Last week, Glenn Beck earned the ire of Christians when he said churches had no business preaching about social or economic justice. The Fox News host's latest God-related gaffe has gotten him in trouble with a different group: anyone who knows American history.
In a tirade against the health care reform bill, Beck claimed Congress does not have the power to grant rights to the American people. Beck's contention came in response to a clip of Democratic senator Tom Harkin saying Congress would make health care "an unalienable right of every American."
Tom! I don’t know if you’ve read the Declaration of Independence, but you don’t have the power to grant people rights. You don’t create them, you don’t enhance them. [...] "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator--endowed by their creator!--with certain unalienable rights." Who the hell do you think you are, Congress? You're not God.
Pundits raced to point out that Beck couldn't be further from the truth. "That is exactly what Congress does," explains an exasperated Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite. "They create rights, and what is known as a Constitutional amendment. [...] This is how we got everything from Freedom of Speech to Womens’ Right to Vote. This is pretty basic American history."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.