30 July 2011

Decaying Horse Department

If there are so many damn examples of “irrefutable quotes and facts from history that our country was founded upon Biblical principles” why do its proponents keep drawing on the same short list of known fakes? Case in point: one Earl53 posting here (doing a partial cut-and-paste from “Forsaken Roots”) manages to reel off seven fake quotations and three false items of information, along with six or seven genuine quotations. (There is also one dubious item of information, in that John Adams didn’t claim that United States was exclusively founded on “the general principles of Christianity” but only that “the general principles of Christianity” were among the principles upon which the country was founded.)

This is a pretty high level of adulteration, all things considered, and contains some pretty cheesy stuff—the Patrick Henry and Congressional resolution about school bibles are particularly transparent fakes that never should have fooled anybody. And Earl53 doesn't improve matters any by pretending later on to have documents from the Library of Congress backing up his school bible fake resolution; presumably he is referring to the genuine Aitken Bible resolution, but as he gave no actual citation it is entirely possible that he was just blowing more hot air, as when he pretended that his production was not just another cut-and-paste job based on “Forsaken Roots”. (The Jefferson and school bible fake quotations both come from that source, as does the misinformation about early American universities—a dead giveaway. Copying other people’s bonehead mistakes is a sure way to be caught.) Anyway, for the record, here is another clueless clown’s score:

The fake quotations:
  1. the Patrick Henry “religionists” misattribution, actually written in 1956 in The Virginian;
  2. The Jefferson “real Christian” frankenquote with its two sentences taken from widely separated letters juxtaposed;
  3. the Washington “without God and the Bible” invention (mixed with some genuine material from the Farewell Address);
  4. a prayer from the Washington prayer-book hoax;
  5. the John Quincy Adams “indissoluble bond” misattribution (actually written by John Wingate Thornton);
  6. the fake Congressional resolution about approving the Bible for use in schools (A “Forsaken Roots” invention based on the genuine resolution commending the Aitken Bible);
  7. the Franklin “Bible and newspaper” misattribution (actual author unknown).

The incorrect information:
  1. that 106 of the first 108 universities in the United States were distinctly Christian;
  2. that Thomas Jefferson wrote “I am a real Christian” etc on the front of his Bible;
  3. that John Adams was chairman of the American Bible society (it was his son; the father took a dim view of Bible societies).

The genuine quotations:
  1. the John Jay “prefer Christians for their rulers” passage;
  2. the Daniel Webster “good Christians” quotation;
  3. the John Dickenson “higher source” quotation;
  4. part of Benjamin Franklin’s prayer for prayer at the Constitutional Convention;
  5. possibly the “rebellion to tyrants” line (author unknown, but suspected to be Franklin);
  6. the Adams “morality and religion” quotation (except for the word “true” added before “religion”);
  7. the Adams “pure virtue” quotation.

I’d say that’s about 40 points out of a possible 100. In other words, you just flunked American History, Earl53. A sad commentary on the American school system, it seems. But thanks for playing.

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