Religious Right psuedo-historian David Barton spent a good portion of his “WallBuilders Live” radio program today insisting that the absence of any mention of God in the U.S. Constitution is proof that it is not a secular document.
“People say, ‘Well, the word “God” isn’t in the Constitution,'” Barton said. “There’s a reason for that and it doesn’t mean it’s secular, it means just the opposite.”
As Barton sees it, there are four mentions of God in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is really nothing more than “part two of the Declaration,” so the Founding Fathers didn’t need to bother mentioning it again.
“They didn’t feel like they had to say anything in the Constitution because they’ve already said it really strongly in the Declaration,” Barton claimed. “Why repeat it? Because this is just the completion of the Declaration, if you will.”
Barton’s argument hinges on his assertion that “Article 7 of the Constitution dates itself not as a new document, [but] dates itself to the Declaration of Independence.”
We are not sure what Barton means when he says that the Constitution does not date itself as a new document :
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names . . .
Barton claims that the mention of “the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth” is what binds the Constitution to the Declaration, making them two parts of the same document.
Those who don’t see this obvious connection, Barton said, are being misled by “brainless” professors who don’t know what they are talking about.
“If you say that that’s proof of secularism, that means you haven’t read the Constitution, you haven’t read history and you haven’t read what the Founders said about the Constitution,” Barton insisted, saying that in order to believe there is no mention of God in the Constitution, “you have to buy into a bunch of pablum by brainless kind of professors that either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or they’re speaking maliciously trying to undermine and shift the nation to move in a different direction.”