Friday, May 10, 2024

Offsite Post: ‘Contrasting Founders: Pres. Washington and St. Vladimir’


Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association, when announcing a trip to President George Washington’s home of Mt. Vernon, declared in braggadocious Yankee language (and he is a Southerner; shame on him!) that Pres. Washington was the most important man who has lived in the past 1,000 years because, without him, the United States would not exist.  That is quite a boast, though what else would we expect of someone who believes ardently in ‘American exceptionalism’?

It doesn’t take much effort to disprove Mr. Wildmon’s claim.  There are plenty of men in the previous millennium who have had a far greater impact on the world (for good or ill) than George Washington – St. Gregory Palamas, St. Mark of Ephesus, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther, Johannes Gutenberg, and so on.  However, it seems most appropriate to compare Pres. Washington not with any of those, but rather with another national founder, the Holy Great-Prince Vladimir (+1015), Equal to the Apostles, for without him, there would be no Russian nation.  And since Russia and the US have been and remain two of the main poles around which the peoples of the world coalesce, a comparison is all the more necessary, for the end goal or telos can be discerned by examining the beginning of a thing.

Let’s have a look at their respective accomplishments, then, and see what judgment we can make about these men, who were the seeds, as it were, of two mighty countries (to clarify, it is historically inaccurate to refer to the United States as one country; there are actually many countries within its boundaries, which would probably be better off on their own, but we use the language of the ‘official historians’ for simplicity’s sake).

The National Museum of the United States Army summarizes General Washington’s years as President this way:

‘Washington reluctantly accepted a position of power once again, serving two full terms as president. His qualities as a natural and dignified leader made him an ideal choice for the job. Working closely with Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who had served under Washington in the Revolutionary War, Washington created an energetic and centralized federal government, setting a precedent for the new American experiment. He helped establish a national bank, suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion, and established a trade relationship with Great Britain. After eight years in office, Washington again willingly stepped away from power, establishing the precedent of American presidents only serving two terms. He penned an emotional farewell address in 1796, where he warned against the dangers of political parties, foreign influence, and valuing a single state over the entire nation. He retired to Mount Vernon in 1797.’

He also signed into law various acts that established courts, a navy, etc.

Some of this is controversial – some consider the national bank unconstitutional and the crushing of the rebellion over the whiskey tax an act of striking hypocrisy by a group of men who went to war with Mother England over a tea tax.  But, be that as it may, by far the most important element in a person’s or a country’s life is religion.  And Pres. Washington’s legacy here becomes quite problematic.

His most famous public comments on religion, from his ‘Farewell Address’ (1796), show that he viewed it as having mostly a utilitarian function, to strengthen the new ‘experiment’ of the American Republic:

‘Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness--these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where 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? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.’

Words like God, Christ, Church, and holy are nowhere to be found in that address.  This will not surprise those who are familiar with the religious life of Pres. Washington.  Though he was a member of the Anglican Church, many of his personal remarks and actions were more in line with ecumenism/Freemasonry:

‘Washington was also tolerant of different religious beliefs, having attended services of multiple Christian denominations. He once publicly supported an army chaplain who was a Universalist (meaning that he held that Christ died for the sins of all, versus only the elect) despite the objections of other clergy. In fact, while President, Washington wrote a letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island standing in favor of religious freedom, explaining: "For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens…May the children of the stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants."’

The latter lines to the Hebrew Congregation are reminiscent of the old pagan Roman Empire:  One could practice whatever faith he wished, so long as he acknowledged the emperor as a god.  Likewise, in the US one could practice his own personally determined, individualized faith so long as he acknowledged the well-being of America as his supreme deity (i.e., ‘demean themselves as good citizens’).

This kind of ecumenism is understandable, again, because of Pres. Washington’s devotion to Freemasonry:

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The rest may be read here:

Or here:


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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