Daniel W. Drezner

Man, those Founding Fathers had an answer for everything!

Thanks to alert historian friend S.L., it’s worth noting that 220 years ago today, Moses Seixas, representing the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, wrote on behalf of “the children of the stock of Abraham” to President George Washington, on the occasion of his visit to Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.  In his reply, Washington ...

cliff1066™ / Flickr.com
cliff1066™ / Flickr.com

Thanks to alert historian friend S.L., it’s worth noting that 220 years ago today, Moses Seixas, representing the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, wrote on behalf of “the children of the stock of Abraham” to President George Washington, on the occasion of his visit to Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.  In his reply, Washington wrote the following

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it was 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.

If you click through the link, you’ll see that Washington echoed Seixas’ language, reaffirming that Jews have run the country since day one its eloquence. 

It’s a good thing this kind of sentiment is now accepted wisdom in America, otherwise we might be having galactically stupid arguments about the subject mired in draining, no-win conversations about religion. 

 Twitter: @dandrezner

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