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Lynn M. Stuter
January 23, 2003

Standing on the steps of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, it is said that Benjamin Franklin was asked by a passerby, "... what form of government do we have?" to which Franklin responded, "a republic if you can keep it." 

Now, over two hundred years later, the words of John Jay ring true, "Let virtue, honor, the love of liberty ... be ... the soul of this constitution, and it will become the source of great and extensive happiness to this and future generations.  Vice, ignorance, and want of vigilance, will be the only enemies able to destroy it." 

No truer words were spoken.  John Quincy Adams, oldest son of John Adams and sixth president of the United States,  "Posterity!  You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom.  I hope you will make good use of it." 

Have we made good use of it?  Have we remained vigilant to those principles for which the signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor?  Do we appreciate what these brave men sacrificed for us? 

Vice and crime are rampant in America today.  Why?  Not for lack of laws, that's for certain, but for lack of individual self-governance, virtue, honor, and moral bearing.  The words of John Adams are prophetic, "Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people; it is wholly inadequate for any other." 

The vast majority of children today, graduating public school where the curriculum, instruction and teaching methodologies are based on the humanist religion, have no understanding of the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution or Bill of Rights; and further, have no understanding of our form of government.  Our people believe the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights establishes a "wall of separation" between church and state.  Our politicians pay lip service to their oaths of office to uphold the Constitution.  While every other religion is welcome and acceptable in the public arena, all vestiges of Christianity have been banished.  "My children are destroyed for lack of knowledge."  Hosea 4:6 

Stand on any street corner and randomly ask people what concerns them about our country today.  While you will often hear things like crime, housing, poverty, the homeless, social security, education, you will seldom, if ever, hear concern voiced that our government no longer holds to the principles and foundations laid by the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.  Why?  Lack of vigilance.  People don't care what the government does so long as the government takes care of them. 

Thomas Jefferson,  "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."  Today, more than people want to be free, independent and self-sufficient, they want to be secure, they want to comfortable, they want to be taken care of. 

Edward Gibbon, "In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security.  They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all security, comfort and freedom.  When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free." We could easily change "Athenians" to "Americans". 

The words of Thomas Jefferson are as true today as they were when spoken in 1816, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." 

Joseph Story, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1811-1845, summed up the state of our nation today when he said, "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." 

Vigilance is truly the price of freedom.

2003 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved



Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education.  She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own.  She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform.  She networks nation-wide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation.  She has traveled the United States and lived overseas.

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