David Barton

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.

More Barton Falsehoods: Mentions of God were not Banned at Veterans' Funerals

As we have noted several times in recent weeks, David Barton has a problem accurately reporting on contemporary issues that are easily verifiable, which calls into question his reliability, especially when it comes to the pseudo-history he uses to promote his political agenda.

And he did the same thing again today on his "WallBuilders Live" program where he read from his recent "America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President" document about President Obama, which he claimed represented a "Declaration of Independence[-like] chain of abuses,"  as he asserted that the Department of Veterans Affairs under Obama had banned mentions of God and Jesus during funerals:

2011: the Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial [ceremonies] at Houston National Cemetery.

I'm sorry. You may be buried there as a veteran, but the government is not running your funeral. You have other people come and do your funeral but the government is saying that since you're being buried on Veteran land, your preacher, your rabbi, your priest can't use Jesus or God during the funeral ceremony.

Really? At your own funeral? It's my husband, it's my brother, it's my uncle, somebody being buried and I can't use Jesus or God? No, you can't.

That is, of course, entirely false.  As we pointed out last year, the Bush administration instituted a policy in 2007 that "prohibits volunteer honor guards from reading recitations — including religious ones — in their funeral rituals, unless families specifically request them." In essence, the policy stated that volunteer groups were not allowed to attend military funerals and inject their religion in to it unless their presence is requested by the family. Conversely, if a family does want to included such prayers in the service, they have every right to so.

Nobody was being told that there could be no mention of God or Jesus during a funeral ... but, as with so many other issues, Barton portrayed the issue in an utterly misleading manner in order to promote his right-wing political agenda.

Steve King Rails Against Right to Privacy, Laments that States Cannot Outlaw Contraceptives

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) today appeared on WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green. King rather incredibly described Green as a “constitutional scholar” and lamented the “manufactured, judicial activist right to privacy” protected in Griswold v. Connecticut. King also bemoaned that inability of states to outlaw contraceptives and even said that King George would not have had the “audacity” of President Obama to mandate that insurance companies cover contraceptives as part of his compromise policy with religiously-affiliated organizations. Green even dubbed the policy “totalitarianism.”

King: I watched another thing happen that is very troubling to me, and we’ve watched that, I’ll just dial this back and as a constitutional scholar you will be very familiar with Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965. There, the Supreme Court created a right to privacy that didn’t exist in the Constitution and by essentially ruling that contraceptives that were unlawful in Connecticut and Massachusetts, by the way, and a good number of other states, could not be made unlawful by the states.

We’ve come so far from that standpoint that states can’t outlaw contraceptives because of a manufactured, judicial activist right to privacy, and today we see some weeks ago the President of the United States step up to the podium with the great Seal of the United States on it and in a press conference he legislated by press conference. When he did the press conference and said, ‘ok, I’m going to make this accommodation to the Catholic Church and other religious institutions and no longer require you to provide contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-causing drugs, I’m going to require the health insurance companies to do that for free.’ King George would have not had the audacity to do that, Rick.

Green: If that’s not totalitarianism I don’t know what is.

 

David Barton on the Environment, Abortion, and Michael Vick

As we mentioned yesterday, a few episodes of David Barton's "Building on the American Heritage Series" program are available in the TBN archives, including one in which Barton explains how "social justice" is really just another term of "socialism."

At one point, the discussion turned to the subject of climate change, a topic on which Barton fancies himself an expert, in which he explained that the Biblical account of creation in the book of Genesis reveals that God placed man above all animals and the Earth. 

But, Barton explained, today environmentalists have reversed God's order and now place the Earth and animals above man, as proven by the fact that Michael Vick went to prison for dog-fighting but "we don't send abortionists to jail for killing babies": 

Barton: Intolerance of Gays is a Sign of Spiritual Revival

Last year, David Barton released a six DVD program entitled "Building on the American Heritage Series" in which Barton, along with co-host Rick Green, "navigates our nation’s unique religious, moral and constitutional heritage and answers the questions Americans are asking today."

Today, we noticed that a few of these programs had aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and were archived on its website.  And so, being gluttons for punishment, we set about watching them. 

In the episode entitled "Revival And Reformation," Green asked Barton just how people would know if a revival was taking place in the nation and Barton stated that the spiritual changes brought about by revival lead to political changes, so one of the signs of revival is that society stops tolerating homosexuality: 

Traveling through Time with Kirk Cameron: Looking at America through a Religious Right Lens

After a tour of both mainstream and right-wing media outlets that largely focused on Kirk Cameron’s denigration of gays and lesbians, last night his “documentary” Monumental premiered in select theatres with little public attention.

The premiere included a live stream of Cameron in his living room right before and after the film, where he listened to praise music, gazed over food and mingled with family members and friends, while recounting how “truly sick” America has become.

Cameron admitted that he is no history buff, telling his pastor, “I feel like a dry sponge when I learn all these things.”

Just as Cameron was a “dry sponge” when learning lessons about how the banana disproves evolution, he accepted the claims of Religious Right activists posing as historians at face value.

One of whom was Glenn Beck, who appeared via satellite feed. Cameron and Beck took turns complimenting each other, with the former Fox News host lauding Cameron, “You were in Left Behind while I was reading it.” Curiously, Cameron decided against attending Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally after Brannon Howse, among others, warned evangelicals about joining forces with Beck, a Mormon.

Beck told Cameron that God told him that their mission to “wake up” America is a path they can’t veer from. “Return to me and I will protect you,” Beck says was God’s message, adding that God wants to be America’s “sword and shield.”

But the conservative celebrity appearances didn’t end there: Alveda King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece and a Religious Right activist, was in Cameron’s living room as well. Cameron asked her what she thought her uncle would want people to do if he were here today, to which Alveda responded that King would want people to watch Monumental!

She seems to think that King would endorse a movie that whitewashes America’s past, as Cameron determines that America’s problems only began in the last few decades.

In the film, Cameron’s adventure starts in England, where we learn how Puritans were persecuted by the Church of England and ultimately, at great personal and familial sacrifice, made their way to Holland to find religious freedom and escape a society where the “government controlled the church.” It was a stark if simplistic look at religious persecution at a time when many on the Right are decrying the Obama administration’s “attacks on religious liberty.”

Visiting in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Cameron claims that the Pilgrims established a governmental “system of all men created equal under the law.” He then sets forth to find the Pilgrims’ “training manual” and the “secret sauce” that will be the key to stopping America’s plunge into moral and economic disarray.

He finds the “secret sauce” at Plymouth’s National Monument to the Forefathers, which was built in 1910 under the leadership of Freemasons, though from just watching Cameron’s documentary you would think the Pilgrims themselves helped construct it. The message from the monument is that faith leads to personal morality, spreading that faith creates a moral and therefore just society, and a just society produces mercy for the disadvantaged and education for the children. Cameron used the part about education to bemoan how parents can send their children to “government schools” where they are trained to be “slaves to the state,” generating an entitlement culture that breeds government dependence rather than reliance on faith. Ultimately, the “secret sauce” creates “Liberty Man,” who Cameron says is “not a wimpy religious man but a stud.”

Cameron, in seeking to find out how America went from a country of Liberty Men to a fallen people, glosses over how the mythical country of Liberty Men considered African Americans, Native Americans and women to be inferior and endorsed slavery, racism, and discriminatory and violent treatment of women. He also neglects to mention that in Plymouth religious liberty was nonexistent and religious dissenters were mercilessly persecuted. For instance, people were not allowed to become Quakers or even give aide Quakers and Quakers were even executed by the colony’s government.

Just as damning, Cameron conflates the Pilgrims with the Founders: the film gives the impression that the Founders had the same religious convictions and beliefs in the role of religion in government as the Pilgrims. Never mind that more than a few of the Founders were members of the Church of England, the very same church that Cameron noted persecuted the Pilgrims.

Cameron spoke to Christian Reconstructionist ‘historians’ David Barton and Herb Titus to find out how evil, atheist academics from Boston (scary music included) lied to Americans about the country’s Christian heritage. Barton said there is a “deliberate attempt” to hide the faith of the Founding Fathers by using “revisionism,” and Titus warned that “a nation that attempts to build a foundation not based on God’s law will ultimately self-destruct.”

The movie ended with warnings about secular government and democracy run amok, with one guest repeating the myth that Adolf Hitler was a democratically elected dictator, and Alveda King appearing once again to tell us that “America hasn’t been destroyed because we call upon the Lord.”

Accuracy shouldn’t have been expected from a film about American history made by someone who freely admits that he had little knowledge of history and was a “dry sponge” who didn’t think critically about the nation’s past. But since Cameron’s findings easily conformed to the Religious Right view of American history and government, Monumental will surely find a place along with David Barton books and episodes of Glenn Beck that feed faux-history to conservative audiences across the nation.

Barton: One More Bombing Run Would have Won the Vietnam War

Last week we discovered that a few presentations that David Barton had delivered at Gateway Church were posted on their website.  And, being gluttons for punishment, we decided to watch them, even though they were a few years old.

Back in 2007, Barton delivered a message entitled "America's Godly Heritage" right before Memorial Day where he made the case that God was pro-war, so much so that He even "gifted" certain people with the skills necessary for battle just as some people are gifted in the arts or sports. 

One of those people, Barton said, was Congressman Sam Johnson whom Barton called "maybe the most godly man I have ever met." While discussing the seven years Johnson spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Barton made an aside in which he asserted that intelligence now shows that had the US just done one more bombing run, the Viet Cong would have surrendered:

Barton: Everything Biblical is Treated like it is Evil

This must be Anti-islam week on "WallBuilders Live," as yesterday David Barton welcomed Bridgette Gabriel on for a program where he misrepresented the "Zombie Mohammed" assault case in Pennsylvania to demonstrate that secular law is paving the way for Sharia in America.

Today, Barton and co-host Rick Green welcomed anti-Islam activist Jerry Boykin to the program where Barton complained that everything Biblical is being treated as if it is evil: 

There is such a hostility toward Biblical stuff, whether it's Jewish or Christian, there's such a hostility [that] we'll embrace anything as long as it's not Jewish or Christian. And that's a result of our universities, that's a result of what we've done in Hollywood for a number of years, that's a result of the kind of people we have put in office. It is unbelievable to me that we have allowed several cycles of educational stuff to go through where evil is Christian; if it's Christian, if it's Jewish, if it's Biblical, it's evil. Everything else is really wholesome and healthy.

David Barton Twists the Facts, Claims Secular Law Leads to Sharia

Today on WallBuilders Live David Barton claimed that a Pennsylvania judge used Sharia law when dismissing charges against a Muslim man who had been accused of assaulting a man dressed as “Zombie Mohammad.” Cathy Young in Reason writes that the judge’s decision was “probably not” improper due to conflicting accounts and a lack of evidence, although the judge did seem to go out of bounds when lambasting the plaintiff “for his disrespect for other people's culture and faith” and suggesting that he was “way outside your bounds of First Amendment rights.”

Following the ruling, the right wing immediately heralded the case as an example of Sharia law in American courts and went ahead to completely distort the facts of the case.

Conservative pseudo-historian David Barton was no exception when he covered the story today on his radio program:

First, Barton claimed that the defendant “beat the dickens out of the guy” dressed as Mohammad, while as Young points out it was “unclear” what actually happened in the altercation.

Then, Barton claimed that “the judge is himself a Muslim.” The judge, a Lutheran, was thought to have said this during the hearing, but actually said “I’m not a Muslim.” The judge quickly clarified his remarks, and Barton either hasn’t done his homework or is willfully ignoring this fact.

He went on to claim that the judge said he “can beat the dickens out of you for making fun of Mohammad because you can’t do that,” even though, again, that is not what happened. The judge said in a statement that he lectured the defendant on Islam but that it had nothing to do with his ruling:

In short, I based my decision on the fact that the Commonwealth failed to prove to me beyond a reasonable doubt that the charge was just; I didn’t doubt that an incident occurred, but I was basically presented only with the victim’s version, the defendant’s version, and a very intact Styrofoam sign that the victim was wearing and claimed that the defendant had used to choke him. There so many inconsistencies, that there was no way that I was going to find the defendant guilty.

Later in the program, Barton went even further by arguing that secular law actually paved the way for Sharia in America. He maintained that since the “God-fearing system” was replaced with a “secular system,” Sharia has come to supplant “Judeo-Christian principles.”

I was really struck with a passage that Jesus has in Matthew 12. Matthew 12 he talks about how an unclean spirit had gone out of a man and in verse 43 it says it goes through dry places seeking rest and finds none, verse 44, then he says, ‘The unclean spirit says, ‘I will return to the house from which I came.’ When he comes, he finds it empty, swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself.’ I thought, that’s that principle, if you don’t fill it with good stuff, bad stuff is going to find its way in and it will be a lot worse. So we had it filled with kind of a God-fearing system and then we made it a secular system, so now we made it seven times worse by saying, let’s take Sharia law, not only do we not want biblical stuff we don’t even want secular stuff, we want seven times worse than secular. The vacuum is going to get filled with something, and if we’re going to refuse to have some Judeo-Christian principles in there on which the founders built everything and that’s what they had as the undergirding , if we’re not going to do that, then what are we going to fill it with? Right now it appears that it is going to be Sharia.

Barton: 'The Free Market Will Take Care of [the] Crooks'

Today's episode of "WallBuilders Live" was dedicated to defending free-market capitalism, as Rick Green and David Barton asserted that there should literally be no government regulation or oversight of any aspect of our economy whatsoever:

Barton: A free market means that it is a market that is free from government regulations. Now, people today don't think that. They say free market [but think] "well, the government does need to regulate to make sure there's no corruption." No, no, no.

Green: But even that phrase "to regulate" means to make regular. It means just keep it ...

Barton: ... standardize it ...

Green: ... yeah, keep there from being tariffs between states and that sort of thing. It doesn't mean micromanage your marketplace.

Barton: And it's amazing how many people who say "I believe in the free market" still want some sort of government oversight. "Well, you got all those crooks on Wall Street" ... hey, the free market will take care of it.

Green: That's exactly right.

Barton: The free market will take care of crooks and they'll be out of business and we also have laws that say, hey you can't steal. And if you steal, you're going to be in jail. Talk to [Bernie] Madoff about that, see how it worked out for him.

Green: It's the areas that we most put regulation in to that then become a problem ...

Barton: ... the most corrupt ...

Green: ... the areas we got to go bail out.

I guess it should be pointed out that Madoff pled guilty [PDF] to "securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, false statements, perjury, false filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and theft from an employee benefit plan," violations of the very sorts of regulations that Barton and Green believe are totally  unnecessary.

Barton: The Bible Says Israel Deserves Foreign Aid

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

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

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

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

Green: And that's reason enough by itself.

Barton: That's reason enough by itself.

Another 'False News Friday' with David Barton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Barton's Long Term Plan to Remake America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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David Barton Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/30/2013, 3:27pm
Recently, David Barton delivered his stock presentation at during a service at Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama where he once again falsely asserted that the Supreme Court banned the practice of requiring Bible reading in public school because it could give students brain damage, as well as the various other false claims that he routinely makes. But, as he frequently does, he added in a few new bits of information; in this case, a  pronouncement that Christians cannot drink Starbucks coffee because the company supports marriage equality. "Biblically, there is no way... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 05/20/2013, 2:11pm
On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton reiterated his belief that we will never be able to find a cure for AIDS because the disease is God's punishment for homosexuality, but taking it a step further by saying that even if we do cure AIDS, new deadly diseases will continue to emerge because God says there must be a "penalty" for engaging in these kinds of "shameful sexual acts": I've gone on record before, and I'll say it again: I think Romans 1:27 is one of the reasons that we'll never find a complete cure for AIDS; and if... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/16/2013, 4:10pm
David Barton isn’t just a terrible and unaccredited historian, he’s also an awful amateur sociologist. While talking to co-host Rick Green on today’s edition of WallBuilders Live about how same-sex marriage will take away from society the benefits of marriage, Barton argued that “spousal abuse is through the roof, up to ten times higher in homosexual couples whether they be gay or lesbian, male or female, spousal abuse is higher.” He also said that “no sociological study out there” is supportive of same-sex parenting, adding that “we... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/15/2013, 2:17pm
On August 15, 2012, a gunman walked into the Washington, DC headquarters of the Family Research Council with the intent of killing as many people as possible. Fortunately, the FRC's building manager confronted him and, despite being shot in the arm, subdued him and prevented any loss of life. When the gunman, Floyd Lee Corkins, was interrogated by the FBI about why he carried out this attack on the FRC, he said it was because of the organization's anti-gay activism. When Corkins admitted that he had visited the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center while doing research, the... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Monday 05/13/2013, 2:34pm
The Family Research Council’s Watchmen on the Wall conference is an annual gathering for pastors and other church leaders to hear from a panoply of right-wing speakers and get motivated to “transform America.” Our coverage of last year’s event highlights speakers’ attacks on evolution, secularism, Islam, LGBT people, and other tools of Satan. This year’s conference, which takes place in Washington DC May 22-24, has been promoted by FRC for months.  In April, FRC sent an excited alert that Sen. Ted Cruz, a Tea Party and Religious Right favorite who is... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/07/2013, 5:39pm
Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Why Illinois' GOP chair was forced to resign. National Jewish Democratic Council: NJDC to NRA and GOP: Stand with ADL and B’nai B’rith Against Beck. Angelo Carusone @ Media Matters: On Limbaugh's Advertiser Losses, Cumulus CEO says: "The Facts Are Indisputable." Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Christians Are Not a ‘Hated Minority.’ Warren Throckmorton: Citing historical errors, FRC leader removes David Barton’s Capitol Tour video. MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 05/03/2013, 2:23pm
Among the many publications distributed at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening conference in April were two booklets examining Democratic and Republican party platforms. They were produced by Justice at the Gate, a group that describes its vision as “Building strategic partnerships to mobilize Christians to pray effectively and to vote righteously.” The two publications are both titled “Democrats & Republicans In Their Own Words.”  One of them is subtitled, “National Party Platforms on Specific Biblical Issues.”  I’m not sure where in the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/02/2013, 2:47pm
After watching the Republican presidential candidates lose the last two elections, right-wing activist Ken Blackwell cooked up a scheme whereby states would move away from winner-take-all allocations of electors to a system in which Electoral College votes would be assigned according to congressional districts. The result would be that a Republican presidential candidate who does not win the overall popular vote in the state could still end up receiving a majority of that state's electoral votes simply by virtue of winning the popular vote in more individual districts. Today, Blackwell... MORE >