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From The Historian's Desk
Return to “Old Ethical Values”

By Edith Schoell, CT State Grange Historian

  MAY 3, 2013 --

From a scrapbook from the 1930s this headline appeared in the newspaper: “Appeal for Return to Old Ethical Values is Voiced.”  This was the topic of Dr. Robert A. Colpitts of Melrose, Mass. address to the New England Lecturer’s Conference, Aug. 24 in Orono, Maine.

“America is not threatened from without as some people believe but it is rather threatened internally because of a disintegration of ethical values.

The security of our national life is soon to be tested at a very crucial point here in America.  The major menace that threatens the United States today is not from some external enemy from without which stupid statesmen think they are fighting.  America is disintegrating from within, in spite of their foolish efforts, because of a lack of ethical values, and if our national fabric rots, it will begin from the ethical threads woven therein.”

“Dr. Colpitts said that for the past 25 years democracy has been declining and that during this period people have put away in the attic the ethical values of their forefathers just as they stored away the family furniture.  Now we have begun slowly to recognize that there are other political patterns creeping in, and that we are now dragging out of storage the ethical values, long out of use, as well as the furniture- both treasures in their own right.”

“We are beginning to see again that there is a vital connection between the old ethical values and the old form of democracy.  I firmly believe that with the present trends of American government the way the are, unless we go back to the solid faith of our fathers, we will be in a far worse state of affairs than we could ever imagine.  However, I believe that soon we will find a new merit in the old ethical values and democracy will remain.”


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