Tuesday, February 22, 2011

John Fea on GW & Religion on AOL

AOL picked up John Fea's op ed on whether George Washington was a Christian. See it here. It's got 1500 comments already. Alas, too many of them seem imbibed in Christian Nationalist "phony quotation" land (i.e., "it's impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible" and the Daily Sacrifice).

I stopped by and tried to respond to a few of them. But there are too many stones to try to push up the hill, in a sisyphean sense.

Update: Here is a comment I left there.

BTW, at American Creation we are friends with Dr. Fea. If you WANT to continue the conversation on GW's religion AFTER AOL has long forgotten about it, check out: http://americancreation.blogspot.com

Likewise I have meticulously read all of the extant primary sources on GW and religion and am happy to answer your questions via email (rowjonathan@aol.com).

My own conclusions are similar to Dr. Fea's: No question GW was a "theist" not a "strict deist" believing in a warm Providence, but was not provably "Christian" in the orthodox Trinitarian, accepted Jesus as Lord & Savior/Finished Work on the Cross, accepted the Bible as inerrant/infallible sense.

Further, from reading GW's two letters to the UNCONVERTED NATIVES that speak of God as "the Great Spirit" and letter to the Jews that speaks of God as Jehovah, and letter to the Freemasons that speaks of God as "the Great Architect" I am convinced GW believed all good men of all religions worshipped the same God.

Finally, The Daily Sacrifice Prayer and "it's impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible" quote are not valid. At least not confirmed in the primary sources.


Jon Rowe, Esq. JD, MBA, LL.M.
Yardley, PA

Associate Professor
Mercer County Community College
Trenton, NJ


Tom Van Dyke said...

Funny, what jumped out at me in the comments was culture war, attacks on Christians, conservatives, and Washington himself for holding slaves.

Yes, there were some bogus quotes too, in between the shrapnel.

sbh said...

I noticed that my Washington entries on God and the Bible and American Schools at Fake History were getting a lot of traffic today. Maybe that's why.

I don't have a piece up on The Daily Sacrifice yet, alas.