Wingnut: Freedom Comes From Garden of Eden


Wow. This might actually be too stupid even for David Barton. Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, did a radio show with right-wing pastor Tony Evans and they claimed that the founders based America on the Bible — and that the very idea of freedom came from the Garden of Eden.

Daly: Tony, as we look at the mandate in the Bible to vote there is so much there and the Founding Fathers again were brilliant in understanding God’s design for things and the Scripture is pretty clear and really the Founding Fathers in creating a Republic based it on their biblical understanding of God’s ordination of government, didn’t they?

Evans: Absolutely, they went right to Exodus 18, how Israel was organized as a representative government, and used that as a pattern for the government of the United States. The principles and the freedom which dominates the uniqueness of the United States is drawn right from Scripture, in fact freedom started with God in the Garden, ‘from every tree of the Garden you may freely eat,’ there was broad freedom, limited regulations and dire consequences, that’s how government is supposed to work, so whenever government gets too big it gets unbiblical.

Okay, let’s look at Exodus 18. There’s nothing in that book that is even remotely republican (small r) about the government established there. In fact, the form of government in that chapter is absolutely theocratic.

13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”

15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”

17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

No democracy. No freedom. The “government” acts only as priests, decreeing what God demands of them. This is a lot like what these dominionists want to happen but it has absolutely nothing to do with the government established by the Constitution. And the notion that freedom comes from the Garden of Eden is a whole new kind of idiocy.

Comments

  1. Randomfactor says

    Metaphorically speaking, he’s absolutely correct. Freedom begins when you tell the Bearded Troll In The Sky to take a hike.

    The apple was a test. Eve passed; Adam cheated off her paper.

  2. andrewjohnston says

    If I may add some emphasis:

    The principles and the freedom which dominates the uniqueness of the United States is drawn right from Scripture, in fact freedom started with God in the Garden, ‘from every tree of the Garden you may freely eat,’ there was broad freedom, limited regulations and dire consequences, that’s how government is supposed to work, so whenever government gets too big it gets unbiblical.

    Regulations. In the Garden of Eden.

    Tony Evans just won the wingnut contest. You may as well pack it up, because no one – real or Poe – is even going to top that.

  3. Mr Ed says

    There’s nothing in that book that is even remotely republican (small r) about the government established there. In fact, the form of government in that chapter is absolutely theocratic.

    So it is just like Republican with a big R

  4. matty1 says

    ‘from every tree of the Garden you may freely eat,’
    also feel free not to worship me and to do what you want with your own lives as long as it doesn’t harm others.

    Yes the origin of freedom in the Bible… what do you mean it doesn’t say that? It’s the Bible, it can say anything I want it to.

  5. imrryr says

    Okay, Adam and Eve, don’t eat from this tree, it teaches you the knowledge of good and evil. And remember, it’s evil to disobey Me. What do you mean you can’t possibly know that because you haven’t eaten from the tree yet? Shut up and eat the damn apple already! I know you’re gonna, I am omniscient after all… jeez.

  6. Phillip IV says

    <blockquote<There’s nothing in that book that is even remotely republican (small r) about the government established there. In fact, the form of government in that chapter is absolutely theocratic.

    I doubt that that subtle little distinction even exists in those two clowns’ mindset.

  7. dingojack says

    And let’s see what Genesis 2:15 says:

    ‘Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”’

    Ahhh yes the freedom to obey unconditionally totally arbitrary rules.

    Dingo

  8. says

    Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden for eating the fruit of knowledge. One of the most insidious ways to suppress freedom is to keep people ignorant. Ignorance restricts choice because it restricts awareness of the possible choices.

    The powerful can deny people the freedom to make a certain choice by keeping them ignorant of that choice’s existence. They can also deny freedom to make a choice by manipulating information so that they don’t see the reasons in favor of making that choice. That’s how wingnut politics work: They’re against informed autonomy and consent.

  9. raven says

    ‘Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

    Sounds like Adam was a slave here.

    1. It wasn’t like he had any choice. The Sky Monster put him there to “tend and keep it” whether he wanted to or not.

    2. There is nothing about pay, working conditions, pensions, or vacation time. Apparently it was all the fruit you could eat and that is it.

  10. raven says

    Romans CEV:

    Romans 13
    Contemporary English Version (CEV)

    Obey Rulers
    13 Obey the rulers who have authority over you. Only God can give authority to anyone, and he puts these rulers in their places of power. 2 People who oppose the authorities are opposing what God has done, and they will be punished. 3 Rulers are a threat to evil people, not to good people. There is no need to be afraid of the authorities. Just do right, and they will praise you for it. 4 After all, they are God’s servants, and it is their duty to help you.

    If you do something wrong, you ought to be afraid, because these rulers have the right to punish you. They are God’s servants who punish criminals to show how angry God is. 5 But you should obey the rulers because you know it is the right thing to do, and not just because of God’s anger.

    6 You must also pay your taxes. The authorities are God’s servants, and it is their duty to take care of these matters. 7 Pay all that you owe, whether it is taxes and fees or respect and honor.

    What the bible does say is to obey the rulers and pay your taxes because god put the authorities over you.

    At that time, the rulers were all kings and emperors.

    Bunch of hypocrites. That’s Obama the magic book is referring to these days.

  11. matty1 says

    Apparently it was all the fruit you could eat and that is it.

    Surely it wasn’t all the fruit you could eat?

  12. Blondin says

    ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?
    WOMAN: We don’t have a lord.
    ARTHUR: What?
    DENNIS: I told you. We’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.
    ARTHUR: Yes.
    DENNIS: But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting.
    ARTHUR: Yes, I see.
    DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,–
    ARTHUR: Be quiet!
    DENNIS: –but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more–
    ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!

  13. Chiroptera says

    Absolutely, they went right to Exodus 18, how Israel was organized as a representative government, and used that as a pattern for the government of the United States.

    As the verses quoted by Ed show, this was representative government in the same way that the Soviet Union had “representative government.” Sure there were political subdivisions and subsubdivisions that did most of the heavy work — like every other organized government — and maybe the leaders of these subdivisions were chosen from among the people governed in the subdivisions.

    But true representative government would mean that the people themselves tell the leaders what the laws and rules are. These leaders in Exodus were responsible for ruling according to Moses’ authoritarian rules. That isn’t representative government in any sane meaning of the word.

  14. says

    God loves “freedom” so much he gave people “free will” so that he’d have an excuse to torture them eternally if they didn’t use their “free will” to choose in accordance with his plan. God loves freedom, alright.

  15. grumpyoldfart says

    I’ll bet they keep a close watch on the flow of donations. While donations keep increasing, they keep pushing the envelope, but you watch them start back-pedalling when donations begin to drop off.

  16. bybelknap says

    Pah! Youse guys no nothing aboot the Bible. There is a super secret book – the Book of Madison – that describes the overthrow of a tyrant king by a merchant middle class upset by burdensome taxes for which they had no say in the collection thereof. Chapters 9-21 describe the revolution and the formation of a representative democracy. Really, it’s in the bible!

  17. Sastra says

    God: Be obedient! I order you to be obedient!

    Eve: Order, eh? Who does he think he is? Heh.

    God: I am your God.

    Eve: Well, I didn’t vote for you.

    God: You don’t vote for gods.

    Eve: Well, how did you become God then?

    God: I am the Alpha and the Omega–the beginning and the end, the Lord your God. I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come–the Almighty One.

    Adam: Listen, strange entities lyin’ around forever braggin’ about how bleedin’ powerful they are is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical king figure ordering people around because he says so.

    God: Be quiet!

    Adam: Well, but you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ’cause you’re older than dirt.

    God: Shut up!

    Adam: I mean, if I went ’round saying I was an emperor just because I am what I am and always was who I was, they’d put me away!

    God: Shut up, will you? Shut up! Get out! Out you go! Out! Out!

    Adam and Eve together: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system!

    I seem to remember that scene…

  18. F says

    One of the most amusing background assumptions here is that, basically, no one else has ever been free except people in the US (as long is there isn’t some antichrist liberal in office).

  19. Michael Heath says

    F writes:

    One of the most amusing background assumptions here is that, basically, no one else has ever been free except people in the US (as long is there isn’t some antichrist liberal in office).

    I had the privilege to travel a lot on business in the 1990s/early-2000s. I would not have fully appreciated your point until those travels. For me I wasn’t even conscious of how unconscious and deep this prejudice was, including in me, until I had a chance to meet non-U.S. citizens where they worked and lived.

    I was actually surprised that people enjoyed life in other countries.

  20. Artor says

    @Randomfactor #1
    Lilith was the one who passed the test. She took one look at the game and walked out, refusing to play ball with an asshole like Yahweh, or his pet schmuck Adam.

  21. F says

    Michael Heath @ 19

    Thanks for the personal example illustration. All that sort of thing seems to be part of the American Exceptionalism™ thing which has been subconsciously seeped or explicitly drilled into our minds in the States.

  22. Peter B says

    Freedom came from the Garden of Eden? Given the source I must assume it was not the freedom to without clothing. Pity.

  23. says

    21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

    If the U.S. was following this model for government wouldn’t this verse disqualify Rmoney from government service?

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