EDITORIAL: Gen. Washington’s Christmas Hail Mary

Father of our country was Te-bowing before it was called Te-bowing

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Long before there was Tim Tebow, there was George Washington. It is well documented that the act of Te-bowing (i.e., kneeling in prayer) was done by our nation’s first president. Painter Arnold Friberg’s “Prayer at Valley Forge” immortalized Gen. Washington in the snow-covered woods, bent down on one knee and praying for God’s assistance. In the grim days of America’s War for Independence, with weary soldiers up against long odds, the nation needed a come-from-behind fourth-quarter victory. Time and time again - when it really mattered - Washington (who did have his defeats) came through in the clutch.

Most Americans are familiar with Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s painting of Washington crossing the Delaware. Less known today is the spiritual backdrop to the story, mostly due to politically correct public schools’ animus toward religion. On Dec. 25, 1776 - the day Christians celebrate the birth of Christ - Gen. Washington set in motion a surprise attack that would help give birth to our great nation. The battle of Trenton began the day after Christmas. It followed a string of losses for the Continental Army, and Washington’s victory over the Hessian soldiers stationed there came at precisely the right moment. At the time, and by millions to this day, it was seen as divine intervention that an event so central to the birth of this nation was tied to the birth of Jesus.

Like Washington, Mr. Tebow is a “general” who isn’t supposed to win. Like Washington, Mr. Tebow is an optimist who fuses a fierce drive to succeed with unconventional tactics to secure victory. He motivates his “troops” with unwavering faith in the ability to overcome obstacles. And like Washington, Mr. Tebow is humble, fortified by belief in a power much higher than himself. The football star might only be an athlete, but he’s a warrior in the fight against rabid secularization in society. Today, however, there are Americans who mercilessly mock and fear champions of faith in the public sphere.

“My Tim Tebow Problem,” an article in Jewish Week Online by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman (conveniently pulled down after it caused an uproar), encapsulates that hostility. “If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants,” he ridiculously claimed. “While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell’s first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably.”

Washington’s specific religious beliefs are up for debate, with historian Larry Schweikart postulating that they were “well hidden” in “A Patriot’s History of the United States.” Washington, however, was not uncomfortable with faith, even citing in his famous Farewell Address that religion and morality were “indispensable supports” to the nation. We can only imagine the affront Washington would feel about America in 2011, where Mr. Tebow gets smeared by paranoid segments of the chattering class for giving thanks to the one responsible for our “certain unalienable rights.”

Despite the erosion of our freedoms, America is still the last great beacon of liberty for mankind. This Christmas, it’s appropriate to say a prayer of thanks that Washington was in charge of war efforts when our independence was on the line, and then we can thank God that we still live in a country where Mr. Tebow and Mr. Hammerman can both practice their religions freely.

The Washington Times

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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