A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 06, 2010
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible”

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: George Washington
George Washington (February 22, 1732 [O.S. February 11, 1731]– December 14, 1799) served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 and as the commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783. Because of his significant role in the revolution and in the formation of the United States, he is often referred to as “Father of His Country”.

Religious Tolerance
Quotes that never were:
Forgedreligious quotations: a cottage industry

(...)
A famous “quotation: by George Washington:
According to about 580 web sites, George Washington stated:
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

According to Wikipedia:

“Washington is known to have made some official statements of public piety, but this is not one of them. Though this assertion is very widely reported to have been said in Washington’s Farewell Address (17 September 1796), this is not actually the case, as any search of the documents would reveal. It has also been presented as having been part of his Proclamation on 1795-JAN-01 of 1795-FEB-19 as a day of national Thanksgiving in this form:

“It is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe, without the agency of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to reason without arriving at a Supreme Being. Religion is as necessary to reason, as reason is to religion. The one cannot exist without the other. A reasoning being would lose his reason, in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to.”

In the above paragraph the italicized portion appears to be entirely bogus, and there is no actual record of such a statement ever having been made by Washington. The first sentence is an almost accurate rendition of one from Washington’s official proclamation, being a portion of this segment:

“In such a state of things it is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience.
 Deeply penetrated with this sentiment, I, George Washington, President of the United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever, within the United States to set apart and observe Thursday, the 19th day of February next as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, and on that day to meet together and render their sincere and hearty thanks to the Great Ruler of Nations for the manifold and signal mercies which distinguish our lot as a nation...”

Google Books
A lawyer’s examination of the Bible
By Howard H Russell and Frank Wakeley Gunsaulus
Chicago, IL: Fleming H. Revell
1893
Pg. 40:
GEORGE WASHINGTON: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

Google Books
12 September 1910, The Sabbath Recorder (Plainfield, NJ), pg. 348:
It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. — George Washington.

LexisNexis News
BECK for March 5, 2010
GLENN BECK, HOST: Welcome to THE GLENN BECK PROGRAM.
(...)
But let me give you the words of George Washington, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”

The Daily Doubter
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Glenn Beck spreading Christian nationalist lies to advance theocratic agenda
It shouldn’t come as any surprise, since Beck has teamed up with infamous Christian nationalist liar for Jesus David Barton as part of his cultish sounding plan to create a 100 year map to save America from the “progressive” bogeyman, that Beck peddles fabricated history, but it is still infuriating to witness it in action.

On Friday’s program Beck asserted that George Washington claimed, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

This is a popular bogus Christian nationalist quote.

The US Library Of Congress has a massive collection of Washington documents that can be searched by word or phrase. Here’s the description of that collection:

The complete George Washington Papers collection from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 65,000 documents. This is the largest collection of original Washington documents in the world. Document types in the collection as a whole include correspondence, letterbooks, commonplace books, diaries, journals, financial account books, military records, reports, and notes accumulated by Washington from 1741 through 1799.

A search on the alleged Washington quote, and phrases from within the quote, produces no results.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (1) Comments • Saturday, March 06, 2010 • Permalink


You start by saying that Wikipedia claims President Washington never said this quote.  Well let me just say that Wikipedia is in no way a reliable, unbias, or academically dependable source.  In fact, as far as I can tell, none of the sources sited are reputable or peer reviewed, making them opinions only.  Although what you are saying might be true, you need to back your “findings” up with solid references strictly speaking from an academic standpoint.

Posted by Nick  on  02/07  at  09:09 PM

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