HR 888

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    While the recent House of Representatives “Christmas resolution” was being covered in the PI generating 5 pages of condemnation of Jim McDermott for voting against it, another far more disturbing resolution was introduced, one which, does not appear to have been noticed by anyone.

    On December 18, 2007, Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA) introduced H. Res. 888, a resolution “Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation’s founding and subsequent history and expressing support for designation of the first week in May as ‘American Religious History Week’ for the appreciation of and education on America’s history of religious faith.”

    This resolution, which purports to promote “education on America’s history of religious faith,” is packed with the same American history lies found on the Christian nationalist websites, and in the books of pseudo-historians like David Barton. It lists a total of seventy-five “Whereas’s,” leading up to four resolves, the third of which is particularly disturbing — that the U.S. House of Representatives “rejects, in the strongest possible terms, any effort to remove, obscure, or purposely omit such history from our Nation’s public buildings and educational resources,”

    This is historical revisionism on a grand scale and it looks like it will slip through congress with no notice by the press busily baying like a pack of dogs across New Hampshire.

    For debunking of specific “whereas” see this book/website:

    Many people here in WA have told me that the takeover of the Republican party in the 80’s by fundamentalist, was repulsed and corrected. Informed people know better. The stealth use of steeplejacking of existing churches, using fake history in homeschools and christian schools, and the appeal to authoritarians of the dominionist, punish everyone world view, has all but wiped out moderate republicans in the WA GOP.

    The Theocratic wing of the Republican party is driving now and with Huckabee’s rise in the primaries, they will only get bolder.



    Good Lord.

    Reminds me of the preemptive laws Bremer came up with for Iraq.



    Again, the writer of the book “Liars for Jesus” makes some claims without basis himself and tells stories without citing references. Those things that he does cite seem true enough, though looking up those documents yourself seems to be what the book is calling on us to do ourselves. So they too have an agenda and a presupposition and I suppose if we wanted to know the truth we too can search those documents as well, right?

    Case in point “Not all Americans during the Revolutionary War were the virtuous, Christian citizens portrayed in the religious right version of American history.”(Liars for Jesus, Chapter 1, Congress and the Bible, pg3, 3rd para). Who has made this claim for the author to refute it and why is he not citing a source for this? Also how does he know? He must be assuming, becasue a)as far as I know there is no time machine invented and b)it’s historical and can not be repeated exactly. It may be true or not but make your case Chris Rodda, so we don’t think we are beliving in more lies about suspected lies! And we as individuals should ask and look for these things too. Would you not agree?



    Wes, I think we can definitely agree that we need to not take anything we read like this on it’s own basis. Yes, we need to research it ourselves, get what information we can, and then decide what we believe…..on either side…



    The references and sources are on the foot note page.

    The footnotes and sources for the entire book are at the link on the top left of the home page at

    under the words:View and verify sources cited in the book:

    This link is then provided.

    A cursory glance indicates that most of the cited documents are online At the LOC if a little hard to read due to the 18th century spelling and font and the dark patina of the medium.

    The sentence you quote makes little sense outside the context of the preceding and following paragraphs. It’s almost as if one were following the example of a local institute who attempt to cast doubt on an idea or theory by picking at one part of it and then declaring that the entire body of work acquired over decades, must be ignored and the magical explanation is thereby proven.

    Let’s post a little more of the chapter and see.


    From History Forgotten, the most widely circulated of the internet lists: “Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed, Christians? The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of Scripture, and His personal intervention. It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society.1 Immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of Scripture for the people of this nation.”

    William Federer’s version of the 1777 Bible story is typical of those found in the majority of religious right American history books. It tells half of the real story, includes a quote from an actual committee report, but ends with a fabricated resolution. The resolution is created to change the outcome of the story from Congress dropping the matter, which is what really happened, to Congress proceeding to import the Bibles. Tim LaHaye’s version, that Congress printed Bibles for the Indians, has absolutely no basis in fact. But, as drastically different as their stories are, both Federer and LaHaye cite the same pages from the Journals of the Continental Congress as their source.

    In addition to changing the outcome of the story, none of the religious right American history books fully explain why Congress was considering importing the Bibles in the first place. Most mention that the war with England caused a shortage of Bibles, which is true, but this is only half the story. Congress’s consideration of the matter had to do with the prevention of price gouging.

    Not all Americans during the Revolutionary War were the virtuous, Christian citizens portrayed in the religious right version of American history. Many were taking advantage of war shortages and charging outrageous prices for just about anything they could get their hands on. No product was safe – not even Bibles. The widespread problem of price gouging prompted numerous attempts by individual states, groups of states, and Congress to regulate prices, none of which were very successful. With less than half the country in favor of the war to begin with, Congress was very concerned with minimizing hardships like high prices and shortages of items previously imported from England.

    In 1777, three ministers from Philadelphia, Francis Alison, John Ewing, and William Marshall, came up with a plan to alleviate the Bible shortage. Their idea was to import the necessary type and paper, and print an edition in Philadelphia. The problem with this plan, however, was that, if the project was financed and controlled by private companies, the Bibles would most likely be bought up and resold at prices that the average American couldn’t afford.

    Rev. Alison wrote a memorial to Congress, explaining the dilemma and asking for help. What the ministers wanted Congress to do was finance the printing, as a loan to be repaid by the sale of the Bibles. As Rev. Alison explained in the memorial, if Congress imported the type and paper, and Congress contracted the printer, then Congress could regulate the selling price of the Bibles.

    End excerpt (note there is more of this chapter available in the web site, but it is truncated at the end of the next page I believe)

    I have to take the time to figure out which markup plugin is being used here since formatting quotes and sub quotes is getting ugly…



    Still, in context, it doesn’t seem to make it any more true, though I am not saying that whatever person in Christiandom is writing is true either, when it comes to this. But lots of people can spin truth in the way they want it to be rather than what the author intended it to mean.



    What are you babbling about?

    Are you arguing that

    “all Americans during the Revolutionary War were (the) virtuous, Christian citizens”?

    Come up with some facts of your own if so. I have an entire card catalog of history texts as well as dedicated rooms of revolutionary period pamphlets and broadsheets in the Widner Library at Harvard, or the Dunster House Library at Harvard that indicate otherwise. I cannot afford to have the whole library copied, but if you were to even bother with a credible defense of your view, (and I could figure out what exactly that view is) I could have a friend in Cambridge go in and scan a randomly chosen month of publication which would disprove the theory of all innocent pious citizens.

    Are you disputing that William Federer, Tim LeHaye or David Barton are not proven liars and quote manglers by the documents they themselves often cite? Do you need a breakdown of each and every occasion? I could probably do that with google and nothing but links in a couple of hours, but why should I? You’re obviously not interested in the empirical truth when it conflicts with you “faith based logic”. Besides I figure if you were really interested in the real history and how it compares with the revisionism of the above named stooges, you would have ordered the book by now.

    Or is this just another example of faiths triumphant victory over facts by virtue of the readers simply disbelieving the facts?

    Ah well.

    No doubt Age of Reason has been hard on many Christians and Huckabee is promising to do away with it just as soon as we elect him President.

    “I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do, to amend the Constitution so it’s in God standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family. “

    — Mike Huckabee, Jan 14th 2008



    I sense your passion Ken, but but please be polite, the personal jabs without really knowing where I stand is a little uneccessary don’t ya think? And you don’t expect me to say, “Yeah, this guy is right!” without checking out for myself do you? I wouldn’t expect that from you. I thank you for the info for us to look at, and I am glad that you have done a lot of research and have friends in lofty places so that you can be so sure that I am an idiot and that you are greater than I, but help me here, not poke at me. Obviously I am no expert in this area, nor come anywhere near having a card catalog and seperate rooms of information at my immediate disposal, so I don’t get the hostility. Be a teacher man. Note the only side I have taken here is the cautious, not sure, should find out for myself one.

    To answer your question, this is what I am babbling about.



    This is frightening. Not the he said/he said, but the idea that someone thinks it is necessary to put a house resolution like this together and that our legislators are more likely to pass it because they don’t want to seem unchristian than because they actually read it and agree with it. We are becoming too much a nation that worries about what something will look like instead of one that concerns itself with the actual facts.

    This country was settled on economic principles, not religious ones. Religious communities took advantage of the situation to resettle where they would be free of religious persecution. The excesses of some of those religious communities prior to the declaration are what guaranteed the inclusion of religious freedom as one of the basic tenants of our nation.

    “One nation under god” does not exist in our constitution… it was not assumed that every man worshiped his god the same way… thus the need for the inclusion of words on religious freedom. It is unlikely that the framers of the constitution were trying to guarantee the freedom of atheists, Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists or even Catholics as they weren’t present in large enough numbers to note. They simply realized that even Protestant Christians did not agree on how to worship their god.

    If we are to pass a resolution stating that this nation’s history has been based on religious principles on such little evidence, we might as well pass one that states that we never really intended freedom to encompass women or blacks as they weren’t mentioned in our constitution or our voting history until much later. Now that would rise some hackles.

    An educated man/woman is one who reads both sides of an argument and then reads all the references each side used. In any disagreement, by definition both sides are biased. The only way to sort through that bias and decide what you believe is though careful examination of the evidence… not the commentary.

    And dismissing an argument simply because of it’s source is equally foolish. Amazingly, intelligent comments are made on both sides every day. In these days of polarization, they are few and far between… but they are still there for those of us who like to sort through the rhetoric in search of the truth.

    gosh.. sound just like a schoolteacher, don’t i? I’m not, but I’ll post this anyway.

    thanks ken for alerting me to this.



    JoB…kudos…well said…

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