Wallbuilders

Barton: The Bible Says Israel Deserves Foreign Aid

On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green welcomed Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) to discuss why "it is not only important that we send a message of support to Israel, but it is important that that message is clear."

While introducing the program, Barton claimed that sided with Libertarians in thinking that the United States needed to reduce the amount of money it was spending on foreign aid, with one exception: Israel ... and that is because the Bible says so:

Barton: One of the areas where I will agree with Libertarians is that our foreign policy spending is way the heck out of bounds. The one where I'm going to draw an exception is we've got a business giving to Israel.

And you can say "well, it's not in the Constitution." Okay, I can say it's in Genesis 12:3. Genesis 12:3 told Abraham "I'm going to make a nation out of you and the way that other nations treat that nation is how I'm going to treat other nations." Now that's a great public policy reason for doing something with Israel. I might not do it with other nations there ... but He made it really clear whatever nation, the way they treat your descendents, you nation, I'm going to whack 'em or I'm going to bless 'em based on what happens there.

Green: And that's reason enough by itself.

Barton: That's reason enough by itself.

Another 'False News Friday' with David Barton

As we noted last month, every Friday David Barton and Rick Green host "Good News Friday" on their "Wallbuilders Live" radio program during which they discuss "good news from around the nation the media doesn't report."

These programs are particularly interesting because they typically feature stories that Barton has plucked from the media which, he believes, demonstrate that the Religious Right is racking up victories all over the country.

The problem with these stories, as with so much else that he does, is that Barton has a tendency to over-simplify and misrepresent just what is taking place.

He did it a few weeks ago when he falsely claimed that an Eastern Michigan University had won a lawsuit against the school after being thrown out of her program for refusing to "affirm a client’s homosexual behavior," citing religious objections. 

The court had merely ruled that the student had a right to sue and did not rule on the merits of the case itself, but Barton nonetheless proclaimed it to be a "huge, huge victory [that is] going to be cited across the nation for all sorts of other kids that are facing the same kind of discrimination."

And he did it again today when he asserted that study shows that teens who remain abstinent earn $370,000 more in the lifetimes:

If a teenager wants to earn $370,000 more in their lifetime than all their neighbors, you know what they need to do? A study now shows that if you are not sexually active as a teenage, you do earn $370,000 more in your lifetime than others.

Now explain that ... it just shows God's ways work.

If that claim sounds familiar, it is probably because Amber Haskew, Coordinator of the Day of Purity, made it earlier this year and, as we pointed out then, the figure comes from a 2005 Heritage Foundation report that didn't actually provide any data to support this assertion, but simply predicted that students who abstain are also likely to do better in school and therefore have higher lifetime earnings:

Teens who abstain are likely to have greater future orientation, greater impulse control, greater perseverance, greater resistance to peer pressure, and more respect for parental and societal values. These traits are likely to contribute to higher academic achievement. In short, teen virgins are more likely to possess character traits that lead to success in life. Moreover, the practice of abstinence is likely to foster positive character traits that, in turn, will contribute to academic performance ... In our society, greater educational attainment leads, on average, to higher lifetime incomes. Because they are more successful in school, teen virgins can expect to have, on average, incomes that will be 16 percent higher than sexually active teens from identical socio-economic backgrounds. This will mean an average increase of $370,000 in income over a lifetime.

Obviously, the study did not show that those who abstain early nearly $400K more, but merely estimated that those who did so would demonstrate "greater educational attainment" and therefore earn more, on average, over their lifetimes.

But that is not what Barton reported at all and this demonstrates a central point about Barton and his work:  if he cannot be trusted to accurately report on contemporary issues that are easily verifiable to anyone with internet access, how can he be trusted to accurately report on the things that he plucks out of centuries-old documents squirreled away in his private library that very few others ever get to see or examine? 

David Barton's Long Term Plan to Remake America

Back in 2009 and 2010, when David Barton was tapped as an "expert" to help the Texas State Board of Education rewrite the state's social studies standards, he claimed that he was not promoting any sort of agenda, but was simply dedicated to reintroducing into the curriculum ignored parts "of history that certainly should be presented."

Around the time this was all taking place, Barton appeared on some Rhode Island public access program where he said that his work on rewriting the Texas curriculum gave him tremendous optimism about the future of America because the textbooks written for Texas schools would be used all over the nation and influence the students over the next twenty to thirty years who will eventually be elected to public office:

Barton's involvement in rewriting the Texas standards provoked such an outcry that he now has to do all this sort of work in secret so that nobody knows just how or where he is reworking to inject this long term, right-wing political agenda into the nation's curriculum.

Beware the Insidious Agenda of 'Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type'

Yesterday's episode of "Wallbuilders Live" featured an interview with Kyle Olson, author of the book "Indoctrination: How 'Useful Idiots' Are Using Our Schools to Subvert American Exceptionalism."

Olson was bought on to explain to co-host Rick Green how "useful idiots" (i.e. liberals) are using the public schools to promote their pro-gay, anti-business, America-hating agenda to the nation's students. When asked to provide some examples of how this is happening, Olson singled out an episode in Texas where a teacher used the book "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" to supposedly promote a "pro-union" message!  And, as if that wasn't bad enough, David Barton then weighed in to warn that it was also an "anti-Creation book" because it makes kids think that cows are equal to humans:

Olson: There is a book called "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" - and I have gotten a lot of heat for talking about this book, but it's very clear that this book is about union organizing because the basic story of the book is that the cows are cold at night and they want to be warm at night so they go to the farmer and say "we want electric blankets." The farmer says "I'm not going to give you electric blankets, you're cows." So then the cows go on strike, and then the chickens go on strike and then, of course, the farmer capitulates and gives them blankets and it's this great story of union power.

What some of the teachers .... have done is they find subtle ways to get this book in front of kids. And so the example from Texas was there was a teacher who decided to make this a science lesson and so, what she did was she read the book to the students and then they did a science experiment to figure out the difference between electric blankets and regular blankets. So, that's just one example ...

Green: No, but that makes sense, so then they use these maybe legitimate exercises of a science study to get the left-wing indoctrination in because I'm assuming that with a book like that, you're talking elementary school kids right?

Olson: Yeah, very young kids. I think those were kindergarteners.

Green: So you've got these kids who have never been exposed to any of this kind of stuff, have never thought about this kind of stuff, but you're already planting in their minds the whole union philosophy.

...

Barton: By the way, that's not only a pro-union book, it's an anti-creation book because it makes the animals equal to people. Those kids who come out of that kindergarten class are going to grow up to be attorneys who fight for the rights of cows, because cows are just like we are. Speciesism .... how arrogant to think that humans are a higher species than anything else. No, God does that. That's in Genesis 1-3, different days of creation, different levels, He put man at the top, said "now you go subdue everything, it's all under you, you're the apex of this thing, you're just a little lower than the angels and I'm putting everything under your feet." Real simple stuff. But now, not only are we teaching unionism, we're going against that Biblical viewpoint.

Barton: Employers Have no Obligation to be 'Fair' to Workers (and Jesus Agrees)

In the past, we have chronicled how David Barton uses the Bible, in particular Matthew 20:1-16, to promote an ultra-right-wing economic view by claiming that Jesus opposed the minimum wage and any sort of employment discrimination laws.

Barton's interpretation of this passage is particularly absurd since, as we have noted before, Matthew 20 is the famous "Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard" in which Jesus explains "the Kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner" who pays all of his works the same amount, regardless of how much they worked. The point of the parable is that no matter how late in one's life one comes to Christ, the Heavenly reward is the same; those who embraced Christ on their deathbed will receive the same eternal reward as those who were Christians all of their lives because of God's generous love.

On his "Wallbuilders Live" radio program today, Barton once again trotted out this parable, this time to declare that employers have no obligation to be "fair" to their workers and to suggest that Jesus also opposed unions:

The Bible says [the worker] started grumbling about what happened, grumbling about his wages and Jesus answered and said to him "am I being unfair to you friend? Didn't you agree to work for a day's wages? You take your pay and go. I want to give to the one who was hired the same as I gave to you. That's my choice." Here it is, Matthew 20:15. "Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?"

Now, two things come out here, is if an employee agrees to work for an employer, that's a contract between the two of them ... and Jesus points out that you can go to a different vineyard if you don't like what I'm paying. You've got the free market, you can go choose a different employer. You agreed to work for me for this wage and that's what you're going to get. So first you get the inviolability of contracts between employers and employees ... and whatever is fair has nothing to do with it. That's not their responsibility to be fair, it's "I gave my word, that's what I agreed to work for." So Jesus says, as an employer, isn't my money mine to do with as I please?

Second point is, where were unions in all this? The contract is between an employer and an employee, not between a group. He went out and hired individually the guys he wanted to work.

Notice how Barton takes a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven and transforms it into a Biblical justification for laissez-faire capitalism, anti-unionism, and employment discrimination and does so by attributing to Jesus words that Jesus himself put in the mouth of an unnamed landowner in order to demonstrate God's generosity.

When Barton cites Matthew 20, it is not some parable about God's love, but rather a lesson in right-wing econonics in which Jesus himself hires workers for his vineyard and tells those who complain about wage discrimination that they can take a hike if they don't like it because employers have no obligation to be fair to their workers.  

Barton Sees the Bible Everywhere

We have already written a number of posts about David Barton and his tendency to proclaim that if something has any sort of parallel to anything in the Bible, then the inspiration for that thing could only have come from the Bible.

Thus, for Barton, there is no doubt that our three branches of government and separation of powers, our free market system, our due process clause, elections, and all manner of other Constitutional provisions were explicitly based on Biblical models -  an idea which is based entirely on the fact that Barton happens to see parallels between them and something he read in the Bible. 

Lately, he has been expanding upon this trick and started pulling excerpts out of letters and speeches from the Founding Fathers and proclaiming that, in just a few short lines, the Bible is cited multiple time.  Barton did it against recently on Glenn Beck with a letter written by George Washington to Marquis de LaFayette in 1785, claiming that in three sentences, Washington quoted the Bible seven times:

Here is the excerpt from Washington's letter:

I wish to see the sons and daughters of the world in Peace and busily employed in the more agreeable amusement of fulfilling the first and great commandment, Increase and Multiply: as an encouragement to which we have opened the fertile plains of the Ohio to the poor, the needy and the oppressed of the Earth; any one therefore who is heavy laden, or who wants land to cultivate, may repair thither and abound, as in the Land of promise, with milk and honey: the ways are preparing, and the roads will be made easy, thro— the channels of Potomac and James river.

And here are the Bible verses that Barton claims Washington was explicitly quoting:

Genesis 1:28

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Matthew 22:38

This is the first and great commandment.

Deuteronomy 24:14

Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates

Matthew 11:28

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Exodus 3:8

And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Exodus 12:25

And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.

Isaiah 4:30

A voice cries:“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

For Barton, any similarity in language or imagery between Washington's letter and anything in the Bible can only mean that Washington was intentionally quoting the Bible. 

Thus, mentioning the poor and needy must be a reference to Deuteronomy.  And Washington's use of the phrase "heavy laden" can only mean that he was directly quoting Matthew.  And imagery about "preparing" is proof positive that he was citing Isaiah.

Barton never provides any evidence that Washington had specific Bible passages in mind when writing these lines; he merely asserts it as fact. 

It is Barton who is constantly finding Biblical parallels in letters from the Founding Fathers and in our free market system and our form of government and everything else and then asserting, without evidence, that the latter were all based explicitly on the former. 

Rick Green Warns Separation of Church and State leads to 'Communism' and 'Crime'

Rick Green of WallBuilders today appeared on Truth that Transforms with Carmen Pate and John Rabe where he claimed that the separation of church and state is the “exact opposite” of what the Founders wanted. He went on to claim that the separation of church and state is simply a tool to move the country “towards socialism and communism” and is responsible for increases in out-of-wedlock births and crime. Of course, this should come as no surprise as Green and WallBuilders president David Barton have made careers out of mischaracterizing church-state separation and blaming it for everything from a decline in SAT scores to a rise in sexually transmitted diseases.

Rabe: I think Rick if you ask most Americans today what the Constitution’s position is on the church they’ll throw out that phrase, ‘separation of church and state.’ That mantra is really, deeply embedded now but the picture that most people have is not exactly what the Founders meant by the First Amendment, is it?

Green: It is actually the exact opposite. Founders intended the First Amendment to restrict government, not restrict us, we the citizens it was actually intended to protect our freedom of religion, protect our opportunity to exercise that faith, whether that was in the public square or the private square, now we flip it on its head and we’ve used the First Amendment to actually restrict the individual. If you happen to step into the public square and sometimes even in the private square, government steps in and says ‘we’re not going to let you live out your faith.’ It’s exactly the opposite of what they intended and that only happens when we the people don’t know our history, don’t know where we came from, we don’t read the Constitution anymore, we don’t read the Founding Fathers, but I tell you there’s a lot of people now that are hungry to do that and they hear this phrase ‘separation of church and state’ and instead of just saying ‘oh yeah I guess that’s what the country was founded on’ they say ‘wait, wait, wait, where exactly in the Constitution is that’? People are starting to ask questions and I think that’s when you start turning this thing around.

Pate: They say when a lie is repeated often enough it becomes truth in the minds of the masses, it really causes us to stop and think, what has fueled the perpetuation of this myth?

Green: It’s a desire to get God out of the equation. At the heart of this entire debate, we’re right back to that question of whether as Rabbi [Daniel] Lapin says we’re going to be a Nimrod society or an Abraham society, will the church and God be the center of our culture and our nation or will government be the center? You cannot go towards socialism without moving away from God, you got to get God out of the equation to do that. Throughout history, anyone that has wanted a nation to move towards socialism and communism in that direction, has had to push God out of the equation first. So separation of church and state has been distorted.



Green: When you think about fifty years of this myth of separation of church and state and the impact on our culture it has been huge, it has had a dramatic impact on not only our children and school but you can look at any statistical graph on whether you want to look at crime, out-of-wedlock birth I mean you look at all of it, removing God from the equation from this supposed phrase ‘separation of church and state’ has had a devastating impact on our culture.

Another Day, Another David Barton Falsehood

Every Friday, David Barton and Rick Green host "Good News Friday" on their "Wallbuilders Live" radio program during which they discuss "good news from around the nation the media doesn't report."

As we have noted in dozens and dozens of blog posts and even full-blown reports, Barton has something of a tendency to completely misrepresent things in order to bolster his ultra-right-wing agenda ... and he did it once again during today's radio program.

Barton and Green were discussing a recent decision 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case involving an Eastern Michigan University graduate student who was expelled from a counseling program after she refused to "affirm a client’s homosexual behavior" during counseling, citing religious objections.

The student, Julea Ward, sued the school, seeking summary judgment and lost.  So she appealed to the 6th Circuit, which ruled, not in her favor, but merely that she could have her case heard in court and the merits of her claim decided by a jury.

But, of course, that is not how Barton portrayed it at all, instead claiming that Ward had won her lawsuit outright and that the ruling was a huge victory that would protect other students from suffering the same fate as Ward:

What we had was a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University who, because of her religious beliefs, said 'look, I can't counsel people to be homosexual. You got to send them to some other counselor to do that.' And all the kids who had been doing that before had been dismissed from the program, [with the school] saying 'if you can't counsel pro-homosexuality, you can't be a counselor.'

And so this particular time, the graduate student sued and said 'look, you can't tell me because of my religious beliefs what I have to counsel." And the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled in the favor of this graduate student, saying you're right, you cannot dismiss this student from the program simply because they refuse to promote homosexuality.

Here's a good reversal and this is a great piece of good news. And it's not just a lower district court, this is the Court of Appeals in the 6th Circuit and this is a huge, huge victory and it's going to be cited across the nation for all sorts of other kids that are facing the same kind of discrimination.

The 6th Circuit ruled nothing of the sort.  As the decision [PDF] made clear, the Court merely ruled that both sides could make a compelling case and thus it should be decided by a jury:

Construing the evidence in the university’s favor, a jury might credit the university’s claim that such a policy existed and conclude that practicum students were subject to a general ban on referrals, making it difficult for Ward to demonstrate that she was expelled on pretextual grounds as opposed to the ground that she refused to adhere to a general and reasonable curricular requirement. Just as the inferences favor Ward in the one setting, they favor the university defendants in the other. At this stage of the case and on this record, neither side deserves to win as a matter of law.

...

For these reasons, we reverse and remand to the district court for further proceedings.

As we have said before, one of the main keys to Barton's success as a right-wing "expert" is that nobody on the Right ever bothers to check anything that he says ... or hold him accountable for all of the things that he gets wrong.

Barton: 'We've Never Been a Colonialist Nation'

Today on WallBuildersLive, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton proved once again why no one should trust what he says about American history, as he argued that the United States has “never been a colonialist nation” and “never gone out to conquer others and make ourselves bigger.” Surely, this must come as a surprise to the Native Americans and Mexicans, along with the people of the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. While he is correct to note that George Washington spoke out against an interventionist foreign policy, Barton appears to gloss over America’s wars of aggression and acquisition.

Barton: One of the things we often see with other militaries is they rule by intimidation, by threats, by terrorism really, they want to scare the dickens out of the enemy and America didn’t do that. From the very beginning when George Washington set this thing up he said, ‘ok we’re having chaplains with everybody and here’s the only kind of war you can fight is you can fight defensive wars not offensive wars, you have to respect the rights of property, you can fight back when attacked,’ so we have a whole different mentality, we’ve never been a colonialist nation, we’ve never gone out to conquer others and make ourselves bigger, we’ve just never had that mentality.



That’s exactly what made America so different, we don’t have that colonial aspect of let’s go conquer somebody else and make our nation bigger and that’s because of the faith element.

Barton: Life Begins Before Conception

Earlier this week, Miranda wrote a post about the Religious Right's anti-environmentalism and its relationship to Rick Santorum's recent attack on President Obama's "phony theology."

In the post, she noted that David Barton, of all people, is considered to be an expert on the topic of global warming by Republicans and the Religious Right and that, back in 2007, he even testified before the US Senate on the topic.

A few weeks after delivering that testimony, Barton gave a presentation on the subject of global warming which Wallbuilders recorded and now sells as a CD entitled "Science, The Bible, & Global Warming."

We listened to the presentation yesterday and it was chock-full of the sort of pseudo-science that one would expect from a pseudo-historian like David Barton, as his entire presentation was rooted in the idea that there is science and then there is "false science" ... and "false science" is anything that undermines the Bible:

There is science and there is science that is falsely so-called. See, the Bible doesn't have trouble with science, but it's talking about beware of the stuff that's falsely called science. There's a lot that masquerades in the name of science.

How do you know false science? False science leads you to a certain end. What is that end? That it undermines your faith. So a good definition of false science, at least based on the Bible verse, science that undermines faith is false science and science that's wrongly used it false science.

God's into science. He created everything. He's the great botanist, He's the great zoologist, He's the great every one of those things. He knows better than anyone else because he made it all. But when science takes you to a position that causes you to doubt your relationship with God, causes you to doubt the Bible ... that's called false science.

And since all "real" science has to correspond to the Bible, Barton explains that life does not begin at conception, but rather before conception ... because that is what the Bible says:

If you consider that life begins at conception ... and I have to consider that Biblically, life begins before conception because it says "before you were in your mother's womb I knew you." So I gotta say, well it at least begins at conception. How you handle that Jeremiah verse that says before that I knew you, you know that's an interesting question.

Barton: Obama is a "Christian Atheist"

We have said it before, but it bears repeating: for the Religious Right, attacks on a political figure's faith is an act of unmitigated anti-Christian bigotry ... unless that candidate is President Obama.

In recent weeks, we have seen several examples of right-wing leaders openly proclaiming that Obama is not only a bad Christian but, in some cases, not even a Christian at all.

And then trend continued today on "Wallbuilders Live" where David Barton proclaimed that even thought President Obama may call himself a Christian, he is really just a "Christian Atheist":

The President, you know he's gone to church to twenty years in Chicago but he's really secular.

A Christian Deist is someone who wears the label "Christian" but they really act and live as if God doesn't really get involved in affairs and He's not really close. And I would even call them Christian Atheists. They're Christians by label but they really act like God's not alive.

I've got a lot of folks I can point to who are Christian Deists or Atheists and I'd put the President in there as one of them. He's more secularist but he'll tell you he's a Christian. He gets offended if you say he's not and he's always challenged anyone who claims he was a Muslim, not a Christian. Great, alright, but you're a Christian Atheist, you're a Christian Deist.

So it's really a distinction on how pious you are.

Garlow: If Obama is Re-Elected, America will be 'Unsalvageable'

As we have noted before, Religious Right leaders - in particular, supporters of Newt Gingrich - are absolutely certain that the re-election of President Obama spells certain doom not only for America, but for all of Western Civilization.

Gingrich's most vocal supporter, Jim Garlow, was a guest on "Wallbuilders Live" today where he discussed the rise of the so-called "Evangelical Left."  Garlow insisted that he didn't even know what that term means because there is only one correct Biblical position on issues like abortion and marriage and those who do not hold such positions are simply violating Biblical truth. 

As such, there are those who are right and there are those, on the Left, who are wrong and it is time for pastors to take a stand in their pulpits and preach this message to their congregations.  Because if they don't, Garlow warned, the next election, and all hope for America, will be lost:

We have about ten months left to save this nation. It's not that the nation will cease to exist after November, it's just that the die will have been cast in such a way that we will never, ever be able to reclaim that which we once had. Whether it be in the arena of reclaiming safety for the womb, the definition of marriage, or of the economic fact that we're $15 trillion in the whole now and a $110 trillion in unfunded liabilities - this is a nation that will be decimated, it will be unsalvageable after November if we cannot get it turned. Even with the strongest leadership that we might be able to elect it is still going to be a very hard task because of how far down we have fallen both morally and economically as it relates to biblical understanding.

David Barton, Who Sues His Critics, Says Like The Prophet Jeremiah He Doesn't Care About Criticism

Today on WallBuilders Live, Barton reflected on the alleged persecution of same-sex marriage opponents like himself. Barton compared himself to Jeremiah, which is actually modest for Barton who previously likened himself to Jesus Christ. He claimed that like Jeremiah, he doesn’t care what people have to say about him and doesn’t listen to his critics “as long as I’m speaking the right thing that God told me to say.” Of course, this is the same David Barton who is currently suing three of his critics for libel and defamation and whose cohost Rick Green is suing several people for libel over his unsuccessful campaign to serve on the Texas Supreme Court:

Barton: Anybody who goes out and looks for me up on Google or anything else is going to be appalled at how terrible I am, I mean there’s stuff I didn’t even know I did until I read about it on these articles, but if that matters to you, you lose your voice. One of the things the Lord really dealt to me early on was Jeremiah 1:17, because Jeremiah was going to deliver a message that was extremely unpopular to people, he said, ‘listen guys we are going into bondage but God’s going to bring us out,’ nobody wants to hear that, so Jeremiah’s been commissioned to give a message that nobody is gonna like. That’s why they threw him down in the miry pit and he was gonna die down there and they finally brought him out. So Jeremiah, a doom-and-gloom kind of guy in some ways, and God told him in Jeremiah 1:17 ‘do not look at their faces when you deliver the message I told you, if you do, if you pay attention to the way they respond, I will break you to pieces in front of them,’ and that’s one of the things I learned early on.

People don’t like the fact about the Christian heritage of the nation but I gotta speak whether they like it or not because if I watch the reaction, if I watch their faces, if I gage what I do by the criticism I get, I’ll soften my approach and he’ll break me to pieces in front of them. For people who are enemies, I don’t care! I don’t care whether they like me or not, as long as I’m speaking the right thing that God told me to say!

Green: You don’t want to be a man-pleaser.

Earlier in the show, David French of the American Center for Law and Justice told Barton and Green that gay rights advocates who claim that marriage equality has no victims are wrong as “the victim is our culture.” French claimed that marriage equality would devalue the institution of marriage by taking God out of the equation, but his only evidence that the legalization of same-sex marriage undercuts the institution of marriage is the existence of no-fault divorce policies:

French: Unless there are radical developments that I can’t foresee there’s going to be that challenge of dealing with that assertion that somehow same-sex marriage is a victimless phenomenon, but you know the reality is that when you’re talking about the conversion of marriage from a God-given and God-created institution into a contract between consenting adults, the victim is our culture. Because what you’ve done is you have taken one of the most fundamental building blocks of all society and you’ve converted it into an arrangement of convenience, even loving convenience, between adults that ultimately exists for the fulfillment of adults. That was never its intention. The consequences of turning marriage into that, as we’ve seen through the explosive fault of no-fault divorce, have been catastrophic.

Barton Blames Theory of Evolution for State-Level Separation of Church and State

On Monday, Janet Parshall hosted David Barton to use Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an opportunity for Barton to spew his right-wing reading of U.S. history and the Constitution. While Barton does not have degrees in history or law, he claimed that the theory of evolution was responsible for the Supreme Court’s ruling in Everson v. Board of Education, which found that the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause applies to the states because it was incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment — because it led to legal positivism.

As Barton explains, law students who learned about the theory of evolution, which he objects to since he believes the Founders settled “the entire debate on creation and evolution” and opposed the theory, consequently believed that the Constitution should evolve, and in turn made the Establishment Clause apply to the states. Barton has consistently opposed the Supreme Court’s definition of the Establishment Clause and its application to states and localities, even going as so far to tell Jon Stewart that he believes cities can even implement Sharia law, although he later denied saying it.

Barton: This may sound weird but it was the theory of evolution, we think it’s a science debate it is not, if you apply the theory of evolution to law you say, ‘wait a minute we can’t be bound by a two hundred year old document, we’ve evolved past that, what we need to have is an evolving document that meets the needs of society today and who best to evolve the document but judges, they’re the ones who deal with the law,’ so we got into this thing of what’s called legal positivism or evolutionary law, living constitution, and we started teaching that in the law schools in the 1920s. Take kids in the law schools in the 20s and, get this, they’re now in legal practice in the ’30s and now in the ’40s they’re adults with twenty years under their belt and they get appointed to the US Supreme Court and so in ’47 they simply implemented what they’ve been taught in law school twenty-five years earlier.

SCGOP Celebrates MLK Day with David Barton

The South Carolina GOP hosted a luncheon yesterday for Martin Luther King Day that featured David Barton explaining how Democrats were responsible for slavery:

S.C. Republican leaders gathered to celebrate the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., before Monday night's SCGOP Debate.

Gov. Nikki Haley, Congressman Tim Scott, SCGOP Chairman Chad Connelly and historian David Barton spoke to a full room at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to honor King and highlight the legacy of change in South Carolina.

...

David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, highlighted the historical difference between Republicans and Democrats. The historian led the crowd through a timeline demonstrating the role Democrats of the day played in perpetuating the existence of slavery in the United States.

As we have noted before, Barton produced a DVD several years back entitled "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White" in which he blames the Democratic Party for everything from slavery and Jim Crow to lynchings and the KKK.

We actually wrote an entire report about it and posted clips from his DVD, like this one:

This is the message the SCGOP brought Barton in to deliver for its MLK Day celebration.

Rick Perry Drops By WallBuilders to Rail Against 'Socialist' Obama

Rick Perry today appeared on WallBuilders Live with right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton and his cohost Rick Green, where he spent most of the time railing against President Obama’s spending policies while also criticizing his proposed cuts to the Defense Department budget. According to Perry, “America is paying a huge price” for electing someone who “is a socialist or was trained by socialists”:

Perry: Here’s what I tell people, I said, listen, if you’re looking for the best debater, we got a great debater in the White House right now, America is paying a huge price because they were enamored with hope and change and this president, who I truly believe is a socialist or was trained by socialists, put America in peril. Put America in peril from an economic standpoint, put America in peril from a military-preparedness standpoint, put America in peril from the standpoint of foreign policy.

Barton and Green went on to say that not only have they worked with Governor Perry but also with Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, who recently appeared on WallBuilders Live, surely to inform them that Jesus opposed the minimum wage and the capital gains tax while pastors are under the threat of arrest because of hate crimes laws:

Green: Look, I know we’re talking about all the positives on Perry, I know a lot of our listeners, we got folks who support Newt and support Bachmann, and we support those guys too, they’re good folks.

Barton: I’ve already helped a whole bunch of these guys in the campaign, I have worked directly with several of them at their request and I’m happy to do that.

Green: Yeah sure, and they stand for all the right things. But we just got to be honest about Governor Perry’s record and what he did. When we went up there to Iowa and we both went and spoke at some caucuses there, it forced me to really sit down and think, why, if I got to pick somebody to vote for, how do I measure these guys? I started thinking for me it’s got to be that they both believe what I do, they got my values, but they can also be effective. So I think some people do discount him a little be when they shouldn’t and they’re going to be surprised, if he gets the momentum back—there’s some good candidates in the race, we’ll see what South Carolinians think.

Barton: We’ve always taken the position we’ll help people who have the right values, so even when I went to Iowa and spoke for Governor Perry at one of the caucuses, I was right beside Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus and we had a great time because I had just done some media interviews on behalf of Michele.

Green: That’s right, and I went out to Iowa in August for Michele for the straw poll, and we’ve both helped Newt and Santorum, so yeah there are good people running.

Barton: There are good people running and this is fine and we’re not taking positions, but we are pointing out positive things.

While Religious Right leaders themselves might be fractured on who to support in the race, Republican candidates for president all seem to agree on who to pander to: David Barton.

Lapin: Homosexuality and Islam Represent 'Barbarism'

During his speech at David Barton’s Pro-Family Legislators Conference, Daniel Lapin claimed that Islam and homosexuality are both cultures of “barbarism” that are diametrically opposed to civilization. Lapin, who has called for the quarantine of homosexuals to combat AIDS and claimed that men are becoming “hideous hermaphrodites” because of liberalism, tried to explain that while he doesn’t think gays or Muslims are themselves barbarians, he claims they participate in a “culture” of barbarism that “venerates death”:

Lapin: Civilization struggles to protect life, civilization struggles to feed life and generate life. Barbarism has no respect for life at all, actually, barbarism venerates death. Homosexuality, which side is that on? Civilization or barbarism? It’s got to be—see, please understand I’m speaking about the cultures and the ideas, I’m not saying that any particular Muslim is a barbarian, I’m not saying any particular homosexual is a barbarian, I’m saying the culture—and the answer is very simple, civilization has sex in the life-giving birth canal, and barbarism has sex in the canal through which dead, useless, waste material is excreted. It’s a fundamental difference, you can tell.

David Barton's 'Outrageous Fabrication' about Thomas Jefferson

David Barton has been actively promoting his soon-to-be-released book, The Jefferson Lies, and one of Barton’s central claims is that Jefferson actually wanted to use “The Jefferson Bible” to evangelize Native Americans. Craig Ferhman in the Los Angeles Times yesterday discussed the Jefferson Bible and dissected Barton’s erroneous assertions, writing that Barton “cherry-picked” and “distorted” Jefferson’s work in order to make it “fit the Religious Right’s agenda.” Barton has a long track record of misrepresenting history to make it seem that Jefferson was trying to proselytize the Native Americans, and Ferhman says that the right-wing pseudo-historian even used an “outrageous fabrication” while arguing that Jefferson gave “The Jefferson Bible” to missionaries.

Ferhman also details how many of Jefferson’s opponents tried to stoke fears that he was an enemy of Christianity and that “some families buried their Bibles in their gardens” following his election as President. Much like today when Republican and conservative leaders say Obama is leading a “war on religion” and is “hostile toward Christianity,” many of Jefferson’s adversaries warned that a vote for Jefferson was “no less than rebellion against God” and a “sin against God,” dubbing him an “an open enemy to their religion, their Redeemer.” Barton himself consistently stokes fears about Obama and his religious faith, telling voters that God will hold those accountable who don’t vote the way Barton would like them to.

Ferhman appropriately writes that “Barton loves to cherry-pick a phrase and manipulate it support his side in a partisan, present-day debate,” and notes that presidential candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry continue to give Barton unmerited praise:

In a presidential campaign, and in the hands of Jefferson's enemies, this passage became proof of the candidate's radicalism. One popular pamphlet from a pro-Adams minister quoted "Notes," then countered it: "Let my neighbor once persuade himself that there is no God," the minister warned, "and he will soon pick my pocket, and break not only my leg but my neck."

Such attacks proved effective enough that, when Jefferson did win the election, some families buried their Bibles in their gardens, fearing the new president would burn them. So it made sense that Jefferson continued to keep his religious views private. Years later, after he and Adams had resumed a correspondence, Jefferson described Jesus' teachings as "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals." The problem, he wrote in another letter to Adams, came in the "artificial scaffolding" that surrounded those teachings — the Virgin Birth, the miracles and so on.

"The Jefferson Bible" is his attempt to tear down that scaffolding. Jefferson took his first stab at it while still president. In the White House, "after getting through the evening task of reading the letters and papers of the day," he used a razor to slice Jesus' teachings out of a couple of King James Bibles, then grouped them by subject (e.g., "false teachers") and pasted them into a scrapbook. Its title page included these words: "an abridgment ... for the use of the Indians." Scholars agree it was most likely a sly joke about the impossibility of circulating such a genuinely radical book, or perhaps a joke about Adams' political allies, whom Jefferson referred to as "Indians" in his second inaugural.



Today, the facts about "The Jefferson Bible" might seem like an impossible obstacle to anyone who wants to fashion Jefferson as a hero for right-leaning Christians — and America as a "Christian nation." Instead, the book has been distorted to fit the religious right's agenda.

There's no better example of this than David Barton, an amateur historian who's become quite popular with Perry, Santorum and Michele Bachmann. Barton loves archival flourishes — his Texas offices include a concrete vault filled with 18th century arcana — but his true concerns lie in the present. Though Barton admits that "The Jefferson Bible" often comes up as proof that its namesake wasn't the evangelical Christian conservatives want him to be, he also says he can refute this. In a TV appearance in 2010, Barton fixated on Jefferson's "Indians" title page, mixed in some unrelated material about Jefferson's Indian policy, then pivoted to an outrageous fabrication: "He then gave it to a missionary," Barton said of Jefferson and his Bible, "and he said, 'Here, if you get this printed, and you use this as you evangelize the Indians.'"

There's absolutely no evidence of Jefferson giving either version of his Bible to anyone other than his bookbinder. Perhaps it's no surprise that last year, in Iowa, Newt Gingrich said, "I never listen to David Barton without learning a whole lot of new things." That's because Barton loves to cherry-pick a phrase and manipulate it support his side in a partisan, present-day debate.

But there's a bigger problem with Barton's method: He strips history of its complex human appeal. After all, "The Jefferson Bible" stands as one of the most interesting and iconoclastic moments in America's religious past — one man with a razor, a pot of paste and a unique and private set of ideas. They were intricate ideas: Jefferson was no more a Bible thumper than he was a Bible burner. And that's why he and his handmade book have enjoyed such an odd and exciting afterlife. After one politician got his 14 copies of the 1904 edition, he reported receiving more than 2,000 requests from his constituents.

Gingrich Intends to Pack Courts with Judges from Regent and Liberty University, Federalist Society

Newt Gingrich appeared on Monday’s program of WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green, where Gingrich once again praised Barton’s right-wing pseudo-history and activism. In fact, Gingrich gave Barton credit for helping him develop his plan to assault the “judicial dictatorship” if elected president. He told Barton and Green that his plan is sending shockwaves through the “the secular left, which has been using the courts to replace the America we grew up in” by legalizing abortion, “driving God out of public life” and making same-sex marriages become “legitimized as if they were the same between traditional marriage between a man and a woman.”

Gingrich added that he would appoint judges in the mold of Robert George, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage and a drafter of the Manhattan Declaration who has called people to defy Supreme Court decisions on issues like marriage that they disagree with, and graduates of Regent University and Liberty University, the schools founded by the far-right televangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, respectively. Regent University absorbed the Oral Roberts University law program and teaches conservative Christian interpretations of the law, and the Liberty University School of Law even pressured students to disobey U.S. law if it conflicts with what they believe is “God’s law” in situations such as the Lisa Miller kidnapping case. Gingrich also pointed to the right-wing Federalist Society as a source for judicial appointments

Gingrich: What you have is, the secular left, which has been using the courts to replace the America we grew up in, the secular left which is desperately committed to Roe v. Wade and abortion, desperately committed to marriage between same-sex couples becoming legitimized as if they were the same between traditional marriage between a man and a woman, desperately committed to driving God out of public life, and they are suddenly faced with the possibility that we the people are going to take back our authority, that we are going to take back our rights, that we are going to redress the balance. The level of hysteria, I predict, will grow as they come to realize at the American Bar Association and elsewhere that this really is an effort to limit the power of lawyers to redesign America.

Green: Should you become president, is there a crop of attorneys and judges out there that understand history and understand originalism that you would have to choose from, in other words it’s got to be more than just you and Congress, what about good judges?

Gingrich: You start looking at people of the caliber of Robbie George of Princeton, you look at Regent University, you look at Liberty University, you start looking around and realizing there is a whole crop - Vince Haley of University of Virginia graduate who is a deeply, deeply committed Christian who clearly understands these kinds of issues - I think people would be surprised that the Federalist Society has many members who agree that we need a balance of power between the three, not a judicial dictatorship.

Barton: God Established Elections

In our coverage of David Barton, one of the things we have been highlighting in recent years is his insistence that all manner of governmental and social institutions came directly out of the Bible.

In Barton's view, if something has any sort of parallel to anything in the Bible, then the inspiration for that thing could only have come from the Bible, thus Barton routinely asserts that our three branches of government and separation of powers, our free market system, our due process clause, and all manner of other Constitutional provisions were explicitly based on Biblical models.

To this list we can now add the entire concept of elections, as Barton claims that the Founding Fathers specifically cited Exodus 18:21 as the basis for Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution which guarantees to every state a Republican form of government:

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WallBuilders is an organization founded by Republican Party activist and self-proclaimed historian David Barton for the purpose of "educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country." Barton and his work are routinely cited by those on the Right who claim that the United States was founded by Christian men on explicitly Christian principles. MORE >

Wallbuilders Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 04/16/2013, 2:18pm
On "WallBuilders Live" today, Rick Green and David Barton interviewed Frank Newport, author of the book "God Is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America." Following the discussion, Barton commented that the problem in America today is that while the vast majority of people consider themselves to be Christians, not enough are reading the Bible regularly and applying it to their daily lives. After comparing the Bible to an owner's manual for a car, Barton said that "the more religious you are, the better your health is" and suggested that instead of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 04/10/2013, 2:20pm
A few weeks ago, we posted some audio clips from a "WallBuilders Live" radio program in which David Barton explained the concept of just war theory during which he justified the brutal treatment of Native Americans by white settlers and the American government on the grounds that they needed to be destroyed in order to be taught a lesson and eventually made civilized. Shortly thereafter, WallBuilders posted a message on its Facebook page claiming that Barton was not "justifying" this sort of treatment but merely "explaining" what had happened: David was not... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/22/2013, 1:51pm
On the weekly "Good News Friday" episode of "WallBuilders Live" today, David Barton cited a poll supposedly showing that a majority of Americans believe that the government poses a threat to their rights and freedoms, which he suggested is a good thing because it meant that there was also a majority of citizens who would be willing to stand up and push back. But there was also a danger, Barton warned, in that it could lead people to fear the government which, in turn, leads to conspiracy theories: I think fear causes you to do a lot of things.  Conspiracy... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 03/21/2013, 2:31pm
Today on "WallBuilders Live," David Barton was discussing just war theory which, in his unique interpretation, essentially boiled down to the view that whatever you need to do to end a conflict and protect the lives of your citizens and soldiers is justified. To demonstrate his point, Barton said that Native Americans declared war on "all the white guys" because missionaries tried to convince them to stop torturing their enemies but they resisted these efforts to civilize them and "so we had to go in and we had to destroy Indian tribes all over until" they got... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/18/2013, 1:00pm
Thomas Peters of the National Organization for Marriage was the guest on today's episode of "WallBuilders Live" where he discussed the organization's efforts to spread its anti-marriage equality message to the next generation, saying that the key to their success will be finding a way to overcome the "intolerance and hatred" on campuses against those who promote this message. Insisting that being anti-gay marriage does not make one anti-gay, Peters asserted that, despite all the "propaganda," the human heart simply knows that gay marriage is wrong and so... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/12/2013, 2:45pm
It has become pretty obvious by this point that David Barton simply does not care that various claims he makes as part of his standard presentation are demonstrably false; he will simply continue to repeat them as fact because they are useful in promoting his right-wing political agenda. As we have noted five times already, Barton repeatedly insists that the Constitution is filled with multiple "direct quotations" out of the Bible, insisting that anyone who doesn't see them is simply "biblically illiterate;" an assertion he made again while speaking at Fellowship... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/08/2013, 4:33pm
We already know that Cindy Jacobs' prayers have stopped terrorism and saved the global economy, but on the latest episode of "God Knows" she revealed how her prayers may have saved David Barton's life. Apparently, several years ago Barton and his family were driving to Florida when Jacobs received a dream from God ordering her to start praying that the wheels on the Barton's van would not fall off.  She immediately did so and when the Bartons arrived at their destination, she told them of her dream and David and Cindy's husband Mike took the van to a local... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/04/2013, 2:15pm
The Family Research Council's Jerry Boykin was the guest on "WallBuilders Live" today for a discussion of the Pentagon's recent decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat.  Not surprisingly, Boykin opposes the idea, wondering why the Obama Administration would approve this change even as Congress was working to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, claiming "there is such an inconsistency here": The Congress, the Senate at least, passed the Violence Against Women Act which was designed to protect our women. Now it had some flaws in it, so we... MORE >