Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pat Boone's Errors

World Net Daily should hire me to fact check whenever one of their writers produces a "Christian Heritage" article. I'm not going to deal with the arguments, just two errors in Pat Boone's latest. First:

You may have heard that quote before, but have you asked yourself just what Ben Franklin was getting at? Well, the long, tiresome and often contentious convention had almost ended with nothing, with members going back to their home states angry and bitter. In the midst of apparent breakdown and failure, it was Franklin himself who stood up and proposed that starting the next morning, the convention should open with prayer and a sermon, because it was obvious that their momentous objective could not be achieved without the direct intervention of God, the One all the attendees credited with their very existence.

And starting from the very next day, after the morning prayers and sermons, the Constitution was brought to final form and agreed to. It was unlike any document in history, purporting to guarantee every citizen equality, possibility, security and liberty.

Nope there were no official prayers or sermons at the Constitutional Convention. They did not act on Franklin's call to prayer. And there was no three day recess as some sources have erroneously reported. They got on with secular business.

George Washington had declared, "Religion and morality are the twin pillars of freedom."

This is likely a paraphrase of Washington's farewell address. The problem is Boone put it in quotes as though those were Washington's actual words when they weren't.


jimmiraybob said...

Fact checking at WND could provide considerable security in troubling economic times - assuming they pay in some form of viable currency (as opposed to a World Net credit line backed by Nairobi-sourced email funding).

"...the twin pillars of freedom..."

Having built a few things in my life I'd have to say that balancing something on two pillars is tricky - I refer you to the two-legged stool.

Pat's still trying to make amends for his leather rocker years.

Thomas Jefferson said...

Yes, the Founders did not have a set time for prayer. But they did think that the people had to have religion in order to be moral, and that the people had to be moral in order for our Constitution to work. As John Adams said:

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Our Fathers may not have made a set religion for our country, but they did think that the people had to be religious. So it is very interesting that the Founders did not chose to have a set prayer during the convention . . .

Thomas Jefferson,
Author of The American Informer

Tom Van Dyke said...

Boone's paraphrase of GWashington seems close enough for rock'n'roll to me:

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens."

To jimmiraybob, that's funny, but don't forget Stonehenge.

To the honourable Mr. Jefferson, watch this space for more on prayer, although it's accurate that Franklin's call for prayer was unheeded in this case.

Brad Hart said...


I imagine that we would never see you again if you were hired to correct all of the mistakes over at World NUT Daily. That's more than a full time job.

In his book, Founding Faith Steven Waldman actually points out the fact that the members of the Convention VOTED DOWN Franklin's petition for prayer. So, not only was it ignored, but it was also refuted.