If You Can Keep It
I have recently run across some information that puts together how to understand some of the thinking of our founding fathers that they probably took for granted, but that we have lost contact with. These vital principles are key to understanding the whole idea of America and without them being recovered in our nation, will lead to utter disaster, and we are on the brink.
When Benjamin Franklin stepped out on the street from the Constitutional Convention, a lady asked him, what kind of government we were to have, and he answered, “A republic, if you can keep it.” I will try to explain his comment and some of the thinking behind one of the most spectacular human events in the history of mankind.
Never before in all of history had there been a nation run by the concept of Self-Government. The immigrants had left places of tyranny and so to guard against the over-reach of government they formed the Articles of Confederation which proved to be so weak in authority that it amounted to little more than ‘Pay your taxes if you feel like it’. It didn’t work out well. The Convention was supposed to fix that.
They realized that to have freedom there was a delicate balance between government and personal rights. As an example if you wanted law and order in your “community” you could authorize a sheriff with some power to arrest people and put them in jail. But if you gave him too much power he could gather a bunch of goons and take over the town. It would be the same with a state or national government and that was a VERY HOT DEBATE in the Convention.
Self-government was an idea that had never been tried and the men in the Convention were making history. Our founding fathers, for the most part, were all men who believed in virtue. Not all were orthodox Christians but all were men who agreed that for self-government and the idea of freedom and liberty to have any chance it had to be built on faith and virtue. Many of them, like George Washington, were quoted as saying that our government was only suited for a religious and moral people. Our country was built foundationally upon religion and morality. Without that WE WILL CRUMBLE.
After all, the idea of Self-Government is built upon the idea of Self-control. Self-control which produces virtue and morality comes from a worldview. And the worldview that they had witnessed was that where Christianity was practiced, crime was low. This is what we have forgotten and MUST be regained if we are to sustain as a nation.
Follow the line of thinking:
1 Self-government, freedom, and liberty must be accompanied by
2 morality and virtue and that requires a basis of
But a proper true faith requires freedom. True faith can’t be a forced national religion or it won’t be a true, self-practiced, believing, self-controlling, faith. Freedom of religion is so fundamental that it was primary in the Amendments. When you take away a person’s freedom of religion you destroy virtue and without virtue a nation will not stand. American idealism is not built on our people, because American people came from other places. What makes America special is we are the one nation built upon an idea, the idea of freedom in self-government, which by necessity includes morality and religion.
It is in this idea that we can take pride, not because we are arrogantly better than other people, but this principle of freedom, symbolized by our Statue of Liberty and our Pledge of Allegiance, which states “liberty and justice for ALL” reaches to the ends of the earth.
These principles that formed our nation’s beginnings has caused our nation to have been the most charitable and giving nation in all history, even to the extent that American blood has been spilt the world over to help others gain and keep the principle of liberty alive.
Today however, we are in grave danger of freedom disappearing from not just America but the whole planet, as the idea of religion, morality, and patriotism is being rapidly removed and even mocked and abused from every aspect of our culture. Unless these concepts are recovered through proper education of principles of truth and freedom our freedoms will be lost.