Pawlenty: America was founded under God
In an interview released in Christianity Today Thursday, Tim Pawlenty asserted that the United States was “founded under God” and that the founding fathers put that into the nation’s founding documents. In the wide-ranging interview, Pawlenty talked about his faith, his reversal on cap and trade, and the possibility of running against Rep. Michele Bachmann for the 2012 Republican nomination for president.
“If I make a faith-related comment, I usually quote from the Bible, often from the Old Testament,” Pawlenty told Christianity Today. “I remind people that our country is founded under God, and the founders thought that was an important perspective. I watch my tone so I don’t get judgmental or angry about issues. I try to express myself in ways that are measured and appropriate and hopefully civil and positive. Lastly, I try not to say that God is on my side, but I strive to be on God’s side.”
Christianity Today’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey asked him, “Your book encourages Christians to be involved in public issues. At what point might Christians rely too much on political solutions to current problems?”
Pawlenty responded, “I started with the perspective of someone who says that faith is separate from public law and public service; it really isn’t. We have, as a country, a founding perspective that we’re founded under God; our founding documents reference and acknowledge God, and acknowledge that our rights and privileges come from our Creator.”
Despite that claim, the United States Constitution makes no reference to a creator or God. The Declaration of Independence merely refers to a creator and to “Nature’s God.”
In the interview, the magazine also asked about Bachmann and Sarah Palin. “You seem to get comparisons to Palin and Rep. Michelle Bachmann,” the interviewer stated.
“[A comparison to] Sarah Palin, of course, is a compliment,” Pawlenty responded. “She’s a force of nature, she’s kind of in a league of her own when it comes to attention and the media’s focus on her so far. I don’t know if she’s going to run or not, but I think she’s a remarkable leader. I know Congresswoman Bachmann, I campaigned for her, I consider her a friend and I have a positive and good relationship with her as well. Voters will have to choose the style of who they want representing the party as a nominee.”
Pawlenty was also asked about cap and trade, a policy he once backed.
“During your term as governor, you supported reductions in greenhouse gases and a regional cap and trade plan,” Bailey asked. “What measures should the federal government support to care for the environment?”
“All of us should be in favor of reducing pollution, but we need to do that in a way that doesn’t wreck the economy. I came to the conclusion after looking at it very carefully that cap and trade is the wrong approach. I think it is a ham-fisted approach that is government-centered and top down, and the burdens it would have visited on the economy were unwise and really unbearable.”
In 2007, he thought cap and trade was great.
“If you unleash the requirements and incentives and attractive features of a market, people will respond to it,” he told Minnesota Public Radio. “Some will respond by reducing pollution directly. Others will respond by buying credits or offsets in the marketplace, with the ultimate same net effect.”