On "WallBuilders Live" today, David Barton and Rick Green were discussing the importance and benefits of school choice in terms of improved scholastic performance. While making the case, Barton explained that during Glenn Beck's "Restoring Love" event earlier this year, WallBuilders was tasked with organizing volunteer opportunities for the thousands of attendees and one of the groups they partnered with was a church that had been asked to help improve the reading ability of local third grade students.
And the reason this was so important, Barton explained, is because the Texas Department of Corrections uses the number of third grade students who are not reading at grade level to determine how many prison beds they will need in fifteen years "because kids that are not reading at grade level in the thrid grade, they're the kids that end up in prison. That's the best indicator they have found is where these kids are in third grade":
Recently, David Barton appeared on a television program entitled "Fixing The Money Thing" with Gary and Drenda Keesee where he explained that America has struggled economically because it has not followed Jesus' teachings about taxation and government regulation, asserting that it was only the industries that were government-regulated that failed and had to be bailed out through TARP and the Stimulus Package while "the free market did pretty good":
UPDATE: Barton then inexplicably followed up this assertion by stating that "in 2008, before the TARP and bailout, one hundred percent of business in America were open and free and competitive" while only 35% are that way today ... which completely undermines his earlier claim that it was the heavily regulated industries that needed a government bailout! If in 2008, 100% of business in America was free, then how is it possible that it was government regulation that caused them to fail?
The guest today on "WallBuilders Live" was Pastor Laurence White, who was brought on to "discuss the sin of the silence of the German Christians during the Holocaust and the parallel to American Christians today" as he explained that it was the silence of the church during under the Nazis that allowed the Holocaust to take place, just as it is the silence of Christians today that is allowing abortion to remain legal in America:
The same thing is happening in America today, exactly the same thing. We've take a segment of the human race, unborn children, and we've said "you're not human, you're life unworthy of being lived, we can kill your for our personal convenience and nothing more." And think about it, we've been letting that happen for forty years, a million and a half babies a year ... four thousand a day, that's every day, as we carry on our business as usual. The Devil has allowed us to gradually get used to coexisting with abortion.
I think what has to happen is a bottom-up transformation of our culture, lead by the people of God. You know, abortion is just the epitome, the final, deadly malignant festering core of everything else that's happening in our culture, the sexual immorality, the perversion, the destruction of marriage, divorce, and homosexuality and all the rest of it. If sex is just recreational pastime, then abortion becomes virtually a practical necessity.
In August, the Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council released a joint report entitled "The Survey on Religious Hostility in America" which purported to be a "collection of more than 600 cases, detailing religious bigotry throughout America" ... but, for some reason, the incident they love to cite more than any other is a nearly twenty year old myth about an elementary school student who was supposedly yanked out of his seat and yelled at simply for praying before eating his lunch in the school cafeteria.
In reality, the student was disciplined for fighting in the lunch room in 1994 but the Religious Right continues to perpetuate this lie to this day. In fact, David Barton cites it repeatedly despite the fact that it is demonstrably false, and did so again today on "WallBuilders Live," as did the Liberty Institute's Kelly Shackelford, who was on the program to promote the report:
Barton: What does it say to that elementary kid who got jerked out of his seat and hauled to the principle's office in front of everybody else and told don't you ever pray over your lunch again, period? What kind of impression is that giving? Jesus said "suffer the little children to come unto me" and we're doing our best to say "absolutely no way, absolutely not will we ever allow any kid to get to you" ... this is crazy stuff.
Shackelford: It's all the way from a ten-year old boy who was quote "caught" praying over his meal in the lunch cafeteria who was lifted out of his chair and carried to the principle's office where he was told to never do that again while he was at school.
Even though this incident never actually happened, Barton sees it as proof that we at PFAW and other groups have created a "toxic" and "hostile" environment in which public officials are pressured into persecuting Christians:
Barton: And I really blame this climate on the secular groups, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Americans United, the People For the American Way, the Military Freedom Foundation, all these guys who have so made the climate so toxic that if you share your faith, public officials feel like they have to come down on you with both feet otherwise they'll get sued and end up in court and have to spend millions of dollars defending something religions. And so these guys have created such a hostility in the public that now public officials and school officials and city council officials and those who run senior's centers and everything else are so scared to death of seeing faith that if they see it, they feel like they have to jump on it with both feet and both hands and bring out the hammers and run over you with a car and pull out a chainsaw and cut you to pieces. They over-react and I really blame a lot of those organizations.
Last year, David Barton began recommending a book called "None Of These Diseases" by S.I. McMillen, which claims that everything we need to know about medicine and health care can be found in the Bible. Barton called the book, which states that promiscuity is the cause of arthritis and insanity, that it is not necessary for women to experience orgasm, and that women who have been punched the face by their husbands just need to learn to submit, "one of the best healthcare books you'll ever read."
Today, on "WallBuilders Live," Barton recommended the book again as he predicted that eventually science will discover that salt is not actually bad for you ... because that is what the Bible says:
That's one of the life verses I love is Joshua 1:8 that if you do things according to His law, you'll have prosperity, you'll have success. You just do it according to His way. You also get the promise of Exodus 15:26 that says now if you do all of the things that I command you, you won't be stuck with all those diseases I put on the Egyptians, you'll really be health. And so this is really the basis of healthcare is actually doing your body the way God wants you to do your body. That's one of the great books out of the 60's called "None of These Diseases" by Dr. S.I. McMillen who's just a medical doctor and he said 'hey, let's go back and look at what God said about health things in the Bible." And, my gosh, four thousand, five thousand years later we doctors have finally figured out God got it right.
And I'll make a speculation on this because I think the Bible is always right on science and science eventually does catch up, we're going to find out salt is not that bad a deal for you. There's a reason Jesus made salt a good thing, that we are the salt, we are the light, we're the preservative. Now anything taken too much is going to be a problem, but I have seen in the last two weeks new studies coming out saying well, it turns out salt is not as bad as we thought it was.
David Barton recently appeared on "The Story of Liberty" radio program to discuss the document he released earlier this year proclaiming that Barack Obama was "America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President." Predictably, the interview was filled with the sorts of half-truths and misrepresentations we have come to expect from Barton, including one segment where he spun a convoluted theory that President Obama refuses to protect the conscience rights of Christians not to pay for contraception because Obama himself has no conscience as demonstrated by his support for abortion rights.
It wouldn't be a proper Barton interview if it didn't include several outright lies which, of course, this one did:
[President Eisenhower] has the National Day of Prayer started. So that's been going since 54 and the White House regularly participates in the National Day of Prayer and issues National Day of Prayer proclamations until May of 2009; the first National Day of Prayer after Obama's in office and they decline to host services for the National Day of Prayer. So from the very start, he starts off in a brand new direction after President Clinton had national days of prayer at the White House, and President Carter and President Reagan, but not President Obama, he's not going to do that.
Seven times he deliberately omitted the reference to God in the Declaration [of Independence,] quotes it but leaves the God part out because he doesn't agree with that. So that's crazy. And he won't say the national motto is "In God We Trust" - I'm sorry, that's established by law - no, he says the national motto is 'E pluribus unum,' that is not the national motto, that is the reverse side of the National Seal, but that is not the national motto. But he says it's not In God We Trust, it's E pluribus unum. He just won't even acknowledge God in traditional ways that we're used to most presidents doing.
As we have pointed out before, even the National Day of Prayer Task Force admits that it was not until President George W. Bush that the White House hosted annual National Day of Prayer events, so Barton's assertion that all presidents until Obama did so is patently false. As is his claim that Obama regularly refuses to include the phrase "endowed by their Creator" when quoting the Declaration of Independence:
For program host John Bona, Obama's supposedly hostility toward all things Biblical was just further evidence that "no honest, sincere [Christian] can vote for Obama":
Now, what I'm saying is if you're a professing Christian, let me say this real clear, if you're a profession Christian and you vote for somebody - in this case it's President Obama - who stands for abortion and gay marriage and a host of other things were going to go through, you're denying your Christian faith. Because why? Because Christians are to vote for those most likely to govern according to God's stated laws and principles that's outlined in Holy Scripture. So if that's the standard we use, then there's no honest, sincere person, a Christian, who can vote for Obama.
Now what I'm saying is there isn't any candidate, including President Obama, that should receive a single vote from any true Christian.
The extent to which David Barton seeks to turn this nation into one governed strictly according to the dictates of the Bible really cannot be over-stated, as he displayed once again when he spoke Grace Family Church in Florida over the weekend. After delivering his standard presentation about how the Constitution is full of verbatim quotes from the Bible, Barton called for a return to the practice of beginning every legislative session throughout the nation by inviting preachers to address the elected representatives and explain to them how they should handle every pressing legislative issue - from taxes to debt to immigration to education - according to the laws God set out in the Bible:
During his appearance on Glenn Beck's radio program yesterday to discuss the debate, David Barton also also took a few minutes to promote his new book "The Founder's Bible" which he predicted would become "a new Geneva Bible" and shape the nation for generations to come.
Beck asserted that Barton and his work have been "ravaged" in order to undermine the credibility of his extraordinary important new book and Barton agreed, saying that the attacks on him are just like what took place when "God and Satan had debates over Job" as Satan is trying to destroy Barton's work before people start reading it:
In Biblical interpretation, there are some who engage in a practice called "prooftexting" which is "the practice of using isolated quotations from a document to establish a proposition." In essence, it is a practice of pulling isolated passages, fragments, or even sometimes single words out of the Bible, removing them from their original context and then using similarities in language or symbolism to assert that the cited passages support a certain position or prophesied a certain event.
The book of Joshua kicks off with a sixteen page article on the history of the English language Bible in which Barton seeks to explain why, for most of Christian history, Bibles contained not only the 66 books found in current versions of the Bible, but dozens of other books as well, known as the Apocrypha. It was not until the 1500s that these books began to be excluded from the Bible when it was decided that they were not "part of the authoritative canon of Scripture."
In seeking to explain why, after thousands of years, these other books were suddenly excluded from the Bible, Barton provided a lengthy explanation about how it was God himself who said that there were only to be 66 books in the Bible way back when Moses and the Israelites were still wandering in the desert.
Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.
“Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
Barton then explains that, throughout the Bible, a lamp or lampstand is frequently used as a symbol for the Word of God, which he claims, based upon the instructions from Exodus, demonstrate that God intended the Bible to contain exactly 66 books:
The lampstand was to have 7 branches, with 3 branches on each side of a center branch. Each branch was comprised of 3 cups in the shape of an almond blossom, and each cup had a bulb and a flower, thus 9 pieces (3+3+3) for one branch. The center branch had 4 cups, each with a bulb and a flower, or 12 pieces (4+4+4). So there are 6 outer branches of 9 pieces each and once center branch of 12, which means that the combined number of individual pieces (9+9+9+9+9+9+12) is 66.
The golden lampstand, being a type or symbol of the Word of God, has 66 individual pieces of hammered gold that are fashioned together into a single complete unit. And the Bible has 66 books, by dozens of authors, written over the span of some 1,500+ year, preserved and recorded for us upon who the ends of the age have come, fashioned together to create one amazing, continuous story that testifies of God and shines his light of His purpose and plan for salvation.
Is that coincidental, or is it God's providence?
There's more. Adding up the individual pieces of hammered gold of the first four branches of the lampstand (9+9+9+12) gives a total of 39 - the number of books in the Old Testament. Combing the individual pieces of the remaining three branches (9+9+9) yields a total of 27 - the precise number of books in the New Testament.
Not everyone is going to agree as to whether this proves anything, but it's hard not to agree that it is utterly amazing! The Bible has 39 Old Testament books + 27 New Testament book = 66 books of hammered pure gold that are considered one compete work - not just 39 or 27 or 80, but 66 Divinely inspired, purposed, and planned before the first one was ever penned.
And that is just one of the marvelous gems awaiting discovery in this supernatural Book!
As we noted yesterday, we are working our way through David Barton's new book "The Founders' Bible" and we've made it up to the book of Deuteronomy, which Barton has filled with articles about how the Founding Fathers disapproved of using the government to help the poor, wanted the Bible taught in schools, included God in the wording of oaths, created courts to carry out Biblical justice, and opposed the imposition of unbiblical progressive taxation:
America's original system of taxation treated Americans as individuals rather than as part of a group, and it allowed, figuratively speaking, for the sun to rise alike on the good and the evil, and the rain to fall equally on the just and the unjust. This is just one of the many areas in which the Constitution specifically incorporated Biblical principles. We would do well to return to the wisdom that God establish for how to order our society. Forsaking it only invites destruction.
There is also a long article defending the Biblical legitimacy of the death penalty, which Barton roots in Deuteronomy 17:6, which says that "on the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness."
Barton again asserts that this passage is the foundation for the Constitution's treason clause, but also explains that God was using DNA evidence way back in Genesis and so it counts as an "eyewitness" in today's courts of law:
Biblically, the death penalty could not be applied unless there were at least two eyewitnesses to the incident. Circumstantial evidence, even when strong, is not the equivalent of multiple eyewitnesses and therefore does not meet the Biblical standard. Interestingly, however, the Bible long ago acknowledged a specific eyewitness that only in recent decades has become recognized in Americans courts.
Recall the account of Cain's murder of his brother Abel from Genesis 4:8-10. When God asked Cain where his brother was and Cain lied, God specifically confronted him with the declaration: "The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground" (v. 10). Blood cries out? Blood has a voice? How can that be? We now know that DNA has a voice - that it serves as an eyewitness to specific crimes, just as when it cried out to God about Abel's death. This voice therefore Biblically qualifies as one of the "two or three eyewitnesses" needed to secure the death penalty in a capital crime.
Last week, David Barton participated in a conference call for Champion The Vote, the Religious Right election effort that seeks to register and mobilize millions of Christian voters because "it only takes 5 million votes to decide an election."
During the call, Barton set out a pretty simple rule to help conservative Christians determine how to cast their ballots: vote the Ten Commandments:
Now you take the Ten Commandments and look at them and there are certain issues that do appear there. One is the public acknowledgement of God, that's the first thing off. So when there's a difference between candidates on whether God should be mentioned in public, if one of them wants a secularization of the public square, the other says "no, God needs to be acknowledged," that's a big deal, that's one of God's top ten issues.
You'll find that also in the top ten, don't shed innocent blood. Well, that goes to abortion.
You'll also find in the top ten that God says "I want you keep marriage the way I told you it was back in Genesis." Hey, the marriage issue makes the top ten.
What doesn't make the top ten is the environment or helping the poor or energy or whatever. So if we take other issues and raise them above God's top ten, then we have usurped what God has told us in the Scriptures and what God told his nation: "I've given you 613 laws, but here's my prioritization; these are the most important ones." So we need to vote with that cognizance.
As we've noted before, marrige in the Book of Gensis consisted mainly of polygamy and/or some form of incest ... but we are pretty sure that is not what Barton had in mind.
Over the last several months, we have written a series of posts highlighting the various social, cultural, and governmental institutions that David Barton claims are directly rooted in the Bible. For Barton, any parallel he can discover between a provision in the Constitution and language in the Bible can only mean that the latter was the cause for the former, often going so far as to falsely claim that the Constitution quotes the Bible "verbatim."
Now Barton has produced a new book called "The Founders' Bible" which is designed to help readers "discover the Scriptures that the Founders used as the basis for our original founding documents, see what chapters inspired them in the fight for independence, understand the sacrifices they made because of their Biblically-based beliefs and learn about America as a Christian nation."
We received our copy of the book today and we were not at all surprised to discover that it is full of the sorts of absurd claims we have come to expect from Barton. In essence, the book is a Bible interspersed with long explanatory articles written by Barton explaining how the adjoining passages served as the foundation for America and our form of government.
Many of the claims we have heard from Barton before, but the book also to contain several new ones, such as the statement that Independence Day was based on Biblical precedent.
As Barton explains it:
The turning point for the independence of the Jews ... was the Passover, when God, in a miraculous demonstration of power, struck down the firstborn of the Egyptians. Out of all the amazing things along Israel's lengthy road to becoming an independent nation and people, God commanded them to remember that one particular event and to celebrate the anniversary of that one particular day every year thereafter (Exodus 13:10.) And not only were they to honor that day, but they were also to use it to teach the rising generation about what God had done in birthing their nation (Exodus 13:8.)
Barton then explains that some of the Founding Fathers "saw a correlation between the account in Exodus and the American experience," prompting him to declare that "the Fourth of July is an annual day of celebration and remembrance like that in Exodus 13 - one of the many American practices with Biblical precedents."
Later in the same chapter, Barton declares that the Second Amendment is rooted in Exodus 22 which says that "if a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed" (though Barton conveniently edits out the rest of the line, which says "but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.") For Barton, this is proof that "the Second Amendment's 'right to keep and bear arms' is the constitutional embodiment of the Biblical right to self-defense found in Exodus 22 (and other passages) - another of the many American rights rooted in Biblical teachings."
These are just a few examples that jumped out at us in just the first two chapters of Barton's book, which contains several dozen of these sorts of explanatory articles through out its 2000+ pages; so undoubtedly this is merely the first in a series of posts highlighting the various claims Barton makes about how our social, cultural, and governmental institutions are all rooted in the Bible.
When David Barton appeared on Glenn Beck's program to discuss the important of prayer and fasting, he displayed various prayer proclamations issued by the Founding Fathers before highlighting one issued by Abraham Lincoln that Barton claimed Lincoln released because he felt that America had "become so prosperous, so bountiful" that it had forgotten God and needed to be reminded to humble itself and be thankful for all God had given this nation, declaring that it showed that "Lincoln had great spiritual insight at a time when the nation really was doing well":
The proclamation that Barton cited was issued by Lincoln on August 12, 1861 ... just a few months after the start of the Civil War; not exactly "a time when the nation really was doing well":
And whereas, when our own beloved Country, once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him, and to pray for His mercy, -- to pray that we may be spared further punishment, though most justly deserved; that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the re-establishment of law, order and peace, throughout the wide extent of our country; and that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under His guidance and blessing, by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its original excellence.
But, as we have noted time and time again, the fundamental falsehood of a claim isn't going to stop David Barton from repeating it over and over, which is just what he did today on the program where, for good measure, he also declared that the waivers were "anti-biblical" and further proof that President Obama is hostile to the Bible:
This is serious stuff and not the least of which is on what basis do you have to unilaterally rewrite the welfare law? And by the way, it was on a biblical principle; the Bible says if you don't work, you don't eat and he removed the word requirement. He says "well, you can eat without working."
See, that's another area where I could say he is biblically hostile because the Bible says if you don't work, you don't eat and he says "well, not in this country, we're not going to do that." So not only is it anti-Constitutional, it's anti-biblical and that's a real problem.
I've started asking people "have you read through the Bible from cover to cover?" And I'm talking people fifty, sixty, seventy years old who have been in the church fifty years who have never read the Bible from cover to cover.
Now if you haven't read the play book or the rule book, you're not going to know what's in it. Going back to a baseball analogy, that's like alright, I've got the bat, the glove, the ball but I don't care what the rules are, I don't know what the rules are, I don't want to read the rule book or the play book. You can't do that.
And so we really have a biblically illiterate group of folks now who claim Christianity and that's where I put the President; I don't think the President has ever read the Bible from cover to cover.
On "WallBuilders Live" today, Richard Land was discussing the dangers of liberal Christianity when he made the declared that "liberalism kills," meaning that churches or denominations that embrace more liberal theologies will inevitably lose members and collapse.
David Barton was particularly enamored with Land's axiom and declared that they "ought to emblazon [it] on everything we have":
I tell you what, Richard gave a two word axiom that we ought to emblazon on everything we have: liberalism kills.
Liberalism kills, whether it's in the family; whether it's in a university; whether it's in education; whether it's in business; whether it's in government, and especially in denominations, liberalism kills.
That's a great axiom to remember is liberalism kills.
Mat Staver was the guest on "WallBuilders Live" today as he, Rick Green, and David Barton discussed the importance of the issue of judges in this upcoming election by highlighting various recent Supreme Court decisions that had been decided by 5-4 margins.
After Staver rattled off several cases that were decided by close votes, Barton piped up to declare that the Lawrence v. Texas case was also a 5-4 decision. Barton was wrong, as usual; it was a 6-3 decision.
But then again what do you expect from someone who absurdly claims that in this case the Supreme Court ruled that everything that is consensual is constitutional ... even eleven year old girls having sex with ninety-five year old men:
Lawrence v. Texas was a 5-4 decision and that's the one that gave the whole foundation for gay marriage because the court there said "look, here's the new deal: if it's consensual, it's constitutional."
So if an eleven year-old girl says she wants to have sex with a ninety-five year-old guy and they both consent, that's constitutional?
Now wait a minute; if five guys want to marry one girl and they consent, that's constitutional?
So what happened is that decision was a 5-4 decision that has opened the door to what we're seeing now not only with gay marriage but with what they're calling polyamorous marriages and open marriages and so many other things because the premise is that if everybody agrees, it's fine. And that's a wild decision.
Today's episode of "WallBuilders Live" was dedicated entirely to attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center with David Barton repeatedly (and falsely) claiming that the SPLC had placed him on its "hate list" while guest Jerry Boykin reiterated his claims that the SPLC was “anti-American," "anti-Christian," and "anti-Semitic."
The most interesting revelation was when Boykin, along with Barton and co-host Rick Green, wondered how an organization like the Family Research Council could be classified as a hate group when, during last month's shooting at FRC headquarters, the building manager did not kill the shooter after he had disarmed him because God told him not to:
Boykin: Let me tell you a quick thing you may not even know; the day that the shooter came in here and shot our building manager who just happened to be sitting at the reception desk that day. The building manager, after being shot, wrestled him to the ground with one arm, took his pistol away from him, bleeding profusely and started to shoot him and he said to us "God told me not to kill that man."
Now I want you to think about that. We're the hate group but he said "God told me not to kill him." And he could have justifiably killed that guy right there that had just shot him.
Green: What a great response by that guy at FRC. I didn't realize ... man what a witness that he did the way that he responded.
Barton: The Lord said don't shoot him and we're the haters? Nobody would have said a thing if he had shot that guy that had just shot him and shattered his arm, he was under attack, self defense, he's got a perfect right, he's an officer, he can do that and the Lord says "hey, don't shoot that guy." And somehow we're the haters in this thing. How crazy is that?
A few weeks back, we wrote a post noting that David Barton's supporters and defenders had been saying that the criticism of his pseudo-scholarship simply boiled down to disagreements over matters of interpretation. We agreed and pointed out that Barton's documented inability to accurately "interpret" events and information is precisely the problem.
And today Barton again demonstrated the fundamental disregard he has for facts or accuracy when he and co-host Rick Green welcomed Rep. Louie Gohmert onto "WallBuilders Live" to defend the witch hunt that he and several other Republicans members of Congress launched against Huma Abedin under the guise of investigating the Muslim's Brotherhood's infiltration of the government.
Here is how Barton framed it:
And so what happened is you have some really high people in the State Department that, it turns out, man they've got some real direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
And so what happens is Louie [Gohmert,] and Michele [Bachmann,] and Trent Franks and some others write a letter and say "have you guys actually investigated these ties?" And so all they did was ask a question and of course the administration when they got that letter, instead of answering the question, they released it to the media and said "look what these guys are doing, it's a witch hunt."
And so they suddenly get attacked for having accused a person of being a part of the Muslim Brotherhood and that's clearly not what the letter said, the letter is out there, easy to read.
On one level, Barton is correct: the letter is out there and easy to read ... but not because the administration leaked it to the media, but because Michele Bachmann posted it on her website!
As a matter of fact, Bachmann and crew sent five different letters to the Inspectors General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of State in which they named several high-ranking advisors who are alleged to have "extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood."
So it seems that Barton's "interpretation" of events is pretty accurate - except for the two central claims of his statement.
As we havesaidseveraltimesbefore, if Barton cannot be relied upon to accurately "interpret" information pertaining to recent events that anyone with access to Google can easily check and verify, why should anyone trust anything that he says about complex events in early American history?
Given all the criticism that David Barton has been receiving for his pseudo-scholarship and misrepresentations of history in recent weeks, you would think that he would be making an effort to reign in his tendency to make blatantly false statements ... but you would be wrong.
Several times in recent months we have documented Barton claiming that the Constitution directly quotes the Bible despite the fact that it is obviously and demonstrably untrue.
But Barton was giving a presentation at Northwoods Community Church in Illinois over the weekend and made the claim yet again, claiming that those who claim the Constitution doesn't quote the Bible are just biblically illiterate:
If you will take the Constitution in one hand and read its language and take a Bible in the other hand and read it, you'll say "wow, that's a direct quotation out of a Bible verse." Yeah, exactly. If you'll look through the Constitution, you'll find so many direct quotations right out of Bible verses because that's what they put in the document.
Now today we're often told, on no, the Constitution is a secular document, it's a godless document. When people tell me that, I know that they're biblically illiterate, they don't recognize Bible verses. If you read the content of that and you know the Bible, you'll say "hey, that's a direct quote out of Ezra 7:24 and there it is out of Deuteronomy 17:5." It's just throughout the Constitution.
Let's take a look at Barton's claims and see if any of them hold up:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.
Not even close. Barton also claims the idea for separation of powers came from Jeremiah 17:9:
The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse — who can understand it?
And the concept of the three branches of government came from Isaiah 33:22:
For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler, the Lord is our king; he will save us.
You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
Clearly, not a single one of Barton's claims holds up, nor does his claim that tax exemption for churches comes out of Ezra 7:24:
You are also to know that you have no authority to impose taxes, tribute or duty on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants or other workers at this house of God.
And that is primarly because the Constitution does not actually say anything about tax exemption for churches.
The ironic thing is that Barton says that people who point out that his claims are patently false are "biblically illiterate" when, in fact, it seems that Barton is both constitutionally and biblically illiterate since he is unable to realize that these passages he cites clearly do not say the things that he claims that they do.