Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Teabaggers and the Founding Fathers

Glenn Beck and the other loudmouths of the Reich Right are so fond of invoking those sacrosanct "Founding Fathers" and what they really meant at the time of the founding of this country. It's too bad that they don't really know shit about our history and the drafting of the constitution.

According to Beck -- and especially his "historian"-in-residence, historical revisionist/Christian Nationalist and pseudoscholar David Barton -- the Founders were all Fundo Christians who believed in the current Beck-Barton-Franklin Graham, etc., Fundo version of "god", the idea of the Separation of Church and State was that government was not allowed to mess in the "free exercise of religion" but not the other way around (churches could dictate to the government all they wanted), and that this country was founded on "Judeo-Christian principles" in ethics and morality.

There's actually a trenchant analysis of what the Founding Fathers would have really thought about today's Teabaggers over at the Buzzflash blog, entitled The Tea/GOP Would HATE Our Actual Founders by a real historian, Harvey Wasserman:

This is a Greco-Roman nation, gathered in a Hodenosaunee longhouse.
As they wrap themselves in the Constitution they mean to shred, that is the self-evident Truth the Tea/GOP Party ultimately cannot face.
Our legal godfathers---the ones Glenn Beck loves to conjure---were Deistic liberal humanists whose core beliefs he hates.
They dumped that tea because they despised the corporation that owned it and the idea of empire it (and today's corporate-military right) stood for.
. . .
The federal structure adopted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, was---with Franklin's mentoring---based on the Iroquois Confederacy. That union was born at latest 1540 AD. It sustained a functioning democracy for at least 250 years, still longer than the US has been in existence.
The matriarchal Hodenosaunee were defined by a love of nature and communal land stewardship. Open dialog was as easily accepted as abortion and homosexuality. Along with so many other lethal diseases, Original Sin was an unwanted import.
It is the humanistic liberalism of America's Founders that STILL enrages today's neo-Puritan Tea/GOP. The Jefferson they love to claim fathered at least five children with his slave Sally Hemings, thirty years his junior. Some were conceived while he lived "alone" in the White House.
He and Franklin and Madison and Paine had no time for the Christian faith. It's by their intelligent design that Jesus appears nowhere in the Constitution. Their liberal Deism said a Creator got the universe going, installed the laws of nature, endowed humans with free will (and inalienable rights), then left.
Franklin's disdain for church services spices his autobiography. Jefferson clipped all references to a divinity for Jesus out of his personal Bible. Paine's Age of Reason still enrages the official church. Madison's First Amendment enshrines disdain for an official religion. Unitarianism in all its liberal diversity was shared by presidents two through six, including two Adamses, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe.
Go read the rest of it, and give yourself some ammunition for the next time that IBIL* of yours starts spouting his crap about this being a "Christian Nation". Just be prepared to be expelled from attendance at next year's family holiday gathering. Big loss. Just stay home and read a good book instead. It will be better for you in the long run.


[* IBIL = Idiot Brother-in-Law]