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Founding Fathers: Religion/Separation Of C&S

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8/18/2014 11:43:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
This thread is for all things Founding Fathers related in regards to religion.

Were they Christians, deists, closet atheists, their intentions toward religion and State, what they meant by religion, etc.?

: At 8/15/2014 11:24:24 AM, Beastt wrote:
At 8/15/2014 11:15:12 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:

: : : I bet if the U.S. would just fence off about 45-states and keep all of the U.S. Christians there, within 2-years they'd be living under a complete totalitarian and dictatorial rule of their own making. And within 10-years all but a few thousand of them would have been killed off by he rest. No matter who Christians have to live with, the first thing they want to do is regulate everyone else, and then start killing anyone with differing beliefs, Christian or not.

: : I'm sure glad atheists don't get into the affairs of others.

It's time that someone explain to you that if you violate the Constitution, you're violating the civil rights of every single American. And every single American should see it as their duty to their country and their way of life, to assure that you discontinue violating our civil rights. When you violate our civil rights, you're infringing upon American freedoms. The article you posted is an example of violating the separation of church and state. That kind of grotesque fascist display simply leads to things like the abolition of freedom of speech (as religion has done to radio and television), the violation of one's right to marry whom they please, and even the advancement of promising medical research (stem-cells, etc.).

When you place Christianity (a dictatorship), above U.S. law, it's completely appropriate for others to step up and stop you.

Ironically, it's the cheerleaders who placed scriptures on their signs that are addressing the violation of freedom of Speech. It seems you are suggesting freedom of speech to be one-sided.

You said that religion has done away with freedom of speech in the media. I'm assuming you mean censorship, is that correct?
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8/18/2014 12:28:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
: At 8/15/2014 1:20:18 PM, irreverent_god wrote:
At 8/15/2014 10:46:59 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:

1. I'm not sure what you mean by four references. What four references are you talking about? There are a number of quotes from Washington that favor Christianity. Here's 3 more (I'm not sure how many there has to be.

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible."

The quote is frequently misattributed to Washington, particularly in regards to his farewell address of 1796. The origin of the misquote is, perhaps, a mention of a similar statement in a biography of Washington first published in 1835. However, the quote that appeared in the biography has never been proven to have come from Washington. For this reference, see:
This is why fact checking and cross-referencing are important.

2. "Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do---then do it with all your strength."

This is not a reference to any particular "gawd," now, is it?

3. "The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country."

Yes, rallying the troops, who were likely mostly christian... Tie their soldiering to their superstitions, and... Hitler made the same types of pleas to his soldiers... Why is it proof of christianity when one utters it and deceptive misdirection, when done by another?

4. As far as Hitler goes, I would tend to trust Washington's words to Hitler's, yes.

As would I. However, I don't believe he was a christian, in the sense of which you are hoping. Admiring qualities of something is not the same as adhering to it.

5. Do you think Hitler was a Christian?

He was; one with deep-seated roots in the church.

6. The fact of the matter is that Washington was very guarded about his beliefs, and not once references divinity, in his private writings, that I have ever found. There is no doubt in my mind that ALL of the Founding Fathers were children of The Enlightenment.


1. I'm still not sure what you meant by four references, but yes, I am aware of the need to cross reference. I know that there are misquotes, misapplied quotes, etc. Like quotes from a prayer journal sometimes attributed to Washington. I wouldn't however call this particular quote misattributed. It's not a confirmed quote in that this hasn't been found in his writings. Although it's not confirmed, it's not contradictory to other comments he had made. I've looked for confirmations of quotes, and I missed this one. I wasn't aware that it wasn't confirmed. However, as I stated, there are numerous quotes supporting a favor towards Christianity that are confirmed.

2. I would say that from the use of the capital G and all things considered, the evidence would strongly support him referencing the God of the Bible.

3. I honestly don't understand the question. Why would I assume that there was any deceit at all concerning Washington?

4. In what sense am I hoping? I don't understand the statement.

5. Didn't Washington also have deep-seated roots in the church?

6. Well this is one of his writings:

Now I make it my earnest prayer that God would have you and the State over which you preside, in His holy protection, that He would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens and the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field, and finally, that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. I have the honor to be, with much esteem and respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant. - George Washington.

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8/18/2014 12:50:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago

1. I think they were enlightened as well. I just don't understand what it has to do with Christianity...or the lack thereof.

Are you familiar with the movement known as The Enlightenment? Because it was that to which I was referring, not to "being enlightened..." Here... brush up on it, before you go to far down the wrong discussion "road...":

2. "When Rev. Dr. James Abercrombie, rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, in Philadelphia, mentioned in a weekly sermon that those in elevated stations set an unhappy example by leaving at communion, Washington completely stopped attending that church on communion Sundays."

Christians have fall outs with other Christians (including with pastors) all of the time, which at times causes them to leave a particular church. It's a fact of life. There are also Christians today that don't think Billy Graham is a Christian, or is deceived, etc.


3. An excerpt of from a letter written by Washington's adopted daughter Nelly Custis Lewis:

Truro Parish is the one in which Mount Vernon, Pohick Church, and Woodlawn are situated. Fairfax Parish is now Alexandria. Before the Federal District was ceded to Congress, Alexandria was in Fairfax County. General Washington had a pew in Pohick Church, and one in Christ Church at Alexandria. He was very instrumental in establishing Pohick Church, and I believe subscribed largely. His pew was near the pulpit. I have a perfect recollection of being there, before his election to the presidency, with him and my grandmother. It was a beautiful church, and had a large, respectable, and wealthy congregation, who were regular attendants.

He attended the church at Alexandria, when the weather and roads permitted a ride of ten miles. In New York and Philadelphia he never omitted attendance at church in the morning, unless detained by indisposition. The afternoon was spent in his own room at home; the evening with his family, and without company. Sometimes an old and intimate friend called to see us for an hour or two; but visiting and visitors were prohibited for that day.

No one in church attended to the services with more reverential respect. My grandmother, who was eminently pious, never deviated from her early habits. She always knelt. The General, as was then the custom, stood during the devotional parts of the service. On communion Sundays, he left the church with me, after the blessing, and returned home, and we sent the carriage back for my grandmother.

And? The adopted daughter was likely very anxious for her father to be what she wanted him to be. Many are the doting daughters of that view...

4. I'm sure you'd also agree that attending church does not a christian make. You are among the people that have distinctly argued for specific definitions of christian.

5. Can you show me one single quote where Washington refers to himself as a christian?


1. Yes, and I knew that was what you were referring to. And the Age Of Enlightenment was not a non-Christian movement. That's why I'm wondering what Christianity has to do with the enlightenment of the founding fathers.

2. If today's actual ministers have their Christianity questioned (like Billy Graham), why should we be surprised when we found it happened to a founding father?

3. Did daughters back then have a tendency to lie? She might have been anxious to place him in a good light, but do really think she most likely lied?

4. Going to church doesn't make someone a Christian, but what arguing have I done for specific definitions?

5. You mean like "is there a verse in the Bible where Jesus says 'I am God'"? No, I haven't seen a quote where George Washington said "I am a Christian". I think his contemporaries already knew that. I'm not so sure that you can find a quote in this board where I say "I am a Christian" either.