Monday, August 30, 2010

Glen Beck's Revival Meeting

Glen Beck, who has fantasies that he is on some divine mission to turn America to God (whether this is the Christian god or the Mormon god remains to be seen), conducted what amounted to a revival meeting in Washington, DC. All the reports I've read, including video film clips show him preaching religion and avoiding politics. The man clearly seems himself as a special envoy from some deity and that is always dangerous.

Here is an interesting photo from the rally. It is interesting because, like so much of the "facts" pushed by the religious Right, this quote is bogus. George Washington never said this, at least no citation can show him saying it in any verifiable source. From what I could discern many Right-wing types attribute the quote to Washington and claim it came from various documents but none of the documents cited actually contain the quote in question.

Washington is a favorite of the Religious Right when it comes to forged quotes and false claims. The famous painting of Washington praying in the snow at Valley Forge is entirely mythical. Even Washington's own minister said Washington was never known to pray and while he attended church he appears to have been a deist of some sort, not a believer in Biblical Christianity at all. This was widely known to the Religious Right of early America. Rev. James R. Wilson, in a 1832 sermon entitled Prince Messiah's Claims to Dominion Over All Governments, said of Washington:

There is no satisfactory evidence that Washington
was a professor of the Christian religion, or even a
speculative believer in its divinity, before he retired
from public life. In no state paper, in no private
letter, in no conversation, is he known to have
declared himself a believer in the Holy Scriptures, as
the word of God. ....Is it probable that he was a true
believer in Jesus Christ and his Bible, when in times
so trying, and in a Christian nation, he wrote
thousands of letters, and yet never uttered a word,
from which it can be fairly inferred that he was a
believer? Who ever questioned whether Theodosius
or Charlemagne believed the Bible? "He that is not
against us is for us." And it is as true, that he who is
not for us, is against us.

Washington did pray, it is said, in secret, on his
knees, during the battle of Brandywine. That may
be true, and yet, like Thomas Paine, who is known
to have prayed, he may have been an unbeliever. Is
it probable that he would have attended balls,
theatres; and the card table, had he been a disciple
of Christ? Rousseau, an avowed infidel, has said
more in honor of Christ, than is known to have been
uttered by Washington. He was a slave holder,
which was doing "evil in the sight of the Lord." His
Sabbaths were not spent as the "fearers of the Lord"
enjoy that holy day. His death, as recorded by Dr.
Ramsey, is much more like a Heathen
Philosopher’s, than like that of a Saint of God.

He was President of the convention, that voted the
name of the living God out of the Constitution...

While President, in Philadelphia, his habit was to
arise and leave the church, when the Sacrament of
the Supper was dispensed. After the Rev. Dr.
Abercrombie had preached a faithful sermon against
the evil example thus set by the President of the
United States; Gen. Washington remarked, that he
would not set such an example for the future; and
from that time, he did not attend church on the
Sabbath, in which the Lord’s Supper was

When the several classes of citizens, were
addressing Washington, on his retirement from
office, the clergy, who doubted his Christianity,
resolved to frame an address, so that he could not
evade, in his reply, an expression of his faith, if he
were really a believer. He did, however, evade it,
and the impression left on the mind of one of the
clergy, at least, was that he was a Deist.

Mr. Jefferson, affirms that Washington was a
Deist. To be ashamed of Christ, which no one can
reasonably doubt he was, is infidel. He did not set
an example of godliness, before the nation, over
which in the Providence of God, he was made

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