Ask most any parent, and they will say they want their children to grow up in an economically healthy and moral world — in a life better than they had. We always want the very best for our kids and work hard to provide that for them.
But for the first time, a large number of Americans think they won’t be able to give their kids a better life. A recent poll New York Times/CBS News finds that 39 percent of respondents believe “the current economic downturn is part of a long-term permanent decline and the economy will never fully recover.”
That is far from the spirit of optimism and hope that is trademark in the American persona.
The thing is this: our country has to choose which path we will go down, and we have to do it now.
Our country is in a moral and economic downspin. A poll conducted by Concerned Women for America after the 2010 elections found that, when asked about the most important challenges facing future generations, 75 percent of respondents said “economic decline.” Coming in at a close second at 62 percent was “the decline of morality and values.”
Not only is this not what our Founding Fathers envisioned for this great nation, the great women of the Revolution, who were essential to the formation of America, didn’t have this in mind either.
The ideas of patriotism, freedom, and liberty were instilled in the children of the Revolution from the strong and independent women who believed those were the ideals of a strong and free country. While these women weren’t necessarily taking up arms against the tyranny of British rule (although some certainly wanted to), they were doing other meaningful things to advance the cause. Some of the wealthy women who weren’t loyalists stopped wearing and buying British imports. Others, like Esther de Berdt Reed, took her patriotism further.
Reed was born in London and met her American husband at school and emigrated to America, where her husband became an influential political leader under George Washington. She was completely devoted to the revolutionary cause and managed to pull together a group of women in Philadelphia and raise $7,000 (an enormous sum at the time) for the soldiers fighting in the war.
At the request of General Washington, she used the money to buy linens and, with her fellow revolutionary women, she sewed more than 2,200 shirts for the soldiers. In each shirt, the woman who made it hand stitched their name into the collar so that the solider wearing it would know he was fighting for a woman who loves her country.
Our country was in trouble, and patriots had to make a choice to stand up and fight or crumble under the government. Just like today.
Women were essential in the founding of our nation and in forming the character of our country, and the same principle applies today. It is crucial that today’s American women step up and teach our children the constitutional principles of freedom, liberty, and a Christian worldview in order for us to continue to be a sovereign nation as we were founded.
Just like the strong women of the Revolution, we have to take a stand today and choose where we’re going in this country if we’re to continue in the freedom and prosperity that those revolutionary women established.
Penny Nance is CEO of Concerned Women for America.
Penny Young Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest women’s public policy organization. She is the author of the forthcoming book "Feisty and Feminine: A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women" (Zondervan 2016).