George Washington: On Religious Tolerance

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by Blake Bowden, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member


    From "Reach the Congregation" by the George Washington Bicentennial Planners Group:

    Toleration of differing religious traditions was something George Washington idealistically viewed, and heartily approved of, as a unique and basic quality of American life. He believed religious toleration was a natural right of all men, a right the new country would protect. Toleration for other practices and beliefs was such an integral part of his own value system and was a cornerstone of his aspirations for the country as a whole; thus he simply could not understand the issue of religious prejudice and would not allow the outward expression of such prejudice.

    In remarks to the Hebrew congregations of Philadelphia, New York, Charleston, and Richmond: "The liberal sentiment towards each other which marks every political and religious denomination of men in this country stands unrivalled in the history of nations...." G.W., Dec. 1790. - To the religious society called Quakers: "...The liberty enjoyed by the people of these States of worshipping Almighty God agreeable to their consciences is not only among the choicest of their blessings but also of their rights." G.W. Sept. 28, 1789

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