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At Prayer for His Country

Washington at prayer

Did General George Washington pray at Valley Forge? Probably, although there is no written record of any actual prayer that the General may have spoken, and contemporary accounts pertaining to this abiding American myth are ambiguous. It's a beautiful national myth nevertheless, and you can read about it in Washington in Prayer, a section of the Web site of the Valley Forge Historical Society.

It is not clear whether religion will have an impact on the Reform Party's bid to capture the American presidency. Ross Perot undoubtedly appeals to many religious Americans on the basis of his straight talk and condemnation of corruption. His message, however, is a secular one, not couched in terms of a holy crusade, not aimed at moral rearmament, and not at all built around the myth of a soldier kneeling amid the hardships of battle.

The choice of Valley Forge as the finale of the Reform Party's nominating process is based on a vague and impressionistic kind of myth. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Perot, or whoever the party's presidential candidate turns out to be, will attempt to garb him or herself in the mantle of the father of our country.


For online resources on religion, myth, and spirituality, consult the McKinley Internet Yellow Pages and the McKinley Magellan Internet Guide.

Posted July, 1996.
© Copyright 1996 OBS