Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

The New International George Washington

Posted by Adam Graham on January 30, 2007

Given the proliferation of Bible versions, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a translation of the Founding Fathers into modern conversational English.

The attempt comes from this blog. Here is a somewhat unserious effort:

Original:
FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS:

Translations:

Sup.

But then on a more substantive point:

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.

It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric ?

New Version:

Now, religion and morality are vital here, and it’s silly to say that patriotism could ever be more important than those. Politicians need to be pious and respectful folk; it would take forever to list all the ways that being a good politician is tied to being moral and religious. All you need to do is ask — without religion, how can we trust anyone who swears an oath? And be awfully careful before suggesting that we can be moral without religion. There’s a lot of philosophical junk out there, but the bottom line is we can’t possibly suggest that we can keep our morals as a country without religion.

So, virtue is the root of Government. So anyone who screws with the basis of the government is obviously a bad guy.

Now Washington actually wasn’t saying that religion was more important than patriotism, but that to attempt to subvert them was unpatriotic. Other than that, I thought it was pretty close and also quite direct.

Hat Tip: Club for Growth

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