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“George Washington was a Christian”, deunked again – sort of.

April 1, 2011

Jon Rowe has posted more evidence that George Washington was neither an orthodox trinitarian Christian, nor a deist. He was, rather, a universalist who believed in God, but didn’t believe in the superstitions surrounding religion. He didn’t participate in communion, for example. He did believe that there were many, equally valid ways to worship God. While our first president often made references to God or the Great Spirit, he avoided the name Jesus or Christ. In the letter quoted in Rowe’s blog, Washington very clearly establishes his belief that his God was the same being as the Muslim Allah.

I get almost as tired of the old cliche, “our founding fathers were all deists,” as I do with the Christian insistence that they were devout orthodox Christians. Some of them may have fallen into either of these categories (Paine seems to have been a deist and Patrick Henry was definitely a Christian), but the most influential and important of them seem to have been universalists, unitarians or both. The same goes for Abraham Lincoln, by the way. Their openness and acceptance of others and their beliefs is an example we should be proud to follow, instead of trying to coopt them and reconstruct them in our own images.

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From → History, Politics

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