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Presidents Day

By Allen Marsh, Nampa, Boise

February 19th

Presidents Day, February 19th - photo
Presidents' Day is celebrated to honor the accomplishments and prestige of all the former American Presidents and also the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Presidents' Day is a good time not only to honor our founding president for whom the day is officially named, but also to give correct information about that day and the man.

George Washington was a planter, a surveyor, a soldier (Commander-in-Chief during the Revolutionary War), chairman of the Constitutional Convention, and an active Episcopalian. He was described as “First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

So highly esteemed was George Washington for his Christian character and patriotic heroism that his birthday (February 22) was established as a national holiday in 1796, the last full year of his presidency. (Lincoln’s birthday was added in some states in 1865.)

In 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holidays Act, moving the official observance of Washington's birthday to the third Monday in February. Although Congress rejected the effort to change the name to Presidents' Day, President Nixon proclaimed the holiday as Presidents' Day in 1971. This gained a strong hold on the public consciousness.

Washington, as virtually all our founders, was Christian. Anti-Christians lie, intentionally or because they have swallowed lies from others, in saying they were not. There are many proofs of Washington’s Christianity including a famous painting showing Washington kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge. The artist, Quaker and pacifist Isaac Potts, painted himself observing Washington.

Here are a few quotes from Washington in honor of his birthday:

“By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation.” (a letter to his brother after the battle of Monongahela during the French & Indian War)

“Went to church and fasted all day.” (entry in diary, June 1, 1774, as the Colonies were seeking God’s will about breaking ties with England)

“The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this (the course of the war) that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more wicked that has not gratitude to acknowledge his obligations.”

“The providential train of circumstances which led to it affords the most convincing proof that the Liberties of America are the object of divine Protection.” (Circular to troops after the discovery of Benedict Arnold’s planned treason)

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

“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.”

America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations, available in the public library, devotes some 30 pages to quotes by Washington and about his Christianity.

Today we need men of Christian integrity like Washington in government leadership.

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