As Right Wing Watch noted earlier this week, one of the inevitable consequences of the false history relentlessly promoted by pseudo-historian David Barton is that his lies and disinformation routinely get picked up by other Christian nationalists who then distort them even further.
In the latest example, MAGA pastor Jackson Lahmeyer delivered a special sermon just before Independence Day titled “Is America A Christian Nation?” that was teeming with Barton’s distortions and misrepresentations, which Lahmeyer proceeded to distort and misrepresent even further.
For instance, Lahmeyer declared that “our Founding Fathers built a form of government off of the Old Testament” and his “proof” was taken directly from Barton’s false assertion that our system of electing leaders came directly out of Exodus 18. In that chapter, Moses was overwhelmed by the responsibilities of leading the exiled Israelites through the desert and was advised by his father-in-law to “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” to assist him.
While the Bible says that it was Moses who selected these leaders, Barton and Lahmeyer insist that this passage was used by the Founding Fathers to create our electoral system.
“Our Founding Fathers took that and they formed what we now know as local, country, state, and federal [governments],” Lahmeyer claimed. “So, the Bible is what inspired our form of government? Yes!”
There is, of course, absolutely no evidence to support this assertion.
But Lahmeyer wasn’t done, as he also repeated Barton’s false assertion that John Adams credited four pastors for laying the foundation for this nation.
In Barton’s original telling, Adams wrote a letter in 1818 crediting preachers Samuel Cooper, Jonathan Mayhew, George Whitefield, and Charles Chauncy as those most responsible for American independence and the creation of the United States. Unfortunately for Barton, the letter itself is readily available and doesn’t say what he claims it does, nor does it even mention two of the men Barton cites.
But that didn’t matter to Lahmeyer, who repeated the baseless claim during his own sermon.
“John Adams was asked, ‘How come America is so great? How was America birthed as such a great nation?'” Lahmeyer said. “And John Adams said there are four people who are credited for the birth of this country. All four people John Adams listed; do you know they were pastors? All four! Why? Because the foundation of our country came from the pulpits of America proclaiming the truth of God’s word.”
It wasn’t true when Barton said it and wasn’t true when Lahmeyer repeated it.
Lahmeyer is a Christian nationalist and far-right conspiracy theorist who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in Oklahoma in 2022 and made imposing his right-wing worldview a centerpiece of his campaign, which was assisted by MAGA world luminaries Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. Lahmeyer, like other Christian nationalist political operatives, uses the myths spread by Barton and his ilk as justification for implementing harmful public policies that weaken the separation of church and state, undermine women’s rights, and deny legal equality to LGBTQ Americans.
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