Saturday, August 5, 2017

Chris Rodda on New White House Chief Of Staff, Constitution, Oaths & Affirmations

Check it out here. A taste:
Really? As George Washington was about to step out on the balcony to be inaugurated somebody suddenly thought, “Oh shit, we need to have some kind of oath for him to take?” But this is the ridiculous story that the new White House chief of staff actually believes is “generally accurate” — a story that would be hard to believe even if the president’s oath weren’t right there in the freakin’ Constitution. But it is in the Constitution, a “piece of paper” that you would hope that someone who has risen to as influential a position as John Kelly has would be intimately familiar with.
When Ray Soller, who deserves the credit for catching Kelly’s historically absurd oath story, emailed a number of people, including myself, about this back in May, I was appalled by it for two reasons — not only because I’m someone who has been fighting the Christian nationalists’ revisionism of American history for over a dozen years, but also because I work for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and have been watching with horror as the same historical revisionism that for years has been steadily making its way into our public schools, the halls of Congress, and even Supreme Court opinions, has also been creeping into our military, with the most well-known Christian nationalist historical revisionist, David Barton, speaking at our military bases and his books and videos being found in military base libraries — including the libraries at several of the military service academies and the military’s other colleges.
Not only did Kelly tell his completely insane story (which of course also included the long-ago-debunked myth that George Washington added the words “so help me God” to his oath) at the commencement at one of our military service academies, but his not knowing that the president’s oath is in the Constitution went completely unnoticed by every news organization that covered this commencement. The only attention at all that was given to John Kelly’s incredible display of constitutional ignorance came from a few bloggers who, thanks to Ray Soller’s alerting them to it, posted about it on their blogs.


Tom Van Dyke said...

Not only did Kelly tell his completely insane story

Somebody's completely insane here and it's not Kelly. This is trivia.

raySoller said...

At the time the then Director of Homeland Security, John Kelly, spoke to the graduating class of Coast Guard cadets, he offered up this Parson Weems' cherry-tree piece of wisdom, “Tell the truth to your seniors even though it is uncomfortable, even though they may not want to hear it. They deserve that. Tell the truth.”

Now that John Kelly is Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, I trust he will take to heart his personal "bit of advice."

raySoller said...

You can watch FFRF spokesperson, Andrew Seidel's June 4, 2017 Facebook presentation "Setting the Record Straight" (see here) that tells how John Kelly went wrong when he described George Washington's oath of office.