David Barton

Barton: 'I Don't Care What the Supreme Court Says,' Homosexuality Should be Illegal

Earlier this year, we stumbled upon a few episodes of David Barton's "Building on the American Heritage Series" that had been posted on the TBN website. Today, while searching form something else, we noticed that several other episodes from that same series had also been posted and so we are working our way through them.

Near the end of the episode entitled "Politics In The Pulpit," Barton made a point that the purpose of the church is not to create harmony or unity among the congregants but to preach the word of God's and support God's laws.  As such, Barton cited 1 Timothy 1:8-10 in order to declare that the purpose of the law is to punish ungodly and sinful (like gays) regardless of what the Supreme Court rules:

Once Again, Barton Falsely Claims the Constitution Reflects the Bible 'Verbatim'

Last week we wrote another post in our on-going series highlighting social and governmental institutional that David Barton claims came directly out of the Bible.  And today we found a presentation that Barton delivered last month where he once again made all of these now standard claims, but this time with the additional claim that the Constitution's provision regarding treason "is a verbatim quote out of Ezekiel 18:20":

Here is Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution: 

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

And here is Ezekiel 18:20:

The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

This is the second time that Barton has falsely claimed that a specific provision in the Constitution reflects Biblical language verbatim, leading us to suspect that he does not actually know what the word "verbatim" means.

Jesus, David Barton, and the Sixth Amendment

David Barton's insistence that various social institutions and governmental provisions have come verbatim out of the Bible has reached its logical culmination with the release of a new audio presentation entitled "God in the Constitution" in which Barton seeks to lay out the seven specific ways in which Constitution is "explicitly Christian [in] nature."

The hour-long program consisted primarily of various familiar claims Barton has made over the years, merely consolidated into one presentation.  But Barton did add a few new wrinkles, like his assertion that every one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights was rooted in the Bible, including the Sixth Amendment's provision guaranteeing the accused the right to confront their witnesses, which Barton claimed was rooted in the passage about of Jesus and the woman accused of adultery:

Now how can you say Due Process protections come out of the Bible? Due Process is the right to a trial by jury, the right to compel witnesses on your behalf, the right to confront your accuser, all these different things that we have in the 4th-8th Amendment. How in the world can that come out of the Bible? Well, the answer is real simple ... You have trials throughout the Bible. Peter was in several trials, Paul was in several trials, Jesus was in trials. Jesus was actually supposed to be judge over a trial - they brought to him the woman caught in adultery and He looked around and said "woman, where are your accusers?" In other words, what are you doing here and your accusers aren't here to make the accusation, you can't do hearsay charges.

Of course, just as he does with Matthew 20's Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, Barton totally misrepresents the context and message of this passage, which appears in John 8: 2-11:

And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down and taught them.

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said unto Him, “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned but what sayest thou?”

This they said testing Him, that they might have cause to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not.

So when they continued asking Him, He lifted Himself up and said unto them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

And they who heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the eldest even unto the last, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted Himself up and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?”

She said, “No man, Lord.” And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.”

First of all, the woman was not brought to Jesus for trial, but rather as a test to try and entrap Him.  And secondly, the reason there were no accusers left to condemn the woman was because they had all dispersed after Jesus delivered his famous "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" statement. 

The lesson of this passage is that all people are guilty of sin and in need of repentance and forgiveness ... but Barton presents it as proof that our Constitution is based specifically on the Bible.

How Prayer Ended the Drought in Texas and Stopped the BP Oil Spill

As we have noted before, Rick Scarborough of Vision America is organizing an effort called 40 Days to Save America which seeks to mobilize Christians who will engage in forty days of prayer, fasting and repentance leading up to the election. As part of the organizing effort, Scarborough has been hosting conference calls featuring Republican members of Congress and Religious Right leaders. 

Earlier this month, Scarborough teamed up for a call with David Barton, who discussed the importance and effectiveness of prayer and fasting, which then prompted a discussion between the two about how Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally ended the drought in Texas as well as how prayer controlled the BP oil spill along the Gulf Coast:

Scarborough: Our Governor here in the state of Texas called for a day of prayer and fasting last May. We were at the height of a drought that meteorologists were telling us was part of a cycle that would last perhaps for a number of years and that it would take us years to get our lake levels back up and so forth. It occurs to me that, not immediately, but after that prayer event that thirty thousand people participated in, we started getting rain and in less than a year, our lakes are full, our fields are brimming. A lot of people seem not to connect the dots on that, but we've got a fresh illustration of how God honors prayer.

Barton: Yeah, that's one of those many things that historians will looks back upon and say 'look at the correlation.' But I look back over the last few years at Sonny Perdue of Georgia who called, in the middle of their drought - that was an unprecedented century drought that they had there - he called for prayer and within three days they had rain falling in Georgia again. They're back in good condition.

I recall what happened with the oil spill in the Gulf, how all the Gulf governors except for Charlie Crist of Florida got together and called for a time of prayer that God would mitigate the damage of that and cause that thing to be sealed. And guess what? All the expected damage along the shorelines to all the wildlife, it didn't happen.

Barton Presents Legend as Fact at Capitol Prayer Event

As we noted in our earlier post about the prayer event recently held in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol, the event was called "Washington: A Man of Prayer" and was organized around honoring the 223rd anniversary of George Washington's inauguration.

As such, it was totally expected that David Barton would be there to present his patented brand of pseudo-history, which he did when he trotted out his favorite myth about Washington as captured in this famous painting that Barton used for the cover of one of his books:

As Barton relates the tale, a British loyalist named Issac Potts owned a home near where Washington was camped at Valley Forge and one day stumbled upon Washington alone in the woods making supplication to God on behalf of his army and the American cause, causing Potts to rush home and declare to his wife that the British cause was lost since God would most assuredly answer the prayers of any man who prayed with such conviction:

You will surely be shocked to learn that, contrary to Barton's assertion, this apocryphal incident never actually happened, as History Professor John Fea explained in his book "Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?:

There is one major problem with Potts's story of Washington praying at Valley Forge - it probably did not happen. While it is likely that Washington prayed while he was with the army at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-1778, it is unlikely that the story reported by Potts, memorialized in paintings and read to millions of schoolchildren, is anything more than legend. It was first told in the seventeenth edition (1816) of Mason Lock Weem's Life of Washington. Weems claimed to have heard it directly from Potts, his "good old FRIEND." Potts may have owned the house where Washington stayed at Valley Forge, but his aunt Deborah Potts Hewes was living there alone at the time. Indeed, Potts was probably not even residing in Valley Forge during the encampment. And he was definitely not married.  It would be another twenty-five years before he wed Sarah, making a conversation with her in the wake of the supposed Washington prayer impossible. Another version of the story, which appeared in the diary of Reverend Nathaniel Randolph Snowden, claims that it was John Potts, Issac's brother, who heard Washington praying. These discrepancies, coupled with the fact that Weems was known for writing stories about Washington based upon scanty evidence, have led historians to discredit it.

As we have said before, just because something might be demonstrably untrue, that is not going to stop Barton from repeating it.

Barton Continues to Peddle the Myth of Raymond Raines

Just last week David Barton was on The Daily Show where he trotted out a nearly twenty year old piece of right-wing mythology about some poor public school student who was reportedly yanked out of his chair and yelled at by a teacher merely for praying before eating his lunch in the school cafeteria.

As we pointed out, this incident took place way back in 1994 and involved a student named Raymond Raines who, contrary to Barton's claims, was not yelled at for praying before lunch, but rather for fighting in the cafeteria.

But just because something might be demonstrably untrue, that is not going to stop Barton from repeating it, which he did again today on "WallBuilders Live":

Here's a good one: [In] St Louis, Missouri, an elementary student was praying over his lunch; a school official jerked him out of his seat - lifted him up physically out of his seat - reprimanded him in front of the other students for praying over his lunch and took him to the principal who ordered him to stop praying over his lunch. Can you believe that?

No, as a matter of fact, we cannot believe that ... because it is not true. 

David Barton, Jon Stewart, and the Myth of Raymond Raines

Last night, David Barton was the guest on "The Daily Show," ostensibly to discuss his new book "The Jefferson Lies." And while Barton did discuss his book a bit at the beginning of the interview, most of the extended discussion revolved around the intersection of faith and public policy and on issues like public prayer and the Obama administration's contraception mandate.

During the first part of the interview (starting around the 5:00 mark,) Jon Stewart made the point that, looking at things from a non-Christian or non-religious perspective, Christianity seems pretty safe in America and rather ubiquitous, contrary to Barton's claims that it is constantly under attack.

Barton responded that that was not necessarily the case, especially when it comes to public policy issues, where he cited an incident in St. Louis where a five year old student was supposedly yanked out of his chair and yelled at by a teacher merely for praying before eating his lunch in the school cafeteria:

Stewart was justifiably skeptical of this story, but Barton insisted that it had happened and that the school principal also yelled at the student for praying, which prompted Stewart to declare that, if that was the case, then those school officials are "idiots" and the discussion moved on. 

But Stewart's initial skepticism was correct, though it helps to be rather well-versed in Religious Right mythology in order to recognize the incident that Barton was citing.

This myth involved a student named Raymond Raines and it has been around since 1994 when Newt Gingrich and various Religious Right leaders frist started making Raymond's sorry tale the centerpiece of their campaign to pass a constitutional amendment protecting the right to expressions of faith ... despite the fact that it wasn't true:

The St. Louis case concerned 10-year-old Raymond Raines who, his mother said, was given detention because he sought to pray over his lunch. When lawyers for the Rutherford Institute heard about the case, they filed a lawsuit against the principal and issued a press release denouncing the school system.

"I know it sounds bizarre, but we have substantial evidence to believe it happened," said Timothy Belz, the St. Louis lawyer working with the Rutherford Institute.

On NBC-TV's "Meet the Press," Gingrich described the situation as "a real case about a real child. Should it be possible for the government to punish you if you say grace over your lunch? That's what we used to think of Russian behavior when they were the Soviet Union."

But school officials said the incident never happened. Rather, they said, Raymond was disciplined for fighting in the cafeteria.

"I can tell you he was not reprimanded for praying," said Kenneth Brostron, the school's lawyer. "Do you think it makes sense that the teachers would look around the cafeteria and target the one student who was praying quietly at his seat?"

So despite the fact that this incident took place nearly twenty years ago - and never actually happened - David Barton is still citing it today as proof that Christianity is under attack in America.

Next Religious Right Prayer Event in the Capitol's Statuary Hall

Yesterday, Pastor Dan Cummins spoke to Chelsen Vicari of Concerned Women for America to publicize a May 8th prayer event, hosted by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and endorsed by Speaker John Boehner, in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall that Cummins said was inspired by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response:

CWA is sponsoring a similar event called “Prayer in the People’s House,” and Cummis mentioned that David Barton, Jim Garlow, Harry Jackson, Alveda King and Doug Stringer, all of whom also participated in The Response, will be leading the prayer meeting in the Capitol:

Cummins: As part of the activities for National Day of Prayer, we are inviting members of the Congress, of the House and Senate, and their staff, to participate in this prayer event in probably the most sacred hall of the Capitol, Statuary Hall.

Vicari: That sounds fabulous, in conjunction to this event there is an event that our listeners can actually partake in and that’s Prayer in the People’s House, can you tell us about that?

Cummins: While we are having this event in the Capitol, in fact, let me first tell you some of the speakers that will be participating in this event for our members of Congress. Dr. Jim Garlow of Skyline Wesleyan Church and also Renewing American Leadership will be with us, Bishop Harry Jackson from High Impact Leadership, Dr. Doug Stringer of Somebody Cares International, Dr. Alveda King from Priest for Life, and everybody knows historian David Barton.

Barton of course is best known for his revisionist, pro-Republican writings about American history, Garlow and Jackson for their staunch anti-gay activism, King for her role in the anti-choice movement, and Stringer, who was heavily involved in putting together The Response, for blaming the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on abortion rights and homosexuality.

Barton Suggests We Can't Cure AIDS because it is Punishment for Sin

As we have noted before, Friday episodes of "WallBuilders Live" are generally dedicated to spreading what David Barton and Rick Green consider to be "good news from around the nation the media doesn't report."

We have also pointed out before that Barton believes that everything in our society ought to be governed by what is in the Bible, even our medical practices ... and today Barton returned to this topic, claiming that science cannot create a cure or vaccine for AIDS and that abortion causes breast cancer and mental health problems, proclaiming that to be "good news" because it proves that the Bible is correct:

There's a passage that I love in Romans 1 - I don't love what the topic is - but it talks about homosexuality and it says that they will receive in their bodies the penalties of their behavior. And the Bible again, it's right every time, and studies keep proving that and that's why AIDS has been something they haven't discovered a cure for or a vaccine for, because it's the fastest self-mutating virus known to mankind. Every time they just about get a vaccine discovered for it, it transmutes into something new and they have to start over again. And that goes to what God says, hey you're going to bear in your body the consequences of this homosexual behavior.

The same thing goes with abortion and now we're getting studies, and these are somewhat negative studies, but they're positive studies in that they prove that the Bible is right. So I want to read you the results of a couple of new studies that are out. Here's a new study that out, now this is the second study that shows that women who have abortions double the risk of mental health problems ... Now that's not good news; the good news in this is God says "don't kill unborn babies."

Now, along the same thing, here's another study, a new study now shows those who have abortions nearly triple the risk of breast cancer. It's bad news, but it's good news in the sense that it does show that the Bible is right. When God says don't kill those unborn babies, there's a reason. And He tells us in Deuteronomy 6:24 and Joshua 1:8, everything I tell you to do is for your good, for your benefit, so that you can prosper and you can have success. So when he tells us not to do this stuff, whether it's homosexual behavior or whether its abortion, hey it's for our benefit he tells us not to do it and now studies prove that to be true.

Barton: Solution to Concerns About Muslims in Congress is to Convert them to Christianity

Last month, we wrote a post featuring a video clip from a presentation that David Barton delivered just before Memorial Day back in 2007 in which he made the case that God was pro-war and even claimed that the United States was one more bombing run away from winning the war in Vietnam when our troops were withdrawn.

Today, we stumbled upon a similar presentation Barton delivered at Calvary Chapel in California in 2009 on the anniversary of 9/11.  In it, Barton was making his standard claim that War on Terror actually goes back to the 1800s when the US was engaged in conflict with Barbary pirates, whom Barton claims were really “Muslim terrorists.” 

During the presentation, Barton mentioned the election of Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and took issue [PDF] with the claim that Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, claiming that John Randolph of Virginia, who served in Congress from 1799-1834, was really the first Muslim to be elected.  And Barton insisted that though it is worrisome to have a Muslim in Congress when we are engaged in the War on Terror, the solution is simply to convert Ellison to Christianity, just as Randolph was reportedly converted by Francis Scott Key:

You may remember back in January of 2005 [sic], Keith Ellison from the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota was sworn in to Congress on the Quran - he refused to take the oath on the Bible, said I'm going to take it on the Quran. He was reported to be the first Muslim member on Congress ... Now it distressed a lot of people that we had a Muslim sworn into Congress at a time of a global war on terror. And it's interesting while the media said he's the first Muslim sworn into Congress, I'm not sure that's the case because if you go back to Founding Father John Randolph of Roanoke ... he said "I hated Christianity and I loved Islam." He made it real clear ...

So here we have a professing Islamic person, Muslim, serving in the House of Representatives? What do we do with that? Real simple. Francis Scott Key knew exactly what to do: he converted him and led him to Christ. Real simple way to take care of the thing.

Francis Scott Key did the Star Spangled Banner, but he was an outspoken Christian, he was a strong evangelist and he led John Randolph of Roanoke to Jesus Christ and he became a firm and committed Christian and that's the simplest way to handle the concerns that people may have about who is serving in Congress. So, get another Francis Scott Key.

John Hagee Claims Saudis are 'Poisoning the Minds of America's Young People' by financing 'Secular Universities'

Televangelist John Hagee stopped by WallBuilders Live today where the preacher and conservative activist told hosts David Barton and Rick Green that universities are “poisoning the minds of America’s young people” as a result of Saudi financing of “anti-American” professors. He went on to claim that the US is facing decline because of prohibitions on public school-organized prayer and legal abortion as America “in the ’60s turned our back on the very foundations of spiritual and moral greatness that established this nation and we have been going downhill ever since”:

Hagee: The American people simply do not realize that whenever they pull up to the gas pump and pay, what they’re paying, that much of their money is going straight to Saudi Arabia who’s sending it back to our universities and to interests here who are building mosques and who are sponsoring professors at America’s universities who are anti-American and anti-Israel and who are poisoning the minds of America’s young people at secular universities about the exceptionalism of America, about our destiny as a great people and about our future.



All people need to do is sit down and consider how far we have fallen in the last forty or fifty years. For instance, in 1948 the first initiatives were made called separation of church and state and then in 1960 came the edict that you cannot pray in school, and we thought that would never happen, but it has happened. We now have federal judges threatening to send children who pray at graduations to jail and then came the abortion issue, oh that will not happen, but it did happen, now we have the systematic state supported murder of 4,000 children every day in America’s abortion mills. We in the ’60s turned our back on the very foundations of spiritual and moral greatness that established this nation and we have been going downhill ever since. Now we are opening our society to the concept that Jehovah God is one of many Gods and I assure you the word of God says ‘if you deny me before men I will deny you before my Father.’ ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,’ there is one God, he’s Jehovah God, the God of Israel, Isaac and Jacob, and there is no other.

Romney Successfully Wooing the Religious Right with Promises of Right Wing Judges

Last week, we unveiled a campaign featuring a website, web ad, and report exposing Mitt Romney’s dangerous agenda for America’s courts, as demonstrated by the fact that Robert Bork has been tapped to lead Romney's constitutional and judicial advisory team.

As the report noted, Romney's choice of judicial advisors "spells serious trouble for the American people" ...  and it is no surprise that it is also music to the ear of the Religious Right.

On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green invited Jordan Sekulow, who worked for Romney back in 2008, to make the case as to why the Religious Right can and should support Romney.  While Green was skeptical at first, Barton needed no convincing because Jay Sekulow (Jordan's father) was going to be involved in picking Romney's judges and that was all he needed to hear:

This has not been a hard thing for evangelicals to get over and support Romney and it shouldn't be a hard thing. When Romney ran four years ago, he wasn't my first choice but the reason I never got really worried about Romney was Jay Sekulow. And I tell you he has been very intimately involved in helping get folks like Alito and Roberts on the court. And four years ago, I heard that Sekulow is the guy that Romney has tapped to choose his judges and I said "that's it." I don't have any trouble with Romney because Isaiah 1:26 tells me the righteousness of nation is determined, not by the legislature, but by its judges. And if Romney's got folks like Sekulow picking his judges, I can live with that in a heartbeat.

When Jordan Sekulow joined the program, he made the case that conservatives should support Romney because he has pledged to nominate judges like Samuel Alito and John Roberts and has filled his campaign with people who are going to keep his feet to the fire:

Green: How important is it for us to recognize that if Romney is president, who has his ear? Who are the people that will consider those judges versus another four years of Obama if he gets another quarter of the judiciary appointed?

Sekulow: You've already got people who are long-time Romney supporters like my dad, who has argued thirteen cases before the Supreme Court and was very involved with President Bush - he was one of four people that were involved in the nomination process in the Bush White House - and so if you like Alito and Roberts, these are the kind of people. You have Judge Bork, who was filibustered by the Senate, voted down by the Senate actually, and he is on the Romney committee.

...

You want Kagan and Sotomayor, and I was at the Supreme Court during the 'Obamacare' oral arguments, you probably don't want more of that, or do you want more Alito and Roberts? And he's made those pledges; I think we need to come to the campaign say "alright, you made these pledges, we're going to keep you honest to them and keep your feet to the fire."

Beck: Barton will Receive 'a lot of the Credit in the Afterlife' for Saving America

Last week, David Barton was once again a featured guest on Glenn Beck's program, this time promoting his new book "The Jefferson Lies."

In introducing the segment, Beck said to Barton that "when we save the country, a lot of the credit in the afterlife is going to go to you," while Barton gave all the credit to God, suggesting that God has placed these historical documents in his hands because "He wants it saved and preserved for the country":

As an aside, I found this clip via professor John Fea's blog, who commented that he didn't "even know where to begin with this video" and lamented the success that Barton has had promoting his false history:

Barton's book is currently ranked #31 at Amazon. It is really sad that the American past is being manipulated for political propaganda in this way. I say this as an historian and an evangelical Christian.

Fea is an Associate Professor of American History at Messiah College and the author of the excellent book "Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction" which I  wrote about several times last year, and his comment raises a question that I have been wondering about for a long time, which is why bona fide historians seem so unwilling to take a stand against Barton and his partisan manipulation of history. 

For academic historians to generally remain silent as Barton's brand of pseudo-history becomes increasingly popular seems, to me, to represent a serious disservice to their field of expertise. Barton's brand of partisan history remains popular, at least in part, because actual historian so rarely speak out against Barton's flagrant misuse and misrepresentation of history.

Fea laments that Barton's book is so popular while simultaneously saying he doesn't even know what to say about this video.  Those two things are not unrelated. 

If historians, and especially evangelical historians like Fea, remain reluctant to get involved in the task of debunking and discrediting Barton and his pseudo-history, they can expect to continue seeing books by the likes of Beck and Barton at the top of the best-sellers list.

UPDATE:  Fea has responded to this post and makes several fair points in defense of his own efforts to debunk Barton's phony history.

David Barton Takes Credit for Obama's Easter Message

Back in February, David Barton released a document declaring that President Obama was "America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President" and today, on his "WallBuilders Live" radio program, Barton credited that document with pressuring President Obama to release a "powerful Easter address." Barton claims that the White House Press Secretary was asked about his document and suggests that it was that "embarrassing situation" that forced the administration to issue the Easter greeting earlier this month:

Barton: A few weeks ago we put out a piece through WallBuilders that was entitled "America’s Most Biblically-Hostile President." And unbeknownst to me, that actually made it to the White House. And so at the White House press conference, they actually asked the Press Secretary about it ... and asked "what do you have to say about this list?" What list? And they went down the list and the Press Secretary [said] "I didn't realize all those things had happened." And they said "so, does that mean no comment?" [And the Press Secretary said] "I'll have to look more at this."

And so that was a few weeks ago. And so lo and behold, what happens this past Easter was that President Obama came out with a powerful Easter address, I mean a Jesus Christ, Bible .., this was like Billy Graham ... We haven't had that in three and a half years.

Green: Amazing how, in an election year after being called on the carpet for how anti-Christian they've been ...

Barton ... I don't care why it came, it came. And the reason is, a hundred years after you and I are dead, if the Lord hasn't come back, this is going to still be there in the presidential records for other generations to read and see about Jesus Christ and the Resurrection and what it means on Easter ... It is good news and if it took an embarrassing situation in a press conference to do it, who cares.

Like so many other claims that Barton make, he rarely provides any evidence or details to support his assertions, which makes them difficult to verify.  Not surprisingly, we have been unable to find any reports or transcripts to support his statement that the White House was ever asked about his document, much less commented on it.  That, of course, doesn't mean it never happened, so if anyone out there happens to have any evidence that it did, we'd love to see it, so drop us a line or send us a Tweet.

David Barton's Relentless Dishonesty

In recent weeks, we've been focusing a lot on the difficulty that David Barton has accurately reporting on contemporary issues that are easily verifiable and we have been doing so because it demonstrates his utter unreliability, especially as it pertains to the niche he has carved out as the Religious Right's favorite historian. 

After all, if Barton cannot even tell the truth about things that happened just last year that can be verified with a quick Google search, why should anyone believe anything he has to say about the Founding Era, especially when many of his claims are based on rare documents that very few have ever seen? 

On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," Barton and co-host Rick Green were discussing the Religious Right's on-going crusade against openly gay Houston Mayor Annise Parker.  During the discussion, Barton lamented that out of some five million people in Houston, nobody was willing to step up to offer a serious challenge to Parker during the last election and that a firefighter who did run against her came within 800 votes of defeating her despite only spending $50,000:

Five million people in Houston and she ran and was elected mayor two years ago. At that time, a whole bunch of churches and pastors got together and said this is unacceptable, not in Houston, not where we've got this kind of vote and so they started recruiting two years ago to get a candidate to take her out, because that was the problem they had two years ago, just not a good candidate. So they worked for two years and they come to this year and still nobody is willing to step up. So a fireman stepped up ... I think the fireman spent like fifty thousand dollars and he came within eight hundred votes of beating her.

The fireman that Barton cites was Fernando Herrera and he was actually just one of five opponents that Parker faced in her last election ... and he came in third ... and Parker received over 42,000 more votes than he did

Houston Mayor Annise Parker won a second term Tuesday, but she faced fierce competition from five opponents.

Parker was challenged by Kevin Simms, Amanda Ulman, Dave Wilson, deputy fire chief Fernando Herrera and Jack O'Connor.

Parker received 58,939 of 115,881 votes. O'Connor had 17,153 votes, Herrera had 16,646, Wilson was fourth with 13,589 votes, Simms had 7,733 and Ullman had 1,821 votes.

It is honestly getting to the point where we now have to check nearly every factual assertion that Barton makes because so many of them turn out to be fundamentally false.

Barton: 'We're Not After Theocracy, They Are. It's a Secular Theocracy'

As we noted the other day, Glenn Beck was the special guest all week on James Robison's "Life Today" television program.  But today we were treated to a surprise guest when David Barton joined Robison and Beck as an extra-special guest. 

During the discussion, Robison and Barton claimed that it is not the Religious Right that seeks to impose any sort of theocracy on America, but rather "secular progressives" are seeking to institute a secular theocracy because "usually whatever they accuse you of, is what they're guilty of": 

Barton: America is Like England in the 1500s Except Christians Aren't Being Burned at the Stake ... Yet

On yesterday's episode of "WallBuilders Live," Rick Green and David Barton were discussing the issue of religious liberty and the role the issue played in the formation of the United States when Barton asserted that, right now, America is "like England back in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds" except that we are not burning people at the stake ... yet:

This is a really important thing, to be able to have the presence of religion there but now we're seeing a hostility that we've not [seen before.] This is like England back in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds, quite frankly. Now, we're not burning people at the stake yet, but we are imprisoning people for their faith and to say that in America, that's unbelievable.

Barton: The Constitution Quotes the Bible 'Verbatim'

I admit to being utterly fascinated by David Barton's continuing insistence that all sorts of elements of our society and our form of government came directly out of the Bible.

We have addressed these claims several times before, but Barton continues to make them ... only now, he is insisting that specific provisions in the Constitution were taken verbatim from the Bible:

For the record, here is the language in Article II:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President.

Compare that to any of the various translations of Deuteronomy 17:15:

You shall surely set him king over you, whom the LORD your God shall choose: one from among your brethren shall you set king over you: you may not set a stranger over you, who is not your brother.

Not exactly verbatim, now are they?

Barton: Schools Don't Teach History ... Because of Evolution

We will probably be hearing a lot from David Barton in the coming weeks as he makes the rounds promoting his new book " The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson."

Technically, the book is not even supposed to be released until next week, but I have already received the copy I ordered and Chris Rodda has even read through it and produced a nearly two hour video debunking Barton's claims.

Yesterday, Barton was a on "In The Market with Janet Parshall" where he spent the entire hour discussing his book and making many of the claims we have heard him make before.  But Barton did make one interesting assertion when he was asked why public school textbooks don't teach about the Founding Fathers and he blamed it on evolution:

We've taken the evolution thing and kept it as a science debate, and it's not. Evolution [versus] creation is not a science, it is a worldview. If I take evolution and say you know, man's always evolving, moving forward, then I've got to say well, then we need a Constitution that evolves and moves forward with us. And so we get a living Constitution whereby who cares what the Constitution says, here's what we think about Obamacare or gay marriage or anything else.

If I take and apply [the evolutionary worldview] to history, I'd have to say that in public schools, history is the most worthless subject there is if you believe evolution because, if we are evolving, what can we learn from two hundred years ago? My gosh, those guys didn't even have internet back then! They rode horses; let's get up with the real century. And so under that worldview of evolution, history has got to be the first casualty. And it is, quite frankly.

Barton: Contraception Mandate Spells the End of Separation of Church and State

Today's episode of "WallBuilders Live" was dedicated to discussing the on-going fight over the Obama Administration's contraception mandate, with David Barton vowing to "go to the mat" fighting it because it is unbiblical and, if it stands, it spells the end of separation of church and state and the United States will have essentially established an official state church, as Rick Green warned that it was nothing short of totalitarianism:

Barton: I'm going to the mat on this one. I may or may not go to the mat on the healthcare side; that's a political issue and we can deal with that. This is a fundamental constitutional, religious, and biblical issue - there's thirty verses in the New Testament alone that tell you to protect the rights of conscience - that's no small, lightweight thing.

Green: So biblically you got to do it; as patriots for freedom we got to do 'cause the Founders talked about it  ...

Barton: Biblically and constitutionally ... oh wait, that's the same thing oftentimes; those biblical principles under-gird the Constitution. And so the Founders did talk about the biblical rights of conscience when the gave Constitutional protection for conscience. And if you lose rights of conscience, you have lost separation of church and state. You might as well just be England; you might as well just have Henry the Eighth declaring an official state church, because that's what's happening.

Green: This may not be a textbook definition, but, to me, totalitarianism is making you do something that's against the very core of what you believe.

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David Barton Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 07/17/2013, 11:02am
Senators and presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will head to Iowa this week as featured speakers at a closed-door event for conservative pastors that has been organized by David Lane, an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Mormon, Christian-nation absolutist who has declared war, not only on secularism and separation of church and state, but also on establishment Republicans who don’t embrace his vision of an America in which the Bible serves as “the principle textbook” for public education and a “Christian culture” has been “re-established.” He... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 07/12/2013, 10:01am
A few weeks ago, End Times radio host Rick Wiles did an entire program on how Glenn Beck's unique brand of  Islamo-Mormon deistic universalism was dangerously leading his mostly Christian audience into heresy. Earlier this week, Wiles returned to the topic with the help of anti-Mormon activist Bill Keller as the two spent an hour attacking David Barton and others who have worked and worshiped with Beck as "modern day Judases" who will be held accountable by God for "selling out the gospel for thirty pieces of silver": Beck has really played that same game of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 07/10/2013, 1:55pm
When it comes to honesty and accuracy, we have learned not to expect much of either from David Barton, just as we have learned that he is not going to stop repeating something just because it is demonstrably false. And that trend continues as, on his radio program today, Barton misrepresented a ten year old study to prove that "homosexual marriage is not a good deal for a country": I don't need religion or a Bible to prove that homosexual marriage is not a good deal for a country. We have now twelve nations who have adopted homosexual marriage; they have stats.  Jesus... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/03/2013, 5:30pm
Rush Limbaugh says that while “the one in Egypt’s a military coup, here it’s a Democrat Party coup.”  North Carolina Republicans have added far-reaching abortion rights restrictions to a bill banning Sharia law.  Maggie Gallagher calls on marriage equality opponents to fight back against “Kennedy’s fatwa against us.”  Sorry David Barton, but chaplains won’t be compelled to officiate same-sex marriages.  Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values wants Ohio Gov. John Kasich to run for... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/02/2013, 5:15pm
On Wallbuilders Live today, David Barton and Rick Green hosted Baptist pastor Danny Holliday, who was active in the campaign to block marriage equality legislation in the Illinois legislature. Green kicked off the show by comparing Holliday’s anti-gay activism to John Adams’ push for the adoption of the Declaration of Independence: “He was like John Adams at the Continental Congress, the guy behind the scenes that was working day and night to make sure we got the Declaration of Independence.” Barton also wanted people to know that there is nothing “gay”... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 07/02/2013, 2:01pm
Warren Throckmorton reports today that Ohio’s Springboro School District is planning to offer a summer course on the Constitution…taught via video by revisionist historian David Barton and his Christian Reconstructionist pal John Eidsmoe, and sponsored by the extreme Christian-nation group Institute on the Constitution. The announcement for the course offers families an opportunity to “learn your Godly American heritage and birthright”: As RWW readers know, David Barton is the discredited “historian” whose most recent book on the nation’s “... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/01/2013, 2:40pm
Reiterating false claims he made in an interview with Glenn Beck following the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA, David Barton today once again alleged that the Obama administration plans to compel chaplains and Central American nations to administer same-sex marriages against their will. Barton, speaking on Wallbuilders Live today, suggested that gays and lesbians will now enlist in the armed forces just to get hitched: “Now that there is no longer a definition of marriage as a man and a woman and DOMA’s struck down, guess what? Guess what happens in the military? Guess what... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 06/28/2013, 11:34am
Viewers who hear plenty of right-wing religious voices on cable TV might be surprised to know that the biggest problem facing America in the minds of many Religious Right leaders is that conservative preachers aren’t being sufficiently political or aggressive.  That gripe is a major theme at Religious Right gatherings, and is repeated in a new Charisma article by radio host Michael Brown, who makes a “fresh call to revolution” among America’s pastors in the wake of recent Supreme Court decisions: How is it that nine non-elected officials in black robes can have... MORE >