Carroll County Maryland Employees to Take Bible Class?

Yeah, more or less:

Carroll County commissioners have asked county employees to attend a seminar on the Maryland Constitution led by a conservative Christian minister, sparking accusations that local officials are overstepping the boundary between church and state.

The minister in question is David Whitney, who is one of those guys who thinks he can reconcile American Law with the Bible, by making American Law like the Bible.

“We will be looking at the language of our founding fathers who wrote they were ‘grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberties’ front and center on this document. The Bible is the source of the authority that they looked to.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United are annoyed with the $800 of government money funding the operation. Rob Boston, of Americans United asks, “Do these commissioners realize what a mess they have stepped into? This is a toxic stew, and employees should not be forced to dine there.”

Indeed.

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4 Responses to Carroll County Maryland Employees to Take Bible Class?

  1. Chris Campbell says:

    Don’t know what document by the Founders they’re looking at the “front and center” of. That phrase (“grateful to Almighty God “) doesn’t occur in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

  2. In the Baltimore Sun article it says that David Whitney is a lecturer at the Institute on the Constitution. Poking around their site, it seems that it is a local Maryland group. They offer courses, so they probably also offer stuff on local governments. Unfortunately, my state’s constitution does have those words at the beginning:

    We, the People of the State of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty, and taking into our serious consideration the best means of establishing a good Constitution in this State for the sure foundation and more permanent security thereof, declare:

    We are also one of the states that has a religious test for office:

    That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.

    Maryland’s constitution is a mess. We need to change it. Here’s the whole thing: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/43const/html/const.html

  3. F says:

    I mean, don’t even bother hiring an actual Constitutional scholar who happens to lean to the right or anything.

  4. protectpluralism says:

    The instructor is not just any “conservative Christian minister.” He’s the chaplain for both Maryland’s League of the South and the Southern National Congress! And the organization producing the classes is run out of the law offices of Michael Peroutka, former presidential candidate for the theocratic Constitution Party.
    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2012/2/24/184312/553

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