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Invest Your Time in Two Books for Independence Day

Posted on 30 June 2017 by Scott Cooper

Last week my column discussed our collective need to work on “Improving Our Communication Skills.”  The previous editorial discussed “Starting the Investment,” specifically thinking about a summer reading list for those graduating from Middle School.  “Starting the Investment,” compared the relative maturity of young men and women graduating from the 8th grade 100 years ago to today, and recommended a book, Do Hard Things, written by modern teenagers, sharing history of some heroic teens of other era’s, as an inspiration for today’s teens to initiate a “rebelution against low expectations!”  Yes, it’s a play on words, combining rebel and revolution.  Their website is www.TheRebelution.com.

This week, as Independence Day celebrations approach, we should remember the American Patriots who simply wanted individual liberty were considered rebels and that their effort began formally legislatively, but ultimately led to a revolution.  In that light as we consider how to improve our communication skills about our struggle for liberty today, I urge all of us to add two books to our summer reading list, which I believe will expand our thoughts about what the celebrations this coming weekend really mean.

The financial entanglements our ancestors fought against prior to our first Independence Day were far less significant than the financial entanglements we face today.  Today our central government rewards itself and “the players” both inside and outside of government for doing the exact opposite of what we celebrate this weekend.  Expanding dependency has become the largest byproduct of virtually every government program.  Yet this weekend we continue to celebrate independence and liberty, while at the same time embracing policies which limit choice and increase dependence.  I find this curious, and troubling.

The two books I recommend are:

Future editorials will disc

uss the books in more detail.  I am confident that some of the polarized advocates I referenced in last week’s “Improving our Communication Skills” will have choice words about the first author.  When you find those, remember, they are attacking a person, but not the content.  Remember, that tactic is an effort to stop discussion by demeaning the person.  I call on all of us to do and demand better, and I hope you will too!

As you read the books and have thoughts about the content, I would love to discuss the thoughts with you either on the Edgefield Advertiser editorial page, where this will be posted, or on my Facebook page, where it will also be posted.

Here’s wishing you a very rewarding Independence Day Weekend Celebration with family and friends.

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Starting The Investment

Posted on 21 June 2017 by Scott Cooper

Last week (http://hscottcooper.com/contrasting-three-events-on-memorial-day-ea-may-31-2017/) I closed my editorial with the following paragraph:

“What encourages me about our time period in history, where our collective knowledge of these conflicting worldviews is so poor, is that we can rapidly improve our knowledge, if we are willing to make the investment.”

When it comes to making the needed investment, there are two critical points I believe we must begin with:

First, parents must be willing to make the educational investment in their children.  Dropping them at the schoolhouse isn’t enough.  To grandparents – if, for whatever reason, your children are not making the required investment in your grandchildren’s proper education, you have a civic duty, indeed a moral obligation, to ensure your lineage is properly educated.  Your legacy depends upon it.

Second, we must begin as early as possible.  There is a lot of focus this time of year on Graduation.  Graduation from High School, Graduation from College and perhaps graduate school.  If we look back in history, say a century ago – young men graduating from eighth grade had great expectations placed on them.  Many had already become men, bearing responsibility for helping provide their families’ sustenance.  Young women graduating from the eighth grade were also being taught to think about their role in providing for the family, both existing and future families.

This week, I encourage you to think about the young adults you know graduating from Middle School.  I think two of the books which should be on the summer reading list for these young adults, ages 13 and 14, are:

The first book was actually written by two teenagers. Alex and Brett Harris, at the age of 19. Do Hard Things, A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, in short tells stories of great teenagers from our history who accomplished amazing feats during their teenage years, and contrasted those stories with today’s culture where adulthood (responsibility) is actually being pushed further and further into an individual’s future.

The second book deals with Economics.  In my opinion, we must educate all young adults entering High School the truth about Economics.  Specifically, how government run systems created in the last two generations have placed a tremendous economic burden on them.  Much of that burden, which they will bear, began prior to their conception!  The author states, “this upcoming generation has been plundered and deceived.”  Thus, the title of the book is Plunder and Deceit: Big Governments Exploitation of Young People and the Future by Mark Levin.

I am hopeful The Edgefield Advertiser will place my editorials online, so after your Middle School Graduates, or you, have read the books, we will be able to discuss the merits of their content online.  They will be placed at my website, www.HScottCooper.com as well as my Facebook Page, www.Facebook.com/ScottCooperSC.

Here’s wishing you a productive week!

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Peace on Earth . . . . . . .

Posted on 26 December 2016 by Scott Cooper

Peace on EarthI watched three programs this weekend which I greatly appreciated, because I learned things I didn’t know which are worth appreciating. One was Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Michelle Obama.  One was the Fox News program Donald Trump: Objectified.  One was Breit Baier’s interview with Charles Krauthammer.  Each program highlighted these individuals for an hour.

Both Obama and Trump have raised accomplished children, who grew up with the tremendous pressure of living in the spotlight in a way 99.9 % of other individuals will never have to navigate. The poise and resilience their children demonstrate is indeed impressive and says a tremendous amount about their parents, which is positive.

Krauthammer is a man whose fierce determination as a very young man enabled him to complete Harvard Medical School while lying on his back in a hospital bed following a freak diving accident resulting in a broken neck.  A feat never accomplished by anyone before.  Krauthammer is a man who has worked for individuals at the highest level of political office on both sides of the ideological spectrum.

As a very young man Trump spent five years leading in many, many categories at the New York Military Academy, graduating in 1964 at the top of his class. Interesting.  Perhaps that is where he garnered so much respect for the military.

Obama has a legitimate concern of our food supply and its connection to healthcare, and attempted to speak out about it in a way not previously done.  Personally, I find it interesting her effort didn’t convey into the healthcare debate more than it did, and I hope it does in the future.

I could list more about these individuals; however, the main thing solidified for me this weekend is that our systems – media, political and educational systems specifically – foster environments where we don’t listen to others very well.  These systems spend more time demeaning and deconstructing people than trying to legitimately listen and understand them.

Also this weekend I thought quite a bit about Christmas 1986, 30 years ago.  That vacation at our family farm 30 years ago was spent reflecting on a year where I had eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner for close to 180 days with students from around the globe.  Literally all my meals at school were eaten at a table of 12 where I was the only American.  For example, the morning of the bombing of Libya on April 15, 1986, following the terrorist attack in Berlin, I was eating breakfast between my two Libyan schoolmates, both of whom had parents in Tripoli, who were unreachable.  I could invest over 500 words on that one breakfast alone! I elaborated on it in April. (linked).

The bottom line for me is we have some serious ideological worldview issues which are struggling for the dominance of our American culture. This struggle ultimately streams into education, media and politics; however we need citizens who can engage in the process thoughtfully, articulately and truthfully without degrading to name calling, which is so prevalent in today’s reality based culture.

As we think this week about “Peace on Earth,” I pray each of us, on both sides of the political aisle, will contemplate how we might get outside of our own echo-chambers and try to understand the human that is on the other side of our ideological divide.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Things Preventing America from Becoming Great Again – EA April 6, 2016

Posted on 08 April 2016 by Scott Cooper

Make America Great Again

In the course of my writing for The Edgefield Advertiser, I have shared that I believe many of the issues facing us today are “non-respecter of person issues.”  I stated I would at times be returning back to this theme.

This week, while working on the farm my index finger got caught in a piece of equipment and ripped out a decent piece of skin, measuring about an inch in length, a quarter of an inch in width and a significant depth – enough to hurt like the dickens, but thankfully not deep enough to catch a vein.

That experience got me to thinking about two non-respecter of person issues: work ethic and intergenerational dependence / training. It got me thinking about both of my grandfathers, and their hands!

I remember thinking both of my grandfathers were extremely smart, hard working men. Neither man went to college; however, both men showed up for work daily, one seven days a week on a dairy farm.  Both provided well – not only for their immediate family, but for extended family during times of need.  I could tell multiple stories of both men meeting needs of others beyond their immediate family.

One died just before I was a decade old and the other died before my sixteenth birthday.  Both men had strong hands.  Honestly, I remember looking at both men’s hands at their viewings just before their funerals and marveling at how used they looked, and how strong at the same time.  I was fortunate to spend time with both men. One, on his farm, which I now have the privilege to work and the other in his multiple gardens.  Both men demonstrated extremely strong work ethic, even in their latter years. In addition, both men demonstrated an ability to have fun with their grandkids.

We are currently in an election year hearing about all government should do, and some say must do for us – but I don’t hear our leaders speaking about the importance of work-ethic, encouraging elders to demonstrate it for the next generation – and perhaps even for the generation following that.  I don’t hear our candidates speaking about the travesty of fatherlessness in our culture, which invariably leads to a lack of grandfathers, and the devastating impact that is having on our nation.

As I reminisced on my grandfathers this week, and the profound impact they had on my life, I realized how blessed I am.  I also realized how deprived of leadership many young boys and girls are today.  This year’s election isn’t going to repair this void in leadership – but if repaired, would have the greatest impact on the next generation(s).

Inter-generational training, the issue of fatherlessness and the improvement of our nations work-ethic are areas, which if improved, could have the greatest impact on making America great again.

Would you consider joining me in prayer for the issue of fatherlessness and work-ethic in our nation?

I hope you have a blessed week!

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Something Great Happening in Washington DC! – EA March 30, 2016

Posted on 30 March 2016 by Scott Cooper

I hope each of you had an amazing Resurrection Sunday Celebration, otherwise known as Easter.  If you happen to be among the percentage of American’s who don’t celebrate any portion of the Judeo-Christian history celebrated this past week, I at least hope you had a great day of rest!

Both of our church services were overflowing with people.  It literally was standing room only all the way back in the atrium, outside the sanctuary, likely with many folks who attend services twice a year – Christmas and Resurrection Sunday.  That is a great thing!

That got me to thinking – each of my writings thus far has talked about virtues. Most of my writings have said critical things about Washington, DC.  Indeed, my March 2 editorial referred to Washington as Rome, being under massive construction – while burning at the same time!  My March 9 editorial shared my belief that the most critical issues we face are “non-respecter of person” issues, which I would be writing more about in the future.

This week, I want to share with you a building under construction in Washington, scheduled to open in November 2017, which I believe will have a profound impact on our republic, indeed our world.  The Museum of the Bible will be located two blocks south of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and 4 blocks SW of our Nations’ Capitol Building.

Coopers at Top Deck Museum of Bible - March 15, 2016

Through a series of events, on March 15, 2016 I had the privilege of touring the construction site of this incredible undertaking.  Pictured above, after climbing to the future top floor is my oldest son Robert, his new bride Brittany, my parents Hank and Bobbye and me.  You can see the proximity of the future Museum to the capitol in the photo.  The top floor will be glass enclosed, providing amazing views of our nations’ capitol.

500 words is not enough to explain why I am sharing this, so let me just share a couple quotes:

“The Bible ought to be a part of our education, because of its literary culture. There are countless phrases in our culture, that come from this book.” Richard Dawkins, world famous atheist, and author of the book The God Delusion.

“We just want to be honest brokers of the information. We’re just wanting to present the facts and let the people make their own decisions. We don’t want to embellish anything; we don’t want to be negative either.” Steve Green, President of Hobby Lobby and Chairman of the Museum of the Bible.

Personally – I believe this book points to the virtues required for a civil society, regardless of one’s faith tradition.  Today we are likely the least educated generation in our nation’s history on its subject matter, and this museum will help improve that situation.

For more information, I recommend listening to the interview conducted by Family Life Today, and Steve Green, Chairman of The Museum of the Bible.  That interview can be found at http://familylifetoday.com/program/the-bible-a-story-worth-telling/.  The museum website is https://www.museumofthebible.org/.

I hope you have a blessed week!

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Remembering First Lady Nancy Reagan – EA March 16, 2016

Posted on 16 March 2016 by Scott Cooper

Nancy Reagan

With the passing of First Lady Nancy Reagan, I have been thinking about Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan.

President Reagan was 41 when he married Nancy, and they shared 52 incredible years together. She married him at a low point in his life, and helped him achieve amazing things.

To me, as I reflect on Nancy Reagan – I am thinking about the value of marriage. I am thinking about the importance of working as a team. I am contemplating about the amount of work it takes to become such a team, and the fact that it is accomplished not with emotions and feelings only – but by a steadfast commitment. A lifelong commitment.

The work I do with High Frontier, we reflect often on Reagan’s peace through strength strategy and his willingness to call evil, well – evil. We are thankful for his willingness to speak truth to power – and how that changed the course of nations – literally.

I think of Lech Walesa, an imprisoned electrician in Poland, due to his efforts in the labor movement, who later in life, after becoming President of Poland, shared how Ronald Reagan’s optimism and speaking truth to power inspired him, as he studied in prison, and listened to the American President on the radio.

Yes – Ronald Reagan impacted countless people – and the course of nations. This side of the veil, we will likely never know his full impact.

But we know one thing for certain – Nancy was at his side all the way and I believe God worked through Ronald in a greater way, causing him to be the effective leader he was in large part to Nancy being his side.

Thank you Nancy – for your service to our country. We greatly appreciate you!

__________

This was the fourth week I was published in The Edgefield Advertiser, the longest running continues paper in South Carolina, published March 16, 2016.

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This week I travelled through Paradise……

Posted on 04 July 2015 by Scott Cooper

Paradise II

 

It’s true, this week I travelled through Paradise.

I travelled to Michigan for business, as well as to take time to visit several dear friends along the way.  Midweek I found myself at the very top of the Upper Peninsula, having several hours to myself, which I had not planned.  Initially I thought I would simply go to a library to study, but after thinking I might never make it to that part of the country again, I decided to travel the scenic route to Whitefish Point to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.  To get there, you travel North Whitefish Point Road, which actually ends at the lighthouse and museum.

My destination was the museum, however I had not adequately studied the map – I had just keyed what I thought was the museum into my GPS.  When my GPS told me I was there, I wasn’t.  I was actually still 11 miles away, but I was in Paradise!  Unsure exactly where the museum was, I pulled into a small driveway of a home, which had a sign by the driveway stating there was a gift shop that was “Open for Business.”

After parking, I followed the cute signs back to a small building beside the adorable small home, which was on the edge of Lake Superior and Whitefish Bay.  When I walked in the woman at the counter said “Welcome to my little piece of Paradise!”

The woman was most pleasant and had a great selection of gifts.  She was extremely helpful in getting me back on the path toward my destination.  She said, which if I had studied a map what would have been obvious, “just keep taking this road to the very end – it dead ends at the lighthouse and the museum.  There is no way you can miss it!”

I spent the rest of the week thinking about that incident, the journey I was on, and today, Independence Day.

Greatlakes Shipwreck Museum

That day I was on the road to learn about shipwrecks, and found myself in Paradise.  For some reason my mind took me back several days prior to arriving in Paradise, when I had decided to drive through Detroit to see the devastation which I had read, seen pictures of, and watched videos on YouTube about. (If you click on link, you can see pictures, and once there, you can click on the video button to see videos).  For some reason, I had wanted to see with my own eyes what many claim to be the result of flawed policies.  It’s true, there are blocks and blocks and blocks of devastation, just like the picture below.  I spent time looking at it myself – and I spent a large portion of the week grieving about it, in particular the lives of countless families represented and impacted by the devastation…….a week when I wanted to be thinking about the glories of Independence – and all that we are celebrating today.

Detroit II

The most famous of shipwrecks on the Great Lakes in our lifetime is the Edmund Fitzgerald, made famous by Gordon Lightfoot’s song.  What I did not know prior to this week is that The Edmund Fitzgerald is but one of 240 ships lost in Whitefish Bay alone, and some 6,000 ships and 30,000 lives have been lost on the Great Lakes.  What impressed me about the museum was not only the history of the devastation of the wrecks, but the history of constantly improving not only the industry of shipping, but the technology of recovering and studying shipwrecks.  Later that afternoon I took a boat tour of the Soo Locks, which opened in 1837, and still today some 10,000 ships per year pass through the locks, which connects Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes.

Soo Locks II

As I journeyed home yesterday to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends – I reflected on my week.  Not only did I accomplish my business and visit with friends, I witnessed a devastated city, which 100 years ago was the pride of our nation.  I studied shipwrecks.  I travelled country roads and marveled at the number of old farm homes which were in disrepair, with outbuildings surrounding them, which were in extreme disrepair, and quite honestly needed to be razed.

But you know what else I noticed – I passed countless farms which were thriving and had grass which my cows would love!  I saw modern farm buildings sitting beside old farm homes, as well as new farm homes.  I passed numerous old homes which had been restored to the glories of their by-gone era.  I spoke with a man who spends time in Detroit, who shared with me stories of the effort to revitalize Detroit, and families who maintain their little piece of Detroit (their paradise), despite the chaos which surrounds them.

I passed through 9 states this week, and at each stop, I made a point to try and speak with folks, to look in their eyes as I spoke with them or watched them as they went about their business.  Whether it was the individual working in the coffee shop I ate breakfast in, in Wheaton, IL, the good folks I attended church with in downtown Columbus, OH, the truck driver I spoke with at the rest area in Kentucky, the black woman who needed a jump start at a gas station outside of Chicago, or folks on the tour with me in the UP of Michigan and even the individuals who were leaving the baseball stadium in Detroit, headed back to their cars – just a couple blocks from the devastation so many write about in Detroit.

There are things going on in our country which grieve our hearts.  But the potential ingenuity and compassion of the human heart is no different today than at any other point in the history of man.  While I did witness devastation and shipwrecks this week – I truly believe our country is about the closest we can get to paradise.

As we celebrate Independence Day, many may choose to write about the growing dependency in our nation – and how it is the exact opposite of the liberty our founders were brave enough to pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to bequeath to us.  Many point out that it is going to lead to shipwreck and devastation.  That may be true.

As we celebrate our birthday – I hope each of us will think about the lighthouse our founders provided for us – the tool required to keep our inheritance.  And that is the Constitution.  If we follow that path, we can restore our republic to its founding principles of Liberty and Independence which were birthed this day, 239 years ago.  Kind of’ like the woman at the gift shop told me on Wednesday – it is the dead end, and “there is no way we can miss it!”

Lighthouse With American Flag

The Constitution

#IChooseHope

#HappyBirthdayAmerica

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Something to Do With Your Family, as You Celebrate Memorial Day

Posted on 25 May 2015 by Scott Cooper

Monumental

As we celebrate Memorial Day, a day rightly set aside to honor the fallen from past wars, those men and women from the military services who gave all to provide liberty to us, are on the forefront of my mind.

But the way my mind works – I also can’t help but think about the tests to religious liberty we have experienced in just the last couple years and then reflect on the men and women who fell during the first winter at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.  While they were not serving in the military, they laid down their lives to begin a foundation for what 150 years later would become The United States of America.

In history class we learn about Pilgrims who escaped not only the tyranny of high taxes and high government debt, but most importantly came to the new world to start a new life seeking religious liberty, and forming a new government which originated with the Mayflower Compact.

45 of the 102, or 44 %, of those who came on the first ship died that first winter – including the wife of their leader, William Bradford.  Despite that horrific percentage, when given the opportunity to return to The Old World the following spring, not one of the remaining 57 choose to give up on the generational inheritance they had committed in their hearts and minds to provide for us.

On March 2, 2012 I shared with those who follow my blog, and are on my e-mail list about Kirk Cameron’s one night Simulcast of the movie Monumental.

This weekend I shared with a very good friend the importance of that movie – and after spending yesterday evening reflecting on it – I decided I want to encourage you to not only enjoy the BBQ’s, Parades, Beer, Wine and Soda’s as we celebrate those who gave all – but to invest a little time with your family either today or in the coming week to learn about this amazing group, who gave 44 % of their population some 395 years ago, that we may “stand on their backs,” and enjoy the fruit of their investment to the cause of liberty.

For those who subscribe to Amazon Prime, the movie is available via streaming.  To those who do not, you can enjoy a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime in order to watch this film.

In order to pass the baton of Liberty on to our children and grandchildren, we truly need to understand the lives of those who came before us – and investing the time in this movie, with our families, I believe, will help us understand this inter-generational baton race each of us are a part of.

May God Bless you and you family on this beautiful holiday weekend – and may we both individually and collectively bless God, in order that He may choose to bless our very much loved republic.

Scott Cooper

P.S.  In addition to the encouragement to watch the movie – I want to provide you with three things –

1.  Glenn Beck in February 2012 interviewed Kirk Cameron about Monumental.  It is a good explanation of the “why” behind the movie.  I would encourage you to watch it!

  1. One of my favorite video’s from Michael W. Smith – reflecting on our Flag –

  1. To those who served – but are still with us – Thank you!

Once a Soldir

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How Paul Used His Liberty

Posted on 28 October 2014 by Scott Cooper

Paul - Free belonging to no man II

I have given a lot of thought to this recently –

Paul’s Use of His Freedom

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

I Corinthians 9:19-23

Paul had Freedom.  Paul had Liberty. Paul stated he was free to live his life as he saw fit – the same freedom bestowed upon us by our triune God: God the Father, God the son – Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit.

Interesting – sounds like a form of government conservatives in The United States are very, very proud of and we seek passionately to defend.

Those in the conservative movement, myself included, talk a lot about Freedom and Liberty.  Paul’s letter to the Corinthians gives us pause to think about what our intentions should be with this God given / God ordained liberty.

There are those within our movement who have the “co-exist” mentality, otherwise known as the “live and let live” mentality – our liberty, our freedom is provided for us so that everything under the sun is permissible.  And it is, but Paul clearly states that while everything may be permissible, not everything is beneficial.  Paul, actually writes about that earlier in the same letter – I Corinthians 6:12-20.  He wraps up that section with vs. 20: “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

If you want to read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians in its entirety, you may do so by clicking here.

At the end of the day – I think this is what separates the two factions of the Conservative movement – those who want to make everything permissible for the purpose to live and let live, to simply live our lives to the absolute fullest, enjoying all that we possibly can before going to the grave, and those who recognize that our liberty, our freedom was purchased with blood.  It was purchased at a great price.  And ultimately, that price requires a lifestyle that goes beyond simply living life to the fullest and getting all we possibly can prior to death.

Our National Independence was purchased with the blood of our Patriot forefathers.  But they indeed recognized the blood that ultimately purchased all of humanities liberty – and they were not ashamed to proclaim it.  (Romans 1:16).

Our founders wrote extensively on the importance of virtue and it being a required ingredient to the success of our republic.  Looking to their writings, I am convinced that without a resurgence of virtue – or what some are praying for, a spiritual awakening, we will never again enjoy the liberty and Independence our republic was founded upon – and for so long enjoyed.

I encourage you to review some of the writings of our early and past leaders on the importance of virtue in our society.  You may do so by clicking here!

May you and yours have a blessed week!

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Quotes on Liberty and Virtue

Posted on 28 October 2014 by Scott Cooper

Benjamin Rush - Liberty Without Virtue

QUOTES ON LIBERTY AND VIRTUE

Compiled and Edited by J. David Gowdy, President
The Washington, Jefferson & Madison Institute


lib-er-ty\ ‘lib-er-te` \ n [ME, fr. MF liberte’, fr. L libertat, libertas, fr. liber free]
1. FREEDOM 2. POWER 3. CHOICE 4. RIGHT 5. PRIVILEGE 6. DUTY 7. STANDARD

vir-tue\ ‘ver-(,)chu: \ n [ME virtu, fr. OF, L virtut-, virtus strength, virtue]
1. MORALITY 2. POWER 3. VALOR 4. MERIT 5. CHASTITY 6. FORCE 7. AUTHORITY

 


“[V]irtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”
George Washington

“Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? ”
George Washington

“[T]here is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists . . . an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness.”
George Washington

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness — these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.”
George Washington

“The aggregate happiness of the society, which is best promoted by the practice of a virtuous policy, is, or ought to be, the end of all government . . . .”
George Washington

“Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people. The general government . . . can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any despotic or oppresive form so long as there is any virtue in the body of the people.”
George Washington

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Laws without morals are in vain.”
Benjamin Franklin (Motto of the University of Pennsylvania)

“Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.”
Benjamin Franklin

“A nation as a society forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society.”
Thomas Jefferson

“No government can continue good but under the control of the people; and . . . . their minds are to be informed by education what is right and what wrong; to be encouraged in habits of virtue and to be deterred from those of vice . . . . These are the inculcations necessary to render the people a sure basis for the structure and order of government.”
Thomas Jefferson

“It is in the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigour. . . . degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats into the heart of its laws and constitution.”
Thomas Jefferson

“[In a republic, according to Montesquieu in Spirit of the Laws, IV,ch.5,] ‘virtue may be defined as the love of the laws and of our country. As such love requires a constant preference of public to private interest, it is the source of all private virtue; for they are nothing more than this very preference itself… Now a government is like everything else: to preserve it we must love it . . . Everything, therefore, depends on establishing this love in a republic; and to inspire it ought to be the principal business of education; but the surest way of instilling it into children is for parents to set them an example.'”
Thomas Jefferson: copied into his Commonplace Book.

“When virtue is banished, ambition invades the minds of those who are disposed to receive it, and avarice possesses the whole community.”
Montesquieu (written by Thomas Jefferson in his Common Place Book).

“Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Liberty . . . is the great parent of science and of virtue; and . . . a nation will be great in both always in proportion as it is free.”
Thomas Jefferson

“The order of nature [is] that individual happiness shall be inseparable from the practice of virtue.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Without virtue, happiness cannot be.”
Thomas Jefferson

“The institution of delegated power implies that there is a portion of virtue and honor among mankind which may be a reasonable foundation of confidence.”
Alexander Hamilton

“To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.”
James Madison

“The aim of every political Constitution, is or ought to be first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.”
James Madison

“. . . Virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible. These are the tactics we should study. If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen indeed . . . so long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger.”
Patrick Henry

“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

“The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.
John Adams

“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.”
John Adams

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
John Adams

“Liberty can no more exist without virtue and independence than the body can live and move without a soul.”
John Adams

“Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics.”
John Adams

“[I]t 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.”
John Adams

“The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.”
John Adams

“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. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.”
John Adams

“Honor is truly sacred, but holds a lower rank in the scale of moral excellence than virtue. Indeed the former is part of the latter, and consequently has not equal pretensions to support a frame of government productive of human happiness.”
John Adams

“Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the “latent spark”… If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?”
John Adams

“Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits . . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.”
Fisher Ames

“It is certainly true that a popular government cannot flourish without virtue in the people.”
Richard Henry Lee

“Whenever we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.”
Thomas Paine

“[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend of the liberty of his 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 onto any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.”
Samuel Adams

“The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.”
Samuel Adams

“[M]en will be free no longer then while they remain virtuous.”
Samuel Adams

“If virtue & knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslav’d. This will be their great security.”
Samuel Adams

“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

“A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.”
Samuel Adams

“No people can be great who have ceased to be virtuous.”
Samuel Johnson

“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 frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”
George Mason

“[A] free government . . . cannot be supported without Virtue.”
Samuel Williams

“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look at his character. It is alleged by men of loose principles, or defective views of the subject, that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations. But the scriptures teach a different doctrine. They direct that rulers should be men who rule in the fear of God, men of truth, hating covetousness. It is to the neglect of this rule that we must ascribe the multiplied frauds, breaches of trust, speculations and embezzlements of public property which astonish even ourselves; which tarnish the character of our country and which disgrace our government. When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility; he not only sacrifices his own responsibility; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.”
Noah Webster

“…if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.”
Noah Webster

“Let a man’s zeal, profession, or even principles as to political measures be what they will, if he is without personal integrity and private virtue, as a man he is not to be trusted.”
John Witherspoon

“… the manners of the people in general are of the utmost moment to the stability of any civil society. When the body of a people are altogether corrupt in their manners, the government is ripe for dissolution.”
John Witherspoon

“So true is this, that civil liberty cannot be long preserved without virtue.”
John Witherspoon

“… but a republic once equally poised, must either preserve its virtue or lose its liberty, and by some tumultuous revolution, either return to its first principles, or assume a more unhappy form.”
John Witherspoon

“A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.”
Jean Jacques Rousseau

“Machiavel, discoursing on these matters, finds virtue to be so essentially necessary to the establishment and preservation of liberty, that he thinks it impossible for a corrupted people to set up a good government, or for a tyranny to be introduced if they be virtuous; and makes this conclusion, ‘That where the matter (that is, the body of the people) is not corrupted, tumults and disorders do not hurt; and where it is corrupted, good laws do no good:’ which being confirmed by reason and experience, I think no wise man has ever contradicted him.”
Algernon Sidney

“[L]iberty cannot be preserved, if the manners of the people are corrupted . . .”
Algernon Sidney

“[A]ll popular and well-mixed governments [republics] . . . are ever established by wise and good men, and can never be upheld otherwise than by virtue: The worst men always conspiring against them, they must fall, if the best have not power to preserve them. . . . [and] unless they be preserved in a great measure free from vices . . . .”
Algernon Sidney

“Fruits are always of the same nature with the seeds and roots from which they come, and trees are known by the fruits they bear: as a man begets a man, and a beast a beast, that society of men which constitutes a government upon the foundation of justice, virtue, and the common good, will always have men to promote those ends; and that which intends the advancement of one man’s desire and vanity, will abound in those that will foment them.”
Algernon Sidney

“[I]f vice and corruption prevail, liberty cannot subsist; but if virtue have the advantage, arbitrary power cannot be established.”
Algernon Sidney

“If the public safety be provided, liberty and propriety secured, justice administered, virtue encouraged, vice suppressed, and the true interest of the nation advanced, the ends of government are accomplished . . .”
Algernon Sidney

“[L]iberty without virtue would be no blessing to us.”
Benjamin Rush

“Without virtue there can be no liberty.”
Benjamin Rush

“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

“No free government can stand without virtue in the people, and a lofty spirit of partiotism.”
Andrew Jackson

“Lastly, our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be on any other foundation than religious principle, nor any government be secure which is not supported by moral habits.”
Daniel Webster

“[I]f 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

“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
Horace Greely

“What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.”
Edmund Burke

“Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.”
Edmund Burke

“Manners are of more importance than laws. Upon them in great measure the laws depend. The law touches us but here and there, and now and then. Manners are what vex and smooth, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in. They give their whole form and color to our lives. According to their quality, they aid morals, they support them, or they totally destroy them.”
Edmund Burke

“It is better to cherish virtue and humanity, by leaving much to free will, even with some loss of the object , than to attempt to make men mere machines and instruments of political benevolence. The world on the whole will gain by a liberty, without which virtue cannot exist.”
Edmund Burke

“Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their appetites; in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsel of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
Edmund Burke

“Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.”
Edmund Burke

“[T]he very best forms of government are vain without public virtue . . . .”
William A. Cocke

“No polity can be devised which shall perpetuate freedom among a people that are dead to honor and integrity. Liberty and virtue are twin sisters, and the best fabric in the world . . . .”
James H. Thornwell

“[P]erfect freedom consists in obeying the dictates of right reason, and submitting to natural law. When a man goes beyond or contrary to the law of nature and reason, he . . . introduces confusion and disorder into society . . . [thus] where licentiousness begins, liberty ends.”
Samuel West

“When was public virtue to be found when private was not?”
William Cowper

“The laws by which the Divine Ruler of the universe has decreed an indissoluble connection between public happiness and private virtue, whatever apparent exceptions may delude our short-sighted judgments, never fail to vindicate their supremacy and immutability.”
William Cabell Rives

“Unless virtue guide us our choice must be wrong.”
William Penn

“If men be good, government cannot be bad.”
William Penn

“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.”
Joseph Story

“The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous.”
Frederick Douglas

“[R]eligion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged.”
Northwest Ordinance of 1787

“I consider the domestic virtue of the Americans as the principle source of all their other qualities. It acts as a promoter of industry, as a stimulus to enterprise and as the most powerful restraint of public vice. . . . No government could be established on the same principle as that of the United States with a different code of morals.”
Francis Grund

“The American Constitution is remarkable for its simplicity; but it can only suffice a people habitually correct in their actions, and would be utterly inadequate to the wants of a different nation. Change the domestic habits of the Americans, their religious devotion, and their high respect for morality, and it will not be necessary to change a single letter in the Constitution in order to vary the whole form of their government.”
Francis Grund

“History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”
Douglas MacArthur

“[Liberty] considers religion as the safeguard of morality, and morality as the best security of law and the surest pledge of the duration of freedom.”
Alexis de Tocqueville

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her comodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies; and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast commerce, and it was not there. Not until I visited the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
An old adage attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville

“Somehow strangely the vice of men gets well represented and protected but their virtue has none to plead its cause — nor any charter of immunities and rights.”
Henry David Thoreau

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“We have never stopped sin by passing laws; and in the same way, we are not going to take a great moral ideal and achieve it merely by law.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

“No government at any level, or at any price, can afford, on the crime side, the police necessary to assure our safety unless the overwhelming majority of us are guided by an inner, personal code of morality. And you will not get that inner, personal code of morality unless children are brought up in a family — a family that gives them the affection they seek, that makes them feel they belong, that guides them to the future, and that will build continuity in future generations. . . . the greatest inequality today is not inequality of wealth or income. It is the inequality between the child brought up in a loving, supportive family and one who has been denied that birthright.”
Lady Margaret Thatcher

“A state is nothing more than a reflection of its citizens; the more decent the citizens, the more decent the state.”
Ronald Reagan

“Today it would be progress if everyone would stop talking about values. Instead, let us talk, as the Founders did, about virtues.”
George Will

“The ultimate success of this government and the stability of its institutions, its progress in all that can make a nation honored, depend upon its adherence to the principles of truth and righteousness.”
John Lord

“Righteousness exalteth a nation.”
Proverbs 14:34

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