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Glenn Beck ‘History’ Lesson: Constitution Born Out of the Bible

Glenn Beck is at it again, this time misquoting a 1984 University of Houston study to declare that the Constitution is derived directly from the Old Testament.

“The Constitution was born out of the Bible…30 percent of everything in our founding documents comes from one book, the Book of Deuteronomy,” he told his radio audience this week.

He then used this false factoid to underscore this connection between faith and politics.

If you don’t know what it came from, you certainly can’t repair it,” he stressed.

The problem is that Beck’s ‘evidence’ manipulates the 1984 University of Houston report by failing to mention that the study did not only examine the Constitution and Declaration of Independence but a whole bunch of sermons as well, which naturally mention the Bible a lot.

“Beck utterly misrepresents this time and again in order to claim that a one-third of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence came directly out of the Book of Deuteronomy,” Right Wing Watch points out. “It is entirely untrue, but Beck continues to repeat it over and over again while simultaneously portraying himself as a paragon of truth, honesty, and integrity.”

Chris Rodda also pointed out that if you take out the sermons from the mix in the 1984 study, then the Bible and the Book of Deuteronomy are only about as influential to the Constitution and Declaration of Independence as other classical works, making claims that it proves the founding fathers’ Christian intentions derived from the Bible-quoting spurious at best.

“This bumps the Bible down into the range of classical influences for all the documents that weren’t sermons, and moves the enlightenment and whig influences into the number one and two spots for all the documents that weren’t sermons,” Rodda wrote in his 2010 analysis of the University of Houston study, debunking Beck and other right-wing claims that hold the study as ‘proof’ of the nation’s Christian roots.

 

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About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.