Here's an example of someone using people's ignorance both of the Bible and of the American Constitution in order to lay claim to the Constitution for the Christian right and so subvert the very Constitution he claims to be Christian.
David Barton makes two very precise and specific claims which we can check.
- "Article 3 Section 1 (The Treason Clause) - a direct quote out of the Bible" (but he gives no Bible reference).
- "Article 2 - the President has to be a native born - that is Deuteronomy 17:15 verbatim".
Verbatim - Definition
- [adverb] using exactly the same words; "he repeated her remarks verbatim"
- [adjective] in precisely the same words used by a writer or speaker; "a direct quotation"; "repeated their dialog verbatim"
"Article 3 Section 1 (The treason clause)".
Er... the treason clause is Section 3 of Article 3.
Article 3 Section 3 - Treason
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
No where does any of this, or anything remotely resembling it, either wholly or in part, appear anywhere in the Bible, verbatim, or otherwise. Barton has clearly just plucked this from thin air and doesn't even know which section he is talking about.
"Article 2 - the President has to be a native born - that is Deuteronomy 17:15 verbatim"
The relevent part of Article 2 is: No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
Here's what Deuteronomy has to say: You shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Deuteronomy 17:15 (KJV)
Verbatim? Really? Well maybe a passing resemblance. If only Article 2 had related to a King of America whom God had chosen (not an elected President) and who had to be an American male, we could excuse Barton for stretching the word 'verbatim' beyond it's breaking point.
Maybe David Barton is using a private meaning of the word 'verbatim' or a private edition of the Bible.
Or maybe he was just lying.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32).
If the truth sets you free what could David Barton have been trying to do with those lies? Hmm...