Lynn Blasts White House Meetings with Bible Society President

Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, is blasting the White House following a Fox News report yesterday that American Bible Society president Lamar Vest was meeting with Joshua DuBois, the director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships “to begin a dialogue on the importance of the Bible in the founding of the country.”

Lynn:

I’dd like to save Dubois and Vest some time. The United States was not founded on the Bible. It was not founded on the Koran. It was not founded on the Bhagavad Gita. It was not founded on any holy book.

If you read the Constitution and then the Bible you will see major differences. In the Bible there is no Bill of Rights, no representative democracy, no equal branches of government with “checks and balances” and no “We the people.”

So where exactly are these “scriptural” underpinnings to our government? I think they exist mainly in the minds of some people who are literally rewriting American history. An essay on the Bible Society website by the ministry’s former president Paul G. Irwin is riddled with faulty history, including a phony quotation by James Madison lauding the Ten Commandments as the basis of government. (Madison never said that.)

Lynn points out that requests by civil liberties groups like Americans United and its allies in the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination to fix constitutional problems with the faith-based office have been met with “overwhelming silence.”

Yesterday I sought comment from the White House on the nature of the ABS meetings. I’ll update when I get more information.


Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email