US Constitution claimed to be of divine origin

Lester Pearce, the brother of Russell Pearce, the Arizona State Senator who was the primary legislative author of the infamous SB1070 legislation, is leading a series of seminars around the United States that teach that the US Constitution is ultimately God’s word revealed.

Garrett Epps, former Washington Post reporter and legal scholar reports:

“[Pearce teaches that] we have to learn the basic truth about the Constitution: God wrote it. It comes directly from the government instituted by Moses when he led the Children of Israel out of Egypt. That system was re-instituted in England around 450 A.D. by the Anglo-Saxon rulers Hengist and Horsa. The Founding Fathers, led by Thomas Jefferson, copied the Constitution directly from the ‘ancient constitution’ of the Anglo-Saxons.

At this point a faint alarm bell should be ringing. First of all, just for the record, Jefferson didn’t take any part in writing the Constitution. He was in France, and when he read the Constitution he had mixed feelings about it. (Jefferson did actually write the words ‘a wall of separation between church and state,’ which Judge Pearce and the NCCS generally regard as a pernicious myth.)

But the louder alarm should come from maps and displays in the materials that suggest, without quite saying, that the Anglo-Saxons were in fact the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. On page 20 of our workbook, a map shows an arrow marked ‘Northern Tribes of Israel,’ running from Palestine to the Caucasus region. That arrow stops in 721 B.C.; another arrow begins at the same place at the same time: ‘Migration of Celts, Angli, Sacki, etc.’ It stretches to Northern Europe and then to England. NCCS Founder W. Cleon Skousen’s big textbook, The Making of America, says that ‘many have thought the Yinglings, or Anglo-Saxons, included a branch of the ancient Israelites because they came from the territory of the Black Sea . . . and because they preserved the same unique institutes of government as those which were given to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. But whether related or not, there is certainly irrefutable evidence of a cross-fertilization of laws and cultural values between these two peoples.’ (Princeton historian Sean Wilentz’s recent piece on Skousen is here.)

[…]Lurking behind these words is the idea that the Constitution is not only a religious document, but a tribal one–written by one kind of people, white Anglo-Saxons, and enshrining their superiority. The Constitution is ‘ours’; immigrants, non-Christians, Jews, Presidents with funny names are here in ‘our’ country by ‘our’ sufferance, and the time has come to take ‘our’ country back. None of this is quite said; but it hangs in the air. ‘The divisions are going to become greater and greater,’ Lester Pearce warns the students at Our Savior’s Way. ‘It’s not between the haves and the have-nots. It’s between the haves and the entitled. Have you ever seen an interview with Obama’s aunt? She says, ‘they owe me.” The one bright spot is Arizona’s permissive concealed-weapon law, he explains. When the U.N. troops arrive, ‘they’re going to have trouble.'”

Much more here.

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