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Nov 30 2011

Gingrich and Christian Nation Mythology

Bruce Wilson at Talk2Action has video from a conference where Newt Gingrich appeared with David Barton and others pushing the Christian Nation myth. He writes:

On September 19, 2011, at an Orlando, Florida hotel, Republican presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry gathered, along with hundreds of pastors brought in for a secretive “Pastors Policy Briefing” meeting (which excluded the press), and listened as Christian history revisionist David Barton, former Vice Chair of the Texas GOP, explained (link to video clip of Barton) that key concepts in the United States Constitution were derived from Old Testament scripture, including from the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus.

Here’s the video:

15 comments

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  1. 1
    d cwilson

    The real story here isn’t the Christian Nation Myth. We know the GOP is going to push that no matter who gets the nomination. What’s really going on here is that both Perry and Gingrich are courting the religious right to be annointed the official Block The Mormon Candidate ™.

  2. 2
    Modusoperandi

    d cwilson, don’t they know that Gingritch is cheating on Roman Catholicism with another religion?

  3. 3
    eric

    Yes indeedy, I can see how the founders might have gotten the ‘slaves count as 3/5 of a person’ thing from the Pentateuch’s endorsement of slave-holding.

  4. 4
    John Hinkle

    Not only was that some gas giant class pandering, ten bucks says Newt is an atheist.

    Newt is lower than a crushed cockroach under the heal of a sewer tunnel worker.

  5. 5
    Chiroptera

    …that key concepts in the United States Constitution were derived from Old Testament scripture, including from the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus.

    You mean like the US Constitutional provision that only unblemished males from the priestly caste is allowed to eat the sacrifices?

  6. 6
    d cwilson

    @Modusoperandi:

    Newt changes religions almost as often as he changes wives. Maybe they’re hoping to lure him to their altar.

  7. 7
    RW Ahrens

    Read about the 3/5ths compromise here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Fifths_Compromise

    It was not in “support” of slavery, but a compromise between those who opposed it and those who supported it.

    Since the opposers of slavery did not have the ability to pass and ratify the Constitution without the support of the slave states, a compromise was necessary.

    The fact is that both sides of the slavery issue in the US used the bible to support their positions, thus supporting the atheist position that the bible shouldn’t be used to determine modern policy positions in governing a democratic country!

  8. 8
    tacitus

    Not only was that some gas giant class pandering, ten bucks says Newt is an atheist.

    I doubt it, since that would require Newt to have seriously considered and thought through his religious beliefs and come to a definitive conclusion.

    More likely he’s somewhere in the mushy middle of agnosticism/deism, which allows himself to morph between a wide variety of religious positions according to his current needs, without much effort.

  9. 9
    gshelley

    You mean like the US Constitutional provision that only unblemished males from the priestly caste is allowed to eat the sacrifices?

    More likely the constitutional requirement that individuals and especially candidates for public office must acknowledge that the OT God is the only actual god.

  10. 10
    Michael Heath

    eric writes:

    Yes indeedy, I can see how the founders might have gotten the ‘slaves count as 3/5 of a person’ thing from the Pentateuch’s endorsement of slave-holding.

    Not a rebuttal but instead some piling-on:

    Per an inerrant reading of the Bible, God continued to enable slavery in the New Testament and effectively promoted it there as well. The latter given his previous OT promotion while raising the topic again in the NT without providing a condemnation of it but instead directions for administrating slavery. Christians who assert an inerrant Bible can’t discard with their god’s current endorsement of slavery without lying about it. That’s not my mere opinion, it’s logically impossible to concede otherwise. It is an unassailable fact assuming the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

  11. 11
    d cwilson

    More likely the constitutional requirement that individuals and especially candidates for public office must acknowledge that the OT God is the only actual god.

    Oddly enough, the OT itself is contradictory on this point, with numerous passages that acknowledge the existence of other gods.

  12. 12
    Aquaria

    key concepts in the United States Constitution were derived from Old Testament scripture, including from the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus.

    I’ll be waiting for the biblical references to habeus corpus, no bill of attainder and search warrants.

    And do tell us how the first four commandments line up with the First Amendment, Dave.

    While you’re at it.

  13. 13
    Aquaria

    Oddly enough, the OT itself is contradictory on this point, with numerous passages that acknowledge the existence of other gods.

    Here’s what the book says, from Exodus 20:

    #1 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    It doesn’t matter if the other gods exist elsewhere, because the message is always clear about those other gods: You’re not supposed to worship them, or worship them as much as you do YHWH. Ever. YHWH must come first, no matter what.

    However, you can worship other gods before YHWH or besides him if you want, as per the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. Or you can worship none. The government cannot do anything to you if you do.

    Here are the others that are in direct violation of the First Amendment.

    #2 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    Directly contradicts freedom of speech, as per the arts. You can make likenesses of anything you please in “heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”, or National Geographic would be in a lot of fucking trouble. This passage also violates the free exercise clause. You can bow down to idols if you want to, as per the First Amendment.

    #3 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    Directly contradicts freedom of speech. For example, you can say, “That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah”, and the government can’t have you stoned for it.

    #4 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    Directly violates the free exercise clause. You don’t have to follow the sabbath or keep it holy.

  14. 14
    reverendrodney

    Aquarius @ 13:
    Mind if I print out what you wrote? It’s great.

  15. 15
    paulburnett

    Aquaria (#13) quoted the Second Commandment: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    Moslems (Sunni more than Shia) take this far more seriously than the Judeo-Christians, forbidding essentially any representational art. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniconism_in_Islam

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