“‘Tis substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. Who that is a sincere friend to it, can look with Indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?” (George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796).

The Northwest Ordinance is a rock-solid example of the nonsectarian religious predicate embraced as constitutional law. When the Articles of Confederation was replaced by the new Constitution, the Northwest Ordinance was passed again and became effective under the new Constitution. George Washington signed the Northwest Ordinance back into law on August 7, 1789. Article III specified, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged.” During this same period of time (July 17 to August 7, 1789), the same men who had implemented the Northwest Ordinance were writing the First Amendment to the Constitution [prohibiting government officials from interfering with religious freedom, printing press and education competition].

Even some atheists and skeptics realize the inviolate nature of what Americans call the “laws of God and creation’s nature.” Ernest Renan, the agnostic, warned his friends: “Let us enjoy the liberty of the sons of God, but let us take care lest we become accomplices in the diminution of virtue which would menace society if Christianity were to grow weak. What should we do without it? If Rationalism wishes to govern the world without regard to the religious needs of the soul, the experience of the French Revolution is there to teach us the consequences of such a blunder.”

History summarizes the nature of war against responsible citizen self-rule and liberty. When Whittaker Chambers left the Communist party, he feared that the world would succumb to the parasitic nature of socialistic promises. He said that the only hope was to discover “a power of faith which will provide mans’ mind, at an intensity, with the same two certainties: a reason to live and reason to die.” President Reagan angered leftist sympathizers in American media and universities by using the word “evil.” On March 8, 1983, Reagan said the Cold War would “never be decided by bombs and rockets…” We would prevail because of belief in God. What is teaching moral revisionism (objected to by over 90 percent of taxpayers, teachers, and administrators) now accomplishing in student minds’ in captive public schools? Reagan concluded, the strength to prevail “is not material but spiritual.”

~ D. Norris

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