As we noted earlier, it has not been a very good week for David Barton, so this seemed like a good opportunity to pull together a list of some of the most absurd things that he has said over the last year or so just to give people who might not be particularly familiar with Barton or his work a better sense of just what sort of claims he likes to puts forth.
Yesterday we posted a list a ten demonstrably false claims Barton has made in recent months but this list, though also filled with falsehoods, focuses more on the sorts of patently ridiculous claims that Barton is prone to making:
Given this sort of record, is anyone surprised that a publisher that agreed to print a book written by Barton ultimately had to recall it?
Last week, People For the American Way Foundation launched a new report, “12 Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics,” which offers guidelines for policymakers and advocates seeking to bring faith into political debates.
Joining us at a launch party for the report and a discussion of the issues it raises were Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress; Sister Simone Campbell, director of the Catholic social justice group NETWORK; and Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
Here are some photos of the event from People For Foundation’s Dylan Hewitt:
Sister Simone Campbell talks with People For’s COO, Nick Ucci
People For President Michael Keegan, Rep. Keith Ellison, and Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery
Michael Keegan and Rep. Keith Ellison
Sister Simone Campbell and Rabbi David Saperstein
Rabbi David Saperstein
Rep. Keith Ellison and Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, director of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Conference.
On yesterday's installment of "AFA Today," Buster Wilson returned to the topic of Chick-fil-A to declare that the company has been successful because "they live according to God's word" and have kept God's command to meditate on His law day and night.
And that prompted Wilson to issue a not-so-subtle warning to "Big Gay" activists who oppose Chick-fil-A's anti-gay views they they are destined for Hell and therefore must "read the Bible and they need to try to believe it because it's going to have a bearing on their soul one day":
As we noted yesterday, it has been a rough couple of days for the David Barton as first his shoddy scholarship was exposed by NPR and then the publisher of his latest book announced that it has "lost confidence" in it and was ceasing publication and distribution.
The Tennessean caught up with Barton to get his reaction to these developments and the criticism that his work has been receiving and he offered up the most perfectly Bartontonian defense one could have imagined:
Barton said he met with a different group of scholars recently and they approved of his work.
“I can’t tell you how many Ph.D.’s were in the room,” he said.
But he would not give any names, saying the scholars hadn’t given their permission for him do so.
While we are not surprised by Barton's defense, we have to admit that we are a bit shocked by the utter silence from the Religious Right to these developments because we have been searching high and low and have so far been unable to find any evidence of anyone stepping up to defend him or his work.
Where are Glenn Beck, or Michele Bachmann, or Mike Huckabee, or Newt Gingrich or any of the others who routinely hail Barton as America's greatest historian? Will nobody stand up and defend Barton in his hour of need?
On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer proclaimed that Lisa Miller had a responsibility to God to defy court orders granting visitation and custody rights to her former partner, Janet Jenkins, and kidnap her daughter and flee the country.
[When] the girl came home, she suffered nightmares, she was wetting the bed, she was harming herself, she gave every indication of being sexually molested while she'd been in the company of this lesbian. She told her mom that she had bathed naked with this lesbian person to whom she's not even related, hadn't seen her in like four years and she's taking baths without any clothes on with this lady at five and a half.
So she's coming home clearly very disturbed, agitated emotionally by these visits and the mom said I'm not going to do it, I'm not going to put my child back into that environment. And the Vermont judge says that if you don't submit your child to an abusive environment, it was emotionally abusive, it was sexually abusive and the judge was saying, look if you don't put your child in that environment, I'm going to take your child away from you altogether and I'm going to award sole custody to the lesbian.
That was the plan; in fact the judge ruled you gotta turn her over January 1, 2010, you got to hand her over to this lesbian household where there's a proven record of child abuse.
Today has not been a good day for David Barton. First, NPR ran a devastating piece exposing his biased and shoddy scholarship and now the publisher of his book "The Jefferson Lies" has announced that it is pulling his book:
The Thomas Nelson publishing company has decided to cease publication and distribution of David Barton’s controversial book, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson, saying it has “lost confidence in the book’s details.” (See “The David Barton controversy,” Aug. 8.)
Casey Francis Harrell, Thomas Nelson’s director of corporate communications, told me the publishing house “was contacted by a number of people expressing concerns about [The Jefferson Lies].” The company began to evaluate the criticisms, Harrell said, and “in the course of our review learned that there were some historical details included in the book that were not adequately supported. Because of these deficiencies we decided that it was in the best interest of our readers to stop the publication and distribution.”
Barton is currently preaching out in Hawaii, but we imagine he is not getting much rest or relaxation as he deals with this string of bad news.
Maybe he will be a little more careful about making demonstrably false statements from now on.
In honor of all the attention that David Barton's shoddy scholarship is currently receiving, we thought we'd take some time to pull together a list of some of the demonstrably false statements that he has made in just the last several months alone.
Keep in mind, these are not simply crazy things that he has said - like life begins before conception or that Jesus opposed the Minimum Wage or that the government should regulate gay sex - but rather verifiably false claims that can be easily refuted with a basic Google search.
It is too bad that Barton refuses to engage in debates because it would be nice to see him defend his own claims instead of always just complaining that people are attacking him because of his Christian faith.
A few weeks ago, Phyllis Schlafly showed up on the American Family Radio's "AFA Today" program to promote her new book "No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom" where she made the claim that "every time [President Obama] quotes from the Declaration of Independence, he omits the word 'Creator.'"
Every time he recites the Declaration of Independence, he omits the word "Creator." Now we all know what's in the Declaration and it's very strange, you can't blame it on a slip of the tongue or blame it on the teleprompter because he does it all the time.
We have finally gotten so sick of hearing this lie that we put together this short video demonstrating multiple instances of President Obama quoting the "endowed by their Creator" line:
Schlafly's claims that Obama omits the word "Creator" every time he cites the Declaration is verifibly false, yet she keeps repeating it ... and you can't blame it on a slip of the tongue or on the teleprompter, because she does it all the time!
For years now, we have been covering the case of Lisa Miller, a former lesbian who found Christ thanks to Jerry Falwell's church and then sought to prevent her former partner from having any sort of visitation with the couple's daughter. After repeated violations of court orders regarding visitation arrangements, Miller was ordered to hand over custody of her daughter, at which points she kidnapped her and fled the country.
Ever since, the case has become a rallying point for anti-gay Religious Right activists and today a trial got underway for a man accused of helping Miller and her daughter flee to South America, prompting Bryan Fischer to come to Miller's defense by declaring that this kidnapping was entirely justified because the little girl was being sexually abused by Miller's former partner and so Miller had a responsibility "to obey God rather than man" and had no choice but to kidnap her daughter and run:
Every once is a while, we will get criticized for supposedly paying too much attention to the AFA's Bryan Fischer, with people accusing us of giving him the attention that he craves and suggesting that we'd be better off just ignoring him.
Believe us, we'd love nothing more than to be able to ignore Fischer's daily litany of idiotically bigoted ravings ... but we can't do that as long as leading Republican candidates keep appearing on his program, as Missouri GOP Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin did just today where they rejoiced in the fact that "freedom seems to be on the march again":
On today's episode of "Faith and Freedom," Mat Staver and Matt Barber discussed the news that the official Democratic Party platform would include a plank supporting marriage equality. Needless to say, neither Staver nor Barber were impressed, as Staver warned that it would lead to religious persecution against Christians while Barber declared that everyone knows that there is no such thing as gay marriage, which is why gay activists "respond so violently when people snicker at it."
Both Barber and Staver asserted that supporters of marriage equality refuse to engage in any sort of debate on this topic because, as Staver said, "they can't dialogue on it from a logical perspective and so they want to shout you down and shut you up and push you out of business so that you can't even practice your profession, pursue your calling, operate your business, or do you daily life":
On today's program, Bryan Fischer weighed in on the shooting at a Sikh temple over the weekend where a racist neo-Nazi murdered six people and injured several others. Fischer declared that the shooter was obviously a liberal because he was a Nazi who didn't like Herman Cain ... and everyone knows that the Nazis were liberals just as liberals and Democrats have always been "the party of racism" and responsible for slavery and the Ku Klux Klan:
You know what the Nazi Party stands for? It's the National Socialist Party. What about the word "socialist" do you not understand? They were the National Socialist Party - that is a left-wing political philosophy. And you think even here in the United States, who was the part of racism? It was the left, it was liberals who were the part of racism. It was Democrats that supported and defended the institution of slavery. It was Democrats that resisted the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. It was Democrats that instituted Jim Crow laws. It was Democrats that created the Ku Klux Klan. It was Democrats that filibustered the Civil Rights Acts of the mid-1960s.
The Cornwall Alliance's Cal Beisner returned to Janet Parshall's radio program yesterday to continue their anti-environmentalism collaborations and promote his latest effort called In His Image 2012 which seeks to "completely reshape the way Americans, and then people around the world, think of human beings and our role on Earth – to reassert the sanctity of human life and sexuality, the beauty and centrality of marriage, the goodness of human multiplication, and the dignity of human work and godly dominion over the Earth."
As Beisner explained, this new effort is necessary to help Christians understand that Judeo-Christian civilization is facing a "spiritual world war" being waged by proponents of Darwinsim, gay rights, and environmentalism, all of which are "rooted in the rejection of the fundamental Biblical doctrines of God and humanity":
This is the launch of what we intend to be a multi-year educational program to help people to understand what are the common roots behind a lot of the challenges that the Christian faith and frankly the whole Judeo-Christian civilization faces.
Whether it's naturalistic Darwinism with the eugenics and population control and government family-planning programs that come out of it with coerced sterilization and abortion and euthanasia. Or free-sex, no-fault divorce, gender confusion, homosexual so-called marriage, polygamy and polyamory. Or radical environmentalism, animal rights, ecosystem rights and Gaia worship. Or the war on abundant, affordable, reliable energy. Or ever-tightening environmental regulations at federal and state levels. Or eco-imperialist rules that are forced on poor nations, and more.
What we recognize is that all of these are rooted in the rejection of the fundamental biblical doctrines of God and humanity. All these different threats are not isolated; they're different parts of a spiritual world war. It's not primarily a political war, it's certainly not primarily a military war, it's a spiritual world war and we as Christians have got to recognize that spiritual enemy and then bring spiritual weapons into battle against that.
Over the last few weeks, Arizona pastor Michael Salman has become a Religious Right cause célèbre and the current poster boy for religious persecution. In the Religious Right's version of events, Salman has supposedly been harassed and persecuted by local officials for years simply because he wanted to hold bible study meetings at his home.
In reality, Salman had been attempting to illegally build a church in his back yard and was found guilty of dozens of code violations, resulting in a sixty day jail sentence, which Salman is now serving ... and about which his supporters are now complaining:
Pastor Michael Salman is serving his 60-day sentence for holding a home Bible study in Tent City Jail, a prison compound in Maricopa County, Ariz. The Phoenix pastor’s attorney describes conditions there as similar to the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.
“This is where you would put Osama bin Laden, not Michael Salman,” says Rutherford Institute founder and attorney John Whitehead in an interview yesterday with International Christian Concern (ICC).
“The temperature there has been around 140 degrees, and there is no air conditioning. They’re [living] in tents. They have stun fences … barbed wire … large German shepherds walking the perimeter, armed guards and facial recognition software so that the prisoners are studied all the time.”
According to Whitehead, Salman has reported being imprisoned with “really hardened criminals.” He is unsure why the pastor has been specifically sent to Tent City. In late June, the jail was the focus of thousands of protesters who gathered outside the Maricopa County Sherriff’s office to express their disapproval of the allegedly prison camp-like conditions.
It should be noted that this Guantanamo-like prison camp in which Salman is currently serving his time just so happens to be the system set up by the Right's hero, "America's Toughest Sheriff," and Birther extraordinaire Joe Arpaio.
Oddly, nobody on the Right seemed particularly concerned about the conditions in the compound until now.