DeLay: God Wrote The Constitution

300px-god2-sistine_chapelAfter his 2-1 reversal of his conviction for money laundering, Tom DeLay is back raising money for a new campaign: the Josiah Project which seeks to reintroduce faith and morality into politics. In one interview with Matthew Hagee, the son of controversial paster John Hagee, DeLay lamented the lack of morality in Washington and “the Hammer” added a celestial framer to the usual list of Madison, Mason, and others.

DeLay, who was widely blamed for the brass-knuckled, take-no-prisoners politics in Congress while he was majority leader, says that he was actually a force for faith in Congress. As we have seen developing as a theme internationally, he blamed the secret cabal of secularists who have worked to “push us further and further away” from a faith-filled government. and believers need ”stand up and be unashamedly a follower of Jesus Christ” and push for Christian values in our society. DeLay spoke of closing off the Rotunda to citizens to allow members to drop to get down on their knees and “seek the face of God.”

Stock Photo of the Consitution of the United States and Feather Quill225px-TomDeLayHe then added that the “God created this nation [and] that He wrote the Constitution, that it’s based on biblical principles.” I assume that he is not referring to such wonky elements as the Separation of Power, federalism, and other elements as divinely written. The Committee on Detail struggled with language on such issues in a particularly mundane way. Indeed, James Madison was focused more on the factional divisions and weaknesses of Man than the image of God in crafting the components of the federal system. I also presume that the Articles of Confederation must have not been written by God since it was such a failure.

The Josiah Project (not to be confused with Project Josiah or other Josiah Projects by the same name) seeks to establish the Constitution as a document of faith that is “based upon a higher authority.” DeLay warned that we have to reintroduce religion and faith into government “[o]therwise we’ll find ourselves where we are where man gets to define what truth is and everything crumbles.”

Some may find DeLay an unlikely messenger for such a message given the view by many that he played politics on the very edge of legality. DeLay was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy charges in an illegal campaign finance scheme tied to the 2002 elections. His supporters insisted that the case was political and a vendetta by Ronnie Earle, the Democratic District Attorney of Travis County. However, a grand jury indicted DeLay and he was convicted after Senior District Judge Pat Priest of San Antonio found that he could stand trial on money laundering and conspiracy. In November 2010, he was convicted on both counts and sentenced to three years in prison. DeLay appealed his conviction to the Texas Court of Appeals for the Third District at Austin, which overturned the conviction in a 2-1 decision with Justice Melissa Goodwin writing that “Rather than supporting an agreement to violate the election code, the evidence shows that the defendants were attempting to comply with the Election Code limitations on corporate contributions.” The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is now reviewing the 3rd Court of Appeals’ decision.

DeLay’s Big Bang Theory of Constitution law is difficult to square with the Constitutional Convention record showing other sources for the components of the Constitution and rivaling theories as to the ideal balancing of the branches. He could be referring more generally to some elements like property rights and individual freedoms. For example, the takings clause and property rights have often been linked to Locke who saw a divinely ordained basis for claiming property from what was once left in common by God. His “labor theory” for private property is a touchstone of Neo-Conservative legal theory in the United States.

imagesThe project appears to be an offshoot of the National Prayer Center and is named for King Josiah of Israel. Josiah became king of Judah at the age of eight and is credited with rebuilding the temple. It was during this renovation that the High Priest Hilkiah discovered the Book of the Law or “the book of the law of Yahweh by the hand of Moses.” The Hammer appears on the same mission to tell politicians it is Yahweh or the highway when it comes to faith-based politics.

37 thoughts on “DeLay: God Wrote The Constitution”

  1. The only thing that surprises me about De Lay’s antics here is that he didn’t declare he discovered he is God all mighty himself. But even without this kind of revelation me thinks he’s just another delusional man trying to stay relevant. Gosh, am I glad I left that old time religion behind me a long time ago.

  2. Really, professor? You don’t see the separation of powers as divinely inspired? Haven’t you read Isaiah 33:22? 🙂

    I’m not a big fan of DeLay, but his comment, although poorly worded, is not outrageous. Much of the Constitution is based upon thought originating in the writings of Montesquieu, Blackstone, and Locke. Some of the reasoning is based in Natural Law Theory and experience, but they make it clear that it works in tandem with acceptance of the Bible as divinely inspired. Hence, once man is matured to be under the law of reason, he can then look for patterns of good government, both in nature and in divine revelation (the Bible). They freely quote the Bible in their reasoning concerning law and civil government. Blackstone saw Natural Law Theory as a discovery through experience and observation what laws had been put in place by the Creator to govern human affairs.

    Benjamin Franklin is probably among the least religious of the framers, but he wrote an interesting essay after the Constitutional Convention titled: “A Comparison of the Conduct of the Ancient Jews and of the Anti-Federalists in the United States of America.” In it, Franklin freely compares the Anti-Federalists reaction to the way that some Jews opposed Moses when bringing them their law. He concludes, not by claiming divine inspiration like Moses did, but by his belief that God did guide their Constitutional Convention in framing the new Constitution.

    Benjamin Franklin wrote:
    “I beg I may not be understood to infer, that our general convention was divinely inspired when it formed the new federal constitution, merely because that constitution has been unreasonably and vehemently opposed; yet, I must own, I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence, that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance to the welfare of millions now existing, and to exist in the posterity of a great nation, should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler, in whom all inferior spirits live, and move, and have their being.”

  3. Tom DeLay reinvented the mug shot. When he had his mug shot taken at his arrest, rather than the usual hang-dog, guilty as hell look that most have, he was upbeat and smiling, like it was his prom picture. Now all celebrities are doing it for theirs. The man is a trend setter. Give him his due.

  4. pete – you could posit that the South were the real Americans and the damn Yankees were the apostates and still are. It is just that the apostates won.

    For the rest of you, denigrating his employment history is just trying to kill the messenger. There is nothing about Obama’s employment background that would set him up to be President of the United States, remember. And Hillary’s employment history is even spottier, if she decides to run.

  5. Why is WHATEVER Tom Delay says, news? Abramoff served time. Delay RECEIVED the bribes and did not. That’s the duopoly, they take care of their own.

  6. Elaine M:

    Birth control? I rather thought that little bit of parental precaution by the Harris and Klebold families might have prevented rather than fostered the tragedy. To quote one of my favorite philosophers, Bugs Bunny, on Tom Delay: “What a Moroon?”

  7. “if god wrote the constitution does that make talk of secession blasphemy?”

    ****************************

    Thank you, pete, for that morning chuckle caused by a pearl of wit! You really need to open a jewelry store.

  8. A tidbit of wisdom from Tom DeLay on the causes of the Columbine High School massacre:

    “Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills.”

  9. What do you expect from a know-nothing bug exterminator. You really do ask too much to expect that the third person in line from the leadership of the Free World to know things like basic history or the American political system or even to be free from religious delusion.

    And, to think, people still vote Republican. Must be a death wish.

  10. To the relief of lawyers everywhere, Tom DeLay is not a lawyer. He is a bug exterminator. From what I have read about him, his original prime motivation for getting into politics was his resentment at EPA regulations over what poisons he could spread on customer property.

    Bug exterminator. That sounds about right for a constitutional scholar’s educational background. Not‼

  11. Pete, yes it does!

    Here it comes, the theocracy they’ve always dreamed of…not if secularists, which out number these fundamentalist Christians, have anything to say about it, but the first thing the theocracy may pass and enforce could be blasphemy laws.

  12. Keep thy religion to thyself. He wants to subscribe to nonsense and waste this existence by worshiping a manmade sky-monster, go right ahead. But leave me and the rest of the country alone.

    He and those like him try to usurp history in order to dictate our future.

  13. Delay wouldn’t last long in a theocracy of which he was not the head.

    As to his theories about God writing the Consitution, it seems to me that an all knowing omnipotent God wouldn’t have penned such an ambiguous document that has allowed money to be turned into speach and legal fictions, that is, corporations into people. And how about that 3/5 person thing? Sounds pretty ungodly to describe humans you created as less than human.

    How about the history of the writing of the Cnstitution, doesn’t look much like a god centered convention to me. But facts, facts, facts don’t matter to people like DeLay particularly when he can use his god to control the lives of others.

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