Rush Limbaugh and the Crisis of Freedom Without Virtue

AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

Freedom without virtue is not true freedom, and a democratic republic such as America cannot survive with such a false freedom. We are seeing that fact proved in real-time.

The late, great Rush Limbaugh once observed, “Freedom without virtue isn’t freedom — it will eventually destroy a society.” It was a conviction shared by the Founding Fathers, and it is variously stated in more than one place in the New Testament. Even many conservatives in America have gone soft on morality, and the Democrat Party has gone all out in celebration and glorification of evil and perversion. It is not astonishing that our country is in a serious cultural and political crisis, and this crisis can be rectified only by returning to freedom with virtue.

If politics is downstream from culture, as Andrew Breitbart said (and I believe he was right), we must ask what sort of freedom our culture values. Unfortunately, at least since the 1960s, Americans have been increasingly embracing a false definition of freedom that means freedom from inhibitions, including moral inhibitions and especially sexual inhibitions. As Founding Father John Adams warned, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Adams would no doubt have agreed with Limbaugh’s assessment.

St. Paul observes in Romans 6 how self-destructive such “freedom” is, how those who are free from justice are only slaves to sin, and “the wages of sin is death.” True freedom means possession of God-given rights and the ability to exercise them, the ability to guard one’s own life and liberty and to pursue happiness without tyrannical persecution. But of course, individuals who are slaves to their vices and passions, or actively hostile to virtue and religion, will inevitably end up either losing their own rights or impinging upon the rights of others. God gave us the Ten Commandments not to make us miserable and deprive us of pleasure, but to prevent us from spreading chaos around us. Indeed, it is the great irony of freedom from inhibitions that it always ends up making the person more greedy, less satisfied, and more lonely. Pleasures are good, but at the right time and place. Religion and morality help determine the right time and place.

A significant reason for this crumbling morality in America, in fact, is the loss of religious fervor. We were once a Judeo-Christian nation, but a growing number of Americans either do not practice or only believe in those Biblical principles which happen to suit their convenience. George Washington, Father of Our Country, warned how dangerous this is:

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 … let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.

Quite a few countries have attempted to have morality without religion, and have failed miserably. The French Enlightenment and any Communist country furnish examples.

Because it is such an obvious problem now, I will point out the sexual immorality in our society as an example of what I mean. It began with the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, the turning from Biblical standards and a rejection of the teaching that the only proper forum for sexual relations is marriage. And in our present day, it has morphed into the all-out sexual grooming of children from our institutions, including the encouragement of homosexuality and “transgenderism.” And now many Americans wonder why youth are no longer getting married, having children, and raising families. The family is the building block of society, and without it, society fails. Hence our society is rapidly failing.

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Fatherlessness, loneliness, sexual perversion, broken families, broken hearts, abortion, and sexual crimes are rife. That is the legacy of freedom without virtue. America became the greatest nation in the world by practicing freedom with virtue. Until we heed the warning of Limbaugh, the Founders, and the Bible, and begin to return to that understanding of freedom, we cannot save this nation.


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