America’s Greatest Threat – Ezra Taft Benson, April 1968

Ezra Taft Benson: Official portrait as 15th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1953-1961)


I do not believe the greatest threat to our future is from bombs or guided missiles. I do not think our civilization will end that way. I think it will die when we no longer care—when the spiritual forces that make us wish to be right and noble die in the hearts of men, when we disregard the importance of law and order.

If American freedom is lost, if America is destroyed, if our blood-bought freedom is surrendered, it will be because of Americans. What’s more, it will probably not be only the work of subversive and criminal Americans. The Benedict Arnolds will not be the only ones to forfeit our freedom.

“At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected?” asked Abraham Lincoln, and he answered, “If it ever reaches us, it must spring up among us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher; as a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide.” (Springfield, Illinois, January 27, 1837.)

If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers—normally good Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free—Americans who have been lulled away into a false security.

Erosion of national morality

Great nations are never conquered from outside unless they are rotten inside. Our greatest national problem today is erosion, not the erosion of the soil, but erosion of the national morality—erosion of traditional enforcement of law and order.

Source: Ezra Taft Benson. Excerpt from his address, “Americans are Destroying American,” delivered in Salt Lake City, Utah at the April 1968 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ezra Taft Benson was at the time of this address a member of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Called Unto Liberty is a collection of sermons, pamphlets, documents, and quotes from the Judeo-Christian perspective in regards to the cause of liberty which date from the American colonial era right on up to our present day, researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional commentary) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Self-Educated American.