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Chris Rodda

Chris Rodda

Posted: July 20, 2009 04:40 PM

I Accept Rep. Randy Forbes's Challenge for Someone to Debate Him


During a July 1 radio appearance on The Jody Hice Show, Rep. Randy Forbes, promoting H. Res. 397, his resolution for a "spiritual heritage week," issued the following challenge:

"I challenge the president or anyone else -- come up, either debate me on this issue or simply tell me where that single moment in time was when you can say we crossed the threshold -- we ceased being a Judeo-Christian nation -- and you can't do it."


Well, as an "anyone else," I hereby accept Mr. Forbes's challenge. I want to publicly debate him on his resolution.

If Mr. Forbes is as confident in the historical accuracy of his resolution as he appears to be in his media appearances and recent "Judeo-Christian nation" floor speech (the YouTube video of which has gone "viral," now approaching 2.5 million hits), he should be eager to debate someone like me, right?

Mr. Forbes has incessantly touted his footnoting and documentation of all the claims found in the 75 "Whereas" clauses of his resolution, making numerous statements like the following one from his Jodi Hice Show appearance, so he should have no worries at all about defending those claims, right?

"This...is the most documented resolution, I think, that's been filed in Congress in years because we footnote every single thing that we've put in there, and you can read this resolution and it's like reading a history of faith in America. So, we hope to get that dialogue and that debate started again..."


Mr. Forbes, by his own words, has drawn a line in the sand:

"The spiritual heritage bill basically just draws a line in the sand and says wait a minute, we've got a rich history of faith in this country. We shouldn't be obscuring it. We shouldn't be running away from it. We should be talking about it."


Well, someone needs to cross that line in the sand, and it's going to be me.

So, Mr. Forbes, just name the time and place -- your turf, my turf (up here in NJ-6), DC, or anywhere else -- and let's debate your resolution clause by clause and see how well that very impressive looking list of footnotes you keep boasting about stands up to scrutiny.

I'll be sending a registered, return receipt letter to Mr. Forbes's office formally accepting his challenge to make sure he knows that I, as an "anyone else," have stepped up to accept it.

For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Forbes's "spiritual heritage" resolution, it's a re-introduction of H. Res. 888, the "religious heritage" resolution he introduced in the last congress. In a series of pieces last year, I debunked the dozens of instances of historical fiction in that resolution, and thanks to the efforts of a few organizations and a whole bunch of bloggers who joined in the fight, H. Res. 888 never made it to the floor. But, a few months ago, outraged over President Obama's statement in Turkey that America is not a Christian nation, Mr. Forbes reintroduced the same resolution as H. Res. 397. It currently has 74 co-sponsors.

I recently re-posted my debunking of H. Res. 888, as soon as I saw that Mr. Forbes had re-introduced it as H. Res. 397, so, if anyone wants more details about the resolution, or to see why I'm thrilled that he has issued a challenge for someone to debate him on it, you can find it here.