George Washington on Religion and Morality in America
If you have never read George Washington's farewell address to the public at the conclusion of his Presidency, this is a must read. I have provided a link below.
I think it is important to note that for a democratic Republic to succeed it's people must exist in a culture of religion and morality. A Republic requires the citizenry to have responsibility and accountability because of the many freedoms afforded to us by our Constitution. If we are unable to monitor our owns actions, the legislature is forced to create law that limits freedom. Our concept of right and wrong is based on religious teaching, and its these teachings that set a standard for all of us to live by.
Read George Washington's comments about this:
27 "Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
You can find George Washington's farewell address here:
It's long but worth it.