God And Government – Foundations Of Freedom With Michele Bachmann And Dr. Carol Swain: Join us to explore the religious roots of America. Discover the role the Bible played in the Founding Fathers”€™ blueprint for America”€™s freedoms.

Air Date: 11/14/2019

Guest: Michele Bachmann and Dr. Carol Swain

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, Michele Bachmann, and Dr. Carol Swain


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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

Rick: Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live. We’re talking about some of the hottest topics on policy and faith in the culture from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. David Martin is our founder. He’s America’s historian, bestselling author, and one of Time magazine’s top 25 most influential American evangelicals. My name is Rick green. I’m a former Texas state representative and national speaker and author. And then our third host is Tim Barton, national speaker, and pastor. And today we’re actually going a little bit different of a program, actually been doing this all week.


We’re sharing some special programs for you from our television series called Foundations of Freedom. We had a couple of special programs this week. We had Glenn Beck on, talking about real religion. I did a program with David called a courageous church. And then we had Michele Bachmann talking about God and government, and that conclusion or the conclusion of that program we’re going to get right now. So we’re picking up right where we left off yesterday. You’re going to love this information that we share with you today. If you’d like to get all the programs, they’re available right now for free at wallbuilderslive.com.


You can grab those links and share them with your friends and family, or if you’d like to get the DVDs, that’s available as well, so be sure and visit that website. Let’s pick up right where we left off yesterday with David Barton and Michele Bachmann talking about God and government.

George Washington Knew

Michele Bachmann: The thing that you’re saying is that if somebody is a secular person who has nothing to do with God, they benefit magnificently from living in a society like that. So George Washington knew this.


David: That’s right.


Michele Bachmann: Benjamin Rush knew this, they learned it from the scriptures, and also Daniel Webster knew about it as well with the [inaudible 01:55].


David: Now, what’s interesting is, let’s look at the model of Washington because we talked about Washington; his proclamation, his first and his last, let’s look at what he did. When he became pressing United States, and by the way, this is the old 1870th Currier and Ives print of Washington’s inauguration.


Michele Bachmann: That’s at Federal Hall in New York City.


David: Federal Hall in New York City. Washington’s inauguration, there were 15 people who really organized it. Guess who we had organized his inauguration? There were 14 ministers and Rabbis that did it. So his inauguration–


Michele Bachmann: And a Rabbi?


David: And a Rabbi.


Michele Bachmann: So it wasn’t just Christian?


David: No, it was Christians and Jews.


Michele Bachmann: It was Christians and Jews together that organized the President’s inauguration.


David: So his inauguration had seven separate religious activities, in his public inauguration as first president. When you look at–


Michele Bachmann: I can see one, he has the Bible.


David: Well, the first thing is the use of the Bible to administer the oath. So we’re taking oath on God’s word on the Bible. We could take an oath without it. The Bible is not required by the constitution, but it has been by every president because they set an example.

So Help Me God

Michele Bachmann: When we take our formal oath of office in the house chamber, but we do it as a group, we raise our right hand and take the oath; that’s the official oath, but we have our official portrait done with the speaker of the house separately with our hand on a Bible, with our right hand up.


David: That’s right.


Michele Bachmann: We did it exactly; we patterned in the house of George Washington.


David: Now the second thing he did was after he took his oath, he said, “so help me God”, which is not required by the constitution, but has been done by every President since then, but he also leaned over and kissed the Bible. So his reverence–


Michele Bachmann: And he did that on his own.


David: No, it’s interesting. Actually, he was inaugurated–you point out, New York State Law required you to say, “So help me God”, and to kiss the Bible. So in the state–


Michele Bachmann: I didn’t know that.


David: It was common in the American colonies to say, “€œSo help me God”€, you lean over and kiss the Bible. So the first thing is, he takes an oath on the Bible. Second thing is he shows respect, he says, “So help me God”, leads over and kiss the Bible. And the third thing he did was, he gave his inaugural address, and he said it would be particularly improper for me in my first act of office, not to pay individual homage to that God, and he led his own prayer. Now it’s interesting, that’s been followed as well. As a matter of fact, if you go to a President like Eisenhower, you’ll find that Eisenhower in his own inauguration offered his prayer as well.

 An Inaugural Prayer

Michele Bachmann: Well, we didn’t have a video clip of Washington, but we do have Eisenhower.


David: Let’s look at this clip.


Michele Bachmann: Okay.


Video clip: Would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own? And I asked you to bow your heads. All mighty God, as we stand here at this moment, my associates in the– my future associates in the executive branch of government, join me in beseeching, that Thou will make full and complete, our dedication to the service of the people in this throne, and their fellow citizens everywhere. Give us we pray the power to discern clearly, right from wrong and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially, we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race or calling. May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who under the concepts of our constitution, hold to differing political faith, so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and I glory, amen.


Moments From America’s History

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Today, numerous court decisions demonstrate that there’s often a conflict between the courts, the law, and religion. Has this conflict always existed?

Not according to James Wilson.  James Wilson was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was a law professor as well as an original justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. James Wilson saw no conflict between religion and the law. In fact, just the contrary.

He declared, “€œHuman law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. Far from being rivals or enemies religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistance.  Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”

In the views of Founding Father James Wilson religion and good civil law were inseparable. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.


David: You saw Eisenhower right there, pray a prayer.


Michele Bachmann: As a matter of fact, you have something really special here. You have the actual paper, right, and the handwritten?


David: It’s on the back here, Hotel, Statler, Washington, DC, that’s where he stayed the night.


Michele Bachmann: I can verify that’s the real thing.


David: Real thing. This is where he stayed the night before he’s inaugurated.


Michele Bachmann: So citizen Eisenhower wrote out this handwritten prayer, like any of us would do, he scratches out and he has it all in here, and this he inserted into the inauguration the next day as president of the United States.


David: Into the inauguration; it”€™s the same way Washington did, that was an honor, so that’s the third thing. The fourth thing you see is the inaugural address. When Washington gave his inaugural address, not only did he give his own prayer, but he and that address had lots of God content. He kept calling the nation. Remember God, think about God, remember and so best been done by presidents since. Every president since then has acknowledged God in some way.


Michele Bachmann: It doesn’t make sense because if anyone would have been sensible of the danger that the United States was in, it would have been George Washington.


David: Yes, that’s right.


Michele Bachmann: Because even though we had secured our independence, it wasn’t like we were without threats that were coming externally continually from Britain as well. And so he understood how precarious and how fragile our freedoms were, and that this may not last. All you have to do is look at history. Nations don’t necessarily just last.


David: That’s right.


Michele Bachmann: And so in his wisdom, George Washington let the people know that this was about God and we got where we are and it will be about bad to continue where we are.


David: And they believe that so much. And that’s the fifth thing of Washington inauguration is, he then called on the people to acknowledge God corporately, as a time of prayer–


Michele Bachmann: He’s not interested in action items.


David: An action item.


Michele Bachmann: It wasn’t enough for the government to do it for the people, the people also had responsibilities.


David: Had to participate.


Michele Bachmann: That’s reflective also on the Bible.


David: Yes.


Michele Bachmann: Isn’t that reflected?


David: It is.


Michele Bachmann: Where the people had to call back, the people had to acknowledge, because a leader is a leader. They’re not the person to do for the people.


David: That’s right.


Michele Bachmann: They merely lead.


David: That’s right, and this was so important to them, they have the people themselves acknowledged God that you’ll find that by 1815, there had been 1400 government-issued calls to prayer in America, just by 1815.


Michele Bachmann: So again, our government didn’t exclude God, 1400 times before 1815?


David: Let me show you something.


Michele Bachmann: Our government called on the people to pray.


David: Here’s the state of New Hampshire. John Langdon, oh Langdon, he’s a signer of the constitution. Doesn’t he know this is unconstitutional? He can’t do this. There’s a founding father of proclamation prayer–


Michele Bachmann: Is this the actual copy?


David: That’s the actual original.


Michele Bachmann: Can you believe how beautiful– can I touch it?


David: Oh, yes, absolutely.


Michele Bachmann: Can you believe how gorgeous that is?


David: That is the actual, and–


Michele Bachmann: So this is [inaudible 08:43] fourteen hundred times.


David: What they did is, they pinned this to trees, or they pinned this to sides of buildings. This is broadside, so everybody–


Michele Bachmann: So people knew.


David: That’s a PA system.


Michele Bachmann: This was their internet.


David: That’s right.


Michele Bachmann: To let people know it’s time to pray and pray they did.


David: Here’s one from Samuel Huntington, signer of the declaration. He’s one of these guys who gave us our government, and we’re saying it’s unconstitutional.


Michele Bachmann: What was his jurisdiction? What was his capacity?


David: This is the state of Connecticut. He’s the governor of the State of Connecticut, so he’s calling the entire state to a time of prayer.


Michele Bachmann: So it wasn’t just the federal government, it was the state governments too.


David: Government of all levels, everyone.


Michele Bachmann: So this must have been routine. If you had 1400 different calls to prayer by 1815, this was normal.


Michele Bachmann: This was common. Here’s Oliver Walcott, another signer of the declaration, he’s calling his state.


Michele Bachmann: The State of Connecticut.


David: And by the way, this is pretty evangelical language, he uses in here. Here’s one from a John Hancock.


Michele Bachmann: We know about him, with the big name.


David: Now, see Hancock, 22 times he called his state to prayer, 22 separate occasions.


Michele Bachmann: And in Massachusetts [inaudible 09:35].


David: And look at this, Savor Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer–


Michele Bachmann: Sound day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer. Hey, this is a government document.


David: A government document.


Michele Bachmann: Okay?


David: A spread about the government [inaudible 09:46].


Michele Bachmann: This is a government document, calling the citizens to pray for our government.


David: Look at this one. This is Sam Adams same kind of– he’s governor. Now, you just mentioned something. Read that bottom line there.


Michele Bachmann: Okay, it says printed at the state press by Adams and Margaret printers.


David: State press?


Michele Bachmann: The Honorable General [inaudible 10:03] Commonwealth of Massachusetts. God’s saved the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


David: Can you use state money to do a prayer proclamation? Yes.


Michele Bachmann: Absolutely did, because they understood we want to survive.


David: That’s right.


Michele Bachmann: Again, I think that’s a key. When you are sensible of danger, when you fear your survival, that’s when you humble yourself; public fast and humiliation, prayer. When you’re desperate, that’s what you’ll do.


David: That’s what you’ll do.


Michele Bachmann: They were desperate and when you get fat and happy, you forget. Isn’t it amazing how the Bible is so right [inaudible 10:31] is so relevant?


David: And it’s so full of history. Now, two more things that Washington; these are five of the seven things. The next thing he did involve you vicariously, [inaudible 10:38] years go. Washington has now finished his inaugural speech, they call the house of Senate into session and then they went into the inauguration as a group. So they’re still in session and now they go out to the federal parade. You know where the parade went?


Michele Bachmann: I do, church.


David: Church.


Michele Bachmann: They went to St. Paul”€™s.


David: They all went to church and they had church together and they’re still in session. It was after church was over they came back and adjourn for the day.


Michele Bachmann: I didn’t know they were still in session.


David: They were still in session. They were still in session, so still have session, they all go to church together and that’s a sixth, is going to church together. And the seventh is that while they were at church, [inaudible 11:11] Provost, the minister there, led them all in prayer. So you’ve got clergy-led prayers as well. And then they come back and adjourn the session.


Michele Bachmann: But what’s amazing to me is the realization that that is actually the moment of the birth of our nation. We’re in our nation all came together because when President Washington was inaugurated, we had all the pieces in place; we had the Senate, we had the house, we had the Supreme Court. And to think that the very first act of the commander in chief was to lead the house and the Senate still an open session. And the very first act of a functioning government is to go, not only to church but to dedicate the nation to God. That’s the first act of this brand new birth of a nation, but it also says to me something else.


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.

Under Authority

Michele Bachmann: It says to me that Washington and the vice president, the cabinet, the Senate, and the house members, all recognize also the jurisdictional issue, that their men are under authority and in the New Testament, that’s what pleased Jesus. The fact that the centurion understood that he was a man under authority; our government understood, biblically speaking, and constitutionally speaking, that we are under authority. And that’s why it seems to me, David, that for those who are secularists; this is really the best place to live. Because in this society, you will have the greatest level of freedom that you could possibly have because the men and women in government are under authority.


David: I see, that’s a key point too, because you have seculars trying to get religion out, so it’ll be a better government. Alright, find a secular government anywhere in the world that has liberty. You want this to be a secular government? Do you want to be like France? No, how about Portugal?


Michele Bachmann: Russia, China?


David: Name one? So they’re trying to move us in a direction that is never been proven to work, ever.


Michele Bachmann: And that’s why I think, for the action steps, this isn’t an optional, this is something we need to do. We need to take our example from George Washington and from those who gave us the freedom that we enjoy today. Number one, they publicly acknowledge God.


David: Yes.

The People Had to Acknowledge God

Michele Bachmann: All of us should never be afraid to publicly acknowledge God, wherever we are in whatever capacity. I had publicly acknowledged God. I acknowledge my faith in Jesus Christ as a female member of the United States Congress. I do that on a regular basis. Why? Because I can, I have Liberty to do it. Number two, I think it’s important to– go ahead.


David: Because everybody needs to do that. So let’s back up and say, if you’re a kid at school, do it. You’ve got a right to free speech. And by the way, if the teacher or principal tells you, you can’t mention God, go to our website, wallbuilders.com, we’ve got half a dozen legal groups there that do nothing but fight these kinds of cases.


Michele Bachmann: And you win every time.


David: And you win every time.


Michele Bachmann: 100% [inaudible 14:52]


David: So don’t be intimidated. If you’re an employee at work, if you’re out in the public arena, if you’re asked to lead a prayer at city council, don’t back up.


Michele Bachmann: Because of the principle that says use it or lose it. And–


David: The third thing is we need to elect people to office who are willing to acknowledge God.


Michele Bachmann: Amen.


David: Because if they’re secular going in, they’re not going to protect your liberties. Again, that’s what’s prevalent here.


Michele Bachmann: I’d like to say, let’s elect people who are pre-lobbied to do the right thing.


David: That’s right.


Michele Bachmann: Rarely, somebody usually go to actually find out about an individual candidate.


David: There’s a couple of easy ways to do this, and one is if they are in office, they will have a record that you can check for reelection. There are websites like votesmart.org that keep the voting records on every issue you can think of. Now you come to a local ratio that you [inaudible 15:34], you’re running for mayor. “Hey, what do you think about whether we should have prayers at city council meetings”? “You Know personally I support that, but I just don’t think we should impose [inaudible 15:42], that’s not the guy you want”. Faith is at least free speech, and you’re saying, well you can have free speech if nobody knows you’re saying that, you can’t do that.


Michele Bachmann: The other thing I want to mention for the viewers is the fact that you actually can call up a candidate and say, “look, if I get a room full of people, 25, 50 people, which even for running for Congress, that’s a big group of people.


David: That’s big, you’re right.


Michele Bachmann: So I’m telling you, you get more information if you will do that. And it’s really tough for the candidate to say, “No”–


David: That’s right.


Michele Bachmann: “What? You won’t be willing to go and talk to people and you’re asking for my vote. What are you afraid of?” So you really would be amazed at the number of people who would come and you could actually get to know them.


David: And it’s something everybody can do is invite candidates and I’ll get a group together [inaudible 16:19].


Michele Bachmann: And your point is well taken, because what you’ve just told people is, “look, I can make a difference”, because it looks like a big C out there that you can’t, but you’ve just told the viewers is, “you can”. If you’ll just go to the trouble of hosting one meeting, maybe it’s at your church or community center, maybe even your house or your backyard. People will come and then you can get to know the person. And then that way the word of mouth goes everywhere and you could win or lose an election based on that.


David: That’s right, and that’s an easy way to find out whether they’re God-conscious people. If they’re not, you don’t want them in government because they’ll take your liberties and they’ll reduce your liberties.


Michele Bachmann: And that’s the point, isn’t it? That you are more protected in a society if you have people who respect the law and who respect the lawgiver than if you have someone who believes they are law into themselves.


David: That’s right.


Michele Bachmann: That’s what we want.


David: That is a foundation of freedom.


Constitution Alive!

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But, it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either. 

Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive! with David Barton and Rick Green. It’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders”€™ library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers. 

We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution.  You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And, it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com.


What is the Proper Role of the Judiciary Branch?


Announcer: American courts were designed to be courts of justice, but over time, power has shifted from the people to a select crowd of elected officials. Have we strayed from the founder’s original intent? What is the proper role of the judiciary branch? How do we the people hold our courts accountable? Join historian David Barton with special guests, Glenn Beck, Congresswoman Michele Bachman, 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.


David: Welcome to foundations of freedom where we’re looking at important aspects of our common heritage, that very few folks that haven’t been told anything about. Join me today as Dr. Carol Swain. Carol has a remarkable story having come from poverty, and a high school dropout, to now being at [inaudible 18:57] University as a professor of political science and law. She previously taught as a professor at Princeton. She has been cited in numerous cases in the US Supreme court and she’s authored a number of bestselling books including this one, ‘Be The People’. I love that title, not, “We The People”, but “Be The People”. She has a TV show and radio program as well. Carol, thank you for being with us today, we appreciate you being here.


Dr. Carol Swain: Well, David, it’s an honor to be here, and I really appreciate what you’re trying to do for our nation. It’s so clear that we the people, that the average Americans are not standing up and having the sovereignty that the people are supposed to have in this country. And I think that through the actions, through your actions, we can awaken a sleeping giant, and we can change this nation.

The Bible and the Judiciary

David: Yes, that’s absolutely right, and that’s one of the things we look at, are ways to do that from our heritage. And there are some really simple ways for people to do that, but we’ve just kind of shut it out of our mind. We’re going to talk about some of those today.


Dr. Carol Swain: And I’m so excited to be talking about the Bible and the judiciary.


David: Yes.


Dr. Carol Swain: Because a lot of people, they see the court system, they really don’t understand it and it seems mysterious. So this is a great opportunity for people to learn something that’s going to be very important.


David: Yes, that’s exactly right.


Dr. Carol Swain: And I see we have a question from one of the viewers.


Guest: One thing that I see as a waste of time is jury duty. I’ve been called for jury duty several times and I’ve been able to get excused. I feel the decision’s already fixed by the judges and the attorneys.


David: There are a whole lot of people to feel that way.


Dr. Carol Swain: I know.


David: We do a lot of studies on why people don’t register to vote? And one of the primary reasons people don’t register to vote is; they don’t want to be called for jury service. And when they get that mentality, “I don’t want to be called for jury service”, they don’t really understand that part of our heritage and culture. And the health of America– [inaudible 20:31] the book you have “Be The People. The health of America is the people, and if the people don’t do it, it doesn’t work right, and that includes the judiciary.

 The Whole System Would Collapse

Dr. Carol Swain: There are a million excuses that you can come up with to avoid jury duty.


David: Yes.


Dr. Carol Swain: But if we all did that, the whole system would collapse.


David: That’s right?


Dr. Carol Swain: Millions of Americans find themselves in situations involving the court system; they may be innocent, they really do need a jury of their peers.


David: That’s right.


Dr. Carol Swain: And it won’t happen if people make excuses not to serve their nation, and this should be as important as voting.


David: That’s right. Well, and you said “serve your nation”, and you’re exactly right. Because one of the things and the way our constitution was set up, it gave the people authority over so many areas. And we’ll say, “Well, judges are unelected and that they’re appointed so we don’t have authority over them,” and that’s a brand new phenomenon. You go back to the constitutional convention, there were 55 guys that wrote the constitution and one of those 55 was John Francis Mercer. He’s a founding father from Maryland. He was an attorney from Maryland, and in talking about the importance of juries, and he had to deal with juries and all the aspects of judiciary. 

 The Best of All Safeguards

This is what he said about the importance of jury. So he said, quote, “The trial by jury is the democratic branch of the judiciary power. It’s more necessary than representatives in the legislature. And their deal was we’ve got to get the people involved in every aspect of government.” And when we say, “Oh, I don’t want to be on a jury,” we’re taking the people out, and that makes it more unelected, less accountable, and less representative. And as you point out, there may be a time where you want a good juror. And I love what Thomas Jefferson said about the power of jurors and the power of the courts, quite frankly. 


This is Thomas Jefferson, he said, “Trial by jury is the best of all safeguards for the person, the property, and the fame of every individual because courts can’t take away your person, your property, and your reputation. But, if you can get a good jury there to say, “Whoa, time out, I’m the average citizen. I’m standing up on behalf of this defendant here”, that’s the person you want. They may save your reputation, your property, your life. And so just out of the golden rule, someday you may be in a court where you want a good juror. So go be a good jury yourself, get involved with that.


Dr. Carol Swain: I know, and we want juries where they are citizens–


David: That’s right.


Dr. Carol Swain: That are passionate, and those that know the Lord.

All four of Special Episodes From Foundations of Freedom are Available

Rick: Well, we’re out of time for today folks. You’ve been listening to Foundations of Freedom, our television program here on WallBuilders Live or listening to the television program here on WallBuilders Live. I hope you’re enjoying it and some great information and great guests. We had Glenn Beck earlier this week, Congresswoman Michele Bachman, Dr. Carol Swain, and we’re going get to the conclusion of her program that you’ve been listening to you right here at the end of today’s WallBuilders Live. We’ll get to the conclusion of that full episode tomorrow on WallBuilders Live. 

God And Government

So all four of these special episodes from Foundations of Freedom are available right now on WallBuilderslive.com, and tomorrow you’ll be able to get the full series and you can share it with your friends and family. We hope that you’ll do that. And if you’d like the DVDs, be sure and visit that link as well because it’s available there, or you can watch it on television. So tomorrow we’ll get the conclusion with Dr. Carol Swain. You’ve been listening to Foundations of Freedom on WallBuilders Live.