Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Did George Washington say "So help me God?"

This article, sent by a reader, raises some doubts. The article also doubts that Washington kissed the Bible. If Washington did kiss the Bible it was because such is a Freemasonic ritual and goes towards demonstrating Washington's intimate relationship with that group.

I'd have to do more research before I come to a definite opinion on the matter.

Most "evidence" demonstrating Washington's Christian orthodoxy is simply myth. The closest there comes to an honest case for Washington's Christianity is Michael and Jana Novak's book. But even there, all the Novaks really conclusively prove is that Washington wasn't a strict Deist in the sense of believing in a cold, non-interventionist God as opposed to a warm, intervening Providence (hence Edwin Gaustad's describing Washington as a "Warm Deist"). But Jefferson, Franklin, and the other so called "Deists" likewise invoked a warm intervening Providence. So the Novaks offer no convincing proof that Washington's religious creed differed on the basics in any meaningful way from Jefferson's or Franklin's.

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