Ed Rollins on the Founding Fathers

15 December 2007

At a FOX News Republican debate back in October, Mike Huckabee 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
That wasn't 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.

Now, it looks like Huckabee's campaign chairman Ed Rollins is making a similar argument about the drafters of the Constitution. From CNN:

DOBBS: I have never, perhaps you have, but never in my experience have I seen so many candidates talking about God in a primary campaign and in a general election, I presume and it will remain there. How comfortable are you with that and is it appropriate for God to be in religion and faith to be this prominent in a secular campaign for president?

ROLLINS: You go back to the signing of the Constitution I think 26 of the people that signed it were ministers.

But only one of the signers (Abraham Baldwin) was a minister. Two if you count Hugh Williamson, who "became a licensed Presbyterian teacher but was never ordained.... he ... took a position as professor of mathematics at his alma mater." Where do they get this stuff?

(h/t Steve M.)

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