People often look at our country and think we’re free just because we’re free. In fact, freedom takes work and effort and cooperation and constant vigilance. We are free partly because we invest in defense to protect our freedom and way of life, but we are also free because of our system of government. We have a Constitution. We have the Bill of Rights, the first tenets that protect our freedoms—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and prevent unreasonable searches and seizures. In order for those freedoms to be upheld, all citizens have to understand those values that our Founding Fathers were thinking of when they drafted the foundation documents of our nation (the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution). We expect our citizens at the local level—in our communities, in our churches and other religious institutions, in our schools, and in our civic organizations to uphold these values in order to support our freedoms. In order to do that, there has to be sense of civic responsibility, and there has to be a full understanding of the value structure that’s been in place since the birth of our nation. Today, America is not as focused on organized religion and worship as it was in the 1800s. Additionally, that which might be called America’s “civic religion”—which shaped much of the 1900s and was founded on shared values and mutual understanding that America and its institutions are exceptional—seems to be waning as well. Because of this shift there are many people who have grown up without having that moral compass which previous generations could depend on. This has created vulnerability inside the American populace, opening the door to those who would target and tear down our representative system of government, our democratic institutions and our very way of life. We see evidence of this in the successful recruitment efforts of American citizens by jihadist groups. If we don’t instill a strong set of moral values and an understanding of America’s greatness and exceptionality in the youth of our nation, we are providing a great opportunity to those who want to destroy our country by exploiting that vulnerability
Source: Honorable Bill McCollum
According to a 2012 Gallup poll 72% of Americas said they felt the moral values of the country as a whole were in decline.
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” –Benjamin Franklin
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” –John Adams
Dinesh D’Souza’s essay on America’s greatness
The Unknown Threat (Next section in ‘Threats to Security’)