Mind and Morals: Freedom’s Best Team

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt


Theodore Roosevelt warned, “to educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”

If one such man is a menace—and we can all think of examples—how about an entire generation?

I think we know the answer. Such a group would run roughshod over our constitution and liberties without flinching, without looking back, without even having the horse sense to see the value in looking back.

And guess what? The proof is here:

I refer to the pressing matter of four judges in Massachusetts, spitting on the moral and legal tradition of thousands of years, legalizing gay marriage by decree.

I refer to the American people not having enough backbone, wherewithal, and common sense to halt this act (and other such acts) of judicial tyranny via mass protest, media blitzes, letter writing campaigns, recall elections, special elections, impeachment, amendment, limiting the jurisdiction of the courts—or by whatever other means necessary.

I refer to the descent of elements of our military from liberators to sexual monsters of the worst stripe, and the knee-jerk response of too many American ‘conservatives’ that “the Iraqis have done worse to us,” or from liberals and libertarians who see this as nothing more than a ‘godsend’ to kick out the neoconservatives and put their man in.

I refer to the millions of our fellow ‘citizens’ who actually believe that rampant and gross immorality set free, unrestrained, flaunting itself here, jamming itself down our throats there, threatening to overthrow the existing moral and political order everywhere, is good, progressive, American.

The chickens of amoral education have come home to roost; and the picture isn’t pretty, the prospects are harrowing.

A True Education

The Founders had a better idea about what constitutes a true education—an education in mind and in morals, in the temporal and in the spiritual, in theory and in practical reality—because ‘how,’ they wondered, ‘can a people who fail to govern their passions, successfully self govern?’ Think about it.

Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams

Founder Samuel Adams did.

He noted that Britain’s policy to subjugate the America’s during the Colonial Era included a strategic “attempt to corrupt the morals of the people.”

And why?

“I have long been convinced that our enemies have made it an object, to eradicate from the minds of the people, in general, a sense of true religion and virtue, in hopes thereby the more easily to carry their point of enslaving them …”

“Freedom or slavery will prevail in a (city or) country according as disposition and manners of the people render them fit for the one or the other…” (1)

This is common sense. Those who are slaves to their passions, make easy slaves to their government. Didn’t the Soviet’s know this? Free vodka and free sex, coupled with state antagonism toward church, family, and tradition made for an oppressive, deadly combination.

Common sense, yes—but etched in stone as well. Adam’s continued:

“Indeed, my friend, this is a subject so important in my mind, that I know not how to leave it. Revelation assures us that ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation’—Communities are dealt with in this world by the wise and just Ruler of the Universe. He rewards or punishes them according to their general character. The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with [the diminution] of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.” (2)

History also testifies.

“‘The Roman Empire, says the historian, must have sunk, though the Goths had not invaded it. Why? Because the Roman virtue was sunk.’” (3)

And so, Sam Adam’s concludes,

“Could I be assured that America would remain virtuous, I would venture to defy the utmost efforts of enemies to subjugate her.” (4)

Adam’s, Roosevelt, and Gibbons were right. To educate a man in mind and not in morals is a menacing prospect.

America’s schools no longer educate in virtue. This was no accident. We have enemies foreign and abroad who know exactly what they are doing. They circle like vultures. Their prey is readied. Too many of us parents, likewise dulled by secularism and hedonism, stand clueless and disabled. If we expect to turn the tide, and we must, we need to look back to the Christian foundations of our Founders, instill them in our children, and share them with our neighbors, so that our next step, and their next step will be not be bound up in shackles.

Editor’s Note: This article first published in March of 2004.

Steve FarrellSteve Farrell is the Founder and Editor In Chief of The Moral Liberal, one of the original pundits at NewsMax.com (1999-2008), and the author of the inspirational novel, Dark Rose.


1. Cousins, Norman. “In God We Trust: The Religious Belief of Our Founding Fathers,” Harper & Brothers, New York, 1958, p. 351.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid. Samuel Adam’s quotes from Gibbon’s “Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.”
4. Ibid.

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