Wallbuilders

More Evidence That The 'History' Taught By David Barton Simply Cannot Be Trusted

In the spring of 2014, the city council in Houston, Texas, passed an Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) that banned discrimination in housing and employment based on, among other things, sexual orientation and gender identity. That did not sit well with anti-LGBT activists in the city, who set about collecting signatures in an effort to place the ordinance on the ballot in the next election so that voters could repeal it. 

When the signatures were submitted for verification, city officials declared that organizers had not gathered enough valid signatures and rejected the effort to place the ordinance on the ballot. In response, organizers sued the city and, as part of the lawsuit, attorneys for Houston subpoenaed "all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession" from a handful of pastors who had been deeply involved in the effort to repeal the ordinance.

That move led to widespread outraged, the subpoenas was withdrawn and, eventually, the nondiscrimination ordinance was placed on the ballot and repealed by the voters.

Those are the facts of what happened ... but that is not the story that Texas-based right-wing activist and pseudo-historian David Barton told last week when he spoke at Charis Bible College.

In Barton's telling, Houston passed a nondiscrimination ordinance and then used it to persecute Christian pastors by demanding that they hand over all of their sermons, emails and social media posts so that government officials could scour them to see if anyone was criticizing homosexuality.

Nondiscrimination ordinances that protect sexual orientation and gender identity, Barton said, are unnecessary and designed solely to "attack biblical principles" and persecute Christians.

"When this ordinance was passed in Houston," Barton said, "Houston passed this ordinance and they said, 'Now pastors, we want to see your sermons. We have subpoenaed your sermons, we want to see if you're saying anything bad about homosexuality or homosexuals, because if you are, you're in trouble.' And so, with this NDO, it wasn't to protect the groups from discrimination, it was to go after Christians who were saying God has a moral standard of right and wrong and homosexuality is not right."

"We find the NDO being used to attack Christian pastors," Barton claimed. "They subpoenaed them and said, 'We want 16 forms of your communication, we want to see every text you've done, we want to see every email you've done, every Twitter, every Facebook, every social media of any kind; 16 different forms, we've subpoenaed them all.'"

Pastors are now "subject to civil action" in cities that have passed nondiscrimination ordinances, Barton falsely claimed:

This a perfect example of why Barton's claims about history cannot be trusted since, as we have noted before, if he cannot be relied upon to accurately recount recent events that anyone with access to Google can easily check and verify, why should anyone trust anything that he says about complex events from early American history?

David Barton: Natural Disasters And Terrorism Are The Result Of Bad Public Policy

On Friday, right-wing activist and pseudo-historian David Barton delivered a series of presentations at Charis Bible College in Colorado, where he has established a "School of Practical Government" designed to train conservative Christian activists to take control of government in order to implement biblical public policies.

During his opening session, Barton told the students that bad weather, natural disasters and terrorist attacks in America are all rooted in our bad public policies and insufficient support for Israel.

"God looks at public policies and says, 'That's not good, I can't bless that; that's good, I can bless that,'" Barton declared. "So it's by public policies, how they conform to His standards" that this nation receives either the blessings or curses of God.

Citing a passage from the Bible in which the prophet Elijah confronts Ahab and Jezebel, Barton said that even the weather is affected by bad public policies.

"If you want to do a study of weather in the Bible, you will see how often good weather is attached to righteousness, bad weather is attached to unrighteousness," Barton said. "You find example after example in the Scriptures, whether it's drought or flood or famine, whether it's rain or hail or fire, there's just all these examples of that. Now, do we believe that today? I don't know, but it's in the Bible ... What if the weather is dependent on what we do? Maybe we do a really lousy job of handling the weather."

Barton then asked the audience if they knew what "the 10 costliest events in U.S. insurance history, ... three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history" and "the two largest terrorism events U.S. history" all had in common.

"The answer is," he revealed, "they all occurred within just days after after America took a stand against Israel and told Israel she needs to give up her land ... Whenever we take a bad stand toward Israel, we seem to have a natural disaster that happens."

David Barton Claims The Founding Fathers Used 'The Exact Language Of The Bible' To Write The Constitution

A few years ago, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton developed a new talking point in which he claimed that the Constitution is filled with direct, verbatim quotes straight out of the Bible.

We pointed out repeatedly that the clauses in the Constitution that Barton insisted were direct quotes from the Bible were nothing of the sort and Barton eventually stopped making this obviously false claim.

But when he appeared on the Messianic Jewish program "Jewish Voice" recently, Barton dusted it off when he once again insisted that the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution by using the "exact language" of the Bible.

Barton was making the case that the Bible tells voters all they need to know about how to choose their elected leaders, repeating his false claim that 34 percent of the political documents from the founding era cited the Bible, which he claimed is why the Constitution is filled with direct quotations from the Bible.

"I can show you clause after clause in the Constitution where they used the exact language of the Bible in the Constitution," he said. "It's just that we're so biblicaly illiterate today that we don't recognize that in the Constitution."

Religious Right Leaders Vow To Defy Laws On Abortion, 'Sexual Perversion' In 'Declaration Of Dependence Upon God'

A group of Religious Right activists, including prominent advocates of dominionism, have joined together to circulate a “Declaration of Dependence upon God and His Holy Bible” in which signers vow to “refuse any mandate by the government that forces us to fund or support abortion” and to “oppose same-sex marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion prohibited by Holy Scripture.

Colorado Springs pastor Andrew Wommack, who wrote the pledge, says that he will spend $500,000 promoting it online and in newspaper ads. On Sunday, Wommack’s ministry bought a pricey full-page ad in the New York Times that showed the full text of the “declaration” and some of its most prominent signers.

Among those who have signed Wommack’s pledge, according to the ad, is Religious Right activist David Barton, who has been teaching students at a Bible college run by Wommack to retake the “mountain” of government in accordance with the Seven Mountains dominionist belief that conservative Christians must take control of the seven areas, or “mountains,” of society.

Other signers are Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council; Focus on the Family founder James Dobson; prominent televangelist Kenneth Copeland; leading Seven Mountains advocate Lance Wallnau; prosperity gospel preacher Creflo Dollar; and Kelly Shackelford, whose First Liberty Institute has been at the forefront of the narrative that conservative Christians are losing their religious liberty in America.

Another notable signer is Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm, who earlier this year sponsored a bill to make abortion a felony in the state, which was vetoed by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Among the signers are some prominent supporters of Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Dobson and Copeland are members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board. Boykin was recently one of the retired military leaders to sign a letter supporting Trump, which was promoted by the GOP nominee’s campaign. Wallnau is a member of the “National Diversity Coalition for Trump” who has argued that Trump can help reclaim the “seven mountains” from Satan.

In a video message, Wommack says that he believes he was “divinely inspired” to write the declaration, warning that “Satan is fighting for the heart and soul of this nation.”

Another video promoting the declaration shows Fox News pundit Todd Starnes reacting to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, saying, “The Supreme Court’s decision means gay rights now trump religious liberty. If you think the cultural purging of the southern states has been breathtaking, wait until you see what the activists are about to release on American Christians.” In the video, a young girl turns to her grandfather and asks, “Grandpa, we’re Christians, aren’t we?”

Wommack’s declaration reads like a shorter version of the Manhattan Declaration, a 2009 document that joined conservative Catholic and evangelical leaders in a pledge to commit civil disobedience in the face of the supposed impending government persecution of Christians.

Here’s the full text of the “Declaration of Dependence upon God and His Holy Bible”:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Since our Creator gave us these rights, we declare that no government has the right to take them away. Among these rights is the right to exercise our Christian beliefs as put forth in God’s Holy Bible.

We therefore declare that God grants life at conception and no one has the right to take that life unless it is a direct threat to the life of the mother.

Marriage was instituted by God between one man and one woman. The Lord gave only this family unit the responsibility to have children and raise them in the fear of the Lord.

We therefore respectfully reserve the right to refuse any mandate by the government that forces us to fund or support abortion. We also oppose same-sex marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion prohibited by Holy Scripture.

We proclaim that Jesus has provided the cure for all sin and therefore reach out to the sinner in love, but do not embrace the sin, knowing its destructive nature.

Therefore, we, the undersigned—not only as Christians but also believing we have the constitutional rights as Americans to follow these time honored Christian beliefs—commit to conducting our churches, ministries, businesses, and personal lives in accordance with our Christian faith and choose to obey God rather than man.

David Barton: Christians Need To 'Quit Making Excuses' And Vote For Donald Trump Because He Is God's Choice In This Election

Last night, "respected prophet" Cindy Jacobs hosted a voter mobilization conference call featuring right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton to discuss "the significant role women can play in elections and impacting the nation."

Barton's remarks consisted largely of the typical talking points that he has been using in recent weeks to try and convince reluctant Christians that they must vote for Donald Trump in November, including doubling down on his belief that Trump must be "God's guy" in the election because he won so many Republican primaries in which conservative Christians voted.

When a caller asked for advice on how to respond to Christians who say they cannot vote for someone like Trump because of his ungodly lifestyle and behavior, Barton dismissed those concerns as little more than people looking for excuses in order to avoid their responsibility to vote. Citing wicked leaders from the Bible whom God used for good, as well as godly leaders in the Bible who displayed various personal failings, Barton declared that Christians do not have a choice about whether or not they are going to vote because God has commanded them to do so and therefore they must vote for the candidate who is going to promote policies that most closely align with the Bible. 

In this case, that is Donald Trump and Barton knows that Trump is God's candidate of choice based on the fact that so many Christians voted for him in the Republican primaries.

"God doesn't always think the way we do," Barton said. "The leaders he chooses, the people he calls his servants are often people that would not fit our paradigm, not by a long shot. But I will point out, I have no clue what's in store for America but I guarantee you God knows what we're going to need 16 months from now, 23 months from now, 47 months from now and it may be somebody that, if we Christians had picked and gotten our heart's desire, would not have been competent for what's coming. I have to believe that with the highest recorded turnout, particularly in primaries and as many evangelicals as voted, that not all of them missed hearing from God. They chose people that we would probably not choose as our first choice. It doesn't matter. God's people showed up and voted in record amounts in this election and I've got to believe that God used them to guide us to what we have as our final few choices now."

"So get on board, you're going to vote," Barton concluded. "Now figure out who you are going to vote for and quit making excuses."

David Barton: Christians Have A Biblical Responsibility To Vote For Donald Trump

Last night, David Barton spoke at an event hosted by the Dallas Eagle Forum, where he told the conservative Christians who had gathered to hear him speak that they had a biblical responsibility to vote for Donald Trump in November.

Barton, who has previously declared that Trump is "God's guy" in this election and warned that Christians will have to answer to God for failing to support him, told the audience that those who say they cannot vote for Trump don't understand that they are required by the Bible to do so.

"Let's take and apply biblical thinking to the election that we've got right now," Barton said. "We have a lot of Christians and I see them all of the time saying, 'There is no way I can vote for Donald Trump with the kind of lifestyle he's got and what he's been involved with.' Okay, I understand that. But, by the way, I've got to point out what the Bible says in Proverbs 14:34, the measurement you use for a nation at any point in time is 'righteousness exalts a nation, sin is a reproach to any people.' So, Donald Trump doesn't have the righteousness? No, no, God blesses a nation based on the policies in the nation."

Barton then spent the next ten minutes making his standard arguments about the necessity of supporting Trump because the GOP platform is the most biblical it has ever been, as well as highlighting the importance of electing a leader who will appoint good judges and enact policies that reflect the Ten Commandments in order to make the case that Christians have a biblical obligation to vote for Trump.

Citing his favorite right-wing Jewish source, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Barton declared that there is no word in the Hebrew language for "coincidence" or "retirement" or "fair" because these are all things that have no place in the world that God created. There is also no Hebrew word for "right," Barton stated, because people don't have "rights," they have "responsibilities."

"This generation has become the entitlement generation," Barton said. "They think they're entitled to all sorts of stuff. One of that is we have a right to vote, that is my right and I'm not going to exercise it because I don't like [the candidates]. No, you don't have a right, you have a responsibility. God put a vote in your hand and He's going to ask you what you did with that vote when you came back and if you say, 'I didn't do anything with it,' look up what happened in Matthew 25 and Luke 19; it didn't turn out good for the guy who had been given a trust and didn't do anything with it. See, we don't have a choice of whether we vote in this election. We will vote in this election. That's what Christians ought to understand. They don't have a right to vote, they have a responsibility to vote."

David Barton: Trump 'Doesn't Have To Be Deep On The Issues' Because He's a Businessman

Religious Right activist and Republican operative David Barton offered an interesting argument to Christian conservatives who are reluctant to vote for Donald Trump today, explaining in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody today that Trump “doesn’t have to be deep on the issues because he uses a CEO model, not a governmental model.”

Barton pointed to Trump’s many business failures, which he said the GOP candidate was able to bounce back from because “he keeps taking the best people and putting them over those endeavors.”

Trump provides a paradigm that Christians are not used to. We’re so used to having government leaders, we think in terms of governmental leaders. With a business leader, you do things totally different. It’s not how much he knows, it’s the people he puts around him. So Trump has lost his fortune several times, but how come he keeps rebuilding it back to a billionaire level? Because he keeps taking the best people and putting them over those endeavors. So as far as Trump’s concerned, he doesn’t have to be deep on the issues because he uses a CEO model, not a governmental model. It’s about who he chooses.

Of course, Barton's absurd rationale doesn't explain why, if Trump "keeps taking the best people" and putting them in charge of his various endeavors, he has managed to lose his fortune several times in the first place.

David Barton Narrows Down The Five Commandments For Conservative Christian Voters

Even before the long security lines, the singing of the National Anthem, and Tony Perkins’ use of a goofy toy gavel to call the 2016 Values Voter Summit to order, early risers filled the Empire Room at Washington, D.C.’s Omni Shoreham hotel for a breakfast sponsored by United in Purpose, a Silicon Valley-based organization that uses “big data” techniques to help Christian organizations better understand and motivate their supporters and to help boost conservative Christian voter turnout.

The opening prayer at the breakfast was given by Jim Garlow, a United in Purpose board member and anti-gay pastor who made his name in right-wing politics by mobilizing church support for California’s anti-marriage-equality Prop 8. Attendees were given copies of Garlow’s new book, “Well Versed: Biblical Answers to Today’s Tough Issues,” published by Regnery Faith.

A quick glance suggests that the themes of Garlow’s book will be familiar to anyone who has attended a Religious Right gathering or absorbed the “scholarship” of the Right’s favorite self-proclaimed historian, David Barton: The Bible is a guidebook for government policy on everything from marriage to education and tax policy, and America has lost its way because pastors haven’t been preaching these truths aggressively enough. Garlow writes that his book was written to overcome pastors’ resistance to political preaching, which he blames on legal restrictions on church politicking that Donald Trump has vowed to overturn.

The breakfast’s two keynoters, conservative Christian pollster George Barna and Barton, the truth-challenged “historian,” are also, like Garlow, board members of United in Purpose. Barna runs the group’s American Culture and Faith Institute, which is carrying out in-depth longitudinal studies on changing attitudes among church-going Christians.

Barna argued that America was strong when family, church and government were all doing their jobs well and staying in their own “lanes.” But, he said, today is different. He ran through a set of statistics that depressed the people sitting at my table, demonstrating Americans’ lack of basic civic knowledge, lack of trust in the government and the church, and lack of hope in the future. One big problem, he said, is that only nine percent of born-again Christian adults have what he calls a “biblical worldview”—which seems to mean embracing the Barton-Garlow vision that Christians have a duty to vote according to their particular interpretation of the Bible. “That’s what makes it so difficult,” he said, “to be America.” Barna said America is “ripe for another revolution.”

Barton was his fast-talking self, quoting founding fathers, showing slides of colonial-era sermons, and generally contrasting the thundering sermons of revolution-supporting pastors and what he said are whispers coming from today’s pulpits. Barton asserted again that the Bible has policy directives on divorce, the minimum wage, the capital gains tax and just about any other issue a politician might confront.

Barton said Christians should not think in terms of having a right to vote, but rather a responsibility to vote. And, in what felt like a clear pitch for evangelicals to view voting for Trump as a biblical mandate, Barton explained that according to the Bible, a nation’s righteousness is not based on the righteousness of its leaders but on the policies they produce. And nothing is more important than the kind of judges a president will nominate and senators confirm, he said.

God gave the Israelites 613 laws, he said, and then focused them on His “top ten” priorities. Barton’s conclusion: You might care about immigration or climate change, but those can’t be among your top five voting issues because God says the top five must be abortion, marriage, public acknowledgment of religion, judicial nominations and support for Israel.

David Barton Removes Video Claiming He Has 'An Earned Doctorate'

Yesterday, we reported that in response to questions about his claims that he has a Ph.D., right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton released a video insisting that he does, in fact, have "an earned doctorate."

As we and others pointed out, Barton's assertion seemed a little odd since he never actually stated where or when he "earned" his supposed doctorate and the documents in the background to which he pointed were difficult to read, though one clearly came from Pensacola Christian College, from which Barton received an honorary doctorate. The other two documents appear to have come from Ecclesia College and Life Christian University, an unaccredited Christian university that has also awarded Ph.D.s in theology to televangelists like Joyce Meyers and Benny Hinn.

Despite his claims to the contrary, Barton's video did not prove that he has "an earned doctorate" and, instead, simply raised more questions than it supposedly answered. 

And perhaps that is why the video has now been removed from Barton's WallBuilders Facebook page and the video has been made private:

David Barton Now Insists That He Has 'An Earned Doctorate'

Last week, we noted that right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton had started insisting that he has a Ph.D. and begun referring to himself as "Dr. David Barton" in an effort to bolster his credentials as his shoddy work comes under constant criticism.

We pointed out that Barton's recent claims that he has earned a Ph.D. conflict with statements he made earlier this year and last year admitting that he doesn't have a Ph.D.

Apparently, the questions about his academic qualifications have gotten under Barton's skin, so he released a video today insisting that he does, in fact, have an "earned doctorate."

"Something I've noticed about progressive and liberals is how careless they are about throwing false claims around," Barton declared, without a hint of irony. "For instance, I was recently on a national television network where I was introduced as having a doctorate, and progressives instantly ran stories proclaiming that I don't have a doctorate."

"That false claim is amusing on so many levels," Barton smirked, saying that his educational records are "fully protected by privacy laws" as he laughably claimed that he has simply "always chosen not to talk about" his academic credentials. 

"Just for the record, I do have an earned doctorate," Barton stated, gesturing to some framed diplomas sitting on a table behind him. "Not only do I have an earned doctorate, I also have two honorary doctors of letters from other colleges."

The degrees displayed behind Barton are difficult to read, but the one to which he seemingly points when claiming that he has "an earned doctorate" is clearly from Pensacola Christian College, which, according to his own biography, is one of the places from which he received an honorary degree:

David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College.

To make things even more confusing, Barton then bizarrely added that "according to West Virginia University, a Doctor of Letters degree is reserved only for individuals who have the highest level of knowledge in their chosen subject matter. Hmmmm. So for all of you critics, sorry to pop your balloon, but I do have an earned doctorate."

Barton's reference to West Virginia University came directly from this Reference.com article about honorary degrees! As the WVU website makes clear, a Doctor of Letters degree is purely an honorary designation:

Honorary degrees are conferred honoris causa, a Latin term meaning “for the sake of honor.” Honorary degrees are not Ph.D.s, nor do they entitle the recipient to the same professional privileges as individuals who have earned degrees.

Rather than settling this issue, Barton has just raised more questions, such as when did he supposedly "earn" this doctorate and from where? And why didn't he provide that information in the video instead of just vaguely pointing to difficult to read documents in the background?

Last year, Barton admitted that he did not have a Ph.D. and earlier this year, he confusingly asserted that he both did and did not have a Ph.D. Now he insists that he does in fact have an "earned doctorate." So which it it? If Barton is going to take the time to film a video proving us wrong, the least he can do is provide verifiable information that actually does so.

UPDATE: Warren Throckmorton notes that the other documents featured in the background of Barton's videos appear to have come from two other Christian colleges and neither appears to support his contention that he has earned a doctorate: 

The video appears to have three degrees in the background. The first one appears to be his honorary degree from Pensacola Christian College and the third appears to be from Ecclesia College. The mystery “earned degree” appears to the one which is partially hidden in the background ... Looking closer at it, I think it is a degree from the unaccredited prosperity gospel fave school Life Christian University.

I can’t find a listing of faculty and the doctorates offered are in theology and ministry, not history and/or education. The requirements have no doubt been slipped for some of those distinguished graduates and may have been in Barton’s case. The requirements say that a student must first get a masters and DMin to go for the PhD. Did Barton do that? He has never said he had anything other than a BA from ORU. The school is not accredited by a regional accrediting body which is perhaps why he didn’t name it in his video.

Barton’s smug rebuke depends entirely on what degree he actually has. It appears his degree comes from the same school which awarded Joyce Meyers and Benny Hinn a PhD in theology. The school does not award degrees in history which Barton should have disclosed.

'Dr. David Barton' Tries To Boost His Credentials As His Scholarship Comes Under Attack

John Fea, a professor of American history and chair of the history department at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, has been a vocal critic of David Barton and the misinformation that he tries to pass off as history. 

Barton, predictably, has not taken too kindly to Fea calling him out for his shoddy work and vowed earlier this week to strike back at those "Christian college professors who are very, very bad at what they’re teaching" and singled Fea out by name.

The focus of Barton's ire was a piece that Fea published recently titled "Why the Founding Fathers wanted to keep ministers from public office," in which he explained that "the founders who crafted the original state governments ... thought it was a good idea for ministers to stay out of politics," so much so that several state constitutions "banned clergymen from running for office."

This historical fact obviously conflicts with Barton's entire narrative of American history, so he felt compelled to release a rebuttal to Fea's piece yesterday titled "No Professor Fea, The Founders Did Not Want Ministers to Stay out of Politics."

We'll let Fea and Barton fight over the historical details and instead simply highlight one rather odd thing from Barton's reply:

Notice that Barton is billed as "Dr. David Barton" despite the fact that his own biography states that he "holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College."

This is now the third time in recent weeks where Barton has suggested that he has a Ph.D. despite having admitted earlier this year and last year that he doesn't have a Ph.D.

Has Barton earned a Ph.D. or not? Or, more likely, is he simply using the honorary doctorate that he received from Pensacola Christian College to justify passing himself off as "Dr. David Barton" in order to try and boost his credentials because his "scholarship" is coming under attack?

This seems like a very simple question that Barton ought to be more than willing to answer in order to put the issue to rest.

Yet More Evidence That David Barton Won't Stop Saying Something Just Because It's Demonstrably False

It is clear that once David Barton adopts a new talking point, nothing is going to stop him from repeating it, no matter how many times it is pointed out that the claim he is making is demonstrably false.

Barton demonstrated this again several times recently when he repeated his false claim that Wesleyan University does not offer separate housing for male and female students.

He made this claim earlier this week in a meeting that was broadcast on Periscope, asserting that "there is a Christian college up in Connecticut—Wesleyan College—[that] offers dorm housing for 15 gender identities and male and female aren't options."

Barton made the same false assertion again the other day when he appeared on the "Contending For The Faith" program and declared that "we have a Christian college in the northeast United States, a Christian college that has dorm housing based on 15 different sexual identities; it doesn't offer male and female."

As we noted the first time we heard Barton make this claim, it is entirely false, as the Wesleyan website makes perfectly clear:

As students move through their years at Wesleyan, they have an opportunity to choose an increasingly more independent living option from residence hall doubles to singles to program houses, apartments, and eventually wood frame houses. All of these options are within a 5-10 minute walk to campus. All of our units house both men and women; however, some residence halls are coed on each floor, while other halls offer single-sex floors. Smoking is prohibited in all University Housing. Residential facilities vary by size, room type, and ratio of first-year to upper-class students.

...

Student housing at Wesleyan is designed so that first year students live together in residence halls near the center of campus.  Residential facilities vary by size, room type and ratio of first year to upperclass students.  In all locations, first year students comprise at least 50% of the residents.  All of the buildings are coed, however some halls offer single-sex floors.

Gender Neutral Housing:

Wesleyan University assigns roommates for incoming students based on legal sex.  Students choose among the following three options on the housing preference form:  to be assigned according to this policy, to request an exception to this policy, or to be available as a potential roommate for someone who has requested an exception.  Gender neutral housing is available in all student residences.

Another Of David Barton's False Claims Gets Easily Debunked

After having watched hundreds of DVD specials and live presentations delivered by right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton and listened to thousands of his daily radio programs, we have concluded that his work is so routinely riddled with errors and misrepresentations that just about any factual claim that he makes ought to be checked for accuracy.

One of the claims that we have heard him make dozens of times in recent years is that the College Board's Advanced Placement U.S. history standards have replaced topics such as D-Day, Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust with anti-American propaganda.

When Barton made this assertion again yesterday in a meeting that was broadcast on Periscope, we decided to finally look into it and, predictably, discovered that it is totally false.

"World War II is of interest to me because of what's happened to AP History," Barton said. "AP History is the last history course that kids will take in high school. Right now, colleges do not require any course in American history for graduation, so it's the last course that most kids take. There's 460,000 kids that take the course and they're considered the brightest history kids in America. In the standards that came out for AP History in September 2014—the College Board puts them out because the College Board is the one that does the 47 AP tests for all classes—in those standards, they took out Hitler and the Holocaust and D-Day and Pearl Harbor and Patton and everything else. They have six statements in there and that's all on World War II and one of the statements is, 'America dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, raising questions about American values.' And all six statements they have are all negative."

If you look into this claim, it turns out to be so utterly false that the authors of the College Board's AP U.S. history standards released a letter in 2015 debunking it.

As the authors explained, instructors who are teaching AP U.S. History courses are obviously already well-versed in history and would know enough to include the important topics like Hitler and the Holocaust when teaching World War II and therefore did not need to be instructed to do so by the AP guidelines:

The AP U.S. History course is an advanced, college-level course – not an introductory U.S. history course - and is not meant to be students’ first exposure to the fundamental narrative of U.S. history. Because countless states, districts, and schools have their own standards for U.S. history teaching, we did not want to usurp local control by prescribing a detailed national curriculum of people, places, and events. As a result, we created a framework, not a full curriculum, so that local decision makers and teachers could populate the course with content that is meaningful to them and that satisfies their state mandates (such as teachers choosing to discuss the heroic World War II experiences of Bob Dole, Daniel Inouye, or Dorie Miller).

Many of the comments we have heard about the framework reflect either a misunderstanding of U.S. history or a very limited faith in history teachers’ command of their subject matter. The Curriculum Framework was written by and for AP teachers – individuals who were already experts in U.S. history and its teaching. Based on feedback from other AP teachers outside the Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee, we did not think it necessary to specifically identify Martin Luther King, Jr., among the post-war “civil rights activists” mentioned in the framework. Any United States History course would of course include King as well as other major figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Dwight Eisenhower. These and many other figures of U.S. history did not appear in the previous AP framework, either, yet teachers have always understood the need to teach them. Critics who believe we have omitted them from the course are misunderstanding our document, and we request that they examine the AP Practice Exam as evidence of our determination that AP students must be exposed to a rich and inclusive body of historical knowledge.

David Barton Is Writing A God-Filled Government Textbook For Use In Public Schools

Earlier today, Tim Barton, the son of right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton, broadcast a meeting on Periscope that he and his father held with representatives of Gateway Church about drafting a curriculum to be used in conjunction with his "Foundations of Freedom" DVD series.

During the conversation, Barton revealed that he has been contracted to write a God-filled government textbook that can be used in public schools all over the nation.

"I just contracted," Barton said, "about two weeks ago, we're doing a government textbook, a national government textbook but it will be very much in this kind of vein but it will meet the Texas TEKS standards and all the national standards for any state, it can be used in any state, except it will have a lot of God in it."

"After we get done with this," he continued, "our next project is to write a history curriculum. We've got these old history books and you cannot read an old history book without seeing God all over the place because God was just involved."

Is David Barton Biblically Illiterate Or Just Deliberately Misleading His Audience?

During his radio broadcast yesterday, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton said that we here at Right Wing Watch mock him for saying that Jesus opposes the minimum wage, but that is only because "it is highly unlikely that they even know what is in the Bible."

Of course, it is because we have read the Bible and know what it says that we mock Barton's absurd misrepresentations. And, amazingly, Barton provided a perfect demonstration of just how he misrepresents the Bible yesterday while trying to prove that we are the ones who don't understand what it says.

Barton did so when he again cited the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard from Matthew 20 to make the case that Jesus opposes the minimum wage:

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

The proper context for understanding this parable is that, in Matthew 19, the disciples asked Jesus who can get into heaven and Jesus responded that everyone who believes in Him will be saved, but cautioned that "many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."

Jesus then illustrated this point with the parable of the vineyard in order to explain that no matter how late in one's life one comes to Christ, the heavenly reward is the same; those who embrace Christ on their deathbed will receive the same eternal reward as those who are devoted Christians all of their lives because of God's generous love. Jesus was telling his disciples that those who dedicate their lives to Christ early on cannot complain when those who come to Jesus later also receive the same heavenly reward.

But that is not how Barton interprets this parable, as he instead skews it to claim that it was Jesus who hired the workers and then used the situation to teach them about the evils of the minimum wage and government regulation.

"In Matthew 20:15, Jesus says, 'Is not my money to do with as I please?'" Barton said. "'I'm the employer. Don't I get to decide what I'm going to pay everyone in this thing?' No, no, no, the government has a minimum wage. No it didn't. Jesus says, 'My money is mine to do with as I please and, by the way, you made a contract with them.' And then he tells the guy, 'If you didn't like the contract, you can go down the road to another vineyard and see if they'll pay you two silver coins for what you did, but you agreed to work for me for that.'"

"So what you have here," Barton continued, "is Jesus says, 'The government doesn't tell me how much to spend, I get to choose my own wages and, two, if you choose to work for me for that, you have an agreement, we have a contract; and three is if you've got greater skill, you can sell it to somebody else for a higher price, you can go down the road.' That's all free market stuff, there's no government regulation of wages; and by the way, Right Wing Watch, that is the minimum wage. Government doesn't tell you want to pay an employee, you make a contract with that individual for whatever they agree on and what you agree on, and if the don't like that, they can use the free market to go somewhere else and try to get more. All of that is in Matthew 20."

Obviously, all of that is not in Matthew 20. In fact, none of that is in Matthew 20, because it was not Jesus who hired and paid the laborers, it was a landowner in the parable He was telling to illustrate His point about heaven. On top of that, nowhere in the parable does it say that if the workers don't like the payment they received, they can take their services elsewhere—in fact, that wouldn't even make sense considering that it was a lesson about eternal salvation and Jesus teaches that "no one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus certainly wasn't saying that if you don't like God's way of doing things you can go find some other god to worship! 

So, David Barton, we do know what is in the Bible and that is how we know that you're interpretation of it is so often laughably wrong. 

David Barton Says Donald Trump's Campaign 'Definitely Has Reached Out' To Him

At the end of the presentation he recently delivered to a Tea Party gathering in Arkansas, Religious Right activist David Barton stuck around to take a few questions from the audience, during which he revealed that Donald Trump's presidential campaign has reached out to him and that he "helped do some things with them."  

When an audience member asked if either of the current presidential candidates had sought his counsel, Barton, a relentlessly dishonest right-wing pseudo-historian who has repeatedly stated that we will never find a cure for AIDS because the disease is God's punishment for homosexuality, laughingly responded that Hillary Clinton's campaign "definitely hasn't." 

But "the other one definitely has reached out and we've helped do some things with them, putting some events together," Barton said. "We'll see how it goes. But they're looking for input, looking for help."

David Barton: 'I've Got A Ph.D.'

Earlier this month, we watched as David Barton appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program and lied to Beck's face when he falsely claimed that he had earned a Ph.D. in education:

As we noted, Barton does not have a Ph.D., as he himself admitted on several occasions in the last two years, and his own bio states that "David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College."

Yet, when Barton spoke at a Tea Party conference in Arkansas over the weekend, he falsely told the audience that he does have his Ph.D.

Barton, a relentlessly dishonest right-wing pseudo-historian who is reportedly a favorite of House Speaker Paul Ryan, was criticizing the book "The Godless Constitution" for not including footnotes and using it as an example of why people should not listen to "experts" who try to undermine God's role in the founding of this nation and the formation of our government.

"We defer to experts today who have no brains," Barton said. "I'm at the point where I often—I've got a Ph.D., but I often ask now how many Ph.D.s does it take to make you stupid? Because we're at the point where we have lost common sense on so many aspects of things."

David Barton Explains Why 'You Just Don't Find Atheists' Living Out In The Country

Right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton spoke at an Arkansas Tea Party conference last weekend, where he repeated his claim that you only find atheists living in cities because people who live in the country can see proof of God's existence revealed everywhere in the laws of nature.

Barton claimed that God has given us the laws of nature to show us how to live by simply watching how things like ant hills operate, which demonstrates how the government should guide the economy. Just as ants store up provisions for lean times, Barton said, so too should the government save in preparation for economic downturns instead of relying on deficit spending.

Lessons like this are found everywhere in the laws of nature, he declared, which is why you don't find any atheists among those who live out in the country.

"Do you know how hard it is to find an atheist in the country?" Barton asked. "You find atheists in the city. You find atheists in areas that don't get to see God. If you spend time looking at creation, you just don't find atheists out there."

'That's What They Claim': David Barton Falsely Tells Glenn Beck He Has A Doctorate In Education

Glenn Beck is hosting an event at his network headquarters in Texas this weekend to promote the release of his latest book, "Liars: How Progressives Exploit Our Fears for Power and Control," and his good friend David Barton will be on hand, offering private tours of various historical artifacts that Beck and others have collected that have been put on display for the event.

Beck brought Barton onto his radio program today to promote the event by spreading his latest bogus claim that the United States put its own soldiers in danger by specifically warning Japanese civilians which cities we were going to bomb before dropping atomic weapons during World War II.

During the conversation, Beck once again falsely claimed that Barton earned his doctorate in education.

"You have your doctorate, don't you?" Beck asked Barton.

"That's what they claim," Barton replied. "I've got papers for it."

Perhaps realizing that "that's what they claim" is a rather odd answer to a simple yes or no question, Beck sought to clarify.

"You have your doctorate in education," he reiterated.

"Yeah, that's right," Barton responded.

"So he's a doctor of education," Beck stated. "David has an actual doctorate."

Barton, of course, does not have a doctorate in education, as we noted earlier this year when he somewhat confusingly admitted that he doesn't have a Ph.D. In fact, his own bio reports that he merely "holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College."

David Barton Decrees 'Biblical' Standards For President But Supports Trump, Who Fails To Meet Them

Over the weekend, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton appeared on the Bible Broadcasting Network's "Weekend Connection" program, where he offered conservative Christians some guidance on how to vote in the presidential election based on the Ten Commandments.

Barton, who has made clear that he believes that Donald Trump is "God's guy" in this election, admitted that no candidate is perfect as he made the case again that Christians must first and foremost focus on electing candidates who promise to appoint conservative judges because the Bible says that "the righteousness of the land is dependent on the judges in that land."

In addition, he said, Christians must look to the Ten Commandments in casting their vote; specifically by supporting a president who "publicly acknowledges God [and] who openly supports the acknowledgement of God," who is committed to "keeping the marriage bed pure" by opposing gay marriage, who opposes abortion and who opposes the use eminent domain to allow the government to take private property:

Trump, of course, pretty much fails to meet every one of these standards, as his public acknowledgements of God have been laughable, he clearly is not personally committed to "keeping the marriage bed pure," his positions on gay marriage and abortion have been all over the map, and his love of eminent domain is well documented.

"There's four issues right there that God put in his top ten" that Christians should use when deciding how to cast their vote, said Barton, who has already made clear that he'll be voting for a candidate who has violated most of the very standards that he just laid out.

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