A few weeks ago, we wrote a post featuring a video of Bryan Fischer rewriting American history in order to claim that the American Revolution was not a "rebellion" because, according to the Bible, all governing authorities have been established by God and therefore rebellion against them is rebellion against God.
Barton: A lot of people get lost over the American Revolution, they say there is no way America could ever be blessed because it was born out of rebellion, they rebelled against God. No, not if you understand civil disobedience and what the Biblical issues are. Now, if you went to a public school and you were told that the Revolution was only about taxation without representation, then you can say, yeah, that was rebellion. But that's not the only issue that was there and that's one of the things that public schools are not taught is the other twenty-six clauses of the Declaration.
There is a reason that the first national motto proposed ... was "rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." There's a reason for that. We're not trying to disobey but obedience to God causes us to rebel against tyrants who tell us to do the opposite of what God said.
Rick Green: So even that phrase that they used really was encapsulating the philosophy and the Biblical foundation of when it's okay, when it's right, actually when you should say "no" to government.
Barton: If you have a tyrant that's telling you that you can't do what God told you to do, then rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. And that's what they said; they said we're not in rebellion, we're in complete submission to God on this.
It has become quite clear by now that David Barton does not particularly care about the accuracy of the things he says and will flagrantly misrepresent just about anything if it serves his purpose.
Last week, we posted a clip in which Barton claimed that the Southern Poverty Law Center had placed him on a list of the "25 greatest domestic terrorists in America" simply because he loves God and loves America. As we pointed out, the SPLC did nothing of the sort, but rather simply included him in a report highlighting "30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right."
So it is undeniably false for Barton to claim that the SPLC ever called him a domestic terrorist or anything of the sort ... but Barton doesn't care and went ahead and repeated the claim on his radio program today:
Barton: The Southern Poverty Law Center now has me as one of the thirty terrorists to be watched in America because I combine God and country and they said that really makes you a terrorist. So I'm on the list of thirty that need to be watched as domestic terrorists because I think God and country go together ... Isn't this nuts?
Green: These guys are so off-track. The people that want to save the country, they're worried about and not worried about the ones that want to destroy it.
Barton: When you look at groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, when you look at the Obama administration we've know all along that Communists and Secularists hate God and they hate country. There's nothing new about that. And the fact that they may have an old traditional name or the fact that they may have the name of a government agency doesn't change the philosophy of the people are are in it. And the people that are in it right now in the Southern Poverty Law Center, I mean you got just a ton of communist-thinking people in there and they've always hated God and they've always hated country, so I'm glad to be on the anti-communist list, which is what it amounts to.
A few months ago, David Barton and Rick Green invited early Mitt Romney supporter Jordan Sekulow onto their "WallBuilders Live" program to make the case why Religious Right votes can and should be excited about supporting Romney in the general election.
Sekulow made the case that Romney would nominate good judges, especially to the Supreme Court , and while that certainly appealed to Barton and Green, the fact of the matter is that regardless of how unexcited they might be about a candidate like Romney, their vehement opposition to President Obama meant that they were going to do whatever they could to see Obama defeated.
And that was more or less the argument put forth by Matt Barber last month in a column he wrote calling on Christians to support Romney primarily because Obama was so bad that no "Christian in good conscience" could ever vote for him or even consider sitting this election out.
Today, Barton and Green invited Barber on to the program to make this case to the WallBuilders listeners and the general consensus among all three was that it was a sin for any Christian not to vote for Mitt Romney:
Barber: We are admonished in Scripture to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Now the wise thing to do is to go in and support Mitt Romney because, again, the alternative is catastrophic.
Green: Absolutely. And like you said, not voting is not only a dereliction of duty, it's really anti-Biblical. It's actually being the servant, remember the parable where they gave the talents? It's being the one that buried their talent. Well that was described in the Bible as being a wicked and slothful servant. I don't want to be that one, man, I want to be one of the other guys.
Barber: Well, absolutely. Well, it's worse than that; not voting is essentially a vote for Barack Obama because it fails to cancel out a vote for Barack Obama so it's absolutely a dereliction of duty.
Barton: I don't care if Romney calls himself a Mormon [and] Obama calls himself a Christian. Here's my question: where are you on judges, because Isaiah 1:26 says the righteousness of a land is determined by the judges of the land. Who's more biblical on judges? Romney or Obama?
Green: No question, Romney.
Barton: Let's ask marriage, who's more biblical on marriage? Romney or Obama?
Green: Romney, no question.
Barton: Let's ask where we are on the life issue, who's more biblical? Romney or Obama?
Green: Not even close. Obama supports infanticide he's so pro-abortion. Romney has become very pro-life.
Barton: We know the free enterprise system was started out of five verses in the Bible, the whole economic system that God created we used in America. Who's more biblical on the free enterprise system, Obama or Romney?
Green: Obama's a socialist without question on free enterprise. Romney's a great example on true biblical free enterprise.
Barton: So why do we have a question here? Because he's a Mormon? Hey, we've got to get past labels. Just like Obama's Christian label means nothing, Romney's Mormon label means nothing. What matters is the fruit, which one is going to produce more biblical fruit ...
There's only two options Christians have. Christians do not have the option of sitting this one out. You do not have that option, it is not a possibility. You will stand before God and He will say "I gave you your vote, what did you do with your vote?" And we can't just say "well, I chose to sit this one out."
Green: Especially in a situation like this where so much is at stake. What's the verse, when you know what to do and you do nothing? That's sin!
Barton: James 4:17; when you know what's right to do and you don't do it, that is sin.
As we noted in our earlier post about David Barton today, he has a rather serious problem with accurately presenting information, especially in situations where misrepresenting that information better suits his religious/political agenda.
Case in point, during last Friday's program, Barton went off on his new favorite topic about the ways in which know-nothing government bureaucrats are interfering with the lives and work of average Americans in cumbersome and absurd ways. To prove his point, Barton cited a supposed situation in which the Department of Agriculture shut down shows featuring Tennessee Walking Horses solely because these government bureaucrats thought "it looks strange to us" and must be damaging the horses, even though they had no idea how to actually check a horse's hoof in the first place:
The Humane Society of the United States released undercover video Thursday of a Tennessee Walking Horse trainer abusing the animals in order to accentuate their well-known high leg kick.
The practice, known as “soring,” involves using chemicals on the horses ankles as a way to force them, because of pain, to lift their legs higher when they walk ... Soring has been illegal under the federal Horse Protection Act since 1970. But Keith Dane, director of equine protection for the Humane Society, said it has “continued unabated for the past 42 years.”
The video, shot over seven weeks last year by an undercover humane society investigator, shows trainers at a Collierville, Tenn., farm applying the chemicals to the horses, whipping them, shocking them in the head and hitting their legs with wooden sticks. At points, horses in the video struggle to stand up.
The USDA responded by mandating that inspecting organizations levy fines on those who violate this law; a move that prompted a lawsuit from the industry.
So it was not just a bunch of DC bureaucrats shutting down a legitimate business operation because they just thought the whole thing was kind of weird but rather an order to impose fines in response to leading trainers being caught engaging in illegal practices that injured horses.
As we have saidseveraltimesbefore, if Barton cannot be relied upon to accurately relate information pertaining to situations that anyone with access to Google can easily check and verify, how can anyone trust the arcane claims he makes about early American history?
But not every episode contains these sort of informative nuggets because sometimes Barton and co-host Rick Green dedicate the program to talking with our nation's veterans about their harrowing experiences fighting in past conflicts. Today was one of those days, and though the program was actually rather interesting, these types of episodes generally don't produce much that is of use to us in terms of blog content - except in this case Barton and Green gave us a nice shout-out at the end while bizarrely taking delight in the fantasy that we would be extremely uncomfortable listening to this show about "a guy who loves God and country":
Barton: We got to do a little shout-out to our listeners that nobody knows about: Right Wing Watch. I mean, these are the radical left social guys and they listen to every program and these are the kind of programs that drive them crazy. I mean, what do you do with a guy who loves God and country, etc ... 'cause they're always beating on us - and by the way, in addition to them doing all their little releases, they always find a little clip here and there out of our program they can release to the Huffington Post. I also, and you may not know this, I made the top 25 this year - I think it's the top 25 for the Southern Poverty Law Center and I'm apparently one of the 25 greatest terrorist, domestic terrorists in America 'cause just way too much of this God/country kind of stuff, you know patriotism now makes you a terrorist.
Green: Well congratulations.
Barton: So I'm curious to see how Right Wing Watch is going to handle a program like this where you've got such patriotism because now patriotism makes you a domestic terrorist.
Green: Yeah, because we're loving our country more than some other country, we're honoring the sacrifices ...
Barton: Yeah, we're not trying to be like France or Europe or those guys, yeah, you're right. What can we say?
Green: Well, sometimes I like to irritate people, so let's irritate Right Wing Watch a little bit with honoring these guys!
For what it is worth, it is not episodes such as this in which WWII vets recount their experiences serving in combat that irritate us - both of my grandfathers served in WWII, after all - it is Barton's flagrant misrepresentations that irritate us; misrepresentations like claiming that he was listed among "the 25 greatest domestic terrorists" when, in reality, he was merely included in a SPLC report highlighting "30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right."
Only in Barton's warped view is a SPLC article proof that "patriotism makes you a domestic terrorist" while our efforts to point out his incessant lies means that we harbor some sort of absurd hatred for our nation's veterans.
Now it appears that Barton has gotten fed up, as he posted a response to his critics on the WallBuilders website in which he basically says that all his snooty academic critics are just jealous that he has written a bunch of best-selling books while nobody reads their boring works:
I have penned numerous best-selling history works, and characteristic of each is a heavy reliance on primary-source documentation ... Not many individuals in America have read more original works (or fewer modern ones) than I have; and the general public has responded enthusiastically to this history based on original documentation... [T]ypical history works by modern elitist professors generally sell very poorly; and seeing their own influence wane, they often lash out and condescendingly criticize the more popular documentary works.
A common mantra for today’s academics is “Publish or die.” Believing that if they are not publishing something new that their academic career is regressing, they therefore regularly “discover” something they believe to be a new revelation on some obscure micropoint of history, and then, as if having received an earth-shattering revelation, write an article or book giving their personal opinions about it. Significantly, however, the public does not respond well to these works, for publishers claim that with few exceptions most academic scholars’ books sell only two hundred or so copies a year.
Barton is particularly angry with those smug "academic elitists" who dare to suggest that he is not an actual historian:
After The Jefferson Lies, rose to a New York Times best-seller, similar attacks were launched against it from academic elitists. I will address three of these attacks below, but first, I must tackle their oft-repeated talking-point that I am not a qualified historian – a claim they make to cast a shadow of doubt over all the facts I present. However, this charge, like their others, is completely false. After all, I am:
Recognized as an historical expert by both state and federal courts;
Called to testify as an historical expert by both the federal and state legislatures;
Selected as an historical expert by State Boards of Education across the nation to assist in writing history and social studies standards for those states;
Consulted as an historical expert by public school textbook publishers, helping write best-selling history texts used in public schools and universities across the nation.
The funny thing is that it is not only actual historians who don't consider Barton to be a historian, but Barton himself who just last year blatantly stated - and we quote - "I don't consider myself a historian; I just happen to know some things about it.":
Molen was on the program to discuss a recent incident in which a scheduled speech he was to deliver to some high school students was supposedly canceled because of his conservative views, but after the interview, David Barton and Rick Green talked about how excited they were about his forthcoming film, with Barton revealing that Texas Governor Rick Perry was so enamored with it that he has "agreed to raise millions to put this thing in theaters":
Green: Well this new project he's doing - you know we had Dinesh on when he wrote the book "The Roots of Obama's Rage." I love Dinesh D'Souza, I think he's the C.S. Lewis of our day, just a great guy. But to make this a movie now that's going to reach far more people that's actually going to be in theaters even.
Barton: Well, I was just with Governor Perry and Governor Perry has agreed to raise millions to put this thing in theaters. He is committed to this thing in a big way ...
Green: To getting the truth out there for people to really know ...
Barton: He said it's phenomenal ... because they called him and asked him to help and he said "is it okay if I see the movie first before I agree to raise [money]?" And so he saw it and, man he is all over this thing.
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) appeared on WallBuilders Live today alongside hosts David Barton and Rick Green to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health care reform law. The congressman maintained that the law “removes the very freedom and liberty that our founders fought for at its very core” and if it is implemented then America will no longer be “the America that you and I love” and that “our founders fought for.” Price went on to cite a sham, Tea Party study heraldedthroughoutconservativemedia, to claim that “around eighty percent of the physicians surveyed would say if this comes to its full conclusion, that is Obamacare becoming fully implemented, they don’t see how they could practice.” He said that doctors following rules under the reform law will be violating their professional oath, representing the “subjugation of a free citizen, a formerly free citizen.”
Green: It’s allowing government to take over these very personal decisions.
Price: It removes the very freedom and liberty that our founders fought for at its very core. Nothing is more personal, as a physician I can tell you when I would treat patients they understood that it was either an insurance company or the state or federal government that were dictating to them what might be available to them in terms of treatment or diagnosis, they’d bristle, as would I. This is just turning that into the system for every single American and that is a system where Washington decides what you can get, what kind of treatment you can get for yourself and for your family. That’s not America, that’s not the America that you and I love, that’s not the America our founders fought for, that’s not the America that recognizes that our liberty and our freedom comes from God almighty and not from the federal government.
Green: Amen. It looks like as the White House begins to spin this it looks like we’ll be where we were in 2009 where both sides are trying to say whether or not this is a good idea as we go into the 2012 elections. It looks like a lot of doctors are actually saying, ‘If this thing goes forward I’m out of here, I can’t even practice medicine under this system.’
Price: You all have been following this very closely and there’s a recent survey that puts it at somewhere around eighty percent of the physicians surveyed would say if this comes to its full conclusion, that is Obamacare becoming fully implemented, they don’t see how they could practice. The reason is, it’s important for people to appreciate the reason for this, it’s not that things just get too difficult it’s that as a profession we take an oath, physicians take an oath, to provide the highest quality care they are capable of for their patients. If the federal government is going to come in and say ‘we know that you believe Mrs. Smith deserves this and needs this for her treatment but we don’t believe that that’s what Mrs. Smith needs and we will tell you what to give Mrs. Smith,’ that’s no longer a profession, that’s a subjugation of a free citizen, a formerly free citizen, that physicians will not tolerate and I think that’s why you’re seeing that kind of response that you’re seeing from doctors across the land.
On yesterday's installment of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green complained that government regulation was destroying the free market system ... not too much government regulation, mind you, but any government regulation.
In fact, Barton declared that the mere existence of federal regulatory agencies represent "the most dangerous attack on our liberties since the British" while Green explained that there was no need for federal agencies to prevent companies from dumping toxic waste because the truly free market will hold them accountable when they get sued:
Barton: What's going on right now in DC is government at the regulatory level, particularly at the cabinet level, whether it's the Department of Agriculture or Health and Human Services or whatever, those are now pretty much unaccountable agencies. And what they're starting to do to the country, they have no sense of accountability, they fear no one - they don't fear the President, they don't fear Congress, they sure as heck don't fear the people because we don't elect them. the stuff that's now going on with those agencies is, I think, unprecedented and the most dangerous attack we've had on our liberties since the British, quite frankly.
By definition, a free market means there is no government intervention or regulation. So the more these agencies get involved, the less you have the free market and the less prosperity you will have and the less freedom you will have.
Green: You know, people say if you don't have [regulatory agencies] you're gonna have some company that dumps toxic waste or whatever; well then you the company and you go through the civil courts and there's accountability there.
Yes, I am sure that if some company recklessly dumped toxic waste that ended up making one of Green's children seriously ill, he's response would be "thank goodness our truly free maket has no agencies in existence that can prevent things like this from happening so that now I have the opportunity to sue this company and hold them accountable for gravely injuring my child."
It is no exaggeration to say that we have watched or listened to several dozen of the pseudo-historical presentations that David Barton delivers to church groups and political gatherings alike. And we continue to watch them because Barton is constantly adding new unverifiableanddownrightfalseclaims to his speeches.
But it turns out that even some of the claims that have long served as the foundation for his presentations are also problematic. Over the last week, we have watched two recentpresentations that Barton delivered in which made a point that, while today we may only know a bit about a handful of our nation's Founding Fathers, the Founding Fathers themselves regularly pointed to preachers as having played an extremely important role in the founding of this nation.
And to "prove" this, Barton routinely cites a letter that John Adams wrote to a man named Hezekiah Niles in 1818 responding to a question from Niles about which people were most responsible for the ideas and principles upon which the nation was founded. In Barton's telling, Adams' reply was that it was preachers like Samuel Cooper, Jonathan Mayhew, George Whitefield, and Charles Chauncy who must be placed at the top of any such list:
This produced, in 1760 and 1761, an awakening and a revival of American principles and feelings, with an enthusiasm which went on increasing till in 1775 it burst out in open violence, hostility, and fury.
The characters the most conspicuous, the most ardent and influential in this revival, from 1760 to 1766, were first and foremost, before all and above all, James Otis; next to him was Oxenbridge Thatcher; next to him Samuel Adams; next to him John Hancock; then Dr. Mayhew; then Dr. Cooper and his brother.
That's it. So not only are the individuals Barton's cites not listed "right up front," but two of the people (Whitefield and Chauncy) are not even mentioned in Adams' list, or anywhere in the letter, at all!
We have heard Barton make this claim regarding this Adams letter several dozen time only to discover today that, like so much else that he says, it is fundamentally untrue; thereby provingonceagain that just about every factual assertion Barton makes needs to be checked simply because so many of them turn out to be undeniably false.
On today's edition of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green were discussing what they considered several positive changes that were taking place in the state of Michigan thanks to the election of lots of Tea Party candidates to the state legislature. In making the point that things were really bad in the state, Barton claimed that he was recently there and was shocked to learn that there is "not a single grocery store in the city limits of Detroit":
Detroit has a population of over 700,000 and Barton is claiming that there is not one grocery store within a city this size? How exactly does he think these people are getting food?
Now I haven't been to Detroit in person, but I do have access Google Street View which allows me to find various of grocery stores located within the city in about two minutes, like University Foods located at 1131 Warren Ave W, Detroit, MI 48208:
In fact, a simple Google Maps search for "supermarket" in Detroit returns dozens and dozens of results:
As we have said severaltimesbefore, if Barton cannot be trusted to accurately report on contemporary issues that are easily verifiable to anyone with internet access, how can anyone trust anything that he says?
Following the interview with Hutcherson, Barton and Green speculated that the gay rights movement has sought to co-opt these things in order to distort God's blessing upon mankind:
Barton: We don't even think about "gay" in the term it was, we only think it in the way of the new definition ... You know, I hadn't even thought about why they chose that word or how they came to use that word or how that became the denotation for homosexuals. I don't know.
Green: Well, when you take that or the rainbow, as Hutch was saying [is] a promise from God, isn't that part of the goal? To distort what God gave us and to distort what would normally be a blessing and be something that you enjoy and honor and worship God because of?
Barton: Well, it goes back to the Garden [of Eden.] The Serpent said "oh yeah, if you'll eat this you will have the knowledge." Eh, it wasn't the right knowledge; you got knowledge but it was a distorted form. And that's why the Bible also says that Satan appears as an angel of light - he looks like the real thing, but it's a distortion. He doesn't come to give you the good things, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy, not give you life and not give you all the good things Jesus wants to give you in John 10:10, but he looks the same when he comes. You know, he makes the same offer, it just doesn't ever work out that way. And so it's the same thing, you take something good like "gay" and you distort it into something else.
It is no secret that we have been vocal critics of David Barton and his brand of pseudo-historical Religious Right activism, but we have not been going it alone as there a variety of individuals who have criticized Barton, ranging from Chris Rodda and Warren Throckmorton who have thoroughly debunked much of Barton's false history to Christian conservatives like Chris Pinto and Brannon Howse who have criticized him from the right.
Today on his radio program, Barton said he expects to be attacked by groups like us and Americans United and Media Matters because we all "hate God" but said he was surprised to get criticism from Christians and attributed that criticism to the fact that these Christians must have gotten their information from secular professors and are now just "parroting what they heard":
Barton: Well one of the things I found really interesting is, certainly with what we do at WallBuilders, we got a lot of opponents, we got a lot of people who hate us. I was telling a group of law students the other day that I know of four law schools who have entire websites going after me. The book we recently did on the Jefferson Lies, there's two professors who came out with a book rebutting it before I'd even released the book! We don't have to read this stuff, we just know it's all false.
Rick Green: Hey, but if you're not taking flak you know you're not over the target, right?
Barton: Exactly. And what we have is a number of Christian colleges now teaching entire courses on how bad I am and so I'm one of these targets out there. And I expect that from the secular guys. I expect that from the the Freedom From Religion Society [sic], I expect that from Americans United, I expect that from People for the American Way and Media Matters ...
Green: ... the people that have worked so hard to move us away from our foundation.
Barton: The guys that hate God. What's been surprising is how many Christians have jumped on board - no, no God had nothing to do with the American founding; America was founded as a wicked nation; all the Founding Fathers were atheists and agnostics ...
Green: From the Christian community?
Barton: From the Christian community! Now I expect that from the secular guys but the reason it's coming from the Christian community is it goes back to something Jesus said in Luke 6:40 where he said "every student, when he's fully trained, will be like his teacher." now what's happened is all these secular guys have been training students that were Christians, but now these Christian kids have been trained with a secular philosophy, they've become our professors and they're just parroting what they heard. It's not that they went back and check for themselves, they just assumed that their professors were right- they really like their professors, they were nice guys and they were really educated and had three Ph.Ds and they told me all the Founders were atheists. And so now you've to Christians repeating exactly what they've been taught rather than what truth and what history actually is.
You will undoubtly shocked to learn that Barton's claim that the book refuting his "Jefferson Lies" book came out before his book was even released is entirely false. His book was released on April 10 whereas "Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President" was released on May 3.
Also, we hereby challenge Barton to name any of the "four law schools who have entire websites" dedicated to attacking him as well as to name even one of the "number of Christian colleges now teaching entire courses on how bad" he is because, frankly, we have no idea what he is talking about.
One of the central components of David Barton's entire brand of pseudo-history is the way in which he holds up obscure documents, sermons, and individuals from the Founding Era and presents them as representative of the entire generation.
Barton will cite some textbook with references to God, or some sermon discussing the rights of conscience, or some Founding Father who delivered an impassioned defense of Christianity and declare that at the founding of this nation, everyone knew these things and held these views.
Barton is constantly citing unfamiliar individuals from the Founding Era, discussing how religious they were and then asserting that they were extremely influential in drafting the Constitution and shaping the nation. The fact that nobody today has ever heard of any of them is, for Barton, proof that secularists have been succeeding in erasing our Christian history.
Today, Barton provided some insight into just how his mind works when making these sorts of claims when he hosted Rep. Todd Akin on his "WallBuilders Live" radio program. Barton and co-host Rick Green were discussing how people today might be aware of maybe 20-25 high-profile members of Congress despite the fact that there are more than 500 hundred serving in office. Lots of the lesser known members, Barton said, are dedicated Christians while the better-known members frequently are not, giving the American public a skewed view of just how truly Christian our Congress really is.
Barton and Green held up Akin as proof, explaining that when he speaks to the Pastor's Briefings they regularly host on Washington, DC, the pastors are always blown away by just how deeply religious and biblically knowledgeable he is, prompting Barton and Green to compare Akin to John Witherspoon during the Founding Era:
Green: It's probably like with the Founding Fathers when you start pointing out all these guys that went to a seminary and were pastors and did all that, it changes people's perception of the Founders. I figure Todd Akin, he's like the John Witherspoon, you know Witherspoon was probably quoting a lot of the same stuff that Todd Akin is out there quoting to fellow members of Congress and to these pastors.
Barton: But the problem is, it's like today, you know I show that slide of the 56 signers of the [Declaration of Independence] and I get kids at really sharp schools, I mean Ivy League schools, and the most they can give me is two of the 56. And I start going through like John Witherspoon ... John Who? Never heard of John Witherspoon. Well, her served on a hundred committees in Congress, he was George Washington's boss, he was on the Board of War during the Revolution to direct the Revolution, he was the President of Princeton. You've never heard of him but he's a really significant Founding Father and, by the way, he is a preacher and a minister and wrote a dozen books of sermons and did two bibles - it's kind of like Todd Akin. If you throw Todd Akin out there, people go "Todd Who? Haven't heard of him." He's like that Witherspoon guy. We know the 20-25 out of Congress, not the 535 so the perception is bad.
This is rather telling because is reveals a bit about how Barton operate because, while Akin is certainly an influential member of Congress, he is probably not a "really significant" figure that future historians will be writing about two hundred years from now ... except, of course, for future Barton-like psuedo-historians who will probably look back on this current generation and hold up somewhat obscure elected officials like Akin as representative not only of the views of this Congress, but of this entire generation.
We have been noticing in recent months that David Barton has developed a new series of talking points claiming not merely that various governmental and social institution were inspired by the Bible, but that specific provisions of the Constitution were takenverbatim from the Bible.
This entire idea hinges on Barton's assertion that the Founding Fathers and their entire generation were so well-versed in the Bible that their writings and speeches were filled with language and imagery that didn't even have to be attributed to the Bible because it was already obvious to everyone what they were quoting.
And this has become a central part of Barton's presentation, as he is going around the country declaring that because the Founding Fathers were so knowledgeable about the Bible, "it is absolutely no surprise that so many of the clauses we find in the Constitution are literal, direct quotations out of the Bible" ... even if they never "put a chapter and verse by it."
Barton claims that if you "check that language of the Constitution against the Bible, you will go 'that is an exact quote!'" and then declares that Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution, which guarantees to every state a Republican form of government, "came directly out of Exodus 18:21, Deuteronomy 1: 13-16, and Deuteronomy 16:18":
Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”
You answered me, “What you propose to do is good.”
So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you—as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials. And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you.
As exhibited today in a WallBuilders Live interview with David French of the American Center for Law and Justice, it appears that Barton’s clout has increased not despite the overwhelming criticism he has received for his faux-history and extremist views but because of it. French told Barton’s deputy Rick Green that disapproval of Barton’s work is proof that he is speaking the truth!
Green: We’re worried about cratering because someone might say, ‘that’s mean-spirited’!
French: Exactly, or, ‘you’re a bigot,’ and then all of a sudden you are immediately backpedalling. It shows the power that we have allowed peer and cultural regard to have over our lives and heart. One of the best things that any Christian can do is to begin to just break away from that, to become indifferent to that.
You guys, you and David, get such hate all the time from folks who are just appalled that you are bringing truth about America’s heritage into the public square, a truth they have been spending generations trying to squelch. I’m sure it hurts on some occasion when you see it but it’s also a sign that you guys are making incredible progress and incredible headway and you’ve gotten a message out that I can just tell in the Christian community in the past five to ten years, there’s a difference in knowledge about America because of the work that you guys have done.
Green: Hey man, if you’re not taking flak you’re not over the target right?
Green: It could be a good thing. I think you’re dead-on, if you are speaking truth, if you are doing something that’s going to make a difference, you’re going to take some criticism. We need to challenge this generation to actually be excited about the opportunity to stand for truth.
Barton certainly has made a “difference in knowledge about America”…by consistently fabricating and disseminating false claims about American history.
Since Barton’s discredited claims about American history have such a following it was no surprise to see that a member of the Alabama Educational Television Commission pressured the state’s educational public television outlet to air one of Barton’s “history” series. And yesterday, the Current Public Media blog reported that Alabama Public Television managers Allan Pizzato and Pauline Howland were fired possibly after refusing a request from commissioner Rodney Herring, a Republican Party official and donor, to broadcast Barton’s program:
The Alabama Educational Television Commission came out of an executive session Tuesday afternoon and ordered veteran pubcaster Allan Pizzato and his deputy Pauline Howland to clean out their desks and leave APT’s headquarters in Birmingham.
Pizzato had served 12 years as executive director of APT, a statewide network governed by a board of seven political appointees.
Howland, deputy director and chief financial officer, described the firings in an interview with Current and said she was "baffled" by the dismissals. But she also recalled how Pizzato had asked staff in April for advice about a series of videos that AETC commissioners wanted APT to air.
The videos featured David Barton, an evangelical minister and conservative activist whose publications and media appearances promote his theories about the religious intentions of America’s founders. He frequently appears on political commentary programs hosted by conservative Glenn Beck.
AETC Commissioner Rodney Herring, an Opelika-based chiropractor, had provided the series to APT for broadcast consideration. Herring joined the commission last year and was elected board secretary in January. As of late Wednesday evening, Herring did not return a voice message from Current.
Kyle Whitmire of the weekly newspaper Weld for Birmingham also reported on the firings and pressure from “members of the commission to air programing produced by David Barton”:
Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told Weld on Tuesday that APTV executive director Allan Pizzato and chief financial officer Pauline Howland were ordered to clean out their desks and escorted from the building on Tuesday, and the two executives were not allowed to speak to staff or explain the change on the premises. The sources requested anonymity because they are not authorized to make public statements about APTV’s internal affairs.
In recent months, APTV has been pressured by members of the commission to air programing produced by David Barton, a Texas evangelist. Barton’s organization, Wall Builders, has produced a series of videos promoting a religious conservative view of American History. The Wall Builders website explains its purpose is to promote Christian religious values.
Every year, US News and World Report produces a list of the best law schools in America that ranks the top 150 schools and Liberty University Law School was ranked number "Rank Not Published," meaning it didn't even qualify among the top 150. Thus, it is a little hard to understand how it could be considered one of the top law schools in the nation when it doesn't even make the list of top law schools in the nation.
Later, Barton began musing about some supposed connection linking welfare to failure to read the Bible enough, saying he'd love to see some study done that examines the correlation because "it makes perfect sense":
Wouldn't it be interesting to do a study between those that are on welfare and see how much and how often they read the Bible. You know, if Booker T. Washington is right that Christianity and reading the Bible increases your desires and therefore your ability for hard work; if we take that as an axiom, does that mean that the people who are getting government assistance spend nearly no time in the Bible, therefore have no desire, and therefore no ability for hard work? I could go a lot of places with this. I would love to see this proven out in some kind of sociological study, but it makes perfect sense.
But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain —and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
That passage seemed familiar, mainly because it is what David Barton cites when he claims that God created the concept of elections and that our Founding Fathers explicitly cited that passage as the basis for Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution:
Notice how Barton says "God says choose out from among you leaders of tens, fiftys, hundreds, and thousands"? What I realized last night is that in Exodus 18, it is not God speaking, but rather Moses' father-in-law Jethro.
After having led the Israelites out of Egypt, "Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, together with Moses’ sons and wife, came to him in the wilderness, where he was camped near the mountain of God." While Jethro was visiting, Moses went out to serve as judge for the Israelites and settle their disputes, but there were so many that the task lasted all day. Jethro, seeing that the workload was too great, suggested that Moses should "select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain —and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens." Then these judges would hear the simple cases while reserving for Moses the difficult ones and easing his burden. And that is exactly what Moses did:
13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”
15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”
17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain —and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.
It is flagrantly false for Barton to claim that it was God speaking in this passage and utterly misleading for him to claim that it has anything to do with establishing elections. In fact, it was Moses alone who picked which judges to place in charge, which is pretty much the exact opposite of an election.
As we have said before, it is getting to the point where we now have to check nearly every assertion that Barton makes because so many of them turn out to be fundamentally false. And if Barton is willing to lie about what the Bible says, it raises the question of whether there anything that he won't he lie about?
Earlier this year, we stumbled upon a fewepisodes of David Barton's "Building on the American Heritage Series" that had been posted on the TBN website. Today, while searching form something else, we noticed that several other episodes from that same series had also been posted and so we are working our way through them.
Near the end of the episode entitled "Politics In The Pulpit," Barton made a point that the purpose of the church is not to create harmony or unity among the congregants but to preach the word of God's and support God's laws. As such, Barton cited 1 Timothy 1:8-10 in order to declare that the purpose of the law is to punish ungodly and sinful (like gays) regardless of what the Supreme Court rules: