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Washingtism (or the Church of Washington) is the official State Religion of New Eden, and is practiced by an estimated 81% of the Nation's Residents, with numbers varying worldwide. It was created following the Revolutionary War as a religion based around the concept that The Prophet George Washington, general of the Continental Army and First Father of New Eden spoke directly to God during and after the American Revolution.
The Primate of Washingtism is the Father of New Eden, currently James Carter.
Basis in Christianity
Washingtism is based in Christianity. It accepts the Holy Trinity, and views the Bible as Divinely Inspired. In the "Great Confession" that founded the Church of Washington states that "We accept Christ as our lord and savior. Salvation comes through him alone, and not by our own works or merit." Washington himself was initially Anglican, before the Virginia Revelation led him to start his own Church.
Saints in Washingtism
Though Washingtism recognizes Saints, they are recognized as "Honored" and are not prayed to in any way. The Prophet George Washington is viewed as a Saint, as are the Church Fathers Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt.
Saints are not given feast days, but are instead viewed as "models, who's teachings can help clarify those of the Bible."
The Church of Washington practices Believer's Baptism. It is considered to be Anabaptist, requesting members who have taken more than six months off of Church or who feel they have otherwise sinned greatly to be re-baptized before receiving Communion.
The Prophet George Washington
The Prophet George Washington is believed to have first spoken to God during the early days of the American Revolution the night before First Virginia Convention at what became known as the Virginia Revelation. Writing about this night, Washington states that "I felt a presence come upon me and saw magnificent light before me. Out from the light came a voice, stating that 'I am the Lord the Father, and I have chosen you to lead the people of these Colonies into a New Eden of Liberty and Prosperity.'"
Washington is believed to have been given Military advice by God himself, and was quickly viewed as a prophet by Colonists.
After the War, Washington is believed to have continued speaking to God. The Father of New Eden himself is generally considered to be a Prophet, regardless of who fills the position. Nonetheless, Washington himself is considered to be "the Holiest of Prophets"
As the State Religion of New Eden, Washingtism's primate, the Father of New Eden, is in charge of the state. The Father of New Eden is chosen at a Synod after the death of the previous Father (who's Earthly Father steps in to fill the role in the mean time) by the Bishops of New Eden.
Though there is no law against practicing other religions in New Eden, the vast majority practice Washingtism.
90% of Washingtists live in New Eden. However, the Church of Washington has been involved in Mission Work around the world. There is a growing Washingtist population in Africa, where currently 5% of the continent is openly Washingtist
The organization "Washington International" is the main group devoted to spreading Washingtism.
Washingtism has been controversial within Christianity. The Church of England calls George Washington "A False Prophet," and The Vatican has stated that "Washingtism, as a whole, should be considered heretical and incompatible with Christianity." Both the Roman Catholic Church and Church of England ban members from receiving Communion in any church affiliated with The Church of Washington.
The Eastern Orthodox Church has also refused to recognize Washingtism as Christian.
The Church of Washington, in turn, has delivered strong messages against all of these Churches. As such, the Church of Washington is not a part of any ecumenical group involving these churches.
The Church of Washington has engaged in Ecumenical Dialogues with The Church of Scotland, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), The Methodist Church of Great Britain, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Religious Society of Friends, and the United Church of Christ. However, no church is in Full Communion with the Church of Washington.
George Washington was an opponent of Slavery, and outlawed it in New Eden. However, he was not a progressive on racial issues.
In 1782, Washington wrote "The Negro in America does not deserve life in chains. However, there is a natural order to the races, and that order will always be a part of the society and the Church."
No Nonwhites became Ministers in Washingtism before Hiram Revels in 1870. There was an explicit ban on Blacks and Whites receiving Communion at the same service until 1856, and interracial marriages were banned until 1901.
Today, the Church of Washington states that "We stand with all races and ethnicities in our pursuit of the dreams of Christ and Washington." In addition, the organization "Open Eden" consists of Nonwhite Ministers of the Church of Washington.
As the Church of Washington and the Nation of New Eden expanded Westward, the mistreatment and death of Native Americans became controversial.
Father John Adams II made a statement in 1828 regarding Native Americans. He stated that "All Indians dislocated during our expansion have the full option to be welcomed into our great nation with open arms. They must put down their idols and their ways of darkness, and step into the light. They must be baptized into our Church as our lord commands. Should they deny our church, then we should deny them entry into our society, and welcome them to find a home elsewhere. For is it not unjust to force a man to live by customs he finds immoral?" This has caused many to state that Native Americans were unjustly forced into the Church.
In 1925 Father Franklin Roosevelt apologized for the Church's "Unequal treatment" of Native Americans in history. However, he did not specifically condemn baptism of Native Americans, and instead stated that "Our Methods of showing the light to our brothers were flawed."
The Church of Washington views Homosexual behavior as "Immoral and perverse, completely incompatible with the ways of Christ."
Homosexual acts were illegal in New Eden from 1783 to 1991. In 1996, Father James Carter legalized Homosexual activities in private, while using state funds to create "Rehabilitation Centers" for Homosexuals. He also added that "If one's homosexual tendencies are so deep that rehabilitation fails, one must remain celibate."
The Church does not allow practicing homosexuals to act as clergy, and did not give Communion to "active homosexuals" until 2001, when Father James Carter changed the Church's Policy on the issue.
When polled, 52% of Washingtists viewed Homosexuality as immoral, 23% as acceptable, and 25% as unsure. 48% thought Homosexual acts should be illegal, 44% supported legal rights, and 8% were unsure.
The Church teaches that Evolution "Is not incompatible with Christianity in the scientific sense. Yet we must understand the transitions of species as tools of God, and not as meanings in themselves. For the Paintbrush does not take credit for the actions of the painter, and thus Evolution does not supercede The Lord."
When polled 41% of Washingtists identified as Creationists, with 12% being Young Earth Creationists.
George Washington referred to Alcohol as "A man's worst vice." Alcohol is not prohibited in New Eden, but drunkenness is.
The Church has banned alcohol use amongst both clergy and members.
Contraception is permitted "If used in a married couple that has already been fruitful." "Fruitful" is defined as a couple having had three or more children. There is a 50% Tax on Condoms and Birth Control, causing the industry to be virtually non-existent in New Eden.
Abortion is strictly banned, and the Church has stated that "Abortion Cannot be distinguished from murder." Abortion at all levels is illegal in New Eden.
The Church supports the death penalty "Only in cases of murder where the evidence can not be denied."