The closing keynote address at the recent World Congress of Families conference in Salt Lake City was given by Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. As we noted in our overview of WCF, Piper did not abide by the standard suggested by the conference’s opening keynoter, Mormon Elder Russell Ballard, who said, “We demonstrate our discipleship when we refuse strident tones, when we refuse derisive labels, and when we enter the public square seeking fair outcomes through understanding and mutual respect.”
Piper, by contrast, enthusiastically embraced strident tones and derisive labels in his closing keynote. Piper may have been trying to interest conservative Christian parents in sending their kids to his school, which commits itself to honoring “the Primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth, and the Practice of Wisdom.”
Piper spent much of his time denouncing a culture and approach to education that promote bad ideas and sexual promiscuity, and values clarification rather than moral absolutes. Early in his speech he set the tone:
Imagine that we live in a time and a place where the wise and learned in our courts, and in our classrooms, and, unfortunately, even in our churches, actually work to remove a man’s soul and expect him to stay out of hell.
Piper had harsh words for the educational establishment, which he said “is known not for pursuing truth, but rather for celebrating tolerance, and in the name of tolerance they then tell us that our intolerance is intolerable.” Citing a litany of examples of ideological intolerance against conservatives on campus, he declared it undeniable that there is a “war against Christians” in the academy and the broader culture.
Piper slammed gay rights advocates and other liberals for “ideological fascism,” declaring, “The result of this nonsense is that the rainbow banner of tolerance has become the dark flag of tyranny almost overnight.” And he went after President Obama harshly:
Where is our president in the midst of this? Where is the leader of the free world? Christians are losing their jobs, losing their businesses, losing their tenure, losing their education, and losing their freedom and he says nothing. He lectures us about the crusades rather than defend us in the courts. Christians are being enslaved and burned alive and beheaded across the Middle East and he is silent. Christians are being threatened and intimidated and sued and sequestered in the middle of America and mum’s the word.
For decades, Piper said, “we’ve sent our kids off to sit under the tutelage of faculty who have panned the Judeo-Christian ethic and praised its antithesis.”
Our judges can’t find the word ‘marriage’ in the dictionary. Our State Department thinks the way to stop terrorists is to give them jobs. Our president says he appreciates the legitimate grievances of the terrorists who are crucifying children. Why are we surprised to see tens of millions of women buying the lie of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ when colleges have been promoting Sex Weeks on their campuses across the land, teaching these same women the virtue of bondage and dominance for the past several decades.
Piper concluded with a prayer, in which he asked God to forgive America for a long list of the kind of things he spent his speech blaming the liberal establishment for, among them “the foolishness of expecting cultural sanity while removing a culture’s soul” and “worshiping government more than God.”
“Please,” he asked, “rescue us from the ugly hell of our own making and give us liberty within the bounds of your law and free us from the bondage of our licentiousness.”
Piper repeated some of his gripes about education on Glenn Beck’s show, which was recorded the day before his WCF speech and broadcast a few days later. One of Piper’s talking points is that “opinions are dangerous; truth sets us free.” Among the dangerous people who had opinions, he notes, were Pol Pot, Mao, Robespierre, Chavez, Hitler and Mussolini. Piper has also appeared on David Barton’s radio show.
The bold-faced duplicity of those condemning those who love the family is indeed hateful. Intolerance in the name of tolerance. Bullying while decrying bullying. Exclusion in the name of inclusion. Dumbing down the human being while arguing for human rights. Pretending to be pro-woman while using women as pawns and products. Hate under the banner of anti-hate… These ideas do not come from love, but rather from disdain: Disdain for children, disdain for family, and disdain for truth. Such ideas come from a hateful people who hate anyone who dares stand in their way of hating God.
If you like what Everett Piper has to offer, you’ll probably get plenty of opportunities to hear more of it. In the program book for the WCF gathering, he is listed as chair of the “SWAT Team” in charge of “Strategic Planning for the Future.”
Glenn Beck, who has spent months openly attacking Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Donald Trump and the entire GOP, is now asking the RNC to allow his network to host a GOP primary debate in February.
Bad news for Andrew Shirvell: "The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a former lawyer for the state of Michigan who lost a defamation lawsuit filed by a gay student at the University of Michigan."
David Barton, one of the Religious Right's most relentless promoters of dishonest and misleading information, appeared on Glenn Beck's television program last night, where the two discussed the importance of teaching people not "what to think," but rather "how to think." Teaching people "how to think," Barton said, would pay huge dividends for America by giving conservatives confidence to speak up on the issues of the day.
"Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in nearly every state," Barton said, claiming that conservatives are reluctant to speak up on current events because they are afraid that they do not have enough knowledge or information, whereas liberals simply don't care that they are clueless and are just willing to lie.
"Why is it that conservatives are convinced that they are in the minority?" Barton asked. "In reality, we're not, but we think we are ... According to statistics, when you look at the groups of liberals, and moderates and conservatives, conservatives are by far the most silent of those three groups. They're least likely to speak up, and why is that? It's because conservatives don't want to speak until they feel like they've mastered the facts about whatever the subject is that is under discussion. Now, liberals or moderates, they're happy to give you their opinion and tell you what they think, regardless of whether they know the facts. But conservatives don't like doing that, they want to know the facts before they answer what are often wild and baseless claims made by liberals and moderates."
Rush Limbaugh knows who is to blame for the divisiveness of today's political climate and, of course, it is not people like him: "The divisiveness and the reason there is so much partisanship and mean-spirited, extreme rancor is all on the Democrats."
Without a hint of irony, David Barton complains that a Stanford history professor "selectively quotes [John] Adams to make him appear to say almost the opposite of what he actually said."
Billy Graham tells Christians in America to "prepare for persecution."
Theodore Shoebat is not a fan of Ben Carson's Seventh Day Adventist faith: "This is the fruit of the SDA: cult abuse, heresy, murder and the support for Nazism."
Some hard-hitting analysis from CBN's David Brody: "Watching Jeb Bush today at Regent University in Virginia Beach, it dawned on me: this guy is a serious candidate for the serious times we live in."
Finally, Robert Jeffress is "convinced that there are a legion of 'closeted' evangelical Trump supporters who are almost apologetic for being attracted to him."
David Barton, the right-wing activist who is now running Ted Cruz’s super PAC, falsely insisted on his “WallBuilders Live” program on Thursday that the nuclear deal with Iran will require the U.S. to ally with Iran and “fight Israel” if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, warning that this will all bring God’s wrath upon America.
Responding to a question from a listener who wondered if the Bible’s promise that “whoever curses Israel will be cursed” means that the U.S. “won’t fight against Israel,” Barton was not optimistic.
He had been talking to a number of elected officials, he explained, who were surprised when he told them that the Iran deal requires the U.S. to side with Iran if Israel attacks the country.
“They were unaware that in the agreement with Iran … that it contains the provision that says that under this accord, if Iran gets attacked, America will come to the defense of Iran,” Barton claimed. “Now, question: If Iran gets attacked, who’s going to be the first nation attacking Iran for having a nuclear weapon? It will be Israel. So we’re now going into a treaty where we pledge to come to the defense of Iran against Israel, we will fight Israel. If Israel sends in her F-16s and others to blow up nuclear weapons that they will have there, we’re going to fight Israel?”
“These legislators that I’ve talked to, they were shocked to find out that that was in the provision, because that’s not covered in much in the news at all, it’s not out there,” he added.
The legislators may have been shocked to find this out because it is not true. As a State Department spokeswoman explained to CNN after Donald Trump made a similar claim, the deal “does not commit any country to engage in this kind of routine nuclear security cooperation, and it is absurd to suggest it [commits] anyone to 'defend' Iran's nuclear facilities.” In a Senate hearing on the agreement, Secretary of State John Kerry also responded to the claim, clarifying that the U.S. “will coordinate in every possible way with Israel with respect to Israel's concern."
But according to Barton, this nonexistent provision will bring God’s wrath upon America because it will “put us in the position of fighting against Israel physically, and that’s a losing position if you believe there’s a God in Heaven, if you believe in his word, if you believe he keeps his word, that is a losing proposition for America.”
In the wake of the Charleston church shooting earlier this year, David Barton appeared on the "Up For Debate" radio program to discuss the question of whether Christians should support gun control.
Given that Barton believes there should literally be no limits on the Second Amendment and that individual citizens have the right to own a tank or even a fighter jet, it was not a surprise to hear him argue that Christians should not, in fact, support any sort of gun control efforts.
In fact, Barton said that the only sort of change needed in America is to return to the days when public schools taught riflery in P.E. class because, he insisted, back then there were no gun accidents or violent crime.
"In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s," he said, "in the P.E. books in school, we had a chapter on riflery and we should students all about how to use guns, how to unload guns, how to shoot guns, how to create indoor ranges. We talked about gun safety, gun responsibility; we had such an emphasis on that aspect of training and education that you'll find in the '50s and '60s, gun accidents nearly never existed and violent crime, outside of organized crime, was just almost nonexistent."
One thing that you can count on when it comes to David Barton is that once he has adopted a talking point, he is going to continue to endlessly repeat it regardless of how false or misleading it may be.
Last month, Barton and Glenn Beck unveiled the results of a survey that they had commissioned Christian pollster George Barna to conduct for the purpose of finding out what sorts of issues average churchgoing Christians wanted to hear their pastors preach about from the pulpits.
Or at least, that is how Barton has been presenting it.
In reality, Barna's survey was heavily biased since a whopping 92 percent of those surveyed were "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views." In other words, Barna's survey represents only the views of Religious Right and conservative Christian activists, but Barton has misleadingly presented it time and again as representing the views of all Christians.
"Christians, in particular, are saying , 'We need some clarity for ourselves and for our kids, we need to know what the Bible says on certain issues,'" Barton stated. "Well, what issues do Christians want to know about? And so we commissioned a poll, George Barna, national pollster, went to the field and asked Christians, 'What is it you want clear guidance on from the Bible? What do you want to hear from your religious leaders?'"
"It came back," he continued, "that of those who said it is critically important or very important for me and my family to hear a biblical perspective ... The number one issue is abortion. Ninety-one percent of Christians said, 'I need to hear about abortion from church leaders.'"
One of the most interesting aspects of monitoring David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who is currently running one of Ted Cruz's presidential Super PACs, is watching how the claims that he makes become more and more dishonest as the misinformation that he spreads goes unchecked by his audience and associates.
A few weeks ago, Barton appeared on Glenn Beck's television program to promote a new survey conducted by Christian pollster George Barna, which they all falsely claimed had found that the vast majority of churchgoers wanted to hear their pastors preach against things like legal abortion and gay marriage.
As we pointed out at the time, "92% of the total respondents" of Barna's survey were conservative Christian activists, meaning that it really only represented the views of "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views." But despite the fact that this survey was absurdly biased and represented only the views of a narrow segment of the Christian population, Barton has been hard at work falsely claiming that it represents the views of all churchgoers as he seeks to encourage pastors to start preaching on the issues that are central to his right-wing political agenda.
Last night, Barton appeared on Beck's television program again to misleadingly promote this same survey, which he did this time by claiming that it shows that churchgoers are "unanimous" in wanting to hear these sorts of right-wing issues preached from their pulpits.
Barton, without a hint of irony, stated that conservatives tend to remain quiet on contentious cultural issues because "they're concerned about truth" and often don't feel that they know enough to be able to comment intelligently on such issues, unlike liberals, who don't care about the truth at all and "will just throw stuff out all the time."
He then proceeded to explain his theory that 20 percent of the population will "oppose everything all of the time," which means that if a survey finds that 80 percent of people support something, then it is essentially unanimous. As such, he said that Barna's survey, which supposedly found that upwards of 80 percent of all churchgoers want to hear anti-abortion and ant-gay sermons, means that American congregations are unanimous on these positions.
"It's a landslide," he said. "When I see a poll that has 80 percent, that tells me it is unanimous. You';re going to have 20 percent of the people who don't think the sun comes up in the east and goes down in the west, so you'll always have 20 percent who are loudmouths on the other side. When you get 80 percent, you're talking unanimous."
Last week, we noted that David Barton and Glenn Beck had launched an effort to pressure pastors into speaking out on issues of importance to conservatives by misleadingly citing a survey conducted by Christian pollster George Barna.
All three men appeared on Beck's show to promote the poll, claiming that it found that large majorities of average churchgoers are clamoring to have their pastors preach against things like abortion, gay marriage and the separation of church and state. In reality, the poll represented only the views of "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views," which was not surprising since conservative Christians made up "92% of the total respondents."
Barton filmed a video on behalf of the effort in which he, once again, misleadingly created the impression that the findings of the Barna poll represent the views of all churchgoers.
Saying that the poll represents the views of "Bible-minded churchgoers," Barton proceeded to declare time and again that "an astounding 91 percent of churchgoers say that it was critically important that they learn the biblical perspective on abortion," and that "82 percent of Bible-believing churchgoers felt that it was crucial to hear the biblical view of sexual identity," and that "80 percent of churchgoers want to hear about Israel," and that "79 percent of churchgoers want to hear about our Christian heritage."
Of course, what the poll really found was that these were the issues that conservative Christians want to hear their pastors preach about. But Barton never bothers to mention that basic fact because doing so would undermine his effort to create the impression that America's churches are filled with people just dying to hear anti-abortion and anti-gay sermons.
Glenn Beck felt that his television program last night was so important that he took to Facebook to tell his fans that "if you only watch one show the rest of this year from me on the blaze, make it today's." What his viewers found if they tuned in was David Barton promoting Seven Mountains dominionism, a movement that believes that Christians must gain control of the seven main cultural centers in order to create a "virtual theocracy" in America:
Barton has been openly promoting Seven Mountains since 2011 and now Beck is likewise on board, declaring in a separate Facebook post last night that "there are seven hills of culture. If you plan on surviving as a culture you must have these seven hills."
But all of this dominionist rhetoric was really just a lead-up to the release of a poll conducted by Christian pollster George Barna that reportedly found that churchgoers want their pastors to deliver more sermons opposing things like gay marriage and abortion rights and Islam.
The poll itself was conducted by Barna through the American Culture and Faith Institute, which just so happens to be "the public opinion research arm of United in Purpose," a Religious Right effort started several years ago for the purpose of mobilizing millions of right-wing Christians to vote.
To hear Barton, Beck and Barna tell it, the poll found that the average churchgoer is simply dying to have their pastor take on a whole host of controversial issues from the pulpit:
Top 12 Issues the Church Wants to Hear:
1. Abortion: Beginning of life, right to life, contraception, adoption, unwed mothers. 91%
2. Religious persecution/liberty: Personal duty, government duty, church response, global conditions. 86%
3. Poverty: Personal duty, government role, church role, homelessness, hunger, dependency. 85%
4. Cultural restoration: Appropriate morals, law and order, defensible values and norms, self-government. 83%
5. Sexual identity: Same-sex marriage, transgenderism, marriage, LGBT. 82%
6. Israel: Its role in the world, Christian responsibility to Israel, US foreign policy toward Israel and its enemies. 80%
7. Christian Heritage: role of Christian faith in American history, church role in US development, modern-day relevance. 79%
8. Role of Government: Biblical view, church-state relationship, personal responsibility, limitations. 76%
10. Self-governance: Biblical support, personal conduct, impact on freedom, national sovereignty. 75%
11. Church in politics/government: Separation of church and state, legal boundaries, church resistance to government. 73%
12. Islam: Core beliefs, response to Islamic aggression, threat to US peace and domestic stability. 72%
Throughout the program, all three men repeatedly created the impression that this was a poll of average "church-going, Bible-believing people" and that pastors have been failing to address the issues that their congregations care most about:
But if you actually bother to read the poll, you discover that "conservatives represented 92% of the total respondents" and that it's findings primarily reflected the desires of "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views."
It should not come as a surprise to anyone that conservative Christians want their pastors to preach against abortion and gay rights, but obviously conservatives are not the only ones filling the pews on Sundays.
In Barna's poll, 92% of respondents were conservative, while the other 8% were "moderates"; unsurprisingly, the moderates did not share the conservative views at all:
Christian conservatives were twice as likely as Christian moderates to desire more information (67% vs. 31%). Christian moderates, in contrast, were five times more likely to say that churches should not be involved in politics at all ... It is helpful to note that there are huge differences in the opinions of conservative Christians and moderate Christians on the importance of receiving biblical teaching on these matters from their church. Comparing their answers on the dozen most important issues to conservatives, realize that the average gap between the two segments is 30.2 percentage points, with the conservatives indicating a higher level of interest on each of these twelve subjects.
Predictably, nobody on Beck's show last night bothered to point out this rather important fact, as they repeatedly presented the poll as representing the views of regular churchgoers instead of the views of right-wing Christians, which is what it actually represents.
To make matters worse, the misleading poll findings are now being used by Beck and Barton to launch an effort aimed at pressuring pastors into preaching on the issues that the conservatives want to hear about.
Beck even posted a sample letter on his website for people to use in urging their pastors to address these issues:
We also want to encourage you to be bold in providing a Biblical perspective and spiritual guidance on the important moral, social and cultural issues confronting us today. As never before in our history, we are facing complex problems, and there is a competing cacophony of voices telling us what to think about these issues. We need clear guidance on what the Scriptures tell us about such issues such as abortion, religious persecution, sexual identity, bioethics and so much else. Our thinking, our children and our families are under attack from so many secular voices telling us how to think about these issues.
We understand many of these things will be seen as controversial to some, but this is all the more reason we need a clear spiritual perspective on them. Everyone seems to have their own opinion, but we want to know what the Bible says on each of these issues.
We have recently discovered we are not alone in our hunger for clear guidance on specific issues. A recent survey conducted by national pollster George Barna of the American Culture & Faith Institute shows that the overwhelming majority of serious Bible-minded church-goers are also hungering for relevant information.
We want – indeed, we need – to hear what God says about these things, which are pressing in upon our thinking from so many directions. We want you to know that if you will take leadership in teaching us about these things, we will have your back – we will ourselves stand up to the critics – we will stand with you and for you. We want to become better disciples and think like Jesus thought on all of these issues.
A few years ago, Beck and Barton launched the National Black Robe Regiment, which was designed to mobilize "courageous and patriotic ministers who will provide leadership and speak out on the pressing issues of the day."
We are guessing that that effort must not have been much of a success if Beck and Barton have now been forced to launch a separate effort misleadingly designed to get congregations to pressure their pastors into preaching on the issues that only conservative Christians care about.
Lane has argued that conservative evangelicals need to unite behind a single candidate to prevent the nomination of an unacceptably establishment figure along the lines of John McCain and Mitt Romney — and he has organized many events for pastors to meet GOP presidential candidates. Cruz backers like Barton and the Wilks brothers are close allies of Lane — and the Wilks brothers are big funders of Lane’s organizing projects as well as Online for Life.
Ted Cruz spoke at David Barton's "Pastors' Briefing" last night on Capitol Hill.
Even Joe Arpaio thinks Donald Trump has gone too far with his anti-immigration rhetoric, which is quite an accomplishment.
Speaking of Trump, he has reportedly turned down an invitation to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit.
Dave Daubenmire credits the prayers of his "Salt and Light Brigade" for Kim Davis' release from jail.
Finally, Phyllis Schlafly says that "when the Supreme Court ruled that all 50 states must license same-sex unions on the same terms as marriage, the court was implicitly declaring that Christianity and the Bible are wrong."
Naturally, he has now been tapped to take over the super PAC supporting Ted Cruz's presidential campaign:
David Barton, an influential Christian author and activist, is taking charge of the leading super-PAC supporting Ted Cruz.
The super-PAC, Keep the Promise PAC, is the umbrella for a group of related pro-Cruz political committees that raised $38 million in the first half of the year, more than the super-PACs supporting any other candidate with the exception of Jeb Bush.
"From the outset, the Keep the Promise PACs made their mission to provide a voice for the millions of courageous conservatives who are looking to change the direction of the country," Keep the Promise PAC said in a statement today. "Barton's involvement is an important step signaling that the effort will not be run by a D.C. consultant but by a grassroots activist."
David Barton took to his Facebook page yesterday to pen a defense of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis and her refusal to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, asserting that requiring her to do so violates the Constitution's prohibition on ex post facto laws.
Ex post factorefers "to a criminal law that applies retroactively, thereby criminalizing conduct that was legal when originally performed," and Barton, like others, bizarrely argues that since gay marriage was not legal nationwide when Davis ran for her county clerk position, requiring her to issue gay marriage licenses now is unconstitutional:
The third major criticism of Davis is that she is she knew what she was getting into and therefore should never have run for office. But this is a factually inaccurate statement. Davis ran for office in 2014; the Court issued its personal opinion in 2015 – a year after she was in office. She did not know that she was going to be asked to implement a federal policy that no American in the history of the Constitution had ever before been asked to enforce: issue a license for a homosexual marriage. She is now being punished for refusing to do something that was not part of her job description when she took office. In fact, her punishment smacks of an “ex post facto” policy. As even the very progressive Wikipedia explains, “An ex post facto law is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions that were committed, or relationships that existed, before the enactment of the law.” The Constitution explicitly prohibits this in Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 3, yet this is dangerously close to, if not exactly what is happening to Davis – except that it is not a law under which she is being jailed but rather the decree of a judge; but the results are the same.
Barton's understanding of ex post facto laws is laughable and therefore his entire argument is ludicrous since Davis is not being punished retroactively for something that was legal at the time she did it, but is rather being held in contempt of court for violating a judge's orders to stop preventing her office from issuing licenses to same-sex couples in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision.
Davis is currently breaking the law and that is why she is facing legal troubles.