Sunday, July 4, 2010
Happy Fourth of July! In preparation for a lesson I taught today at church, I stayed up late last night reading the Constitution of the United States of America (not usually how I spend my time on a Saturday night), and as a result I'm feeling especially patriotic today. I am humbled by the sacrifices of the authors of the constitution on our behalf, and I am humbled that through absolutely no deservedness on my part, I was born in a country with a written constitution that protects my freedoms and the freedoms of my family. And I say freedoms in plural because I am not only free to be me in the most general sense of the term, but I have the freedom to write what I want, say what I want, become what I want, do what I want within the scope of the law, and I have the freedom to participate in the civic affairs of this country and make real change if I see fit. Now THAT is freedom.
One of the golden nubbies that I came across in my lesson preparation was a quote from John Adams, who said that "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other". When I read that today in my lesson, one of the relief society sisters helped me put that thought into perspective by pointing out that in a society that is founded on the security of freedom, the range of choice for those living within that society is very broad and thus the system works most effectively for a moral people. Our constitution was created to secure freedoms for a virtuous and good-hearted people, and as I write this it occurs to me that the only way to maintain our freedom is to remain a virtuous people...