Are we, or are we not a Christian nation? It seems to be a question more people are asking as time passes and Christianity is challenged in America. I’ve had this discussion on this blog in comments, and so I thought we could take some time to delve into this question and see if we can find a good answer.
In the book Faith and Freedom: The Christian Roots of American Liberty, starts out looking at George Washington, and I would like to quote a passage that we need to absorb and understand:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable support,” he said. “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 pious men, ought to respect and cherish them. A volume could not trace all the 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 religions 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 the minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” Washington knew well that a nation’s laws spring from its morals and that its morals spring from its religion. And the religion of which Washington spoke was clear to all who knew him: “It is impossible to govern rightly without God and the Bible,” he said.
I want you to absorb what the first President had to say about morality, for there’s a lot of truth here. It was once said that Atheists were not accepted as serious because who could they be swearing an oath to– since they did not believe in a God. I think that was Washington’s point about having believability in a court of law.
But more to the point, Washington is saying that a nation’s morality is tied inextricably to its religion. I think this is why we’re seeing what we are seeing today in terms of perversion and lawlessness in our land. Certainly the time around the founding was not perfect, but as we travel from the time when we truly were a Christian nation to this time where we are either becoming a humanist/agnostic/atheist nation we are seeing more of the fruits of that change– if you will.
What we are witnessing is the morality of a religion that believes that there is no God– no one to which they are accountable. The laws don’t apply to some people. The government can do whatever it pleases. As long as it’s consensual, who cares? All of this are the fruits of the religion that is fighting to gain dominance in America, if it already hasn’t.
So, Washington has taught us today that morality, religion, and governing rightly are all linked, and that in order to govern rightly those in authority need to know God and the Bible.
5 thoughts on “George Washington”
Great quote! Thank you for investigating this further and posting on it.
You’re welcome, Deborah. Church/State is definitely one of my areas of interest.
That on national morality being linked to a nation’s religion is profound and simple all at once…George Washington–what a man to look up to as America’s first president. Such a godly leader. I love the children’s book (can’t remember the title! sorry) about how many bullets killed the horses out from under him, and filled his clothes, but never once was he wounded by one. Wow.
Looking forward to more of this series! Have you ever read The Light and the Glory? We’ve used the children’s version of that series for our history in years past…it’s so good…
Incidentally, didn’t Dr James Kennedy do a series on this about a year ago?