By Zach Krajacic
Each year that we celebrate Independence Day, we seem to be a less religious nation than the year before. This is an ominous trend, and we would do well to heed the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, who warned of the dangers of secularism.
The Founding Fathers frequently articulated the importance of religion and morality in a democracy, and the key role they play in preserving freedom and liberty.
“Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society,” said George Washington, our first president.
If these pillars are weakened, the whole society will start to disintegrate. Many people think this is already happening. It is common to hear forebodings about our future, stemming from concerns about the current moral climate, the rise of deviant behavior and the toxic culture that surrounds our children.
Our libertine culture is a natural outcome of the erosion of religion. An increasing number of people, including many in positions of power, have been rejecting the primacy of God and an objective moral standard. In fact, moral relativism has become so pervasive that even the distinction between right and wrong is being eradicated.
Such a transformation has large-scale implications for the future well-being and security of our nation. John Adams, our second president and a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, said: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion … Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
In other words, a free society depends on its citizens behaving by a moral code that is primarily learned through religion. The absence of religion creates a harmful snowball effect. Family values and social mores begin to deteriorate, followed by widespread narcissism, confusion, disorder and violence.
These trends have become pronounced in our country the past few years. Unless we reverse course, anarchy could eventually ensue and bring with it devastating consequences. Benjamin Franklin, another signer of the Declaration of Independence, said: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
This means that if we continue down the path we are on, there might come a time when we no longer have an Independence Day.
Our Founding Fathers created the best form of government and the greatest nation ever, but they knew that a democracy cannot work well without religion and morality. There is no reason to question their wisdom.
Zach Krajacic, of Lancaster, is vice president at 101.7 FM the Station of the Cross Catholic Radio Network, based in Williamsville.