

The Founders believed our nation would not survive unless its citizens were a virtuous people.

  • Patrick Henry: Virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible. These are the tactics we should study. If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen indeed . . . so long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger.
  • Benjamin Rush: “The only foundation for . . . 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.”
  • John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
  • Samuel Adams: “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend of the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue.”

Is a lack of virtue the germ that’s responsible for many of the social ills that plague us? The answer to this question may be seen in the somewhat prophetic statement of Benjamin Rush (1746-1813): “By removing the Bible from schools we would be wasting so much time and money in punishing criminals and so little pains to prevent crime. Take the Bible out of our schools and there would be an explosion in crime.”

In the Proverbs, Solomon said, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people (14:34).”  If righteousness exalts a nation, virtue is the mortar that binds the bricks of its foundation.

 

In The Cross Hairs: Dodging Bullets

Sniper3SNIPER ALERT!  You have a bulls eye painted on your heart, and your faith is the target.  The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) is an atheistic and anti-god organization that has launched a vicious assault designed to silence any expression of faith in the public square.

FFRF is more evangelistic in their efforts to remove God than many Christians are in sharing their faith.  They encourage their membership to contact any business or magazine that casts religion in a favorable light.

Even the Saturday Evening Post and AARP have felt the wrath of FFRF:

  • AARP published an article: “The Paradox of Prayer: A Pilgrimage” and FFRF admonished its membership to contact AARP to express their displeasure.
  • The cover story in the most recent addition of the Saturday Evening Post focuses on the power of prayer.  FFRF has mocked the article and it’s asking its members to write a letter of protest to the editor.

When FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor went to Northern Illinois University to give a speech, she stayed at the Holmes Student Center Hotel.   When she found a copy of the Bible in her room she was angered and shocked.

Poor little Annie found the presence of the Bible to be obnoxious, inappropriate and unconstitutional since it was made available in state-run lodging.  She made the assertion that the Bible was proselytizing her in  the privacy of her bedroom.

Poor little Annie is an orphan-maker:   She is attempting to get Bibles banned from public hotel rooms.

The actions of the FFRF have caught the attention of the American Center for Law and Justice, and it’s speaking out for the rich Christian heritage of the USA:  “We’ve been defending constitutionally protected religious speech at the Supreme Court for decades. Now, we’re sending these universities a critical legal letter to protect the Bible.

You can help protect your Christian liberties by signing a petition here.

The actions of FFRF stand in stark contrast to the sentiment of John Adams, our second President:  “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

It’s time to stand up and speak out before your free speech becomes a crime.