Monday, February 19, 2007

Since it's President's Day for one and a half more hours, you might be asking yourself, was the Father of Our Country a Chrisitian?

"Probably not" is the best answer. It is true that Washington attended an Anglican church in Virginia before becoming President. However, the Church of England was the State church in Virginia. And, although he attended with his wife, it appears he left the services before communion, while his wife stayed.

It seems that most of what is believed about the supposed Christianity of Washington came from Mason Locke Weems, who may have made up stories to portray Washington as a Christian.

Washington's writings do not reveal him to be a Christian. He wrote thousands of letters and never mentioned the name of Christ. He was a Freemason, though, and their belief is more nearly Deism than Christianity.

Rev. Dr. James Abercrombie, rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, when asked about Washington's beliefs, Abercrombie replied: "Sir, Washington was a Deist!"

Washington's National Thanksgiving Proclamation, on October 3, 1789, sounds Deistic when he refers to "that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be." His First Inaugural Address called for "fervent supplications to that almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides over the council of nations".

Thomas Jefferson wrote the following entry in his journal: “ Dr. Rush tells me that he had it from Asa Green that when the clergy addressed Genl. Washington on his departure from the govmt, it was observed in their consultation that he had never on any occasion said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Xn religion and they thot they should so pen their address as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However he observed the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice. Rush observes he never did say a word on the subject in any of his public papers except in his valedictory letter to the Governors of the states when he resigned his commission in the army, wherein he speaks of the benign influence of the Christian religion. I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets & believed himself to be so, has often told me that Genl. Washington believed no more of that system than he himself did."
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