Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Bob and His Usual Ways....

I have personally tried to show to Bob and his claim that Thomas Jefferson was the first to coin the phrase "wall of separation” was wrong. Bob refuses to listen.

The “wall of separation” between church and state wasn't something Jefferson causally dreamed up one cold January day in 1802. Roger Williams used it earlier. Long before Williams, Richard Hooker used the phrase.

I can't sum the history of the phrase any better William Sierichs, Jr., so permit me to quote him at length:
Despite six centuries of pounding, the wall of separation between church and state stands higher and thicker than ever, boosted by vigorous defenders and supportive Supreme Court rulings going back to the late 1940s in the face of relentless assaults from religious zealots.

Many people, including a lot of secularists, believe Thomas Jefferson coined the "wall of separation" metaphor in his letter to the Danbury (Conn.) Baptist Association on Jan. 1, 1802. Religious Right propagandists like this belief because it lets them claim Jefferson was espousing an eccentric idea outside the mainstream of opinion among America's Founders. [Italics added.] After all, he was in France when the Constitution was written and therefore could not know what its authors intended.

In fact, the metaphor was more than 200 years old when Jefferson popularized it.
The union of church and state had been under attack in England since at least the 6th century. Richard Hooker, a defender of the Anglican Church who died in 1600, wrote that dissenters demanded that 'the walls of separation between [church and commonwealth] must for ever be upheld.'
For over two years that Bob has been repeating the lie that the phrase was “first used by Jefferson…”

Bob has never met a popular lie that he wasn't willing to repeat.

6 comments:

Irl Hudnutt said...

Another fine example of Bob either not knowing the actual history of the United State or ignoring the actual history of the United States.

So Bob Dutko is either ignorant or a liar.

Shall we vote as to which?

cricket said...

I can't vote for one sad condition or another since he's both.

One day he told his listeners Leonardo DaVinci regarded Darwinian evolution as "baloney," even though Leo died nearly 300 years before Darwin was born.

Bob's good at that kind of stuff.

Jeff said...

It seems that most of us have had conversations with Bob via email, etc. It's like talking to a brick wall. There's no hope of saving him. The only hope is to help save his listeners from adopting his wacky line of thinking.

djtyg said...

You can't "save" Bob. He knows what he's doing. He's intentionally exploiting religion for political power. He knows his role. He's a cog in the right wing noise machine, and it's his job to make sure the Republicans have religious people for the GOTV efforts come election season.

Jeff said...

dj,

While I certainly agree that Bob is fulfilling his role turning out religious votes for the GOP, I think the job is easy for him because he actually believes everything he says. Maybe that's just the optimist in me, giving people the benefit of the doubt where none is due...

Ben said...

For the Record I am Roman Catholic who sides with the Evangelical left (Think Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis and N.T. Wright).

It some times bothers me when I hear people get on about how annoying Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are. They are no doubt. However I put Bob as even worse. Hannity and LUmbaugh at least have a small element of class and sophistication. Bob does not even have that.

Ben