The President on Morality, Government, and International Imitation

“While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world…we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence.

“But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practicing iniquity and extravagance; and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity while it is rioting in rapine and insolence: this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world.

“Because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or galantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.

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

John Adams
President of the United States
11 October 1798

Has the United States driven down the road of becoming “the most miserable habitation in the world?”

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20 comments

    • Imperial Patriot

      Thanks to atheists, LGBTs, Progressives, anti-war activists, socialists, and environmentalists, yes it has been going down that road.

      Did you go to college? Get your money back.

    • Anonymous Patriot

      It is ok to laude the overthrow of this democracy, because this country never was a democracy; it was a republic. The Founder Fathers actually hated democracy because they knew democracy was nothing more than “rule by the court of public opinion” which is exemplified quite nicely by the Schutzstaffel-esque modus operandi of American progressives.

      The only reason inferior-minded individuals believe this country is a democracy is because the negative connotations of democracy were lost after the War of 1812.

      Did you take an American history course in college? If the answer is yes, you’ve been ripped off.

    • I always enjoy the people who say “Republic duuuh! Not democracy duuuh!”
      The USA is a democracy. ”
      a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.” It is also a republic. “a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.” Less enjoyable is the expression of your desire to purge people from the country based on their political beliefs. That I find horrific and terrifying.

    • Anonymous Patriot

      Oh, really, Donalbain?

      So, your horrified and terrified that I want to purge people of the country based on their political beliefs, yet you advocate purging the country of people’s religious beliefs? Glad to see hypocrisy is still living large on the Left.

      To me, what is more terrifying is how LGBTs are more and more like the Waffen-SS. Nazi’s were a minority, too; look what the damage they did using only radio and newspapers to spread their bigotry. I can only imagine what damage 2% of the American population could cause; and they’ve got Facebook and Twitter.

      P.S. This country is not a democracy. Get educated.

  • Anonymous Patriot

    This country was made to be the shining city upon the hill that would be mankind’s last refuge until Revelations comes to pass.

    Thanks to everybody left-of-center, it is becoming more and more like Gomorra. I pray that President Trump, and a massive Imperial Revolution will curb this degradation; like how Caesar and his Imperial Revolution saved the dying Roman Republic, and turning it into an Empire so grand that it’s influence is still felt +/- 500 years after it’s destruction.

    (For those who don’t know, the Western Roman Empire fell in 476; the Eastern ERoman Empire endured in one form or another until the 16th Century.)

    • Only a rich, straight, cisgendered, white male would EVER suggest that life in the USA is worse than it was in the 19th century, and even then it is a hilariously stupid thing to suggest.

    • There is so much to enjoy in Anonymous Patriot’s comment that I can’t decide on my favourite part. Is it the idea of a “patriot” lauding the overthrow of democratic government in favour of autocracy? Is it the part where a CHRISTIAN lauds the Roman Empire, the very people who killed Jesus? Perhaps it is the part where he suggests that a serial adulterer who boasted about sexually assaulting women will somehow lead to a better, more moral society.

      All in all, it is a brilliant post. Well done!

  • Steven Schwartz

    @Anonymous Patriot: So you would prefer to trade democracy and your liberties for American hegemony?

    Nice to know where you stand, even if I drastically disagree with it.

    (And, BTW, the Empire didn’t *save* the Republic; it killed it off and replaced it. The danger to the Republic wasn’t external — it was internal, from the people who believed in power above law, and turned what was, for the *time* a half-decent democratic government — though even there not what it had once been — into an autocracy.)

    • Anonymous Patriot

      “The Empire didn’t *save* the Repulic; it killed it off and replaced it.
      The danger to the Republic wasn’t external — it was internal, from the people who believed in power above law, and turned what was, for the *time* a half-decent democratic government — though even there not what it had once been — into an autocracy.)

      That is exactly my point, numb-nuts. The threat to this country is internal, and you are part of that threat. You and every other person left of center is the why this country has been on a decline since the 1980s, and until you or your ideology (preferably the latter) are removed, then the country is going to remain a cesspool of poverty, corruption, and over-educated eggheads using the properties of the Milgram Experiment to affect public policy.

      If the removing the threat requires an imperial take-over, even if it is only insofar as a right-wing uprising, well… I’ve punched the numbers into my calculator, and it makes a happy face!

  • “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
    —John Adams

    We have a majority of Republicans pining for a Christian America. Attempts at converting the United States into a theocracy will parallel the religious excess in the Middle East here at home if we are not on our guard.

    People really need to read our history. The obsession with God in our live and politics is actually a recent phenomenon, the “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance was inserted only in 1954, but even the ignorant Sarah Palin thought the founding fathers inserted it into the pledge.

    “In God We Trust” was first placed on United States coins in 1861, during the Civil War, an act of pure political pandering, to avoid changing the preamble of the constitution. Roosevelt tried to remove the words from our money in 1907 but was shouted down.

    Letter from Thomas Jefferson in an April 11, 1823, to John Adams:

    The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. … But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding….

    • @watchtower

      The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…

      That quote isn’t from John Adams. It is from the Treaty of Tripoli, which Adams signed when he was President. That no more makes it Adams’ words than any other treaty is attributable to any other individual president. Accuracy, dear Sir.

      It is also bereft of some important context. Why, do you think, did John Barlow (not John Adams) use that phrase in the treaty?

      Your coinage history seems to be inaccurate. “In God we Trust” did not appear until 1864, according to the Treasury.

      The obsession with God in our live and politics is actually a recent phenomenon…

      That George Washington guy was really up on “recent phenomena,” wasn’t he?

    • Anonymous Patriot

      I’ll see your bull[redacted] and raise you some logic:

      “Of all the depostitions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indespensible 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… Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure – reason & experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

      -George Washington

      In the words of Buzz from Home Alone: “Beat that, you little trout-sniffer.”

      Edited by Admin.

    • Freedom Fighter

      @watchtower, your quote is inaccurate and misleading. You’ve lifted a fragment from an entire sentence, inserted a period where none exists, and failed to cite the remainder of the paragraph, which provides necessary context. Here it is, in whole:

      “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] and as the said States [America] have never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

      The Treaty of Tripoli, by the way, was in no sense a formal declaration of America’s secularism. Were that the case, the treaty would not have been signed with a theistic reference. In fact, the Treaty of Tripoli was not only signed with a theistic reference, but an unequivocally Christian one, at that:

      “Done in duplicate, in the warlike City of Algiers, in the presence of Almighty God, the 28th day of August, in the year of Jesus Christ, 1816, and in the year of the Hegira, 1231, and the 6th day of the Moon Shawal.”

  • Oh my dear friend JD, you certainly can take anything out of context, but John Adams still signed it and it as accurate as it can be as signed by the President. Words matter too, if they didn’t, why did he sign it dear sir?

    Well, to attain a better accuracy standard, Yes, the treasury did make the mark “official” in 1864, but it was started in 1861 and finally “decided” in 1864 by congress.

    That “not so recent” 285 year old George Washington (RIP) guy wasn’t obsessed either, and according to history, some christian scholars and biographers, Washington did believe Christianity was a necessity for the life of the American republic, with certain qualifications. But he also kept his religious feelings in his heart away from public knowledge/scrutiny and shared his private religion mostly with his wife and his god.

    Oh, I forgot to mention, it’s also amazing how our Constitution’s principles have been adopted by other governments, what’s not to like really.

  • Steven Schwartz

    @Anonymous Patriot

    ” The threat to this country is internal, and you are part of that threat. You and every other person left of center is the why this country has been on a decline since the 1980s”

    Hm. I am curious as to what you consider the “decline”, especially since some parts of what might be viewed that way — the decrease in respect in which the U.S. is held overseas, for example — clearly lie at the feet of people to the right of center. Along with increased income inequality, and other things that would mark “decline”. The only things I can think of that you might count would be increased rights and respect for certain minority groups, and church attendance %s.

    “then the country is going to remain a cesspool of poverty, corruption, and over-educated eggheads using the properties of the Milgram Experiment to affect public policy.”

    Again — given that, for example, we’ve just swapped a remarkably corruption-free center-left administration for a massively corrupt right-wing one, and that it’s been right-wing policies that led to the most recent recessions, you appear to be pointing your fingers in the wrong direction.

    “If the removing the threat requires an imperial take-over, even if it is only insofar as a right-wing uprising, well… I’ve punched the numbers into my calculator, and it makes a happy face!”

    In other words, you would kill the Republic in order to “save” it. Your respect for American tradition and the ideals on which this nation was founded — that is to say, very little — is duly noted.

    I wonder how the owner of this blog feels about so-called “Patriots” who so disrespect the nation. (And I do mean the nation; whether defined by its ideals (which you dismiss) or its membership (who disagree with you), you are on the wrong side of it.)

    • Anonymous Patriot

      Stupidity at it’s finest.

      The decline has come because our economy is in shambles, and it is not because of the right. The Left and their labour movements made it impossible to hire Americans. Remember that living wage you lefties were talking about? Remember McDonald’s response. It was to increase R&D on fully automated stores.

      As regard to our actions overseas, that is also the Left’s fault. Not only did the Left increasingly interfere with military policy by micromanaging Afghanistan and Iraq, but they encouraged their followers to embolden our enemies with their anti-military bigotry. We were lauded as saviors after we liberated Kuwait in 1991, then you leftist pukes came in and started a massive propaganda campaign of “Bush Did 9/11” to turn the world against us.

      Don’t even get me started on domestic issues. Minorities were better respected in 1990s-2000s than they were now; they themselves made the world see them as perpetually hateful towards the very people that gave them their rights.

      My respect for American tradition is greater than yours because I actually respect the Constitution, you and those like you call it a “racist document written by privileged white males for the sole purpose of legitimizing their racism and bigotry towards minority groups.” This country’s tradition of allowing people to worship their chosen religion, and not be treated less for it; that is a tradition you and those like you want destroyed. You want religious people to check their faith the moment they leave their home or house of worship.

      Based on your comments I have seen over the last few days, you know very little about the United States of America. You probably don’t even know it’s first export (not tobacco).

      This country’s ideals are about equality under the law, not having the law compromised on a case by case basis so that minority defendants can get favoritism as a disingenuous attempt to make up for past bigotry.

      As for the people you think disagree with me, hundreds of millions of them agreed with me enough to have voted for Trump, whom I also voted for. #MAGA

      BTW, Obama was the most corrupt President since Nixon. Scandal-after-scandal, misconduct-after-misconduct; and not one person was ever punished. In any other Administration, the perpetrators of those scandals would have gotten 40 years in federal prison.

  • Steven Schwartz,
    What exactly do you mean by a secular government? In piecing together your rhetoric, you seem to be saying a government is fine as long as no appeals to religious thought are allowed (which would mean disallowing murder and theft, which clearly found their way into our jurisprudence via biblical paths, would be unconstitutional).

    Is China’s current government and its affects on its citizens better than, say, England’s?

    Seriously trying to decipher what *you* mean by secular government?

  • Steven Schwartz

    @Jacob Wright
    “What exactly do you mean by a secular government?”

    I mean a government in which there is no (or minimal) direct impact from or on religion, insofar as possible, from the government; hence, neither establishment of same, nor direct prohibition of same. One that does not rely in any useful form upon religious sanction.

    ” In piecing together your rhetoric, you seem to be saying a government is fine as long as no appeals to religious thought are allowed (which would mean disallowing murder and theft, which clearly found their way into our jurisprudence via biblical paths, would be unconstitutional).”

    No; no appeals *solely* to religious thought are permitted. Given that there are ample non-religious reasons to oppose both, say, murder and theft, those are permitted. It’s not as if you have to point to a god, or gods, in order to explain why murder and theft are bad things.

    However, to pick a different example, prohibiting the consumption of pork *would* be a case where the only significant arguments for it are religious ones — “Our holy text says don’t do this” — and would therefore fall under the strictest of scrutiny when it came to denying people rights and activities.

    “Is China’s current government and its affects on its citizens better than, say, England’s?”

    No; however, the religious aspects of England’s government are, largely, vestigial. I would be happier seeing them abolish the monarchy and taking the leadership of the Church of England out of government hands, but that’s not a requirement.

    “Seriously trying to decipher what *you* mean by secular government?”

    I hope it’s now clearer to you.

  • Steven Schwartz

    @Anonymous “Patriot”:

    “To me, what is more terrifying is how LGBTs are more and more like the Waffen-SS”

    The breathtaking ignorance on display here…. Wow. I didn’t realize the LGBT were part of an designated-elite, very-well-equipped military force.

    That aside:
    “The decline has come because our economy is in shambles, and it is not because of the right. The Left and their labour movements made it impossible to hire Americans. Remember that living wage you lefties were talking about? Remember McDonald’s response. It was to increase R&D on fully automated stores.”

    1) It’s odd — why does the economy keep doing better under Democratic presidents than under Republican ones, if it’s the Left’s fault?

    2) I am reminded of that old slogan — “The labor movement; the people who brought you the weekend”. I admit to thinking that a nation’s economy is better measured by how well the *people* are doing than the corporations.

    ” We were lauded as saviors after we liberated Kuwait in 1991, then you leftist pukes came in and started a massive propaganda campaign of “Bush Did 9/11” to turn the world against us.”

    I am quite impressed; you managed to completely omit Bush’s unneeded invasion of Iraq in your list of things the rest of the world found wrong/indicative of weakness. Well done!

    “Don’t even get me started on domestic issues. Minorities were better respected in 1990s-2000s than they were now; they themselves made the world see them as perpetually hateful towards the very people that gave them their rights.”

    Nonsense — and as a side not, you don’t “give” someone their rights — you acknowledge them. (I also notice we’ve gone from the 1980s to the 2000s. Interesting slip, there.) And the current administration certainly isn’t helping in that regard.

    “My respect for American tradition is greater than yours because I actually respect the Constitution, you and those like you…”

    1) You respect it so much you would see it tossed aside by a “right-wing uprising” (or did you simply mean some right-wingers getting elected?) rather than follow it? Color me unimpressed.

    2) You don’t *know* what people like me think. You assert it, and when people tell you otherwise, you don’t listen to them. Your quote, for example, is so ridiculously overblown as to be risible.

    “You want religious people to check their faith the moment they leave their home or house of worship.”

    Nompe. But I don’t want them acting as if their faith grants them privileges over other people’s rights, and given the long and bloody history of religious conflict that only secularization of government has helped stop, I don’t particularly want to get back into that set of arguments (e.g. “Who’s a Christian?”)

    “Based on your comments I have seen over the last few days, you know very little about the United States of America. You probably don’t even know it’s first export (not tobacco).”

    I didn’t realize that “trivia about economic activity” was the key piece of knowledge one needed to have in order to understand the country. That you think so does give us some insight into you, however.

    “This country’s ideals are about equality under the law, not having the law compromised on a case by case basis so that minority defendants can get favoritism as a disingenuous attempt to make up for past bigotry.”

    Indeed; equality. Which religious favoritism repeatedly *denies*. You may have a staunch religious belief that a woman’s place is in the home, under the dominion of her husband — but under law, that belief is irrelevant to a woman’s actual rights.

    “As for the people you think disagree with me, hundreds of millions of them agreed with me enough to have voted for Trump, whom I also voted for. #MAGA”

    It’s true — of course, fewer voted for Trump than against him. Just bear that in mind.

    (I will give you credit for actually citing a “when” for the “great again”, which most people who chant that slogan seem incapable of doing.)

    “BTW, Obama was the most corrupt President since Nixon. Scandal-after-scandal, misconduct-after-misconduct; and not one person was ever punished. In any other Administration, the perpetrators of those scandals would have gotten 40 years in federal prison.”

    And here we get back to epistemic closure. It’s funny; Iran-Contra produced indictments, Trump has already had people resign their positions due to misconduct — and yet, despite *years* of constant investigation, not one person was indicted under the Obama administration. One might almost think that was because there were a bunch of, if you’ll pardon the phrase, trumped-up “scandals” that led nowhere.

    Of course, that would require not starting with the presumption of guilt; I mean, if we took the accusation for the offense, the Trump administration would already be *over*, and we’d be talking about the Pence or Hatch administration….

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