Monday, June 02, 2014

Fea: "George Washington and Religious Freedom at the New 'Cornerstone' Blog"

John Fea gives us the details here. His post is here. It responds to Thomas Kidd's original. Also featuring Marci Hamilton, Mark Noll and Matthew Franck. A taste from Fea's post:
... To the Swedenborgian congregation in Baltimore, Washington wrote: “in this land truth and reason have triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart.” To the Baptists of his home state of Virginia, Washington affirmed that the Constitution would never “endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical Society.” He let them know that he would never have signed the Constitution if it rendered “liberty of conscience insecure” or allowed the “horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” 
Washington took several other steps designed to end religious persecution and enhance religious freedom. For example, amid much protest from Christian clergy, he appointed John Murray, the founder of Universalism, as a chaplain in the Continental Army. ...

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