What would our Founding Fathers say? This is something to consider as Independence Day approaches. What would our Founding Fathers say if they were able to survey the current state of affairs in the country they helped establish? Although it’s impossible to know the answer to that question with absolute certainty, we can certainly venture a guess, based on the things these men actually DID say and write more than 200 years ago. The sentiments of many of our Founding Fathers were expressed well by George Washington, our first president, and Benjamin Rush, who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Washington once said, “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society”; and “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
In 2021, President Washington would probably say to the citizens of our country: “Two hundred years ago I told you it was impossible to govern properly without reference to God and the Scriptures, but you obviously didn’t believe me. Good luck trying to do it some other way.” Benjamin Rush had a similar message when he said: “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. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.”
I think Mr. Rush would say to us today, “Have you noticed that there’s a lot of ‘mischief’ in your society right now — mischief which is often sanctioned and promoted by some of your most highly-educated, anti-religious citizens? That’s not a coincidence.” Our second president, John Adams, summed up the thoughts of many of our Founding Fathers when he wrote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
That’s a hard and difficult lesson that we are currently learning as a nation — by experience.
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