After Wommack said that he was excited that this school will be training Christians to "go out and take over this mountain of government," Mark Cowart, a local Colorado pastor who is serving as director of the school, made clear that it was going to be heavily rooted in Seven Mountains domionionism, which is the idea that conservative Christians are called by God to take control of the seven key areas of culture: business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, family and religion.
"I have never been more excited and more encouraged that the Lord has birthed this Practical Government school," Cowart said, "and I believe here at Charis, God's gonna raise up an army to take that mountain of government back."
Wommack said that the school was lucky to have someone like Barton on board, because he is willing to "take the hits" for standing for God, to which Barton replied that he has no choice because God is keeping score.
After absurdly claiming that the ACLU once spent a million dollars trying to discredit him, Barton said that George Soros is now spending all sorts of money to pay people to do nothing but attack him.
"Fine, whatever," Barton said. "I'm convinced God keeps score, not only with what happens but with what I do, and if I go silent because of what they did, He keeps score on me with that and I'll be in trouble so I have no option."
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.
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 notedbefore, 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?
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."
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 falseclaim 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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
PFAW: Edit Memo: The Disastrous Consequences of a Trump Supreme Court.
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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.
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.
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:
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.
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John Fea, a professor of American history and chair of the history department at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, hasbeen avocal 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."
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.
Lee Duigon declares that "the time has come to take our country back. And, because there can be nothing worthwhile accomplished without it, to re-Christianize America."
WND is still hard at work trying to prove that the World Trade Center was brought down by a "controlled demolition" on 9/11.
Bryan Fischer proclaims that Donald Trump "just won the White House" thanks to last night's hardline anti-immigration speech.
Rachel Alexander warns that Democrats are planting fake stories on the internet designed to trick conservatives into sharing on social media in order to "make conservatives look like radical extremists."
The Catholic League's Bill Donohue has filed a "formal complaint against Anthony Weiner for suspected child abuse."
Finally, David Barton does not think much of the "horse manure" that history professor John Fea has supposedly been peddling.