David Barton Again Misleads His Audience On Parables And Voter Turnout

On Sunday night, Religious Right activist and right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton spoke at Pastor John Hagee’s church in San Antonio, Texas, where he delivered his standard message that Christians have a responsibility to vote for Donald Trump.

In making his case, Barton managed to, in the span of one minute, once again misrepresent the Parable of the Talents while also repeating his false claim that for the first 200 years of American history, voter turnout was 100 percent.

Christians do not have an option of whether they are going to vote because “it’s not your vote, it’s God’s vote,” Barton said, citing Matthew 25 and Luke 19. As we noted last month, Barton is fond of using the parables found in these passages to argue that Jesus supports profit-making and opposes government bailouts, but now he is also using them to assert that God intended to put Christians in charge of choosing the governmental leaders in America.

If a Christian refuses to vote, Barton said, “I guarantee that’s the person that is going to be in trouble” when Jesus returns because they have forsaken their duty to God.

Until recently, Christians understood that, Barton said, again falsely insisting that for the first 200 years of its history, America routinely had 100 percent voter turnout.

“We had the first elections in 1619,” he said. “I can show that for over two centuries, we had 100 percent voter turnout in America.”

As usual, it’s impossible to know where Barton got this figure or how he supposedly obtained voter turnout records for elections that took place more than a hundred years before America held its first presidential election in 1789, but it’s hard to believe his claim considering that voter turnout even at the birth of this nation never approached anything near 100 percent.