Saturday, February 13, 2010

Was Early America's Most Prominent Episcopalian Really a Deist?

**The following is an article I wrote for the Anglican Church section of Suite101 Protestantism.**

Was George Washington a Deist?
Examining One of America's Most Famous Episcopalians

No study of famous Episcopalians would be complete without examining the faith of George Washington. Yet of those who have studied George Washington and his Christian faith, many claim that America's most preeminent Founder was more Deist than Christian. Was George Washington, the most famous Anglican in American history, really a Deist?

Was George Washington Even Religious?

Presidential biographer William A. DeGregorio says religion factored "very little" into Washington's life (DeGregorio, William A. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. Barricade, 2001). Pulitzer Prize winning author Joseph Ellis similarly downplays Washington's faith, arguing that the nation's first President was “never a deeply religious man" and saw God merely “as a distant, impersonal force, the presumed well-spring of what he called destiny or providence" (Ellis, Joseph. His Excellency George Washington. Vintage, 2005). Does this characterization of Washington square with the historical record?

***The rest of this article can be found at "Was George Washington a Deist?" - a feature piece in the Protestantism section of

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