One of the inevitable consequences of the false history relentlessly promoted by pseudo-historian David Barton is that his lies and disinformation routinely get picked up by other Christian nationalists who then distort them even further.

For example, on Independence Day, Christian nationalist MAGA cultist Lance Wallnau aired a special episode of his “Lance Wallnau Show” dedicated to arguing that Benjamin Franklin’s call for prayer during the Constitutional Convention was instrumental to creating the United States.

Much of the program consisted of Wallnau reading the speech that Franklin delivered on June 28, 1787, urging the convention to call upon God for assistance as they struggled to create the document that eventually became the U.S. Constitution.

At one point, Wallnau made an absurdly unhistorical detour to argue that all of the Founding Fathers were “overwhelmingly in agreement” that God had helped them defeat England in the America Revolution because “Britain had defeated Napoleon and now a bunch of farmers and merchants decided that they were going to defeat Britain.”

“They were aware that they needed God,” Wallnau claimed, ignoring the fact that the American Revolution ended in 1783 and Napoleon wasn’t defeated until 1815. (Napoleon was born in 1769, making him about six-years-old when the American Revolution began.)


After he eventually finished reading Franklin’s call for prayer, Wallnau declared that the delegates “agreed on that” and “out of that, they were able to finally form the documents that formed the nation.”

Unfortunately for Wallnau, that is not what happened. As we reported when we debunked David Barton’s version of this myth, the delegates rejected Franklin’s call for prayer:

The delegates to the Constitutional Convention chose not to heed Franklin’s call to prayer and adjourned without taking any action on his suggestion. As historian Richard Beeman recounts in his book, “Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution“:

At the conclusion of the day’s session in which the delegates rejected his suggestion, [Franklin] scrawled a note on the bottom of the speech he had written expressing his incredulity: “The convention, except three or four persons, thought prayer unnecessary!”

Like a game of “telephone,” the already false history promoted by Barton is regularly picked up by other Christian nationalists who further distort it, creating historical myths that get progressively garbled with every retelling.

Debunking false Christian nationalist history is not just an academic exercise; these myths are used by politicians and political operatives to organize politically around the divisive message that our country was founded by and for Christians, and to justify harmful public policies that weaken the separation of church and state, undermine women’s rights, and deny legal equality to LGBTQ Americans.