Book From Alan Grayson's Opponent Todd Long Promotes Falsified American History
Moving along, after that history lie, or misrepresentation if you will, Long went on to provide, on page twelve, three alleged founding father "quotes", only one of which is, strictly speaking, accurate.
The first quote Long provided, which he identifies as a "paraphrase" from George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address, is ridiculously sloppy - not really a "quote" at all. What Washington really said was, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." In Scott Long's rendition that becomes, "Religion and morality [based on the teachings of the Bible] are indispensable supports of this self-government."
In the authentic Washington statement, religion and morality support political prosperity, in Long's version they support government. Some might say I'm nitpicking, some might say this is a substantial distortion. But as for Long's third "founding father" quote, allegedly from James Madison, well...
Here's the fake Madison that Long trots out, on page 12:
"We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments."
Long attributed that quote to "James Madison, Fourth President, Principal Author of the U.S. Constitution", and went on to ask, immediately following the [fake] quote,
"Do politicians talk like this anymore? Certainly, no one in the Democratic Party, and far too few in its Republican counterpart, do. In fact, when President Barack Obama stopped in Turkey during his first European tour as President, he felt compelled to opine that the U.S. "is no longer a Christian nation," despite the fact that many of the founders stated just the opposite".
A decade and a half before Todd Long's book came out, University of Richmond historian Richard Alley set out to determine the source of this alleged Madison quote, which appeared most notably in David Barton's 1989 book The Myth of Separation. As a September 2006 Texas Monthly story on Barton, King of the Christocrats, described,
"In 1995 the historian Robert Alley attempted to trace the provenance of a quote that Rush Limbaugh had mistakenly attributed to James Madison, in which Madison purportedly called the Ten Commandments the foundation of American civilization. All roads led to David Barton... Barton cited two sources for the quote: a 1939 book by Harold K. Lane called Liberty! Cry Liberty! and Frederick Nyneyer's 1958 book First Principles in Morality and Economics: Neighborly Love and Ricardo's Law of Association. Alley couldn't find the quote anywhere in Nyneyer's book, however, and eventually concluded that Barton had pulled it from an article in a journal with the unlikely title Progressive Calvinism, which, in turn, had attributed it to something called the "1958 calendar of Spiritual Mobilization." In any case, Alley reported, the editors of Madison's papers were unable to find anything in his writings that was even remotely similar. "In addition," they added, "the idea is inconsistent with everything we know about Madison's views on religion and government, which he expressed time and time again in public and in private.""
Of course one can't prove a negative, but Alley's case was sufficiently persuasive that David Barton, who himself played a key role in popularizing the bogus Madison quote, subsequently stopped using the fake quote, and by 2000 Barton had relegated it to his list of "unconfirmed quotations". In other words, in 2010 Todd Long was promoting a fake Madison quote that David Barton himself had tossed on the trash heap ten years earlier.