Prophet Statesmen, George Washington
Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports.—In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens.—The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them.—A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity . . . . And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without’ religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure—reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.—It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.
From George Washington’s Farewell Address