Washington’s Unheeded Warning: “Religion and Morality Are Indispensable Supports”

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.

On September 17, 1796, during his Farewell Address, George Washington issued a dire warning that has, evidently, gone unheeded.

According to the Founding Father and the first President of the United States, religion and morality are indispensable supports to the country’s wellbeing and future.

In a recent lecture for Canon Press, Dr Peter Lillback noted that while Thomas Jefferson saw a wall of separation between Church and State, Washington, rather, envisioned the two separated, not by a wall, but by a floor.

For Washington, the Constitution had a weak grounding with the potential of collapsing if it was not supported by a sufficient foundation. This foundation, according to Washington, consists of two indispensable pillars: Religion and Morality.

Topple religion and you topple national morality. Topple both, and you’ve undermined the basis upon which human rights are grounded.

Washington said:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.

“In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.

“The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish them.

“A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity…

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

There’s little wonder why John Adams, Washington’s fellow Founding Father, said the Constitution was made “only for moral and religious people.” Warning, “it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” The Christian religion and morality are vital.

When we look at the world around us today, it’s hard not to laugh, and at times despair, at the utter absurdity consuming our culture. What’s happened to the world? How did everything become so stupid? And where is this all going?

I think Washington would say it’s no mere coincidence that the situation we’re currently in was preceded by decades of anti-Christian propaganda that infiltrated the institutions and public square under the guise of “secularism,” “diversity,” and “pluralism” for the sole purpose of shaking the very pillars of which he spoke.

For Washington, it was the “duty of all nations,” not just Americans, to “acknowledge the providence of Almighty God,” and to “obey his will” and “to be grateful for his benefits and humbly implore his protection and favor.”

Surely, what we’re seeing today is the direct result of neglecting that duty.

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