George Washington’s Example on Religious Liberty
Instead of celebrating George Washington’s birthday, today we’ve lumped him in together with no-names including Millard Fillmore and William Henry Harrison as we celebrate a generic “Presidents’ Day.”
But George Washington was not simply a President. He was the indispensible man of the American Founding. Washington’s words, thoughts, and deeds as a military commander, a President, and a patriotic leader make him arguably the greatest statesman in our history.
All Presidents can learn from Washington’s leadership in foreign policy, in upholding the rule of law, and—especially now—in the importance of religion and religious liberty. While the Obama Administration claims to be “accommodating” Americans’ religious freedom concerns regarding the Health and Human Services (HHS) Obamacare mandate, it is actually trampling religious freedom. President Washington set a tremendous example for the way that Presidents should handle such conflicts.
Washington knew that religion and morality are essential to creating the conditions for decent politics. “Where,” Washington asked, “is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?”