One thing that has dogged David Barton for years are allegations from the Anti-Defamation League that he had spoken at events hosted by racist and anti-Semitic groups:
On at least two occasions, Barton has delivered his revisionist presentation in the meeting halls of the racist and anti-Semitic extreme right. In July 1991, Barton addressed the Colorado summer retreat of Scriptures for America, the Identity Church group headed by firebrand Pete Peters. He was advertised as “a new and special speaker” who would “bring the following messages: America’s Godly Heritage — Was it the plan of our forefathers that America be the melting pot home of various religions and philosophies? …” Barton’s fellow-speakers at the retreat included the virulently anti-Semitic Virginia stockbroker-polemicist Richard Kelly Hoskins; “Bo” Gritz, the 1992 presidential nominee of the far-right Populist Party and a self-described “white separatist”; and Canadian Holocaust-denier Malcolm Ross.
On November 24, 1991, Barton appeared at another Identity gathering, presenting the second annual Thanksgiving message to Identity preacher Mike Watson’s Kingdom Covenant College in Grants Pass, Oregon. In a subsequent edition of The Centinel [sic], Watson’s publication, Barton was described as a “nationally acclaimed speaker” who “has introduced many Americans to their godly Christian heritage.
On today’s episode of “Wallbuilders Live,” Barton and Rick Green addressed these allegations, but did so in typically Barton-esque manner in which they didn’t actually address the specific claims.
Instead, Barton and Green asserted that there may have been people in the audience who held such views, but that there was no way that Barton could be held responsible for that and saying that Barton has been forced to file defamation suits to prevent people from spreading these claims:
Green: Just because you might have a crazy sitting in the audience at one of the events you’ve spoke at – and you’ve done, I don’t know, ten thousand where you’ve spoken over the last twenty years – somehow that makes you associated to a Nazi. I could go find a nutcase in any audience in America anywhere.
Barton: And that’s assuming that I knew they were there to start with. You know, I walk up and there’s a crowd already sitting there, I talk to the crowd, I walk off, leave and go to the next event. I don’t know who has the time to go through and find a nut somewhere that’s a racist or anti-Semitic and say “oh, Barton spoke to an anti-Semite “… well, yeah, that’s real possible. I don’t know who else I spoke to either because I don’t have an FBI background check on every person that comes to an event.
Green: And somehow they take that and extrapolate …
Barton: And by the way, I’m not even sure they’re accurate in that anyway. That’s what they claim and I don’t think it makes a difference whether it’s truthful or not; that’s designed to scare people off from us.
Green: And the only reason I assume there is someone like that in every audience is there’s probably someone like that in every church audience.
Barton: That’s human nature.
Green: But to take that and then label you with it, as if you’re now the anti-Semite, you’re the one that’s a Nazi, you’re the one that’s a white supremacist, it’s unbelievable.
Barton: I speak at white supremacist rallies, even.
Green: But I know why they do it. They do it because they know that by throwing out that label, now all of a sudden that supposedly puts you in this box and people won’t listen to what you really believe and what you really say.
Barton: And that’s one of the things where you do what to try to defend your reputation some …
Green: And, in fact, you’ve had to do it. You’ve had to file defamation suits against people who are saying this stuff because it’s so blatantly false.
Barton: And, by the way, I’m considered a public figure. I mean, we do this, I speak everywhere publicly, I’m seen on national TV, etc … So for me to even think about doing a defamation suit is really way the heck over what most people would be able to do anyway.