The rapid rate of moral decay that blankets America is shocking and frightening. Americans who lived for the first 150 years of the Republic would find it difficult and appalling if they were here to witness what is happening. Abortion, homosexuality, gambling, sexual promiscuity, greed—and the list goes on and on. The incredible level of prosperity and technological achievement has lulled many Americans into thinking that America is invincible and well able to sustain its standing among the nations of the world.
The Founders thought otherwise. They insisted that America’s greatness does not lie in her achievements, material progress, or ability to protect herself by military means. Far from it. Instead, they repeatedly explained that America’s greatness and her ability to prolong her existence as a nation depend exclusively on the spiritual, religious, and moral condition of her people. Specifically, the Founders insisted that the citizens’ attachment to God, Christ, the Bible, and the Christian religion would determine the future of the nation. If a sizable percentage of the citizenry does not continue to maintain Christian virtue and morality, as defined by the Bible, the nation would lose its ability to survive.
Consider, for example, the remarks of Patrick Henry in his observations concerning the state of France after their bloody revolution:
But, as to France, I have no doubt in saying, that to her it will be calamitous. Her conduct has made it the interest of the great family of mankind to wish the downfall of her present government; because its existence is incompatible with that of all others within its reach. And, whilst I see the dangers that threaten ours from her intrigues and her arms, I am not so much alarmed as at the apprehension of her destroying the great pillars of all government and of social life; I mean 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 (as quoted in Henry, 1891, 2:591-592, emp. added).
John Witherspoon echoed precisely the same sentiment: “He who makes a people virtuous makes them invincible” (1815, 9:231, emp. added). And Declaration signer and “The Father of the American Revolution,” Samuel Adams, likewise issued a solemn warning in a letter to James Warren on February 12, 1779:
While the people are virtuous, they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader (1908, 4:124, emp. added).
These three Founders sound a sober warning to Americans in the 21st century. Our schools, courts, and centers of government continue to dismantle the Christian connections that have always characterized the nation. With the cleansing of our religious moorings is also the eradication of the virtue and morality that comes only from Christianity. As Americans continue to jettison Christian virtue and morality, the nation is brought closer and closer to the brink of destruction. Accordingly, the invincibility for which America has been known around the world is swiftly waning. Even now, we are in the process of surrendering our liberties to alternative ideologies (e.g., socialism), and our increasing vulnerability must inevitably result in America being conquered. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
Adams, Samuel (1904-1908), The Writings of Samuel Adams, ed. Harry Cushing, 4 vols. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons).
Henry, William (1891), Patrick Henry; Life, Correspondence and Speeches (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons), [On-line], URL: http://www.archive.org/details/pathenrylife01henrrich. See also George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 4. General Correspondence. 1697-1799, Image 1071, “Patrick Henry to Archibald Blair,” January 8, 1799, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mgw4&fileName=gwpage113.db&recNum=1070.
Witherspoon, John (1815), The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle).
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