Pastor Jason Murphy
Happy Birthday, George!
This week Americans celebrated Presidents’ Day. The accepted origin of Presidents’ Day dates back to the 1800s when Americans began celebrating George Washington’s birthday, who was born February 22, 1732. In 1968, the Federal Government enacted the Uniform Federal Holidays Act so that all federal holidays would fall on Monday. This took effect in 1971 at which time George Washington’s Birthday was changed to Presidents’ Day so that people could honor multiple presidents.
Unfortunately, our modern public educational systems are attempting to re-write our American history. In the process, George Washington has been presented as a racist, ruthless, solider who was unfaithful to his wife, used profane language, and was not a Christian. However, the truth is far different. George Washington, General of the American Revolution, and first President of the United States was a devoted family man, chivalrous soldier, and a Christian.
For the remainder of this writing, I will extract thoughts and in some cases, paragraphs from several sources. They are: The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, written by Rev. Benjamin Morris; Never Before in History, written by Gary Amos and Richard Gardiner; One Nation Under God, written by David C. Gibbs Jr. with Jerry Newcombe; Original Intent, written by David Barton, and Wall Builders.com which is produced by David Barton.
Here is the truth about George Washington. He was a Christian. There is plenty of evidence to make this claim.
“First, George Washington was a deacon in a Virginia Anglican Church. During his time, the Anglican Church believed in the Trinity, the authority of the Bible, and Jesus’ death and bodily resurrection.
Secondly, when Washington was chosen to lead the American armies in the War for Independence, his first order of business clearly reflected his Christianity. He ordered that his first command be published for all the American troops to read. The command was as follows, “The General most earnestly requires and expects a due observance of those articles of war established for the government of the army, which forbid profane cursing, swearing, and drunkenness. And in like manner he requires and expects of all officers and soldiers, not engaged in actual duty, a punctual attendance on Divine service, to implore the blessing of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.” It is hard to believe that George Washington used profane language while ordering that his troops could not.
Thirdly, there was his habit of reading the Scriptures. In fact, it is reported that General Washington rose early in the morning to pray and study the Scriptures. He retired early at night so that he could read more Scripture before going to sleep.
Fourthly, there was his documented prayer life. A famous picture of Washington depicts his prayer life. “During the winter at Valley Forge, a Quaker was walking through the woods and came upon the General kneeling in the snow and praying for God’s guidance and provision for his troops. The Quaker returned home and told his wife that the Revolutionaries would win the war because of the faith and prayer life of General George Washington.”
The United States cannot receive the blessings of God and maintain freedom when we rebel against the revealed will of God.
Fifthly, there is a historical record of Washington meeting with some Indians who were interested in educating their children in the ways of the English. During the meeting, Washington said, “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.”
Finally, to prove Washington’s Christian beliefs, there are the historical facts surrounding his Presidential inauguration. Washington chose to be sworn into office with his hand on the Bible. After he was sworn into office, he bent down and kissed the Bible. He then led the Congress, and the crowd, to St. Paul’s Cathedral in New York for a two-hour Christian worship service dedicating the new nation to God.”
Lastly, consider a couple of quotes from George Washington’s famous speeches. One is from his inaugural address, and the other is from his farewell address. In the inaugural address, he said, “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”
During his farewell address, he said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim to tribute 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 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 I Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” It should be noted that when the founders used the word, “religion”, they were referencing Christianity.
George Washington was right. The United States cannot receive the blessings of God and maintain freedom when we rebel against the revealed will of God. Our freedoms are dependent on the virtue and morality of our people. However, virtue and morality are dependent on Christianity. If we truly want America to be great again, then we must return to our Christian roots. Furthermore, we must protect and promote Christianity and its ideals above all other religions or philosophies. Thank you, George, for reminding us of these truths. Oh yeah, Happy Birthday!