There is a belief among many right-wing conservative Christians that everything — literally everything — that’s in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights comes directly from the Bible. It’s a myth that’s been primarily pushed by pseudo-historian David Barton, who defends his claim by twisting every sentence in one document in order to make it sound like something in the other one.
For example, Barton once cited Luke 11:20 — “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” — as the Founding Fathers’ justification for why we even have a Constitution in the first place… which is a lie.
Now his clone son Tim Barton is getting in on the family business by making the exact same claim.
“The Founding Fathers referenced very specific [Bible] verses as the reason why they were doing what they did,” the younger Barton claimed. “George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Adams all wrote [that] the reason we needed separate powers, they said, [was] because the heart of man is wicked and deceitful and can’t be trusted.”
That phrase comes from Jeremiah 17:9, which prompted Barton to insist the framers of the Constitution “literally quoted and referenced the Bible as the reason we had to have a separation of powers because they knew that the word of God taught was true.”
“There’s actually dozens of examples from scripture that the Founding Fathers literally quoted the Bible for what they did,” Barton added. “And actually, if you read the Constitution and then you read the Bible, you will find phrases that are almost verbatim from the Bible in the Constitution.”
If the phrases include words like “the,” sure, there’s a lot of overlap. But when it comes to substance, even the Bartons’ own website lacks any real one-to-one matchups. It’s just one of those myths that sounds good to conservatives because they’ve never read either text and the Bartons know they’ll never be called out on their lie by their target audience.
While certain democratic ideals have withstood the test of time, the idea that the Founders just borrowed liberally from the Bible when writing a (godless) Constitution that called for a separation of church and state and was explicitly not a religious document is just pathetic “scholarship” that no real academic could ever get behind.
So no wonder the younger Barton has fallen for it.
(via Right Wing Watch)