Olbermann Talks David Barton

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MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann talked about “historian” David Barton this week with Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Seems that Barton is getting even more attention these days since he joined efforts to hijack the social studies curriculum in Texas to push his far-right ideological agenda. Check out Olbermann’s discussion with Boston here.

4 Responses to “Olbermann Talks David Barton”

  1. Gene Garman, M.Div. Says:

    A special comment which may be of value:

    Glenn Beck, on page 287 of “Arguing with Idiots,” asserts the words “church and state” are not in the Constitution. He is correct, but he fails to point out that the word in the Constitution’s First Amendment is “religion,” not just church, and the word in Article 6 of the Constitution is “religious,” not church. It is the whole subject of “religion” which shall not be established by Congress or by law or by government at any level, not just a church.

    In America religion is to be voluntary, not established or imposed by government. What good is religion if not voluntary?

    Yes, Glenn Beck and David Barton both distort the words of the Constitution. However, so does use of “church and state” used by anyone, including TFN, because those words are not in the Constitution.

    Furthermore, I need to point out Thomas Jefferson was in France from 1784 to 1789. He was not at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Jefferson is not a Founding Father, with capital Fs, as Webster’s Dictionary will explain.

    However, James Madison is the Father of the Constitution, and he was present at every session of the Constitutional Convention, which means he is one of those who actually helped write and approve the exact wording in the Constitution’s Article 6. Further, Madison was a member of the 1789 Congress and one of the six members of the joint Senate-House conference committee which drafted the final version of the language of the First Amendment, which commands “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Please, the word “church” is not in the Constitution or the First Amendment.

    By the way, I used to be on the staff of Americans United for Separation, and I disagree with its continued use of “church,” because the Constitution clearly says “religion,” not church, even though “church” is obviously included in “religion,” as is anything related to “religion.”

    Anyway, the Constitution is about the whole subject of “religion” about which “no test” is to be required and about which Congress can “make no law respecting an establishment of.”

    Further, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, wrote “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in its short history,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3:555. Madison worded the constitutional principle accurately, “separation between Religion and Government.” Quote Madison and the Constitution, not Thomas Jefferson, who is author of the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, not the Declaration.

    I wrote the book on this issue–The Religion Commandments in the Constitution: A Primer.

  2. lisanj Says:

    Beck is planning to give seminars starting in March around the country promoting Bartons thoughts and his own misinformed rantings about the founding fathers and their christianity–

  3. Cytocop Says:

    I would remind Prof. German that “corporation” is not in the Constitution either. However, the Supreme Court has virtually re-written the preamble to say: “We The Corporations….” We can only assume a Court as radical as this one probably harbors other goals, such as the termination of Roe v. Wade, to serve the best interests of business over democracy, and to continue chipping away at the wall separating religion and government. However you want it worded, Prof. Garman, all indications are that that is the goal of not only this Court but also our government and electorate.

  4. Gene Garman, M.Div. Says:

    Sorry, I have obviously missed the above commentary.

    I do not agree with the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling about corporations, as if they are individual “people.”. They are obviously not. Which is why the Father of the Constitution, in c.1817, took each of the following issues on in his essay titled “Monopolies, Petpetuities, Corporations, Ecclesiastical Endowments,” see “Detached Memoranda” on the internet, and wrote about their dangers to a free and fair democratic society. The issue has been around since the beginning. It is mainly the Republican appointed Justices on the Supreme Court who are ones who recently claimed a Corporation is a person. Does that surprise anyone who is not a Republican? I do not think so. Read Madison’s essay. He got it right from the beginning. The Republican is the party of big business, the Chamber of Commerce. Is there any question about that?

    So, the principles of about what the Constitution commands, in respect to any issue, can be distorted by Supreme Court Justices, which means some decisions have been over turned in the past and some should be still. Which is why we need Presidents who will appoint the right persons onto the Supreme Court. Justice Sotomayor so far is a good first pick by President Obama.

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