Tuesday, July 24, 2007

George Washington: Christian or Deist?

This blog post has moved! It's now on my own website, here:

George Washington: Christian or Deist?


Jonathan said...

"The authenticity of this journal has been questioned, but handwriting experts from Washington City, Philadelphia, and New York City in the early twentieth century have verified the handwriting of the manuscript to be Washington’s."

This is not true. No handwriting expert has ever shown his alleged prayer journal to be in his own hand (and btw, the "Circular to the States" was not in his hand either) but the contrary that it was NOT in his hand.

You might also want to check out what Washington's own minister, Dr. Abercrombie, had to say on whether GW was a "real Christian" or not.

Mrs Mecomber said...

PPPPPPTTTTT. Poppycock comment. See this http://meetthefounders.blogspot.com/2007/07/re-george-washington-christian-or-deist.html

Chris said...

Thank you for your blog. I found this interesting and have always wondered on where Washington stood. I'm sure we'll never truly know where he stood with God until we stand before Him. You've given me a good starting place to continue my research. Thanks.

Hercules Mulligan said...

Hello Chris. Welcome to my blog.

Thanks for leaving your comment, and taking the time to express how you have been benefited. It is an encouragement to me.

I'm pleased that you have found the material here useful. You are welcome to leave you comments anytime. I would greatly appreciate your input.

I encourage you to persevere in your research. God bless!

Mike Kirby said...

I fail to see why Washington's personal flavor of faith, whether he was a Christian or a Deist, is at all relevant. He may have been the truest believer in the history of Christianity. Arguments over the personal beliefs of any of the founding fathers are moot.

The fact is the he, like all the founding fathers, had the wisdom to break with what at the time was the standard, and at the Constitutional Convention keep a specific religion or dogma separate from the foundation of the nation he helped create. Our nation is not based on Washington, or any other figure, or their personal faith. It is based on the constitution, which, unlike almost any other western nation's founding document at that time (many of which were reviewed in the creation of ours,) omits any reference to Christ or Christianity, or indeed anything but the most broad, nonspecific references to a whatever force created the universe, in its text.

Hercules Mulligan said...

Hello Mike. Thanks for reading this post and for leaving your comment.

You say that "Our nation is not based upon Washington, or any other figure [which is true in one sense], or their personal faith. It is based on the constitution ..."

Let me answer objection with a question: If that is true, then upon what is the Constitution based? (Please keep in mind that it is only a skimpy 3-and-a-half pages long.) And if our Founding principles have little or nothing to do with the Founders and their religious beliefs (which would have determined their worldview), what IS America supposed to be?

Or do you believe that religion is just an item on the shelf of one's mind, just like a preference in taste or color? Common stereotype; but untrue just the same. The way one views God will determine how one views the world, himself, moral standards, and his fellow man.

In short, Washington's religion DOES matter. You may not like Christianity, but as John Adams said, "Facts are stubborn things." The least we can do is modify our beliefs to the facts, and not pretend that they are irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Hercules our constitution is based on the Indian's "constitution" not on the bible or its teachings. people can have a good heart and mind with out religion, just like the founders believed or else they would not have given us the first amendment. also i noticed you avoided Jonathan because you cant prove him wrong. seriously if your own minister calls you a deist come on. Washington believed in "GOD" not in the sense of a Christian but just as a supreme being, i think our fathers had the good sense to see what plague religion is capable of especially if were to be a one religion nation

Brother Robert said...

I have studied many aspects of George Washington and am currently reading "Sacred Fire" which deals extensively with this subject.

As in most indepth discussions on matters such as this the facts are easily munipulated to suit the desired conclusion of the author.

However among many of Washingtons achievements and accomplishments one of his most cherished was that of his membership and love of his Masonic Fraternity, and having served as both Worshipful Master of his Masonic Lodge and Grand Master of the Fraternity in his jurisdiction, there can be no doubt how seriously he considered the teacingings and principals of his beloved Fraternity. So much so that during the laying of the corner stone of the new capitol building in Washington DC he and many other Masons of the day did so in keeping with the formal Masonic dedication ritual in full Masonic regalia and in doing so was sure to use his own Masonic Bible during the dedication. That Masonic Bible is a version of the Old Testiment. In fact during Washingtons Iniation into the Masonic Fratrnity in every instance that the Holy Bible is placed upon the alter and with his right hand placed thereon and his left raised toward heaven took his solom oath.

Not only is it a mandatory part of the ritual but ones belief in the Bibles teachings are made an intrigal part of your Masonic life.

Therefore not only is it beyound a doubt that Washington believed in God but that his belief was based on the teachings of the Holy Bible.

The two being inseperable. To say that Washington was a Diest does not hold true in light of how strong his belief was in the Masonic Fraternity.

To this day it is still a matter of ritual that during most Presidential Innagurals the oath of office is taken upon George Washington's Masonic Bible.

Considering how many of our founding fathers were Freemasons as well as many deligates in the congress during the drafting of our Constitution it is difficult to assume that the teachings of the Bible were not in the forefront of their minds when our sacred founding documents were being pened.

I have heard it said that the term Diest is akin to a freethinker such as a Freemason.

To be sure all Freemasons are freethinkers but never outside the teachings of the Holy Bible. This is the basis of the Fraternity. Alwasy has been and with Gods blessing alwasys will be.

Ernesto said...

I got the following quotation from this site Feb. 2009

“The most convincing of Washington’s writings in favor of his Christianity is his prayer journal, which was entitled “Daily Sacrifice.” The authenticity of this journal has been questioned, but handwriting experts from Washington City, Philadelphia, and New York City in the early twentieth century have verified the handwriting of the manuscript to be Washington’s. One of these prayers states, ‘O eternal and everlasting God . . . Direct my thoughts, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy holy spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life. Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works [Hebrews 6:1]; pardon my wanderings, [and] direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more [and] more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life bless my family, friends & kindred unite us all in praising & glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed saviour [sic] who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father....’ (emphasis added) and apparently the Lord’s Prayer, quoted from memorization, was then recited.”