The more we listen to David Barton and investigate the assertions that he makes individually and through his organization WallBuilders, the more obvious it becomes that he has absolutely no qualms about flagrantly misrepresenting issues in order to promote his Religious Right agenda.
Several months back, Barton and co-host Rick Green welcomed a former FBI agent onto their “WallBuilders Live” radio program under the guise that he had lost his job because he had discovered that the Muslim Brotherhood had been infiltrating the agency. The truth, not surprisingly, was quite different.
Today, Barton and Green featured former Ohio science teacher John Freshwater on the program and portrayed him as a victim of religious intolerance who lost his job for questioning evolution and keeping a Bible on his desk:
Freshwater: When the 2007/2008 school year came along, there was a new principal, a new Superintendent, and three new school board members and what took place that year was they wanted me to removed my Bible from my desk. And I felt I have academic freedoms and I thought I had the right to have my Bible on my desk, so I left it on my desk in 2007/2008 school year and they told me to remove it and that was when they suspended me – April 16, 2008 – they suspended me without pay and I’ve been in litigation since then, the last four years.
Green: What’s their complaint about having a Bible on your desk? I thought teachers were allowed to do that?
Freshwater: You know what? I thought so too, but they said I needed to remove it from my desk. Here is what it comes down to Rick, and it’s this: there is a lot of fear in public school teachers, especially Christian public school teachers. They put fear into them and they keep them ignorant; they don’t teach them, they don’t train them on it, so what a teacher does is they take off their religious beliefs, they take their hat off before they walk into a public school building because they don’t want to lose their job. They really don’t have a good understanding of this whole thing called religious belief and separation of church and state, it has been convoluted, it has been putting fear in the people and it is sad, it’s very sad for a public school teacher in a public school in America today.
Of course, a quick Google search reveals dozens of articles reporting that Freshwater was actually fired for allegedly burning a cross onto the arms of two of his students and using his classroom to teach creationism, attack gays, and promote his religion. And just last month, his firing was upheld in court.
But you would never have learned this from listening to “WallBuilders Live” where Freshwater was portrayed simply as a man who has been relentlessly persecuted because of his Christian faith.
As we have said before, Barton’s success is largely rooted in the fact that his intended audience generally doesn’t question anything he says or bother to check to see if his claims are accurate or true, and this is just the latest example of how he uses that power to routinely mislead them in order to create false narratives that support his own political and religious agenda.