It Is Impossible to Rightly Govern a Nation Without God and the Bible

The following quote has been attributed to founding father George Washington by many sources, however, I have been unable to find a direct source in any of his writings or speeches. This Washington quote did not show up in writing until after his death, being quoted in biographies from several sources. Given that it cannot be found from original sources, we cannot be sure that it was actually said by Washington himself.

Although we do not know for sure if George Washington was the source of this quote or not, we do know from other original sources that he was a president who unabashedly proclaimed his dependence, and our country’s dependence, on God. Unfortunately our leaders and country have fallen far away from the early principles that made the American dream possible.

“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible”. - George Washington (February 22, 1732 -  December 14, 1799) – Maybe Not

Today we are seeing the truth of this statement unfold before our very eyes. Our country has fallen prey to those who seek power for their own benefit, those who worship themselves over God. Those who only mention God and the Bible to score political points in order to move their own agendas forward.

The United States has entered a new period as a country in decline, and that decline is now accelerating. Those who are now governing this nation are doing so without God and without the principles of the Bible, and they are proving everyday how impossible it is to rightly govern without them.

This is NOT a political blog, but it is a forum where the principles and wisdom of the Bible are shared and discussed. Our hope is that our readers would embrace such principles and live Godly lives. Our hope is that our nation would return to God by putting men and women of faith and principle in office. And like the prophet said:

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. – 2 Chronicles 7:14 (New King James Version)

It is our hope at Bible or Not that new leaders would rise up to rightly govern this great nation, with God and the Bible. And we know the promises of God, and we know He is faithful and true.

More George Washington Quotes.


Comments

It Is Impossible to Rightly Govern a Nation Without God and the Bible — 17 Comments

  1. It is a need to restore, revive the values inculcated by our God-fearing ancestors. Smugness and antipathy on issues about God are consequences of idleness wrought by technological and scientific advancements whereas humanity’s comforts and conveniences fanned ease, indifference, self-sufficiency, autonomy for his existence, gradually defying the ideals of God’s presence.
    When Godly leaders dwindle down in obscurity, allow us believers to abide in the faith, on our knees, for He is faithful who promised, ” Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” Jer 33:3; “…the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ” James 5:16

  2. Sorry to ruin the sentiment of your post for you, but there is no indication that Washington ever said these words.

  3. Thanks for your comment Mark, nothing ruined on my end. I dug a little deeper and found that you are right, so I appreciate your pointing that out – I’d rather be corrected than make statements that were mistaken. It turns out that there is no originally documented source of Washington’s quote “It Is Impossible to Rightly Govern a Nation Without God and the Bible”. There are a number of sources though that claim that he said it, so that’s hearsay and not hard proof. This is kind of like the story of George Washington cutting down a cherry tree and being quoted as saying, ” I cannot tell a lie”. It demonstrates a character trait of his, but uses a fable to do so.

    What is frustrating about this quote is that I found many “original sources” where the quote was inserted into true original sources. I get really annoyed when people do something dishonest to promote God and the Bible – get a life, if you are going to promote a Godly lifestyle then you’d better be living it! Here is what I’ve found:

    A book by James Kirke Paulding published by Harper & Brothers in 1835 quotes Washington as saying:

    “It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being.”
    “It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being.”

    This could be authentic, but it is not the same as saying “It Is Impossible to Rightly Govern a Nation Without God and the Bible”.

    Another source inserts the quote into Washington’s Thanksgiving day proclamation of in 1795:

    Here is the suspect quote: “It is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe, without the agency of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being…”
    Here is the actual quote: “In such a state of things it is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience.
 Deeply penetrated with this sentiment, I, George Washington, President of the United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever, within the United States to set apart and observe Thursday, the 19th day of February next as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer…”

    Another suspect source puts the quote in Washington’s farewell address.

    Suspect quote:”Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
    Original quote:”Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens”.

    Thanks again, I hope this sets the record straight. That George Washington was a man of faith who relied on God and Divine Providence, and who believed in Jesus Christ, is indisputable. We need not make stuff up to prove that.

  4. Its a made-up quote. It used to be a false claim that washington said “impossible to govern the universe without a supreme being” which is falsely attributed to washington and no record exists of him ever saying such a thing. However the essence of this earlier false quote only implied the existence of god’s hand governing the universe – a common belief of Freemason Diests like Washington and quite common among the Founding Fathers. But the latest version you quote has been morphed little by little to imply government of a NATION without God (not a supreme being) and the BIBLE (never mentioned). So your fake quote doesn’t even fairly paraphrase the earlier fake quotes. Its just made up BS unfairly attributed to George Washington. How unpatriotic to put untrue words in his mouth, and how unchristian to bear false witness. Do your homework before you try to lay on this kind of sentimental nonsense please.

  5. so why don’t you remove the quote from this website? GW’s original quote “It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being.”
    “It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being” is completely different. The Supreme Being could be anything. Voltaire said: If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him. You leaving this quote on this webpage still leads people to believe he actually said it. most people don’t read down to the comments section. To me, I see no evidence that just because GW believed in Jesus, he used religion as a basis for governing…and I believe THAT is the original point you were trying to make.

  6. Perhaps you should read more about George Washington and the founding fathers. Our entire penal code is based upon the 10 commandments and 5 books of Moses. Cut me a break, there’s tons of evidence that Washington based his world view and his governance upon his faith. Don’t you think other presidents have done that through our history? Kennedy, Reagan, and even Obama had/have their religious views affect their world views. To say that one’s own faith does not would be dishonest.

    As for keeping the post up, why not considering the lively discussion it’s created?!

  7. I agree with this.”It is impossible to govern a nation without God and the Bible”.US has grown as world’s most powerful country only because of the efforts of the great leaders of US in the 17th and 18th century.I like George Washington,Abraham Lincoln, great leaders of US.They are the leaders who brought US to numero uno position.But now, it has become entirely reverse, power has fallen into wrong people hands.

  8. “Our entire penal code is based upon the 10 commandments and 5 books of Moses. ”

    It’s not that rare for me to see inane statements like this from religionists as I cruise the internet. But this one in particular caught my attention because the writer is so vapid as to make a statement that is so transparently ignorant.

    penal code def.: ” the aggregate of statutory enactments dealing with crimes and their punishment.”

    If the bible is the basis for our “penal code” then it means our penal codes endorse stoning? cutting off the hand of a woman who touchrs her husbband’s attacker’s genitals? Does our penal code endorse the wholesale slaughter of men women and children who don’t belong to our tribe or religious cult?

    Where in our penal code do the 613 laws in the 5 books of Moses show themselves? How are people punished in our penal code for wearing mixed fiber clothes? for gleaning on the sabbath? for not respecting our parents? for allowing themselves to be raped?

    You sir are proof that not only are religionists deluded throw-backs to prescientific age, but your knowledge of the bible, the secular origins of common law, the meaning of the term “penal code,” and your ability to think are stunningly stunted.

  9. Not surprising to see a comment like this from an atheist – you clearly assume to much, are not as knowledgeable as you think, and are quick to attack others who have a different point of view. For one thing to be based upon another does not mean that the one thing IS the other. Our penal code in not a copy and paste of the law of Moses as you claim I said. It is indisputable that many of our country’s founders were religious men with knowledge of the Bible, many were Christians and/or influenced by Christians. As such they used the 10 commandments and many other principles written by Moses. What you miss is that they also used the principles of Christianity, which includes grace and the golden rule of do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So, if you look at the entire picture, rather than pick one statement to dissect, you would get this. But of course, you have an agenda to deny the existence of God and to discredit any theist religion, so I’m sure the truth doesn’t matter.

  10. God bless america and the continente too..We need to cmonig back to the true,to the lord.Bless you.

  11. “Thou shalt not bear false witness…”
    It *does* matter whether Washington said it; he did not.
    If the truth can be distorted in a mere 230 years, imagine what 2000 years and multiple translations of a text could do.

  12. This charge was often levied in the 18th century prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Old Testament scriptures were found to have remained properly preserved word-for-word for 2000 years. God had cared to preserve His Word for the few that will in each generation that will receive it.

  13. I believe “It is impossible to run a government without God and the bible.” was derived from “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” (from the 1796 Farewell Speech)

  14. There’s no doubt that this quote in particular is fake, albeit an old one; it was inserted into Washington’s mouth by a biographer about forty years after Washington’s death.

    However, that said, Washington’s contemporaries said that Washington was a prayerful man, and his own voluminous writings mention God frequently. Washington’s references are particularly interesting because he clearly showed a belief that God took an overall interest in human affairs, and Washington assigns God “titles” related to whatever aspect he is referring to – Lord of Nations, the Divine Author, and so on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>