Can morality prevail without religion?

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

George Washington

George Washington, as a Founding Father of our nation, has been an influence that has made this nation great. While one may not understand where Washington truly stands as for his Christian faith, he makes it clear to me that national morality could not prevail without religious principle.

In Washington’s farewell speech he states, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports… He continues further with, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” To be certain this is understood properly, I would like to break each line down.

To break it down, it would sound more like this. Of all the dispositions and habits, or tendencies for one to think a certain way, which lead to political success, religion and morality are indispensable, or are extremely necessary.” “Let us with caution indulge the supposition, or in other words, carefully embrace the assumption, that morality, or moral character, can be maintained, or kept in appropriate condition, without religion. Reason and experience both forbid for us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. In this he is saying that there are specific encounters and observations that make it impossible for us to expect that national morality, or a system of cultural values, codes of conduct, and/or the distinction between right and wrong, can prevail or prove to be superior in influence or power without religious principle.

Looking at it this way helps us to understand that in order for morality and virtue in a diverse number of people to be unified, a nation would need a common ground, so to speak. I believe he is saying that it is essential to have religion for political prosperity. I believe to take this as a warning or to heed the fact that abandoning religion leads to destruction as a nation and most importantly, as individuals. Of course as a Christian, I have the Bible to give me a foundation to which I lean against and with that being said, I go to a verse in Isaiah.

“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you, shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined.” Isaiah 60:12

Basically, a division between religion and morality as a nation will eventually lead to a downfall of something created by humans, rather than a higher creator. History as a whole, whether in Bible days or Washington’s, is a warning to us today not to follow our human past mistakes by taking the Creator and His guidance out of it again. We cannot go wrong when moral order is kept in line with the establishment of the Ten Commandments and laws that flow from the guiding principles that Washington refers to. Each one of us make the nation so if each one of us keeps this, great evil, so to speak, will not prevail over it.


11 thoughts on “Can morality prevail without religion?

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  1. Lindsay, You did a great job breaking this down and making it more understandable and relatable. I love hearing your perspective on things… it always opens my eyes to things I would have never focused on had it not been shared by you. I want to respond to this in hopes of encouraging you to continue shining your light and positive outlook through your blogs.
    I also want you and anyone reading this comment to know what I see in you… You intrigue me with the way you take the time to dissect your blogs, breaking it down word for word ensuring that the point or message you want us to hear is clear. You discuss topics and subjects that I believe most of us, not just me, simply overlook without hesitation.

    In this particular blog, Just like you stated above, the morals and values are our foundation and make up our Characters…. Who we are. As children, these were taught to us, (or in some cases, there was a lack thereof in teaching good morals and values… which is a leading cause in a lot of what we see happening within our society today). Morals and values are learned behaviors/beliefs that become instilled in the very core of our beings overtime. They develop throughout experiences, as well as through discipline and consequences of actions. With that being said, many times, and in most cases- when selfish tendencies take over, we stray from what we know and believe because- bluntly raw- we want what we want, when we want it, and seek it by any means necessary. With each time we compromise what we know is right, truthful, and have been loyal to, and it becomes easier and easier to compromise them again. Sooner than later, unfortunately, it’s as if we were never taught them. Believe it or not, behaviors can be “unlearned”, especially when they are replaced by something opposite of their once known truth combined with a sense of self-gratification when we get what we want. I like what George Washington says, but this also reminds me of Maya Angelo’s quote, “when you know better, you do better.” And that’s what you do in your posts. You enable us to gain new insight and have a deeper understanding of things that, I personally have always settled with a surface level understanding… not even realizing i could delve deeper into.
    Thank you for taking the time to share this! Your hard work and loving heart for others doesn’t go unnoticed. You share words of wisdom that I never want to take for granted in reading. I Love you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sara. I truly appreciate your encouragement, reading this and sharing that here means a lot to me. I was not one to dig deeper but through experience and listening to the wiser ones (like our mom😘) I have learned to slow down and think deeper. Compromise… oh I like that word you use. Makes me think deeper about a future post 😉…. again, thank you for taking your time to encourage me and let me know that I am doing a good thing. I love you too!


  2. What is the difference between Dr. Martin Luther King and Antifa/liberals/? Dr. King wanted unity and to love each other while the liberals have hatred and want to destroy those who disagree with their agenda. Dr. King was a man who fears the Lord and the liberals are folks who are devoid of God in their lives. Action speaks very loud and reveals what’s in the heart of an individual. Apart from Jesus Christ, one cannot truly achieve morality which by the way is God’s righteousness. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, I agree with your comment regarding Dr. King and the differences. … if only he had been truly heard maybe there would’ve been more positive action and growth towards Christ. What a difference it would make. Thank you For the encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

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