Michigan Filmmaker Pushes Christian Nation Nonsense


I’d never heard of Joseph Zabrosky, who grew up in Brighton, Michigan and now lives in nearby Howell, until I saw this article in a local paper. He’s apparently made a film called The Real One Nation Under God, which “uses a fictional storyline to make his argument that the Founding Fathers’ intentions and case law solidify Christianity as the country’s established religion.” And he makes predictably bad arguments in the article:

Zabrosky, on the other hand, says the Constitution represents principles in the Bible, further proof, he said, that Christianity is the country’s established religion.

“Our Constitution is almost like a holy document, and that’s why it’s been stepped on. Our Constitution is somewhat of a God-driven document,” he said.

“Our Constitution is based on Christian principles, and as they step on the Constitution, they are destroying our country. That is how Christians will bring our country back — by just adhering to the Constitution because the Christian principles are built into it,” Zabrosky added.

As I continually point out to those who make this argument, if it were true that the Constitution was based on “Christian principles” then it should be quite easy to point to the Biblical support for various provisions of the Constitution. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

But Zabrosky’s film argues that the First Amendment does not include the words “separation of church and state” and that the majority of the Founding Fathers attended Christian churches.

Which has nothing whatsoever to do with the question of separation of church and state. Going to church does not mean that one doesn’t support separation. This is a non sequitur.

Howell resident Dan Duey plays the school’s principal in the movie under his actual name.

Duey, a self-described “very conservative Catholic Christian,” is making his screen debut in “The Real One Nation.”

Duey said he is particularly bothered by the barring of Christian prayer in public schools and the reduced recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance due to its reference to God.

Exactly what country does Duey live in? There is no barring of Christian prayer in public schools. There is a prohibition on government sponsorship of prayer in public schools, as there should be. And the “reduced recitation” of the Pledge of Allegiance? The opposite has happened. Since 9/11, more and more states and local school boards have required that it be said. And it’s quite absurd for a Catholic, of all people, to be in a movie claiming that the Constitution was intended to set up a Christian nation. One of the most commonly heard arguments against the passage of the Constitution was that it would allow a “Papist” to hold public office (previously forbidden in many states) and put our government under the control of the Pope. Catholics were broadly despised by other Christians at the time.

I’ve been in contact with Mr. Zabrosky and we have arranged to have a debate on this very subject on April 23, 2014 in front of CFI Michigan. This should be fun.

Comments

  1. says

    “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion….” – Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11. Proposed by President George Washington in 1796, ratified by the US Senate June 7, 1797, and accepted by President John Adams three days later. Washington, Adams, and pretty much every member of the Senate, were directly involved in the Revolutionary War: if they had no problem stating up front that the US was “not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,” why do Talibangelicals insist otherwise?

    It is astonishing — not surprising, mind you, just astonishing — that so many self-described historians are so willfully ignorant of history.

  2. tfkreference says

    Have any of these types addressed the conflict between the First Amendment and the First Commandment?

  3. says

    “fictional storyline”

    That’s quite enough, Ed, the rest of the piece is just pilin’ on. I don’t argue with people who are too stupid to spell “cat”, if you spot them the “c” and the “t”. And if they’re not just stupid but indignorant*, I’m afraid the closest thing I can offer as a reasoned response to their nonsense is, “Fuck you, you fucking moron.”.

    * Ignorant and DAMNED proud of it!

  4. says

    @tfkreference – It is very common for the religious right to insist that “religion” is synonymous with “Christianity” and occasionally Judaism. Other belief systems such as Islam and Hinduism are not really religions, so the First Amendment does not apply to them.

  5. alanb says

    Perhaps Mr. Duey would like to go back to the days when it was mandated to read the Protestant Bible in schools and Catholic children who refused were whipped and beaten and parents in Catholic neighborhoods would sometimes riot in protest. (This was one of the main reasons the Catholic Church started their own school system.)

  6. says

    But Zabrosky’s film argues that the First Amendment does not include the words “separation of church and state” and that the majority of the Founding Fathers attended Christian churches.

    Actually, separaton of church and state is just about the only thing in the Constitution that really CAN be traced to the Bible — specifically, the bit where Jesus says “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” This guy’s explicit rejection of Christ’s teaching shows how much he really knows, or cares, about either the Bible or the Constitution.

  7. Chiroptera says

    Our Constitution is almost like a holy document….

    Personally, I think that’s the problem right there.

    On the other hand, the right wing is consistent: their eisegesis of the Constitution is very similar to their eisegesis of their Bible.

  8. says

    “It is very common for the religious right to insist that “religion” is synonymous with “Christianity” and occasionally Judaism.”

    Given the confusion that surrounds the “Judeo-Christian” label, I think it would be a great help to those who are confused about such things if it was simply typed as “Judeo<Christian" to clear things up for the slow or non-thinkers in their audience.

  9. Alverant says

    Last time I checked, voting for your leaders and freedom of expression were ANTI-christian/biblical values. The bible was for divinely anointed kings sans elections and heresy was punishable by death.

  10. scienceavenger says

    I hope you plan on having a laptop in front of you during the debate so you can quote reality chapter and verse every time he lies.

  11. says

    Zabrosky, on the other hand, says the Constitution represents principles in the Bible, further proof, he said, that Christianity is the country’s established religion.

    Are these Zabrosky’s actual words? Because he can say “the First Amendment does not include the words ‘separation of church and state'” all he wants, but it definitely includes something about establishment of religions.

  12. says

    Deen “…but it definitely includes something about establishment of religions.”
    Ah, but they’re not picking one religion. They’re merely excluding all the wrong ones. So there!

  13. raven says

    The bible says you are supposed to pay your taxes and obey your rulers because they were appointed by the gods.

    Right now that is Obama.

    The political arm of the fundies, the Tea Party always ignores this part, which is one of the few bible quotes that actually has anything to do with how to live in a nation state.

  14. Artor says

    This should be fun.

    For a certain value of “fun,” sure. Dealing face-to-face with raving, anti-reality lunatics and willful idiots isn’t what I would characterize as “fun.” But reading your merciless takedowns of their abject stupidity is kind of fun from my perspective. More power to you!

  15. Pierce R. Butler says

    … the Constitution represents principles in the Bible…

    Quite so. F’rinstance, both support taxation, which is why we see modern christian patriots regularly shaming the rest of us by their unstinting sacrificial contributions for the public weal.

  16. Jordan Genso says

    Luckily there’s a very astute commenter on that site who pointed out that the guy is just trying to get conservatives to give him money by telling them what they want to hear.
    ;-)

  17. Michael Heath says

    Ed reports:

    I’ve been in contact with Mr. Zabrosky and we have arranged to have a debate on this very subject on April 23, 2014 in front of CFI Michigan. This should be fun.

    Have you worked out the framework for the debate to minimize Mr. Zabrosky depending predominately on false premises?

    I assume no feasible framework exists that would keep Mr. Zabrosky in the debate if the rules were able to effectively prohibit the use of rhetorical and logical fallacies since he’d have no argument available. Still, it’d be awesome to have refs which flag such failures in thinking as they occur.

    What’s so frustrating about observing such debates is how Christians predominately rely on falsehoods and incoherent conclusions, e.g., William Lane Craig’s debate style, which flunks even remedial level critical thinking. So such debates too often come down to a matter of style more than the quality of evidence coupled to the coherency of the arguments which are derived from the evidence.

  18. Chelydra says

    I’ve been in contact with Mr. Zabrosky and we have arranged to have a debate on this very subject on April 23, 2014 in front of CFI Michigan.

    You should really hold your debate in Hell, which is conveniently located nearby.

  19. typecaster says

    When the debate happens, I’d greatly enjoy it if, when Mr. Zabrosky says “Separation of church and state isn’t in the First Amendment”, you’d ask him where the word “Trinity” appears in the Bible. Do let us know where the debate will be held.

  20. exdrone says

    Just think, Ed. If you do well in the debate, Zabrosky might offer you a part in his next film!!! Instead of a casting couch, you will have to satisfy him at the casting podium. I have my fingers crossed.

  21. Crudely Wrott says

    Five’ll get you ten that Zabrosky finds some excuse to be a no show. I really, really hope I’m wrong.
    *checks larder for popcorn supply*
    _____
    Seconding the hat tip to democommie for “indignorant”, teawithbertrand.

    Attaboy, democommie! Every now and then you rip off a goodun!

  22. AsqJames says

    we have arranged to have a debate on this very subject on April 23

    A propitious date!

    April 23rd happens to be the “Saints Day” of a chap called George (among others). This Turkish lizard lancer is the patron saint of your former colonial ruler, and namesake of the (allegedly) divinely ordained monarch against whom the writers of your Declaration of Independence, and subsequent Constitution, revolted.

    You may wish to ask Mr Zabrosky why the founding fathers were so keen to overturn the biblically inspired/endorsed form of government George III was head of; and also why neither they, nor any of their successors, ever bothered to replace George with any other of the myriad available saints as patron of their new endeavour.

Leave a Reply