Monday, August 13, 2007

Revisionism: How It Works, Why Its Claims Are False, and What Can Be Done to Stop It

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

Revisionism: How It Works, Why Its Claims Are False, and What Can Be Done to Stop It

4 Comments:

Jonathan said...

“No nation has ever existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and I, as Chief Magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example.”

This one is likely apocryphal.

On the Daily Sacrifice, the Smithsonian refused to accept it as authentic and Frank Grizzard of the Washington Papers proved in an handwriting analysis that it wasn't Washington's writing.

As far as his being a rationalist, he sounds like one to me here:

"I regret exceedingly that the disputes between the protestants and Roman Catholics should be carried to the serious alarming height mentioned in your letters. Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause; and I was not without hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy of the present age would have put an effectual stop to contentions of this kind."

-- letter to Sir Edward Newenham, 22 June 1792

"We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In the enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States."

-- letter to the members of the New Church in Baltimore, 27 January 1793

Hercules Mulligan said...

The quotes from Washington are expressed by Christians past and present. Christians did and do appeal to reason to settle religious controversies, but they do not exclude the role of the Bible in reason, and Washington didn't deny it here. So these quotes do not unequivocally prove that Washington was a rationalist.

Rob Scot said...

Wow, great post. It is always encouraging to read of the sincere faith of so many of the Founders in thier own words.

As per your comments abou the current state of education and historical knowledge in America, as a future history teacher, I certainly have my work cut out for me. I look forward to the challenge, and do not plan on keeping my mouth shut about what the founders believed.

Hercules Mulligan said...

Way to go, Rob!

I give you my hearty support in your endeavor (neat, you're becoming a history teacher)!

If you don't mind me being my own salesman for a moment, I would like to point you to my great resource "The Founders' Bookshelf." It is a HUGE collection (to which I periodically add new materials) that links directly to primary sources, mainly the Founders' original writings, made freely available online. On the websites where these writings can be read and searched, you do not need to give away your username or password, you do not need to subscribe to anything, and you do not have to pay anything (except for the electric bill for turning on your computer, of course) to view these writings. I hope that this resource proves valuable to you; it is the cornerstone upon which all my research most heavily relies.