69 million page views

George Washington's Alleged Cherry Tree Childhood

Reader comment on item: Barack Obama's Muslim Childhood

Submitted by Robert (United States), Dec 8, 2016 at 13:25

Dear Daniel Pipes,

This posting is especially for you, and I believe you will like it.

But first, a compliment.
You first posted this query as to Barack Hussein Obama's religious roots in April 2008.
And you only amended it twice once in April and later in August.
Thereafter you only responded to postings made here.
Your point was only that Obama was raised a Muslim,
and you consistently never denied his Christianity.

Now the part I think you will like.
I want to explore the context in which implicitly imply
that the office of the Presidency requires Honesty.
That is, in point of fact not true.
What it requires, traditionally,
is Confession to one's Sinful Misconduct.

There exists the famous All-American Myth
that our first President under our Constitution,
George Washington, when confronted by his father
(who incidentally died when he was only 11 years old)
as to the damage inflicted on his father's beloved Cherry,
Confessed: "Father, I cannot tell a lie. I chopped that Cherry Tree."
This is of course a paraphrase of our famous myth.

But its roots and subsequent dissemination
are traceable to a Presbyterian Minister
who emphasized the required that teaching children
to goodness of confessing to a wicked or mischievous act,
as in the case of damaging the beloved material object of one's father.
It is to be noted that the transgression of damaging the sociologically valuable object
are more that compensated for by a factor of 1,000 (in some version of the myth),
and the damaged tree, or so it appears, becomes a mere triviality.

This myth is often repeated
not only in the context of most of our Presidencies,
including Obama,
but becomes a general American ideal.
This Cherry Tree Myth is extremely well studied
by Jay Richardson of George Mason University,
so I am refraining from extrapolating from it here):

"The Cherry Tree Myth"

Instead, I wish to direct your direction to the contrast of Obama denying his alleged Islam,
to George Washington admitting he Chopped the Cherry Tree of his Father.

We know that his biological Muslim father abandoned him at childhood,
we also know that he had a Muslim step-father thereafter during a part of his childhood.

But contrast in relative truthfulness (Washington vs. Obama) is rather striking
in its diversity regarding behavior.
Little boy George Washington did commit the mischievous of damaging a tree.
Little boy Obama, a product of a broken marriage,
had no choice whatsoever regarding his religious father
in which case his mother happened to be a Christian.

Perhaps we should give our President Obama a bit of slack.
Perhaps we should interpret, or re-interpret,
his reflection on his early religious background,
not what Christians or Muslims, or Religious Scholars say Islam is,
but on whether Hussein was ever a True Believed that
God is God and Muhammad is His Messenger.

Did he ever truly believe that? And if so, does it really matter?
And even if he does lie about his childhood Religious Conscience,
that is 1,000 better than Little George Washington having mischievously damaged
that Cherry Tree his father loved.

On another level, Truth in Advertising was a much later legal American requirement.
In our country, selling Snake Oil continues to be legitimate.
It took us a long time before our Tobacco Industry was forced to pay damages
due to the false advertising which denied the link to Cancer
in which Cigarettes are causative agents.
And now, under Donald Trump, the EXXON/Mobile multinational
is about to join the Trump bandwagon
while having spent millions in Denying that Global Warming is real.

In conclusion, I would like to believe,
and that may be True,
and supported by Facts,
that my extremely intelligent and brilliant President Obama,
never truly believed, as a child,
in the Islam of his Father, or Step-Father,
and that very early on
he subscribed to the Christian beliefs of his wonderful biological mom.

Nevertheless, his policies regarding the Arab Spring, Islamism, the Middle East,
and turning to Indonesia, and wanting to stop Israeli "settlements" in Muslim "Palestine"
may have been influenced in some complex ways
by Obama's non-American past and roots.

But to know that, we must wait until he is out of office next month
and publishes thereafter a million dollar biographical best seller on himself.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)