Here's one for the "O RLY" department.
I continue to be amused (and, at the same time, frightened) by self-proclaimed "historian" David Barton's historically unsupported attacks on the separation of church and state. Barton, a fundie Christian if ever a fundie Christian existed, seems to think that our system of government is derived directly from the Bible and that our Constitution is some sort of Christian manifesto meant to establish a fundamentalist Christian theocratic state. As much as I'd like to give a brief summary of David Barton's "career" as a "historian" (his only degree is a B.A. in religious education from Oral Roberts University), there's simply too much insanity to cover. Check out this nice collection, from Right Wing Watch, of some of David Barton's greatest hits. If you don't know much about Barton, that will provide some context for the lunacy you're about to read.
It seems that Barton, after years of searching, has finally found the deep end, and has flown right off. It's no longer enough to argue against the separation of church and state and to claim that the Constitution is a religious document. Now, in the mind of David Barton, the Constitution is not merely a religious document--it's lifted, verbatim from the Bible itself. That's right. If you haven't heard this before, it's because Barton himself is pioneering this cutting-edge theory that experts have somehow missed all these years. Yes, the Constitution is the inspired Word of God. Follow me below the fold.
Via Right Wing Watch, here's David Barton developing this groundbreaking theory. Watch and learn from our wise historian.
Now, that's why the Constitution's a problem. Look at Article III, Section 1, the treason clause--direct quote out of the Bible. You look at Article II, the quote on the President [having] to be native-born--that is Deuteronomy 17:15, verbatim. I mean, look at how many clauses come out [of the Bible]. That drives the secularists nuts, because the Bible is all over [the Constitution]. Now, we as Christians don't tend to recognize that. We think it's a secular document--we've bought into their lies. It's not.I don't know what the hell Barton is talking about regarding Article III, Section 1, as he didn't provide a reference. But the Biblical reference he provided for Article II is worth exploring, just for fun.
Here is the passage to which Barton is referring in Article II:
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President.And, here's the original text of Deuteronomy 17:15:
Whoops. I guess that doesn't quite fit Barton's thesis, does it?
,טו שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ, אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ: מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ
.תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ--לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-אָחִיךָ הוּא
Now, I may be a big, nasty secularist, but I do have the Bible on my shelf. In fact, I have two--King James and NIV. Here's the King James Version of the Scripture:
Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.And the NIV version:
be sure to appoint over you a king the lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite.And, just because, here's the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) version:
thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not put a foreigner over thee, who is not thy brother.Don't you see it now!?
Yeah, me neither. From Merriam-Webster:
ver·ba·tim adv (ˌ)vər-ˈbā-təm\The great Christian David Barton might want to read up on Proverbs 12:19-20 before he takes his mission to find the Biblical heart of the Constitution any farther:
Definition of VERBATIM
: in the exact words : word for word
The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.