Thursday, May 14, 2009

'Morally Bound'

The more I study the writings of the Founding Fathers, the more amazed I become. What motivated these amazing people to do what they did for me and for my children? What drove them to sacrifice so much? And where is that drive now? Is there just something missing now that great patriots of the past had?

I found the answer this week while reading from Jefferson. He used the words "morally bound". Moral has everything to do with correctness, truth, honor or law. Being bound means a sense of duty, covenant or commitment. Jefferson taught that those who enjoy the blessings of "liberty" are morally bound to do certain things. Things that will ensure that blessing is passed on to future generations

This should be our motivation. We all need to get that feeling of being "morally bound" to protect and promulgate the true principles on which our great nation was founded. I want to feel this way more often. I want my kids to feel it. I want the rising generation in my neighborhood to feel this way. I want school teachers and community leaders to model this in their lives.

In my readings, Jefferson used the words in the context of a warning. He warned against the government trying to take care of everyone from the cradle to the grave. Said he, "If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy."

It is remarkable how these statements relate to our day. Taking care of the people is a "pretense". This is NOT what is meant by the preamble when it refers to the "general welfare" of the people. I am now becoming leery of any government program meant to take care of me.

Jefferson further wrote, "...we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority". Wow that is powerful! Simply stated, if we get ourselves into an economic mess, we need to take care of it in our generation. No matter the complexities of the modern economy, we are "unauthorized" to saddle our posterity.

What is happening in government today is "unauthorized". We should never use the "pretense" of taking care of the people to saddle our children with our own debt. Remember those two incredible words. We are "morally bound" to be responsible for our own actions. How unthinkable to pass this on to our children.

I am wondering what to do with this new information. Just reading does little good if I cannot implement it. I am feeling "morally bound" to do something. Exactly what I am not sure. I frequent large health clubs subsidized heavily by local government funds in an effort to "take care of the people". Should I stop going? My children attend free public school. Should I keep them home?

I will pray for direction and welcome any of your thoughts. Now that we are all "morally bound", what shall we do?