David Barton

Barton: God Will Come Out of Heaven to Oppose Our Unbiblical Economic System

David Barton has returned for another extended appearance on Kenneth Copeland's "Believers Voice of Victory" television program where he made the case that our economic system must be set up to correspond to "the way God says the government should do economics," which means that government needs to "reward those who make a profit."  

But rather than doing that, Barton warned, our government is punishing those who have been successful and using their money to reward those who aren't productive or bail-out those who have run their business into the ground ... "and there's no way God is going to bless that ... because we're not following his laws."   

But not only is God not going to bless our government, He is "actually going to come down and oppose" it, coming straight out of Heaven to say "what's going on down here? This isn't what I ordained":

Barton: Cops Should Have Refused to Arrest Arizona Pastor for Illegally Building a Church

Yesterday on "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green discussed the case of Arizona pastor Michael Salman who has recently become a Religious Right cause célèbre because he is  supposedly being persecuted simply because he wanted to hold Bible study meetings at his home. 

In reality, Salman had been attempting to illegally build a church in his back yard and had been holding multiple-weekly church services on his property until he was found guilty of dozens of code violations and sentenced to sixty days in jail.

Barton took up the case today and voiced his outrage, calling on voters in Phoenix to work to remove political leaders in that city for allowing something like this to happen. Barton went on to falsely claim that Salman's home was raided by a SWAT team sent to arrest him and said that law enforcement officers must refuse to participate in things like this because they have an obligation to uphold the Constitution:

And the one we have today, the one we're going to talk about today is a great example is a bunch of political leaders in a city who need to be seriously removed. The fact that they would even think about enforcing this particular ordinance against anybody means that we've got a bad set of leaders there that need to be gone.

...

There needs to be some changes in Phoenix and people really do need to let city hall hear it over this. And I'm really concerned about cops who are willing to go in as a SWAT team to arrest a pastor who's had Bible study. The cops should have said "no, we're not doing that. I mean, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution too; there's the right of assembly, the right of speech, the right of religion. We're not going to go arrest this guy with AR-15s and a SWAT team." At some point, citizens are going to have to say we're not going to be part of this and that should have happened at this point.

6 Right-Wing Zealots and the Crazy Ideas Behind the Most Outrageous Republican Platform Ever

Note: this story is cross-posted at AlterNet.

The official 2012 Republican Party platform is a far-right fever dream, a compilation of pouting, posturing, and policies to meet just about every demand from the overlapping Religious Right, Tea Party, corporate, and neo-conservative wings of the GOP.  If moderates have any influence in today’s Republican Party, you wouldn’t know it by reading the platform.  Efforts by a few delegates to insert language favoring civil unions, comprehensive sex education, and voting rights for the District of Columbia, for example, were all shot down.  Making the rounds of right-wing pre-convention events on Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann gushed about the platform’s right-wing tilt, telling fired-up Tea Partiers that “the Tea Party has been all over that platform.”

Given the Republican Party’s hard lurch to the right, which intensified after the election of Barack Obama, the “most conservative ever” platform is not terribly surprising. But it still didn’t just happen on its own.  Here are some of the people we can thank on the domestic policy front.
 
1. Bob McDonnell.   As platform committee chair, McDonnell made it clear he was not in the mood for any amendments to the draft language calling for a “Human Life Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution and legal recognition that the “unborn” are covered by the Fourteenth Amendment – “personhood” by another name.  McDonnell is in many ways the ideal right-wing governor: he ran as a fiscal conservative and governs like the Religious Right activist he has been since he laid out his own political platform in the guise of a master’s thesis at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. 
 
His thesis argued that feminists and working women were detrimental to the family, and that public policy should favor married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals, or fornicators.”  When running for governor, McDonnell disavowed his thesis, but as a state legislator he pushed hard to turn those positions into policy.  As the Washington Post noted, “During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.”  As governor, McDonnell signed the kind of mandatory ultrasound law that is praised in this year’s platform.  When his name was floated as a potential V.P. pick, Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood decried his “deeply troubling record on women’s health.”
 
2 Tony Perkins.  Perkins heads the Family Research Council, whose Values Voter Summit is the Religious Right’s most important annual conference, at which movement activists rub shoulders with Republican officials and candidates.  Perkins bragged in an email to his supporters how much influence he and his friend David Barton (see below) had on the platform.  Perkins was an active member of the platform committee, proposing language to oppose school-based health clinics that provide referrals for contraception or abortion, and arguing for the strongest possible anti-marriage equality language.  Perkins also introduced an amendment to the platform calling on the District of Columbia government to loosen its gun laws, which Perkins says still do not comply with recent Supreme Court rulings.
 
The media tends to treat Perkins, a telegenic former state legislator, as a reasonable voice of the Religious Right, but his record and his group’s positions prove otherwise.  Perkins has been aggressively exploiting the recent shooting at FRC headquarters to divert attention from the group’s extremism by claiming that the Southern Poverty Law Center was irresponsible in calling FRC a hate group.  Unfortunately for Perkins, the group’s record of promoting hatred toward LGBT people is well documented.  Perkins has even complained that the press and President Obama were being too hard on Uganda’s infamous “kill the gays” bill, which he described as an attempt to “uphold moral conduct.” It’s worth remembering that Perkins ran a 1996 campaign for Louisiana Senate candidate Woody Jenkins that paid $82,600 to David Duke for the Klan leader’s mailing list; the campaign was fined by the FEC for trying to cover it up.
 
3. David Barton.  Texas Republican activist and disgraced Christian-nation “historian” Barton has had a tough year, but Tampa has been good to him.  He was perhaps the most vocal member of the platform committee, and was a featured speaker at Sunday’s pre-convention “prayer rally.” During the platform committee’s final deliberations, Barton couldn’t seem to hear his own voice often enough.  He was the know-it-all nitpicker, piping up with various language changes, such as deleting a reference to the family as the “school of democracy” because families are not democracies.  He thought it was too passive to call Obamacare an “erosion of” the Constitution and thought it should be changed to an “attack on” the founding document.  He called for stronger anti-public education language and asserted that large school districts employ one administrator for every teacher.  He backed anti-abortion language, tossing out the claim that 127 medical studies over five decades say that abortion hurts women.  Progressives have been documenting Barton’s lies for years, but more recently conservative evangelical scholars have also been hammering  his claims about American history.  The critical chorus got so loud that Christian publishing powerhouse Thomas Nelson pulled Barton’s most recent book – which, ironically, purports to correct “lies” about Thomas Jefferson – from the shelves.  Of course, Barton has had plenty of practice at this sort of thing, from producing bogusdocumentaries designed to turn African Americans against the Democratic Party to pushing his religious and political ideology into Texas textbooks. Barton’s right-wing friends like Glenn Beck have rallied around him. And nothing seems to tarnish Barton with the GOP allies for whom he has proven politically useful over the years. 
 
4. Kris Kobach.  Kris Kobach wants to be your president one day; until now, he has gotten as far as Kansas Secretary of State.  He may be best known as the brains behind Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, and he successfully pushed for anti-immigrant language in the platform, including a call for the federal government to deny funds to universities that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition – a plank that puts Kobach and the platform at odds with Kansas law.  Immigration is not Kobach’s only issue. He is an energizing force behind the Republican Party’s massive push for voter suppression laws around the country, and he led the effort to get language inserted into the platform calling on states to pass laws requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration.  He also pushed language aimed at the supposed threat to the Constitution and laws of the US from “Sharia law”; getting this language into the platform puts the GOP in position of endorsing a ludicrous far-right conspiracy theory.  Kobach hopes that will give activists a tool for pressuring more states to pass their own anti-Sharia laws.  In the platform committee, he backed Perkins’ efforts to maintain the strongest language against marriage equality.  Even an amendment to the marriage section saying that everyone should be treated “equally under the law” as long as they are not hurting anyone else, was shot down by Kobach.  Kobach also claims he won support for a provision to oppose any effort to limit how many bullets can go into a gun’s magazine.
 
5. James Bopp.  James Bopp is a Republican lawyer and delegate from Indiana whose client list is a Who’s Who of right-wing organizations, including National Right to Life and the National Organization for Marriage, which he has represented in its efforts to keep political donors secret.  As legal advisor to Citizens United, Bopp has led legal attacks on campaign finance laws and played a huge role in bringing us the world of unlimited right-wing cash flooding our elections.  Bopp chaired this year’s platform subcommittee on “restoring constitutional government,” which helps explain its strong anti-campaign finance reform language. 
 
Bopp is also an annoyingly petty partisan, having introduced a resolution in the Republican National Committee in 2009 urging the Democratic Party to change its name to the “Democrat Socialist Party.”  In this year’s platform committee, Bopp successfully pushed for the removal of language suggesting that residents of the District of Columbia might deserve some representation in Congress short of statehood.  His sneering comments, and his gloating fist-pump when the committee approved his resolution, have not won him any friends among DC residents – not that he cares.  He also spoke out against a young delegate’s proposal that the party recognize civil unions, which Bopp denounced as “counterfeit marriage.”  In spite of all these efforts, Bopp has been at the forefront of Romney campaign platform spin, arguing in the media that the platform language on abortion is not really a “no-exceptions” ban, in spite of its call for a Human Life Amendment and laws giving Fourteenth Amendment protections to the “unborn.” 
 
6. Dick Armey.  Former Republican insider Dick Armey now runs FreedomWorks, the Koch-backed, corporate-funded, Murdoch-promoted Tea Party astroturfing group – or, in their words, a “grassroots service center.” Armey has been a major force behind this year’s victories of Tea Party Senate challengers like Ted Cruz in Texas and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, both of whom knocked off “establishment” candidates – FreedomWorks also backed Rand Paul in Kentucky and Mike Lee in Utah in 2010.  As Alternet’s Adele Stan has reported, FreedomWorks’s goal is to build a cadre of far-right senators to create a “power center around Jim DeMint,” the Senate’s reigning Tea Party-Religious Right hero. 
 
To put Armey’s stamp on the platform, FreedomWorks created a “Freedom Platform” project, which enlisted Tea Party leaders to come up with proposed platform planks and encouraged activists to vote for them online. Then FreedomWorks pushed the party to include these planks in the official platform:
      Repeal Obamacare; Pursue Patient-Centered Care
      Stop the Tax Hikes
      Reverse Obama’s Spending Increases
      Scrap the Code; Replace It with a Flat Tax
      Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment
      Reject Cap and Trade
      Rein in the EPA
      Unleash America’s Vast Energy Potential
      Eliminate the Department of Education
      Reduce the Bloated Federal Workforce
      Curtail Excessive Federal Regulation
      Audit the Fed
 
An Ohio Tea Party Group, The Ohio Liberty Coalition, celebrated that 10 of 12 made it to the draft – everything but the flat tax and eliminating the Department of Education.  But FreedomWorks gave itself a more generous score, arguing for an 11.5 out of 12.  FreedomWorks vice president Dean Clancy said that the platform’s call for a “flatter” tax “opens the door to a Flat Tax” and said that they considered the education section of the platform a “partial victory” because it includes “a very strong endorsement of school choice, including vouchers.”
 
Honorable mention: Mitt Romney.  This is his year, his party, and his platform.  The entire Republican primary was essentially an exercise in Romney moving to the right to try to overcome resistance to his nomination from activists who distrusted his ideological authenticity.   The last thing the Romney campaign wanted was a fight with the base, like the one that happened in San Diego in 1996, when Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition delighted in publicly humiliating nominee Robert Dole over   his suggestion that the GOP might temper its anti-abortion stance.  Romney signaled his intention to avoid a similar conflict when he named Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to chair the platform committee. 
 
Keeping Everybody Happy
 
The new GOP platform reflects Romney’s desire to placate every aspect of the party’s base.  It also demonstrates both the continuingpower of the Religious Right within the GOP, as well as ongoing efforts to erase any distinctions between social conservatives and anti-government zealots, as demonstrated by Ralph Reed welcoming Grover Norquist to his Faith and Freedom coalition leadership luncheon on Sunday.

Barton: Seventh Amendment Bans Abortion

We are used to watching David Barton give off an aura of expertise by speaking so quickly that people can’t notice when he is making patently false claims and simply making stuff up about America’s founders and the Constitution. For example, last night at the Prayer Rally for America’s Future, the event hosted by Focus on the Family and the Florida Family Policy Council in Tampa’s River Church right before the Republican National Convention, Barton made a rather peculiar claim about the Seventh Amendment.

Here’s what the Seventh Amendment of the US Constitution says:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re–examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Read that one more time, because according to David Barton, the Seventh Amendment bans abortion, which he offers as evidence to back up his false assertion that the founders criminalized abortion.

Barton, who has made the same claim about the Seventh Amendment before, does not say how exactly the right to a trial by jury bans abortion, but because Barton is so confident that all of the founders agreed with all of his own theological and political views, he sees no need to explain the connection between the right to jury trials and the legality of abortions.

Watch:

The first belief we have in American government, in American society is that there’s a divine Creator, that’s not a personal belief, that’s an official government belief, that’s in our founding document. The first thing we say is there’s a Creator, the second thing we say is we believe the Creator gave us a certain set of rights, that are God-given inalienable rights, they exist to every person on the globe just because they were born, actually just because they were conceived quite frankly. Founding Fathers recognized abortion as a crime way back in the beginning, that’s why in the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution, part of the common law, you’re not allowed to do abortions because God gives life, not humans, humans can’t take life that God gives so it’s real simple stuff.

Barton: The SCOTUS Health Care Decision is a Sign of Spiritual Revival

Every Friday on 'WallBuilders Live" is "Good News Friday" where David Barton and Rick Green discuss what they consider to be positive developments around the nation and today Barton caught Green off-guard by kicking off the show by citing the Supreme Courts' recent decision upholding the constitutionality of the health care reform legislation.

The ruling was good news, Barton explained, because it contained a line written by Chief Justice John Roberts that declared that it was "not [the Supreme Court's] job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices." And this sort of statement, Barton declared, is a sign of spiritual revival:

Barton: I'm going to start with a victory, and don't think I'm crazy for choosing this as a victory because I really think it is, but it deals with the Supreme Court's health care decision.

One of the greatest lines out of any Supreme Court case in the last one hundred years is when Chief Justice Roberts said "it is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices."

Green: Amen to that.

Barton And I say amen! ... Why I really like this is in Jeremiah 31, in that passage God talks about the difference in a nation and how he is going to change the nation, so both Jeremiah and Isaiah talk about this. But he says in the time that a nation's under a curse, he says the proverb is that the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge. So what they're saying is, the kids say 'hey, it's not our fault; our fathers did this.'

But he says at the Day of the Lord, when he comes and heals the nation, you'll then say each one has eaten sour grapes and his own teeth are set on edge.

Green: You're responsible for your own actions.

Barton: You're responsible for your own stuff; you can't blame this on anybody else. And that's a sign of revival, when you start saying you're responsible for your actions and the court says, hey, you're responsible for your own political decisions, guess what? That is a spiritually good sign. 

Even More Conservative Scholars Publicly Question David Barton's Scholarship

Earlier this month, World Magazine published a piece noting that "conservative Christian scholars" had begun to publicly question the veracity of David Barton's work.  That article and the questions it raised about Barton's work was part of a chain of events that ultimately led Barton's publisher to pull his book from circulation and cancel his contract.

Since then, more and more conservatives have been coming forward with their own questions about Barton's pseudo-history while Barton has focused his response primarily on attacking his most prominent critic, Warren Throckmorton, as some sort of fake Christian who cannot be trusted because he doesn't support the use of reparative therapy to "cure" gays.

But while Barton is intent on attacking Throckmorton's conservative bona fides, conservative scholars continue to undermine Barton's credibility, to which Barton has thus far been unable to respond.

In fact, a new piece published today on the World Magazine website quotes several more Glenn Beck-approved scholars agreeing that Barton's book is misleading and that his claims are wrong: 

The Jefferson Lies commends Daniel Dreisbach, an American University professor, calling him one of the few Jefferson scholars who employs a "sound historical approach," so I asked Dreisbach whether he agreed with Barton. Dreisbach replied that he has a "very hard time" accepting the notion that Jefferson was ever an orthodox Christian, or that Jefferson ever embraced Christianity's "transcendent claims."

...

Louisiana State University professor James Stoner, one of Glenn Beck's "Beck University" lecturers, says Throckmorton and Coulter's book seems "entirely in line" with what he knows about Jefferson's faith. Stoner describes Jefferson as a "rationalist skeptic."

Professor Kevin Gutzman, who has appeared both on WallBuilders radio and the Glenn Beck program, argues that "Jefferson was not a Christian, if the word 'Christian' has any meaning," because he rejected the Bible's "supernatural content." Gutzman thinks Jefferson's skepticism certainly predated 1813. 

Pseudo-Historians Unite: David Barton and Scott Lively use Fake Scholarship to Disguise their Extremist Views

David Barton defends his junk history by pointing to an anonymous group of academics who apparently approve of his “scholarship” while simultaneously saying that people can trust his work because the liberal, secular, academic elite doesn’t approve of it. While Barton refuses to name anyone from his supposed gaggle of admirers in academia, he is touting the support of a fellow pseudo-historian: Scott Lively, who blames the Holocaust on the gay community.

That’s right, Barton, who has the ear of Republican politicians and is helping to write the Republican Party platform, is touting the endorsement of someone who thinks gays brought about the Holocaust.

As Kyle reported yesterday, Lively appeared on WallBuilders Live, Barton’s radio show which he co-hosts with Rick Green, to defend Barton and denounce his critics, namely Professor Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College. Throckmorton co-authored “Getting Jefferson Right,” a book that scrutinizes and debunks many of Barton’s claims in “The Jefferson Lies,” which was so inaccurate it was pulled from publication.

Even before Lively’s appearance on WallBuilders Live, Barton was promoting Lively’s attack on Throckmorton via Twitter and Facebook, arguing that Throckmorton lied about Lively’s involvement in shaping Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill and therefore shouldn’t be trusted in whatever he said about Barton. While on WallBuilders Live, Lively said it is “absolutely not true” that he promoted “forced therapy of homosexuals in Uganda”:

However, that is exactly what he told Janet Mefferd back in May, arguing that he wanted Uganda to treat homosexuals just like drunk drivers who have the choice between jail time and therapy, in this case sexual orientation conversion therapy:

This brazen dishonesty is how both Lively and Barton operate. While they like to fashion themselves as historians they are in reality simply political activists.

Similar to how Barton misrepresents the Founders as conservative evangelical Christians to advance his own conservative political agenda, Lively rewrites the history of Nazi Germany to argue that gays and lesbians are responsible for the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust in order to further his own anti-gay politics in the U.S. and abroad.

In “The Pink Swastika,” Lively asserts that “the glaring truth of history is that homosexuals bore a disproportionately large share for the responsibility for the rise of Nazism.” He claims that gays in Germany sought to restore homosexual occult religion and eliminate its Judeo-Christian detractors: “there is a spiritual element to the Holocaust that suggests that it was, in some respects, vengeance against the people whose moral laws had relegated pagan homo-occultism to obscurity and ignominy” (p. 49). According to Lively, “the rise of homosexuality in a Judeo-Christian based culture” inevitably means that “violence and depravity increase” (p. 137).

“The Pink Swastika” later shifts the conversation to the U.S. debate on gay rights, warning that “Nazi themes are common in the homosexual community” today (p. 146) and that American society is heading down the same path as pre-WWII Germany thanks to gay rights (p. 187).

No legitimate historians have given any credibility Lively’s claims that the Nazi party leadership was overwhelmingly composed of gay men. Throckmorton has posted one of the most thorough refutations of Lively’s book. In fact, homosexuals were a targeted for persecution in Nazi Germany and thousands were sent to concentration camps.

Throckmorton and countless others haven’t criticized Lively and Barton’s work out of a malicious desire to smear conservatives, as the two claim, but because it is necessary to call out those like Lively and Barton who are clearly rewriting and twisting history in order to advance their own political goals.

David Barton and the Matter of Interpretation

As David Barton has been fighting to salvage his reputation over the last few weeks, one of the main claims that he and his supporters are making is that the disputes over the veracity of Barton's work all boil down to simple matters of interpretation.

Rick Green, for instance, claims that the attacks on Barton are nothing more than "empty rhetoric using the tiniest of semantics over one fact out of thousands to try and discredit the entire premise of the book."

In Green's view, people are just nitpicking Barton's work because they disagree with his interpretation of facts ... but, as we have repeatedly pointed out, people are questioning Barton's interpretation of facts because he has a long record of intentionally misinterpreting them in order to promote his own agenda.

And today on "WallBuilders Live," Barton offered up another perfect example of this when he discussed the controversy that surrounds Jerry Boykin:

He's actually a three-star general and he got in a lot of trouble from the secular guys because he talked about God in a church. Can you imagine him doing that? He spoke in a church and he talked about God. They beat him up and demanded that he be kicked out of the military and went to the President and said "you can't let a guy speak about God when he is in church" and he's taken abuse and a beating.

He was dis-invited from speaking up at West Point last year under the Obama administration because he is the head of a group that deals with domestic terrorism, that deals with the threat of Islamic terrorism but how it applies itself domestically and the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. So because he points out where there are threats, he as a guy who recognizes a threat when he sees it, who had Delta Force special forces, was kept from speaking at West Point by the Obama administration.

So that is Barton's "interpretation" of what happened and, you will be shocked to learn, it does not correspond very closely to reality.

In fact, Boykin got in trouble not for talking about God in church but for appearing in full uniform before a religious group to declare that Muslims hated the United States "because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian ... and the enemy is a guy named Satan" and that Boykin knew the US would win because "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

After retiring from the military due largely to the controversy he generated with this address, Boykin then turned his attention full time to anti-Islam activism, calling on Christians to “pray over mosques and go on the offensive against Islam while declaring that Islam should not be protected under the First Amendment and that America should ban the construction of mosques. And it was this long and documented history of anti-Islam activism that led Boykin to withdraw from his speaking engagement at West Point.

This perfectly demonstrates why the matter of Barton's reliability as an "interpreter" is central to the concerns about the reliability of his historical claims because, as we have said several times before, if he cannot be relied upon to accurately "interpret" information pertaining to recent events that anyone with access to Google can easily check and verify,  how can anyone trust the arcane claims he makes about complex events in early American history?

Leading Religious Right Ministry Breaks with Barton and his 'Misinformation'

BreakPoint ministry, founded by the late Chuck Colson and chaired by Timothy George, appears to be making a clean break with junk historian David Barton. While Barton and his deputy Rick Green continue to claim their only critics are left-wing, anti-Christian academic elitists, more and more conservatives are distancing themselves from Barton.

Just as Barton projects his own right-wing political views and fundamentalist version of Christianity onto the Founders, Tom Gilson writes for BreakPoint that many Christians readily accepted Barton’s version of history because it validated their own political and religious beliefs: “He gave us what we wanted.” Consequently, “Barton’s errors are not only his” as they “also belong to those of us who bought his message carelessly, unquestioningly, too eagerly, and too comfortably.”

Gilson points out that Barton’s work faced significant scrutiny long before evangelical historians began criticizing Barton’s “scholarship” as “serious questions that have surrounded Barton’s work for a long time” and the Christian publishing giant Thomas Nelson pulled “The Jefferson Lies” from publication, and yet many Barton fans agreed with his claim that any criticism is a result of the “liberal academy’s antipathy to Christianity.” “It’s not political opinion that’s stacking up against him now,” Gilson writes. “It’s well documented facts.”

David Barton was American evangelicals’ favorite historian. He taught us about the Founding Fathers’ almost uniform commitment to Christian principles, and secular historians’ attempts to bury our Christian heritage under reams of revisionist distortions. He gave us firepower in support of our mission to return America to its godly founding principles.

He gave us what we wanted. But now David Barton has been credibly charged with serious distortions of his own.

The story has been told in both the secular and the Christian press: Barton’s most recent book, The Jefferson Lies, was riddled with misinformation. Its publisher, Thomas Nelson, pulled it from distribution. Barton is standing firm in his position, but reliable historians—strongly conservative Christian scholars among them—continue to hold him in error, and not just because of this work but because of others as well.

I am no historian, so I am in no position to form an independent judgment of his veracity. Few of us are. But that doesn’t excuse our eager acceptance of his inaccuracies. With a bit of care, any of us could have known of the serious questions that have surrounded Barton’s work for a long time. These recent revelations are nothing new, except in the degree to which conservative Christian scholars are involved in calling him to account.

Nevertheless we became for him a devoted cadre of disciples. We knew our country’s founding principles were vitally important. However, so is historical accuracy. It looks as if Barton compromised one to make a case for the other.

If the signs have been there for some time, why then did we love Barton so? And is it possible that we share the blame? Barton fended off criticism by blaming it on the liberal academy’s antipathy to Christianity. That had more than a little believability to it. I am quite sure that liberal academics often hold to an ideological agenda that motivates them to discredit Christianity’s part in our nation’s history. Thus, it was easy (and it still is) to be suspicious of their criticisms in this case. But the ideology defense is no help when it’s conservative Christians making a case against Barton—especially when it’s a case as verifiable as this is proving to be. It’s not political opinion that’s stacking up against him now. It’s well documented facts.



To accept any human teacher without checking on his message with due diligence is to abandon our responsibility to the truth. David Barton’s errors are not only his. They also belong to those of us who bought his message carelessly, unquestioningly, too eagerly, and too comfortably.

WallBuilders Turns to Scott Lively in an to Attempt to Salvage David Barton's Reputation

Things have now gotten so desperate for David Barton and WallBuilders that they are reduced to calling in support from none other than Scott Lively to defend Barton's work by attacking Warren Throckmorton, Barton's primary critic.

Lively, as you know, is widely seen as the inspiration behind Uganda's notorious "kill the gays" legislation and the author of the book "The Pink Swastika," which claims that "the Nazi Party was conceived, organized and controlled throughout its short history by masculine-oriented male homosexuals who hid their sexual proclivities from the public, in part by publicly persecuting one group of their political enemies: out-of-the-closet effeminate-oriented homosexuals aligned with the German Communist Party."

Throckmorton has likewise been a vocal critic of Lively's "scholarship" and so the the geniuses at WallBuilders thought it would be a good idea of have Lively come on the program and explain that what is happening to Barton is the same thing that happened to him:

I had the same kind of run-in with Mr. Throckmorton myself. I'm the author of a history book along with Jewish researcher Kevin Abrams called "The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party." Very controversial but heavily documented and Mr. Throckmorton has attempted to attack my work in the very same way.

Why WallBuilders thinks this comparison helps Barton's cause is utterly beyond our comprehension. 

Green and Lively also suggested that Throckmorton is responsible for some sort of widespread conspiracy against anti-gay Religious Right leaders because he is favorably quoted on "really nasty anti-Christian blogs" such as Box Turtle Bulletin, Joe.My.God, and Truth Wins Out and engages in interaction with us here at Right Wing Watch:

Green: I noticed in your article you said just Google his name along with these really nasty anti-Christian blogs like Box Turtle Bulletin, Truth Wins Out, Joe.My.God, I mean they got some really nasty stuff on there ...

Lively: Very nasty.

Green: And apparently he's kind of a champion of these guys. They really kind of see him as a hero. They quote him all the time.

...

Lively: There's a lot of interaction there between him and some of the other people and the group Right Wing Watch ...

Green: Oh yeah, those guys love us. They just love us. They love us so much that they watch us all the time and listen to us all the time. They're always taking stuff out of context and out of quotes ... so to all of our friends at Right Wing Watch and these other liberal blogs and whatnot listening today, we just want to say "hi, love ya, Lord bless you."

Lively: Amen. Hey, I want these people to be saved. I want them to be turned from the foolishness of their positions but I'm not simply going to sit back when they're attacking people who are standing for biblical truth.

It is interesting that Green would accuse us taking things out of context while categotically refusing to even acknowledge all of the instances we have documented of Barton spreading falsehoods, such as claiming that Constitution directly quotes the Bible "verbatim":

Religious Righting the Republican Platform

Yesterday, the head of the Log Cabin Republicans said that the Republican Party platform might actually contain language saying that all Americans have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Imagine! Although the language included no reference to LGBT people, Log Cabin argued that it would be a “positive nod” toward them. 
A nearly imperceptible, practically meaningless nod, perhaps.  Anti-gay groups typically use similar rhetoric to soften their image.  Even the most stridently anti-gay Religious Right leaders insist they don’t hate gays, they love them so much they want to save them from their evil, wicked, Satanic, hell-bound lives.
Last night, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins provided a bit of a reality check. He sent a memo bragging that “our team has had several hands” working on the platform:
With a presence in the committee meetings, the FRC Action staff has been able to help delegates hold the line of social issues. Just this morning, our efforts made what was already a good document even better.
Before this week, the GOP’s draft platform included solid language defending the family – and FRC Action, in tandem with Eagle Forum, made it even stronger.
Perkins boasts that as a delegate on the subcommittee handling health care, education, and the family, “I was able to reinforce the language on marriage and successfully helped with amendments on conscience rights, abortion in health care, and stem cell research."
Joining Perkins on the Platform Committee is David Barton, the promoter of bogus “Christian nation” history whose recent book on Thomas Jefferson was slammed as grossly inaccurate by so many scholars that his Christian publishing house, Thomas Nelson, pulled the book from the shelves. But Barton’s abuses of the truth have never been enough to discredit him with his friends in the GOP. Barton is serving on the platform committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, where Tony Perkins assures us Barton led efforts that “fended off liberal attacks that would have watered down the wording” on marriage and “life.”
This morning, the Tampa Bay Times reports that the draft moving forward includes a call for a federal constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex couples from getting married anywhere in the U.S., and for a constitutional amendment applying the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment to “unborn children." There is no exception for allowing abortion in the case of rape or incest.
The full Platform Committee will take up the work of the subcommittees today.

Religious Right Groups Hosting Prayer Rally to kick off Republican National Convention

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton and anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly are participating in a prayer rally hosted by Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink and the Florida Family Policy Council in Tampa right before the opening of the Republican National Convention. CitizenLink head Tom Minnery, FFPC’s John Stemberger, former congressman J.C. Watts, Proposition 8 leader Jim Garlow, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver are also among the speakers at the Prayer Rally for America’s Future at the River Church. The rally will touch on the familiar themes of opposing abortion rights and gay rights…and also to pray for revival in “male leadership.”

Later that day, the River Church is hosting a Tea Party Nation rally with Bachmann, Herman Cain, Neal Boortz, Judson Phillips, Pam Bondi, Niger Innis and Rebecca Kleefisch.

The River Church is pastored by Rodney Howard-Browne, the Word-Faith preacher known for performing faith healings:

And unleashing "Holy Laughter":

Staver: Barton's Book is Required Reading for all Liberty University Law Students

As the controversy over David Barton's shoddy scholarship has roiled for the last several weeks, Mat Staver, dean of the Liberty University Law School, has been one of Barton's most ardent defenders, declaring that he "would put [his] money on David Barton any day" and even proclaiming that he'd be willing to put Barton up "against any historian and would have no question who would win in a debate."

So it was no surprise that Staver was the guest on "WallBuilders Live" today where he spent most of the time attacking one of Barton's main critic Warren Throckmorton, for not being a historian.  Of course, Barton is not a historian either and neither is Staver, for that matter.

But Staver did make an interesting revelation on the program when he explained that Barton's book "Original Intent" is required reading for every law student at Liberty Law School:

We actually use his book "Original Intent" in one of our law school classes. We have a lot of different resources and certainly one of those resources regarding original intent and the Founder's vision and views for this country, we use David Barton's book.

...

In "Foundations of Law" at Liberty University School of Law that every first year law school student goes through the first semester, we have David Barton's book as one of the books, and we have excerpts from that and chapters from it that we use. And our law school students read that and we talk about it and we look at the historical issues involving the Founders.

I began using that when I was teaching the course and now our Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Rena Lindevaldsen, uses that. One of our professors, Cynthia Dunbar, she uses that book in that "Foundations of Law" course as well and I know that there's other faculty at Liberty University that also are very much advocates of David Barton's work.

Todd Akin Wasn't 'Misspeaking' but Speaking for a Movement

Missouri Republican senate candidate and congressman Todd Akin is trying to run away from his claims that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy, insisting that he “misspoke” while making “off-the-cuff remarks,” even though they were in an interview with a local reporter. Akin made a similar half-apology following his claim that “at the heart of liberalism really is the hatred for God,” with his spokesman arguing that his claim during a radio interview were “off-the-cuff.”

Akin is a beloved figure of the Religious Right, and his campaign advertises endorsements from Concerned Women for America activists and activists like Mike Huckabee, Phyllis Schlafly, Michele Bachmann and David Barton. Barton, who recorded campaign ads calling Akin a “true Christian leader,” has compared Akin to John Witherspoon and other founding fathers. American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who hosted Akin on his radio show the day after the congressman’s primary victory, said people need to “lighten up” about his rape comments:

Previously, Akin said he wants to ban the morning after pill, worried marital rape laws will be used as “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” and sought to narrow the definition of “rape” in legislation. Akin also prominently advertises his endorsement from Schlafly, who has said women cannot be raped by their husbands.

Sarah Posner in Religion Dispatches notes that Akin, who has a masters in divinity, received his degree at a denomination which teaches that rape seldom leads to pregnancy and should not be relevant to laws on abortion rights, and as Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones pointed out, anti-choice luminary John Willke asserts that hormones make pregnancies resulting from rape “extremely rare” and Physicians for Life believes “the rate of pregnancy is actually very rare” because the stress from the rape “alter[s] bodily functions, the menstrual cycle included.”

Those opinions are commonplace among anti-choice activists.

Human Life International says “it is very useful to be able to show just how rare rape- and incest-caused pregnancies really are” in order to expose women who falsely state they were raped in order to have abortions: “Women who are willing to kill their own preborn children for mere convenience obviously see lying as a relatively small crime.”

40 Days for Life, the group which holds hundreds of protests outside of abortion clinics throughout the country, in “ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments” also says that pregnancies resulting from rape are “extremely rare” and “can be prevented”:

“What about a woman who is pregnant due to rape or incest?”

a. Pregnancy due to rape is extremely rare, and with proper treatment can be prevented.

b. Rape is never the fault of the child; the guilty party, not an innocent party, should be punished.

c. The violence of abortion parallels the violence of rate.

d. Abortion does not bring healing to a rape victim.

It remains to be seen which conservative leaders will condemn—or defend—Akin as pressure mounts on the candidate to quit the race.

Update: Fischer is now even claiming that “Todd Akin is right,” citing an article by Willke.

Glenn Beck's Hard-Hitting Interview With David Barton

As we noted yesterday, Glenn Beck is doing his best to address the current controversy over David Barton's shoddy scholarship by pretending to be searching for the truth while simultaneously doing all he can defend his close friend's reputation.

Thus, Beck' The Blaze ran a long piece that purported to independently examine the claims made by Barton along with the criticism of those claims and which found that, in every instance, the claims made by Barton were inaccurate, at best. But The Blaze simply could not bring itself to actually acknowledge Barton's untruths and instead bent over backwards to avoid reaching any conclusions.

Last night, Beck dedicated his entire program to "clearing the air" on the controversy ... by letting Barton make his case, unchallenged, for an entire hour.  

Just how hard-hitting was this interview that Beck conducted with Barton?  Why don't you take a look at these excepts we grabbed from Beck's ten minute opening monologue where he positively gushed about Barton while casting aspersions on this "campaign against one of America's most respected people" and just take a guess:

Beck says that he has never seen Barton "insist that he is right when the facts demonstrate otherwise," but we are assuming that that is because Beck never actually asks Barton to show him where the Constitution directly quotes the Bible "verbatim":

The David Barton-Rick Green Pity Party Drags On

David Barton and Rick Green continued their crusade to salvage Barton's tattered reputation by quickly putting together a two-part program on "WallBuilders Live" dedicated mostly to once again attacking Warren Throckmorton has unchristian and untrustworthy - which they know because, among other things, he uses information from Right Wing Watch.

But mostly they just wanted everyone to know that the mounting criticism of Barton's shoddy scholarship is really an effort to "disenfranchise Christians":

Barton: So this really is an attack, not at us per se; this is an attack on religious involvement in general from religious conservatives who have gotten into the process in the last twenty-five years.

Green: They recognize that you are kind of the voice of that for so long. I mean, you've been tireless over the last twenty-five years speaking across the nation and educating us on these things and putting those original documents on-line, putting out there in front of us. So, like you said, they know if they can go after you and somehow taint your image and create this image of you that isn't true that it helps to bring down the whole movement, it helps to kind of disenfranchise Christians, really, from being involved.

Once again, let us state unequivocally that people are not criticizing Barton's scholarship because he is a Christian; they are criticizing it because it is full of falsehoods; falsehoods that Barton's knowingly propagates in order to promote his political agenda.

When we point out that it is not true that "many of the clauses we find in the Constitution are literal, direct quotations out of the Bible," as Barton so regularly claims, it is not just a difference of opinion or a matter of interpretation, but rather undeniable proof that Barton has a documented history of intentionally making false claims.

So why wouldn't Throckmorton cite Right Wing Watch in making the case that Barton's history cannot be trusted?  Especially when one considers that we have dozens and dozens of documented examples of Barton saying false and absurd things? 

What Happens When Glenn Beck's 'The Blaze' Tries to Fact-Check David Barton?

For the last several weeks, The Blaze has been one of the few media outlets dedicating in-depth coverage to the controversy surrounding David Barton's shoddy scholarship.  Given that The Blaze was founded by Barton's BFF Glenn Beck, it is no surprise that most of the coverage of Barton and his work has been, shall we say, rather flattering and one-sided, like when The Blaze ran a piece taking a look at the criticisms that Barton's work has received only to follow it up with a piece and a Skype interview where Barton was allowed to respond unchallenged.

In light of the recent developments regarding Barton's work, The Blaze has once again served as the prime outlet through which Barton has been making his case in the media, though this time The Blaze's Faith Editor Billy Hallowell acknowledged many of the specific criticisms that Barton's work has received, primarily from Warren Throckmorton, and vowed to independently examine "some of the explicit issues" in contention. 

Yesterday, Hallowell finally released "The Blaze’s Extensive Analysis of Their Claims & Thomas Jefferson’s Faith" and the thing that is most remarkable about it is the extent to which Hallowell bends over backwards to avoid having to declare Barton wrong on all accounts.

Hallowell examined four specific issues where Barton and Throckmorton disagree on aspects related to Thomas Jefferson and his faith, and in every instance the documentary evidence supports the claims made by Throckmorton and refutes the claims made by Barton, yet the conclusions reached by The Blaze were consistently presented in a way that avoids labeling Barton's claims as false.

The first issue addressed was "The Jefferson Bible" and what is said about Jefferson's own religious view.  Barton claims Jefferson created it as a tool for use in evangelizing the Native Americans whereas Throckmorton claims Jefferson created it for his personal use, cutting out all the things he didn't believe so as to find the "diamonds in a dunghill."  Barton also claims that for most of his life, Jefferson was a rather orthodox Christian, but Throckmorton says that is not so, and even points out that Jefferson once refused to serve as godfather to a friend's child because he refused to affirm the trinity.

The Blaze's brave conclusion on this question was that "clearly, the two sides are in disagreement on a number of fronts when it comes to the so-called 'Jefferson Bible' and on Jefferson’s faith more generally."

The next issue was whether or not Thomas Jefferson could have freed his slaves, with Barton claiming there were dozens of laws in Virginia that prohibited him from doing so and imposing fines on those who did, whereas Throckmorton pointed out that there were multiple instances of owners freeing slaves and that the "fines" that Barton cites where really only clerk's fees.  It seems pretty obvious that Barton is wrong on this question, but once again The Blaze passed it off as a matter of interpretation:

Part of the debate on this point may be centered upon semantics. While Barton purportedly said that there were essentially fines against releasing slaves, Throckmorton said there was no evidence of this. However, the clerk’s fee, in some peoples’ eyes would be a “fine” of sorts. Still, others would distinguish between a clerk’s fee and a fine.

While Jefferson certainly could have freed his slaves based on the laws of that time, his finances may have been a problem preventing him from doing so. If Barton‘s contentions about Jefferson’s devotion to stopping the institution are accurate, one would assume that, if Jefferson had the means to free the slaves, he would have. On the flip side, if the president was immensely devoted to the cause, opponents like Throckmorton could argue that freeing these men and women should have taken precedence.

The next issue was Jefferson's role is supposedly financing the publication of a Bible.  Barton claims that Jefferson “put up the financial backing” for the printing, while Throckmorton notes that Jefferson merely subscribed to its publication.  But in Barton's view, they are one and the same because "subscribers really are investors." Obviously, the idea that someone who subscribes to a publication can be said to be a "funder" of that publication is nonsense ... but instead of calling Barton out on this, The Blaze once again hedged:

So, here we have a difference between the definitions surrounding “investor” versus “subscriber” (the primary definition of the former word is: “to put (money) to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value”).

Finally, The Blaze took a look at Barton's claim that Jefferson founded the University of Virginia as a Christian university,  a claim which Throckmorton disputes, pointing that there was no chapel on campus and Jefferson declared that "a professorship of theology should have no place in our institution." Throckmorton also noted that Barton, while quoting Jefferson to make this case in his book,  intentionally omitted a line from Jefferson's letter that undemined the very point he was trying to make ... and once again, The Blaze merely shrugged:

But, an omission doesn’t necessarily mean that the meaning of the overall message is debunked, of course. The difference here is over whether the school was planning to formerly align itself with these denominations — or whether it was simply attempting to respect its student body by providing access to numerous faiths.

Then, after demonstrating on in all four cases that the claims put forth by Barton could not be substantiated, The Blaze ended the article by turning to several of Barton's Religious Right allies to defend him:

Mathew D. Staver, vice-president of Liberty University, an evangelical higher educational facility, defended Barton. Aside from saying that he doesn’t put any credibility into “Throckmorton’s self-published ebook” (the book is also available in print, as we’ve noted), he dismissed the professor as “a psychologist [and] not [a] historian.”

“I have never heard him speak or write on Jefferson until now,” he continued,” going on to share some interesting information about his recent interaction with Thomas Nelson:

“I have not had the opportunity to look at all the allegations, but I have looked at some of Throckmorton‘s claims and Barton’s responses. I would put my money on David Barton any day. Herein lies a serious issue for Thomas Nelson. I was asked to review Throckmorton’s arguments, but before I could respond, Thomas Nelson shocked everyone by its knee jerk reaction to criticism by non-experts only two weeks or so after ask[ing] for my response. I am very disappointed in the way Thomas Nelson handled this matter.”

Staver also noted that Dr. Roger Schultz, dean of Liberty’s colleges of arts and sciences and an expert on American history, and Rena Lindevaldsen, associate dean for academic affairs at the university, both back Barton. In speaking of critics, Staver warned that they should “be prepared to eat crow.”

The Rev. James Robison, too, weighed in on the scenario. While not directly placing blame or accusing Barton of inaccuracies, he told TheBlaze about the importance of upholding godly values — and embracing truth. On a grander scale, he discussed the attempt to ongoing attempt by liberals to “minimize the importance of Judeo-Christian principles.”

“We must stand together against the liberal, progressive mind-set that is seeking to destroy what made us great. The bottom line is: Truth matters,” he continued. “We must exalt the truth and always be willing to be corrected by it. It is truth that makes us free, and only truth can keep us free.”

Robison went on to stress the double standard that he believes any and all Americans — and in this case, conservatives and evangelicals — risk falling prey to.

“If we expect our nation’s leaders to respond to truth and correction, each one of us must also be anxious to respond to the standards our founders put in place,” Robison continued. “Those standards corrected many founders who had signed them. I, for one, am anxious to be corrected and directed by God’s truth, which is marching on.”

If The Blaze's handling of these questions was bad, Robison's remarks are even worse considering that it was Robison who was sitting directly across from Barton when Barton falsely declared on his television program that the Constitution directly quotes the Bible "verbatim":

If Robison really believes that "the bottom line is: truth matters," maybe he ought to stop promoting Barton and his falsehoods until Barton starts to demonstrate a willingness to "exalt the truth and ... be corrected by it."

David Barton Can't Avoid Growing Criticism of his Pseudo-History

David Barton usually dismisses the daily Right Wing Watch blog posts and two reports on his sham history and litany of patently false and absurd assertions by calling us “radical left social guys” who don’t like America. Barton, who is not a historian and does not submit his work to peer review, says that academics who criticize his “scholarship” are simply elitists who are jealous of his popularity. But as Barton’s unraveling continues, he has now lashed out at his critics by attacking one of his critic’s religious beliefs and insisting that an anonymous group of scholars has approved his work.

But Messiah College professor John Fea notes that Barton’s ability to paint his critics “as godless and liberal” isn’t working as an increasing number of evangelical pastors have denounced him:

Through it all, Barton continues to insist that his interpretation of Thomas Jefferson is accurate despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. When legitimate historians criticize his work he paints them as godless and liberal. But can all these historians and critics be wrong? Apparently David Barton is the only one out there who has correctly interpreted Thomas Jefferson. This kind of arrogance not only shows a deep disrespect for the work of historians, many of whom have devoted their lives to the study of Jefferson, but, perhaps more importantly, it is an embarrassment to the Christian church. Perhaps Barton needs to take a lesson from Rev. Dudley Rutherford, the evangelical pastor who misinterpreted the story of the Star-Spangled Banner. When Rutherford, the pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch, California, learned that his YouTube presentation contained several inaccuracies, he quickly apologized and pledged to look deeper into the historical record.

But even if we allow Barton to dismiss non-Christian historians, he will have a hard time dismissing his fellow evangelicals. Many of his critics have very solid evangelical credentials. Throckmorton is a Romney supporter (or at least “likes” Romney on his Facebook page) and is a conservative evangelical Christian. When I spoke at Grove City College in January 2012, he apologized for having to miss one of my lectures. It turns out that Throckmorton is an elder at his local Evangelical Free Church and had to attend a meeting there on that particular night. Ray McMillian, one of the Cincinnati pastors who led the boycott of Thomas Nelson, runs an organization called “Race to Unity.” Speakers at Race to Unity events have included evangelical luminaries such as Tony Evans, Joseph Stowell, Ed Dobson, and Bill Hybels.

Gregg Frazer, one of the ten historians chosen by Jay Richards, teaches at The Masters College, a school founded by popular evangelical preacher John MacArthur. (Frazer has also written an excellent book on the religious beliefs of the founding fathers which I highly recommend). Glenn Sunshine is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL—certainly not a bastion of godless liberalism. Charles Dunn, who has endorsed Getting Jefferson Right, is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Government at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. Even the folks at WorldView Weekend, an organization that used to partner with Barton, have turned their collective backs on him.

Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics mentions that a number of Baptist scholars have consistently criticized Barton’s “dubious” work:

One of the nation's premier historians, Martin Marty, wrote critically of Barton's new book in May.

"Barton is publishing 'The Jefferson Lies,' which most historians would title 'Barton's Lies about Jefferson,'" said Marty.

A year earlier, Marty said that Barton cherry-picked material.

Another preeminent historian and a Baptist, Richard Pierard, referred to Barton's work as "pseudo-history."

Bruce Prescott, another Baptist scholar and leading advocate for the separation of church and state, wrote in 2010: "For more than two decades, David Barton has been deceiving many honest but naïve Christians with a revisionist history about our system of government that promotes the mythology of Christian nationalism."

In addition to columns, EthicsDaily.com has had news stories about Barton's role in shaping the public education curriculum in Texas.

Now, conservatives are challenging Barton's use of history and distancing themselves from his misuse of history. When Thomas Nelson Publishers backs away from Barton, one knows Barton's work is dubious.

But according to Barton’s deputy Rick Green, their group WallBuilders need not respond in a serious way to any criticism since criticism of them is just like the Nazis’ anti-Semitic propaganda.

Another Conservative Denounces David Barton's 'Prevarications' while Rick Green Compares Criticism of Barton to the Holocaust

As Kyle pointed out, David Barton is trying to salvage his collapsing support by yet again attacking the religious and political views of his critics, joining American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer today in smearing Warren Throckmorton as a tool of the left. Unfortunately for Barton, more and more conservatives are denouncing his right-wing pseudo-history on the heels of a scathing NPR report and the news that Thomas Nelson has yanked his latest book, “The Jefferson Lies,” from publication.

Now, the former dean of Regent University’s Robertson School of Government—named after televangelist Pat Robertson—and a leading conservative writer is adding his voice to the growing chorus of historians criticizing Barton’s sloppy scholarship. Regent University professor Charles Dunn endorsed the book, “Getting Jefferson Right,” written by professors Throckmorton and Michael Coulter of Grove City College, which is also an evangelical school. “Getting Jefferson Right” debunked many of the claims found in Barton’s book on Jefferson, and Dunn said the book “stands up for truth in scholarship against the prevarications in David Barton’s The Jefferson’s Lies”:

Getting Jefferson Right by Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter stands up for truth in scholarship against the prevarications in David Barton’s The Jefferson’s Lies. Because of the courage of Throckmorton and Coulter, Barton has now fallen from his pedestal of preeminence as a scholar of the early American era. Throckmorton and Coulter deserve the “Medal of Honor” for courage and probity.

Meanwhile, Barton’s deputy at WallBuilders and radio talk show co-host Rick Green who last week likened Barton’s critics to Adolf Hitler, is now comparing reasoned criticism of Barton to the Holocaust in another post denying that any of Barton’s claims have been “proven faulty”:

Hitler loved to give “examples” of Jewish “offenses” to support his effort to annihilate the Jewish people. Not only were they most often false “offenses,” even if they had all been true it would not have supported the conclusion that the entire race should be wiped out. Any intelligent observer of today’s debate must challenge the premises presented and make sure that the “facts” of the critics support the conclusion they want you to believe. In every accusation I have seen so far in this debate, no premise or conclusion of David Barton has been proven faulty.

Barton and Fischer Defend 'The Jefferson Lies' by Attacking Warren Throckmorton

When David Barton penned his first defense of his book "The Jefferson Lies," he asserted that his critics were motivated by "hostility toward me and my personal religious beliefs" and therefore could never point to anything that he got wrong and instead simply attack him for his faith and the worldview that he promotes. 

That is obviously nonsense, but today Barton appeared Bryan Fischer's radio program to discuss the developments that led to his book being pulled from print where the two men spent a good deal of the discussion personally attacking Warren Throckmorton, one of Barton's (and Fischer's) most vocal critics and the co-author of "Getting Jefferson Right."

The crux of their attack was that Throckmorton was once a true evangelical but then turned away from supporting the use of reparative therapy to "cure" gays, at which point he lost his moral compass.  Throckmorton is now, according to Barton, a radical member of the "Religious Left" .... and you know that because he associates with Right Wing Watch!

Apparently simply pointing out that the Constitution does not, in fact, directly quote the Bible verbatim now makes you a member of the Religious Left. 

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David Barton Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/21/2013, 5:29pm
David Barton will receive Ohio Christian University's very first Faith & Liberty Award for being such an awesome historian. When Ted Cruz spoke at a Texas Federation of Republican Women gathering over the weekend, he received an eight minute standing ovation. On a related note, Mike Huckabee says that people like Cruz are hurting the Republican Party. Speaking utterly without irony, Glenn Beck called Oprah Winfrey “the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people." James Robison has had enough: "I am declaring America is being... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/26/2013, 1:37pm
Today on "WallBuilders Live," David Barton doubled down on his assertion that there are literally no limits on the Second Amendment, declaring that individuals not only have an inalienable right to possess guns, but also tanks, rocket launchers, fighter jets, and anything else they can get their hands on; including, presumably, even nuclear bombs: The belief of the Second Amendment was you as a citizen have a right to defend yourself whether it be against a thug, an aggressor, a crook, or against your government. Now this is where a lot of liberals go through the roof; are you... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/20/2013, 12:09pm
As a general rule, the candidate who receives the most votes in an election is declared the winner.  But that would all change if the Family Research Council's Ken Blackwell gets his way and states start adopting a vote-rigging scheme that he is recommending whereby, in a presidential election, electoral votes would switch from winner-take-all allocations to a system where they were awarded according to congressional districts. As a result of such a switch, candidates who lose the overall popular vote in a state could still end up receiving a majority of that state's electoral... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/12/2013, 10:20am
One of the great things about David Barton is that once he has adopted a talking point, he continues to repeat it regardless of how absurd or out of date it has become. For example, earlier this week Barton appeared on "Praise the Lord" where he told hosts Matt and Laurie Crouch that legal abortion will not be an issue in twenty years because God has sent a new generation of teenagers who are overwhelmingly pro-life. Claiming that polls show that 72% of teens oppose abortion, Barton said they were "an answer that God has sent with a new generation; we just gotta train these... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/09/2013, 5:33pm
Don Byrd @  Baptist Joint Committee: Scalia: Church-State Standing is the “Greatest Miscarriage of Constitutional Justice.” Rachel Tabachnick @ Talk To Action: Significance of Sept. 11 Date of Ron Paul's Speech and the Russia-Centric Vision of the Fatima Center. Jeremy Hooper: Peter LaBarbera's useful role: Pulling mask off his movement's 'nice' talk. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Far-right lawmakers freelance in Egypt. Ben Dimiero & Coleman Lowndes: Newt Gingrich's CNN Pitch Reel. Washington Blade: Stolen document... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/09/2013, 1:08pm
Despite the fact that the Religious Right still loves him, there can be no doubt that David Barton's reputation has suffered in recent years due, in large part, to the efforts of many Christian historians and professors who have worked diligently to debunk his pseudo-history. Barton, of course, doesn't see it that way, as he explained to a conference last year when he declared that the real reason all these professors were attacking him is because they are hostile to any teaching about God. Asserting that the true purpose of history is to chronicle the way in which God has carried out... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/09/2013, 11:15am
While David Barton’s egregiously bad and outright dishonest scholarship makes him a laughable figure among historians, as Politico’s Stephanie Simon points out, his work continues to be popular among conservative activists and GOP politicians. Barton, himself a leader of the Texas Republican Party, pushes an avowedly partisan take on history while at the same time claiming that any criticism of his work is politically-motivated. Although Barton’s biggest critics include scholars from conservative and evangelical institutions, Republican leaders don’t... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/09/2013, 9:46am
Over the weekend, Politico ran a profile of David Barton which pointed out that he remains extremely popular with the Religious Right and members of Congress, despite the fact that he is the author of the "least credible history book in print" and his "scholarship" is laughable. The piece noted that even his supporters have been forced to secretly edit videos and programs posted on their websites in order to remove some of Barton's more egregious falsehoods, yet they continue to stand by him, as Barton brags that the mounting evidence of his fundamentally inaccurate... MORE >