jellomarx (jellomarx) wrote,
jellomarx
jellomarx

George Washington Letter to the Jewish Congregation of New Port Rhode Island

“For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.“

George Washington , August 18, 1790. In a letter to the Jewish Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island.

What happened? Washington clearly had the right idea, but maybe somebody who practiced it should’ve said it. There is a major problem I have with “make America great again.“ When were we great? Was it that we were great at hypocrisy?

Washington’s words were magnificent. How Washington, who owned slaves until the day he died, could written those words “gives to bigotry no sanction“ is perplexing . Maybe I shouldn’t be Perplexed .

Let’s face it, we are built on hypocrisy. The North claimed to be abolitionists, but profited from slave trade. (Remember “molasses to slaves to rum” from the play 1776.). The south wanted “ their Negroes” Counted in the census, but not vote, only to give them more electoral votes (The great 3/5 compromise ).

Like most hypocrisies, Eventually come back to haunt you. It gets to the point that the so called “good” people must acknowledge the hypocrisies , while the “bad” folks take advantage of them flagrantly.

Where it goes from here, your guess is as good as mine.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State
George Washington’s 1790 Letter To Touro Synagogue
During a visit to Newport, R.I., in 1790, a year before the Bill of Rights was ratifie d, President George
Washington received a letter from Moses Seixas, warden of the Touro Synagogue, seeking assurance of
religious freedom for Jews.
President Washington gave an unequivocal guarantee, returning a letter stating that the new government
would “give to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”
Below is the transcript of each letter. Original spelling, punctuation and capitalization have been retained.
The letter from Moses Seixas to President George Washington
To the President of the United States of America.
Sir:
Permit the children of the stock of Abraham to approach you with the most cordial affection and esteem for
your person and merits ~~ and to join with our fellow citizens in welcoming you to NewPort.
With pleasure we reflect on those days ~~ those days of difficulty, and danger, when the God of Israel,
who delivered David from the peril of the sword, ~~ shielded Your head in the day of battle: ~~ and we
rejoice to think, that the same Spirit, who rested in the Bosom of the greatly beloved Daniel enabling him
to preside over the Provinces of the Babylonish Empire, rests and ever will rest, u pon you, enabling you to
discharge the arduous duties of Chief Magistrate in these States.
Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free Citizens, we now with a deep sense of
gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events behold a Government, erected by the Majesty of the People
~~ a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance ~~ but generously affording to all Liberty of conscience, and immunities of Citizenship: ~~ deeming every one, of whatever Na
tion, tongue, or language equal parts of the great governmental Machine: ~~ This so ample and extensive
Federal Union whose basis is Philanthropy, Mutual confidence and Public Virtue, we cannot but acknowledge to be the work of the Great God, who ruleth in the Armies of Heaven, and among the Inhabitants of
the Earth, doing whatever seemeth him good.
For all these Blessings of civil and religious liberty which we enjoy under an equal benign administration,
we desire to send up our thanks to the Ancient of Days, the great preserver of Men ~~beseeching him, that
the Angel who conducted our forefathers through the wilderness into the promised Land, may graciously
conduct you through all the difficulties and dangers of this mortal life: ~~ And, when, like Joshua full of
days and full of honour, you are gathered to your Fathers, may you be admitted into the Heavenly Paradise
to partake of the water of life, and the tree of immortality.
Done and Signed by order of the Hebrew Congregation in NewPort, Rhode Island August 17th 1790.
Moses Seixas, Warden
To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island.
Gentlemen,
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
While I receive, with much satisfaction, your Address replete with expressions of affection and esteem; I
rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of the cordial
welcome I experienced in my visit to Newport, from all classes of Citizens.
consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom
to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just
administration of a good Government, to become a great and happy people.
The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to
mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty
of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by
the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights.
For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no
assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens,
in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my Administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the children of the Stock of
Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while
May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several
vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.
G. Washington
If you would like to learn more about religious liberty, please contact:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Phone: (202)466-3234 Fax: (202)466-25
Tags: george washington. touro synagogue. mose
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