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Principle 2 A Free People Cannot Survive under a Republican Constitution Unless They Remain Virtuous and Morally Strong

Principle 2 A Free People Cannot Survive under a Republican Constitution Unless They Remain Virtuous and Morally Strong

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Published by Denise Gibel Molini
This is the second of the 28 principles the founding fathers based the constitution upon A Free People Cannot Survive under a Republican Constitution Unless They Remain Virtuous and Morally Strong
This is the second of the 28 principles the founding fathers based the constitution upon A Free People Cannot Survive under a Republican Constitution Unless They Remain Virtuous and Morally Strong

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Published by: Denise Gibel Molini on Oct 07, 2009
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10/07/2009

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 The Second Principal – We must remain virtuous and morally strong in order tosurvive under a Republican Constitution
On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to thetime when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it,conform to the probable one in which it was passed. Thomas Jefferson
 The experiment that our founding fathers initiated in building this country was oneof self-government. They established this government based upon the belief in OneGod, the God of Nature. Therefore, the Natural Laws that they built the governmentupon are the Laws of God. This is the God, which endowed humankind withunalienable rights. However, along with those rights, God gave manresponsibilities, which cannot be separated from the rights. They believed that inaccepting each of these rights, man, accepts the responsibility to take it uponhimself to ensure that all of his brothers enjoy each right equally. In a sense ourgovernment as it was established, can only survive if we live by the question that John F. Kennedy asked, “Ask not, what your country can do for you, ask what youcan do for your country. This is the essential quality necessary for the success of aRepublic. This is the essence of Republicanism as our Forefathers intended it whenthey created our Republic.Imagine a country where each community felt a moral responsibility to make surethat each member of that community had an opportunity to work, to supporthimself and his family. Each individual felt a moral obligation to his neighbor, to seethat the sick were cared for, all were fed and everyone had shelter. Theyenvisioned a country where each citizen felt a sense of moral duty to every othercitizen. Our Forefathers believed that this could be a country of citizens, raisedfrom childhood as moral and virtuous. They would be citizens taught the truemeaning of being an American living under of the Laws of Nature and Nature’s Godas mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. They imagined that we wouldunderstand as citizens that,
“To whom much is given, much is expected”,
and thateach citizen would be a government unto himself, (self-governing) guarding therights and privileges of his brothers and sisters, as he would guard his own, This isthe only people deserving and capable of such a government as they were building.
2 Corinthians 8:13-15
13”
For I do not mean that others should be eased and youburdened, but that as a matter of fairness
14
your abundance at the present time should supply 
 A )
their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.
15
 As it is written,
B )
"Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack."
I would supposed that our founding fathers believed that this was possible becausethe Americans of the time embraced a moral and virtuous life much like the liveslived today by the Amish people. It is easy to imagine the American of ourForefathers vision surviving on the shoulders of the Amish. It is also the type of heart centered life lived by the Hasidic Jews. This virtue and sense of moralobligation was something that they did not feel was inborn, but had to be taughtfrom a very young age through family, school and what they considered religion.
 
Both of these different groups, the Amish and the Hasidic Jews have differentreligions, but they both live and teach the Love of God and the responsibility thatGod give us to love one another.I remember when my oldest daughter was very young she went to a MontessoriSchool. It seemed to me that all she did all day was cut vegetables and pour water. Then when it was time for her to go to another school, the teachers at Montessorisuggested that I take her to different schools and spend the day there with her. Wewent to one of the schools that they had suggested and I watched as the children inthe class fought over toys, pulled them out of the shelves and left them on the floorwhile they went for another. Then I watched my daughter go to the toy shelf, takeout a toy and play with it for a while. Then, she would put the pieces all togetherand place it neatly back on the shelf where it came from – she was order in themidst of the most unnerving chaos. I immediately took her hand and ran out of theclassroom before she caught on to what they were doing and it rubbed off on her. There were many reasons that Montessori taught my daughter and her classmatesto be considerate, share, and put things back where they came from, but what wasimportant was that the teaching became second nature to her. This was theexpectation of our founding fathers. They believed that from a young age a childcould be taught to act against selfishness through developing a habit of virtuousand moral actions.Ben Franklin said
, “
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nationsbecome corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”"Self-love... is the sole antagonist of virtue, leading us constantly by our  propensities to self-gratification in violation of our moral duties to others. Accordingly, it is against this enemy that are erected the batteries of moralistsand religionists, as the only obstacle to the practice of morality. Take from manhis selfish propensities, and he can have nothing to seduce him from the practiceof virtue. Or subdue those propensities by education, instruction or restraint, and virtue remains without a competitor." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 1814.ME 14:140
What Thomas Jefferson spoke of as ‘self-love’, was what we today would callselfishness. Once the British were expelled from this country the wealth andcorruption that they had brought with them – left also. The people easily connectedthe lack and suffering that they had endured under British rule to the corruption,wealth, and lack of virtue of the British Aristocracy and were anxious to separatethemselves from anything resembled it. They were, having earned theirindependence, satisfied with a life that was moral and virtuous, they had fought andachieved so much together that there existed a sense of brotherhood, even if temporary. All read the writings of the founding fathers. Virtue and morals weretaught in the schools and centers of worship. There was a sense of peace andwellbeing that impressed even the most skeptical European that a virtuous people,capable of freedom and self-government could exist. Less government was asexperiment in the ability of people to real meaning of self-government was thegoverning of self and the protection of others. This required virtue and a spiritualmoral code.

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