Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Trickling Down from the Past...

The following is General George Washington's first official order, issued after taking official command of the Continental Army (July 4, 1775):

The General most earnestly requires and expects a due observance of those articles of war established for the government of the army, which forbid profane cursing, swearing, and drunkenness. And in like manner he requires and expects of all officers and soldiers, not engaged in actual duty, a punctual attendance on Divine service, to implore the blessing of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.

Five days later, the Commander in Chief fired off another "religious" directive:

The honorable Continental Congress having been pleased to allow a chaplain to each regiment, with the pay of thirty-three and one-third dollars per month, the colonels or commanding officers of each regiment are directed to procure chaplains - accordingly persons of good character and exemplary lives - to see that all inferior officers and soldiers pay them a suitable respect, and attend carefully upon religious exercises. The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary, butespecially is it in times of public distress and danger. The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor so to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.

(Exerpt from What Hath God Wrought, William Grady)

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