WorldNetDaily: Thomas Jefferson, Theocrat

Buffoon Award

YES, dear reader, that jolly logo is your clue that we’re once again visiting the truly bizarre pages of WorldNetDaily (WND), an early winner of our Buffoon Award.

The author of today’s WND tract — in this case should say authoress — is Phyllis Schlafly. The title of her essay is America’s great religious document.

If you know anything about American history, particularly the American Revolution and the Founders, you know at once from Schlafly’s title that we’re being given a massive Ark-load of revisionist apologetics — exactly the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from creationist theocrats. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

The Declaration of Independence is the official and unequivocal recognition by the American people of our belief and faith in God. It affirms God’s existence as a “self-evident” truth that requires no further discussion, debate or litigation.

This is shocking news, because we’ve always thought the Declaration was our declaration to King George that he could take his divine right to rule us and … well, you know. But according to Schlafly, it was our “official and unequivocal recognition” of the existence of God. What other revelations does this grand lady divine from Jefferson’s writing? Let’s read on:

The nation created by the great declaration is God’s country. The rights it defines are God-given. The actions of its signers are God-inspired.

God’s country? That reminds us of something we wrote recently. Here you go: Is America a “Christian Nation”? That contains our entire rebuttal to today’s WND theocratic tract. Let’s continue a little bit more with Schlafly’s sermon:

The Declaration of Independence contains five references to God

Five! Count ’em — five! Wowee! If it had been only three, or even four, we wouldn’t be impressed. But five! That’s irrefutable.

Inspired, we decided to apply the Schlafly analysis — hereafter known as “Arithmetical Theology” — to some other historical documents. Let’s start with America’s first constitution — the Articles of Confederation — mostly drafted at the same time as the Declaration, in July of 1776. As we discussed in our “Christian Nation” post to which we linked above, there’s only one mention of a deity in the Articles — and it doesn’t appear until the signature section of the document:

And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify …

Anyway, using Arithmetical Theology, that counts as one. Okay, you see how it works. Now go ahead and check out the Constitution. You’ll find no such references there. Quite the opposite, actually, but we’ve discussed that in our earlier post.

We’re not done yet . Here’s a searchable online copy of the Federalist Papers. Do your own searches — for God, Jesus, Bible, Christianity. Go ahead, and if you find any hits we’ll be astonished. Hint: Were there any such, Schlafly would have mentioned them.

But wait, there’s more! We went to an online copy of Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler. Searching for “God” we found more than five such references in only the first four chapters. The implications of Arithmetical Theology boggle the mind!

Here’s more from WND. Actually, we’re still in the same paragraph:

The declaration declares that each of us was created – so if we were created, we must have had a Creator and, as the modern discovery of DNA confirms, each of God’s creatures is different from every other person who has ever lived or ever will live on this earth.

Your Curmudgeon is getting a thrill up his leg. Moving along:

The message of the Declaration of Independence is under attack from the ACLU and atheists because it refuted the lie about a constitutional mandate for “separation of church and state.”

Nothing could ever get crazier than that, so there’s no point in providing any more excerpts from the WND article. Now you know, dear reader: According to Jefferson (and Schlafly), the Declaration overrides the Constitution! Teach the controversy!

Afterthought: It’s one of the great, transcendental mysteries that Jefferson — whose Declaration (says Schlafly) contradicts the separation of church and state — was also the author of The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “WorldNetDaily: Thomas Jefferson, Theocrat

  1. Damn! And here all along I thought America’s great religious document was the Bible. Wasn’t that specifically written for American Christians?

  2. Ironically, Schlafly is perhaps best known for her campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment, an amendment seeking to guarantee those inalienable rights spoken of in the DoI. There may be numerous rational reasons why one would advocate against ERA, but it is still ironic that an independent, strong-willed woman such as Schlafly with such strong devotion to the DoI would campaign against ERA.

  3. carlsonjok

    Nothing POs me more than these wanna-be theocrats trying to draft Jefferson into their cause. They would be positively apoplectic if someone today did what Jefferson did to the New Testament. He isn’t any friend of theirs.

  4. carlsonjok says:

    Nothing POs me more than these wanna-be theocrats trying to draft Jefferson into their cause.

    You motivated me to add an afterthought to the post, mentioning that Jefferson was the author of The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

  5. Nothing POs me more than these wanna-be theocrats trying to draft Jefferson into their cause.

    Schlafly’s co-option makes Texas’ approach (removing him from history entirely) look honest. That’s saying something.

  6. retiredsciguy

    Really, what difference does it make WHAT Jefferson believed concerning the existence of God?

    NO ONE on this planet has any more *knowledge* on this subject than anyone else.

    Of course, some people have stronger *beliefs* than others, but they are deluding themselves if they think that strong belief = knowledge.

    Certainly, Jefferson recognized the importance of having a majority of citizens holding a belief in a wrathful God. But whether he truly believed this himself, well, we’ll never know — no matter what he wrote. Unless, of course, he wrote that he was an atheist. But even then, so what? I’ll repeat: NO ONE on this planet has any more *knowledge* on this subject than anyone else.

  7. TO: retiredsciguy

    I agree with you. But religious folks don’t have much else except argument from authority, and usually don’t recognize the fallacy.

  8. Carson says:

    But religious folks don’t have much else except argument from authority, and usually don’t recognize the fallacy.

    Fallacy? What fallacy? That’s the TRVTH!!!!!!!

  9. retiredsciguy

    Carson says:

    “But religious folks don’t have much else except argument from authority, and usually don’t recognize the fallacy.”

    Or, they recognize the fallacy but their fear of a wrathful God keeps them from admitting it. After all, who wants to be thrown into the Lake of Fire?

  10. techreseller

    Well it all depends on who is that Lake of Fire with you. I am willing to bet that ol’ Curmy here would jump in if Olivia Judson had been thrown in first.

  11. If Olivia’s in there I’d probably jump first and think about it later.