'What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church ... such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.' -Martin Luther (PsiCop original graphic)This is the second post today where I’ve had to address something that was said at the Values Voters Summit in Washington. And it happens also to concern a lie that was told in support of Christianism. (I expect dozens of lies were told there, today … but I only have just so much time, so these two will have to do).

The liar I’ll discuss here is former Congresswoman (and current raging Christofascist) Michele Bachmann. As Right Wing Watch reports, she repeated the old fundamentalist canard that archaeology proves the Bible (Archive.Is cached article):

Apparently operating under her new anointing as pastor, Bachmann opened her remarks by celebrating the election of Donald Trump before dedicating a significant portion of the remainder of her speech to recounting the history of Christianity and the saving power of Christ.

“You know, the remarkable thing,” she said, “when you read the Bible, every archeology find that has ever come forward has only proved the authenticity of the Bible.”

This claim — while it’s widely repeated among fundies like Bachmann — is an out-&-out lie. Pure bullshit. A steaming load heaved right out the back of the barn. The cold fact is that archaeology has actually failed to confirm much of the Bible’s contents. For instance, there’s no archaeological evidence for a worldwide flood. There’s no evidence the Hebrews were captive in Egypt, nor is there any evidence of an “exodus,” the Red Sea never parted, nor is there evidence that Hebrews conquered the Levant in a military campaign.

I could go on, but it would be pointless. The number of Biblical events which have never been confirmed by archaeology is legion. It’d be easier for me to point out times they coincide; there are only a few. Among them is the Hittites, a people who were mentioned a few times in the Bible, and had been thought of as maybe-legendary, but hadn’t been encountered by archaeologists until a little over a century ago. But some ruins and tablets … and texts found in Egypt as well … confirmed that there had, indeed, been Hittites in the Near East.

So archaeologically speaking, the Bible got that right — but unfortunately for Bachmann and her fundie ilk, not much else.

Fundies tell this lie, and repeat it endlessly, because it reinforces in their minds the importance of their own strict and literal reading of the Bible texts. They’re so convinced of their mantra that “archaeology confirms the Bible” that they’ve run roughshod over the Near East, particularly Israel and the West Bank, desperately flailing around in search of stuff they think they can use to “prove” to the rest of the world that they’re right (cached). That they haven’t been able to do this, decades into their search, should speak volumes.

At any rate, I’ve added Ms Bachmann to my “lying liars for Jesus” club, where she’ll find many like-minded Christofascists.

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  • My favorite example is that there’s no hard evidence that Nazareth existed before the 2nd century CE — there’s some evidence of tombs in the vicinity before that, but not for a town.

    Bachmann is the last person I would expect to have any understanding of archaeology, or to tell the truth about it if she did.

    • Bachmann is only barely smart enough to know that “archaeology” is an English word. But she wouldn’t be unique in that regard. Most fundagelicals like her are actually ignorant of what it is. They just run around telling each other, and outsiders sometimes, that “archaeology confirms the Bible.” In other words, to them, it’s just another talking point they can use to intimidate others into believing as they do. That they use this talking point without understanding it, and therefore using it erroneously, is something they aren’t aware of, and would even deny if confronted on the matter.

    • Bachmann is only barely smart enough to know that “archaeology” is an English word. But she wouldn’t be unique in that regard. Most fundagelicals like her are actually ignorant of what it is. They just run around telling each other, and outsiders sometimes, that “archaeology confirms the Bible.” 

      In other words, to them, it’s just another talking point they can use to intimidate others into believing as they do. That they use this talking point without any knowledge of the subject, and therefore using it erroneously, is something they aren’t aware of, and would even deny if confronted on the matter. 

      • She probably thinks “ark-eology” is the study of Noah’s ark.