Mike Huckabee on the Founding Fathers

23 October 2007

At the Republican debate the other night, Mike Huckabee (R-AR) said this:

When our founding fathers put their signatures on the Declaration of Independence, those 56 brave people, most of whom, by the way, were clergymen, they said that we have certain inalienable rights given to us by our creator

Turns out, that's not true. Not by a long shot.
Only one of the 56 was an active clergyman, and that was John Witherspoon. Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister and president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).

A few more of the signers were former clergymen, though it's a little unclear just how many. The conservative Heritage Foundation said two other signers were former clergymen. The religion web site Adherents.com said four signers of the declaration were current or former full-time preachers. But everyone agrees only Witherspoon was an active minister when he signed the Declaration of Independence.

For those of you out there with calculators, 1/56 is not "most." Neither is 4/56, if we want to be overly generous to Huckabee. But of course, nobody at FOX News called him out on this. Neither did any of the other major news networks.

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