“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. –1 Corinthians 10:23-24
Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments. –Charles Carroll, 1800
Charles Carroll, the longest-lived of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and United States Senator from Maryland, understood.
The “solid foundation of morals” is the Christian faith. It is a faith of absolutes. We can know what is right and what is wrong. The truths expressed in the bible are unassailable. The republic formed using biblical Christianity as a foundation has endured over 230 years. Liberty was achieved. The people who enjoyed their newfound liberty also accepted the responsibility of “seeking the good of others.”
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. –Benjamin Franklin
In part one of the series, I asked the question “What happens in a society when a people–having secured for themselves liberty–then refuse to abide by the moral code upon which their liberty depends?” Benjamin Franklin understood what happens–laws and governments must become more restrictive. People who won’t govern themselves must be forced to conform to societal norms, until government assumes the role of mastery of the individual. Government then dictates what happens in the lives of its citizens. The people no longer have liberty–or freedom.
What are the signs of a nation becoming corrupt and vicious? We’ll begin to look at some examples next month.
-Steve keeps busy with five children and a job in information security. He also has a second job as principal of the Hodgepodge homeschool.