Guest Commentary / July 7, 2022

The One Message Our Nation Needs to Hear Right Now

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.”

By Larry Craig

This message should be posted in every classroom, every library, and all our government buildings. If I were really rich, I would put it on billboards all across the country and in every newspaper.

The one message that this nation needs to hear is this:

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

So said John Adams, our second president.

Those people who keep calling for a separation of church and state miss the point of the First Amendment. The Founders knew that without religion, this whole freedom thing was doomed. With freedom without religion, you’re not going to be able to have enough police to keep order in society.

As that whole quote says: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Notice he didn’t even mention gun violence or other serious evils. They had a moral and religious people, and those weren’t problems then. The worse examples that he could give were avarice [greed], ambition, revenge, and gallantry. Gallantry was a fine quality but at times referred to certain deceptive behaviors.

The Founders weren’t forbidding government from anything religious; they didn’t want the federal government to choose which branch of the religion of Christ was the official one, like in England, where the queen is the Head of the Church of England. And that is why the First Amendment calls for the free exercise of religion. It can’t do that unless the values of that religion are consistent with the values of this country.

No, they weren’t establishing the religion of Christ as the religion of the United States; they were assuming it. They weren’t worried about people of other religions or even no religion. With freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas, they were confident that when people discussed the issues of life and the existence of God, the religion of Christ would win the day.

Yes, Christians are flawed people, like everybody else, and some have done bad things and even in the name of the Christ. But no other religion teaches people to love their neighbors as themselves; to do unto others as you would have others do unto you; that you are created in the image of God; that God loves you such that He gave His Son to die for you that you might have eternal life; and that if God so loved you, so you should also love one another. And, of course, there was always that “Thou shalt not kill.”

Moreover, know that God shall bring into account all the deeds that were done in the body. We are accountable to a Supreme Being for what we do in our lives.

It is the lack of religion that emboldens evil people to do evil things; to think they will not be held accountable to somebody higher than them. It is the lack of hope that God offers people that breeds the despair, the anger, the loneliness, and the hatred that propels people to do evil things.

Great freedom requires great responsibility, and it is only in religion, and specifically the religion of Christ, that you get the responsibility and hope that is needed for great freedom.

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