Christian Leader Finds Exact Words of the Bible in the Constitution

Beebe, AR — Saying he thinks his discovery will settle the Christian nation debate, Rev. Cyrus Jones revealed in a press release that he has found the words of the Bible in the United States Constitution. Pastor of the Patriot Baptist Church, Jones said he was skeptical at first but was encouraged to seek the truth by listening to historical document collector, David Barton.
“Barton has 100,000 pre-1812 documents in his library. Because of that, I figure he knows something about old words,” Jones said. “For sure, the Bible has old words and so does the Constitution. I decided to see if Barton was right when he said the exact words of the Bible are in the Constitution.”
Jones said that he found many exact words. “‘The,’ ‘and,’ and, ‘an’ are especially common in both the Bible and Constitution, but the clincher was words like ‘blessings’ and ‘liberty’ and ‘faith’ and ‘numbers.’ Those exact words are in both the Bible and the Constitution.”bible const
Jones is preparing a multi-part sermon series with a sermon on each exact word in common. “It is going to be anointed,” he said.
 
For more on the exact words of the Bible in the Constitution, watch the video below:

See also this and this.
(I hope it is obvious that Cyrus Jones is made up and the story is a spoof. Sadly, however, David Barton’s claim is very real (hat tip to RWW).

Glenn Beck Tells Crowd Ted Cruz Will Rely on God Inspired Constitution and Scriptures

It sure is getting thick on the campaign trail.
[dailymotion]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3rssxv_glenn-beck-tells-voters-ted-cruz-will-get-america-through-the-rapture_news[/dailymotion]
I don’t know where this happened but Glenn Beck certainly seems to think God raised up Ted Cruz to save America.
Consistent with his Mormon beliefs, he calls the Constitution and the Bible God-inspired and says Cruz will look to those two documents when making executive decisions. As an evangelical, that worries me. What part of the Bible will he look to? Mosaic law? Jesus’ moral teaching? How will he interpret it?
Reporters need to ask Cruz how the Bible will guide his decisions, and what will Cruz follow if the Bible and Constitution seem to contradict?
By the way, this clip will be played over and over again during the general election if Cruz gets the nomination.
 
 

More Fractured History Lessons in Glenn Beck's Sermon to Liberty University: The Bible, Cake and Witches

In two prior posts (here and here), I addressed Glenn Beck’s faulty reference to the purple triangle worn by Jehovah’s Witnesses while imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps during WWII.  Beck said Bible scholars were made to wear the triangle without telling the audience that Jehovah’s Witnesses were known as Bible students in Germany at the time. Very few  people (some say less than one percent) from other religions wore the purple triangle.
After he held up the purple triangle, Beck then held up a Bible he said belonged to Louis the 15th and a prayer book he said belonged to British King George III. He remarked that the books were hardly used and proposed the lack of Bible usage led to various problems for the French and British.  He then held up a Bible he said stopped the Salem witch trials. Finally, he told a story about the death of Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint church. Because I anticipate the Joseph Smith story will raise different issues than the Bible stories, I will take it in a separate post. For now, I want to examine Beck’s claims line by line. Prepare for whiplash.
Here again is the sermon:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYNjZ55nctE[/youtube]
At about 10 minutes into the video, after identifying several colored triangles the Nazis used to identify prisoners, Beck said:

…what got you sent to the concentration camps for the purple triangle? You were a Bible scholar. The Bible is the enemy to fascists.
Why?
When we went to war as a country there were two other great powers on earth one of them was England and the other was France. At the time King Louis was the King of France. This is King Louis the 15th’s Scriptures. If you look at the gilding, it’s perfect, it’s perfect. It’s never been read! How could you live in that society and say let them eat cake? What led to the revolution where the guillotines were the answer? He never read his Scriptures. The other great power that we broke away from was King George. This is King George his book of morning prayer. If you look through this, it is absolutely perfect. I don’t think the pages were ever turned.
What do your Scriptures look like? Will someday somebody say this is my mom, this is my dad, this is my brother, this is my sister’s Scriptures. Look at they’re in perfect condition, or will they have been poured over, dog-eared, written in that tells the story of your life and your path. This [holding up a Bible] is what freed the world and this came at a great price. This is an original William Tyndale Bible, and if you see, it was owned by a Puritan because every time there’s the face of price it’s been blotted out. This was smuggled page by page in bags of rice smuggled in. When they tied him to the stake, he said my only crime is that I believe that you should be able to read God’s Word in your own tongue. Now we have God’s Word in our pocket. We can access it anywhere, in any language. Does it mean anything to us anymore? Is it just a series of words put together?
This is the Bible that’s stopped the Salem witch trials. People will say that the Salem witch trials were caused by Christians, but how come the witch trials happened for decades in Europe but lasted very short period of time here? Why? Because of preachers, preachers that knew their Scriptures and took this Bible and said your misreading the Scriptures, and that Sunday the governor got up and stood in front of the congregation weeping, “I am sorry, I misread.”

There are several problems here. Let’s start with:

When we went to war as a country there were two other great powers on Earth one of them was England and the other was France.

Not so. Another possibly greater power on Earth at the time was China. According to the British Museum, the Chinese empire of Qianlong “was the wealthiest and most populous country in the world. By the end of the eighteenth century, there were 200 million Chinese.” This is an important point because Beck wants to make a case that the Bible is somehow involved in a nation’s political fortunes. Obviously, the Chinese did not seek to base their culture on the Bible.
Beck continued:

This is King Louis the 15th’s Scriptures. If you look at the gilding, it’s perfect, it’s perfect. It’s never been read! How could you live in that society and say let them eat cake? What led to the revolution where the guillotines were the answer? He never read his Scriptures.

I looked for information regarding King Louis’ Bible and have not yet found anything. However, I assume King Louis had more than one Bible and it seems presumptuous to make much out of the condition of this item unless one has additional primary source confirmation that the King never read any Bible.
Beck then leaps wildly through French history to link Louis’ purported lack of Bible reading with the phrase, “let them eat cake” and the French Revolution. The phrase “let them eat cake” is widely attributed to Marie Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI, the grandson of Louis XV. However, historians believe she never said the phrase. Instead, the phrase has been attributed to a Spanish princess before Louis the 15th was born. The phrase was also used by Rousseau in the book, Les Confessions, who said an unnamed princess uttered the words. Regarding the French Revolution, Louis XV died in 1774, 15 years before the revolution started. In short, Beck links Louis XV’s alleged lack of Bible reading to events that happened before he was born and after he died.
About King George, Beck said:

This is King George his book of morning prayer. If you look through this, it is absolutely perfect. I don’t think the pages were ever turned.

Again, I have found little on this. Was this King George’s only copy? According to this British Royal Collection website, a Bible, psalter and prayer book used by King George is safely in the Royal Collection. A rare book house has a description of one of King George’s prayer books. In fact, the description says that “George III was deeply devout and spent hours in prayer, making this volume emblematic of his rule at that time.” We do know that King George called for prayer against the colonists and issued a book of prayers beseeching God to turn back the rebellion. King George also may have suffered from an illness which caused mental instability. In any case, without examining the evidence for this item, and given Beck’s other misleading statements, it is possible that the condition of the book he has means nothing about King George’s beliefs and practices.
Beck then claimed he has the Bible that stopped the Salem witch trials:

This is the Bible that’s stopped the Salem witch trials.

I have asked several historians about this with no one knowing what he means. I can’t tell if he means the actual Bible or if he is referring to the version of the Bible which was in common use at the time. Beck continued:

People will say that the Salem witch trials were caused by Christians, but how come the witch trials happened for decades in Europe but lasted very short period of time here? Why? Because of preachers, preachers that knew their Scriptures and took this Bible and said your misreading the Scriptures, and that Sunday the governor got up and stood in front of the congregation weeping, “I am sorry, I misread.”

There is no dispute that the witch trials were conducted by people who claimed to be Christian. Indeed, there were periods of hysteria in Europe, just as there was here. Salem was not the only town in the colonies to experience witchcraft hysteria. Connecticut did as well on at least two occasions. Both were related to Christians who believed witches were responsible for various problems in the community and should be handled in the manner taught by Old Testament law. Marc Carlson has compiled a comprehensive list of nearly 300 people tried as witches in trials in America from 1622 through 1878. There were more incidents in Europe but there were more people in Europe and the duration of the count was over a longer period of time.
The religious leaders in MA initially believed they were in the right. It was when allegations of witchcraft were directed toward prominent members of the community that caution came into play. An appeal to the Bible may have helped support that caution but there can be no mistake that an appeal to the Bible was the foundation for the hysteria in the first place.
All in all, the significant historical problems in this sermon raise questions about the accuracy of the rest of it, including his story of Joseph Smith’s last days. I will take that up in a future post.

David Barton’s Biblical Constitution: What If The Constitution Really Quoted The Bible?

I’ve addressed this before but it seems worth noting again. David Barton, with a straight face, says the Constitution quotes the Bible. He and Mat Staver discussed this claim on a Liberty Counsel segment recently. Begin watching at 4:30):

Again with ankle biting Bible verses.

In speech to Crossroads Church in OK, Barton listed some of the verses he says are quoted in the Constitution. Take a look:

Let’s take one — Leviticus 19:34 — and see if we can find it quoted in the Article 1, Section 8 where Barton says it is. Here is the Leviticus verse:

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Barton says this verse is quoted in Article 1, Section 8 and specifically references “uniform immigration.” Here is what the Constitution says on this point:

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

The rest of Article 1, Section 8 describes the other powers of Congress, and does not quote from Leviticus.

Let’s take this a little further. What if the Constitution did quote Leviticus 19:34? For discussion’s sake, let pretend that Leviticus 19:34 was rephrased in legal terms in a section I’ll invent as Article IV, Section 5:

The foreigner living among you must be treated as a natural born citizen. Foreigners shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.

If the Constitution included such language, immigrants would have rights they don’t have now and there would no need for immigration reform. Rather, the Constitution invests Congress with the powers to make laws and establish policies (which could do what this verse suggests if the political process leads to that end).

If the Constitution quoted Deuteronomy 17:15, the nation would need to discern somehow who God had chosen to be king. Also, in Deut. 17:20, the Bible notes that the chosen king’s descendants will rule a long time if the king follows God’s instructions. Clearly, our Constitution does not reflect those Bible verses. Furthermore, one does not need the Bible to see the reasonableness of requiring citizenship as a condition of political leadership.

I could go on, but hopefully it is clear that when Barton claims the Constitution quotes Bible verses, he must be referring to some other Constitution.

 

Thomas Jefferson on Reading the Bible in Schools

Recently, David Barton spoke at a Baptist Church and in his speech he talked about Abington Township vs. Schempp. He said the Supreme Court got it wrong, in part, because they relied on testimony of Dr. Grayzel who said kids would be psychologically damaged by Bible reading (about 15 minutes into part one).
Of course, the case is more complicated than that.
This post however is not to further debunk Barton on his statements about the Supreme Court ruling. Others have done that (Grayzel was referring to psychological harm to Jewish children). I must say, however, that there is a load of material in that sermon to the Glen Meadows Baptist Church.
Barton quoted Benjamin Rush and Fisher Ames (I am working on his claims about Ames) but there was a familiar founder he left out. Thomas Jefferson said in his Notes on the State of Virginia that school children should study history instead of the Bible. Even though he was an “Anglican gentleman” at the time, Jefferson gave advice contrary to some of his peers and apparently to what Barton wants to see happen.
Continue reading “Thomas Jefferson on Reading the Bible in Schools”

Monumental: Shouldn’t a movie about history be historically correct?

Crosswalk published my commentary today on the revisionism of the movie Monumental.

In it, I look at three claims made in the clips released in advance of the movie. Specifically, did Thomas Jefferson and a dozen founders financed the Thompson Hot Press Bible of 1798? Did Congress print the Aitken Bible and recommend it as a “neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for use in schools?” Was the Jefferson Bible just a devotional book and not an extraction of miracles and divinity?

I hope you will go read, tweet and like it.

Man sues Bible publishers over references to homosexuality

Actually, what I think he is saying is that the Bible doesn’t really mean homosexual when in I Corinthians 6, homosexual is listed. As I understand it, from this USA Today article, he is arguing that the publishers used the term homosexual in the translation with intent to harm him as a member of that class. I think Zondervan and Thomas Nelson will prevail…