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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.
Followers: exact number of religious adherents is currently unknown.
Gods: Variable. The God of Americanism/general Theism, Goddess, spirits(people) and the Founding Fathers as demi-Gods
Places of Worship: private home shrines
Washingtonism is an eclectic, syncretic, interfaith, and Omnistic religion based on the worship of and the following of the life and deeds of George Washington, as well as the wisdom and guidance of the Founding Fathers. George Washington is worshiped as the American Christ--as revealed in the Apotheosis of Washington--which means praying to him, performing spiritual rituals to feel closer to his Spirit(his soul), and following his guidance and wisdom. He is worshiped as both a sacred Spirit and a Christ figure.
However, this does not mean he is just like the Christian Christ, nor with the same characteristics. Washingtonism is not Christian and it's not intended for Christians, although anyone can be a follower of Washingtonism. George Washington is thought to have been born semi-divine, and for Washingtonists and Americanists, his birthday is a major religious holiday. Belief that George Washington is the American Christ is the most fundamental of the Washingtonist beliefs. Like many new eclectic and syncretic minority faiths, Washingtonism is influenced somewhat by many of the world religions, including Christianity, Hinduism, Japanese Shintoism, Buddhism, and others.
What does Washingtonism have that other religions don't have? Washingtonism is very unique because it provides a way for Americans to express strong reverence and spiritual feelings in a religious context, towards the Founding Fathers and George Washington. There is no other religion that includes or bases its beliefs on the literal worship of the Founding Fathers--Washingtonism is the only religion in existence that worships them and Washingtonism is a religion that is tailor-made for this unique expression of Americanism. It also includes an unusual level of interfaith acceptance and acknowledgement of all religions.
While there is currently no holy book specifically for Washingtonists, Washingtonism does follow the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and the teachings of the prophets of many of the world religions, as well as the wisdom of other important people. It also seeks spiritual guidance and life guidance in sacred scriptures and specific books such as "The Quotable Founding Fathers", "The Way We Pray", "The Holy Kojiki", the Hindu scriptures, the Bible, and other books. In the future, there may be a holy book written specifically for Washingtonist believers. The Founders were wise in more than just politics, they were wise in many other ways as well. "The Quotable Founding Fathers" book by Buckner F. Melton(which you can find on Amazon), is an excellent resource on life wisdom and it really shows the breadth of the Fathers' wisdom on all sorts of topics and the answers to important questions on daily life and situations that one could wish an answer for.
A believer in Washingtonism is called a Washingtonist. In ritual, Washingtonism is heavily influenced by many of the Eastern faiths, especially Shintoism and Hinduism, integrating or adapting rituals from these and other faiths. However, Washingtonism does have its own unique rituals. Washingtonism stresses the importance of religious freedom, the beauty of diversity, and acceptance of all faiths and spiritual beliefs. It also stresses spiritual and personal improvement and growth, and positive spirituality.
There are a handful of pages that are about praying to or worshiping the Founding Fathers, however, the American Christ Washingtonism page is unique in that it is the first to base an actual belief system on worshiping the Founding Fathers, with the Apotheosis of Washington as the central holy image of this religion. The handful of other websites touch upon the idea of setting up a patriotic Americanist altar and communicating with the Fathers (which some call "working with" the Fathers). The American Christ page does more than touch upon setting up an altar--it has a complete set of rituals and prayers, as well as includes sacred holidays connected with this faith, such as 4th of July and George Washington's birthday.
Washingtonism recognizes that there are many different hierarchies and forms of the divine and that Divinity does not have to be limited to the idea of a monotheistic God. Divinities can be worshipedand manifested in the form of people, animals, or objects. Belief in Divinities or the supernatural can include angels, spirits, ghosts, supernatural dolls, healing crystals, yoga, or something else. Washingtonism recognizes that each of us has our own unique religious beliefs and that religious and supernatural beliefs are wide-ranging.
There was a Washingtonism New Religious Movements Wiki page that was called "Washingtonism", however, that one was deleted. This one is the new Wiki NRM Washingtonism page. As a religious group, the Washingtonism facebook religious group/religion was founded in 2014. It currently has 85 Likes and 83 Follows. The founder of The American Christ page has discovered others who share the belief in George Washington as the American Christ, however, it is unknown how many of the followers of the group literally practices Washingtonism by performing rituals, setting up an altar, ,praying, following chosen teachings/guidance etc. It is also currently unknown how many people would join the facebook group and follow the group religiously, based on if they were aware that this unique patriotic faith group exists. The facebook page of Washingtonism can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/TheAmericanChristGeorgeWashington/
Washingtonism rejects a strict view of God, instead leaving the individual to decide what they believe--belief in God or Gods and Goddesses, depends on personal preference. While Washingtonism tends to focus on God as a singular Omniscient being, it doesn't reject other views of Deity, or the feminine form of God. Washingtonism can be both monotheistic and polytheistic, depending on what you believe.
An individual Washingtonist may believe in the Western view of God the Creator, or believe in several Deities such as the Greco-Roman Gods, Hindu Gods, Shinto Gods, or others. Someone who worships George Washington is called a Washingtonist and strives to live a life that follows George Washington's personal excellency as well as a spiritual path of one's choosing. This could be a path following the Hindu scriptures, the Christian scriptures, the Shinto scriptures, the Confucian scriptures, or another path. It could also be a combination of paths(Omnism). One could follow the wisdom and teachings of Gandhi, Jesus, the Hindu yogis, Buddha, Carl Sagan, Mother Teresa, etc.
In Washingtonism, there are Spirits in which the souls of human beings, particularly notable and great people, live on in the afterlife and affect and guide the living, especially the spirits of the Founders of a country. The Founders are thought to be spiritual ancestors, and their spirits are particularly powerful and hold a certain influential and privileged position over the living, they being the creators of America and the American identity. The belief in their spirits is very similar to the beliefs in kami spirits in Japanese Shintoism. To be well-rounded and enlightened, one must increase one's spiritual, mental, and physical connection and condition, by worshiping and connecting with the presence of God and the Founding Fathers, through ritual, meditation, prayer and self-improvement. Physical improvement and condition can be changed by eating healthy, exercising, and doing physical routines such as meditating or yoga, and focused breathing. Mind and body are both important. Washingtonists are encouraged to follow a spiritual/religious path of their choosing, since following such a path brings spiritual enlightenment and spiritual direction and a connection with God/Goddess and the spirits.
Washingtonism has 16 belief Affirmations and spiritual goals/characteristics that Washingtonists are encouraged to manifest in their lives. These 16 affirmations correspond to the 16 affirmation beads on the Washingtonist prayer beads. Washingtonists are encouraged to add their own spiritual characteristics or goals that they want to work on:
1) I believe in God and Goddess. More excercise, humble, holy
2) I believe George Washington is truly the American Christ as revealed in the Apotheosis of Washington. Belief that miracles happened through George Washington winning the Revolution and by him not getting injured in battle. He is part of God and he is partly divine. He became Spirit when his body died and joined with him in heaven. Have reverence for and trust in him. Healthy diet, strong.
3) I believe in the divine and living spirits of the Founding Fathers. Belief that George Washington is worthy. Belief that a spark of God is in all things, including the Founding Fathers and George Washington, which is the explanation for his Christ-like and Godly character. There was a heavenly force guiding George Washington and the Founders. He and the Founders answer prayers and his patriotic Spirit can guide our lives and our country as Americans, bestowing blessings, good luck, and positive favors upon us. Devotion, pray more, more rituals, leadership, merciful
4) I believe in their prevailing wisdom and guidance. Patience, slow to anger, insightful, love.
5) I believe there is truth and enlightenment in all religious paths and philosophies. Enlightenment, knowledge, growth, read often, steadfast, persistent.
6) I believe in kindness and charity. Have faith, kind,respectful, joyous.
7) I believe in religious freedom for all. Connect more often with God/Goddess and the Founders. Meditate often, generous, charitable, sincere, genuine.
8) I believe God and the Founders are watching over us. Hopeful, mindful, gentle.
9) I believe in being religiously open-minded and accepting. Positive view of life and self, friendly, hospitable, flexible.
10) I believe the Bill of Rights is holy and infallible. Moderation, open-minded, accepting, faithful.
11) I believe in the importance of science, knowledge and nature. Be loving, kind, charitable, achiever, hard-worker, enthusiastic, motivated.
12) I believe in positive spirituality and self-improvement. Self-control, proactive, determined.
13) I believe in our connection with God and Goddess and the spirits. Perseverance, modest, diligent, dependable.
14) I believe in personal empowerment and growth. Courage, self-confidence, compassion, attentive.
15) I call upon God and Goddess and the Fathers now. Positive self-esteem, helpful, wise
16) I invite them into my heart, life, and mind now. Thankful, grateful, versatile, balanced, well-rounded, assertive
Washingtonism rejects a strict view of God, instead leaving the individual to decide what they believe--belief in God or Gods and Goddesses, depends on personal preference. Washingtonism can be both monotheistic and polytheistic. The Founding Fathers are worshiped as demi-gods/sacred spirits. Washingtonism is Henotheistic as it is open to the belief in other Gods and Goddesses. Washingtonism is accepting of all religions, religious beliefs, and spiritual paths. Washingtonism strongly upholds the right of all to religious freedom and that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion and religious belief. It is believed that America's national motto In God We Trust is meant as a generic, all-encompassing, all-inclusive motto in which all versions of Deity are united under the banner of religious experience and freedom.
Founding Fathers are worshiped as semi-divine men. Although they are worshiped as sacred spirits, a Washingtonist may also worship them as Deities, presumably lesser in rank than God or Goddess, but having attained deification in heaven, and higher in rank than other Americans.
Washingtonism is Henotheistic as it is open to the belief in other Gods and Goddesses. Washingtonism is accepting of all religions, religious beliefs, and spiritual paths. Washingtonism strongly upholds the right of all to religious freedom and that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion and religious belief. It is believed that America's national motto In God We Trust is meant as a generic, all-encompassing, all-inclusive motto in which all versions of Deity are united under the banner of religious experience and freedom.
Creation, the Universe, and Science
Washingtonism stresses the importance of being scientifically literate(or at least aware) and the willingness to be a life-long learner. One cannot live on this beautiful earth without learning something of it and how it works. Washingtonism also stresses the importance of scientific and general knowledge and literacy, as much as it stresses the importance of spiritual enlightenment and connection. There must be a balance between the two. Washingtonism believes that generally, the Universe operates according to natural, physical laws, hence this is why it is important to be knowledgeable and aware of science and nature. The founder of The American Christ page believes that God created the Universe with the Big Bang.
Belief in the semi-divinity of the Founding Fathers' spirits and the Spirit of George Washington, similar to kami spirits in Japanese Shintoism. George Washington is worshiped as a kami spirit/deity in Hawaii. A fundamental belief of Washingtonism is the belief in spirits, especially the spirits of the Founding Fathers. Belief in the Fathers' spirits is thought to unite Americans, however, a follower of Washingtonism does not have to be American. Any person who believes in Liberty and the ideals of the Founding Fathers is embraced by Washingtonism.
Proselytizing is allowed, but rudeness or being coercive is frowned upon
Details of Washingtonism
The Details of Washingtonism article explains many rituals and ethical concerns.
Ritual Items used in Washingtonism
prayer and communication with the Founding Fathers, holy water, prayer beads, altar table, candles or incense, ringing bell, Founders’ writings and sacred patriotic documents, yoga mat or prayer/meditation rug, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration (scroll version or booklet version), images of George Washington, the Founding Fathers, Statue of Liberty, Goddess Liberty/Columbia, Washington Monument, and Apotheosis of Washington, patriotic Leis, prayer beads to be hung over your picture frames, an offering plate or cup, jar of quotes to live by daily or weekly, the Federalist Papers, a small flag that can sit in a cup or a flag hanging above the altar.
the Founding Fathers, and the prophets of the various religions, including Jesus, Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, etc. The focus of Washingtonism is not on the founder of this faith, but on God, George Washington, and the Founders. A focus of Washingtonism is the practice of positive spirituality and improvement and the belief that most people are capable of improving themselves through practicing a spiritual path or technique. Another focus is on kindness and charity.
Philosophy and teachings
Teachings, philosophy, and guidance are based on the Founders' ideas of Liberty, their writings, and their political and philosophical theology, as well as from other people and faith sources(Omnism). Part of the ideology of Washingtonism is Americanism, also known as Ceremonial Deism, which is "patriotic faith" or "religious patriotism".
TenetsGeorge Washington is the American Christ figure as symbolized in the Apotheosis of Washington, Omnism, Deism, Americanism, ancestor worship(worshiping the Founding Fathers as sacred ancestor spirits), following the wisdom of the Founders, other people and philosophies, religious freedom for all and acceptance/open-mindedness, reverence for and exaltation of the American Bill of Rights, eclectic spirituality/wisdom, general Theism, polytheism, be kind to others, Theistic Evolution(belief that God guided evolution to create humans), belief in an afterlife and reincarnation, balance between religious belief and acceptance of scientific knowledge, positive spirituality & self-improvement/growth, religious patriotism, importance of scientific knowledge/literacy, awareness of being connected with the Universe and God. These things all together sum up the philosophy/theology/world view of Washingtonism.
Sacred scripture and Spiritual Guidance
The Constitution, Declaration, the Founding Fathers' writings including the Federalist Papers, Franklin's 13 Virtues, George Washington's Rules of Civility and the seeking of spiritual knowledge and guidance from a variety of sources, including but not limited to: other famous or wise people, and the wisdom and writings of various other faiths, including but not limited to the scriptures of: Hinduism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Native American faith, Paganism, Greco-Roman polytheism, and so on. Spiritual guidance is sought from appropriate sources including from: "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, and other books. In the future, there will be a holy book specifically for believing/practicing Washingtonists called "The Founding Father Holy Book: Washingtonism and Americanism". It will include various quotes from the different religions and other sources, as well as quotes from the Founding Fathers, and information about how to pray to the Fathers and how to set up an altar and perform religious rituals.
Views of the Afterlife
A Washingtonist believes in an afterlife (heaven) where a person will be judged by God, or a Washingtonst may believe in reincarnation in which the soul enters new bodies and continues being re-born over and over again after death in the same or different body/person, as the Universe is re-created over and over again. Belief in either heaven or reincarnation is a matter of personal preference. A Washingtonist may also believe in both at the same time.
In Washingtonism, there is no such thing as Satan, Demons, or Hell, although people may be judged by God in the afterlife based on their overall goodness and righteousness on earth. God does not generally allow supernatural miracles, although God may sometimes affect the outcome of certain events and guide people. It is expected that most humans want to have a personal relationship with God; one's relationship with God depends on how intimate one strives to be with God; often it is a life-long pursuit in learning to connect with and trust God, just as it is a life-long pursuit to improve oneself and become closer with the divine and personal and spiritual excellency.
Humans, particularly Americans, may enter a republican "kingdom", in which the Founding Fathers and George Washington are the patrons of that realm, but they are lower in rank than God (or the Gods, depending on which you believe in). Washingtonism does not include a belief in absolute condemnation, unless a person is undoubtedly evil. In Washingtonism, there is no absolute "good vs. evil" and as such, there is no absolute judgment and placement of either salvation or complete damnation, with most people falling somewhere between, as most humans are neither evil nor completely angelic.
However, Washingtonism stresses the idea of reincarnation more strongly than the existence of heaven, but heaven may be a stop-over to a future reincarnation. It is unknown whether or not a person's original spirit or soul from one life is carried on into the next life, in any case, it is important for a person to strive to live as best as they can in this current life, continuously improving on oneself and connecting spiritually with God or the Gods and the ancestors(Founding Fathers).
The Apotheosis of Washington, Mount Vernon, a personal home shrine/altar, statues of the Founding Fathers.
The symbol of Washingtonism is a patriotic rainbow behind the Washington Monument. The rainbow symbolizes George's Apotheosis and exaltation. Prayer beads are used in Washingtonism. There are 16 groups of lettered beads, with the first and last letters of the names of 16 of the Founding Fathers. In the middle of the prayer bead necklace is a single group of beads, representing George Washington as the central focus of Washingtonism and God or Goddess, and at the end of the beads is a group of beads representing the Founding Fathers as a cohesive group. 32 of the colored beads represent the birth year of George Washington:1732. Cherries are used as a symbol of George Washington, both faux cherries and real ones. Offering bowls and live plants are kept on the altar/shrine, signifying connection to God/Goddess and nature and the Universe.
George Washington's Birthday, 4th of July, Bill of Rights Day, Thanksgiving