Monday, May 16, 2005

Six Historic Americans: George Washington

Six Historic Americans: George Washington. Article which sets out to prove that Washington was not a Christian communicant and not a believer in the Christian religion. The author concludes with, "These extracts contain no explicit declarations of disbelief in Christianity, but between the lines we can easily read, 'I am not a Christian.' " Although this is an interesting piece, I don't think the author has done anything but cast doubts about what George Washington may or may not have believed. The author did not prove his case.

From the site:

During the presidential campaign of 1880, the Christian Union made the startling admission that, of the nineteen men who, up to that time, had held the office of President of the United States, not one, with the Possible exception of Washington, had ever been a member of a Christian church.

Was Washington a church member? Was he in any sense a Christian? In early life he held a formal adherence to the church of England, serving, for a time, as a vestryman in the parish in which he resided. But this being merely a temporal office did not necessitate his being a communicant, nor even a believer in Christianity. In his maturer age he was connected with no church. Washington, the young Virginia planter, might, perhaps, with some degree of truthfulness, have been called a Christian; Washington, the Soldier, statesman and sage, was not a Christian, but a Deist.

This great man, like most men in public life, was reticent respecting his religious views. This rendered a general knowledge of his real belief impossible, and made it easy for zealous Christians to impose upon the public mind and claim him for their faith. Whatever evidence of his unbelief existed was, as far as possible, suppressed. Enough remains, however, to prompt me to attempt the task of proving the truth of the following propositions:

That Washington was not a Christian communicant.
That he was not a believer in the Christian religion.

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