Warnings from the Past by George Washington

Warnings from the Past by George Washington

Today is President’s Day in the United States, and it seems appropriate to think about some warnings from the past by our first president. On September 19, 1796, George Washington spoke to the young United States about the dangers the future could bring. It was his farewell address as president, and he said many prescient things as if he could see into the country’s future. He was not a prophet who could see the future, but he was a student of the past and knew the history of other nations.

Washington warned against minor factions bending the laws to put their needs above the needs of others. He warned about the dangers of excessive partisanship, making dangerous foreign alliances, going into debt, and engaging in unnecessary wars. He said the country must follow the Constitution, which creates checks and balances between the government’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches. He saw the dangers of allowing a consolidation of power into one branch or person because of selfish human nature. He did not want to be a king, and he did not want the nation to be under a human king.

Of George Washington’s many warnings from the past, there is none more important than his warning about the need for religion and morality to preserve the country. Here is a portion of what Washington had to say about that:

“Of all the dispostions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensible supports. … 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. … reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Thus, Washington said that morality is essential for preserving the nation and that morality cannot be maintained without religion. He also noted that “institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge” are of primary importance. The message of the Does God Exist? ministry is that scientific knowledge is compatible with faith in God. More than that, knowledge of the teachings of Jesus Christ and a faith commitment to follow Him leads to morality. Washington’s warnings from the past call for the strengthening of knowledge and religious faith. Today, the United States needs more leaders who share Washington’s wisdom.

— Roland Earnst © 2024

Reference: Wikipedia.org – We have also quoted other founders of the United States on religious faith HERE, HERE, and HERE.