"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
Today, as you probably know, is Constitution Day. As you can imagine, the Constitution is always a pretty hot topic, in both the public square and the courtroom. Numerous amendments to it have been proposed, and it constantly has people trying to interpret and redefine it.
In all of the chaos surrounding the Constitution, it becomes very easy to lose sight of a simple truth. The Constitution has no more value as a governing document then the character of the people it governs. What does that mean?
There is a misconception shared by many, especially conservatives, that if we stick to the Constitution, everything will be ok. If all we do as a nation is follow the constitution, we will always end up with the best possible outcome, our country will be safe, healthy, and well off, but that misses a crucial point.
The Constitution was designed to support, protect, defend and guide a moral people. The danger is that as years of litigation and legislation have shown, it is anything but. We now use our founding document to defend abortion and pornography. We use it to promote socialism. Atheism.
The Constitution wasn’t designed to protect us from ourselves, as we commonly claim. The purpose of a Constitution is to grant power to government and to limit the power of the government. The Constitution is one of the most significant documents ever written, its historical significance is unquestioned, its impact vast. It not only changed our nation, but has since changed many others, and could be considered the pinnacle of human thought, and the enlightenment.
But it does not protect us from ourselves. It is only a document, written by fallen men who have long since passed. Our nation has proven time and time again that it can change, twist, and ignore not only the supposed intent of the founders, but the very words themselves.
Believe it or not, the Constitution is not essential to our society. It can fail as our moral fabric decays. And without our conscience, the Constitution is nothing more than old words on an old page, written by dead men. If our nation is to remain free, if it is to continue to beckon the oppressed masses of the world to an ideal we can all be proud of, an ideal we can willingly fight and die for, then we must not lose our morality. We must not lose our faith.
John Adams had it right.