A group blog to promote discussion, debate and insight into the history, particularly religious, of America's founding. Any observations, questions, or comments relating to the blog's theme are welcomed.
Sorry, as I cannot get sound on my computor. But, is it not possible that Americans all have different views to what America is, as we affirm pluralistic views? It's like Christian faith (or any other faith)...?
.The real question being begged by this kind of "crescendoing" is about why we have people like Barton and the way they dupe the rabble.There is a strategy employed by media masters that creates a sense of sacrosanctity. And, the duped among us get all upset when the more sceptical among us dare to raise any questions regarding the fluff of it all..It might take a little intelligent thinking to get beyond being one of the duped...
You are so right, Pinky, as I was reading some of Thomas Jefferson this morning on the Separation of Church and State!
The Barton quotes are indeed unfortunate. He doesn't push them anymore, but they had a life of their own.
.Tom sez, "The Barton quotes... had a life of their own..HAD? You mean to say they're not out there anymore?.
"Have" is correct. The funny thing is, they have been around from 50-100 years, like Washington and the cherry tree. Barton merely popularized them, and then they hit the internet. Which is unfortunate, since there are plenty of other legitimate quotes about religion and the Founding.For example:http://www.sullivan-county.com/bush/myth4.htm"On page 120 of David Barton's book The Myth of Separation, David Barton quotes James Madison as saying: We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments.Barton gives the following footnote for the quotation: Harold K. Lane, Liberty! Cry Liberty! (Boston: Lamb and Lamb Tractarian Society, 1939), p. 32-33. See also Fedrick Nyneyer, First Principles in Morality and Economics: Neighborly Love and Ricardo's Law of Association (South Holland" Libertarian Press, 1958), p. 31.The only problem with the above is, no such quote has ever been found among any of James Madison's writings. None of the biographers of Madison, past or present have ever run across such a quote, and most if not all would love to know where this false quote originated. Apparently, David Barton did not check the work of the secondary sources he quotes."All true. However...Barton reponds to another critic on the same issue. He certainly does have a point that the jackals ignore the literally hundreds of quotes that have been verified beyond reasonable doubt. But his critics don't care about the actual truth of religion and the Founding---if they can bring Barton down, they "win."http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=1154. Your claim that “The flap does not seem to have slowed Barton's juggernaut” is baseless and irrelevant simply because there was no flap other than what you attempted to concoct. Furthermore, the specific work you so recklessly demean (The Myth of Separation) provided over 750 footnoted citations. Therefore, for us to drop a dozen quotes from that work represented a trivially small percentage and no historical conclusion was changed. For example, rather than continuing to use the uncertain James Madison quote on the Ten Commandments, I replaced it with irrefutably-documented statements by other Founders on the same subject - such as the Ten Commandments quote by John Adams (by the way, Adams - unlike Madison - actually signed the Bill of Rights and is an equally competent legal authority on the subject). As a result of my decision to elevate the level of documentation, we replaced The Myth of Separation with Original Intent - a work with over 1,400 footnotes (rather than the 750 in Myth), and a work that not only meets legal standards of scrutiny but that also arrives at the identical historical conclusions reached in The Myth of Separation.
John Adams says something positive in one letter about the Ten Commandments. And then in another letter he doubts the Ten Commandments as legit. revelation. I think you could tell to which quote Barton referred.
Well, I think these people are nuts to go anywhere near Jefferson except in his belief in a just God, and as you note, Adams is all over the map.FEBRUARY 22, 1756"Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited!... What a Utopia; what a Paradise would this region be."http://www.constitution.org/primarysources/adamsdiary.html Madison: inconclusive. He certainly didn't want paid chaplains in the congress.But Madison lost that fight! By giving undue focus to the first few presidents and ignoring congress and the religious prerogatives of the individual states, they hand their enemies rope to hang them with.
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