Religion-An Important Element of Freedom

Principle 4:  A free society cannot be maintained without religion.


How can that be?   Just some laws will do.   Not quite.  It seems we have a huge presence of Atheists coming out to proclaim their status.  Some of them even have channels on YouTube.   To be fair, not a lot of their material seems to be about religion.  I’d even say that they seem to be principled, which is good but, you’re not about to espouse the immorality of a heathen unless you want to scare away an audience.    It would appear that a lot of people today who talk of the Constitution, don’t really know the original writers placed a very important emphasis on religion.


It goes back to the 2nd Congress close to the birth of the nation, 1787, when the Constitution was written and approved.  They saw how important religion was in their day and how important it would be in our own.  In another famous document, ‘The Northwest Ordinance,’  they gave a clear indication of that in Article 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to  good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged.  Another solid article of the Ordinance was the prohibition of slavery and servitude in any new lands established under the government.  Of course, the Founders were also slaveholders, but knew they were wrong, as putting together a document that put forth arguments for all peoples’ freedom taught them.    However, no one of them wanted to impose  their, or any, religion over others and other denominations, but instead realized that they all hold some universal fundamentals.

Photograph by Kari Christensen

Ben Franklin’s proclamation as put to Yale’s president, Ezra Stiles sounds as though it could applicable as such;

I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe.  That he governs it by his providence.  That he ought to be worshiped.   That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good for his other children.  That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this.

It does not seem to be too far out for even the most atheistic, and religious critics.  Let’s take a look up.  See all the blackness out there in that night sky?  Show me the life.  There’s nothing out there.  You believe in aliens??  Well, I’ve heard a few astronomers and scientists say that it took hundreds of billions of things to all happen at once in perfect sync for this planet to come about and start to produce life.  That is the single most important fact to drill into these industrialists’ and elitists’ heads.  When it’s gone, it’s gone.  When it can no longer heal itself, it’s gone.  Most of the wealth in this country, and indeed the world, came from oil.   They are not well.  If they can’t bath in the finest spring waters coming out of a one-hundred percent pure gold statue so it’s fit enough to wash their teeny tiny penile, at all their mansions all over the world, they might die.  (Sorry, got tired of being nice.)  As good citizens, we need to help them live like the rest of us, or they will, ever more quickly, kill us all.    Or, you can let them kill you, what should I care?  Well, if I take Ben Franklin’s creed seriously, I should care very much.  Nothing wrong with religion now, is there?

Working at more places in my life than I care to mention, I have witnessed even much, much more acts of the lowly than I care to recall.  For years, I wondered how can these people be so devious against other people whom they hardly know?  How can they do nasty things to people who have never done anything to them?  All the nasty stuff, the spreading of rumors and lies, the misguidance, the setups, the scapegoating, on and on.  But, everyone grows up different.   What I see today is a sea of narcissism, an endless cadre of the self-righteous.  I see those who much more readily recognize the sins of others than their own.  I thought it was just me but, perhaps I’m not so wrong.  I saw an interview with a few scholars who believe that narcissism is, in fact, an alarming problem today.  A professor from the University of Georgia wrote a book on it.   Most likely, neither gained traction.  A lot of what may pass our eyes on the great spindle of life, we would care not to acknowledge, just hope that we get away with our misgivings and others do not.  But, somehow I know the piper will be paid-one way or the other.

The Founders believed if we had religion and morality as a course of education and life knowledge that we, could instead, be all happy.  I think I have come full circle in this.  I believe they were right.