Book of Mormon Birthers

“Show me the brass plates!” sounds an awful lot to me like “Show me the birth certificate!”  In each case, whether it’s someone looking for hard evidence of where the Book of Mormon or the president comes from, there’s the tacit implication that they would be convinced of authenticity by the presentation of such an artifact.

But it doesn’t work.  When President Obama released his birth certificate, there were plenty of people who automatically assumed it was forged, or that he was still ineligible for office for some other reason.  Whatever anyone might think of the president, it seems obvious that some of those who criticize him for issues relating to his birth certificate are being disingenuous. 

So also with critics of the Book of Mormon, who suggest that if they could just see the ancient plates from which it was translated, they’d believe.  Does anyone think this is serious?  As if they’d look at these plates sitting on a table, which the Church told them they’d convinced God to return for a bit just to disprove skeptics, and then scratch their heads and say, “Well, shucks, I guess that’s that.  When’s my baptism?” 

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Nine Reasons Why Birthers Are Almost Certainly Wrong

A fringe element of Obama critics contends that he’s not constitutionally eligible for office because, they say, he was born in Kenya and not, as Obama says, in Hawaii.  They say that his lack of a long form birth certificate is evidence of this, as well as offhand statements by a few people connected with him. 

There are several huge problems with this theory:

1.  The lack of a long form Hawaii birth certificate is not proof that such a thing does not exist, much less that Obama wasn’t born there.  Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. 

2.  Even if it could be proven that there is not a sufficiently detailed Hawaii birth certificate, that’s still not proof that he wasn’t born there.  Any number of things could have happened to the paperwork.

3.  Proving that he wasn’t born in Hawaii still wouldn’t prove that he wasn’t born a US citizen, much less that he was born in Kenya.  The two are completely unrelated. 

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