Hey Look, David Barton is Lying Again

I‘m pretty sure this is at least the one millionth example of David Barton flat out lying about the Constitution in the process of making an astonishingly stupid argument about it. He says that the founders included an oath in the Constitution to tie it directly to religion:

On yesterday’s program, Barton explained that that the Constitution’s requirement that members of Congress and the president take an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” was the Founding Fathers’ way of infusing religion into the document since an oath is a “direct appeal to God” to hold lawmakers accountable for their actions and “there is no such thing as a secular oath.”

Any oath that is not made to God, Barton said, must instead rely on “the goodness of man and there’s not a whole lot in me that says the goodness of man is great. Just look back across the Twentieth Century and the one hundred and fifty million lives that were lost because Stalin wasn’t good and Hitler wasn’t good and Tojo wasn’t good and Pol Pot wasn’t good.”

The Founders knew this, Barton said, and so they “tied religion to the Constitution to give it strength” through these oath requirements, asserting that any attempt to implement the Constitution without religion is like trying to breathe on the moon.

But the constitution does not require anyone to swear an oath, which is indeed a specifically religious promise. In every single instance in the constitution in which it requires an oath, that terms is followed by “or affirmation,” which is a non-religious promise. Barton doesn’t mention that, of course, because he’s a liar and that is what liars do.

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  • John Pieret

    Not only that, but the only instance where a specific oath is given, in Article II, Section 1, it says:

    Before he [the President] enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    Note there is no “So help me God” at the end.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Any oath that is not made to God, Barton said, must instead rely on “the goodness of man and there’s not a whole lot in me that says the goodness of man is great…

    To be fair to Barton, he is a man and anything he says can’t be trusted so I’m sure he has a good idea of what he speaks of here. Of course, his “solution” of making an oath to god, his or another, really wouldn’t fix that. After all, the veracity of Barton’s statements is little changed by whether he swears to his god of it or not.

  • hunter

    And I’m sure the Founders were fully cognizant of the doings of Hitler, and Stalin, and Pol Pot.

    What a depressing view Barton has of humanity — but then, considering that it comes from a religious tradition that views us as nothing more than wicked breeding stock, I’m not really surprised.

    It’s comforting to remember that he’s wrong about everything.

  • Chiroptera

    Any oath that is not made to God, Barton said, must instead rely on “the goodness of man and there’s not a whole lot in me that says the goodness of man is great.

    Well, to be honest, I haven’t noticed that people who make oaths to God being any better.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Just look back across the Twentieth Century and the one hundred and fifty million lives that were lost because Stalin wasn’t good and Hitler wasn’t good and Tojo wasn’t good and Pol Pot wasn’t good.

    Yeah. Imagine how bad America would’ve been without the Oath or Affirmation [to Our Lord, Jesus Christ]. We might’ve killed Indians and owned people!

     

    John Pieret “Note there is no ‘So help me God’ at the end.”

    It’s implied.

  • http://denkeensechtna.blogspot.com Deen

    there’s not a whole lot in me that says the goodness of man is great.

    At least this bit seems true. Based on his own experience, Barton wouldn’t have much reason to expect other people to be honest.

  • Jared James

    They changed the name, but I’m reasonably sure this Area Man is in fact, David Barton.

  • colnago80

    The big news isn’t that Barton is lying. That’s to be expected. It would be big news is Barton weren’t lying.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    “What is your oath ?” – “I vow to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and chancellor of the German Reich loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to the leaders that you set for me, absolute allegiance until death. So help me God !”

    “So you believe in a God ?” – “Yes, I believe in a Lord God.”

    “What do you think about a man who does not believe in a God ?” – “I think he is arrogant, megalomaniacal and stupid; he is not one of us.”

    Loyalty oath of the SS

  • John Pieret

    Modus @ 5:

    John Pieret “Note there is no ‘So help me God’ at the end.”

    It’s implied.

    Don’t tell anyone … it was written in invisible ink.

  • shouldbeworking

    Modus @ 5:

    The “So help me gawd’ part was edited out by our Lizard-people overlords!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730511544 billdaniels

    By the way, Obama did absolutely nothing to stop Stalin, Hitler, or Pol Pot. He didn’t even lift a single Kenyan-born finger. No wonder he left “…so help me god.” out of the Constitution.

  • evodevo

    David Barton makes a good living off the ignorance of RWNJs concerning American history and civics. I work with several and they are content in that ignorance.

  • Pianoman, Church of the Golden Retriever

    You think this guy’s bad? Check out Rebecca Hamilton’s blog. She’s like Superwoman…if your super strength is being able to manufacture non-existent christian persecution anywhere!

    Able to delete any comments that in any way contradict her views with a single click!

    More propagandizing than a Faux News lackey!

  • grumpyoldfart

    Barton is a Christian. People will believe him (because Christians don’t lie). In a hundred years from now Christians will be quoting him as a respected historian.