Beck: 30% of Founding Documents Come From Deuteronomy

Glenn Beck and David Barton have long been BFFs and Beck routinely repeats Barton’s lies on his show. He never presents any evidence for them, of course, because there is no evidence. But you know what they say about the big lie — repeat it often enough and it becomes true, especially if your audience is ignorant and doesn’t care what is or isn’t true. Here’s the latest:

On Friday’s installment, Beck explained that he has been contemplating launching “Torah Tuesday” programs in which his audience and he would learn more about the Hebrew Bible because “the answer for everything we are looking for comes from God.”

“I want to know the New Testament, I want to know the Old Testament,” Beck said, “and I want to know another Testament, the one my faith has.”

Learning more about the Book of Deuteronomy, he said, is especially important because “thirty percent of all of our federal documents, thirty percent [are] based in Deuteronomy.”

“The Founders knew how important Deuteronomy was,” Beck said.

Okay Glenn, so how about citing specific verses in Deuteronomy and then citing their analogues in “our federal documents.” And be sure to quantify exactly how you came up with 30%. Oh, you can’t? How surprising. That’s because you’ve borrowed a lie from Barton about that now-famous Donald Lutz study, which says nothing even remotely like this. The study was not of “federal documents” at all, it was of speeches and writings that touched on political issues that were published as pamphlets or in newspapers, along with some documents that came from the founding fathers (but not “federal documents”). And that same study found that in 1787 and 1788, when the constitution was being debated and ratified, the only ones citing the Bible were those who used it to argue against the passage of the constitution. No matter how many times you repeat this bullshit, it’s still a lie.

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  • Neil Rickert

    Perhaps Beck is talking about the blank pages inserted for spacing.

  • holytape

    At least 30% of the words are found in both translated versions of Deuteronomy and the founding documents, they just don’t occur in the same exact order or frequency.

  • Larry

    Of course, 57.2% of all statistics are fabricated and are pure bullshit.

  • dingojack

    Larry — and the other 52.8% are fabricated from the merest scraps of truth!*

    :) Dingo


    * At least when it comes to Barton, Bek, O’RLY? et al.

  • Childermass

    Mr. Beck was really announcing “Torah, Torah, Torah” before torpedoing the historical record.

  • Marcus Ranum

    I though Beck was a mormon. Or is he just pandering to christians that are stupider than he is?

  • peterh

    It’s people like Beck who give stupid a bad name.

  • matty1

    I want to know another Testament, the one my faith has.

    Bit evasive here. It almost sounds like Glenn is trying to avoid mentioning the fact he’s a Mormon for fear of putting off the marks.

  • M can help you with that.

    Studying the Torah sounds like a great idea for Christian and Jewish people! Studying the Torah was one of the things that led my (quasi-observant Reform Jewish) brother to be aggressively humanist and secular in practice — the more you read and research it, the more clearly it’s a set of cultural origin stories, old law codes, etc. Studying the Torah, like studying the Bible, leads quite often to the “this is my cultural history, so I’ll celebrate what’s worth keeping and be aware of all the brutality and bullshit that we’re trying to move away from” approach.

    Somehow I don’t think that’s what Beck means, though.

  • wsierichs

    Well, he’s right, of course. As everyone knows, the Connecticut colony created the first law code specifically taken from the Bible, and every Colonial and U.S. law code quite obviously follows the Connecticut laws. I do recognize that there have been a few changes in wording in the later laws, but the biblical source of these is quite obvious. The Connecticut fathers even helpfully cited the Bible verses they used in their laws. I must note that I can’t tell for certain if Deuteronomy is the basis of 30 percent of the laws, as Exodus and Leviticus are also cited. So the Deut. laws might actually be 29 percent or maybe 31 percent, but who’s counting when they’re all based on God’s unchanging Word, the Word that we follow in our Constitution and laws. Here are a few clear examples of the biblical basis of our laws today:

    “1. Yf any man after legall conuiction shall haue or worship any other God but the Lord God, he shall be put to death. Deut: 12.6, & 17.2: Ex: 22.20

    “2. Yf any man or woman be a witch (that is) hath or consulteth with a familliar spirit, they shall be put to death. Ex: 22.18: Lev: 20.27: Deut: 18.10, 11.

    “3. Yf any person shall blaspheme the name of God the Father, Son or Holy Goste, with direct, expres, presumptuous, or high-handed blasphemy, or shall curse God in the like manner, he shall be put to death. Lev: 24.15, 16.

    “6. Yf any man or woman shal ly with any beast or bruit creature, by carnall copulation, they shall surely be put to death, and the beast shall be slayne and buried. Lev: 20. 15, 16. [Perhaps they considered the animal to be a servant of Satan who corrupted a Christian.]

    “7. Yf any man lye with mankynd as he lyeth with a woman both of them haue committed abomination, they both shall surely be put to death. Lev: 20.13.

    “8. Yf any person committeth adultery with a married or espoused wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Lev: 20.13.”

    The laws complained of “seuerall other wayes of vncleanes and lasiuious caridges practised among vs …” and ordered “seuere and sharpe punishment” such as fines, imprisonment or corporal punishment. It decreed that a child or servant convicted “of any stubborne or rebellious caridge against their parents or gouernors …” would be imprisoned at hard labor. People who “take vp their abode with the Indeans in a prophane course of life” were to be imprisoned, fined or suffer corporal punishment.

  • Area Man

    Okay Glenn, so how about citing specific verses in Deuteronomy and then citing their analogues in “our federal documents.”

    Careful what you wish for. Merely being about things, not even the same things, is all it takes for Barton to declare that some part of the Constitution was taken “verbatim” from the Bible. You’ll be swamped by a deluge of bullshit if you ever get him to make good on this.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Of course, 57.2% of all statistics are fabricated and are pure bullshit.

    Sadly, 87.3% of people don’t know this.