Of all the founding fathers, the one the revisionist historians seem to attack most is George Washington. The latest example of this campaign is Rob Boston’s tired old method of calling good people (Rep. Duncan Hunter, Pastor Jim Garlow, Lila Rose, Newt Gingrich, Bishop Harry Jackson, and others) “revisionists,” while Boston is the one completely revising history to his agenda.
The funny thing about that article is that while it claims to be an authority on Washington, there isn’t a single quote from any of his 30+ volumes of writing!
Is anyone else out there tired of listening to “scholars” supposedly “prove” a founding father held a position or believed something without ever showing us what he actually said or did?
Fortunately, there’s an amazing best-seller by Dr. Peter Lillback, George Washington’s Sacred Fire, that uses the exact opposite strategy as the one employed by left wingers like Rob Boston.Where Boston uses innuendo and conjecture instead of actual quotes and facts, Dr. Lillback refuses to pretend to be the Patrick Jane of American History, reading the minds of Founding Fathers. Instead, Dr. Lillback relies on Washington’s own words and actions. Because of the sheer number of actual references to Washington’s original writings, Dr. Lillback’s book could double as an anchor weight for a battleship.
When I interviewed him for WallBuilders Live last week, he said the lack of original source referencing by the revisionists is what inspired him to write the book.
From WallBuilders Live, December 26, 2013:
Dr. Peter Lillback: “When I first got involved in this I was basically very disappointed. I read some of the work and I said, “My goodness, I’m totally wrong about Washington. I thought he at least had a basic Christian appreciation. I didn’t know he was such a deist.” I realized that even though I was a scholar from the Reformation tradition I didn’t know American history….Then I started reading Washington, and I said ‘My goodness, these people are utterly wrong – even the people who claimed to know the details of Washington’s life – they didn’t realize that his writings were filled with Scriptural allusions.’
“In fact, I found over 200 examples, and I didn’t get them all, of Biblical ideas and quotes that Washington wrote into the letters which he wrote throughout his lifetime. I discovered…how easy it would be for just the normal person who doesn’t ever bother to do much historical writing or reading to be persuaded by these things. When I realized that, I said, ‘I’ve got to answer this.'”
As he told us, if you just demand actual references from Washington’s writings to support the claim that he was a deist, you’ll stump even the most widely recognized scholars because there simply aren’t any!
If you don’t have time to read the entire book, at least treat yourself to this article Dr. Lillback wrote refuting the claims in Rob Boston’s article linked above.
Why does it matter so much whether a dead founding father was a Christian or a deist? After all, he’s not going to be president again!
Here’s Lillback again in the interview:
“There’s a great dictum that has been shared in the past that says ‘The person who controls the past controls the future.’ In other words, if you have the ability to rewrite the story of a culture and [its] founding documents and beliefs…you can take them anywhere. It’s been attributed to Karl Marx that he said, ‘Take away a people’s roots and like the tree, it can be easily moved.’…
“[In George Washington’s Sacred Fire] I said ‘I don’t care what anybody else said about Washington: would you at least listen to what this man [Washington himself] said?’…and when you do that, there’s a very different picture that comes out from what we hear, as you say, at the university or law schools or in the popular press.”
Washington’s foundation in Scriptural principles was further displayed in his reaction to the French Revolution, only 13 years later. Some Americans thought it was just another revolution like ours, but Washington saw it differently.
Dr. Lillback: “Washington, from the beginning, was very aware of the importance of religious faith to underscore character and the principles of justice & law….He said it may be true that some people can do the right thing apart from religion, but that’s not going to be true of a country. You need to have values encouraged by the spiritual values of faith.
“Washington was very close to France, the French rescued America in the Revolution; he knew how important they were. He loved Lafayette like a son. It was very difficult for him to not want to have the best esteem of what was going on in France, but…Washington was compelled to look at France not just as a country that had aided him. He saw the worldview shift and he realized he could not be part of that and he actually distanced himself intentionally, because the American vision was not to be anti-religion and pro-reason, but rather to affirm religious liberty recognizing that faith was a friend of government.”
So if you want to do more than just roll your eyes next time some “expert,” or maybe even just that annoying liberal friend on Facebook, starts making baseless claims about George Washington’s lack of faith, then get the book and use those facts!