The Corner

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Benefit of Clergy?


Mike Huckabee, it seems, has problems with history as well as science. The St. Petersburg Times takes issue with the candidate’s claim that most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were “clergymen.” Uh, no: 

Only one of the 56 was an active clergyman, and that was John Witherspoon. Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister and president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). A few more of the signers were former clergymen, though it’s a little unclear just how many. The conservative Heritage Foundation said two other signers were former clergymen. The religion web site said four signers of the declaration were current or former full-time preachers. But everyone agrees only Witherspoon was an active minister when he signed the Declaration of Independence.
 Now, “gotcha” can be a tedious, pedantic game, but this particular error is, I think, quite revealing of the way in which Mike Huckabee sees this country. You can like that vision, or not, but you cannot deny it.