Huckabee -- Clergy and the Declaration of Independence
Well, apparently in the recent GOP Debate Mike Huckabee made a bit of a goof the other day. In establishing his opposition to Abortion, he recounted the "Christian origins" of the nation -- insisting that that many of the Declaration's signers were clergy.
HUCKABEE: There are some real issues out there in this country we need to be fighting for on behalf of the people. Now, one of them, quite frankly, I do believe, is the sanctity of human life...
... because I do believe that it is one of the defining issues of our culture and civilization in that it expresses our understanding that every single human being in this society has intrinsic value and worth. 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, and among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, life being one of them. I still believe that.
The truth is only Princeton President John Witherspoon was an ordained member of the clergy.
The Declaration of Independence was the birth certificate for this nation, but the men who signed it knew it could be their death warrant. The closing paragraph states, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance of the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." The 56 Founding Fathers, 27 of whom were trained as ministers, took their pledge seriously. On the morning of the signing, there was silence and gloom as each man was called up to the table of the President of Congress to sign the document, knowing that it could mean their death by hanging.
Again the truth is the colleges at the time were church related and theology would have been studied -- but that doesn't make one a member of the clergy!