In attempting to present Barton's distortions, of which there may be, revisionists like Rodda are vulnerable to Orthodox Christians like myself that read the Scriptures everyday. It appears her article about David Barton in Daily Kos, was presented with an ill-advised title: "No, Mr. Beck, Our Constitution is Not Based on the Book of Deuteronomy."
The body of her article that refutes Barton's use of Donald S. Lutz's research: "34% of their quotes came out of the Bible." looks legitimate to me. However, whatever Barton presented that skewed the evidence, has little to do with the Constitution not based on the Book of Deuteronomy.
If the Scriptures and Natural Law are the same, from the same source, the latter will be harmonious with the former, and our unalienable rights will be written in the Scriptures, linked together to the Common Law, Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights (1689) et al. I am not unaware, nor will lessen the impact Natural Law has in this equation, however the framers understood rights are derived from religion and Natural Law; religion a more solid foundation, referenced through Christian philosophers, including Montesquieu and Blackstone, and Protestant forms of government, such as: Switzerland, and Holland. The framers also made it clear, they perused the Protestant Reformers, and Blackstone, in the Constitutional Convention for guidance, however, Rodda distorts that influence she accuses Barton of:
In order to prove that individuals in a State of nature are equally free & independent he read passages from Locke, Vattel, Lord Summers--Priestly. To prove that the case is the same with States till they surrender their equal sovereignty, he read other passages in Locke & Vattel, and also Rutherford: that the States being equal cannot treat or confederate so as to give up an equality of votes without giving up their liberty. [italics mine]-Luther Martin, June 27, 1787. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 [Farrand's Records, Volume 1]. MADISON Wednesday June 27. in Convention.
First, our rights as Christians from Jesus and Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy:
II. The Rights of the Colonists as Christians.-Samuel Adams, The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting. November 20, 1772.
These may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.
Benjamin Franklin, believed our rights are found in the Bible by endorsing Adams' report, and adopted by inhabitants of Boston, no less:
The person alluded to by Governor Hutchinson, as "the great director in England," was Dr. Franklin, and it is insinuated that he was in effect the author of the report, but this is in no sense true..To the sentiments expressed in the report of the committee, and adopted by the inhabitants of the town, he fully assented. This is proved by his sending a copy of the proceedings to the press, as soon as he received it in London, with a prefatory notice written by himself. The pamphlet was entitled "The Votes and Proceedings of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, in Town Meeting assembled, according to Law. Published by Order of the Town." -- Sparks.The fact is, liberties, which are our unalienable rights, are immersed in their writings, thus, only liberty can give peace and happiness, and religion is the source of virtue, which brings happiness. It is religion coupled with Natural Law, that grants individual rights that are essential to happiness, thus, John Adams believed our liberties are found in the Scriptures:
Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, They may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies.-Letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776.
Adams again, linking Christian morality with unalienable rights found in the Scriptures, and in the true Constitution of Britain. Unalienable rights must encompass the principles Adams alludes to, for the Revolution was fought for more than just improper morality:
The gallant Struggle in America, is founded in Principles so indisputable, in the moral Law, in the revealed Law of God, in the true Constitution of great Britain..."-John Adams second "Clarendon" letter as printed in the Boston Gazette, 20, Jan. 1766.
The Christian religion is the source of unalienable rights:
[T]he Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children under a free government ought to be instructed. No truth is more evident than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.-Noah Webster, REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIER; JUDGE; LEGISLATOR; EDUCATOR; “SCHOOLMASTER TO AMERICA” A Collection of Papers on Political, Literary, and Moral Subjects (New York: Webster and Clark, 1843), p. 291, from his “Reply to a Letter of David McClure on the Subject of the Proper Course of Study in the Girard College, Philadelphia. New Haven, October 25, 1836.”
Next, our greatest Judge, called "the american blackstone" whose judicial philosophy of Federal superiority has shaped our nation to this day, wrote the free exercise clause is found in the Scriptures:
The rights of conscience are, indeed, beyond the just reach of any human power. They are given by God, and cannot be encroached upon by human authority, without a criminal disobedience or [sp?], the precepts or [sp?] natural, as well as of revealed religion. [italics mine]-Joseph Story, Commentaries. CH. XLIV FREEDOM OF RELIGION. 727.
Story is more than qualified to exposite the Constitution.
Story produced nine major treatises within the space of twelve years: Bailments (1832), Commentaries on the Constitution (3 Vols., 1833), Conflict of Laws (1834), Equity Jurisprudence (2 Vols., 1836), Equity Pleadings (1838), Agency (1839), Partnership (1841), Bills of Exchange (1843), and Promissory Notes (1845).-American Reference Library, The Ultimate Reference to American History and Political Science, World Book Encyclopedia. 1998 World Book, Inc and Western Standard Publishing Company.
Judge Story was also the author of valuable notes on prize, admiralty, maritime, and patent law contained in appendices to Supreme Court reports, and a frequent contributor to the North American Review, in which he published legal essays. His judicial opinions and writings laid the foundation for admiralty law, equity jurisprudence, and commercial law in the United States. Though a member of the judiciary, Story also worked diligently to clarify and improve Federal laws. He drafted legislation to extend the jurisdiction of the circuit courts and revise the bankruptcy laws.
Story may justly be regarded as the real founder of the Harvard Law School; for his appointment marked an important turning point in the history of an institution that was faltering until Story took command. As a result of his leadership, enrollment increased, the quality of instruction improved, and the school's reputation for excellence grew rapidly.
Just where are the texts in the Scripture that expound unalienable rights?
LIFE, Judges 13:5, Deut 24:16. HAPPINESS, Eccles 3:13. Ironically, several rights are in the same chapter of Deuteronomy, listed one after the other, as the framers listed the Bill of Rights:
Property, Ninth and Tenth Amendment: Deut 19:14. "Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it." and I Kings 4:25.
Trial by Jury. Sixth Amendment: v.15. "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."
Unreasonable search and seizure. Fourth Amendment: Deut. 24:10-11. "When thou dost lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge. Thou shalt stand abroad, and the man to whom thou dost lend shall bring out the pledge abroad unto thee."
Right to bear arms. Second Amendment: “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)
Free Speech, assembly, free exercise. First Amendment:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever:
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Many State legal codes, the death penalty, et al., are quoted verbatim by the framers. It isn't difficult to see why the framers considered America the "New Zion."
So Israel under the monarchy always had an armed population (as the 2nd Amendment envisions for the United States). It also had powerful dissidents, the prophets, who were not afraid to use their freedom of speech to rebuke the government (as the 1st Amendment provides). Yet even though ancient Israel might be said to have protected both 1st Amendment and 2nd Amendment rights, these were not sufficient to protect the full scope of liberty and prevent serious abuses by government. The concentration of national political power continued to have terrible consequences.http://libertyunbound.com/archive/2007_04/kopel-israel.html
The framers knew where these rights derived, just as Thomas Paine understood Israel was a "kind of Republic." There was no mention at the Constitutional Convention of any separation of church and state, only the anti-establishment clause. We see this is true because they immediately hired Christian chaplains, issued Christian religious proclamations, promoted Christianity amongst the Indians, used government buildings for Christian church services, used the bible as a textbook in federally run public schools, set aside land for Christian religious purposes and continuousy thanked God for his blessings, guidance, and protection.
Whatever be the case of Barton's errors, the entire foundation of Law: the Declaration, Constitution and Bill of Rights, are founded upon the Bible.