A Rudderless Ship Of State
Posted on: 2010-01-31 12:28:41

"Morality respects its heritage and honors its ancestors."

by Chuck Baldwin

In Patrick Henry's immortal "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death" speech, he said, "[I]t is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth." Never have Henry's words been truer than they are today. For too long, good men have turned a blind eye to the obvious reality that America's Ship of State has swerved significantly off course. In fact, it is no hyperbole to say that America's Ship of State is completely rudderless and, absent a speedy course correction, seems destined to crash against the rocks of oppression and economic ruin in the very near future. For anyone willing to open their eyes, the manifestations of America's almost-certain collision with history are everywhere.

America's Liberty Ship is dependent upon the twin mainsails of Morality and Constitutional Government to stay on course. It is an irrefutable and irreversible law that these twin sails are indissolubly linked. We cannot have one without the other. America's founders clearly understood this.


For example, our second President, John Adams, said, "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."

Samuel Adams (called the "Father of the American Revolution") said, "He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of this country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man . . . The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people."

Thomas Jefferson (the author of the Declaration of Independence and our third President) said, "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."

Jefferson also said, "[If a] people [are] so demoralized and depraved as to be incapable of exercising a wholesome control, their reformation [must] be taken up ab incunabulis [from the beginning]. Their minds [must] be informed by education what is right and what wrong, [must] be encouraged in habits of virtue and deterred from those of vice by the dread of punishments, proportioned indeed, but irremissible; in all cases, to follow truth as the only safe guide, and to eschew error, which bewilders us in one false consequence after another in endless succession. These are the inculcations necessary to render the people a sure basis for the structure of order and good government."

Our first President, George Washington (called the "Father of his Country"), 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."

And to quote Patrick Henry again, "Bad men cannot make good citizens . . . A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom."

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EAU's Statement of Ethics



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