Have you ever tried to stand on broken legs?
It’s as if your legs have ceased to exist. You cannot stand on broken legs. You cannot use an arm that is broken. You can’t stand with a back that’s broken.
Without a foundation to work with, your muscles are useless, and your body is useless. And, if your bones are broken in a hostile environment, that ‘useless’ body is going to become someone’s lunch – unless you have someone with good bones to protect you.
For a while, it was America that had the good bones, and she has often stood to protect those who didn’t. In World War I and World War II, America stood up for liberty and freedom. America stood when Korea was falling. During the Cold War, America stood while Europe cowered in fear. In the Middle East, America stood for Israel when everyone tried to destroy the only democracy in the region.
America stood because she had something to stand with. She had a foundation for her strength. She had good bones.
So, what are those bones? What are the bones that the United States stands with?
Is it the Constitution?
John Adams didn’t think so:
“It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.”
We talk a great deal about how great the American Constitution is, and we have a Supreme Court that attempts to protect it. But, the creators of the Constitution knew that their document was meaningless if the people it sought to protect were corrupt. John Adams also went on to say:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Without morality and religion, the US Constitution was worthless. At some level, I think that we understand that, but we certainly weren’t taught this. No, we were taught that the US Constitution freed us from the ‘oppression’ of religion and morality. By chipping away at the connection that morality and religion has with the US Constitution, our teachers have done much to destroy the Constitution itself. They have made the power of the Constitution meaningless.
The truth is that the founding fathers of the United States embraced the idea that there was a higher power and a higher authority than the Constitution.
“Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”
– Patrick Henry
“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”
– Samuel Adams
“If we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”
– Daniel Webster
The foundation of the United States is faith in God, and the willingness to follow His rules. Faith and the willingness to follow are the bones of our country, the foundation that allows us to stand.
Our founding fathers knew that America would never fall, at least not until we broke her bones.