Friday, November 29, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Read about it here. A taste:
Since evidence actually contradicts Barton’s accusations, why would he make them? Perhaps connecting the dots a bit, Barton also recently accused his Christian academic critics of being recruited by unnamed “secular guys” to critique his book The Jefferson Lies. Well that explains that. The reason Christian professors are coming out against his approach to history is because they have gone to the dark side, being recruited by shadowy “secular guys.”
In fact, in the past couple of years, dozens of unrecruited Christian professors have raised public objections to many of Barton’s claims, historical and otherwise. For instance, Barton told Crossroads Church in Oklahoma City that there has been a “694 percent increase in violent crime since we took the Bible out of schools” in 1963. However, Barton failed to tell his audience that the post-1960s rise in crime peaked in the early 1990s. The crime rate has dropped dramatically since then. The murder rate now, for example, is about what it was before that Supreme Court case.
By Amanda Marcotte here. A taste:
Barton has convinced the right to believe in their fervent wish that the Founders were religious and even theocratic with quote-mining and outright lying. He likes to whip out this John Adams quote: “There is no authority, civil or religious — there can be no legitimate government — but what is administered by this Holy Ghost.” Problem? Adams was summarizing the opinion of his opponents; that wasn’t Adams’ view at all.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Throckmorton: "David Barton’s Biblical Constitution: What If The Constitution Really Quoted The Bible?"
Here. A taste:
If the Constitution included such language, immigrants would have rights they don’t have now and there would no need for immigration reform. Rather, the Constitution invests Congress with the powers to make laws and establish policies (which could do what this verse suggests if the political process leads to that end).
If the Constitution quoted Deuteronomy 17:15, the nation would need to discern somehow who God had chosen to be king. Also, in Deut. 17:20, the Bible notes that the chosen king’s descendants will rule a long time if the king follows God’s instructions. Clearly, our Constitution does not reflect those Bible verses. Furthermore, one does not need the Bible to see the reasonableness of requiring citizenship as a condition of political leadership.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
John tells us about it here. A taste:
On Friday night, following McKenzie's talk, the teachers were treated to a lecture by Daniel Dreisbach of American University. He discussed the ways the Founding Fathers used the Bible in their revolutionary-era discourse. Dreisbach made a compelling case that the Bible was very important to the founding generation as one of the sources (along with Whig political thought, Enlightenment thought, the classics, etc...) that influenced their political ideas. They quoted it, referenced it, and even appealed to its language without directly referencing it. Dreisbach did not dwell on whether or not the Founders used the Bible correctly (at one point he said that their constant appeal to the Book of Deuteronomy was "tortured"), but that was not his assignment.
Friday, November 15, 2013
By Paul O. Carrese here. A taste:
... But Montesquieu also argued that we are social beings, and naturally open to religious belief. We are shaped by culture and history, but philosophers and statesmen can push back. Thus he condemned slavery, harsh penal laws, religious persecution, and other forms of despotism. Montesquieu is neither a historicist liberal nor a Frenchified Lockean liberal. He embodies the moderate Enlightenment, and moderate liberalism.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Found here. A taste:
In Part Two, a section of three essays, we are introduced, although far more subtly, to another plank in the Straussian system of belief—that is, that anyone as clever as Locke could not possibly have been a believer in a different system of belief, one including a belief in God. The cornerstone to this contention rests on Zuckert’s insistence that Locke’s “‘official theory of revelation’ has many difficulties,” in particular, that “in order to verify any alleged revelation as a real revelation, reason must have rational knowledge of the existence of a revealing God…. But it is Locke’s view that reason is not in possession of such rational knowledge of the existence of a revealing God…. Since Locke lacks rational knowledge of a revealing God, he knows of no authentic revelation, including of course the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.”
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
By Greg Forster here. A taste:
Uh-huh. Given Barton’s history of outrageous fabrication, I wouldn’t bet the ranch on that “actual number.” In fact, it’s noteworthy that in National Review’s coverage of the story, the quotations most effusively praising Barton come from anonymous sources; the quotes from named sources mostly complain about the incumbent and lament that we need a real conservative. I can’t help but wonder why those sources felt the need to stay anonymous. If it turned out that the massive grassroots groundswell for David Barton consisted mostly of the same old David Barton Traveling Medicine Show hyping itself, my world would not exactly be turned upside-down.
Rodda: The Lies Used by Jay Sekulow to Defend an Oath Against Lying: An Open Letter to the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy
Writing at Huffpo here. A taste:
Optionally adding the words "so help me God" is, of course, anyone's right. These words, however, should not be a part of the official oath, where they inevitably lead to situations in which cadets are forced or coerced to say them. Therefore, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has demanded that the words be removed. This, of course, has cause a media firestorm, and even proposed legislation to prevent the oath from being changed.
The defenders of "so help me God" are claiming that things like this were the intent of the founders and have deep historical roots, and, as expected are using quite a few lies about American history to support this claim -- ironically lying to defend an oath in which cadets swear not to ... um ... lie.