The Great Myth - Bible Principles and the U.S.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (edgar pearlstein)
I don't see where the Bible supports much of the basic ideas of
the founding of our country. On the contrary, except in two
important cases, it opposes them:
The Declaration of Independence is a document that justifies
revolution against the established royal government. The Bible,
however, says "the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans
13:1-7), and "For kings, and for all that are in authority"
(I Timothy 2:2), thus giving rise to the idea of divine right
There is no mention of "consent of the governed" in the Bible, as
the Declaration demands. While the Declaration deplores taxation
without representation, Jesus says, regarding taxation, "Render
therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's" (Matthew 22:21)
Tolerance of different religions is embraced in both the original
Constitution (Article VI, paragraph 3) and in the first Amendment.
Yet in the Bible we have: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me"
(Exodus 20:3), "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"
(Exodus 22:18), "He that sacrifice unto any god save the Lord
only, he shall be utterly destroyed" (Exodus 22:20), "He who is
not with me is against me." (Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:23) "he that
blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death,
[and] all the congregation shall certainly stone him"
(Leviticus 24:16). Such stoning was actually carried out
(1 Kings 21:13).
I don't find in the Bible anything in favor of a republican form
of government, as our Constitution demands (Article IV, Section 4).
On the contrary, Romans 13:1-7 tells people to obey authority
because it is instituted by God.
I find nothing in the Bible in defense of freedom of speech. On
the contrary: "he that doubteth is damned" (Romans 14:23) "there
are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers...whose mouths must
be stopped..". Titus, 1:10-11 Proverbs 6:16-19. "These six things
doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: ......and
he that soweth discord among brethren." The last one could be
construed as being against democracy, since anyone who runs for
office against an existing office holder is sowing discord.
"Corruption of the blood" is forbidden by the Constitution
(Article III, Section 3, paragraph 2). "Prepare slaughter for his
children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise,
nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities".
(Isaiah 14:21) "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the
children unto the third and fourth generation" (Exodus 20:5, 34:7,
Numbers 14:18, Deut. 5:9) "His blood be on us, and on our children."
(Matthew 27:25) Bastards may not enter the temple, nor their
descendants (Deut. 23:2) As Tom Paine says in The Age of Reason,
this is "contrary to every principle of moral justice". The god
killed a baby because of a sin of his father, David. (2Samuel 12:14)
Ahab escaped punishment for murder by making an elaborate apology,
and his descendants were punished instead. (I Kings 21:29) *BUT*:
"neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers"
One of the foundations of our country that we are not proud of was
slavery. It was important economically both before and after
independence. It was an institution condoned by the founders and
recognized and defended by the original Constitution (Article I,
Section 2, paragraph 3; Article I, Section 9; Article IV, Section 2,
paragraph 3). It is also condoned in many places in the Bible, as pro-
slavery people liked to point out in the days before the Civil War. In
Genesis 17:23, it's clear tha Abraham had slaves, as it talks about his
household "all that were bought with his money". Exodus 21:4 ff
describes conditions for slavery. Leviticus 25:44-46 says that heathen
may be purchased as slaves, that their children become slaves, and that
they are inherited as property by the owner's children forever. Deut
20:10-14 says that when you conquer a city, if it surrenders then all
people inside it become your slaves. But if it doesn't surrender, then
all males are to be killed and all women and children "take unto
thyself". Luke 12:47-8 shows that Jesus approves of slavery, for he
describes the conditions under which one should give a severe beating
to a slave. Some would argue that the KVJ BIble in most places uses
the word servant, rather than slave. But it's clear that it means the
same thing, and other translations do use "slave" a lot. Genesis 9:18-
27, about Noah and his son Ham, has been interpreted to mean that black
people are supposed to be the slaves of white people. Timothy1 6:1-2
tells slaves to honor their masters, particularly if the masters are
Even the Dred Scott case (1857) has a biblical parallel: In the
book of Philemon, Paul sends a runaway slave, Onesimus, back to his
Another place where one of the foundations of our country agrees
with the Bible is in the treatment of Indians: Numbers 33:50-55 tells
the Hebrews to TAKE AWAY LAND from the inhabitants and drive them away.
In America this was called "manifest destiny."