Over the weekend, former Army lieutenant general, National Security Advisor, and convicted felon Michael Flynn claimed that the word “Creator” appeared four times in the U.S. Constitution.
It appears zero times.
Flynn was speaking at a campaign rally for Pastor Jackson Lahmeyer in Oklahoma, who’s running for U.S. Senate. Given their conservative Christian base, you might think someone would have picked up on the obvious bit of misinformation. But, predictably, no one called him out on the lie.
“Democracy is always a fragile type,” Flynn said. “You read the Federalist Papers, you read [the Founder’s] writings—because this is all about the people that we’re talking about tonight running for office, and others that are out there—you read all these things, you study the history of this country, you study how it was founded. That’s why the word ‘Creator’ is in the Constitution four times. ‘We are endowed by our Creator.’”
He’s actually referring the Declaration of Independence, which mentions a Creator (in various ways) four times. Three of them are casual phrases that ought to be treated no differently from saying “God bless you” after a sneeze. The most famous line refers to how men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Still, it’s ludicrous to pretend that references to God in a founding document (made long before people understood how evolution worked) justify the idea that we somehow live in a Christian nation. Though it’s not like that stopped Donald Trump from making the same claim for the same reason during the National Prayer Breakfast in 2018.
Flynn didn’t stop there, either. Later in the speech, he claimed the Bill of Rights was modeled after the Ten Commandments:
“When you go home, look at the Bill of Rights and lay the Ten Commandments right down next to them,” Flynn continued. “Put them right next to each other, and you’ll get a sense of how they developed the Bill of Rights. The rights that the Creator gave us. These are God-given rights; these are not man-given rights.”
That’s another lie.
The First Amendment talks about freedom of religion and speech. The first Commandments say some version of “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” no graven images, no taking the Lord’s name in vain, and keeping the Sabbath holy. Those are religious requirements that limit speech.
The Second Amendment involves a well-regulated militia… which has no equivalent in the Commandments. Unless you want to talk about “Thou shalt not kill”… which you shouldn’t since the Second Amendment has opened the door to an astronomical number of people getting killed.
We can play this game through the rest of the list, too. There’s no parallel. There are often outright contradictions. The only similarity is that they’re both a list of ten things. That’s it.
Even if Flynn’s comment about the Constitution was just a slip of the tongue, though, the point he was trying to make was meaningless. We weren’t a Christian nation when we were founded. We certainly aren’t one anymore. And we would be worse off if we ever became one.
Flynn’s theocratic fantasies have no place in a political campaign, and it’s downright scary that they came out of the mouth of someone who ran national intelligence at one point.
(via Right Wing Watch)