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Apr 09 2013

Wingnut: America Prophesied in Genesis

Warren Throckmorton quotes from a book called The Covenant: America’s Sacred and Immutable Connection to Ancient Israel by Timothy Ballard. That book has a strong endorsement from our old pal David Barton and it makes some truly loopy claims. Like that Americans are descended from the lost tribes of Israel, through Joseph:

Indeed, Joseph/Ephraim was led out to become a multitude of people. They were led to the north country, to the coastline, to the isles of the sea. They were carried over the wall of water to another land. That land is America. (Kindle Locations 1028-1030)

And this is proven, Ballard claims, by the fact that America is rich:

In the final analysis of these Old Testament promises, and with the advantage of historical hindsight, it is difficult to argue with Pastor Armstrong: “God did cause the birthright nations—and them only—to become suddenly the recipients of such national wealth, greatness and power as no nation or empire ever before had acquired! Together they—the British and Americans, descendants of only one tribe, Joseph—came into possession of more than two-thirds—almost three-fourths—of all the cultivated resources and wealth of the whole world. It sounds incredible!… The most amazing fact of all history is this sudden skyrocketing from virtual obscurity of two nations to the most fabulous wealth and economic power ever possessed by any people. Britain became Great Britain—a gigantic, stupendously wealthy commonwealth of nations—the United States, the greatest nation of history.” (Kindle Locations 1057-1065)

If I had a nickel for every group that claims to be the true descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, I’d be a rich man. This is the kind of pseudo-historical pap that a certain brand of Christian laps up. It’s catnip for morons.

32 comments

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  1. 1
    Gregory in Seattle

    Wait, I thought America was founded by Nephi, son of Lehi. I’m confused!

  2. 2
    zippythepinhead

    Baseball was invented in the US of A and the first line of the Bible starts, “In the big inning … ” You don’t need more proof than that.

  3. 3
    Ben P

    This oddly made me think of the story of the Lemba, one of the other purported “lost tribes of Israel,” except their claim got borne out through DNA testing.

    The Lemba are a Bantu speaking ethnic group in Zimbabwe and South Africa that has a number of Jewish cultural traditions and a mythology that they are descended from a near eastern group of Jews. DNA testing around 2000 confirmed that about 50% of Lemba men contain a Y chromosome of near eastern origin and specific haplogroups that are also common among middle eastern and north African Jewish groups.

  4. 4
    doublereed

    That reminds me, I need to get Bioshock: Infinite…

  5. 5
    matty1

    Sounds like a twist on the British Israel movement to me. The wiki article doesn’t say but it has always been my impression that they are pretty staunch racists.

  6. 6
    matty1

    I can’t read my own links, the article does mention the connection to Christian Identity.

  7. 7
    Moggie

    Together they—the British and Americans, descendants of only one tribe, Joseph—came into possession of more than two-thirds—almost three-fourths—of all the cultivated resources and wealth of the whole world.

    In much the same way that I can hit someone over the head and come into possession of their wallet.

  8. 8
    Gregory in Seattle

    @matty1 #5 – Anglo-Israelism has been knocking around the US for more than 200 years. Among many other things, it serves as the inspiration for Joseph Smith’s pseudo-history,

  9. 9
    David Marjanović

    …If you take the two quotes together, Ballard is claiming that Britain was settled from America after America was settled from Israel.

    I diagnose him at 0.5 Timecubes on the logarithmic Timecube scale.

  10. 10
    birgerjohansson

    If you are interested in early examples of bogus Bible-related history, during the 17th century some Swedes with ties to the king launched a claim that the original ur-home of mankind (Eden) had been in present-day Sweden.
    They even forged a word in the ancient ostrogoth “silver bible” -Ubizala- to make it appear that Uppsala was mentioned in the OT.
    — — — — — — —
    Ballard lacks credibility for many reasons, like not mentioning the role of the civilization of Mu in the early history of America. Those abnors were a nasty bunch.
    — — — — — — —
    “Ballard is claiming that Britain was settled from America after America was settled from Israel.”

    If you find stupidity amusing Ballard is a barrel of laughs.
    (remembers Monthy Python song: “How sweet to be an idiot”)

  11. 11
    Raging Bee

    And this is proven, Ballard claims, by the fact that America is rich…

    So if the Republicans keep on making us poorer, would that prove Ballard wrong?

    And what the hell is with all this fetishization of Jews and Israel? I have nothing against Jews, but really, NOTHING of any importance in my life is even remotely traceable to that ethnic group or their culture or place of origin. My DNA ancestry is Celtic and Norse, with maybe some Roman bits. And my cultural ancestry is Scottish, Irish, English, French, and German, which is in turn influenced by Romans and Greeks (with a good bit of help from Muslims). Most of my philosopy and worldview comes, ultimately, from Ancient Greece via Rome and the Arab world; and my original religion, liberal Christianity, was a very Western variant of a movement started by a relatively radical freethinker in an area occupied and heavily influenced by the Roman Empire. The “tribes of Israel” were just that, tribes who tried to keep themselves apart from just about every socio-political advancement that came their way — and who are still struggling with backward tribalistic authoritarian religion that seeks to keep on rejecting even the most basic values of the advanced secular societies that have made their peoples so much freer and more prosperous than any backward tribalistic society ever could.

  12. 12
    Raging Bee

    I diagnose him at 0.5 Timecubes on the logarithmic Timecube scale.

    Does that half of the Timecube have a Star of David engraved on it?

  13. 13
    Raging Bee

    Oops, more clarification needed: “…and my original religion, liberal Christianity, was a very Western variant of a movement started by a relatively radical freethinker in an area occupied and heavily influenced by the Roman Empire and by Hellenic civilization before that.”

  14. 14
    slc1

    Re birgerjohansson @ #10

    Hey, Mormon founder Joseph Smith claimed that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri.

  15. 15
    Raging Bee

    slc1: Mormon prophecies about America don’t count, because they were all written AFTER America was founded.

  16. 16
    dingojack

    So when they got exiled they went into the (relative) hell that is Kentucky? (Gen 3:24)
    Dingo

  17. 17
    whoever

    @ Ben P

    The studies I’ve seen rather show generic Near Eastern (which is not surprising) than specific Jewish connections. Similarly, the (self-)identification of the Lemba with Jews and Judaism was, at least, partly the result of European colonialist fantasies.

    Of course an ancient connection could still exist. Beta Israel after all don’t appear distinct from other Ethiopians.

    Raging Bee said:

    And what the hell is with all this fetishization of Jews and Israel?

    Gentile Israelism (per above, long and proud history) and contemporary dispensationalism (non-protestants have generally preferred replacement theologies I guess) of some sort?

    It’s really quite unfortunate for the Jews to be included in all these gentile theological fantasies (even those that are supposed to benefit say Israel, the state) so don’t be that harsh. I guess one could add something about the important contributions of Jews in the modern era, for example, to satiate you but I dislike the *irrelevant*, ethnic arguments and I’m guessing you didn’t intend your reasonably-fueled rage to take you that far in the territory of potential exceptionalism and “ethnic importance,” in the first place. :-)

  18. 18
    raven

    came into possession of more than two-thirds—almost three-fourths—of all the cultivated resources and wealth of the whole world. It sounds incredible!.

    Which didn’t include oil obviously. Due to poor planning, the abundant and cheap oil mostly seemed to end up in the middle east in Moslem countries. Who are also very rich these days.

    And what the hell is with all this fetishization of Jews and Israel?

    It’s simple, Israel had a covenant with god and were god’s chosen people.

    Covenants with god and being chosen people of god are like footballs. They get passed around a lot and can end up anywhere and everywhere. Unfortunately, they are also like the emperor’s new clothes. You have to be crazy and have a brain the size of a walnut to see them.

    @10 According to the Mormons, the Garden of Eden was in Missouri. IIRC, the Mormons actually have a plaque where it was.

  19. 19
    Modusoperandi

    He’s right, Ed Brayton. And if you don’t like it, go back to Israel!

  20. 20
    jayarrrr

    “And what the hell is with all this fetishization of Jews and Israel? ”

    It’s easy. Israel, Armageddon, “Final battle”, the Return of Jeebus, “Holy Land”.

    Our politicians pander to the American Fundy Right by showering Bibi with all kinds of cool destructive toys in the hope that this “final battle” myth gets played out soon.

    I’m thinking that the “lost tribe” that set up on this continent would have come here LONG before the 17th Century, right? So then it would follow that these “Descendants of Joseph” came over here and tried to wipe out the earlier tribe, the one we call “Native Americans”…

  21. 21
    tommykey

    And how was China so rich and powerful for so many centuries? Or were they just lucky?

  22. 22
    kantalope

    ” NOTHING of any importance in my life is even remotely traceable to that ethnic group…”

    Mel Brooks

  23. 23
    baal

    Wow, that timecube site is like strong cheese, great in tiny tiny amounts.

    Ex:
    Opposites Create, not God,
    who equates queer creator
    and masturbation creation
    of Evil Oneness Educators.
    Oneism equates to evil lie,
    and Death for Opposites
    of Hemispheres and Sexes.

  24. 24
    Raging Bee

    kantalope: I sit corrected. There’s also Einstein and all those Manhattan Project folks…

  25. 25
    birgerjohansson

    Timothy Ballard. Another passenger for Ark B.*

    (*In-joke for Douglas Adams fans)

  26. 26
    slc1

    Re Raging Bee @ #24

    Bee might want to thank Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk for his not coming down with polio.

  27. 27
    iangould

    “God did cause the birthright nations—and them only—to become suddenly the recipients of such national wealth, greatness and power as no nation or empire ever before had acquired! ”

    Funny that’s exactly what the Saudis say too.

  28. 28
    iangould

    Logically this only applies to those descended from the original inhabitants of the British isles – the Saxons and Normans arrived much later.

    So, logically, America belongs to the Scots and the Irish and the rest of you spongers need to get out.

  29. 29
    Nick Gotts

    @iangould,
    According to recent genetic research – see The Origins of the British by Stephen Oppenheimer, most people in Britain and Ireland are mostly descended from people who arrived in the Late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic, long before the Celts.

    my original religion, liberal Christianity, was a very Western variant of a movement started by a relatively radical freethinker in an area occupied and heavily influenced by the Roman Empire and by Hellenic civilization before that.” – Raging Bee

    Actually Galilee, where Jesus is reported to have grown up and mostly taught, was not occupied by Roman troops, although its Jewish* ruler (Herod Antipas) paid tribute to Rome and ultimately depended on Roman support. But heavily influenced and previously Hellenized, certainly. Jesus apparently came a cropper when he kicked up a fuss in Jerusalem, which was within Roman-occupied Judaea, but under the day-to-day control of the aristocratic-priestly Jewish elite – a backwoods apocalyptic preacher interfering in matters of politics and trade beyond his comprehension.

    *The Herod dynasty was Idumaean, regarded by some Jews as doubtfully Jewish
    /history pedant

  30. 30
    macallan

    And how was China so rich and powerful for so many centuries? Or were they just lucky?

    Or any of the other non-christian empires. How about the mongolians? Or the ottomans? Or the various caliphates?
    Funny how the roman empire went all downhill when they adopted christianity, isn’t it? And the orthodox part managed to survive about a thousand years longer than the rest.
    That god needs to make up its mind.

  31. 31
    randytoad

    Wait a minute! The Mongol Empire rose faster and became every bit as wealthy as America and Great Britain. Gosh they were just a bunch of obscure tribes on the steppes of Asia and within a few years became the largest land empire in history. And before that; what about the Macedonians under Alexander? Howsabout the Ottomans? Gosh I can think of tons of rapidly rising empires and nations that rose from obscurity to wealth and power in a few generations or less, and I’m not even a “historian” like David Barton.

  32. 32
    randytoad

    Whoops someone already scooped me about the mongols and ottomans. I guess I should read comments before I put my $.02 in.

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