Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on April 10, 2013


– And why it is important to our survival.


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One of the most important pieces of legislation passed by our first Congress in 1789 was the Northwest Ordinance. This has long been forgotten by the American public, but the original intent was to define the terms by which America would expand and admit states from that area (the lands surrounding the Great Lakes). An important part of the legislation was Article 3 which stated: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

In other words, our founding fathers saw the necessity to teach knowledge, religion, and morality in the schools, and for many years the schools did so. Even well into the 20th century, public schools were used to provide religious instruction albeit it was not compulsory and conducted after normal school hours. Aside from this, schools used to teach general religious concepts, such as one divine entity, and moralistic concepts of right and wrong. This was all abandoned in public schools over the last fifty years. To the founding fathers, religion and morality were recognized as a requirement for good government and citizenship. Excluding them from public schools eliminated the means to teach such concepts in a uniform manner. Now such teachings defaulted to other entities:

PARENTS – due to the economic pressures of today, more and more are taking a “hands off” approach to teaching morality and religion to their offspring, thereby allowing them to default the responsibility to others. Many simply do not grasp the significance of it.

SCHOOLS – still have a role to play, but mostly on issues relating to cheating, plagiarism, and general conduct (fighting, tardiness, absenteeism). Formal training on morality is certainly not in the mix. Consider this, reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag is now considered optional in many schools.

COMPANIES – establish codes of conduct, but somehow unethical practices still surface in the cut-throat world of business. Too often, companies fail to practice what they preach.

NONPROFITS – youth sports and scouting programs were originally designed to teach such things as citizenship and “fair play.” Today, pledging to the flag is a rarity in such institutions. Religious and fraternal organizations also have a role to play, as such organizations were designed to promote morality. However, most have evolved into nothing but social clubs, thereby voiding their effect on the public.

CHURCH – attendance at church services dropped over the last fifty years, but appears to have stabilized, particularly as the Baby Boomers grow older. Gallup recently reported New England and the Northwest are now considered the most non-religious states in the country (with the South being the most religious). It’s hard to believe New England, the birthplace of many of our founding fathers, has retreated on religion.

HOLLYWOOD – in the absence of everything else, our youth learn morality and religion from the media as delivered through technology. If morality and religion is lampooned, youth will take note and likely follow suit. It is rather sad when Hollywood has more sway in influencing children than their own parents.

Let us be clear on what is meant by teaching morality, the differences between right and wrong: Teaching the Golden Rule (“do unto others as they would do unto you”) causes people to respect the rights of others. An appreciation for the concept of “property” discourages theft and promotes the concepts of earning and saving. Respect for parents, elders, and government promotes social harmony. Understanding the necessity of government and law promotes tranquility. Honesty promotes moral rectitude and social stability. And philanthropy promotes empathy for our fellow man.

There are many such moralistic lessons which are no longer taught in public schools a la the Northwest Ordinance. Consequently, there is no uniformity in the moral fiber of the country and a general deterioration in our social mores.

Any institution that teaches uniform morality should be actively supported. If schools can no longer teach it, and parents avoid it, one must wonder who is teaching it. The answer is obvious, it has defaulted to the corruption of Hollywood who answers more to the mighty dollar than their conscience. Who should we turn to? Our government? Hardly. Their business is to tend to the administration of the land, not preach dogma. What is needed is a new type of delivery system to teach moral values. I am not sure what this vehicle should be; perhaps it should be special instruction in the form of a training program or text. Whatever it is, something is desperately needed to prevent the country from deteriorating further.

FOOTNOTE: I am currently working on a training program to teach uniform Morality, suitable for use in companies, schools, and other institutions. If you would like to know more or to follow my developments, please send me an e-mail:

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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  1. Jeff Day said

    What does pledging allegiance to the flag have to do with Morality? You seem to use this as a measuring stick of morality but I don’t understand how it has any bearing in morality.


    • Tim Bryce said

      Jeff –

      Thanks for your note. Good question. It denotes your values of citizenship and whether you respect the overall laws, rules, and regulations of the country in which you reside.

      All the Best,


  2. James said

    I think that your view of the public schools is rather overly optimistic. The truth is that it has been 100 years since the schools have actively been against morality. Though it gained ubiquitous adoption in the last 50 years. Since the reforms of Dewy, schools teach that morality is bad and that bad people practice it as a closed minded form of oppression. The teaching now focuses on self-esteem and fulfilment. Dewy’s reform is so deeply ingrained in the current education system that it is not ok to even discuss its shortfalls let alone its being replaced.


  3. Tim Bryce said

    A G.L. of Oldsmar, Florida wrote…

    “This was a great article. I assume this covers the basic’s that will be included in your morality meeting I cannot make. Thanks for this great overview.”


  4. Sandy said

    Once again Bryce is Right!


  5. Tim Bryce said

    A G.B. of Clearwater, Florida wrote…

    “When I was in grade school, we learned and recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Lords Prayer every day. We also had daily Bible reading, and memorized the 23d Psalm, 101st Psalm, and others. This was a public – not private school. It was a part of our daily ritual. Discipline was maintained with a ping pong paddle, and later with a ruler on the knuckles and a leather strap.”


  6. Tim Bryce said

    An I.P. of Washington, DC wrote…

    “Great article, Mr. Bryce.”


  7. Tim Bryce said

    An M.B. of Clearwater, Florida wrote…

    “Robert Bennett once said that even if there is no God, we’d damn well better invent one, because civilization depends on it. I think the moral degradation we have going on is our biggest problem, and underlies most of the others. From what I see of many parents at my economic level, they were not taught any, so they cannot possibly teach it to their kids, with predictable results.”


  8. Tim Bryce said

    A B.H. of Boulder, Colorado wrote…

    “For the most part, all this turmoil in the area of morality and patriotism and such pretty much stems from allowing a bunch of LAWYERS run the country. They love to argue, and for them, AMORALITY and CHAOS means more opportunity for them to practice their profession (arguing professionally in front of an arbiter – judge or jury) and get paid handsomely for it.”


  9. Tim Bryce said

    A W.A. of the Dominican Republic wrote…

    “You are absolutely right, Tim. When I went to grade school, we almost fought to have the privilege of reading from the Bible and leading the class in the Pledge. WHAT HAS HAPPENED?? The progressives have little by little had this taken out of the schools. The beginning was my neighbor in Florida who sued, fought and won to have God and the Bible taken out of school. It’s been downhill ever since. Can you imagine having abortion on demand at any time during development in the womb, and even after birth when we were young? Homosexuality being called normal and then giving them special rights? Same sex marriage, which any fool knows is not normal. It has always been the progressive, Marxist establishment to destroy the moral fabric of America from within. While that is currently being done, the next step is to destroy capitalism and our economy within. Gee, I wonder if that is happening. Unfortunately, almost half of the country has bought into this and now with a president that advocates all of this, and a Congress that is afraid to stand up to him and also to demand that he prove without a doubt who he really is, we are now being played the fool. Tim, I think one of the things I love the most living in the DR is that they absolutely do not put up with any of this. Hopefully this continues, at least until the Lord takes me home. It amazes me that an emerging 3rd world country has more sense that the so called “intellectuals” in the US. They even have the common sense to have a flat tax. No income tax to pay, no property tax, etc etc. Can you imagine the IRS being eliminated and no paper work to file by millions (13 million here) the number of trees that would be saved. Don’t get me wrong, the government here also has it’s corrupt officials, but you are basically left alone. We still love the US, but despise almost all of those in charge. Unfortunately, the only way for the people to take back the government for the people, is to vote them all out, whether we think them good or bad. This is the only message they will understand, but unfortunately, it will never happen, as America has been dumbed down too much. “


  10. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “I’m praying that your morality instruction catches on and spreads across the country, Tim.”


  11. Tim Bryce said

    A B.W. of Perry, Georgia wrote…

    “There are some of us,,that have taken the mentor status. And are not afraid to teach right and wrong. Facing up to reality is the hard part. You mentioned parents not teaching the kids morality, I agree but not because of the time but because they don’t know what morality is or how to teach it.

    Your idea of a class in a good approach but in our world today I feel it will fall on many deaf ears. What will work although it will take ages to mature is to help some of the older generation become mentors. They are the only ones who really see the value in it. Morality set standards to live by. That was the great value. Without morality, we have chaos, apathy and vulgarity.

    Finding those mentors is a task that is up to us that understand the value of it.

    What I have discovered is that you cannot teach the masses, you can lead them if you have enough hecklers in the crowd to start a chant, but in a class room atmosphere, there are too many distractions. More and more folks have no use for real education, that education that teaches right from wrong and upright living. They are too busy being entertained. The trend is : Where is my next meal coming from, where is my next sex coming from and how are you going to entertain me.

    My only hope for the future is that some how God will intervene and create something that really takes us back to basics. And event where folks have to band together to survive.

    Just my thought on the matter, I am however trying to be a good mentor. I just do it through model airplanes but there are other avenues to interest the kids and some young adults.”


  12. Tim Bryce said

    A U.V. of Largo, Florida wrote…

    “Another contributing factor to this problem was the Woodstock syndrome/ Haight-Ashbury free love concept. Morality took a swan dive out the window and never really took hold again.”


  13. Morality is certainly not dependent upon religion. In fact, the opposite may be true. Religious wars have never been fought by atheists.

    Yes, we can teach children that all life is interdependent and that ethical behavior serves us all. By doing so, however, we undermine their willingness to mindlessly consume, destroy the ecosystem for the boss, or go to war when their leaders command. This would fly in the face of traditional education.




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