For Presidents Day, remembering George Washington and his chaplain. Washington was arguably the President who most supported military chaplaincy, being instrumental in Congress approving chaplains for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
“The Chaplain at Valley Forge (artist: William A. Smith). History records that our first commander-in-chief was a man of sincere religious faith. He depended heavily upon the chaplains of the Continental Army for their spiritual and moral leadership. Israel Evans was sometimes referred to as ‘General George Washington’s Chaplain.’ He led the Army in prayers at Valley Forge. Before a battle, he usually prayed that the Lord of Hosts would lead the Army to victory, if that be according to Divine Will; if not, he begged God to stand neutral and let ‘flesh and blood’ decide the issue”
This Christmas season (2015) I came across an interesting article entitled, “Washington’s Christmas Poem…” As it turned out it was less about the Christmas poem that for years people thought Washington, at about the age of 13, wrote and more about the influence that Christianity had on the General of the Continental Army and first Commander and Chief of U.S. forces as well as his subsequent Christian influence on the military and nation.
Many modern scholars deny, or at least down-play, the impact that Judeo-Christian values have had on the United States but if we’re going to be honest with history, we need to acknowledge and accept that influence. Perhaps the fear that modern scholars (or at least those who are pressured by politics) have is that an acknowledgement of the influence of a particular religion in our nation’s history would suggest insensitivity or intolerance to other religions thus denying a foundational principal of our Constitution which both prohibits the establishment of a particular religion by government and protects the free exercise of religion by its people. But I contend that recognizing the role of a particular religion in our history is only that, an acknowledge of our history, and not an establishment of religion or a denial of its free exercise.
With that in mind, I offer the aforementioned article without edit (except for formatting) or additional commentary and with all links intact, for your education and edification. It was written by Ali Meyer and first appeared on cnsnews.com on 24 December 2014, more recently on the same website on 23 December 2015.