tv The Bible the American Constitutional Republic CSPAN August 5, 2021 1:30pm-2:17pm EDT
shapiro discusses requesting the authoritarian moment" and argues the progressive left is pushing an authoritarian agen ta in america, joined by eric metaxis. watch american history and book tv on c-span2 and find a schedule on why you are program guide or visit cspan.org. next, on american history tv, american university professor dan el dreisbach looks at the bible's contributions to the u.s. constitutional and judicial systems, part of a symposium hosted by the muse eemg of the bible in washington, d.c. hello, everyone. our second session today is the bible and the founding of the american constitutional republic with daniel driesbeck. during the american founding
era, no book was more accessible or authoritative than the bible. it featured prominently in 18th century political culture, shaping the founder's political fault and rhetoric. this presentation will examine the founding generations appeal for scripture to answer fundamental political questions and to inform an emerging constitutional tradition. daniel driesbeck is a professor in the school of public affairs at american university here in washington, d.c., where he earned american university's highest faculty award scholar teacher of the year. his research interest includes constitutional law and the intersection of politics law and religion in american public life. his most recent book is reading the bible with the founding fathers. i have that one myself and full of sticky tabs and i encourage you to get that and enjoy it. please join me in welcoming dr. driesbeck. [ applause ]
well, thank you very much. it is a real pleasure and a joy to be here in this magnificent facility in this tremendous resource that we have here now in the nation's capital. let me also say it's a real joy for me to share the platform with professors, both of whom i have learned from over the years and i thank kay and the team for organizing today's event. this morning i am going to be drawing on my book reading the bible with the founding fathers, and i want to turn our attention to the bible's contributions to the founding of the american constitutional republic, and i'll be talking about the emergence of a constitutional tradition in the last third or so of the 18th century we are talking about the american founding and by that term i am referring to that time in the life of the nation when
americans, the colonists began to agitate for their rights as englishmen and believing that they had failed to secure those rights they then embark on the pursuit of independence and having secured independence, they then have this tremendous task of building a new nation, building the institutions of government and the like in the wake of a devastating war and having won this independence. so that's when i'm referring to, the last third or so of the 18th century. the founding fathers read the bible. there are many quotations from and aleutians to both familiar and obscure biblical text, confirmed that they knew the bible from cover to cover. biblical language regularly seasoned their rhetoric and the
cadences of the king james bible and it is, in fact, the king james bible, for the most part that these americans are reading and if you know the king james you know it has its very distinct language. it has these very distinct rhythms and you hear these cadences and rhythms when you listen to the discourse of the founding era, and it's going to be this biblical language from this particular english bible that's going to inform their written and their spoken words. the ideas of scripture are going to shape their habits of mind and inform their political pursuits. now the bible was the most accessible and authoritative text for most 18th century americans, and effective communicators, politicians and polymicists will use the bible to reach their audiences and significantly both christian as well as skeptical founders including some who doubted the bible's divine origins are going to appeal to scripture in their political rhetoric, their political discourse.
in a now famous study published in the american political science review on the sources cited in the political literature of the american founding, political scientist donald lutz reported that the bible was cited more frequently -- let's see. the bible was cited more frequently than any european writer or even any european school of thought. the bible, he found, accounted for approximately one-third of the citations in the literature he surveyed. the book of deuteronomy alone was the most frequently cited work followed by "the spirit of the laws." in fact, deuteronomy was referenced nearly twice as often as john locke's writings and the apostle paul was mentioned about as frequently as the great english jurist william
blackstone. by the way, i think it's an interesting question, why is deuteronomy so appealing to this generation of americans? i think there are several responses. first, deuteronomy is a digest. it condenses the books and the laws of moses, which had exerted significant influence on american law going all the way back to the first puritan commonwealths in the 17th century and continuing up to their own time. this book also records god's dealings with a chosen nation, especially in establishing the political and legal institutions necessary to govern a nation. yes, there are texts on government and the responsibilities of citizenship
that we find in the new testament, but what's particularly appealing, i think, in the accounts of deuteronomy is americans in the wake of independence, in the aftermath of this war, they have to build a new government. and they see in the history of israel, having departed from egypt, the same exercise taking place, the building of a new nation with its various political institutions. and this has a particularly attraction to americans in the founding era who see themselves engaged in a similar project. now, to be sure, they're drawn to many other texts. yes, deuteronomy is particularly appealing, but they're also going to look to texts like romans xiii, which speaks of the obligations to be in submission to those in authority over you. they're going to be particularly drawn to the exodus narrative. this is a story about liberty and liberation that they think speak very much to their own circumstances. they're also drawn, perhaps inappropriately, we could debate this, to some of the new testament text that speak of liberty. galatians 5:1.
a wildly popular text in the political literature of the american founding. again, this is a text that i would view as speaking to what i might call christian liberty, but they're appropriating, perhaps misappropriating it, for a political purpose. they are also drawn to the great covenant text we find in the old testament. leviticus 26, deuteronomy 28 that tell the story of a nation forming a covenant with god. so they're drawn to a variety of biblical texts. now, i think we should perhaps pause to ask this question. are the many reverences to christianity's sacred text that we find in this political discourse, are these merely rhetorical ornaments? are they without substantive significance? should students of the founding
be attentive to the bible's influence on the political and legal developments of this period? in other words, did the founders use the bible in ways that mattered? one can acknowledge that the founding generation read and referenced the bible and simultaneously doubt that the bible exerted consequential influence on their political and legal projects. simply counting and documenting the founders' many references to the bible i think tells us little except that the bible was a familiar and useful literary resource for this generation of americans.
in the book, i try to move beyond the simple observation that the founders frequently cited the bible. i think that almost goes without saying. i want to move on and examine how the founders used the bible and how it may have influenced their founding project. which biblical texts appealed to them and why do they think these texts spoke to them in their own time and situation? a study of the founding generations' uses of the sacred text must be attentive, must be attentive to the purposes for which the bible was invoked. and, again, not merely to the fact that they read and frequently referenced it. the founders' uses of the bible, they used the bible for a variety of reasons and for diverse reasons ranging from the primarily literary and political to the profoundly theological. they use the bible as we sometimes -- they use the bible as we sometimes use the bible today, first, to enrich a common language in cultural vocabulary through distinctively biblical allusions, phrases, figures of speech, proverbs, aphorisms and
the like. let me give you a few simple examples. in counseling a patient rather than an intemperant approach, to the crisis confronting the colonies, john adams wrote to james warren in april of 1776, and i quote, "the management of so complicated and mighty a machine as the united colonies requires the meekness of moses, the patience of job, and the wisdom of solomon added to the valor of daniel." you have to know a little bit about your bible to appreciate what's being communicated. again, i think a fairly simple illustration of what i'm speaking here. but let me give you a slightly more substantive example. and here i turn to a very familiar biblical metaphor. we're all familiar with abraham lincoln's 1858 invocation of the biblical metaphor of a house
divided. he's drawing here on the gospels matthew chapter 12 and mark chapter 3. this is a power metaphor in the sense in which lincoln uses it. it captures the nation's precarious political predicament on the threshold of a bitter civil war more powerfully than a wordy dissertation. of course, lincoln is at his prime a couple generations or more after the period that i am speaking about but i think it's interesting to note that this is a metaphor that is often used in the political discourse of the american founding, and used by a variety of figures and in very political contexts. take, for example, george washington observed in the midst of this struggle with great britain if the house is divided, the fabric must fall, he says. we see a similar allusion to this particular metaphor in the federalist papers. again, it shows up with some frequency elsewhere in the
political settings of the time. secondly, the bible was used to enhance the power and weight of rhetoric through its identification with a venerated, authoritative sacred text. so the mere identification of biblical language with political discourse today adds a kind of seriousness, a gravitas to what the speaker is saying. now i am particularly fascinated how this is taken one step further. although less obvious, but perhaps as significance, is the use of bible-like language in political rhetoric. that is to say, the use of words, phrases, imagery or cadences that resemble, imitate, or evoke the language of a familiar bible translation. and, again, in the american experience, the translation most frequently imitated would have been the king james bible. a mere resemblance to the mellifluous language and
intonations of this particular translation infuses rhetoric with solemnity and sanctity and authority. consider, for example, a few lines from perhaps the most famous example of revolutionary rhetoric. this is patrick henry's "give me liberty or give me death" speech. now, as that speech has been passed down to us in somewhat contested form, let me read to you a few lines, the famous lines that you will recall. he says, "why stand we here idle? what is it that gentlemen wish? what would they have? is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? forbid it, almighty god. i know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death." now, there are quite a few references and allusions there to biblical language, king james language, "why stand here we
idle" or "is life so dear?" that comes from acts, chapter 20. but then there's that setup, but as for me, this echoes the language of genesis and that covenant between god and abraham and perhaps more famously it takes us to the language of joshua and that famous speech joshua is speaking on behalf of the lord but he says, "but as for me and my house, we will serve the lord." so he's bringing to very powerful effect this biblical language. now, he's not quoting the bible. again, that's what i find fascinating, but he's using biblical language to add a gravitas, if you will, to the speech that he is giving. third, the bible was used then as it is sometimes used today to identify and define normative standards for ordering and
judging public life. i'm going to give you a number of examples of this in just a second. fourth, the bible was used to marshal biblical authority and support a specific political agenda and policy objectives. and it was also used to gain insights into the character and designs of god, especially as they pertain to god's providential oversight of the material world. and more specifically, his dealings with men and nations. i think we heard in the last session about franklin's famous speech and the constitutional convention. i think we see hints of this particular use of the bible. how does god deal with nations? what does he expect of nation? but i think it's important to recognize these very distinct uses of the bible. it's important insofar as it is
misleading to read spiritual meaning into literary and political use of the bible just as it is misleading to do exactly the opposite, so let's keep these various ways in which the bible is used very clearly set in our minds. regrettably, there is a tendency among scholars today to discount or even dismiss the influence of the bible on the founding and on the founders. many scholars in the academy describe the founding era a time sandwiched between two great religious revivals as an age of enlightenment and rationalism in which the founding generation in the words of one modern scholar rejected or de-emphasized the bible and political rhetoric, end quote. again, i think this is a fairly common sentiment that one hears from scholars today. i suspect, for example, that we could walk the few blocks from where we are down to the library of congress and we would find shelf after shelf of books written on the profound
influence of a john locke or baron de montesquieu on the american founding. but i think we would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of books that focus on the bible's influence on the american founding. again, i think that reflects sort of the landscape of modern scholarship. the founding generation in the last third or so of the 18th century drew on and synthesized diverse, intellectual traditions informing their political thought. among these diverse traditions were british constitutionalism and i've depicted here magna carta, the great english jurist, sir william blackstone. they also drew on enlightenment ideas in a variety of forms and expressions. and just as referenced in the examples here, i have locke and montescue. they also drew on republican traditions both ancient and modern, and i have representing
this and, again, there are many other figures that we could illustrate this with, but i have here cicero and machiavelli both from the ancients as well as for more modern thinkers. now, the thesis that i advance in my book is this. both the hebrew and christian biblical traditions must be studied alongside these other perspectives if we want to truly understand the ideas that shape, that inspired the founding of the american constitutional republic and our great experiment in republican self-government and liberty under law. i'm speaking here, of course, of the biblical traditions as we find in the hebrew scriptures. i'm also speaking more broadly about that christian tradition. here i have illustrated this with a depiction of the apostle paul. also in the american experience, they're drawing on protestant
articulations of political ideas and particularly influential we have john calvin. again, we could illustrate each of these points with other figures but, again, we have to keep in mind there's a variety of perspectives that americans are reading and studying and drawing on. this range of perspectives that they are drawing on. interestingly, george washington identified the bible among the significant contributions to the american experience. he once remarked that the foundation of the american empire was laid at a near perfect moment in human history. not at some gloomy age of superstition. it was an epic when above all the pure and benign light of revelation has had an ameliorating influence on mankind and increased the
blessings on society, end quote. it is an interesting statement. it's made in a letter we sometimes call the circular letter to the states written in anticipation of his resignation in commander and chief to the continental army. the main point of this paragraph is to say the founding of this new nation comes at a most propitious time, and he goes through a laundry list of the evidence that leads him to say that. the learning and arts and sciences are greater than it's ever been before. commerce is richer and more fulfilling than ever before. and then at the end at this list he says, and above all, above all, the pure and bah line light of revelation has had ameliorating influence on mankind and increased the influence on society. how did the political pursuits, again, the founders drew on
diverse perspectives and some doubted christianity's transcending claims and doubted the bible's divine origins. i suggest that many looked to the scriptures for insights into human nature, civic virtue, social order, political authority, and other ideas that are going to be absolutely essential in creating a new policy, creating a new political order. perhaps most important there was broad agreement that the bible was essential for nurturing the civic virtues that give citizens the capacity for self-government. in various conventions, in particular sermons and private papers, founding figures appealed to the bible for principles, precedence, models, normative standards to define their community and to order their political experiments.
so let me just some very specific ways, several ways but very specific ways in which the founders drew on scripture in framing an american constitutional tradition. and i want to suggest three different ways in which this influence takes place. first, general theological or doctrinal propositions regarding human nature, conform perceptions of law in civil government. we could illustrate each of these in multiple ways, but i'm going to offer a couple illustrations of what i'm speaking of here. here, consider for example the doctrine of original sin in humankind's radical depravity. the fall that we read about in genesis chapter three. i'm going to suggest to you that this prompted the founding generation to design a constitutional system that would prevent the concentration of power, and it would check the abuse of power vested in fallen
human actors. it seems to me that one cannot understand the most basic fundamental features of american constitutional design, and here i'm referencing limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, representative government, rule of law. you can't understand these features of constitutional architecture without starting from this proposition that they're looking at human nature as a fallen -- in a fallen state. and if you vest power in these human actors, you must check the exercise of that power. this constitutional design, in other words, reflects a biblical anthropology, a biblical understanding of who we are as humans.
another example, oaths of office required in many state constitutions and statutes in the founding era were often explicitly, explicitly premised on a belief in a future state of rewards and punishments and they often times used that precise phrase, a future state of rewards and punishments. an acknowledgement of a life hereafter where we must stand and answer to how we conduct ourselves in the here and now. second, the founding generation saw in the bible political and legal models that they sought to incorporate into their political and legal systems.
again, i want to give you a few examples, don't want to suggest this list is exhaustive but just a couple examples. first we might reflect on republican or representative government. republican or representative government. americans believed that the hebrew common wealth described in the old testament provided a model for republican government. i'm going to come back to this point a little bit later, so i mention it here and we'll elaborate in a second. a second example would be this very idea of due process of law. due process of law, by which we mean procedural fairness and the equality of all persons before the law. this is -- this is a principle that's explicitly articulated in the both the fifth and the 14th amendments to the united states constitution. and the founding generation were often quick to point out that you can find principles of due process sprinkled throughout scripture, especially in the laws of moses. they were particularly drawn to the first nine versus in exodus 23, an interesting text that's been described throughout history as the ten commandments of justice, or the decalogue of due process. they saw here principles of due process that were worthy of emulation in their own system. let me give you one more example, and that is separation
of powers, separation of powers. there were americans who saw in scripture models for the separation of powers. the form of government that's described in deuteronomy chapters 16, 17, 18 establishes the distinct and separated branches of prophet, priest, or king. each office was assigned specific functions and spheres of influence. each of these branches enjoyed full autonomy and independence from the others and each was subject to the rule of law.
no branch in this particular model that we read about in deuteronomy could claim priority over the others in antiquity, rank, power, or divine favor. we are going to find there are americans who are pointing to this precise scripture to say, look, here's a model. a model of separation of powers. now, i think this is a good point to pause and make a point that i would want to make frequently throughout this talk, and that is to say they often times looked at scripture when looking at models not necessarily for the specific nuts and bolts of what this might look like in application, but when they saw or what they believed to see, which was a model of republicanism, or a model of due process, or a model of separation of powers, it reassured them that these were ideas that enjoyed divine favor. and, again, they may look elsewhere, separation of powers. they're very drawn to the writings of someone like montesquieu, who writes on this very topic for the more specific nuts and bolts. but its presence is an idea of scripture comforts the pious of
americans that god approves of this as a political principle. third, the bible may have influenced some specific provisions written into the united states constitution. let me give you, again, several examples. and i'm going to start with an example that we might agree is arguably insignificant, right? but let's start with what we read about in article one, section seven, clause two.
it accepts sundays from the ten days within which a president must veto a bill. i take this to be an implicit recognition of the lord's day or this idea of sabbath commemorating the creator's creation of the seventh day forest. we read about in genesis chapter two, the forth commandment that it be kept free from secular defilement. and in the christian version, the resurrection of jesus from the dead. here's another example. in article 3, article 3 section 3 clause 1, there's a requirement that convictions for treason be supported by the testimony of two witnesses. this is a requirement that conforms to familiar biblical mandate for conviction and punishment. and we'll find multiple biblical passages in both the old testament and new testament that speaks to the importance of having more than one witness for certain kinds of prosecutions. i've offered here on the screen the language that we find in deuteronomy chapter 7 verse 6. at the mouth of two witnesses or three witnesses shall he that is worthy of death be put to death but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. and, again, we're going to find multiple other biblical texts that speaks to this same principle. let me offer you one last example.
and, again, there are others but one last example to illustrate this possibility that specific biblical texts inform specific constitutions provisions. and i want to turn here to the 5th amendment, the 5th amendment to the constitution where we find a prohibition on double jeopardy, that is to say trying someone twice for the same offense.
this is language that was crafted by the first federal congress meeting in new york in the summer of 1789. where did this idea come from? where did this idea come from? well, historians tell us that in a commentary written in 391 by saint jerome, he suggests that this is a principle to be found in the book of the prophet nahum, chapter one verse nine where we read affliction shall not rise up the second time. now, we can debate whether the saint here is on good ground in his interpretation of this text, but the point here in this setting is this is an idea that from saint jerome works its way into canon law, the law of the church from the from canon law it becomes part of the customary law and later common law of the england. and from england it crossed the atlantic with those first english colonists. it's woven into the early colonies and when the colonists begun to write their first constitutions in 1776, it's going to become a part of declaration of rights at this moment and it eventually works its way into the 5th amendment
in the united states constitution. i like this example because this is an instance where the research has been fairly clear on this lineage in terms of the transmission of the idea from a millennium and a half ago to the present. in fact the supreme court of the united states in its own opinion s has, from time to time, drawn attention to this very lineage, the origin of this idea of double jeopardy, going back to st. jerome's interpretation of the book of mayhem. now more broadly and more generally speaking, many founders thought the bible was now, i speak here of small r republicanism and speaking a political arrangement and system not a political party. so what did small r republicanism mean to americans in the founding era? it meant at least this. popular government committed to the rule of law in which
government authorities derive from the consent of the governed freely and fairly chosen by the people. let me draw your attention to what strikes me as an extraordinary turn a phrase. i encountered on more than one indication working on this book. john adams described the bible as the most republican book in the world. the most republican book in the world. i have picked up my bible thousands of times in the course of my life. but i got to be honest with you, i never picked it up and said now for some good republican reading. it's not exactly what i'm thinking when i pick it up. he's not alone in making this claim. i have some language here from
john dickinson. he was claimed as the man of revolution. he makes almost precisely the same statement. here, i have him saying that the bible is the most republican book that ever was written. and again, even these two are not alone among their contemporaries in making this statement. now, the bible is many things to the christian. god's word, the council of god, a dividing lamp, instruction and righteousness, but is it republican? is it republican? and in one sense is the bible republican? what are they talking about here? well, as i already mentioned, there were americans in the founding era who believed that the hebrew republic, from the exodus of the core nation to
saul, they see in the hebrew commonwealth a form of government that they perceive to be republican in nature. it's a republican government well designed to promote political prosperity. and political discourse, and pamphlets and sermons of the founding area appears numerous appeals as a model of their own political experiments. let me give you an example. in an influential 1775 massachusetts election sermon, samuel langdon who is, at the time he gave this speech, the president of harvard college. he later service as a delegate to the constitutional new hampshire ratifying convention. he says, and i quote, the government, which was divinely established, was a perfect republic. a perfect republic. the civil polity of israel is doubtless, an excellent general model. at least some principle laws and orders of it may be copied to great advantage in more modern
establishments. end quote. and again, i think you're going to find similar expressions from this period in american history where they are first describing that form of government they read in scripture as republican and suggesting, there's some things we can learn about republicanism from this model as we embark in our own nation building. now, let me state what i think is obvious. most of what the founders knew about the hebrew commonwealth they learned from the bible. they were aware that ideas of expressionism and traditions apart from the experience of the hebrew experience and they studied these, from ancient to modern. yes, they studied the roman republic. yes, they studied more modern theorists who wrote about republicanism. but the republic that was described in the hebrew scriptures reassured them -- it
reassured them that republicanism was a political system that enjoyed divine favor, and this was reason enough for them to think more deeply about what role republicanism should play in their own form of government. but for john adams, more important than the model of republicanism, the bible was republican because it was an indispensable handbook for good republican citizenship. it's a handbook for republican citizenship. in particular, the bible, more than any other source, taught the civic virtues required of citizens in order to govern themselves in a republic. now historian james hudson at the library of congress, has described the essential connections among religion, virtue and republican self government that refined in the political thought of the founding, he describes this as the founders -- the founding
generation's syllogism. and it goes like this. again, he -- hudson is suggesting that this was a common view in the american founding, this syllogism. virtue and morality are necessary for freedom of government. religion is necessary for virtue and morality. therefore, religion is necessary for republican government. it is replete with expressions of religion's vital contributions to the republican regime. it's espoused from diverse religious intellectual and political traditions. david ramsey, a delegate and a first major historian of the american revolution. in fact, in his book on the american revolution, he say this, he says remember that there can be no political happiness without liberty, no liberty without morality and no morality without religion, end
quote. listen at the word to the words of benjamin rush. he says in 1776, the only foundation for a useful education in republic is to be laid in religion. without religion, there could be no virtue. without virtue, there could be no liberty and liberty is the object in life of all republican governments. in other words, a self-governing people had to be virtuous. they had to be virtuous and control from within by an internal moral compass. because why? because the great american experiment is throwing off the external control of an authoritarian ruler whip and rod. yes, the authoritarian ruler can use the whip to compel people to behave in the order in which you want them, but clearly the whip and the rod is unacceptable for a free self-governing people. and what's going to replace that
whip? it's that internal moral compass, nurtured by the civic virtues that are ip stilled in the language and lessons of scripture. so why did john adams say, why did john adams say that the bible was the most republican book in the world? well, i think we know, right? he tells us. he thinks it's the most republican book in the world because he believes without national morality, a republican government cannot be maintained. and because he believed that the bible contains the most perfect morality and the most refined policy that was ever conceived upon earth. right? what is he telling us? it is republican because this is a republican handbook for citizenship. it teaches citizens and republic how to behave in an orderly, decent fashion.
thereby giving citizens the capacity for self government and for a republican regime to succeed. so let me conclude with this question. does it matter, does it matter whether we acknowledge the bible's contributions to the founding? and does it matter whether the bible is studied alongside other intellectual influences on the founding fathers? and, again, we acknowledge that the founding generation is drawing on diverse, intellectual, political traditions. but is it important for us to include the bible in our study of those diverse influences that this generation of americans is studying?
yes, i think it does matter. i think it matters if one wants to understand the broad range of ideas that shaped the founders political thoughts. their actions and their deeds. an awareness of the bible contribution provide insight to the american people and experience in the republican self government. the wide spread biblical literacy of our age distorts the conception americans have of themselves as a people and their history and their bold political experiment.
the late political theorist, william wilson, kerry mcwilliams, saying the public's increasing unfamiliarity with the bible makes it harder and harder for americans to understand their origins and to put words to their experiences. lacking knowledge of the bible, americans are likely to be literally inarticulate. unable to relate themselves to american life and culture as a whole. this danger alone should inspire americans to study the bible in it's role in the life of the nation. the 19th century john wingate thorton described the bible as the great political textbook of the patriots. not uncommon that refine in the histories of the 19th century. here is an interesting statement. a more modern source. some years ago in a cover story on the bible in america, news week magazine, the bible exerted an unrivaled influence on american culture, politics and social life. now historians are discovering that the bible is our founding
document more than the constitution. that is a stunning statement. and we can have a energetic debate whether it can be defended or not. there's a knowledge of the profound role that the bible played in the larger culture, political and legal culture of the american founding -- looking to the bible of principles on political order, civic virtue, responsible citizenship and other -- yes, the framers drew on diverse political and legal traditions in crafting a new constitutional republic and one of the studies of the influence on the political culture and constitutional tradition is the bible. the constitution contains many features and content and design familiar to a bible reading people and we cannot understand adequately our constitutional tradition or the historic event that is produced the great political experience without referencing the bible. so let me urge you to read the constitution. study the american founding principles and understand the
constitution and founding project, read your bible. thank you. every saturday we document america's story and booktv on sundays. funding for c-span 2 comes from these television companies and more, including charter communications. broadband is a force for empowerment. that's why charter has invested billions. building infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications, along with these television companies, supports c-span2 as a