28 May Stand for Something
In a speech delivered in 1788 James Madison stated, “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea…..”
Recently I read in the news about a famous mathematician who passed away last week. I did not know much about him so I conducted a little research. I found that he had made many contributions to the mathematical world. He was considered a genius, a giant in the academic community, he also lacked any kind of moral character. In his personal life, his family life, he was anything but a man of character, virtue, or integrity.
Unfortunately this is a trend that seems to be rising in America. In a recent Gallup poll showing issues in order of importance in American politics, Americans placed dissatisfaction with government, race relations, and immigration all above morals and ethics. What happens when we do not value morality, virtue, and integrity? Simple; we lose them.
Last week Robert Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, made headline news with his recent statements in regards to their current policies. The Boy Scouts of America have long been known for their commitment to their values. The scout oath states “On my honor I will do my duty to God and my country.” The BSA president has made it clear that he does not intend for the boy scouts to remain committed to their traditional values. Gates stated “We cannot ignore the social, political, and juridical changes taking place in our country…..we must deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.” Gate was referring to the BSA’s policy regarding gay leaders. Gates went on to “boldly” state that they would eventually be sued for such policies so the only option is to give in and change them. It is after all the easiest move.
Fortunately we still have many Americans who do not abandon their principles so easily. Companies such as Hobby Lobby have decided to stand by their convictions. That particular case made it all the way to the US Supreme Court. Other stories did not end so well. For example, the owners of a small bakery who made a stance and ended up losing everything. But they stood by their convictions. These people of moral character are the people who keep America good. The founding fathers were adamant that freedom could not be maintained except the people were virtuous.
Those who seek power understand that in order to control a people they must weaken them and they historically begin by attacking society’s morality. If a people will not fight for their convictions then they will not fight for anything.