David Barton

Barton: Instead of Passing Obamacare, Congress Should Have Called on People 'to be More Religious'

On "WallBuilders Live" today, Rick Green and David Barton interviewed Frank Newport, author of the book "God Is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America."

Following the discussion, Barton commented that the problem in America today is that while the vast majority of people consider themselves to be Christians, not enough are reading the Bible regularly and applying it to their daily lives.

After comparing the Bible to an owner's manual for a car, Barton said that "the more religious you are, the better your health is" and suggested that instead of passing health care reform legislation, Congress should have passed legislation "calling on people to be more religious":

Part of the problem we have is we've not shown then applicability. It's like saying "why don't you sit down and read the owner's manual for your car."  They say "no way, if I need something, I'll go there and get it" and so we wait until we think there's a need but actually, if you read it ahead of time, you'll find there's a ton of stuff that applies before you get there. You'll find when you read it that there's a whole lot more features on your car than you knew about that helped you maximize ... and so we have that same kind of mental hurdle to get over.  People think, man, if I get in a crisis, I'll go get this and read it.  No, no, no, read it before you get in a crisis because it is going to apply to stuff you don't even imagine right now and it will elevate and benefit your life.

And by the way, I thought it was really cool that he pointed out that the more religious your are, the better your health is. Now, instead of passing Obamacare, why didn't we pass a bill calling on people to be more religious and therefore help health over all?

That's the benefits of using God's word and applying God's word is it does provide tangible, measurable benefits not the least of which is health.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/10/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 4/10/13

  • It looks like the Religious Right is threatening to leave the GOP ... again.
  • Happy Anniversary, David Barton.
  • Sen. Rand Paul says America needs a “spiritual cleansing of the people.”  If we were like the Religious Right, we'd freak out because that kind of sounds like "ethnic cleansing" and start warning that Paul wants to kill all non-Christians.
  • Apparently Rush Limbaugh thinks "the onus is on the black population" to realize the GOP is not racist.
  • Finally, Rick Scarborough says "the goal of Obamacare has always been to drive everyone into a single-payer, government system.  Once that goal is achieved – and it is about to be achieved – Big Brother Government will control every citizen who wills to live and find medical care."

Barton Backtracks, Falsely Claims He Wasn't 'Justifying' Brutal Treatment of Native Americans

A few weeks ago, we posted some audio clips from a "WallBuilders Live" radio program in which David Barton explained the concept of just war theory during which he justified the brutal treatment of Native Americans by white settlers and the American government on the grounds that they needed to be destroyed in order to be taught a lesson and eventually made civilized.

Shortly thereafter, WallBuilders posted a message on its Facebook page claiming that Barton was not "justifying" this sort of treatment but merely "explaining" what had happened:

David was not justifying, but merely explaining the historical context of what happened, in the same way that he explained the British march to the sea. He made a parallel between the two as to tactics and strategy that were used during war at that time. David was explaining the historical events regarding King Philip's War, not the atrocities that were in general committed against the Indian tribes and nations, which we in no way condone. There is a big difference between justifying and merely explaining or reporting.

Like so much of Barton's work, this explanation holds up only so long as one blindly accepts Barton's nonsensical interpretation and doesn't bother to verify what he says, which is pretty easy since we produced a transcript of it at the time.

As anyone can see, Barton was not merely "explaining" what happened but was actively defending it on the grounds that "you cannot reason with certain types of terrorists." As Barton said at the time, the Indians had "declared war on all the white guys" and so "we had to go in and we had to destroy Indian tribes all over" until they got the message:

You have to deal, a lot of it, with how the enemy responds. It's got to be based on what the enemy responds [to,] you cannot reason with certain types of terrorists; and see that's why we could not get the Indians to the table to negotiate with us on treaties until after we had thoroughly whipped so many tribes ... What happened was the Indian leaders said "they're trying to change our culture" and so they declared war on all the white guys and went after the white guys and that was King Philip's War.  It was really trying to be civilized on one side and end torture and the Indians were threatened by the ending of torture and so we had to go in and we had to destroy Indian tribes all over until they said "oh, got the point, you're doing to us what we're doing to them, okay, we'll sign a treaty."

...

Take, for example, what happened in the western plains wars in the late 1800s when we were taking on the plains Indians.  I'm not talking about treaties, I'm not talking about behavior of Americans toward Indians or vice versa, there were violations on both sides of nearly every treaty.  I'm talking about what happened in ending those wars after Custer and everything that went on.

People complain about the fact that the American military and buffalo hunters went out and wiped out all the buffalo in the western plains.  Doing that was what brought the Indians to their knees because the Indians lived on those wide western plains where there were very few towns; Indians didn't go into town to buy supplies, they went to the buffalo herds, that's where they got their meat, that's where they got their coats, the hides provided coats, they provided covering for their teepees.

If you don't have the buffalos, those Indians cannot live on the open western plains without those buffalo and so what happened was the military wiped out the supply line by wiping out the buffalo.  That's what brought those wars to an end, that's what brought the Indians to their knees and ended all the western conflict.

The focus of the radio program was a discussion of just war theory and Barton's purpose in bringing up this issue was to explain that these tactics were justified specifically because they do not appear to be justifiable.

Barton was not merely "explaining" what had happened, but was justifying it on the grounds that when your enemies refuse to abide by the "rules of civilization, you still have to secure the life and the property and the protection of your citizens" in whatever way you can.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/8/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/28/13

Barton: 'Conspiracy Mentalities Are a Bad Deal'

On the weekly "Good News Friday" episode of "WallBuilders Live" today, David Barton cited a poll supposedly showing that a majority of Americans believe that the government poses a threat to their rights and freedoms, which he suggested is a good thing because it meant that there was also a majority of citizens who would be willing to stand up and push back.

But there was also a danger, Barton warned, in that it could lead people to fear the government which, in turn, leads to conspiracy theories:

I think fear causes you to do a lot of things.  Conspiracy mentalities are a bad deal. We're told in Isaiah 8:11 not to call conspiracy everything that everybody else calls conspiracy ... The problem with conspiracy is that faith is actually fear and if you have a lot of faith, that is having fear.  Job said "that which I feared has come upon me;"  it's like having faith for bad stuff to happen.

...

A lot of times when you get a conspiratorial mentality, it causes you to act in ways that the conspiracy actually becomes self-fulfilling prophecy. So I think on the one hand, as long as we have a health skepticism of government and Washington and their ability and, actually, their efforts right now to take power, I think that that's healthy so long as it doesn't turn into fear that becomes conspiratorial and phobic which then drives us to do things that causes Washington to really come after us.

Hmmm ... maybe Barton ought to share this view with his BFF Glenn Beck the next time he appears on his program.

David Barton Explains Just War Theory: 'We Had to Destroy Indian Tribes' Until They Became Civilized

Today on "WallBuilders Live," David Barton was discussing just war theory which, in his unique interpretation, essentially boiled down to the view that whatever you need to do to end a conflict and protect the lives of your citizens and soldiers is justified.

To demonstrate his point, Barton said that Native Americans declared war on "all the white guys" because missionaries tried to convince them to stop torturing their enemies but they resisted these efforts to civilize them and "so we had to go in and we had to destroy Indian tribes all over until" they got the message.

Barton followed that up by defending the practice of wiping out the buffalo on the western plains because it decimated the livelihoods of Native Americans and thereby brought an end to their resistance to the US government:

A lot of it is based on what you have to do to secure justice and to secure the protection of life and liberties for your citizens and you do what you have to do at times, but you play on the rules sometimes that the other guys have set up. And if they're not going to negotiate with things like the Geneva treaty or other rules of civilization, you still have to secure the life and the property and the protection of your citizens.

...

You have to deal, a lot of it, with how the enemy responds. It's got to be based on what the enemy responds [to,] you cannot reason with certain types of terrorists; and see that's why we could not get the Indians to the table to negotiate with us on treaties until after we had thoroughly whipped so many tribes ... What happened was the Indian leaders said "they're trying to change our culture" and so they declared war on all the white guys and went after the white guys and that was King Philip's War.  It was really trying to be civilized on one side and end torture and the Indians were threatened by the ending of torture and so we had to go in and we had to destroy Indian tribes all over until they said "oh, got the point, you're doing to us what we're doing to them, okay, we'll sign a treaty."

...

Take, for example, what happened in the western plains wars in the late 1800s when we were taking on the plains Indians.  I'm not talking about treaties, I'm not talking about behavior of Americans toward Indians or vice versa, there were violations on both sides of nearly every treaty.  I'm talking about what happened in ending those wars after Custer and everything that went on.

People complain about the fact that the American military and buffalo hunters went out and wiped out all the buffalo in the western plains.  Doing that was what brought the Indians to their knees because the Indians lived on those wide western plains where there were very few towns; Indians didn't go into town to buy supplies, they went to the buffalo herds, that's where they got their meat, that's where they got their coats, the hides provided coats, they provided covering for their teepees. 

If you don't have the buffalos, those Indians cannot live on the open western plains without those buffalo and so what happened was the military wiped out the supply line by wiping out the buffalo.  That's what brought those wars to an end, that's what brought the Indians to their knees and ended all the western conflict.

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/14/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/13/13

  • A new Pope has been selected and Erick Erickson adores him already.
  • You'd think that a movie about the wonders of capitalism would take the hint that the market is not interested, but no, "Atlas Shrugged" will get a third installment.
  • Joseph Farah says child sacrifice and same-sex marriage "are linked. They are inextricably linked as behaviors characterized as abominations by the God of the Bible. They both emerge right from the pit of hell."
  • Both Franklin Graham and Richard Land support universal background checks for all gun purchases.
  • Finally, someone should really ask David Barton to explain how he supposedly "gives about 440 speeches a year" because that comes out to 1.2 speeches every single day, including holidays and weekends.

David Barton Continues to Peddle Falsehoods

It has become pretty obvious by this point that David Barton simply does not care that various claims he makes as part of his standard presentation are demonstrably false; he will simply continue to repeat them as fact because they are useful in promoting his right-wing political agenda.

As we have noted five times already, Barton repeatedly insists that the Constitution is filled with multiple "direct quotations" out of the Bible, insisting that anyone who doesn't see them is simply "biblically illiterate;" an assertion he made again while speaking at Fellowship Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan over the weekend:

And if you know the Bible and you know and read the Constitution, you will see Bible verses and Bible phrases all over the Constitution.  It quotes Bible phrases everywhere.  People today say 'oh, it's a godless Constitution, it's a secular document.' If somebody tells me it's a secular document, I know that they're biblically illiterate. They don't recognize a Bible verse when they see one because the Constitution is loaded up with direct quotations out of the Bible.

Of course, the only person who is illiterate here is Barton himself, as he is apparently unable to comprehend what the phrase "direct quoation" since none of the evidence he provides represent, in any way, "direct quotations."

But Barton wasn't done spreading falsehoods in this presentation, as he also repeated the claim that the Supreme Court ended mandatory Bible reading in public schools because it was causing brain damage to students:

[In 1963] the Supreme Court said no more Bible in schools. Now why would they do that?  We have 320 years, literally, of the Bible in school; the Supreme Court itself said this is without any historical precedent.  There is no historical precedent in our history for not having the Bible in schools, but it's time to take it out.  Why would they take it out?

Well, the Court explained why they would take it out.  As a matter of fact, they called on the testimony of a psychologist - they didn't have any historical precedent, they didn't have any legal precedent, but Dr. Solomon Grayzel told them what was going to happen if kids read the Bible in schools and they said 'that's what we thought.' And so here's the quote the Supreme Court pointed out in its decision on why we took the Bible out of schools; they said 'if portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and had been, psychologically harmful to the child.'

We've now discovered the Bible causes brain damage; we can't let you kids suffer brain damage, we've got to stop the brain damage.  That's the reason given by the Supreme Court on why the Bible went out of schools; it was psychological harm to children.

As we pointed out before, if you actually read the ruling in the case, you will find that the Supreme Court did not cite this as the reason for ending mandatory Bible reading in schools, rather the Court was merely describing the road the case had taken through the court system, noting that Dr. Grayzel's testimony had been heard during the initial trial.

Beyond that, Barton intentionally misrepresents the point of Grayzel's testimony itself, which was to note that forced Bible reading from a Christian perspective in public schools was potentially damaging to Jewish students:

Expert testimony was introduced by both appellants and appellees at the first trial, which testimony was summarized by the trial court as follows:

Dr. Solomon Grayzel testified that there were marked differences between the Jewish Holy Scriptures and the Christian Holy Bible, the most obvious of which was the absence of the New Testament in the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Dr. Grayzel testified that portions of the New Testament were offensive to Jewish tradition, and that, from the standpoint of Jewish faith, the concept of Jesus Christ as the Son of God was "practically blasphemous." He cited instances in the New Testament which, assertedly, were not only sectarian in nature but tended to bring the Jews into ridicule or scorn. Dr. Grayzel gave as his expert opinion that such material from the New Testament could be explained to Jewish children in such a way as to do no harm to them. But if portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and, in his specific experience with children, Dr. Grayzel observed, had been, psychologically harmful to the child, and had caused a divisive force within the social media of the school.

In both of these cases, it has been demonstrated time and again that the claims Barton is making are irrefutably false, but he simply does not care and continues to repeat them as truth as he delivers his pseudo-historical presentations to conservative audiences all across the country.

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/11/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/8/13

How Cindy Jacobs' Prayers May Have Saved David Barton's Life

We already know that Cindy Jacobs' prayers have stopped terrorism and saved the global economy, but on the latest episode of "God Knows" she revealed how her prayers may have saved David Barton's life.

Apparently, several years ago Barton and his family were driving to Florida when Jacobs received a dream from God ordering her to start praying that the wheels on the Barton's van would not fall off.  She immediately did so and when the Bartons arrived at their destination, she told them of her dream and David and Cindy's husband Mike took the van to a local mechanic who told them that the bearings were completely worn away and "there is absolutely no reason why your wheel should not have come off the axle."

As Cindy explained, "God had given a word for David" that he was going to use him to rewrite school curriculum standards throughout the nation, but "Satan was trying to resist him," but her intercessory prayers prevented that from happening:

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/4/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/27/13

  • Alex Pareene @ Salon: Bob Woodward demands law-ignoring, mind-controlling presidential leadership.
  • Carlos Maza @ Equality Matters: NOM’s Morse Uses Tyler Clementi’s Suicide To Discuss Exploitation Of “Confused” Adolescents By Gay Activists. 

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/26/13

  • Jeremy Hooper: In equality vs. discrimination debate, writing is on the wall; 70+ leading conservatives put it in a brief, too.
  • Chris Rodda: Barton Admits Getting Gun-Toting Students Story from Louis L’Amour, but it’s OK Because L’Amour Said it Really Happened.

More Evidence That David Barton's 'History' Cannot Be Trusted

As we have said time and time again, David Barton's books, DVDs, radio programs, and presentations are so riddled with misrepresentations that just about any factual claim he makes needs to be checked for accuracy.

And Barton once again demonstrated the need for such fact-checking when he recently delivered a presentation at Glen Medows Baptist Church in San Angelo, Texas where he made an utterly laughable claim about the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Abington Township v. Schempp which declared that school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools was unconstitutional.

In Barton's telling, the Court struck down the practice because reading the Bible was going to give students brain damage:

The Supreme Court, when it took the Bible out of public schools, said that this is without precedent; there is no precedent in our history for taking the Bible out of schools but this is the time to do it.

Now, if there is no historical precedent, why would they say the Bible has to go out of schools?  I mean, everything we have in history says just the opposite, so why?  They quoted Dr. Solomon Grayzel on the reason that we need to get the Bible out of schools ... In the Supreme Court decision, this is what the Court said why the Bible has to come out of schools; the Court says this:

If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and had been, psychologically harmful to the child.

Time out.  Let me see if I get this: if we keep reading the Bible in schools, our kids are going to suffer from brain damage? Yeah, that was the reason given by the Court for the removal of the Bible out of the classroom back in 62-63.

Of course, if you actually read the ruling in the case, you will find that this citation of Dr. Grayzel appeared at the beginning of the decision when the Supreme Court was merely describing the road the case had taken through the court system, noting that Grayzel's testimony had been heard during the initial trial. 

On top of that, Barton also utterly misrepresented the point of Grayzel's testimony, which was to note that forced Bible reading from a Christian perspective in public schools was potentially damaging to Jewish students:

Expert testimony was introduced by both appellants and appellees at the first trial, which testimony was summarized by the trial court as follows:

Dr. Solomon Grayzel testified that there were marked differences between the Jewish Holy Scriptures and the Christian Holy Bible, the most obvious of which was the absence of the New Testament in the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Dr. Grayzel testified that portions of the New Testament were offensive to Jewish tradition, and that, from the standpoint of Jewish faith, the concept of Jesus Christ as the Son of God was "practically blasphemous." He cited instances in the New Testament which, assertedly, were not only sectarian in nature but tended to bring the Jews into ridicule or scorn. Dr. Grayzel gave as his expert opinion that such material from the New Testament could be explained to Jewish children in such a way as to do no harm to them. But if portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and, in his specific experience with children, Dr. Grayzel observed, had been, psychologically harmful to the child, and had caused a divisive force within the social media of the school.

Just about everything in Barton's description of this court decision is fundamentally misleading and demonstrably false ... and yet it will continue to make no difference to those on the Right who regularly cite him as an expert historian.

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/22/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/19/13

  • Richard Viguerie is offering $10,000 to anyone who can come up with a workable plan for the Right to take control of the Republican Party.
  • She may have been dumped by Fox News, but apparently CPAC thinks Sarah Palin is still a draw.
  • Mississippi has finally gotten around to ratifying the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery just 148 years after it became law.
  • For a mere $1250, you can get VIP tickets to Glenn Beck's revolutionary 4th of July production of "The Man In The Moon."
  • Matt Barber says "the Obama administration is moronic" but insists that "this is not an insult."
  • Robert Knight says public schools teach students "just enough English and math to pass standardized tests, while force-feeding them a secular, progressive mindset that views American capitalism as a world problem and more government as the solution."
  • Finally, yet another historian demonstrates that David Barton work is riddled with misrepresentations.
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David Barton Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/17/2015, 5:33pm
Warren Throckmorton: David Barton on Real Life with Jack Hibbs: Did the University of Virginia Have Chaplains? Travis Gettys @ Raw Story: New report says conservative chumps sent $50 million to right-wing ‘scam’ groups like SarahPAC. David Weigel @ Bloomberg Politics: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star to Receive Free Speech Award at CPAC. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Carson makes a rare endorsement of war crimes. Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Houston Newspaper Publishes Digitally Altered Image of Christian Preacher Speaking to a Huge Crowd. Joe Jervis:... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/17/2015, 4:04pm
Radical Religious Right activist Janet Porter has released yet another trailer for her upcoming documentary "Light Wins: How To Overcome The Criminalization Of Christianity," which features a who's who of anti-gay activists as well as several Republican members of Congress and presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee. "Like a tank in Tiananmen Square," Porter says, as she walks down the middle of a dark street as a pair of headlights bear down upon her, "the homosexual agenda has been running over people since Anita Bryant's courageous stand in the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/17/2015, 2:59pm
David Barton was a guest this morning on the American Family Association's "Today's Issues" radio program where he explained to the right-wing audience that in order to understand President Obama's foreign policy, one simply has to ask the question: What does the Muslim Brotherhood want? As Barton explained it, 95 percent of Obama's foreign policy decisions regarding the Middle East can be summed up by the phrase, "If the Muslim Brotherhood would be for it, [Obama] is for it; if they're against it he's against it." As "proof" of this,... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/11/2015, 5:32pm
David Corn @ Mother Jones: As a Lawyer, Ted Cruz Defended Huge Jury Awards. As a Politician, He Opposed Them. John Wright @ Towleroad: Ted Cruz Reintroduces Anti-Gay Bill That Would 'Defend' States' Right To Regulate Marriage. Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: Close Encounters With Roy Moore. Warren Throckmorton: More of the Story Behind the Demise of David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies. Tara Culp-Ressler @ Think Progress: The Massive Push To Restrict Abortion In 2015. Luke Brinker @ Salon: Sam Brownback’s latest outrage: Governor strips LGBT... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 02/09/2015, 5:34pm
Warren Throckmorton: David Barton Distorts Things Even When He Wins. Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: If The National Prayer Breakfast Is Apolitical and Nonsectarian, Why Is It Used to Question Obama’s Faith? Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Beck: Obama So Surrounded by Radicals, He’s ‘Practically a Foreigner.’ Harmon Leon @ AlterNet: Inside the Strange, Paranoid World of the Right-Wing Oath Keepers. Andrew Kaczynski @ BuzzFeed: Louisiana Congressman: Obama Defended ISIS With “Unpresidential” Prayer Breakfast Speech. Travis Gettys @ Raw... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/06/2015, 5:33pm
Warren Throckmorton: David Barton Denies Plagiarism; Eric Metaxas Appears on Wallbuilders Live. Alan Colmes: Alabama Official Blames Measles On Gay Marriage And Teen Pregnancy. Tara Culp-Ressler @ Think Progress: GOP Lawmaker Emphasizes Rape’s Silver Lining. P.Z. Myers @ Pharyngula: A peek into the paranoid brain of Coach Daubenmire. John Wright @ Towleroad: Anti-Gay Bigots Say Fight To Repeal LGBT Protections In Houston Is 'David vs. Goliath' Battle. Ta-Nehisi Coates @ The Atlantic: The Foolish, Historically Illiterate, Incredible Response to Obama's... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/05/2015, 12:48pm
Update: Porter has also released a trailer featuring Rand Paul and several GOP congressmen. Today, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter sent out an email to activists excitedly announcing that she is finishing up editing a new anti-gay documentary that she intends to release at the National Religious Broadcaster's Convention in Nashville at the end of this month. Porter, who was a longtime Religious Right activist and radio host until she lost her program due to her increasing radicalism only to re-emerge as an anti-abortion activist and right-wing social media entrepreneur, has brought... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/04/2015, 5:32pm
ALIPAC declares that we are "seeing what is possibly one of the greatest scandals in American history emerge regarding the millions of illegal extra work visas Obama's shadow government apparatus has handed out!" Jim Garlow will be hosting Newt Gingrich and several other Religious Right and New Apostolic Reformation activists for a conference at his church in June. Similarly, Jan Markell will be hosting Robert Jeffress and former Rep. Michele Bachmann at a conference in October. Was Gov. Bobby Jindal's prayer rally the fulfillment of one of Cindy Jacobs'... MORE >