Ignorant Pandering at Washington Event

Two of the most ignorant men in Congress, Rep. Tim Huelskamp and Rep. Steve King, delivered brief remarks at the “Washington: A Man of Prayer” event on Capitol Hill and then delivered prayers. Those remarks were every bit as stupid as one would expect.

Hosted by Mike Huckabee, the two hour event featured a variety of elected leaders, such as Rep. Tim Huelskamp and Rep. Steve King, who spoke together from the podium. Huelskamp asserted that God is at the heart of America because there is a small chapel located literally in the very center of the continent in Kansas, while King proclaimed that America was established by God.

“When He moved the Founding Fathers around like men on a chessboard,” King said, “it was preordained. He guided them.” Asserting that both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written with “divine guidance,” King declared that, as such, Americans must be “very aware of how God brought forth this nation.”

Mr. King, let me introduce you to John Adams, who helped write the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and signed both documents. This is what he wrote in his Defense of the Constitution of the United States:

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses

Adams was a bit naive. He didn’t foresee the rise of extraordinarily dishonest politicians and Christian right pundits a couple centuries later, who would indeed pretend that those who wrote the Constitution were guided by God. They could use this as an instructional manual in how to pander to the most ignorant among us with lies and shallow emotional appeals:

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  • dhall

    So, if I stuck a pentagram in the dead center of the continental US, that would make the country . . ?

  • royandale

    I would argue that Adams’s statements are evidence that he did, in fact, foresee the shallow, self-serving and dishonest politicians of the future, mainly because he was surrounded by them just as we are today. He was stating as much for future generations as for his own what the guiding principles of the country’s founding were.

  • Loqi

    So they were being controlled by god like chess pieces, and the whole thing was preordained. Wait, whatever happened to that whole “free will” thing?

  • matty1

    there is a small chapel located literally in the very center of the continent in Kansas

    According to American Gods the centre of the US is used as a meeting place by many gods. I’m not sure how Mr Wednesday would respond to this Jesus character trying to claim sole ownership but it would probably be messy.

  • matty1

    That is freaky, I reference the old gods and look at the name of the poster directly above.

  • blf

    So, if I stuck a pentagram in the dead center of the continental US, that would make the country . . ?


    Sticking, at the center of the continental US, a bowl of pasta on a stack of turtles would be amusing.

  • rationalinks

    Kansas is not the center of the North American continent, that would be Rugby, North Dakota. Now if he would have said “Continental U.S.” then we may be on to something….but he didn’t. GOPers just can’t get any facts right, can they.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne


    Or even better, one of these.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Wow — just think! When the first European explorers arrived in Kansas, there was this mysterious building waiting there. And that was even before we knew where the “exact center of the continent” was.

    Come to think of it, where is the exact center of the continent? I mean, are we talking halfway between the isthmus of Panama and the northernmost shore of Canada, halfway from the westernmost point of Alaska to the easternmost of Canada? By latitude/longitude or by degrees of arc? Draw the lines and take the intersection? Or geometric centroid?

    Or is there a chapel at each of those points?

  • Mr Ed

    Yes god is the hear but Secularism is the brain

  • rationalinks

    @9 D.C. Sessions – Rugby, North Dakota, It’s a nice little town. No chapel, but there is an obelisk/cairn marking the supposed spot. I don’t know what criteria they used to determine that exact location, but looking at a map it seems pretty accurate.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    I can’t tell what the hell King is wearing on his lapel, but it’s damn sure not The Stars ‘n’ Stripes™.

    Blasphemy! Treason! (as if there were any difference…)

  • dingojack

    Looks to me to be the symbol of the British Union of Fascists (nicknamed ‘the Flash in the Pans).




    * ‘The Stoopid still burns’.


  • Synfandel

    According to the United States Geographical Survey, in the geographic centre of North America is a stone cairn in Rugby, North Dakota.

  • oranje

    I guess the Articles of Confederation were written on the seventh day, then.

  • parasiteboy

    Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written with “divine guidance,”

    Everytime I hear someone say something like this I wish I was able to shove the paper by “Lutz, Donald S. “The relative influence of European writers on late eighteenth-century American political thought.” The American political science review (1984): 189-197.” in their face in which he breaks down the literature that was used during the debating of the constitution.

    The Pattern of Citations from 1787 to 1788

    Tables 4 and 5 illustrate the pattern of citations surrounding the debate on the U.S. Constitution.

    The items from which the citations for these two tables are drawn come close to exhausting

    the literature written by both sides. The Bible’s prominence disappears, which is not surprising

    since the debate centered upon specific institutions about which the Bible had little to say. The

    Anti-Federalists do drag it in with respect to basic principles of government, but the Federalists’

    inclination to Enlightenment rationalism is most evident here in their failure to consider the Bible relevant.

    The Bible made up 9% of the Anti-Federalist writings whereas the Enlightenment, Whig, and Common Law made up 38%, 29% and 12% respectively.

    I have not seen (or spent much time looking) for a more recent breakdown, but he does mention in the paper

    However, there is strong evidence for moving beyond a Whig-Enlightenment dichotomy as

    the basis for debate on this issue. Debate in the future should include biblical and common law sources as well, just as the number of individual authors deemed important should probably be enlarged and their relative importance reassessed.


    It is relevant, nonetheless, to note the prominence of biblical sources for American political thought, since it was highly influential in our political tradition, and is not attention it deserves (Lutz, 1980).

    This was in regards to how he was counting biblical citations across the entire founding era (1760’s – 1805). There were a number of biblical citations that were just reprinted sermon pamphlets (so their numbers may be inflated).

  • parasiteboy

    @17 correction to the last quote from Lutz

    *is not always given the attention it deserves (Lutz, 1980).*

  • wsierichs

    I’m afraid there is an error in Ed’s article. John Adams did not help write nor sign the U.S. Constitution. He was ambassador to England at the time. The quote is from a book he wrote, before the U.S. Constitution was written, that included a defense of the state constitutions. I’m sure that he felt the same way about the federal document, but his quote precedes it. I should also note that, as a Unitarian, he was an atheist according to traditional Christian beliefs. He was one of several atheists in the White House, in traditional belief: Washington as a Deist, Jefferson as a D or U, Madison as probably a D, and Lincoln as, well, something not Christian, but an atheist by its theology.

  • slavdude

    parasiteboy @17 and 18:

    I believe the Lutz paper is the one misused by Barton et al. to “prove” America’s Christian roots, so quoting it to them would probably be seen by them as supporting their side.

  • caseloweraz

    Huelskamp asserted that God is at the heart of America because there is a small chapel located literally in the very center of the continent in Kansas…

    So if that chapel were to be removed… Just sayin’.

    And if it were removed by a tornado, would Huelskamp call that an Act of God?

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