The View From 1776

Was Washington Really a Deist?

Liberals insist that our leaders of 1776 were not Christians, that in fact the English colonies were inspired by the atheistic materialism of French socialism.  Ergo, they conclude, the moral teachings of Judeo-Christianity deserve no place in America outside the private home or churches and synagogues.

For a rebuttal, see the First Things article by Michael and Jana Novak.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/20 at 12:11 AM
  1. THE QUESTION AND THE ANSWER
    Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son
    of man that You visit him?" Psalm 8:4
    A: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against
    you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing
    and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and
    your descendants may live." Deuteronomy 30:19

    Q: "Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
    Or the son of man, that you are mindful of him?" Psalm
    144:3
    A: "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose
    for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the
    gods which your fathers served that were on the other
    side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose
    land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will
    serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

    Q: "What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is
    born of a woman, that he could be righteous?" Job 15:14
    A: "Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He
    teach in the way he chooses." Psalm 25:12

    Q: "What is man, that You should magnify him, that You
    should set Your heart on him?" Job 7:17
    A: "Do not envy the oppressor and choose none of his
    ways." Proverbs 3:31

    Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son
    of man that You take care of him?" Hebrews 2:6
    A: "I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments I have
    laid before me." Psalm 119:30 "Let Your hand become my
    help, for I have chosen Your precepts."Psalm 119:173

    Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
    nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
    Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
    characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
    foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
    spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
    ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the
    universe.

    That human institution which is structured on the
    principle, "...all men are endowed by their Creator with
    ...Liberty...," is a system with its roots in the natural
    Order of the universe. The opponents of such a system are
    necessarily engaged in a losing contest with nature and
    nature's God. Biblical principles are still today the
    foundation under Western Civilization and the American
    way of life. To the advent of a new season we commend the
    present generation and the "multitudes in the valley of
    decision." - from The HUMAN PARADIGM

    The humanistic cultural-retardants cannot see the basis of the greatest system of government the world has ever seen: Judeo-Cristian principles of human nature.

    Talk about the blind faith in their own ignorance!

    semper fidelis
    Posted by Choicemaker  on  02/20  at  08:16 PM
  2. First of all a Deist believed in God. Also, they believed in the moral standards established in the states and they went to church, prayed, or at least called up on God in their speeches.

    Quote:
    Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
    Washington Farewell Address 1796 where he asks God to "avert or mitigate the evils" he might have unintentionally done while President.
    But, we believe for sure that Jefferson was a Diest. What did he say?

    quote:
    Thomas Jefferson to Charles Thomson, January 9, 1816
    snip-------------------
    I, too, have made a wee-little book from the same materials, which I call the Philosophy of Jesus; it is a paradigma of his doctrines, made by cutting the texts out of the book, and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel,
    =========================

    Jefferson, a Christian? His words, not mine. And while most Christians still would deny he was a Christian, he followed the teachings of Jesus. Maybe those who claim Jefferson was not religious ought to read his "wee-little book" and see just what he thought "man" should do.

    Benjamin Franklin?
    In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understanding! In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence, we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that 'except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded; and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, and conquest."

    "I therefore beg leave to move - that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."
    http://thingsabove.freerovin.com/benfranklin.htm

    Here at the Constitutional Convention when things are bogged down, we have Ben Franklin who is also often said to be fearful of religion, calling upon God and his fellow patriots to seek help from God.

    What they didn't want was government forcing anyone to comply with any one denomination. Remember, many states had state religions and religious tests but the Federal Government was going to secular 100% so that it couldn't influence any States relationship with God but, there was no hesitation to seek God's help as people working out these problems they were facing just as there was no problem hiring Chaplains in Congress with tax dollars once the Constitution was approved.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  02/21  at  12:45 AM
  3. "Liberals insist that our leaders of 1776 were not Christians, that in fact the English colonies were inspired by the atheistic materialism of French socialism"

    I dont know where you people get this stuff. Is it part of the demonization agenda? I have never held that belief about "atheistic materialism" and the founders. You have to realize that in order to have power in one's community, in those days one HAD to be a member of a church. So when fundies say the founders were Christians because they were members of churches, it is a bogus argument.

    Jefferson and Wythe were members of a church and were vestrymen even though they were critical of Christianity and hostile to organized religion.

    To see the individual laws of the colonies and the early states that required this, see my
    THE COMMANDMENTS AND THE CONSTITUTION: THE EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL FRAMING @

    http://community-2.webtv.net/tales_of_the_western_world/TENCOMMANDMWENTS

    While colonial and state laws before the Constitution were ubiquitously plastered with the words "God", and "Jesus", the US Constitution ends that pandering religiosity with a religion-neutral set of principles.

    The other really bogus argument is to use a handy quote as if it is the mind of the Constitution. Take David Barton's PDF Affadavit on the Ten Commandments (he lost the case). Over and over he quotes Noah Webster, a zealous right wing church state alliance advocate like Patrick Henry. The thing is that none of Webster's ideas can be found in the Constitution nor did he have much to do with any of it in the first place. Henry fought Jefferson's Virginia Statute on Religious Liberty. Even then, the religious conservatives were on the wrong side of the issue. Wrong just like slavery and the churches. See minutes of church councils at my SLAVERY AND THE CHURCHES @ http://community-2.webtv.net/westernmind/ABOLITION

    Take Mr Brewton's quote by John Adams on his front page. While Adams said these things to the troops, he also signed into law the Treaty of Tripoli, whose Article 11 declared flatly that the Government of the United States was not in any sense founded on the Christians religion. The Full Senate and the President ratified without contention all of the articles and clauses of this treaty which was crafted mostly during the Washington administration.

    So, while Washington and Adams were cool with religion and the troops, the USA was still not a government founded on the Christian religion. And Article Six of the Constitution says all treaties have to pass constitutional muster, then they are part of the "Supreme Law of the Land".

    Remember, you cant trust what politicians say about religion because its a vote getter and a people pleaser. That is why ALL judges should be appointed. Even Hitler used Christianity in his rise to power. His early speeches are peppered with references to Christ. Simply put, politicians say what they think the people want to hear.

    The truth about the Religious Right's history, its obfuscations and historical revisionism

    http://WWW.STOPTHERELIGIOUSRIGHT.ORG

    Did you know that Washington NEVER took communion in church and always left right beforehand?
    Posted by James Veverka  on  02/26  at  10:19 AM
  4. JEFFERSON ON JESUS: A MAN AND MORALIST:

    Letter to William Short, with a Syllabus Monticello, October 31, 1819

    "But the greatest of all the reformers of the depraved religion of his own country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separable from that as the diamond from the dunghill, we have the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man; outlines which it is lamentable he did not live to fill up.

    Epictetus and Epicurus give laws for governing ourselves, Jesus a supplement of the duties and charities we owe to others. The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent moralist, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems, e. g. The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of Hierarchy, &c, invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by him, is a most desirable object, and one to which Priestley has successfully devoted his labors and learning.

    It would in time, it is to be hoped, effect a quiet euthanasia of the heresies of bigotry and fanaticism which have so long triumphed over human reason, and so generally and deeply afflicted mankind; but this work is to be begun by winnowing the grain from the chaff of the historians of his life. --
    http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/P/tj3/writings/brf/jefl259.htm

    Dunghill works for me too, Tom.
    Posted by James Veverka  on  02/26  at  10:26 AM
  5. James said
    While colonial and state laws before the Constitution were ubiquitously plastered with the words
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  02/26  at  12:52 PM
  6. Many of the complaints of Catholics in New Hampshire were in fact, revolving around their being blocked from holding high office in the state. Take this from the Catholic church history -
    quote:
    However, it was not until 1819 that all denominations finally achieved equal status. In that year the New Hampshire Legislature passed the Religious Tolerance Act, which held that sects not in the Congregational fold could no longer be taxed locally to support a religion that they did not profess. This act, however, was more a consequence of the increase in new Protestant denominations in New Hampshire than it was an acceptance of Catholicism. New Hampshire was still slow to recognize equal rights for Catholics. As late as 1852, an attempt to amend the Constitution to abolish the religious test failed. The restriction against Catholics holding office was finally abolished by an amendment to the State Constitution which was approved in 1877 and which removed the requirement that representatives senators, and the governor, be of the Protestant Religion.
    http://www.immaculateportsmouth.org/historychapter1.html
    ==================================
    20 years after the Constitution was ratified before they quit paying taxes to support religion and 90 years before they could hold office. How were they stopped by the Constitution? Even the Supreme Court said the Bill of Rights didn't apply to the states and that view in the Court held until 1925.

    Where confusion comes in is that the socialists in the higher system of education, after 1925, did apply the Bill of Rights to the States in defining freedom of religion. For example, read this about Joseph Story carefully and see how the take "federal" and leave out "state rights."
    quote:
    Did Supreme Court justice Joseph Story ever say that, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, there was near universal consensus that "Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state?"
    Yes, but this is a classic example of quoting a source out of context. In fact, Story's statement has nothing to do with the First Amendment or the powers of the federal government. On the contrary, a closer look at his writings suggests that he believed that the federal government had no ability whatsoever to aid religion.

    Joseph Story was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1811-1845, and the most important legal commentator of his day. In 1851, while serving as the Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University, he published his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, which included a short section on religious liberty. In the opening pages of this section Story argued for the importance of religious faith for good government, and then proceeded to claim that:

    Probably at the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under consideration [i.e., the First Amendment], the general, if not the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship. [p. 593]

    Accommodationists sometimes use this statement as proof that the Constitution could not have been intended to prohibit federal support for religion. But this is to misread Story's claim. All Story is claiming here is that, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, there was widespread sentiment for aiding Christianity. What Story does not claim here is that the Constitution empowered the federal government to give such aid. Indeed, only a few pages latter in his Commentaries he explicitly denies that the federal government had such power:
    http://www.sullivan-county.com/bush/myth6.htm
    ---------------------------
    For what it does say, regarding the Federal powers it is 100% true.

    Because most students after FDR and socialism became so influential only got 1/2 the story, the Federal one and were led to believe the Bill of Rights were always intended to apply to the States, we have many distorted views of our history.

    Not one state, probably not even Rhode Island that never had a state religion, only religious tests, would have ratified the Bill of Rights if they thought they were giving up any rights. Even states with state religions and that kept their state religions and religious tests ratified the Bill of Rights because they only applied to federal power. It would defy common sense for all 13 states to give up something they held so dear to them.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  02/26  at  12:54 PM
  7. cont:
    That doesn't make them right to do what they did or bad that they ended those practices decades later. It just is the real history of our nation. Even today, we don't apply all the Bill of Rights and never have. Why not, if they applied to State Powers from the beginning? Why were none ever applied for 150 years if they applied from the beginning?

    Why if they applied from the beginning and there was to be all separation of church and state do we all live under a Constitution with God in it. Not one state has taken God out of its Constitution. I don't even see movements now to take it out of the State Constitutions. The only reason it was kept out of the Federal Government's Constitution was because we created a secular Federal Government so it couldn't have any say over any State with religious tests, a state religion, taxes that supported the building of churches or payment of ministers or like the states that required their government actions begin with prayer.

    While the states could force the Federal government to hire chaplains and open meetings or Court with prayer or reference to God if they chose to, have Congress support religion to promote religion on the Indian reservations, or proclaim religious holidays like Thanksgiving, the the Federal Government couldn't force states to do those things.

    For 175 years any government in any state, city, county or state, could have a religious display on government property and have only the majority's religion displayed. Right or wrong, that was their right until the Federal Courts finally decided to incorporate the Federal restriction onto the State as well. Only the people of the community, county or state regulated what could or couldn't be placed on government property because until the incorporation doctrine, the people were in control, not the Federal Government. At that point we ceased to have sovereign states and a government "of the people, by the people and for the people" in each state as we had for the 1st 150 years on social and moral issues.

    Remember, it took reversals of the Supreme Court for FDR to even have the Federal Government have the social programs he wanted because previously they had been blocked as not being a power given to the Federal Government.

    What we were for the 1st 175 years will never be again. The people don't want that return to 1950 that I know of in any state fully. Yet, we shouldn't deny our history. The only reason there is a big flap and attempt to deny history is that the Courts were used instead of Constitutional process to make the changes and they have to try and justify that unconstitutional use of power.

    Having said that it was unconstitutional, since the people or their representatives have never acted to reverse those acts, and have, in fact, based much of the legislation of the last 70 years on those acts, and "we the people" have continued to re-elect those who do that legislation based on those acts, I believe it is now Constitutional by default.

    When the Constitution was ratified they kept the debates at the convention secret and said that how the people accepted, legislated and ruled on it, would give the Constitution the "interpretation" it needed. If that is the case, then the people by not stopping the Court have "interpreted" the Constitution in a new way. Whether that is the majority or not, I don't know but, on some issues like social security which was prior to 1925, considered a power not given to the Federal Government, I doubt they would ever send it back to the states to manage. Too bad. The States using the Thrift Savings Plan, as they do for some state government employees, instead of social security would probably do a better job with it.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  02/26  at  01:03 PM
  8. Ah, the attack on "Liberals" -- the usual name-callings -- based upon the boast of being "Christian," and hiding behind that to lie and smear.

    There are rules required of being a Christian. One set of them is the Ten Commandments (not "Requests"). Among them are these two:

    1. Thou shalt not lie.

    2. Thou shalt not lie against others.

    Them descriptive term for those who claim to be Christian while simultaneously, in their conduct, they violate the rules which are required of Christians? Hypocrite.

    Would Jesus approve torture?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/22  at  03:33 AM
  9. Humans have yet to meet a person who is qualified to judge who is a Christian. That is just another humanistic blunder.

    Only the Lord is qualifuied - and He will do exactly that for each person - whether they believe it or not.

    In the meantime, I wonder if any self-proclaimed expert can answer a much easier question. Do you know how often President Washington changed his socks?

    semper fidelis
    Posted by Choicemaker  on  03/22  at  10:17 AM
  10. Quote: Would Jesus approve torture?

    Yes, he does. Just not by us.

    Quote:
    Matthew 10:
    4 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
    ========================================
    First, to keep it in context, I included what he was referring to in this reference to the sword. The Christian is not to be even tolerant of his own family if they reject God.

    However, more to the question of violence by Jesus, we have to look at his reference to denying those who reject God, being denied access to the Kingdom of God.

    Quote:
    Matthew 13:
    41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things [3] that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
    ==============================
    Being cast alive into a fire could be considered torture and Jesus will direct that torture.

    Also, we have not just Jesus own words but that of John
    Rev 19:
    11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND Lord OF LordS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
    ==================================
    Again, death by battle can be very painful. It can be "torture" to die from a wound to the intestines. There is no evidence Jesus intends on "peace" when he returns. You have a chance to repent now, but, once this life is over, that chance is also over.

    Again, I am only referring to this because JNagarya referenced Jesus as some type of "pacifist." He came to be a sacrifice for sin and thus, as that role of "Lamb" he didn't use violence but, he warned that that was not his normal nature. It was only in his image "incarnate man" that wouldn't give "excuse" to authorities to kill him, that he came. It is like a general that gives the enemy a chance to surrender. When they don't, he resumes the battle.

    Also, don't compare what people who call themselves Christians do with what Jesus is. Jesus is God and God is Jesus and all that God did in the Bible, Jesus did and all that Jesus says he will do, such as cast people into a furnace for eternity, it what God does and will do. There is no separation of Jesus and God, just because Jesus (God manifested)for a period of 30 some years out of eternity, took on the role of a "sacrificial Lamb."
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  03/22  at  12:52 PM
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