WallBuilders is an organization founded by Republican Party activist and self-proclaimed historian David Barton for the purpose of "educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country." Barton and his work are routinely cited by those on the Right who claim that the United States was founded by Christian men on explicitly Christian principles.
PO Box 397
426 Circle Drive
Aledo, TX 76008-0397
Founder/President: David Barton
Board of Directors: Rose Barton, Jeff Fisher, Richard Watson, Stephen McDowell (Providence Foundation)
Finances: $1,450,327 (2004 revenue)
Publications: Dozens of books, pamphlets, CDs, tapes, videos, and DVDs as well as articles and a quarterly newsletter.
Read the latest news on WallBuilders on the group's Right Wing Watch index page
- WallBuilders bills itself as an "organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built—a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined."
- WallBuilders' mission consists of "(1) educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country; (2) providing information to federal, state, and local officials as they develop public policies which reflect Biblical values; and (3) encouraging Christians to be involved in the civic arena."
- In this capacity, David Barton has established himself as the Right's pre-eminent "historian" on the religious views of the Founding Fathers and their desire to establish a nation founded on Christian principles.
- WallBuilders produces and distributes dozens of books, DVDs, and other products that seek to apply "the lessons of our history to contemporary issues." Among them are "Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion," which claims that the Supreme Court has diluted "the Biblical foundations upon which [the Constitution] was based," "Restraining Judicial Activism" which advocated the impeachment of federal judges, and "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White" which bills itself as an examination of African American political history, but merely attempts to tie the Democratic Party of today to the evils of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, and lynching.
- WallBuilders also annually hosts "Pastors' Briefings" bringing ministers to Washington D.C. "for exclusive briefing sessions with some of the top Christian Senators and Representatives…serving in Congress. The Members brief pastors on a variety of issues related to Biblical values and share their hearts regarding their personal faith and its application in public office. Additionally, the Members impart practical information for pastors to carry home and implement in their communities and congregations." As an added bonus, Barton personally leads a "Spiritual Heritage Tour of the U. S. Capitol" which is "hosted by a Member of Congress."
- In addition, WallBuilders hosts annual "Pro-Family Legislators" conferences where right-wing legislators can meet to gain "a fresh perspective on the historical application of Scripture to public policy-making with a deeper look into what the Bible says about current issues" and meet other legislators to learn about right-wing legislation introduced elsewhere and "give and receive ideas for modeling legislation to avoid pitfalls and mistakes already made by others."
- Barton also travels the country, giving hundreds of presentations a year to various groups. In 2003, he was hired by the Republican National Committee to share his brand of pseudo-history at some 100 RNC-sponsored events. Barton is also personally active in the Republican Party, having served as vice-chairman of the Texas Republican Party from 1998 until 2006.
- WallBuilders emerged out of Barton's own research into a supposed correlation between the banning of prayer in public schools and a rise in alcohol consumption and crime rates. Despite the fact that Barton is not a historian and that his educational background is limited to a "Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College," his work has been embraced by Right and hailed by the likes of James Dobson and Jerry Falwell.
- The name "Wallbuilders" was taken from the book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament: "the nation of Israel rallied together in a grassroots movement to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and thus restore stability, safety, and a promising future to that great city. We have chosen this historical concept of 'rebuilding the walls' to represent allegorically the call for citizen involvement in rebuilding our nation's foundations."
Sen. Bill Frist once praised Barton for his "detailed research into the religious heritage of our nation."
Sen. Sam Brownback stated that Barton's "research provides the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today — bringing God back into the public square."
In 1995, Republican Senator Arlen Specter wrote in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy that many of Barton's arguments "range from the technical to the absurd" and that they "proceed from flawed and highly selective readings of both text and history." Specter went on to state that Barton's "pseudoscholarship would hardly be worth discussing, let alone disproving, were it not for the fact that it is taken so very seriously by so many people."
Updated: September 2006
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