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Wednesday, October 24, 2007
posted by Kyle Hampton | 1:15 PM | permalink
This from Andrew Stuttaford over at the Corner:

Mike Huckabee, it seems, has problems with history as well as science. The St. Petersburg Times takes issue with the candidate's claim that most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were "clergymen." Uh, no:
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 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, "gotcha" can be a tedious, pedantic game, but this particular error is, I think, quite revealing of the way in which Mike Huckabee sees this country. You can like that vision, or not, but you cannot deny it.


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As likeable as Huckabee is, this is scary. And his message at the VV Summit sounded scary, too - separation of church and state and all. And I'm a values voter.

Ah, no harm, no foul. Huckabee probably heard that somewhere and thought it was true. Now, he knows its not. Not that big of a deal to me. Candidates, including ours, sometimes make mistakes.

Signers of the Declaration of Independence

1. The signers religious work was diverse and included service in both church and para-church ministries (This is also true and reflective of the signers of the Constitution
and those at the Constitutional Convention.) While many were trained for the ministry, not all ultimately pursued the ministry as their career vocation. Nevertheless, they were
early trained in, inclined to, and studied in that profession.

2. *At the time that the signers attended these schools, all of the colleges listed below described themselves as religious seminaries of learning for the religious instruction of youth. While these schools today no longer retain that religious nature, a perusal of both the curriculum and learning objectives at that time would today characterize them as religious seminaries, colleges, or Bible schools. (For example, according to Yale in 1754: "The original end and design of colleges was to instruct, educate, and train up persons for the work of the ministry. . . . [C]olleges are societies of ministers, for training up persons for the work of the ministry." Thomas Clap, A.M. President of Yale-College, The Religious Constitution of Colleges, Especially of Yale-College in New-Haven (New-London: T. Green, 1754), pp. 1, 4; similar declarations are also found in the writings of Harvard, Princeton, William & Mary, et. al.)

3. Founder State School Minister/Ministry
Adams, John Massachusetts Harvard* Studied for ministry; became an attorney.
Adams, Samuel Massachusetts Harvard*
Braxton, Carter Virginia William and Mary*
Carroll, Charles Maryland Personally built and endowed a house of worship in his area.
Ellery, William Harvard*
Gerry, Elbridge Rhode Island Harvard*
Hall, Lyman Georgia Yale* Clergyman; ordained in September 1749; pastored a church in Bridgeport, Connecticut until later in life when he
later in life when he decided to pursue a career in medicine.
Hancock, John Massachusetts Harvard*
Hewes, Joseph Princeton*
Hooper, William North Carolina Harvard*
Hopkinson, Francis New Jersey College of Philadelphia Helped to organize the Protestant Episcopal Church; music director; chior leader; responsible for the first purely American
first purely American hymnbook, which took the 150 Psalms and set them to music.
Jefferson, Thomas Virginia William and Mary*
Livingston, Philip New York Yale*
McKean, Thomas Delaware Became an attorney and judge but never stopped preaching the Gospel, even in the courtroom. For example, when a
example, when a defendant was sentenced to death, he would deliver a salvation sermon.
Morris, Lewis New York Yale*
Paine, Robert Treat Massachusetts Harvard* Pastor; military chaplain.
Rush, Benjamin Pennsylvania Princeton* Founder of first Bible Society in America; founder of the Sunday School movement in America;
helped found the AME denomination and helped build its first church.
Sherman, Roger Connecticut Theologian; personally wrote the doctrinal creed for his church.
Stockton, Richard New Jersey Princeton*
Thomson, Charles Pennsylvania (Secretary of Congress) Produced Thomson's Bible - the first translation of the Greek Septuagint English.
into English
Williams, William Connecticut Harvard* Studied theology; served as lay preacher.
Witherspoon, John New Jersey University of Edinbugh Pastor; seminary president.
Wolcott, Oliver Connecticut Yale*
Wythe, George Virginia William and Mary*

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