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This will come as quite a shock to the TEA Party Republicans, but the Founding Fathers were not perfect, and really did not even come close to perfection.  They were not liberal or conservative.  They were men who dreamed of a better way to govern and did the best they could.

Let me start out by saying that even though the Founding Fathers were neither liberal nor conservative most of what they believed in fit more into the liberal spectrum than in the conservative spectrum.

It has made me laugh out loud several times in the last few years to listen to TEA Party Republicans (TPR) spout off about how liberals have made Obama into a deity.  There are many reasons this claim makes me laugh:  One of the reasons is that the only people comparing Obama to a god are TPRs.  No liberal has ever made that claim. but do not tell a TPR because they know liberals have done it even if they can not point to anyone other that Chris Matthews (let us go ahead and ignore the fact that Matthews is not a liberal, remember anyone to the left of a TPR is a liberal).  The main reason that I get a kick out of this claim is because they themselves have lifted to godlike status Ronald Reagan and the Founding Fathers.

The Founding Fathers according to the scripture of the TPR were down to earth, religious men of the land.  They did not have a lot but they shared a common goal, freedom.  The dreamed of a country where everyone was free and could pursue their life's goal relatively unchallenged.

Of course, History tells a completely different story.  Most of the Founding Fathers were well of noblemen.  Most of them were not only literate but were lawyers and politicians not farmers and certainly not men of the land.  While they did not despise religion they were certainly not fans of organized religion.

A simple task:

The next time a TPR starts spouting off how religious these men were and how they envisioned a Christian nation ask them one simple question: If the envisioned a Christian nation then why is the only mention of religion in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights about NOT creating a state religion?

TPRs hate facts and when presented with this particular fact they will often fall back to the Declaration of Independence for their answer.  Keep them on task. Remind them that you are not asking about the Declaration of Independence but with the Constitution.  Also remind that in the Declaration of Independence, the Christian god is not mentioned once but a non-religious Creator.  They will have no answer for you and will typically start calling you all types of names.  When you have a TPR in your crosshairs also point out that the Founding Fathers wanted all elected officials to be sworn in on the Constitution and not the Bible.

Almost all of them owned slaves and really had no plans to free them.  Some of the Northern founders wanted eventual freedom for the slaves but they did up agreeing that a slave should be counted as 3/4 a person.

The typical TPR will point to Section 9 of the Constitution that the Founding Fathers eventually did want slaves freed because in the first paragraph Congress was only barred from making laws against the importation of slaves until 1808.  While that is true they completely miss the context.  No where in the Constitution is anything about actually owning slaves.  Bans on the importation of slaves and actually owning slaves are two entirely different conversations.

The Founding Fathers were not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.  Treating them as perfect is both a disservice to them but to all Americans.  They deserve our utmost respect for creating this country.  They left room for improvement, that is why the Bill or Rights is so vague in many of it's entries.  The Founding Fathers had enough far sight to realize that some of these Amendments would be unneeded by this point, that is exactly the reason why the 2nd Amendment and 10th Amendment are so vague.  The original language of the 2nd Amendment has a much different tone that gun activists like to admit.  It was also a much different time.  The original need of the 2nd Amendment arose because England still had a presence in North America and the Founding Fathers understood that England would eventually attempt to take back its former colonies.

To hear politicians like Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin misquote the Founding Fathers and distort what they said or who they were is absolutely sickening to me.  Our shared heritage is extremely important to us, so should be our shared History.

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Comment Preferences

  •  David Barton is now comparing himself to Christ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    who is one of the most under-appreciated Founding Fathers.  For Barton it's always WWJS (whom would Jesus Sue?) since his lawsuits for definition of character seem to be going forward

  •  You paint too simple a picture as well (0+ / 0-)

    The founders were human, with mistakes like any other human. They were very religious (whether Christian or something else). I'm not sure how a Creator is non-religious? Is it Dawkins' aliens that they thought created us all? :)

    And look at the state constitutions, most had religious requirements to public offices (if not all). These were same men who created Constitution.

    All founders owned slaves? Many founders did believe slavery would run out, especially Jefferson. Even though he owned slaves. This is why painting such simple pictures don't do them justice.

    And the 2nd Amendment wasn't just protection against the British, but against any tyranny, including your own govt. Just a few decades ago, they were British, and revolted b/c they felt they were not represented. They didn't want a new US to have same power over them.

    •  2nd amendment not anti-govt measure (0+ / 0-)

      Even Scalia the Omniscient doesn't claim that.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:05:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  State Constitutions (0+ / 0-)

      Are not the federal constitution and religion was almost entirely left out of the federal constitution. By saying that the word Creator was non-religious is that it wasn't mean strictly in the Christian sense.

      I never said that all of them owned slaves so you need to re-read what I wrote.

      Care to offer any proof that the Founding Fathers were "very" religious?

  •  3/4 of a Person (0+ / 0-)
    Some of the Northern founders wanted eventual freedom for the slaves but they did up agreeing that a slave should be counted as 3/4 a person.

    Make that three-fifths....

    Article I, Section 2, Paragraph 3, of the United States Constitution, as originally adopted, reads as follows:

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

    Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment modified that provision.

    2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.


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