ELDER PATRIOT – As the free world prepares to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, let us take a moment to reflect on the influence and importance the teachings of this incredible man had on informing and influencing our Founding Fathers who risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish a government and a country dedicated to recognizing and protecting the individual freedoms of their fellow man. This selflessness was to become the hallmark of Christians worldwide.
Those who wish to revise history by labeling our Founders “Deists” do the rest of us a disservice. The effort to deny or minimize Christianity’s role in informing our early leaders and, therefore our country’s politic, has come to be the sport of the American Left for over the past half-century as they seek to undermine the core values that serve as the foundational truths necessary to maintain the relationship between individual freedoms and government that our Founders envisioned.
I will leave it to George Washington easily the most revered and respected man of that era of incredible men, to inform us in his own words. From his Farewell Address:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?”
References to the importance of religion were littered throughout Washington’s farewell address as it did all of his speeches and writings.
While it has become popular to label him a “Deist,” Washington’s own contemporaries did not question his Christianity. Instead they were thoroughly convinced of his devout faith–a fact made evident in the first-ever compilation of The Writings of George Washington, published in the 1830s.
That compilation of Washington’s writings was prepared and published in twelve volumes by Jared Sparks (1789-1866), a noted writer and historian. Sparks was America’s first professor of history–other than ecclesiastical history–to teach at the college level in the United States, and he was later chosen president of Harvard.
The Herculean effort of Sparks was described in the “the Dictionary of American Biography:”
“…what was destined to be his greatest life work, the publication of the writings of George Washington. … In January 1827, Sparks found himself alone at Mount Vernon with the manuscripts. An examination of them extending over three months showed that years would be required for the undertaking; and with the owner’s consent, Sparks carried off the entire collection, eight large boxes, picking up on the way to Boston a box of diplomatic correspondence from the Department of State, and the [General Horatio] Gates manuscripts from the New York Historical Society. Not content with these, he searched or caused to be searched public and private archives for material, questioned survivors of the Revolution, visited and mapped historic sites. In 1830, for instance, he followed [Benedict] Arnold’s  route to Quebec. The first of the twelve volumes of The Writings of George Washington to be published (vol. II) appeared in 1834 and the last (vol. I, containing the biography) in 1837.”
In Volume XII of these writings, Jared Sparks delved into the religious character of George Washington, and included numerous letters written by the friends, associates, and family of Washington that testified of his religious character. Based on that extensive evidence, Sparks concluded: “To say that he [George Washington] was not a Christian would be to impeach his sincerity and honesty.”
It would be difficult to imagine Washington as anything but a Christian holding such deeply held religious beliefs as he did. In fact, except for a small number of Jewish colonists, estimated to be 2500 in number, Christianity in one form or another was the dominant religion of those who settled this country. The leaders they chose for themselves, like George Washington were almost unanimously devout Christians. Their religious beliefs informed their political beliefs and set the foundation for what would become the “Spirits of America:” Innovation, Tomorrow, Self-Reliance, Heritage, Independence, Freedom, Discovery, Compassion, Pioneering, Adventure, Knowledge, and Individualism. There “Spirits” rarely reside within individuals today as more and more people have come to rely on the government and corporations for their safety and success.
“America did not exist. Four centuries of work, bloodshed, loneliness, and fear created this land. We built America and the process made us Americans . . . a new breed, rooted in all races, stained and tinted with all colors, a seeming ethnic anarchy. Then, in a little time we became more alike than we were different—a new society, not great; but fitted by our very faults for greatness.” John Steinbeck writing in 1966
When Steinbeck penned these words in 1966, 93 percent of Americans identified as Christians. The parallel between America’s religious beliefs and her rise to greatness cannot be dismissed. There was indeed a common thread that informed our “ethnic anarchy,” it was Christianity. Washington had been correct.
Around this time, the American Left ramped up their attack on religion and by 1973 the Supreme Court, packed with justices who were either non-committal to their faith or professing no religious beliefs at all, had made abortion law. The effect of this decision, that would never have passed a vote of the people, cannot be overstated on the effect it has had in hastening the decline of Christianity in forming our beliefs.
1973 Photo of the Supreme Court – America’s wisdom was limited to only two wise men.
Today less than 60 percent of the people identify as Christians. In the process America’s greatness has been diminished by a society that is devolving back into an “ethnic anarchy,” encouraged by our God-less elected leaders who are stripping us of our providential rights once recognized as the core reason for the American Revolution. Laws are increasingly encroaching on these rights for the only purpose of protecting the government from the people even as that government becomes more and more detached from the service of the people.
In a horrifying turn of events government now informs Americans’ religious beliefs rather than the other way around.
This Christmas, as you enjoy your dinner, take a moment to consider the advice of George Washington and let the teachings of Christ to once again become your guide.
America will not be great again if we don’t.