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Still More Evidence That David Barton's History Simply Cannot Be Trusted

Several times, we have heard David Barton make the absurd claim that biblical law was directly incorporated into the U.S. Constitution through the Seventh Amendment, which he then uses to assert that laws legalizing abortion and gay marriage are unconstitutional.

Lately, Barton has tried to bolster this argument by citing an obscure 1913 Texas Supreme Court ruling in a case called Grigsby v Reib, which he claims proves that America can never accept a definition of marriage that differs from God's definition.

In Barton's telling, this case was about efforts to attain legal recognition for secular "civil unions" that were separate from marriage as a religious institution but which the court denied on the grounds that "government is not allowed to redefine something that God himself has defined."

On his radio show yesterday, Barton once again cited the case and read excerpts from the decision to argue that gay marriage can never be legal: 

Marriage was not originated by human law. When God created Eve, she was a wife to Adam; they then and there occupied the status of husband to wife and wife to husband ... The truth is that civil government has grown out of marriage. which created homes, and population, and society, from which government became necessary. Marriages will produce a home and family that will contribute to good society, to free and just government, and to the support of Christianity. It would be sacrilegious to apply the designation "a civil contract" to such a marriage. It is that and more; a status ordained by God.

The key finding in this case, Barton asserts, is that the court basically ruled that "we can't do something different than what God's done on" the issue of marriage.

Given that nothing that Barton says ought ever to be taken at face value, we decided to read the court decision for ourselves and, not surprisingly, found that Barton's interpretation of the ruling is entirely misleading.

The case involved a woman named Jessie Stallcup, who claimed to have been the wife of a widower named G.M.D. Grigsby and who had sued Grigsby's sister for control of his estate following his death. Stallcup was a prostitute whom Grigsby used to visit and she claimed that the two had agreed to become husband and wife, though they never held a ceremony, nor did they cohabitate or take any other actions to signal that they were now living has husband and wife.

The case heard by the Texas Supreme Court revolved around Stallcup's contention that she lost her lawsuit because the trial court ignored a binding appellate court precedent that stated that a common law marriage "requires only the agreement of the man and woman to become then and thenceforth husband and wife. When this takes place, the marriage is complete."

The Texas Supreme Court disagreed with Stallcup's contention, pointing out that the ruling in question involved a couple that had lived and presented themselves as husband and wife following their agreement, with the Texas Supreme Court stating that it takes more than a simple verbal agreement to constitute a legitimate marriage.

To demonstrate this point, the Texas Supreme Court proposed a hypothetical situation in which a man and a women met for the first time, agreed to become man and wife, and then went their separate ways, never to see one another again. This obviously would not constitute a binding marriage, the court found, and neither did the relationship between Stallcup and Grigsby on the grounds that, beyond their apparent agreement, they never took any further steps to establish themselves as husband and wife.

"It would be sacrilegious" to give legal standing to such relationships, the court found, because it would then give complete strangers the right to contest seemingly every inheritance by simply claiming to have been the secret spouse of the deceased.

Contrary to Barton's claims that this case enshrines divine principles about marriage into our civil laws, the court repeatedly notes that marriage is a nothing more than a civil contract that requires "neither license nor solemnization of religious or official ceremony" to be legally binding.

​Barton claims that this case was about trying to create a secular alternative to marriage, which the court slapped down because there can never be any legal marriage that does not correspond to "God's definition." In reality, the case addressed the issue of whether a supposedly secret verbal agreement to become husband and wife constitutes a legally binding and recognizable common law marriage and whether the relationship between Stallcup and Grigsby qualified as one under the law, with the court ruling that it did not because it didn't meet the most basic requirements.

This is just one more example of Barton's willingness to intentionally and flagrantly misrepresent history in order to promote his religious and political agenda.

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/9/14

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/9/14

  • James Dobson says that "the preservation of the family is the Cause for which I was born. I knew it when I was 20 years old."
  • James Robison warns people to vote properly: "Whatever political banner you may wave, you need the banner of the Lord and the principles of Almighty God or you are going nowhere but down. The way up is God. The way out is Divine Direction."
  • A bunch of anti-gay Religious Right activists are so anti-gay that they are urging other anti-gay Republicans to vote for a Democrat over a gay Republican.
  • Linda Harvey fumes over advances in gay rights: "Vicious attacks have been launched by the Human Rights Campaign, the Southern Poverty Law Center and others against brave, compassionate, truthful Christian brothers like Peter LaBarbera, Dr. Scott Lively, Dr. Michael Brown and organizations like American Family Association and Family Research Council. Isn’t it obvious, isn’t this revelation enough, that the poison 'fruit' of homosexual advocacy is ripening in today’s America, revealing lies and oppression, and it stinks to high heaven?"
  • NOM likewise fumes over the success of gay marriage: "This is not democracy: it is judicial tyranny ... [M]arriage is on the ropes, and our principles of government are taking a beating as well."
  • Finally, read all about the Palin family's drunken brawl.

Glenn Beck's Sanity Box: How Our Society Will Go From Gender-Inclusive Classrooms To Mass Genocide

Yesterday, The National Review reported on a document produced by a group called Gender Spectrum providing teachers with suggestions on how to create gender inclusive classrooms. Among the suggestions was that rather than separating the boys into one line and the girl into another, teachers could come up with gender-neutral ways of breaking up the class, such as separating by birthdays.

Another suggestion was for teachers to avoid using phrases like "boys and girls" and instead have the students come up with a class nickname and then use that nickname for calling the class together. The example the document provided was "purple penguins," so that the teacher could then, for example, call out for all the purple penguins to meet on the rug for reading time.

Predictably, Glenn Beck pretty much lost his mind on his radio show today over this, saying that he is going to start printing out these sorts of stories and sealing them up in a box that he can bury in the side of a mountain so that future generations can see just how deranged our society has become.

"Five thousand years from now," Beck ranted, "they will dig on the side of a mountain and they will find a big thing marked 'Glenn Beck's Sanity Box - what drove him insane is all in this box; open at your own peril.'"

Upon reading these stories, future generations will ask "what the hell were they thinking" and then they will find a message, Beck said, "probably scrawled in my own urine and poop" informing them that at least some of those living today realized the world had gone utterly insane, but nobody would listen to them.

Naturally, Beck then explained that all of this is rooted in a failure to acknowledge the existence of God, warning that when there is no Creator and society can decide its own rules, "this is what leads to mass genocide, every time!"

Barber: SCOTUS Is 'Tempting The Wrath Of God' With Gay Marriage Decision

Matt Barber and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel continue to fume about the Supreme Court's recent decision to allow several lower-court marriage equality rulings to stand and have dedicated several recent episodes of their "Faith and Freedom" radio program to ranting about it, with Barber at one point warning that America will soon face divine wrath.

On an episode set to run on Tuesday, Barber warns that "homosexual conduct is demonstrably and explicitly, throughout the Old and New Testament, called sin. And when you have a sin-centered redefinition of marriage and the government puts its official stamp on sin, you have the government blessing sin, well, sin cannot be blessed, it cannot be sanctified."

By trying to do so, Barber said, America is "tempting the wrath of God":

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/8/14

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/8/14

  • Right wing activist and donor Philip Zodhiates pleaded not guilty today to charges stemming from his role in the Lisa Miller kidnapping case.
  • Gov. Sam Brownback blames the media and liberals for the fact that his economic policies are failing.
  • Bob Ellis calls on people to refuse to abide by court rulings in favor of gay marriage: "[I]f 'we the people' do not rise up and use every means at our disposal to restore law and morality to our land, we will be as complicit in the evil of these lawless judges and officials as those officials themselves."
  • Similarly, NOM's John Eastman calls for "a constitutional amendment to overturn these decisions."
  • Phyllis Schlafly says President Obama isn’t banning travel from countries with Ebola because "his proclaimed goal is the fundamental transformation of the United States to make us more like other countries."
  • Finally, Janet Porter has an op-ed explaining why she will not be voting for John Kasich and a new video encouraging people to vote him out of office for refusing to support her "Heartbeat Bill" legislation:

Paul Cameron Says Parents Should Be Exempt From Taxes And Should Get Extra Votes

Paul Cameron was the guest again today on Gordon Klingenschmitt's "Pray In Jesus Name" program where the two set aside their concerns about "a gay" using molestation to recruit kids into homosexuality and focused their discussion instead on the dangers of the birth control pill and declining population growth.

Cameron believes that this "demographic crunch" is the most important problem facing humanity today and so he has come up with a couple of clever solutions:

  1. People with children should be exempt from paying taxes.
  2. People with children should get extra votes.

As Cameron sees it, parents ought not to have to pay any taxes while they are raising their children because they're "assuring the future" and Klingenschmitt thought this was a pretty good idea because it "creates a tax incentive for people to have children and to stay home, maybe, and raise them."

On top of that, Cameron also advocated for giving parents "their vote as a citizen plus one for for each child that they have."

"That means a couple with, say, three children," Cameron explained, "will have eight votes ... Let's change the politics of it so the politicians will suddenly say 'I wanna be family-friendly because I want to come back to Washington'":

Fischer: 'It Looks Like President Obama Wants Ebola To Come To The United States To Punish America For Being Racist'

On yesterday's radio program, Bryan Fischer bizarrely tried to claim that he is not saying that President Obama wants Ebola to come to America as punishment for the nation's history of racism, but rather is simply saying that it sure looks like President Obama wants Ebola to come to America as punishment for the nation's history of racism.

As Fischer sees it, Obama is not doing nearly enough to protect America from the disease and his lackluster effort is  certainly giving the impression that he is intentionally doing very little because he "wants Ebola to come to the United States to punish America for being racist."

Insisting that he is not saying that this is what Obama is doing, but rather that it looks like this is what Obama is doing, Fischer said that "maybe it's part of his redistribution plan to redistribute disease, not just wealth":

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/7/14

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