“Under the act of January 17, 1858, the courts of inquiry were directed to investigate “the physical, mental, professional, and moral fitness” of each officer who applied to them for relief….In performance of my duty I found the greatest difficulty in deciding what should be considered as ‘moral fitness’ for the Navy….There has been but one perfect standard of morality on earth, and how far a departure from His precepts and example must proceed in order to disqualify an officer for the naval service is a question on which a great difference of honest opinion must always exist.”*
In his discussion of moral fitness for naval officers, President Buchanan said there would always be room for debate but one thing is clear: Jesus Christ is the perfect standard for morality and that is a lost episode in American history.
Read and Reflect: Read 1 John 2:3-6 and reflect on the encouragement to “walk as He walked” and compare that to the admonition of President Buchanan.
Prayer: Father, we thank you for Jesus and for the challenge to “walk as He walked.” We also thank you for your Holy Spirit who makes it possible to do what we could not do on our own. May we yield to His prompting and leading, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Source Citation: James D. Richardson, ed., A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 11 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of National Literature and Art, 1907, 1910), 5:531-532.