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|Scripture and Spiritual Guidance|
The Bill of Rights, the Declaration, the Founding Fathers' writings, "The Quotable Founding Fathers" by Buckner F. Melton Jr., The Way We Pray by Maggie Oman Shannon, The Holy Kojiki, The Hindu scriptures, the Bible, 1000 World Prayers by Marcus Braybrooke, the Federalist Papers, spiritual guidance from various faiths and philosophies(Omnism), and people other than the Founders.
Americanism, worship of Spirits, ancestor worship, American concepts of Liberty, religious freedom, interfaith, syncretism, eclecticism, positive spirituality, growth, & self-improvement, and the philosophical ideology of the Founders.
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This page is meant to show the various intricacies of the omnist religion of Washingtonism. Topics proposed on such page include rituals and ethics, among other points of discussion.
For general knowledge of the faith go to Washingtonism.
Washingtonism incorporates or modifies certain religious rituals from various religions(this is called eclectic and syncretic), but it also has some of its own uniquely American rituals. Each number below includes a description of the ritual to be performed, and with an asterisk, details about whether the ritual is derived or modified from another faith or if it is uniquely Washingtonist. While you can perform simple rituals when you’re not at home, (like praying, chanting, focusing on a small pendant, or reciting a poem, prayer or spiritual values and goals while counting your Prayer Beads), the home altar/shrine is a place which of course is going to be where you perform most of your rituals. It is assumed that when you’re performing rituals, you have an altar and you will be at your altar/shrine. Everyday rituals (rituals you can perform daily, on regular non-holiday days).
Twenty Everyday Rituals
Cleanse one’s hands before approaching the altar/shrine: Sacred cleanliness and washing of hands: Before you approach your altar/shrine, wash your hands with soap and water, or make sure your hands are already clean. This symbolizes that your body is clean and your spiritual heart is pure and genuine when you go to worship at your altar/shrine. *Washing of hands before rituals or using holy water to cleanse oneself either spiritually or physically, is common in many religions. Hindus bath in the holy river of India, Catholics sprinkle holy water in their homes and devotees, to bless. Baptists and other Christians perform baptisms where the devotee is immersed in water. See below for the Washingtonism holy water ritual.
Holy water ritual: Use of Washingtonism holy water & bottles: You can consecrate your own holy water but it is recommended that you use the small i-Go Flip Top travel bottles that you can get at Walmart or a similar small bottle with a tiny hole for the opening for the water to squeeze out. Directions for the ritual involved with squeezing holy water into your hand--when you approach your altar/shrine table, take your holy water bottle and squeeze out one or two small drops, just enough for a small dab or two of water to sit on the center of your palm, then rub your palms together as if you are rubbing on lotion, spreading the water around on your palms in a circular motion 8 times. (Count 8 times in your head as you make each circle with your palms). This ritual of rubbing the holy water on the palms of your hands 8 times is highly significant. See below for more information about it. *While washing of hands and ritual use of holy water is very common in many faiths, Washingtonism’s ritual of rubbing the water on the palms in a circular motion 8 times is uniquely Washingtonist. You can get these i-Go travel bottles from Walmart and other stores.
Ring your bell/chimes/prayer bowl 8 times: Ring your chimes, prayer bowl, or ritual hand bell 8 times, then set the bell back down on the altar. The 8 rings of the bell is also significant--see below. *Bell ringing or the ringing of a musical-like instrument is very common in many religions. The Washingtonist bell-ringing is similar to the Buddhist or Hindu bell ringing
Summoning the spirits: stand up and say “Dear God/Goddess, Fathers, and spirits, please be present with me now! I honor and worship you. So Be it.”
Light your altar/shrine candles. *Candles are used around the world in many faiths. The Washingtonism candles represent the ideals and everlasting light of American Liberty.
take your prayer beads from your altar/shrine and place them around you. *Prayer beads are used in religions around the world. They are used in Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and others.
Bow at your altar/shrine: This is how you can bow at your Founding Fathers altar. Stand first, performing the Shinto-like prayer ritual. Stand and bow deeply once. *This bowing ritual is used in Shintoism.
offer a flower, coin, water, and food(place these items in a bowl on your altar/shrine). *Offering food, water or other items is used in many different religions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Shintoism and others.
ring ritual bell once, set the bell down on the altar. Ringing musical-like instruments including bells, singing bowls and other things as a religious ritual is common in religions around the world.
bow deeply twice, clap boisterously twice, bow deeply once, then bow less deeply. *This bowing ritual is used in the Shinto ritual
check your prayer slips/cards. Hang little strips of papers or cards on the altar/shrine using clothes pins, with your prayers, wishes, goals, and traits that you want to manifest in your life written on them. Do this morning or evening. God, Goddess, and the spirits will answer them. Put a star or note on each one that you think you have been improving on daily or weekly. *This ritual is very similar to the Shinto Japanese religious practice of hanging cards or strips of paper with prayers or wishes on a Shinto shrine and having the kami spirits answer them.
kneel in front of the altar/shrine on your knees with your hands in prayer similar to a Buddhist prayer position. *The Washingtonism kneeling prayer positions are similar to Shinto, Hindu, and Buddhist prayer positions and it differs from the Muslim prayer position. In the Washingtonism prayer position, you kneel on the floor, keeping your rump flat against the calves of your legs and then bend down over the floor, keeping your hands and arms together in prayer in front of your knees.
Meditate: After you are finished kneeling, sit back up and get in a comfortable and relaxed meditation sitting position on your mat/rug/pillow in front of your altar/shrine. Turn on some relaxing, spiritual, or meditation music, if you want. Focus your eyes and mind on an object on your altar, such as the flame of a candle, the Apotheosis of Washington, or a statue or figurine. Breathe deeply by inhaling and exhaling several times, and mutter a word such as “calm, content, happy, positive, enlightened, George Washington, Goddess, God, spirits", or something else. Focus your thoughts only on the candle and the words, and the feeling of your inhalation and exhalation. Let all other things be brushed away on an invisible current. Sit on your mat/rug/pillow for at least 10 or 20 minutes and feel yourself relax both physically and mentally. *You can sit in any prayer position, there are many to choose from. Meditation positions can be Japanese, lotus, Hindu(yoga), or something else.
Books and Learning: Stand up in front of the altar and take a favorite spiritual or holy book/scripture or a book by or about the Founding Fathers that is on or near your altar table, sitting back down and opening it. Spend some time reading and learning from your books for about 25 minutes or more. When you’re finished reading, put the book back, either on the altar table or beneath or near the table.
George Washington Cherry ritual: Pick up one of the faux cherries and lightly touch the cherry to your mouth to symbolize eating it, but of course don’t put them in your mouth. Then you set the faux cherry back in the bowl. These faux cherries represent the unperishable and everlasting virtues, strength, humbleness, and noble character of George Washington. *This ritual is uniquely Washingtonist and American.
Say the Pledge of Allegiance
Repeat from 3): Ring your chimes, prayer bowl, or ritual hand bell 8 times, then set the bell back down on the altar. The 8 rings of the bell, first at the start of rituals, and then at the end here, is highly significant and represents 16 (8 +8), which is the number of Founding Fathers symbolized on your prayer beads. It also represents the 16 spiritual affirmation/traits/goal beads.
Repeat your holy water hand ritual from 2): Take your holy water bottle once again, and squeeze out one or two small drops. Then rub your palm once again, spreading the water around in a circular motion on it with your right palm. Rub your left hand with your right hand 8 final times. 8 at start of rituals plus 8 at end of rituals equals 16. *This hand ritual is similar to the Catholic water dabbing, except that it differs in that the Washingtonism water ritual involves rubbing the holy water on your palm and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Close with an acknowledgement of thanks to God, Goddess, the Founding Fathers, and other spirits, for joining you during the rituals, asking them for continuing guidance.
Blow out your candles.
Special rituals for George Washington’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Constitution and Bill of Rights Day, Religious Freedom Day, National Day of Prayer, Founders’ birthdays, and Fourth of July: 1) Pipe cleaner patriotic ring ritual: Here are Washingtonism rituals for special days. The ritual is simple but effective: Use red, white, and blue pipe cleaners, cutting them to the desired length and then tie them around your index finger, like a ring, but don't tie it too tight, just enough so it won't come off your finger. On special patriotic holidays, leave them on your hand for at least one day, or you can leave them on for longer if you wish. This pipe cleaner ring ritual symbolizes your honor, remembrance, and reminder of your connection with the Founders and America. You can also use red, white, and blue yarn for this ritual, but pipe cleaners are easier to tie with one hand. You can easily cut the pipe cleaners to the desired length with scissors, as regular pipe cleaners have only a thin wire inside. *This ritual is uniquely Washingtonist 2) Washingtonism symbol ritual: Here is a second Washingtonism ritual you can perform: You can paint (with face paint) the Washingtonism symbol on your forehead or the back of your hand. *This ritual is similar to the Christian Ash Wednesday holiday ritual practice of placing a cross symbol made of ashes upon the forehead, as well as similar to the Hindu practice of placing colors, lines, and dots on the forehead.
Get into a meditation position, on a prayer/meditation mat, pillow, or rug that works for you. Prop up your mat/rug/pillow enough so that you can see the candle sitting on the surface of your altar. This ritual is more relaxed and casual than the main altar/shrine rituals. You can choose to pray or meditate for a few minutes daily, or weekly, if you don’t have much time and you can choose skip many of the other rituals when you’re at your shrine. Consider putting on some spiritual or patriotic music at this time. As you sit, in whichever position is most comfortable to you, spread your arms out, with your hands turned facing the altar or with your palms facing up towards the ceiling. As you listen to the music or meditate, imagine that your hands are receiving energy from the altar, heaven, God/Goddess, and the Founding Fathers and the energy is moving into your mindand body.
Other rituals (as subcategory of rituals) Prayers and rituals for specific needs/traits/goals: Moderation, connection, confidence, calmness, gratitude, thanks, connection, faith, piousness, strength, confidence. Holy food in Washingtonism ritual: Cherries are sacred in Washingtonism and you can eat cherries or cherry snacks on George Washington’s birthday and also drink cherry juice, which is considered sacred.
Rituals for specific holy holidays
Deities and Divinity
There are different levels of divinity, God and Goddess are the highest, with great people like Jesus, Buddha, the Founding Fathers, George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, etc. being more enlightened than other people. People like the Founding Fathers are exalted spirits and demi-Gods, and higher than other Americans, by virtue of them being the Founders.
Holy Scripture & Guidance
Being eclectic, syncretic, and Omnistic, Washingtonism seeks spiritual and life guidance through many of the world's religions and their holy scriptures, as well as guidance from other books. These books are: The Quotable Founding Fathers, The Way We Pray by Maggie Oman Shannon, The Holy Kojiki (the Japanese Shinto scriptures), The Bhagavad Gita (the Hindu holy scriptures), the Bible, the Talmud and the Torah(the Jewish holy scriptures), the Confucian holy scriptures, both Western and Eastern philosophy, and others.
Other sacred texts
While the following texts are sacred, they are not spiritual guides in themselves, which is why a Washingtonist seeks guidance through other sources. These sacred texts are: the Declaration, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the Founders' other writings. These writings along with the Americanist and Washingtonist ideology and another religion of one's choosing(in addition to the Washingtonist religion) form the basis for a complete spiritual path and direction.
Washingtonists relationship with other faiths is very open and accepting. A Washingtonist may seek wisdom and spiritual enlightenment through any religion, including but not limited to: Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Shintoism, New Age, Wicca, Greco-Roman Paganism, Mysticism, Confucianism, Taoism, Bahai, Sikhism, Judaism, Native American, or any other religion, or through a combination of religious paths.
Humans are not born with faults. People are born good and with great potential. As to the question of human imperfection and faults, people become defiled through their negative experiences or bad choices throughout life, and it is how a person responds to negative experiences or situations that determines what a person will do with that situation and their awareness of their self and the bigger picture. This idea is similar to the Hindu concept of human imperfection. In Hinduism, a person collects bad karma and continues to collect it until one chooses to become enlightened through reading the Vedas and Bhagavad Gita, shedding karma and reaching Moksha(enlightenment, and the release from rebirth and reincarnation once one becomes fully connected with God and the Divine).
Washingtonism includes a belief that humans can be sinful, but not in the belief of original sin.
Different experiences affect each person differently, depending on how they react to the situation. It is a Washingtonist belief that one will make good choices if they realize and are aware that God, Goddess, or the spirits wish them to do well and one will also make good choices if one is willing to see in themselves the best they can be. Most people are not bad people, but are imperfect. Although the founder of The American Christ page believes there are different levels of goodness and badness(and consequently different levels of how a person is judged according to the manifestations of these, either by other people or by God), the average person is neither evil nor angelic, but simply human. The principles of good versus evil is based on the universal awareness that humanity is unique, self-aware, and only humans understand the concept of good and evil(unlike animals), which is why this concept is such an important one that people have struggled to answer throughout history. Since humans are so self-aware, our awareness of this and our faults is both a blessing and a curse. Even the Founding Fathers and George Washington who is exalted, knew their limitations and their human imperfections.
While the founder of The American Christ page holds her own views, Washingtonism recognizes that certain moral questions may be controversial and ambiguous, such as abortion, the question of life support, doctor-assisted suicide, homosexuality, etc., Washingtonism leaves these issues for the individual to decide for themselves what they believe. But Washingtonism recognizes there are certain Universal rules of morality that everyone can agree on, such as treating others kindly, not hurting others (either physically or emotionally), giving to charity or a noble cause.
Washingtonism stresses the importance and great value of charity: give charity to the poor, give to people who need help such as for groceries or gas, give charity to people with cancer.
Why do bad things happen to people? This is a subjective question and has a different answer with different people. Some people believe there is a purpose for eveything. In Buddhism, there is a belief that all experience whether good or bad can teach us lessons and give us insight into life and humanity. There are different situations that can be organized according to category: bad things that happen are either caused by other humans, (jealousy, hatefulness, envy, greed, ignorance, hurt, not looking ahead to the future, not seeing the consequences, not realizing one's full potential for goodness, not being aware of one's connection to a higher power), and on the other hand, much suffering comes from things we don't have much control over in situations or illness, so it is imperative that we find peace in ourselves, others, and our situation: (like cancer, car wrecks, diabetes, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia). The answer to this is that humans are physical beings and live in a physical world. It is difficult to know how we will react to a difficult situation or struggle. The founder of Washingtonism believes there are an infinite number of Universes and that humans will become reincarnated after death, into another life, although there is no way to know how or what we will reincarnate into. We don't know who we were in the previous life, we are only aware of our current life. Similar to Buddhism, Washingtonism stresses the importance of living in the present, unless looking forward to the future or the past can help one improve one's self or become enlightened through new insight. Meditation is a good practice for centering oneself in the present moment. Focusing too much on either the future or the past can cause distress and negativity.
The American Covenant
The American Covenant with the Founding Fathers: America and the Constitution was bequeathed by the Founding Fathers to the American People (the children of the Fathers) and Americans will have salvation through following the Founding Fathers' ideals, belief in God, and Bill of Rights. The rainbow in the Apotheosis of Washington represents George Washington as the Father, Cornerstone, and divine Christ of Americans. It also represents hope and promise in the American Dream and the Covenant that the Founding Fathers have with Americans. The presence of the Roman Gods and Goddesses in the Apotheosis, identifies America as the new Rome, as Thomas Jefferson said: "America is the new Roman Republic". Americans must emulate George Washington's personal excellency and Spirit in their lives and follow God (or whoever you worship) in their spiritual path.
A person can receive salvation if they ask for it from God, Goddess and the spirits, but only if they are willing to consciously work on themselves at the same time. Salvation in Washingtonism is not automatic and not granted unless a person willingly wants to work on improving themselves and meeting God halfway. Salvation in Washingtonism is not based on the idea of a divine person dying on a cross to save mankind.