George Washington’s Faith

Thomas Kidd has a nice piece on the faith of the so-called “father of our country” at History News Network.  Here is a taste:

For his own part, Washington’s Anglican faith was moderate and utterly reserved.  That is how we should account for Washington’s irregular church attendance and his failure to take communion, Chernow explains.  He never liked to make a public show of his own faith.  This is also the reason why Chernow doubts that Washington was ever seen praying as depicted by Paul Weber in the popular painting George Washington in Prayer at Valley Forge.  “The reason to doubt the story’s veracity is not Washington’s lack of faith,” Chernow writes, “but the typically private nature of his devotions.”  Chernow’s portrayal of Washington’s near-secretive faith seems quite plausible, although it would still not account for Washington’s strange decision hardly ever to utter or write the name of Jesus Christ in his thousands of surviving letters and public statements.

Check out Kidd’s recent book God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution.  

One thought on “George Washington’s Faith

  1. I am still trying to figure out the nature of Washington's faith. D James Kennedy preached a sermon on Washington that posed our first President as a zealous and passionate evangelical. I asked Kidd about the evidence. His answer was not clear to me. It didn't seem to take into account the evidence that seems contrary to his view of Washington as a more remote moderate – my terms, not Kidds.


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