God And Government – Foundations Of Freedom With Michele Bachmann: In today’s episode we will hear the conclusion of yesterday’s episode. Then, we will have Michele Bachmann on to talk about in what way God is involved in Government.

Air Date: 11/13/2019

Guest: Michele Bachmann

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture 


Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we”€™re talking about today”€™s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author. 

This week we’re sharing some special programs with you from Foundations of Freedom, that’s our television program, with a lot of special guests like Glenn Beck, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Dr. Carol Swain, and others. 

David Barton is going to be sharing some great information with you from that program all throughout this week. So if you missed the first couple of days this week, it’s all available at our website WallBuildersLive.com. The episodes this week, Glenn Beck shared with us on a topic called Real Religion, then we did an episode called A Courageous Church, that was David Barton and myself, and we”€™re going to get the conclusion of that one today, and then we’re going to dive into a program with Michele Bachmann called God and Government.

So stay with us. We”€™ve got great information for you today from Foundations of Freedom. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

America’s Hidden History


Hi, this is David Barton.


And, this is Tim Barton, and we want to let you know about a series that’s happening right now on TBN on Thursday night. TBN is the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Every Thursday night, there’s a series that we’ve filmed called America’s Hidden History.

And, this season is called “€œAmerica’s Hidden Heroes.”€ The reason is, we highlight heroes from American history. For years we’ve been focusing on the forgotten history and heros of the nation.

And now, we have a TV show just highlighting some of those heroes.


These are inspiring stories about some of the greatest people maybe you’ve never heard about. We go on location to the sites and show you where the events happened. It’s the stories of folks like Bronco Charlie, Stagecoach Mary, Jedediah Smith, Robert Smalls, and so many inspiring folks.


Now, this happens every Thursday night, and the time is gonna be different based on where you live. Either way, we think this is something that will so encourage and inspire you in learning some of these great stories from America’s Hidden History.

The Effect of Preachers and Reverends on Early America


If you look back into the history of the United States, four centuries, you will find, for example, the first folks who came to America, the Virginia Colony, loaded up the preachers. You’ll find that the preachers are the ones who got the first civil elections going. You’ll find that the first legislature of Virginia met in the choir loft at the church. I don’t think that would happen today. 

You go to the next group that arrives the pilgrims, the Pilgrims established civil government with annual elections, and their pastor said, “€œHey, Exodus 18:21 the scripture says, “€œ”€˜You choose from among new leaders of 10s, 50s, 100s.”€”€™Â 

So they get that and they come up with the first ever bill of rights. As you move into other areas you get to 1636, the Reverend Roger Williams, who established civil government in Rhode Island. 1636 you have the Reverend Thomas Hooker who established civil government in New England, did it on sermon—great sermon that he preached—and by the way, that’s where you get the first constitution in the history of the United States. 

And historians say, “€œOur constitution is the direct successor of what they did in fundamental laws of Connecticut.”€Â 

Reverend Nathaniel Ward created their bill of rights because they said, “€œYou’ve got individual rights come from God. Government’s supposed to leave them alone.”€Â 


I”€™m hearing Reverend, Reverend, Reverend, Reverend and civil government in the same sentence! 


In Malachi 2:7 the Bible says, “€œIf you want to know what the law says, go to the priest. Ask the priest, because they know what the civil law is.”€

The Church in Politics


There you said the law and a priest in the same sentence. So this is not—what we’ve got in this mentality the church, “€œStay away from politics. Don’t talk about what’s happening in the law or government.”€Â 

You’re telling me, historically, it”€™s the opposite. They go together in everything.

And whenever any one institution—it’s two separate institutions, but we should never separate God from anything. 


Europe had the church and the state with one leader over it that ran both of them, and that’s where you had all these atrocities. Here, there was a biblical separation of church of state, but not a separation of God from government, because we as citizens are in both.


That’s right. And so if I’m a citizen, and I’ve become a Christian, as a citizen, I got to be involved in government, I need to be going to church hearing in this kind of stuff so I know what to do when I get over there and get involved with Government. 


There you go. Let’s listen to some sermons right here. This is a sermon preached before John Hancock by the Reverend Dr. Samuel Cooper. 

Oh, by the way, Samuel Cooper? John Adams named him as one of the specific guys responsible for independence. He’s part of the First Great Awakening. Here he is preaching a sermon in front of John Hancock. 

Having a Preacher in Congress

For 170 years we started state legislative sessions by having a preacher come into the legislature, and you had the governor, you had the lieutenant governor, you had the house represents the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you had the Senate, you had all the governing bodies, and they said, “€œGuys, you’re facing tax issues. Here”€™s what the Bible says about debt. Now, you can’t do these taxes, you can’t do these kind of taxes, you can’t do progressive taxes, you can’t do capitation taxes, you can’t do an estate tax.”€


Let me get this straight. Not only are they, on Sunday morning, preaching from the pulpit to their congregation about everything in the culture so that the citizens can go apply it, they’re actually going into government buildings and speaking to the government officials about what the Bible says. 


It”€™s worse than that.

The government actually reprinted these sermons and strew them across the state. Here’s John Hancock.

Here’s a sermon in front of Samuel Adams, the father of the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration, here’s a sermon in front of Caleb Strong, he’s one of the 55 guys who did the Constitution. And here”€™s a sermon right here in front of Samuel Huntington, another signer of the Declaration and the governor of Connecticut. Here’s one in front of Oliver Woolcott, he’s a signer of the Declaration. He’s another governor.


It’s no wonder we were so blessed then. It was in everything that we did!


That”€™s the problem we got today.

“€œOh, that’s unconstitutional!”€Â 

Time out. These are the guys who gave us our documents, and they’re having the sermons. Don’t tell me it’s unconstitutional when the guys who the Declaration and the Constitution are doing this.

Charles Finney

So there’s a lot to go through here. Let me sum it up this way. I want to go to Charles Finney. Charles Finney”€™s part of the second great awakening, and the impact he had… He really is the guy who started so much what the Evangelical church does today in the way of what we call altar calls. Sermons prior to Charles Finney, everybody wrote their sermon out and you read your sermon. You did not preach. So he had a huge impact on the ministers in his day.

I want to read you a quote that he gave to the ministers of that day, because when you look back at America, and you look at the role of the church and what they did, ministers led the military, civil affairs, and all the topics of the day, education, you name it, the church is in the middle of it.

Here’s what he told ministers in his day, and by the way, the issue at that time was becoming the slavery issue. He’s really out front, “€œWe’ve got to end slavery! The Bible”€™s really clear about this!”€Â 

So it’s taking clear moral positions, taking very hard positions on this, and making a lot of people mad. 

Here’s what he said said, “€œBrethren, our preaching will bear it”€™s legitimate fruits. But if immorality prevails in the land, the fault”€™s ours to a large degree.”€Â 

I wonder how many churches we have that say, “€œAmerica’s got a lot of immorality. That’s our fault.”€Â 

The Pulpit is to Blame

He says it’s the preachers fault. He says, “€œIf there is a case of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it, if the church is to generate morally, the pulpit is responsible for it, if the world loses its interest in religion—“€ we’re down to only 36% go to church. 

He said the pulpit is responsible for it. 

“€œIf Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.”€

I don’t think many people would object to the fact that when we complain about what’s happening in the state legislature, or in Congress, if we’re complaining about that the people responsible for that.

He said, “€œIf our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brothers, but let us let the heart be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”€


But isn’t the congregation also responsible if they’re the ones saying, “€œI don’t want my pastor to cover these topics. I don’t want my pastor pushing an agenda because I don’t want us to look like we’re aligned with a political party. Therefore, I don’t let my pastor speak to any issue that’s going on, because when the pastor gets up to speak about one of these issues, for some reason, people think that that means they’re being political, or they’re aligned with our political party, or pushing an agenda.”€Â 


There’s two problems that: One is thinking of the people who say that, and two is the thinking of the pastors who allow that to affect them.

Your Agenda Should be Pursuit of the Truth

Your agenda should be the pursuit of the truth as laid out in the Bible. If the Bible takes the position, you ought to take a position whether everybody likes or not, whether you think it divides your congregation or not. 

Jesus told the Disciples, “€œAre you guys gonna leave me too? Everybody else left me because they can’t handle what I’m saying.”€Â 

Your agenda should be the pursuit and the implementation of the truth.


So if the pastor stops speaking truth because they are afraid of what people are saying, then the pulpit is responsible for the results.


And the same thing with what’s political. Because I was with some pastors recently and we’re talking about this and they say, “€œI don’t like to talk about marriage, and don’t like to talk about homosexuality, and I don’t like to talk about the abortion issue, because that’s just too political.”€Â 

Wait a minute, it wasn”€™t political 20 years ago. It was pure Bible 20 years ago. But because the government has come in and said, “€œIt’s our issue now,”€ you’re going to back away from what the Bible deals with because it’s now become political. Now, if you’d been preaching this 20 years ago, it wouldn’t become a political issue now because our people would be thinking right about this. But because you wouldn’t take a stand 20 years ago, now it’s become a government issue, and now you won’t talk about it. The Bible talks about it, so you ought to be talking about it. 

And that’s exactly what they did in these sermons. 

Whatever was in the news, “€œWe’re going to find the Bible application for it. We’re gonna put it out there.”€Â 

Speaking Truth Regardless of what People Want

So, first off, we have to get Christians thinking right. Truth and the Bible is the objective. We have to get pastors thinking right. Truth and the Bible is the objective. I’m not gonna use the false measurements of what it takes to be successful. I mean go after truth in the Bible.


So we have to be looking for that. We have to want to hear that from our pulpits and from our pastors. We, as people in the congregation, have to want that. And then the pastors have to be courageous enough to say, “€œI’m going to speak truth regardless of what you want.”€Â 

You can be really courageous when you remember that you account to God and not your congregation. If you remember that, you know, “€œHe’s going to hold me accountable for what I do or don’t say in the pulpit, and I don’t really care whether they all get ticked at me and chase me off. I to answer Him more than I answer my congregation.”€Â 

You get that mentality, you’ll find your congregation will grow.

You’ll find that, like Jesus, after they left Him for a while, they got repopulated with thousands, and thousands, and thousands who wanted to hear that message. And He ticked off the Pharisees, He ticked off the civic leaders, and He called Herod by name, and they kept following Him because He had some courage. 

And they said, “€œYou’re not like the other teachers. You actually teach something.”€Â 

So a pastor and a Christian has to be more accountable and more aware of accountability to God than to congregation, than to a community, to a newspaper that wants to criticize him, or anything else.

The Foundation of Freedom


And there’s actually a bigger reason than just ourselves. This is the foundation of freedom. So if we don’t get back to applying scripture, we’re going to lose those freedoms. So, if we as Christians want to look for those things, we need to have a desire to have our pastors speaking those things if we want pastors that will do that and have that courage. How do you get there?


Number one is go to NationalBlackRobeRegiment.com. That is a website that shows you what the Black Robe Regiment was, and how your church can be a part of that. It helps equip pastors and Christians to be part of that backbone. Second thing you can do is get a Founder’s Bible. Read this, because this is the way the founders applied the Bible to every aspect of life.

Third thing is go to SpeakUpMovement.org. These are national supreme court attorneys that take and defend any church stands for biblical truth and somebody comes after them, whether IRS or civil authorities, these guys don’t lose at the court. You have constitutional protection. Get a backbone. These guys will defend you for free and they’re the best in America doing this. So that’s an action item.


Now, all three of these action items, are they just for pastors, or are they for all of us citizens as well?


Yes to all of the above, because they are for pastors, they’re for Christians, if Christians will get it passed on to your pastor and your church. This is every believer. Because what happens if a pastor stands up to have backbone is the people in the pews say, “€œPastor, you can’t talk about that. You’ll get us in trouble.”€Â 

Legal Protection 

No, you won’t get yourself in trouble. There’s legal protection for that.


So this applies to every question, and every pastor, and every church. And every one of us can study that Founders Bible. These three things can restore those foundations of freedom. 


That’s exactly it.

Avalon Project 


Hey, guys, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our Founding Fathers about the original intent of our nation, a constitutional heritage that we have. And, really we’ve seen how far we slipped away from that. And, I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk think, “€œI wish there was a place that I could go where I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the Founding Fathers firsthand.  See the things they did.”€Â Â 

I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing. If you get online you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon Project, to the Founders Constitution, Google Books, or even the internet archives.  

Or you can just go to WallBuilders.com. We have a section for our WallBuilders Library. And, under that section we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites.  Where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself. Friends, this is the time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. WallBuilders.com is a great place to go. 

Welcome Congresswoman Michele Bachman


This generation of Americans is taught that our government was established as a secular institution, but the Founders believed God was a part of everything, including government. So what are we to make of the separation of church and state? How should God and government intersect in today’s America? Join historian David Barton with special guests Glenn Beck, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and more as they explore the America our founding fathers envisioned. What if America’s story is bolder, more colorful, and more compelling than you ever imagined?

This is Foundations of Freedom. 


Welcome to Foundations of Freedom, where we look at important aspects of our shared common heritage about which most folks today have heard absolutely nothing. Joining me today is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Congresswoman Bachman is a federal tax attorney. She’s a very successful businesswoman. She’s also a very successful mom, having raised five of her own kids and 23 foster kids, and she’s also a member of Congress and sits on the House Intelligence Committee. They’re the ones in charge of all of our key national secrets, so very important position. Michele, great to have you with us. Thanks for being here.


Thank you so much. 

Today’s topic is really near and dear to my heart, because it’s about God and government. I know that a lot of people have a lot of questions about this. They want to know how much religion is OK in government, and how much isn”€™t, and as a matter of fact let’s go ahead and go to our first question.

Why do People get Worked Up over Lack of Prayer in the Government?


The government is not a church, it’s a secular institution. So why do people get so worked up over whether or not something like prayer isn’t in government? 


That the notion that government a secular institution is a relatively new notion in American history. Now, there are clear Jurisdictional distinctions between government and church, and individuals and families, but none of them are to be secular. God is supposed to be involved in every aspect.


That’s what people are really juiced up about. I hear this over and over again, especially by ACLU types, where they’ll say, “€œYou can’t have any Christianity in government because then you’ll be a theocracy.”€Â 

And that’s not what this founders meant.


And first off list is spelled out right now: it’s impossible for anybody in America to have a theocracy as long as we have a constitution.


There are theocracies in the world. If you look at Iran, that’s essentially a theocracy.


The ayatollahs, imams, if you have an Emperor, if you’re in the Old Testament and you have Elijah or Samuel, you’ll have a theocracy. Someone’s hearing directly from God and is speaking to the people. They are the only mechanism. 

But when you have elections as we do in America, when you have a constitution that establishes elected people and separation of powers, you can’t have a theocracy. 


So just bringing your faith talking about government, or being a Christian in government, or dealing with specific issues, that is not a theocracy.

The Government is Not Secular


And let’s let’s make it real clear that the government’s not to be secular in the American tradition. This little book right here is a key book and the founding of America. Now, had you gone to American government class 40 years ago, you would read this book because our founding fathers, they said, “€œThis is the book on which the Declaration of Independence is based.”€Â 

As a matter of fact, Richard Henry Lee, who’s the guy who made the motion in Congress for separation from Great Britain, he said that they, quote, “€œCopied the declaration out of this book.”€Â 

This book is The Two Treatises of Government by John Locke.

This little book here is what the founders used, and it was the third most third most quoted by the founders.

In less than 400 pages, this cites the Bible over 1,500 times to show the proper operations civil government. John Locke is incredibly important. Now, he was not an American citizen. He’s a British citizen—was a British citizen—he was a philosopher by the way, had a huge impact because he wrote the Constitution of Carolina, under which Carolina became a colony. So he’s a huge pro-America guy. He’s an early precursor of American law, but he’s one of the guys the founding fathers went to to study and learn law.


He was looked upon as one of the authorities in establishing law and establishing our government, but also as a philosopher. He reasons from Scripture. 

And I think that’s the thing that, again, talking about our whole conversation of God in government, when our founders, these brilliant men, were having their conversations, the philosophy was all laid out and fleshed out of Scripture. Not just our founders, but the philosophers that they looked to also.

A Thanksgiving Proclamation


They did not think of government as secular. Another good example is this document out here. This is the first federal Thanksgiving proclamation. It is in the newspapers announcing George Washington, right here, and it has the body of this proclamation. This is in 1789, and what had happened was Congress had just finished the Bill of Rights. So Congress goes to him and says, “€œMr. President, we finished the Bill of Rights. That’s a time worthy of Thanksgiving to God.”€Â 

And so Washington issues this proclamation, “€œLet’s thank God! We finish the Bill of Rights!”€Â 

Why would he call the nation to thank God? It is really key what he says in the very first sentence Why did we do it? 

He says, “€œBecause it’s the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”€

“€œI’m calling the entire nation to a time of prayer.”€Â 

This is not a secular document. This is not secular at all.


And it’s encouraging attitude and action in its citizens.


It is. 

Citizens, we need to thank God, and it’s because we as a nation have a duty not to be secular.


What you’re telling me is that Washington didn’t view the American government as a secular. 


Nobody did. 


Washington was used as the template for every other President. 


That’s right. That’s exactly right. 


I take it this wasn’t the only proclamation.


There were many others. But this notion that government is secular is what we’ve got. As a matter of fact, we’ve got another question that deals with that as well. 

Why Should Non-Religious Taxpayers Pay for Religious Activity?


Taxpayer money should be spent on things that benefit all taxpayers, not just religious taxpayers. Why should the government fund things like chaplains or faith based programs that only benefit the religious, and not all citizens?


I hear that from people a lot. 

“€œI want to know why should we all have to pay for this,”€ because it kind of sounds like a throwback to Europe when you had state religion and people are saying, “€œHey, we shouldn’t have to support something we don’t believe in.”€Â 

Should they?


The notion is that religion only benefits certain people, that it doesn’t benefit everyone. And while in America we don’t require all people to be religious, we had Thomas Paine, and we had Henry Dearborn, we had Charles Lee, we had other founding fathers who were not religious. Now, they were the exception, not the rule. 

The overwhelming majority were very religious. But we have those that weren’t, and we didn’t require people to be religious. You didn’t have to be religious to come to America, and you didn’t have to be Christian. By 1619, we had Muslims in America. We had Jewish synagogues here by 1640. We had all these religions in America.

But you need to understand that the framework that provides that is a view of government that is not secular. 

Here’s a great example, because if you look—and by the way, just to emphasize that we’re talking about George Washington this is his first proclamation, we looked at that, this is the very final work he did as President of the United States. This is his farewell address as stated there 1796.

Do Not Remove Religion and Morality from Public Life


I love this. This has to be an action item, for people to read this. That’s so good.


“€œOf all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man playing the tribute of patriotism who should Labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.”€

What they did was they created a climate, and that’s why the courts back then said, “€œWe’re not going to take religion or morality out of public life. It’s who we are!”€Â 


It would be like cutting off part of your arm, because it is who we are.

Our faith our belief system is what produced all of us. 


That’s right. In Texas, they say, “€œYour dance with who brung you.”€Â 

Religion and morality brought you there, and now you’re going to dance with somebody else? 

This is what people don’t understand about public religion as well as private. Government doesn’t mandate any of it, but it allows them, accommodates, and makes it present.


That”€™s a key point, David.

A lot of people think that when it comes to government and God, “€œThat guy can’t have anything to do it, because we will be really afraid because all of a sudden that’ll mean your religion goes down my throat.”€Â 

When really, all government is is it’s a cumulative expression of individuals here in this country.


That’s right. That’s such a key, because if my neighbor will live by the Ten Commandments, if he won’t steal my property, won’t take my wife, won’t kill me, he’ll make a great neighbor, and he can be an atheist! But if he’ll live by the Ten Commandments… 

Why Religion is Important to Government

This is the aspect that a lot of people don’t understand, why religion is important to government. Now, not a state established religion, but take something like prisons. I was a consultant of the U.S. Justice Department, and the average recidivism rate in any state, government, or federal prison is 77%.

That means they get out, and within three years 77%, three out of four of the people in that prison, are going back. They’ll commit a crime that puts them back in. This is not good.

We have about a dozen states—Texas, Indiana, and Minnesota are a few—that have gone to faith based prisons. The prisoners get faith based programs voluntarily. 

They’re not for, “€œOh, you’re in prison. We’re gonna cram religion down your”€¦”€

No. Faith based is voluntarily. The recidivism rate in those prisons is 8%.

It’s not 77%, it”€™s 8%. 


77% is more than 3 out of 4 people are going back to prison. 8% means less than 1 out of 10. I think we’re on to something. I think we see that mankind is impacted by what he believes, and what he believes impacts how he behaves. 


2.3 million American young people have a parent in prison.

We know statistically—Justice Department runs through—that 72% of those kids will also end up in prison like their parents.

So if we can get these parents home to their kids, we have broken the family cycle of crime, which is a generational cycle. 

God and Government with Foundations of Freedom!


We’re out of time for today, folks. You’ve been listening to Foundations of Freedom, our television program, here on WallBuilders Live. We”€™ve been sharing several episodes with you this week, and tomorrow we’ll pick up right where we left off.

That was Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and David Barton sharing on the topic of God and Government. We’ll get the conclusion tomorrow, and then have one more program for you this week from Foundations of Freedom, so make sure you tune in tomorrow here on WallBuilders Live.