Does Article II of the Constitution Come from Deuteronomy 17:15?

Self-styled historian David Barton says it does. In a DVD (also on YouTube) called Constitutional Christian, Barton repeats a familiar claim that the Constitution is full of Bible verses (hat tip RWW). Watch:
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuQOw83GqUs[/youtube]
Barton specifically mentions Deuteronomy 17:15 which reads (NASV):

you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.

The relevant clause of Article II of the Constitution reads:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

First, it is important to see critical differences between Deuteronomy and this clause of Article II. The major difference is that God chose the king of Israel while the Constitution sets eligibility requirements for an elected official who is not a king. Another important difference is that Article II contains an exception to the citizenship requirement. Foreign born people who were citizens at the time the Constitution was adopted were eligible. Thus, a foreigner could be eligible, at least until that generation died off.
Barton’s essential claim is that the framers included the citizenship requirement because it is in the Bible. However, Barton offers no evidence that the framers of the Constitution consulted the Bible or even referred to the Bible in establishing this clause. Happily, we have a reasonably detailed record of the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention. The delegates discussed citizenship requirements in depth but didn’t appeal to the Bible. Barton’s claim fails on two counts: Article II is not Deuteronomy 17:15 and the framers didn’t refer to the Bible when crafting eligibility requirements for federal office.

What did the delegates to the Constitutional Convention talk about?

In July and August of 1787*, the delegates debated the citizenship requirements for legislators and president. Some of the framers (e.g., Madison, Franklin) wanted to allow foreigners to hold office, while others (e.g. Morris, Pinckney) wanted tighter restrictions. Several votes were taken on the number of years foreign born people must live in the U.S. before being eligible to serve in the House, Senate and as president. The framers were not unified and certainly did not rally around a set of biblical principles.
An excerpt will illustrate the debate:

Article 5, Sect. 3, was then taken up.
Mr. Gouverneur Morris moved to insert fourteen instead of four years citizenship, as a qualification for Senators; urging the danger of admitting strangers into our public councils.
Mr. Pinckney seconded him.
Mr. Ellsworth was opposed to the motion, as discouraging meritorious aliens from emigrating to this country.
Mr. Pinckney. As the Senate is to have the power of making treaties and managing our foreign affairs, there is peculiar danger and impropriety in opening its door to those who have foreign attachments. He quoted the jealousy of the Athenians on this subject, who made it death for any stranger to intrude his voice into their legislative proceedings.
Col. Mason highly approved of the policy of the motion. Were it not that many, not natives of this country, had acquired great credit during the Revolution, he should be for restraining the eligibility into the Senate, to natives.
Mr. Madison was not averse to some restrictions on this subject, but could never agree to the proposed amendment. He thought any restriction, however, in the Constitution unnecessary and improper ; —unnecessary, because the National Legislature is to have the right of regulating naturalization, and can by virtue thereof fix different periods of residence, as conditions of enjoying different privileges of citizenship ;—improper, because it will give a tincture of illiberality to the Constitution ; because it will put out of the power of the national Legislature, even by special acts of naturalization, to confer the full rank of citizens on meritorious strangers ; and because it will discourage the most desirable class of people from emigrating to the United States. Should the proposed Constitution have the intended effect of giving stability and reputation to our Governments, great numbers of respectable Europeans, men who loved liberty, and wished to partake its blessings, will be ready to transfer their fortunes hither. All such would feel the mortification of being marked with suspicious incapacitations, though they should not covet the public honors. He was not apprehensive that any dangerous number of strangers would be appointed by the State Legislatures, if they were left at liberty to do so ; nor that foreign powers would make use of strangers, as instruments for their purposes. Their bribes would be expended on men whose circumstances would rather stifle than excite jealousy and watchfulness in the public.
Mr. Butler was decidedly opposed to the admission of foreigners without a long residence in the country. They bring with them, not only attachments to other countries, but ideas of government so distinct from ours, that in every point of view they are dangerous. He acknowledged that if he himself had been called into public life within a short time after his coming to America, his foreign habits, opinions, and attachments, would have rendered him an improper agent in public affairs. He mentioned the great strictness observed in Great Britain on this subject.
Doctor Franklin was not against a reasonable time, but should be very sorry to see any thing like illiberality inserted in the Constitution. The people in Europe are friendly to this country. Even in the country with which we have been lately at war, we have now, and had during the war, a great many friends, not only among the people at large, but in both Houses of Parliament. In every other country in Europe, all the people are our friends. We found in the course of the Revolution, that many strangers served us faithfully, and that many natives took part against their country. When foreigners after looking about for some other country in which they can obtain more happiness, give a preference to ours, it is a proof of attachment which ought to excite our confidence and affection.

Concerning the office of Senator, the delegates argued over how long a foreign born citizen had to be a citizen in order to be eligible.  Rather than the Bible, Morris appealed to fear and national loyalty while his colleague Pinckney appealed to Greek political law. Only citizens could vote in Athens and Pinckney cited their law as support. South Carolina delegate Pierce Butler also cited the example of Great Britain as support for lengthy citizenship requirements.  Later in the debate, Morris made a strong appeal to nationalism, saying

As to those philosophical gentlemen, those citizens of the world, as they called themselves, he owned, he did not wish to see any of them in our public councils. He would not trust them. The men who can shake off their attachments to their own country, can never love any other. These attachments are the wholesome prejudices which uphold all governments. (p. 489)

Mason and Ellsworth countered that many good people had served the nation during the Revolution and should be allowed to continue to serve. Madison and Franklin viewed citizenship requirements for foreign born citizens as illiberal and too restrictive. Not one delegate cited Israel, Deuteronomy, or the Bible as a source or support for their position. Eventually, Morris’ argument won out and the delegates settled on a nine year citizenship requirement to be eligible to be a Senator.
The next day, the delegates again took up the debate, this time over citizenship requirements for the House of Representatives. Again, the debate centered on merits of being open and liberal versus the perception of danger from foreign meddling. Eventually, as with the requirements for president, a compromise was suggested which allowed citizens at the time the Constitution was adopted to serve without having to meet the lengthy citizenship qualification.
The requirement that the president be a “natural born citizen” or a citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution was passed on September 7 without debate as recorded by James Madison. The delegates also decided that the chief executive must have been a citizen for at least 14 years. Again, Madison recorded no debate over the matter. For sure, there was no recorded reference to the Bible, Deuteronomy, or Israel.
For Barton’s argument to have any weight, he would need to produce evidence. I am open to any primary source evidence he might bring. However, what I have seen so far provides evidence against his claim. The Constitution doesn’t quote the Bible verbatim no matter how much he wishes it did.
 
*July 26 (page 434), August 8 (p. 472), August 9 (p. 482), August 10 (p. 497), and August 13 (p. 506)

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.
 
 

David Barton Takes His Christian Nation Show Back to Ukraine

In June 2014, the head of one of Ted Cruz’s Super PACs, David Barton visited Ukraine and, among other things, told a group of pastors that John Locke’s Two Treatises cited 1500 Bible verses of how government should operate (recently debunked with the help of Greg Forster). According to his Facebook page, Barton went back last week to spread the Christian nation gospel.

We’ve been in Eastern Europe this week. This country is wanting to move toward a new constitution that inculcates many of the principles of our American constitutional government, including its alliance with religion and morality. I spoke at what is considered their premier university and law school, and then met with some heads of their departments. We are also helping with the development of military personnel and programs here, including the addition of chaplains to the military (some of our best and most-Godly military leaders will be helping them over coming weeks). During the trip, we dined at a local restaurant, and we captured some of flavor of this wonderful country and its precious people in the video below. (They even played a western swing song — quite an interesting sound on Eastern European instruments!) The panoramic picture is of a law class where I spoke at the university, and the large red building is a university here. There is also a choir singing inside a government building (the yellow room in the picture) as part of our awards ceremony, and then the group of 55 special students from across the country we honored with awards last night for their contributions to the movement to create a new constitution here — one built on Godly values and the rule of law, modeling much of the original intent of the American constitution. I spent 2 hours after the law school yesterday speaking to these students, and then answering their questions. They were a remarkable and bright group — a great future for this nation!

Judging from one of the Facebook pics, Barton spoke at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.
taras_shevchenko_university
 
Hopefully, Ukraine will have some politicians and citizens who advocate for principles in our actual Constitution, not the make-believe one Barton claims quotes the Bible.
To those contemplating a Ted Cruz presidential run: Consider that Barton runs one of Cruz’s Super PACs and has been a long time Cruz supporter. How does a Secretary of Education David Barton sound? Ambassador to Ukraine?
 

Ben Carson's Business Manager on a Muslim in the White House: "Not an issue of religion, it is an issue of one's belief system."

According to Politico, Ben Carson’s business manager Armstrong Williams told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota this morning that Carson’s rejection of the possibility of a Muslim president was “not an issue of religion, it is an issue of one’s belief system, of how they will govern.” 
Someone needs to tell Carson that religions and beliefs systems have a lot in common. Whatever one calls one’s belief system, the Constitution forbids a religious test. Carson is making this unnecessarily difficult.
Carson said there are tenets of Islam which sanction the killing of gays and Jews. Does he not realize what Leviticus says? Is he unaware that some Christian movements have advocated hatred toward Jews?
Carson and his handlers are stereotyping Muslims and displaying group-serving bias regarding Christianity.  One knows the diversity of a social group to which one belongs much better than to an out group. Carson has lumped all Muslims into his stereotyped view of Islam while ignoring similar elements within his own religion.
 

Ben Carson's Muslim President Comments and the 1788 Debate in North Carolina Over Ratification of the Constitution

So Ben Carson said he wouldn’t support a Muslim for President and Islam is inconsistent with the Constitution. Watch:

Then he said he might vote for a Muslim for Congress.
This was such an easy question that I am surprised Carson botched it up.  Even if you personally would not vote for a Muslim, the Constitution prohibits a religious test so it doesn’t matter what Ben Carson’s opinion is. All I can figure is he wanted to bounce with anti-Muslim sentiment.
The issue of a Muslim (Mahometan) president came up during the North Carolina Debates over ratification of the Constitution in 1788 (to read it all keep clicking the next image). The defenders of the Constitution indicated that religious liberty would not prevent a Muslim from running. Being elected however, is another matter, and according to one delegate would require a major change in public sentiment.
Speaker James Iredell, appointed to the Supreme Court by George Washington in 1790, answered worries that a pagan or Mahometan might gain office:

But it is objected that the people of America may, perhaps, choose representatives who have no religion at all, and that pagans and Mahometans may be admitted into offices. But how is it possible to exclude any set of men, without taking away that principle of religious freedom which we ourselves so warmly contend for? This is the foundation on which persecution has been raised in every part of the world. The people in power were always right, and every body else wrong. If you admit the least difference, the door to persecution is opened. Nor would it answer the purpose, for the worst part of the excluded sects would comply with the test, and the best men only be kept out of our counsels. But it is never to be supposed that the people of America will trust their dearest rights to persons who have no religion at all, or a religion materially different from their own. It would be happy for mankind if religion was permitted to take its own course, and maintain itself by the excellence of its own doctrines. The divine Author of our religion never wished for its support by worldly authority. Has he not said that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it? It made much greater progress for itself, than when supported by the greatest authority upon earth.

He added later:

It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans, pagans, &c., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States. Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President, or other high office, but in one of two cases. First, if the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves. Another case is, if any persons of such descriptions should, notwithstanding their religion, acquire the confidence and esteem of the people of America by their good conduct and practice of virtue, they may be chosen. I leave it to gentlemen’s candor to judge what probability there is of the people’s choosing men of different sentiments from themselves.

Iredell saw that the Constitution does not require Christianity to be the national religion. A president of a non-majority religion might be elected if voters become less Christian or because an individual of a minority religion displays trustworthy character.
In any case, Iredell made it clear that Christianity ought not depend on the support of Constitution or any other worldly authority.
Carson’s later came out and said he didn’t oppose a Muslim running for office if the candidate rejected Sharia law.
The next question to ask Carson is if the Constitution is flawed since it forbids a religious test.

David Barton's Biblical Constitution – Happy Constitution Day!

Happy Constitution Day!
In recognition of the day, I am reprinting a popular post (July 2013) debunking David Barton’s contention that the Constitution quotes the Bible. In recent days, Barton asserted that the founders believed God’s law was higher than the Constitution. The quote from theologian Timothy Dwight provides a powerful counter to Barton’s claim.
David Barton’s Biblical Constitution
In his speeches to churches, David Barton asserts that there are Bible verses throughout the Constitution. On past occasions, he has said that the Constitution quotes the Bible verbatim. In his recent appearance before Crossroads Church in Oklahoma City, OK, Barton said people today don’t recognize these verses in the Constitution because they are ignorant about the Bible. He begins his discussion of the Bible and the Constitution at about 12 minutes into the following sermon:

Barton said:

It’s significant that if you know the Bible and if you read the Constitution, you see Bible verses throughout the Constitution. You see Bible verse after Bible verse that is noted in the Constitution. Now today, we have a lot of people who say, no, no, the Constitution is a secular arena, the Constitution is a secular document. When somebody tells me the Constitution’s a godless document, that simply tells me, they wouldn’t know a Bible verse if they saw one; if it bit them on the ankle they wouldn’t know what a Bible verse was. See what happened is the Constitution is filled with Bible verses, Bible references, Bible phrases, and Bible terminology cause back then, they didn’t see any reason to tell you it came out of the Bible because back then everybody knew that. They didn’t put it, but we’re so biblically illiterate today, we don’t recognize that. 

Timothy Dwight must have been biblically illiterate. Dwight was a prominent Congregationalist minister and the president of Yale from 1795 to 1817. On July 23, 1812, Dwight preached a sermon before his students and faculty where he lamented the low spiritual status of the day. The occasion was a public fast called by the Connecticut governor in opposition to the War of 1812. Saying the nation had three reasons to fear the future, Dwight had strong words to say about the Constitution.

The second of these reasons is, the sinful character of our nation. Notwithstanding the prevalence of Religion, which I have described, the irreligion, and the wickedness, of our land are such, as to furnish a most painful and melancholy prospect to a serious mind. We formed our Constitution without any acknowledgment of God ; without any recognition of his mercies to us, as a people, of his government, or even of his existence. The Convention, by which it was formed, never asked, even once, his direction, or his blessing upon their labours. Thus we commenced our national existence under the present system, without God. I wish I could say, that a disposition to render him the reverence, due to his great Name, and the gratitude, demanded by his innumerable mercies, had been more public, visible, uniform, and fervent.

Dwight was adverse to heresy and was considered to be a champion of orthodoxy.  He defended the Apostolic writings as inspired when the Unitarians and others rejected them. Dwight did not see Bible verse after Bible verse in the Constitution. Should we say he was biblically illiterate?
See below for the verses Barton claims to quoted in the Constitution:

bibleconstitution1

 bibleconstitution2
 
Related Post:
David Barton’s Biblical Constitution: What if the Constitution did quote the Bible? 
Read the Constitution.

Christians in Nepal Welcome Vote for Secular Government; Religious Right in U.S. Still Want Christian Nation

Read this report regarding the recent vote in Nepal to make the nation neutral on religion. Hindu nationalists in Nepal took the streets after their constituent assembly rejected a proposal to make Nepal a Hindu nation.
Then read this press release on Nepal’s vote by the group who represents Gospel for Asia. While I have written many things about GFA (and have much more to write), on this matter, I agree with Yohannan. The vote is a win for religious pluralism.

Gospel for Asia Founder Dr. K. P. Yohannan had issued a call for prayer in June asking that, “God’s people will be granted freedom to worship.”

“The Lord has answered our prayers for our brothers and sisters in Nepal,” Yohannan said. “Please continue to pray that peace and unity would prevail in this nation. Pray also for the leaders and decision makers who are working night and day on the constitution, to be filled with wisdom as they move forward.”

Yohannan expresses happiness that Christians will be able to worship freely. Of course, theoretically, this means that people of all faiths and no faith will be able to follow their conscience without political penalty or disadvantage.

Now read this Christian Broadcasting Network article on David Barton’s and George Barna’s new book, U-Turn. In that article, George Barna said:

He [Barna] pointed out a key reason for the success of early America.

“If you try to understand what made America great, it was a dynamic partnership between church, family, and government,” he explained.

And by church, he means Christianity.

Historically, however, there never was a partnership between any church and state in the national government. State governments did away with them gradually as well. John Adams said it was flattery, delusion and self-deceit to claim Americans are God’s chosen people.

More recently, David Barton told Glenn Beck that, in America, the order of law is God’s law, then the Constitution, and “then it’s the consent of the governed.” And when David Barton says God’s law, he refers to the Christian Bible. Many of the founders believed that the Bible was God’s word, some didn’t. Their collective wisdom was to leave those matters to individual conscience.

In the real world, the founders wisely allowed no religious test for those serving in the national government. The Constitution declares itself to be the law of the land with no mention of any higher law, religious or otherwise.

Christians in Nepal are glad for the vote of their constituent assembly to protect religious freedom of conscience via the vote against a national religion. Christians in America should also be happy today for the wisdom of our founders to do the same thing.

David Barton Says Federal Judge Can't Send Kim Davis to Jail; U.S. Law Disagrees

On his Facebook page, pundit David Barton has been active in support of Rowan Co. (KY) clerk Kim Davis. Federal judge David Bunning found Davis to be in contempt of his order to issue marriage licenses to all couples, gay and straight, in Rowan County. Davis refused because she does not want her name on any marriage license issued to same-sex couples. KY law appears to require her name to be on the form.
Last week on a video circulated by Glenn Beck, Barton first claimed that Davis was in the right because she was placing God’s law (as he understands it) in a higher position than man’s law. Then on his Wallbuilders’ Facebook page, Barton claimed that Judge David Bunning was not allowed to order Davis to court because such actions by a judge (member of the judiciary) violated the separation of powers. Barton wrote:

Perhaps the single most important issue in the Kim Davis situation (the County Clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses) — an issue about which most observers and commentators have been completely silent — is the flagrant violation of the constitutionally-mandated separation of powers.
By way of background, Federal Judge David Bunning ruled that Davis was in contempt of court, which a court can legitimately do. But he then ordered federal marshals enforce his decision and take her into custody, which he cannot do. Federal marshals are part of the Executive Branch, not the Judicial Branch; he has absolutely no authority to order any federal marshal to do anything.
Significantly, the Founders — and thus the Constitution — did not give power to the Judiciary to enforce any of its decisions — they deliberately made it powerless in this regards. They made the Executive Branch alone responsible for enforcement.

As I will show, U.S. law beginning in 1789 directly contradicts Barton’s claims. Federal judges have power to order penalties and one of the prime duties of U.S. Marshals is to enforce court orders.
Barton claims that Davis has been taken into custody in violation of the Constitution. With an ominous tone, he tells us that this is the “single most important issue” in this controversy. Barton cites George Washington and concludes:

So while the Kim Davis travesty continues, perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the entire controversy is that Judge Bunning personally ordered her to jail, thus blatantly violating one of the Constitution’s most important provisions for securing the liberty of the entire people.

It is stunning just how wrong David Barton is.
The power of a federal judge to order penalties for those deemed to be in contempt of court goes back to the Judiciary Act of 1789. The Constitution in Article III established a Supreme Court and gave Congress the authority to establish lower courts. The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the federal court structure and created the role of U.S. Marshal to assist the court in numerous ways, including enforcement of orders.  The statute was passed on September 24, 1789 during the first session of the first Congress and signed by President George Washington (see the original law here).
The ability of a court to hold a person in contempt was spelled out in the statute:
Judiciary act 1789 contempt brief
The Congress expressly gave federal courts power “to punish by fine or imprisonment, at the discretion of said courts, all contempts of authority in any cause or hearing before the same.” Thus, in a statute passed by Congress (legislative branch), and signed by President George Washington (executive branch), the judiciary was given the power to imprison. There is no separation of powers problem as Barton claims.
Barton then claims that federal judges may not order U.S. Marshals to do anything. However, the Judiciary Act does not support that claim. First, read what the U.S. Marshals’ website says about the historical role of U.S. Marshal:

The offices of U.S. Marshals and Deputy Marshal were created by the first Congress in the Judiciary Act of 1789, the same legislation that established the Federal judicial system. The Marshals were given extensive authority to support the federal courts within their judicial districts and to carry out all lawful orders issued by judges, Congress, or the president.
As a balance to this broad grant of authority, Congress imposed a time limit on the tenure of Marshals, the only office created by the Judiciary Act with an automatic expiration. Marshals were limited to four-year, renewable terms, serving at the pleasure of the president.
Until the mid-20th century, the Marshals hired their own Deputies, often firing the Deputies who had worked for the previous Marshal. Thus, the limitation on the Marshal’s term of office frequently extended to the Deputies as well.
Their primary function was to support the federal courts. The Marshals and their Deputies served the subpoenas, summonses, writs, warrants and other process issued by the courts, made all the arrests and handled all the prisoners. They also disbursed the money. The Marshals paid the fees and expenses of the court clerks, U.S. Attorneys, jurors and witnesses. They rented the courtrooms and jail space and hired the bailiffs, criers, and janitors. In effect, they ensured that the courts functioned smoothly.

Barton says federal marshals cannot be ordered by the judge. However, the Judiciary Act created marshals in order to enforce the work of federal judges (see section 27). Judge Bunning did not violate separation of powers. He relied on a power provided by the legislative and executive branches during the first session of Congress.
The power of a federal judge to imprison has been reinforced in statute in 1831 (chap. 99, sec. 1), 1911 (section 268), and 1948 (chap. 21, sec. 401). The 1948 revision of the statute makes clear the reasons a judge may find a party in contempt.
contempt statute 1948
Mrs. Davis appears to be in contempt of court under #3. In my admittedly limited knowledge, I would say that any attack on the Judge’s action would have to come via a challenge to the lawfulness of Judge Bunning’s order for Davis to issue marriage licenses.
In any case, assuming the order will be affirmed as lawful (and I can’t see any reason it won’t be affirmed), Judge Bunning has the right to imprison her. According to a 2002 revision in the law, Bunning could have fined and imprisoned her.
Barton’s post has been shared nearly 6,300 times. A lot of people are now completely in the dark about the legitimate powers of judges and think incorrectly about the Kim Davis situation. Based on false information, they will argue with their neighbors, and on social media.
Mr. Barton, now what? Shouldn’t you inform your readers?

Sense and Nonsense in the Kim Davis Marriage License Controversy

I will add to these through the day and maybe into tomorrow. For now, between yard work and naps, I am researching some of the claims made by David Barton (see links below) and trying for myself to figure out what reasonable religious accommodations would look like in this situation.
While I don’t agree with Davis, I think these kind of cases are incredibly interesting. I believe that religious accommodations need to be considered (see Volokh’s article linked below) in her case.
David Barton has been in rare form over this matter. He has incorrectly said that God’s law trumps man’s law in a republic, that God’s law should be followed before the Constitution and that judges can’t compel arrests of people in contempt of court.
Sense:
Thoughtful article by Eugene Volokh on religious accommodations
GOP presidential candidate John Kasich on Kim Davis
Why Kim Davis is no hero to religious liberty
Good summary of why KY law may prevent a religious accommodation
 
Nonsense:
David Barton 1 – Barton’s assertion that a republic is about God’s law trumping man’s law.
David Barton 2 – Barton says courts can’t order a person to court. The U.S. Code says differently. See also this helpful summary.
David Barton 3 – Three reasons why Christians who think Davis should do her job are wrong.
Mike Huckabee’s Rally