"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Proverbs 14:34
What is righteousness?
We established that righteousness is what God says it is!
But in addition, righteousness is Who God is!
Righteousness is not a code or a creed or concepts, righteousness is a PERSON!
The Founders understood that and it was their understanding of righteousness that formed the foundation for this great experiment that became the most powerful and prosperous nation on earth, the United States of America!
You could very properly rephrase this verse, "God exalts a nation, but ignoring God is a reproach to any people."
Our Founders understood that since God was the Righteous Creator, He was the right One to bestow rights on citizens of a nation. And since a Righteous Creator is the source of our individual rights then doesn't it follow that those rights would be preserved by righteous living?
"How do I live righteously?" you ask.
Righteousness is the result of living in a faith relationship with the Righteous God from Whom the rights originate.
So, again you could accurately say, "Right relationship with a Righteous God exalts a nation, but evil is a reproach to any people."
Righteous people make the best citizens of whichever nation they belong to. Their righteousness exalts or elevates that nation because it unleashed the presence, the principles and the power of God into that land.
Do you know the righteousness of God?
Are you living in a faith relationship with Him?