Where have you gone, Bill Buckingham?

A nation turns its lonely eyes away from you.

Yesterday I talked with someone who played a role in the Dover intelligent design debacle. We were talking about another issue not related to ID, but we did share our thoughts on how much quieter things have been for this person in the last four months than they were the previous year.

As if on cue, today an article from Tuesday’s York Dispatch was forwarded along about Dover’s most famous theocrat, former school board member Bill Buckingham. Here are some of the juiciest tidbits:

(H)e still doesn’t believe in the constitutional separation of church and state….

“He (Judge John E. Jones III) accused me of lying under oath and I didn’t lie under oath,” he said. “And if he’s saying I lied, he’s a liar. I did not lie under oath. I was a policeman for 10 years. I’m not that dumb. I did not lie under oath.”

He said Jones doesn’t know the law very well(.)

That last bit is just laughable. How can anyone who claims that separation of church and state is a “myth” accuse a federal judge of not knowing the law?

Mind you, B-Buck was on a school board that was pushing for the use of David Barton’s book The Myth of Separation. Barton’s book has been widely derided for questionable use of quotes by the Framers and maybe even flat-out inventing history that doesn’t exist. For example, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty wrote this analysis of Barton’s work:

Barton claims that 52 of the 55 signers of the Constitution were “orthodox” Christians and many were “evangelical Christians.”

Barton does not cite any authority to support this assertion. Indeed, the weight of scholarly opinion is to the contrary…

Barton makes much from a statement attributed to John Quincy Adams to the effect that the principles of Christianity and civil government form an “indissoluble bond.”

John Quincy Adams as the source of this remark is less than certain. The lack of quotation marks around Adams’ supposed statement in its secondary source rendering leads one to believe that the statement is not attributable to him….

Barton says that John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States, desired that we should “select and prefer Christians” for office.

There are many problems with trying to leverage this statement into something more than it really is. While voters can choose their candidates for any reason they deem fit, the Constitution explicitly disallows any official religious test for public office (Article VI). In fact, that prohibition on a religious test is the only place that the Constitution even mentions religion.

Meanwhile, back to B-Buck, in the YD article he says, “Honestly, we thought we were doing something good for the students.” Really? How is destroying the quality of their education “good for the students”?

As plaintiff Barrie Callahan said at the post-decision press conference, watch your school boards.

Andy in H-burg

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