Their religious faith is too fragile to stand on its own merit without a mob mentality to impose it; their “God” too petty and, not so coincidentally, a rather large version of their fearful and bigoted selves… the American Christian Taliban are continuing to rewrite history for the uniformed dupes in their quest to turn our nation into a theocracy.
The latest clip is rather infuriating. Bill O’Reilly, in his characteristic display of arrogant ignorance, comforted his followers with the oft-woven myth that America was founded on their petty, vengeful, misogynistic, weak and fragile religion.
Joining in the chorus of lies was Sarah Palin. Never one to let her lack of scholarship on ANY issue get in the way of her ever-flapping mouth, she wholeheartedly agreed that the Founding Fathers were bible thumping Christians bent on shoving their religion down the throat of a fledgling nation.
Palin: I have said all along that America is based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. You know… nobody has to believe me, though… you could just go to our founding fathers’ early documents and see how they crafted a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution that allows that Judeo-Christian belief to be the foundation of our laws and our Constitution of course – essentially acknowledging that our unalienable rights don’t come from man, they come from God. So this document is set up to protect us from a government that would ever infringe on our right to have freedom of religion and to be able to express our faith freely.
What’s ironic here on the National Day of Prayer there’s so much controversy about whether or not we’re a nation that’s based build on Judeo-Christian beliefs and whether or not we can even talk about God in the public square…
O’Reilly: All I have to do is walk into the Supreme Court chamber and you’ll see the Ten Commandments so we know that you’re absolutely correct. The Founding Fathers did base not only the Declaration of Independence but also the Constitutional protections on what they thought was right and wrong…. And what they thought was right and wrong came from the Ten Commandments, which was Judeo-Christian philosophy. THAT is beyond a reasonable doubt….
The conviction and ease in which the lies drip from their mouths is stunning – but conviction alone doesn’t make it true. For all Palin’s threats to materialize these founding documents threatening to prove her false claims, she’s yet to point to one concrete example but simply says that “all one has to do is read the “founding fathers’ early documents” to be convinced – as if she herself has ever taken her own advise. Fortunately, the Founders had much experience with the conniving intrigues of those who hide behind “faith” and have committed their words denouncing them to their own personal writings as well as official government documents.
Frankly, I would LOVE to read the “founding documents” that Palin refers to but certainly they don’t exist. Palin and O’Reilly are allowed to freely make such outrageous fictitious claims secure in the knowledge that their followers are as ignorant of history and intellectually incurious as they are not to go out and check the “pesky” facts.
Although we might find some early settlers agreeing with Palin about our fictitious Judeo-Christian roots – ones who, say, conducted the Salem Witch Trials… none fall under the umbrella of actually being a “Founding Father.”
The truth is if Judeo-Christian values were synonymous with freedom and independence, the people of Europe would have risen up against their monarchs a thousand years earlier rather than suffer the injustices of Kings for centuries with a promise of Heavenly reward. But, knowing complexity or reality is not a concern of conservatives, O’Rielly viewers or Palin sychophants, these two scourges on rational thought are confident that their viewers will just trust the lies that drip from their lips rather than take the route of the intelligibly curious and do their own research.
The real truth of our Country’s founding is that it is rooted in the liberal enlightenment. Our Founding Fathers had direct personal knowledge of the spirit-crushing cost of living under the thumb of State-Church rule and took inspiration for founding a nation based on common ideals rather than common ethnicity from “The Age of Reason.” This being the case, they were adamant that church and state remain separate to the betterment of both institutions.
For those willful idiot Republican trolls who skulk this site, here are some ACTUAL examples from ACTUAL founding documents – not the ones that Palin and O’Reilly pulled out of their collective conservative asses.
“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
— Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82
“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.” – Thomas Jefferson
“In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.” – James Madison
” The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.” – John Adams
“Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.” – Benjamin Franklin
The fact that the United States is not a Christian Nation is also enshrined in the Treaty of Tripoli (1796) – one of the United States of America’s earliest international treaties:
“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
For more quotes go here for a well-researched and crossed referenced article titled: Quotations that Support the Separation of State and Church (1993) by Ed and Michael Buckner. Also, check out this article: The Christian Nation Myth by Farrell Till. Don’t forget to check out this Snopes.com article debunking a well-circulated religious right email about the separation of church and state.
The other outrageous claim O’Reilly makes is the assertion that America is a Christian nation because the image of the Ten Commandments appear in “the Supreme Court chamber.”
Not surprisingly, O’Reilly’s disjointed “logic” is misleading and false because the Ten Commandments are depicted as a part of a larger piece honoring the history of law in the stability of civilization.
The Ten Commandments are actually part of a frieze on the South Wall which also includes figures of lawgivers from times B.C.E. These include Menes, Hammurabi, Solomon, Lycurgus, Draco, Confucius, and Augustus Ceaser. The North Wall Frieze shows lawgivers from the AD era and includes representations of Justinian, Muhammad, Charlemagne, King John of England, King Louis IX of France, Hugo Grotius, Sir William Blackstone, John Marshall, and Napoleon.
So, following O’Reilly’s simplistic logic, we may as well say that America is a Confucian nation built on Solonian Values.
Read more about the Right’s twisted logic on separation of church and state and arguments against it in this article titled: Responding the the Religious Right: The Basic Arguments.
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