I know that we have already done this several times before, but as long as David Barton keeps making baseless assertions that key elements of our system of government were taking directly out of the Bible, we are going to keep posting it.
And this is exactly what he did, yet again, during his presentation at the “One Nation Under God” conference:
Barton’s success is largely rooted in the fact that he generally only speaks to friendly audiences who don’t question anything he says and never bother to check to see if his assertions actually make any sense. Because if they did, they might be surprised by what they found.
Barton says Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution lays out policies for “uniform immigration” and that this concept is rooted in Leviticus 19:34.
Article I, Section 8 merely gives Congress the authority to “establish a uniform rule of naturalization” … but Barton asserts that it come from the passage that says “The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
Barton also asserts that Article II, Section 1‘s requirement that the President must be a natural born citizen is based on Deuteronomy 17:15 which says “Be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.”
He then asserts that Article III, Section 3‘s language that “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” is rooted in Deuteronomy 17:6 which says “On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.”
Likewise, he says Article III, Section 3’s stipulation that “no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted” comes from Ezekiel 18:20, which says “The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.”
Barton then goes on to claim that the Founding Fathers pointed to Bible verses like Jeremiah 17:9 [“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”] as the inspiration behind the separation of powers while Isaiah 33:22 [“For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us”] was responsible for the three branches of government.
Finally, the idea of tax exemption for churches came out of Ezra 7:24 [“You are also to know that you have no authority to impose taxes, tribute or duty on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants or other workers at this house of God”] and the idea for a republican form of government came from Exodus 18:21 [“But select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.”]
Barton never provides any documentation for any of these claims – he simply asserts them as if they are undeniable facts.
In Barton’s view, if something has any sort of parallel to anything in the Bible, then the inspiration for that thing could only have come from the Bible.
I honestly would not be surprised to hear Barton one day explain how the invention of water skiing obviously came right out of Matthew 14:22-33.