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Dear Friends:

The Founders of our country had what historian Ellis Sandoz has called "a paradoxical sense of the dignity and frailty of every human being." They knew that man was unique in all creation: That God had made man in His image, had created him only "a little lower than the angels," and had "numbered the very hairs of his head" (Gen. 1:26-27, Psalm 8:4-5, Luke 12:7). They also knew that man was a fallen being, scarred by sin, whose heart was "deceitful and desperately sick" (Jeremiah 17:9).

It was this understanding that tempered their confidence in the capacity of man to govern himself. They did not believe in pure democracy, the direct and immediate approval of the 50 percent-plus-one. Consider John Adams' wise counsel in his 1763 work, "An Essay on Man's Lust for Power:" "Democracy will soon degenerate into anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure."

The Founders believed that morally bankrupt leadership would exploit human selfishness such that coarseness, or license, would become entrenched in law. This would breed anarchy - a breakdown of civil order as people pursued, under sanction of law, ill-behavior - and this breakdown would eventually lead to dictatorship as people began to long for order and security.

Consider the words of former New York Gov. David Paterson, who was sworn-in after his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, admitted to having had an extensive relationship with a prostitute. When confronted, Gov. Paterson acknowledged having had several extra-marital affairs, and offered this defense of his actions at a news conference on March 18, 2008: "I think (I) have a marriage like many Americans, maybe even like many of you. Elected officials are really just reflections of the people we represent."

That's a chilling proposition - especially since there is a ring of truth in it. "A state is nothing more than a reflection of its citizens," said Ronald Reagan in a 1984 speech. "The more decent the citizens, the more decent the state." Are we each sustaining and enhancing the personal character without which our lives, our families, our economy, and our country will be lost? There can be few more challenging questions for us as persons or as citizens.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council

P.S. FRC's Jeanne Monahan spoke on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee on the President's mandate that religious organizations providing health insurance offer plans including contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization. View her compelling testimony here.


Educational Freedom and Reform

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To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC's Dr. David Prentice, click here.

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