Monday, April 03, 2006

George Washington Was Not a Deist

That's the argument Michael and Janna Novak make in Washington's God, according to Al Mohler's radio program from March 21st. Although Washington frequently used names for God that were consistent with Deistic terminology, he expressed expectations in both public statements and prayers as well as private correspondence that God would do things that only the God of the Bible would do—things such as intervening in human affairs, forgiving sins, enlightening minds, etc.

Michael Novak writes about the book here.

1 comment:

Michael C. said...

This makes me nervous, I guess because the Founding Fathers have so often been ignorantly (or wishfully) labeled as Christians.

I'm no expert, but I would say that many of the deists I've read speak of God in ways that are inconsistent with the deism's "systematic". My assumption has been that the deists of this period were so shaped by prevaling Christian beliefs and practice that they didn't attain a consistent application of their deism.