Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
— John Adams, from Message to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, October 11, 1798
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
— Benjamin Franklin, quoted in The Truth Project by Del Tackett, Lesson 10 at 28:52; from Letters to Messrs. The Abbes Chalut and Arnaud, April 17, 1787
And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion … reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
— George Washington, quoted in The Truth Project by Del Tackett, Lesson 10 at 25:16; from Farewell Address, September 17, 1796
The only foundation for … a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.
— Benjamin Rush, quoted in The Truth Project by Del Tackett, Lesson 10 at 24:14; from Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical, 1798
Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.
— John Adams, quoted in The Truth Project by Del Tackett, Lesson 10 at 23:51; from Letter of June 21, 1776
God, who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation remain secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.
— Thomas Jefferson
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….
— George Washington, quoted in The Truth Project by Del Tackett, Lesson 10 at 23:21; from Farewell Address, September 17, 1796