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In honor of the great George Washington, Pater Patriae of the United States:

[Image: George_Washington_1772.jpg]


Quote:Today is George Washington’s birthday. The following are a few of Washington’s statements that would surely get him in trouble with the self-appointed thought police censors at the Southern Poverty Law Center, not to mention the university PC police on virtually every campus in America. In fact, it’s hard to think of more than a handful of colleges and universities that would invite George Washington as a guest speaker today if his views expressed in the following quotations were well known. Even worse, he was a Southerner!

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

“Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty teeth.”

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”

“Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”

“The Constitution is the guide which I will never abandon.”

“The Constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.”

“The marvel of history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”

“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”

“The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be fee men or slaves.”

Leo XIII on George Washington in Longinqua Oceani:

Quote:4. Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church. And not without cause; for without morality the State cannot endure-a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom We have just mentioned, with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed.
Tip o' the hat

Great post on the Great man.
Death bed convert to the Faith.
Excellent post.  Thanks.
A deathbed Catholic convert, George Washington?  Interesting, where did you read that?

Here is an intriguing article I just read on Gen. Washington, being it is still his birthday (barely):

Why George Washington Should Be The Pope's Hero
by Steven Waldman

I've written in the past about how some of America's founders not only discriminated against Catholics but actively stoked anti-Catholic sentiment to advance the American cause. Yet somehow, Catholics ended up being gradually included in the American religious compact. As Pope Benedict XI said, now, "Respect for freedom of religion is deeply ingrained in the American consciousness."

What happened? I would argue that the key figure was George Washington. As the Revolutionary War began, many persisted in seeing Catholics as excellent scapegoats. American clergy, newspapers and politicians had used anti-Catholic rhetoric to stir opposition to the British. They had declared that the Quebec Act would lead to a Catholic invasion. They had claimed that the posting of Anglican Bishops bore the influence of Popery.

George Washington, however, rejected the Catholic-bashing, not so much on philosophical grounds but for practical reasons. As commander of the Continental Army, he believed that unless he could neutralize Canada, he couldn't protect New England and New York from British invasions from the north. Washington hoped he could cut off this British Northern front by rallying the Canadian people -- especially the French Canadians living in Quebec – to a continent-wide democratic revolt against the British crown. He therefore launched an "expedition" (sometimes referred to as an "invasion") to Canada under the command of Colonel Benedict Arnold.

These particular troops had not fully mastered the art of wooing Catholics. One military chaplain on the campaign confided to his diary the thrill of attempting to destroy Catholicism to the north: "Had pleasing views of the glorious day of universal peace and spread of the gospel through the vast extended country, which has been for ages the dwelling of Satan, and the reign of the Antichrist."

Washington knew he had to damp down the anti-Catholicism. On September 14, 1775, he banned the practice of burning effigies of the Pope once a year. Moreover, he told Arnold, the troops have to move considerably beyond keeping their bigotry under wraps; they have to convince Catholics that they'd be welcomed into the colonial union and would flourish under the American approach to religious freedom. "Prudence, Policy and true Christian Spirit, will lead us to look with Compassion upon their Errors without insulting them," Washington wrote. His condescending comment about Catholic "errors" notwithstanding, Washington was one of the first to recognize that a revolution based on "liberty" would need to encompass a new approach to religious freedom. "While we are contending for our own Liberty," he wrote, "we should be very cautious of violating the Rights of Conscience in others, ever considering that God alone is the Judge of the Hearts of men, and to him only in this Case, they are answerable."

Washington was not done purging anti-Catholic bias from the ranks. On November 5, 1775 he scolded troops in Cambridge, Massachusetts for celebrating Pope’s Day. He told them of his “surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense” as to encourage such a “ridiculous and childish custom,” especially when the colonies were soliciting aid from Canadian Catholics. “At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused."

Washington may also have been concerned about troop morale. Among the soldiers who had gone to aid Boston in its hour of need were Catholics from Maryland and Pennsylvania. Washington's tolerance initiative succeeded. The practice of burning effigies of the Pope apparently disappeared from the colonies as a result of Washington's decree, and newspaper attacks on Catholics dwindled.

The Continental Congress – which had earlier attacked the Quebec Act for helping Catholics – flip-flopped and tried to assist Washington. Just five days after issuing their attack on Catholicism, Congress fired off a letter beseeching the French Canadians to join them in the cause of freedom. The letter urged the Canadians to be suspicious of the Quebec Act's new guarantees of religious liberty for the Catholics. "What is offered to you by the late Parliament?. . . Liberty of conscience in your religion? No. God gave it to you." On May 29, 1775, Congress – filled to the brim with delegates who hated Catholicism - concluded that "we perceived the fate of the protestant and catholic colonies to be strongly linked together." It was a hilariously abrupt about-face, and the Canadians were suspicious.

To be taken more seriously, in 1776 congress sent a delegation consisting of Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Charles Carroll, a Catholic representative from Maryland. Carroll convinced his cousin John Carroll – a Catholic priest about whom Pope Benedict XI spoke – to join the group. But the priests they met in Montreal told the delegation that the British had indeed lived by the spirit of the Quebec Act and treated them well (in fact much better than Catholics were treated in most of the American colonies). Furthermore, the Canadians said, they could not easily forget or ignore the hostile views expressed about Catholics after the passage of the Quebec Act.

In the course of the revolution, Washington and the congress also became acutely aware that Catholic soldiers were shedding blood for the American cause. The Maryland militia was brimming with Catholics who helped thwart British raids from Virginia. Stephen Moylan, a prominent Catholic in Pennsylvania, recruited a group of volunteers in March 1776 to rush to Boston when it was under siege. He would over time become muster-master general of the Continental Army, quartermaster general, a brigadier general and George Washington's personal secretary and commander of his own cavalry unit called the Fourth Continental Dragoons. In response to a letter from notable Catholics in 1790, Washington praised “the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their revolution.”

Part of the sudden appreciation of Catholics stemmed from the desire to win France as an ally. Congress heaped praise on France and even John Adams, in correspondence with his wife, began to admit grudging admiration for their religion. He'd attended Catholic mass in Brussels and concluded that he might have been a tad "rash and unreasonable" earlier in "cursing the knavery of the priesthood and the brutal ignorance of the people." Governor Green of Rhode Island declared a public day of prayer for France, and Massachusetts followed suit. When French officials invited members of Congress to attend services at the new Catholic Church in Philadelphia, several did their duty. In May 5, 1778, after the alliance with France was finalized, Washington declared that it was God's work.

Read more:
Quote:George Washington’s Conversion to Catholicism

By Ben Emerson

George Washington, the first president of the United States, served from 1789 to 1797 in that capacity. A popular slogan concerning him was that he was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

On December 13, 1799, Washington (aged 67 years) was exposed to a storm of sleet and developed a cold. He rested in bed at his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

On the morning of the 14th at 3:00, he had a severe attack of membranous croup. At daybreak, Mrs. Washington sent for the only physician, Dr. Craik. Two other physicians also came, but all three together could not save him. Washington died between 10:00 and 11:00 that night.

About four hours before Washington’s death, Father Leonard Neale, a Jesuit priest was called to Mount Vernon from St. Mary’s Mission across the Piscataway River. Washington had been an Episcopalian, but was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church that night. After Washington’s death, a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary and one of St. John were found among the effects on an inventory of articles at his home

George Washington had an interest in Roman Catholicism for many years. His servant Juba stated that the General made the Sign of the Cross before meals. He may have learned this practice from his Catholic lieutenants, John Fitzgerald or Stephen Moylan. At Valley Forge, Washington had forbidden during “Pope’s Day,” the burning in effigy of the Roman Pontiff. As President, Washington slipped into a Catholic Church several times to attend Sunday Mass.

Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) praised George Washington highly in an encyclical Longinque Oceani of January 6, 1893, to the bishops of America:“We highly esteem and love exceedingly the young and vigorous American nation, in which we plainly discern latent forces for the advancement alike of civilization and of Christianity... Without morality the State cannot endure – a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom we have just mentioned [‘the great Washington’] with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed... Thanks are due to the equity of the laws which obtain in America and customs of the well-ordered Republic. For the Church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and the government of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected against violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance.” Washington was a student of the writings on political philosophy of St. Robert Bellarnine and St. Thomas Aquinas. George Washington, James Madison, and some of the other Founding Fathers incorporated into the Constitution in 1787 some of these two saints’ ideas about how to set up a Republic.

In a like manner, Thomas Jefferson had studied these saints and incorporated some of their concepts into the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

A question, therefore, the reader can pose to friends is as follows: Who was the first man who served as U.S. President, who was at the time of his death a Roman Catholic? Most people will say John F. Kennedy, but the correct answer is George Washington, the Father of our Country.
Though I doubt any solid evidence will ever emerge to prove it, I do enjoy thinking that the story of Washington's death-bed conversion is true. Interestingly, something that might have disposed him to Catholic sympathies long before the Revolution was The Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, produced by the French Jesuits in 1595 and known in English translation by 1640. It seems Washington's tutor used a copy with him, and that this volume was simplified by Washington into his own Rules of Civility.

Interesting thread on the subject of his putative conversion here:
however Our founder was a freemason as were most of the signers of the Declaration at the time.  Did I mention though he also had the largest distillery for wiskey at mount vernon, but thats ok, Washington was a very Christian, and very spiritual man, and he was a great leader in his time fighting the overwhelming odds the new army had against them.
First as to the Freemason thing although he never resigned I have read that he hardly ever attended meeting in his last  years. Also I have heard a rumor that a slave of his after his death was very shaken and when asked why he said because his master had been taken by "the whore of Babylon". This is just rumor of course.
Hail to the master Freemason who helped create a state that embodies ant-Catholic ideals such as separation of Church and state and religious liberty.  Yes, hail to George Washington.  Rolling eyes
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