From all that I had read of History of Government, of human life and manners, I had drawn this Conclusion, that the manners of Women were the most infallible Barometer, to ascertain the degree of Morality and Virtue in a Nation. All that I have since read and all the observations I have made in different Nations, have confirmed me in this opinion. The Manners of Women are the surest Criterion by which to determine whether a Republican Government is practicable, in a Nation or not. The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Swiss, the Dutch, all lost their public Spirit, their Republican Principles and habits, and their Republican Forms of Government, when they lost the Modesty and Domestic Virtues of their Women. The foundations of national Morality must be laid in private Families. In vain are Schools Accademies and universities instituted, if loose Principles and licentious habits are impressed upon Children in their earliest years. The Mothers are the earliest and most important Instructors of youth…. The Vices and Examples of the Parents cannot be concealed from the Children. How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn that their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers.”
Quoted by John Eidsmoe in Christianity and the Constitution, Baker Book House, 1987, p. 272, from Adams, Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L.H.Butterfield, Belknap/Harvard, 1962, IV:123.
John Adams had observed exactly what this paper is about. A woman’s authentic virtue is an integral and necessary ingredient of the wellbeing and liberty of a nation. A woman’s morality and the accompanying manners are key ingredients needed for the spiritual underpinning and structure of a free society. And he doesn’t mean male imposed false and inauthentic morality for women, such as one finds in Islamic Republics that are neither successful nor based on liberty.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.”
1 Peter 3:7
Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life in order that your prayers may not be hindered.”
Bid the older men to be temperate, serious, sensible, sound in faith, and love and steadfastness. Bid the older women likewise to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink, they are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husbands that the word of God may not be discredited. Likewise, urge the younger men to control themselves. Show yourself in all respects a model of good deeds, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity and sound speech that cannot be censured, so that an opponent may be put to shame having nothing evil to say of us.”
It is up to Good Girls to teach other Good Girls and for men to teach the men.