Following Jefferson, Madison, Mason, et al. The Founding Fathers were emphatic. God judges nations:
"Providence sometimes chastises nations with physical epidemics, and sometimes (by
"choosing their delusions") with moral epidemics, and after
a while removes them. This encourages hope; for
if we have arrived at or near the
pessimum of this evil, the melitis cannot be far distant."
--Jay to Judge Peters, March 14th, 1815.