David Barton

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. 

Boykin: 'The Bible is Referenced Four Times More Than Any Other Document in our Constitution'

The problem with David Barton's false statements and pseudo-history is not simply that it receives support from leaders like Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann,Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich; it is that his claims get picked up by other Religious Right speakers and, in doing so, get twisted even beyond Barton's original bogus claims. 

Case in point: today we came across these recent remarks delivered by Jerry Boykin where he claimed that "there is no question that there was divine inspiration" behind the writing of the Constitution, which is why "the Bible is referenced four times more than any other document in our Constitution": 

Of course, the Bible is not referenced at all in the Constitution ... but you will not be surprised to learn that Boykin's claim finds its inspiration in Barton's "America's Godly Heritage" (skip ahead to the 4:00 mark) though Barton simply claims that the Bible was cited by the Founding Fathers four times more than they cited figures like Montesquieu and Blackstone.

Yet even Barton's original claim was itself problematic and Boykin has only made it worse by falsely claiming that the Constitution directly references the Bible multiple times, when it obviously does nothing of the sort.  

Top Five Books Thomas Nelson Found More Credible Than David Barton's 'The Jefferson Lies'

The world’s largest Christian publisher Thomas Nelson has pulled David Barton’s book “The Jefferson Lies” because of Barton’s “unsupportable” claims regarding the third president’s views on religion. Barton’s deputy Rick Green accused academic “elitists” of acting like Adolf Hitler to smear Barton, while Barton ironically defended his book by insisting that a group of anonymous academics endorsed his work. Now that Thomas Nelson has recalled Barton’s book and removed all mention of it from its website, we wanted to see what books the publisher apparently found to be more credible than Barton’s “The Jefferson Lies”:

1. Todd Burpo’s “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back.” Pastor Todd Burpo describes how his 3-year-old son Colton went to heaven during surgery where he saw God literally “fit the entire world into his hands” and Jesus’ “sea-blue eyes”!

 

 

 

2. Rick Joyner’s “The Vision: A Two-in-One Volume of The Final Quest and The Call.” Thomas Nelson considers not one but two books by the self-proclaimed prophet who claimed to have miraculously made a dish of casserole multiply and stopped the Asian Flu, blamed Hurricane Katrina on homosexuality and warned of the West Coast’s impending doom, as more supportable than Barton’s “The Jefferson Lies.”

 

 

3. Hank Hanegraaff’s “The Creation Answer Book.” This book claims that humans and dinosaurs walked on the earth together and that the earth was created in six consecutive 24 hour days, apparently less of a stretch than Barton’s argument that Jefferson and the rest of the Founders were fundamentalist Christians.

 

 

 

4. John Hagee’s “The Beginning of the End.” The televangelist describes how the Antichrist will soon come to power, using microchips implanted in humans and hate crimes laws to secure his authority.

 

 

 

 

5. Michael Savage’s “Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder.” It’s a book called “Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder”!

 

 

 

 

 

Again, these are the books seen as more reliable than Barton’s “The Jefferson Lies.”

Rick Green, We Gladly Accept Your Challenge!

Last week, we noted how odd it was that seemingly nobody was coming to David Barton's defense after his shoddy scholarship was exposed by NPR and then Barton's publisher announced that it had "lost confidence" in his work and was ceasing publication and distribution of his book.  

Late on Friday night, WallBuilders finally issued a statement defending Barton's work and announcing that his "book has already been picked up by a much larger national publisher and distributor" and would soon be in publication again.  Given Barton's, shall we say, lack of credibility at the moment, we remain a bit skeptical and so the veracity of this announcement remains to be seen.

Around the same time, Barton's "WallBuilders Live" co-host and side-kick Rick Green took to his blog to pen a furious screed against Barton's detractors that was replete with references to Hitler and attacks on the "elitists" who criticize Barton's pseuo-history: 

Hitler and Alinsky were both masters of this tool. Hitler said: “All propaganda has to … accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”

These elitist professors and reporters attacking David Barton know that most people will not actually go read the supporting material behind David’s books…certainly not the bloggers and reporters who have so quickly jumped on the attack wagon. They are exactly the “least intelligent” Hitler was able to fool, Alinksy taught radicals to fool, and now even Christian “leaders” are joining.

...

These elitists do not enjoy seeing themselves replaced.

They believe they are the high priests of history and the law.

They do not want you to read the actual writings of the Founders because that negates the need for their position of being the keeper of the keys to history ... The elitist professors like Kidd, Throckmorton, Coulter, & Jenkinson write boring books that very few people read and they give boring lectures that are only attended by students forced to do so in order to get a grade.

When these guys see Barton telling history in a way that is BOTH accurate and fun and they see millions of people are captivated and want to learn more, then perhaps it could be just a little jealousy could be causing them to lash out at Barton with innuendoes backed by no actual merit. But the bigger issue is that they do not want to lose the power of being the keepers of the keys to history. They want their “interpretation” of historical figures to control how generations view history, rather than letting historical events and historical figures speak for themselves.

Near the end of his rant, Green issued a challenge for anyone to show "a specific inaccuracy or false claim by Barton" and promised to post them on his blog for everyone to see:

In the meantime, I’m still waiting for someone to show me a specific inaccuracy or false claim by Barton ... They are claiming that Barton is purposefully presenting a false picture of history and using inaccuracies and distortions to do so. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is these critics who are using inaccuracies, innuendo, and distortions to attack Barton in the first place.

If you can show me specifics that back up the image created by the critics innuendo, I’ll post it right here for the world to see.

Well, Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter wrote an entire book documenting Barton's false claims, so he could start there.  Or he could turn to Chris Rodda who tried to take up Green's challenge only to discover that Green refused to post her comments on his blog and instead wrote a follow-up post asserting that he was not about to allow his blog to be used by "critics who have proven themselves to be illogical and slanderous" to promote their "ridiculous, unrelated, illogical ramblings."

We unsuccessfully attempted to take up Green's challenge as well, but he is blocking our comments and refusing to allow them to appear on his blog ... so we will just do so here. 

Last week, we posted a collection of ten absurd claims that Barton has made along with ten demonstrably false claims that Barton has made and we hereby issue our own challenge to Green to defend them.  He doesn't even have to defend all of them; he merely has to show us just one place where the Constitution directly quotes the Bible "verbatim":

Ten Patently Absurd Claims Made by David Barton

As we noted earlier, it has not been a very good week for David Barton, so this seemed like a good opportunity to pull together a list of some of the most absurd things that he has said over the last year or so just to give people who might not be particularly familiar with Barton or his work a better sense of just what sort of claims he likes to puts forth.

Yesterday we posted a list a ten demonstrably false claims Barton has made in recent months but this list, though also filled with falsehoods, focuses more on the sorts of patently ridiculous claims that Barton is prone to making:

Given this sort of record, is anyone surprised that a publisher that agreed to print a book written by Barton ultimately had to recall it? 

The Most Perfectly Bartontonian Response Imaginable

As we noted yesterday, it has been a rough couple of days for the David Barton as first his shoddy scholarship was exposed by NPR and then the publisher of his latest book announced that it has "lost confidence" in it and was ceasing publication and distribution.

The Tennessean caught up with Barton to get his reaction to these developments and the criticism that his work has been receiving and he offered up the most perfectly Bartontonian defense one could have imagined:

Barton said he met with a different group of scholars recently and they approved of his work.

“I can’t tell you how many Ph.D.’s were in the room,” he said.

But he would not give any names, saying the scholars hadn’t given their permission for him do so.

While we are not surprised by Barton's defense, we have to admit that we are a bit shocked by the utter silence from the Religious Right to these developments because we have been searching high and low and have so far been unable to find any evidence of anyone stepping up to defend him or his work.  

Where are Glenn Beck, or Michele Bachmann, or Mike Huckabee, or Newt Gingrich or any of the others who routinely hail Barton as America's greatest historian?  Will nobody stand up and defend Barton in his hour of need? 

David Barton's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Today has not been a good day for David Barton.  First, NPR ran a devastating piece exposing his biased and shoddy scholarship and now the publisher of his book "The Jefferson Lies" has announced that it is pulling his book

The Thomas Nelson publishing company has decided to cease publication and distribution of David Barton’s controversial book, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson, saying it has “lost confidence in the book’s details.” (See “The David Barton controversy,” Aug. 8.)

Casey Francis Harrell, Thomas Nelson’s director of corporate communications, told me the publishing house “was contacted by a number of people expressing concerns about [The Jefferson Lies].” The company began to evaluate the criticisms, Harrell said, and “in the course of our review learned that there were some historical details included in the book that were not adequately supported. Because of these deficiencies we decided that it was in the best interest of our readers to stop the publication and distribution.”

Barton is currently preaching out in Hawaii, but we imagine he is not getting much rest or relaxation as he deals with this string of bad news.

Maybe he will be a little more careful about making demonstrably false statements from now on.

Ten Demonstrably False Claims Made by David Barton

In honor of all the attention that David Barton's shoddy scholarship is currently receiving, we thought we'd take some time to pull together a list of some of the demonstrably false statements that he has made in just the last several months alone.

Keep in mind, these are not simply crazy things that he has said - like life begins before conception or that Jesus opposed the Minimum Wage or that the government should regulate gay sex - but rather verifiably false claims that can be easily refuted with a basic Google search.

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center called him a "domestic terrorist." Nope.
  • There are no grocery stores within the city of Detroit. Wrong.
  • An elementary school student was yelled at for praying before lunch.  Didn't happen.
  • Mentions of Jesus were banned at military funerals.  Not quite.
  • Hate Crimes legislation was designed to imprison pastors. Please.
  • Abstinence will make you richer.  Guess again.
  • God created our system of elected government. Nice try.
  • The Constitution quotes the Bible "verbatim." Huh?
  • Again claiming the Constitution quotes the Bible "verbatim."  Still not true.
  • Many of the clauses in the Constitution are "direct quotations out of the Bible." Are you seeing a pattern here?

Those are just ten examples we pulled together from recent months, though there are several others we could have also included.

It is too bad that Barton refuses to engage in debates because it would be nice to see him defend his own claims instead of always just complaining that people are attacking him because of his Christian faith.

NPR Looks Into David Barton's Bunk History, Refusal to Respond to Criticism

NPR’s Barbara Bradley Hagerty profiled David Barton yesterday on “All Things Considered,” and in the devastating profile debunked many of the claims made by the right-wing pseudo-historian. Messiah College professor John Fea pointed out in the story that Barton, who will be a “a Texas representative to the GOP Platform Committee” at the upcoming Republican National Convention,” is a political activist who tries to present himself as a historian: “He’s in this for activism. He's in this for policy. He’s in this to make changes to our culture.”

In typical Barton fashion, he said any of his critics only “come after me” because “they disagree with me, and my religious faith, and my view on America.” Of course, Fea and other Barton critics quoted in the story, Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton and Rev. Ray McMillian of Cincinnati’s Oasis Church, are evangelical Christians. But since Barton can’t defend his own discredited “research,” he simply plays the victim and says he is being attacked for his patriotism and Christian beliefs.

Liberty University Law School dean Mat Staver, who made Barton required reading for his students, said he “would put him against any historian and would have no question who would win in a debate.”

Of course, Hagerty notes, Barton “has a policy of not debating anyone.”

Right Wing Watch readers will be familiar with many of Barton’s claims presented in the piece, including his assertion that the Constitution quotes the Bible “verbatim”:

“We looked up every citation Barton said was from the Bible, but not one of them checked out,” Hagerty writes.

Or that the Founders “already had the entire debate on creation-evolution,” long before Charles Darwin was born:

NPR also covered Barton’s belief that he will influence the minds of America’s future leaders through his work shaping in the Texas textbooks, “it’s in the pipe coming down”:

That is also the dream of Mike Huckabee, who wished that “all Americans will be forced, forced — at gunpoint, no less — to listen to every David Barton message”:

Todd Akin, Darling of the Religious Right, Wins Senate Primary

Missouri congressman Todd Akin eked out a win last night over  two rivals in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, adding to a list of Religious Right backed candidates winning competitive primaries, including Richard Mourdock of Indiana and Ted Cruz of Texas. Akin is more than just a dogmatic conservative-- he's a darling of the Religious Right, earning perfect 100% ratings from the Family Research Council, National Right to Life and Concerned Women for America . Akin has also worked Religious Right with activists Tony Perkins, Janet Porter, Rick Scarborough, Tom DeLay and David Barton, who even recorded an ad on his behalf.

Akin gained notoriety after he told Perkins on his radio show that “at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God,” a remark he refused to apologize for.

The congressman is also a virulent opponent of LGBT rights, pushing a ban on same-sex unions of any form in the military and as Think Progress noted, has co-sponsored nearly every piece of anti-gay legislation in the current House session. He thinks that “the liberal agenda has infiltrated our military” due to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and tried to overturn Washington, D.C.’s marriage equality law.

He took to the House Floor in 2006 with a warning that “anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.”

In a documentary for Truth in Action Ministries, he claimed that the left “will snuff out the light of freedom” by “rewriting the history of America,” and warned that the health care reform law is “an unbiblical threat” that violated the Ten Commandments. Akin even believes that Medicare is unconstitutional, wants to eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy and the Environmental Protect Agency, wants to impeach judges for “making decisions not based on the U.S. Constitution,” and likens student loan reform to “stage three cancer.”

Akin said that Thanksgiving should be remembered as a day to renounce “unbiblical” socialism and that the U.S. should use the Pilgrim society as a model because the Pilgrims used the Bible as a “blueprint” for economic, education and government policies.

He consistently pushes anti-choice legislation and even said that legal abortion is the reason for illegal immigration: “If you think about it we’ve aborted however many – 40 million – Americans through abortion. If those Americans had not been aborted, we might have more laborers here. Consequently, America is not reproducing itself in terms of our own internal repopulation of having a bunch of kids.”

Akin thanked God and Mike Huckabee for his primary success in his victory statement:

First, I want to give thanks to God our Creator who has blessed this campaign, heard your prayers, and answered them with victory. Through the months, we have seen frequent instances of His blessing and are reminded that with Him all things are possible!

I also wanted to thank Governor Mike Huckabee, who was with us from the start, stayed by our side, lifted us up in prayer, and tonight celebrates with us in victory. Governor Huckabee – I thank you, my family thanks you, and our volunteers thank you for your dedication to our campaign and devotion to saving the America we love.

From the depths of my heart I want to thank every single volunteer who served in our campaign and brought our winning message to the people of Missouri. Tonight one campaign ends…tomorrow another begins.

Is David Barton's Sloppy Scholarship Starting to Catch up With Him?

Pseudo-historian David Barton has been receiving significant criticism from conservative and evangelical historians who are aghast at his numerous and deliberate misrepresentations of American history, and yet Barton continues to claim that the only people who find trouble with his work are members of the liberal, secular, anti-American elite who just don’t like him exposing the “truth” about the founders. Barton said that he is like Jesus and chooses to ignore his critics, even though he usually attacks or sues them.

But as Barton’s star continues to rise in right-wing media and the Republican Party, his work has received even more scrutiny.

Today the evangelical publication WORLD Magazine ran a story about how a leading conservative Catholic became “increasingly troubled about Barton’s writings,” finding them to be full of “embarrassing factual errors, suspiciously selective quotes, and highly misleading claims.” The activist was none other than Jay Richards, who this year co-authored a conservative polemical with televangelist (and Barton-ally) James Robison and has also spoken alongside Glenn Beck, one of the top endorsers of Barton’s work. Richards even shared the stage with Barton at the Religious Right rally Beck and Robison co-hosted in Texas last week, Under God: Indivisible.

Richards said he spoke to ten “conservative Christian professors to assess Barton’s work,” and the responses were not good, as many criticized Barton for not only his much criticized book on Thomas Jefferson but also his sweeping claims about the founders at large.

Jay W. Richards, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, and author with James Robison of Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It’s Too Late, spoke alongside Barton at Christian conferences as recently as last month. Richards says in recent months he has grown increasingly troubled about Barton’s writings, so he asked 10 conservative Christian professors to assess Barton’s work.

Their response was negative. Some examples: Glenn Moots of Northwood University wrote that Barton in The Jefferson Lies is so eager to portray Jefferson as sympathetic to Christianity that he misses or omits obvious signs that Jefferson stood outside “orthodox, creedal, confessional Christianity.” A second professor, Glenn Sunshine of Central Connecticut State University, said that Barton’s characterization of Jefferson’s religious views is “unsupportable.” A third, Gregg Frazer of The Master’s College, evaluated Barton’s video America’s Godly Heritage and found many of its factual claims dubious, such as a statement that “52 of the 55 delegates at the Constitutional Convention were ‘orthodox, evangelical Christians.’” Barton told me he found that number in M.E. Bradford’s A Worthy Company.



A full-scale, newly published critique of Barton is coming from Professors Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter of Grove City College, a largely conservative Christian school in Pennsylvania. Their book Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President (Salem Grove Press), argues that Barton “is guilty of taking statements and actions out of context and simplifying historical circumstances.” For example, they charge that Barton, in explaining why Jefferson did not free his slaves, “seriously misrepresents or misunderstands (or both) the legal environment related to slavery.”



Richards emphasizes that he and the scholars he consulted about Barton are politically conservative evangelicals or Catholics. They largely agree with Barton’s belief that Christian principles played a major role in America’s founding, but Richards argues that Barton’s books and videos are full of “embarrassing factual errors, suspiciously selective quotes, and highly misleading claims.”

Barton and Beck to Run Two-Week Indoctrination Camps for College Students

Will your children soon be heading off to college and you are worried that, once they get there, all those liberal God-hating professors are going to fill their precious little heads with lies? 

Well, hope is on the way because David Barton announced during a web interview with The Blaze earlier today that he and Glenn Beck are thinking about starting to offer two-week long indoctrination camps designed to inoculate students with the official Barton-Beck version of history in an effort to help them ward off all the counterfeit history they will encounter in college:

Barton: The Concept of Adolescence is an Unbiblical 'Progressive Liberal Phenomenon'

On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green hosted Kay Wyma, author of the book "Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement" to discuss how to raise more responsible children.

Barton, for his part, declared that the entire concept of adolescence is unbiblical and was utterly foreign to the Founding Fathers since it is nothing but a modern, progressive liberal phenomenon:

Green: Isn't that the difference between the Founding Era and ours today in terms of expectations? They expected you to do a lot while you were young. You didn't wait until you were 40 to figure out what God had for you in your life.

Barton: They didn't know what the word "adolescent" meant. And, by the way, I checked with Rabbi [Daniel] Lapin, he says that is not a word that appears in Hebrew because it's not in the mind of God. God wasn't into adolescence, He was in to having you become productive, having you be fruitful, having your produce and so that's why there was no adolescence in the Founding Era; that's a modern phenomenon, that's a progressive liberal phenomenon is adolescence. 

Religious Right and Dominionist Leaders Come Together (Again) for 'America for Jesus'

Back in February, we reported that pastor Anne Gimenez was in the process of recreating the 1980 Washington for Jesus rally, which she led with her late husband, Bishop John Gimenez. The new election-oriented prayer rally, called America for Jesus, is scheduled to be held in Philadelphia’s Independence Mall in September and has already received the endorsements of far-right dominionists including Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, Jim Garlow and Harry Jackson.

But as with Rick Perry’s The Response and Lou Engle’s The Call prayer rallies, it was only a matter of time before more mainstream Religious Right leaders linked arms with their more openly dominionists brethren.

The latest America for Jesus solicitation mentions support from not only New Apostolic Reformation leaders like Che Ahn, Rick Joyner, Chuck Pierce, Doug Stringer and Barbara Yoder, but also from David Barton of WallBuilders, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel. Even televangelists Kenneth Copeland, Gordon Robertson and John Hagee have endorsed the event.

In promotional materials [pdf], the event’s organizers use language closely centered around Seven Mountains dominionism, which calls for conservative Christians to take dominion over the seven spheres of society: family; arts and entertainment; business; education; religion and the church; media; and government. They also dabble in some Christian Nation revisionist history, using two fake quotes attributed to founding fathers George Washington (“It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible”) and James Madison (“We have staked the future upon our capacity to sustain ourselves according the Ten Commandments of God”).

The Bible provides guiding principles for all spheres of society: government, family, church, science and technology, economics and business, education, media and communications, and arts and entertainment. Every book of the Bible gives us instruction and principles on how to establish God’s kingdom purposes on earth.

If we live by His commands in our own lives, we will impact people around us and their spheres of society. And if Christian leaders in these spheres will uphold God’s principles in their positions of influence, God’s blessings will be multiplied in a healthy and wealthy society….God’s kingdom purposes will come forth on earth as in heaven!

David Barton likens Same-Sex Marriage to Horse, Dog Marriage

Right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton, who compares homosexuality to smoking and celebrates the fact that there isn’t a cure for AIDS, said today on WallBuilders Live! with co-host Rick Green that same-sex marriage is much like letting people marry horses or dogs. Discussing the Defense of Marriage Act, Barton warned that marriage equality proponents may try to “evangelize” their belief that “marriage shouldn’t be between a man and a woman” since “that’s unfair for two men who want to be together, or two women, or a horse and a dog, or whatever it is.”

Barton: Other courts, other areas started saying ‘well you know we can’t really justify this position anymore, marriage shouldn’t be between a man and a woman, that’s unfair for two men who want to be together, or two women, or a horse and a dog, or whatever it is,’ so at that point as it looked like the states were starting to mess around the problem you have is the contracts in one state are supposed to be honored by another. So if I make a business contract with you in Texas and we move to Oklahoma, that contract is going to be recognized in Oklahoma. Well on marriage, that’s a contract. So if one state suddenly says we want same-sex marriage and in Texas we say we don’t, just because you got married in Vermont and moved to Texas doesn’t mean we have to recognize your contract.

So that ability of saying one contract is going to be forced on another caused Congress to act in 1996 and say look the federal government and the states both have to deal with marriage, now here’s what we’re doing, on the federal level we are telling you marriage is a man and a woman and everything that deals with marriage on the federal level is going to be considered a man and a woman. They said as far as the states, you states are not going to be bound by the marriage decision of another state. Green: You do it the way you want to do it and don’t expect to be able to export that to another state.

Barton: Don’t use that to try to evangelize the other forty-nine states.

Green: And we won’t let the other states force it on you.

Barton: That’s right.

Ed Meese, who served as attorney general under Ronald Reagan, told Barton and Green that the legalization of same-sex marriage in several states “just shows how the culture has deteriorated over two centuries,” and asserted that same-sex marriage is an attempt to “defy nature.”

Green: It’s almost like they are making it up on the fly, the actual language of the Constitution doesn’t matter; it’s what these judges that happen to be on the bench at the time think it should mean.

Meese: The founders, we go back to the founders, the reason that they didn’t put something in the Constitution to say that marriage is the union of a man and a woman is nobody would have even thought at that time that there could be any other. It just shows how the culture has deteriorated over two centuries.



Green: You also mention that the Defense of Marriage Act should control what’s happening on the military side of things. How have they managed to push through so much with the military in the Obama administration on this issue working around DOMA?

Meese: Well that’s still an open issue and that’s why DOMA is very important. For example, whether chaplains should be required to participate in a homosexual marriage ceremony; whether that would be required as part of their duties, that’s where DOMA is a very important statute. This idea that somehow there is some obscure right in the Constitution to defy nature, as they do in homosexual marriage, is just ludicrous.

Barton: American Revolution was not 'Rebellion' but 'Obedience to God'

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post featuring a video of Bryan Fischer rewriting American history in order to claim that the American Revolution was not a "rebellion" because, according to the Bible, all governing authorities have been established by God and therefore rebellion against them is rebellion against God.

We should have known that this idea originated with David Barton, who discussed it on "WallBuilders Live" today, claiming that the American Revolution was actually "obedience to God":

Barton: A lot of people get lost over the American Revolution, they say there is no way America could ever be blessed because it was born out of rebellion, they rebelled against God. No, not if you understand civil disobedience and what the Biblical issues are. Now, if you went to a public school and you were told that the Revolution was only about taxation without representation, then you can say, yeah, that was rebellion. But that's not the only issue that was there and that's one of the things that public schools are not taught is the other twenty-six clauses of the Declaration.

There is a reason that the first national motto proposed ... was "rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." There's a reason for that. We're not trying to disobey but obedience to God causes us to rebel against tyrants who tell us to do the opposite of what God said.

Rick Green: So even that phrase that they used really was encapsulating the philosophy and the Biblical foundation of when it's okay, when it's right, actually when you should say "no" to government.

Barton: If you have a tyrant that's telling you that you can't do what God told you to do, then rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. And that's what they said; they said we're not in rebellion, we're in complete submission to God on this. 

Barton Won't Stop Lying, Again Falsely Claims SPLC Called Him a 'Domestic Terrorist'

It  has become quite clear by now that David Barton does not particularly care about the accuracy of the things he says and will flagrantly misrepresent just about anything if it serves his purpose.

Last week, we posted a clip in which Barton claimed that the Southern Poverty Law Center had placed him on a list of the "25 greatest domestic terrorists in America" simply because he loves God and loves America.  As we pointed out, the SPLC did nothing of the sort, but rather simply included him in a report highlighting "30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right."

So it is undeniably false for Barton to claim that the SPLC ever called him a domestic terrorist or anything of the sort ... but Barton doesn't care and went ahead and repeated the claim on his radio program today:

Barton: The Southern Poverty Law Center now has me as one of the thirty terrorists to be watched in America because I combine God and country and they said that really makes you a terrorist. So I'm on the list of thirty that need to be watched as domestic terrorists because I think God and country go together ... Isn't this nuts?

Green: These guys are so off-track. The people that want to save the country, they're worried about and not worried about the ones that want to destroy it.

Barton: When you look at groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, when you look at the Obama administration we've know all along that Communists and Secularists hate God and they hate country. There's nothing new about that. And the fact that they may have an old traditional name or the fact that they may have the name of a government agency doesn't change the philosophy of the people are are in it. And the people that are in it right now in the Southern Poverty Law Center, I mean you got just a ton of communist-thinking people in there and they've always hated God and they've always hated country, so I'm glad to be on the anti-communist list, which is what it amounts to.

Plot Thickens in Alabama Public TV Controversy Involving David Barton's Pseudo-History

Last month we reported on a suspicious move by the Alabama Educational Television Commission, which oversees Alabama Public Television, to fire two television managers potentially over a disagreement on airing a series produced by right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton. It appeared that the two managers did not feel comfortable airing Barton’s discredited and partisan “history” material, which was pushed on them by a local Republican official and member of the commission.

Allan Pizatto, who along with fellow manager Pauline Howland was fired by the commission, has now filed a civil suit which “alleges that commissioners violated the state's Open Meetings Act by discussing Pizzato's job performance during a closed executive session.” “The suit also reveals that Pizzato's attorneys have been unable to obtain from the commission's attorneys audio recordings and other related materials from the March and June commission meetings,” Current Public Media reports, “During those meetings, disagreements between Pizzato and commissioners surfaced over religious programming, and commission members imposed a new mission statement for the station.”

According to the lawsuit [pdf], “certain members of the Commission wanted to impose their own personal, political and religious views” on the commission and staff to guide the station’s programming, and at least one commissioner “has publicly expressed support for and aligned himself with a political group with a stated goal of defunding public broadcasting.” The Plaintiff also notes that a mass exodus of staffer and fundraisers followed the firings and that a number of commissioners “made threats against the Plaintiff.”

From the beginning of his tenure as Executive Director of Alabama Public Television in 2000 until his termination, Plaintiff received near universal acclaim for his leadership including, until recent months, from members of the Commission.

Several months ago, it became clear that certain members of the Commission wanted to impose their own personal, political and religious views on other members of the Commission, the programming that aired on Alabama Public Television, the staff, and the direction of the station itself.

Certain members of the Commission have also made threats against Plaintiff.



After the terminations of Plaintiff and Howland, all of the active, non-Commission members of Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority, a statutorily-created public nonprofit fundraising entity, and five of the seven members of the Alabama Television Foundation Board of Directors, a private entity charged with helping Alabama Public Television raise money, resigned from their respective entities.

The mass resignation of these individuals represented the virtual eradication of the independent business and community leaders who served Alabama Public Television in a fundraising capacity.

At least one of the Commissioners has publicly expressed support for and aligned himself with a political group with a stated goal of defunding public broadcasting. This conflicts with the Commission’s statutory duty of controlling and supervising the use of channels reserved by the Federal Communications Commission to Alabama for noncommercial, educational use.
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David Barton Posts Archive

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 >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/06/2013, 2:26pm
Today on "WallBuilders Live," David Barton returned to one of his favorite themes: that all true science and knowledge must correspond to the Bible. As Barton has said before, all science that contradicts the Bible is false science. As such, it will eventually be realized that things like salt are good for you because that is what the Bible says; in fact, you can basically just take all of your healthcare recommendations straight from Bible. Today, Barton added that everything the Bible says on every issue will eventually be confirmed by science:  Barton: If God tells you to... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/05/2013, 5:30pm
The American Family Association is ending its three-year long boycott against Home Depot, claiming that the company has stopped making contributions to pro-gay causes.  We look forward to Home Depot responding by pointing out that the AFA is lying. Focus on the Family's Kim Trobee says gay activists are eager to "force an entire nation into submission." David Barton has endorsed Georgia State Senator Barry Loudermilk, which makes sense given that Loudermilk mindlessly repeats Barton's nonsense. Rush Limbaugh literally has a new book coming out entitled... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/04/2013, 3:05pm
Last week, we posted a clip of Bryan Fischer explaining that liberals can never be wise because they do not have the "fear of the Lord" that is required for true wisdom. It comes as no surprise that a similar view is shared by David Barton, who claims that our entire educational system was based on the assertion from Proverbs that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." As such, Barton said, if someone wants to be a good scientist or mathematician, they must first have the proper "fear of the Lord." But in recent decades, Barton lamented, education... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/28/2013, 1:57pm
Rep. John Fleming was the guest on "WallBuilders Live" today, discussing his effort to prevent the military from creating positions for atheist chaplains. After Fleming alleged that the proposal itself was nothing more than an effort to drive religion out of the military, David Barton blamed the entire thing on the Supreme Court, delivering a convoluted argument alleging that atheism is itself a religion and therefore should be banned from public school in the name of separation of church and state: The Supreme Court opened the door to all of this. Back in decisions like U.S. vs... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/26/2013, 10:41am
As we noted several months ago, Glenn Beck has transformed his The Blaze network into a public policy organization dedicated to fighting the implementation of Common Core because he is convinced that it is going to lead to a 1984-like learning environment where students are strapped to computers and monitored at all times. Leading this effort has been none other than David Barton, who, after hosting another gathering of anti-Common Core actvists and state legislators at Beck's headquarters, sat in for Beck on his television program on Friday for a hour-long program dedicated to Common... MORE >