Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Christian Nation Nonsense in Oklahoma Legislature

Ed Brayton has the story here. I know I/we have for years beat the dead horse; but the fake quotations, most infamously spread by David Barton live on.

Patrick Henry didn't say it. And history is more complicated. I know Henry wasn't always such a militant anti-Federalist, but even the most pro-Federalist types didn't speak of the United States as ONE "great nation." They tended to speak of the United States in a plural sense (as in the United States "are" as opposed to "is"). That notion smacks of post Lincolnian centralization.

But this is how Henry really felt when he opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution:

And here I would make this enquiry of those worthy characters who composed a part of the late Federal Convention. I am sure they were fully impressed with the necessity of forming a great consolidated Government, instead of a confederation. That this is a consolidated Government is demonstrably clear, and the danger of such a Government, is, to my mind, very striking. I have the highest veneration of those Gentlemen,--but, Sir, give me leave to demand, what right had they to say, We, the People. My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask who authorised them to speak the language of, We, the People, instead of We, the States? States are the characteristics, and the soul of a confederation. If the States be not the agents of this compact, it must be one great consolidated National Government of the people of all the States.


Christian said...


You know what a friend of mine said re: Barton - "You can debate facts, but you can't debate truth."

/sarcasm off


Angie Van De Merwe said...

It is a sad state of affairs, when those that believe don't see or understand that they are in the same camp as any other religious tradition. It is supernatualism gone wild.

Religious liberty does not mean legislating from the Bible!!! or from the Koran....for that matter!

Phil Johnson said...

So, Patrick Henry's idea would have left us a lot like Europe?
I'm very happy our Founders spoke on behalf of We the People and not, We the States.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil, Did you see the news about Veterans in Florida petitioned the State about removing a Flag that had Obama's picture in the place of the Stars. I couldn't help but think that he was attempting to replace the States! (divided and separated powers.)

JMS said...

Can Jon or anyone else recommend a source for any of Henry's statements concerning his proposed "General Assessment" bill in the Virginia legislature that Madison (Memorial and Remonstrance) and John Leland petitioned against and defeated, leading to the enactment of Jefferson's Bill for Religious Freedom in 1785?

Tom Van Dyke said...

JMS, thx for asking. You may find of interest this one from our archives of interest and edification:


It was indeed the Baptists and not the Enlightenment secularists who swung the tide for the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom.

They realized that the Episcopalians [Anglicans] and Presbyterians [Calvinists} could gang up on the Baptists and define them out of Christianity.

And it was a vary good point...

JMS said...

Thanks Tom. At least it was confirmed "Brant noted that Henry's 1784 speech, advocating "religious assessments," had not survived." That is unfortunate. I wonder if the actual text of Henry's bill is available?