David Barton

William Gheen: Immigration Reform Rooted In 'Anti-Christ Culture'

Mashable’s Gina Piccalo writes today about the split among evangelical conservatives on the issue of immigration reform. While some evangelical activists have cited biblical values to support comprehensive immigration reform, others — such as Phyllis SchlaflyDavid Barton and Bryan Fischer — are busily trawling through the Bible for passages to justify their opposition.

Piccalo interviews Americans for Legal Immigration’s William Gheen, who it turns out also takes a Christian nationalist view of his opposition to immigration reform. Gheen conveniently escapes any theological difficulty when it comes to dealing with the thousands of Central American child refugees on the southern border by claiming that the violence they are escaping is a hoax:

"Illegal immigration is the antithesis of Christianity,” says William Gheen, Raleigh, N.C.-based president of Americans For Legal Immigration. “It’s a gross mischaracterization of Christianity to apply it to tolerating the mass lawlessness, death and damages involved in illegal immigration.”

When asked about those children crossing the border in search of refuge from gang-related violence and death, Americans for Legal Immigration president Gheen said immigrant children are coached by money-hungry smugglers who give them “cheat sheets” with fabricated stories of woe, crafted to ensure their amnesty. “There’s no mass slaughter of children in any of the host countries,” Gheen said. “There’s no documentation of any mass slaughter...The children are reciting lines. This is being orchestrated.”

Gheen sounded the same note in an interview Tuesday with VCY America, linking immigration reform proponents with the “anti-Christ culture flooding up through the united states in our movies, in the TV shows, in the minds of people where they hate Duck Dynasty or anything associated with Christians.”

He said that immigrants’ rights groups are anti-Christian because “they don’t like laws, they don’t like borders”: “They like to equate Christians with Nazis and Klansmen and all sorts of stuff like that because Christians try to show any type of restraint on behavior. And they don’t want any restraint on any behaviors, whether it’s criminal or not. They don’t like laws, they don’t like borders. It’s anything goes, people do whatever they want.”

Barton: Harry Reid Supports Citizens United Amendment Because He Is An 'Atheist Mormon'

Ever since Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., proposed a constitutional amendment designed to restore to Congress and state governments the ability to regulate the raising and spending of money in elections, Republicans and conservatives have absurdly been decrying it as an effort to gut the First Amendment.

On today's "WallBuilders Live" radio program, David Barton attacked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for supporting this amendment, saying that his support for it proves that Reid is "an atheist Mormon" who doesn't realize that he will one day have to answer to God for trampling all over our God-given rights:

Barton: He has actually proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would re-write the First Amendment to take away original protections and limit the protections in the First Amendment.

...

What it also tells me is, and he's apparently a Mormon guy, that's fine. He is probably an atheist Mormon, Mormon in name only and the reason I say that is that so many Mormon folks are so conservative on the Constitution and such great defenders ... And so, when you look at what he's doing, the Bill of Rights is laid out in the Declaration of Independence, you start with the first belief that there's a Creator, the second belief that the Creator gives us certain inalienable rights, the third belief in the Declaration is that government exists to protect those rights inalienable rights.

So eleven years later when the Founding Fathers did the Bill of Rights they said, hey, these are those rights that we were talking about that the government is not allowed to touch because these come from the Creator and government exists to protect rights from the Creator. So that's why we've never messed with the Bill of Rights because they were always off limits to government because they came from God directly to man, they did not go through government to get here.

...

If you don't have the belief that you will answer to God for what you do, you will sell your country, you will sell your kids' future, you will sell everything going on and that's where we're getting.  And so it's not just a belief in God, it's the belief that you answer to God and you believe that, and see that's where Harry Reid is not. You know, he may believe in God, he probably says he does; I don't think he has any cognizance of having to answer to God for what he does.

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/26/14

  • Heather Digby Parton @ Salon: Rise of a right-wing quack: Faux-historian David Barton’s shocking new influence.
  • Sarah Miller @ Hatewatch: Pete Santilli Rallies for Border Shutdown, Calls Obama an ‘Unconstitutional Treasonous Bastard.’
  • Jeremy Hooper: Audio: Family Research Council again advocates for reparative therapy, portrays homosexuality as non-innocuous.
  • David Edwards @ Raw Story: Fox’s Keith Ablow: Hillary’s ‘entire reputation’ is from ‘sleeping with the president.’
  • Matt Wilstein @ Mediaite: Fox’s Keith Ablow Knows Why Obama Loves World Cup: ‘This Is to Distract People.’

Barton: Vote Based On The Ten Commandments

During his recent appearance on "America Stands 2014: Election Coverage In The Spirit Of Faith," David Barton explained that Christians must have a "biblical worldview" that guides everything that they do, including determining how they vote by basing it entirely on the Ten Commandments.

As Barton sees it, God listed his top four political issues right in the Ten Commandments when He require that He be acknowledged while also prohibiting murder, adultery, and stealing, which translates into protecting religious expression, opposing abortion, opposing gay marriage, and protecting private property.

Other issues, such as immigration or the economy, are less important, Barton said, and should not serve as a primary reason for supporting any candidate since these issues did not make God's top ten.

"For a biblical voter," Barton explained, "when I got vote in November, I've got to say out of the top ten, I've got to look at those four things" and vote accordingly:

David Barton Says San Antonio's Non-Discrimination Ordinance Has Criminalized Christianity

Last fall, the city council in San Antonio, Texas passed a non-discrimination ordinance that added protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing law. These sorts of non-discrimination ordinances exist in hundreds of cities all over the nation but, for some reason, David Barton is obsessed with lying about this one in particular, appearing recently on a program called "America Stands 2014: Election Coverage In The Spirit Of Faith" where he declared that in passing the ordinance, the city council had voted to "criminalize Christian beliefs and behavior" in the city of San Antonio.

Barton falsely claimed Christians who oppose gay marriage or criticize homosexuality are now barred from running for office and, if already serving in office, would be removed from their position, charged with a crime, and fined $500 a day, while also asserting that Christian-owned companies are now prohibited from doing any business with the city:

None of that is true, of course, as the ordinance passed by San Antonio simply prohibits city officials and departments from engaging in "discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability" and explicit contains an exemption for religious organizations ... but that won't stop Barton from repeatedly lying about it.

David Barton Is Reportedly Exporting His Theocratic Pseudo-History To Former Soviet Republics

Glenn Beck began his radio program today by reacting to the news that Justina Pelletier has been returned to her family. During the segment, he revealed that David Barton has been contacted by high-ranking government leaders in an unnamed former Soviet state because they believe that he knows "more about the underpinnings of [the American] republic than anybody else" and want Barton to help them "put those underpinnings together" in their own country.

"He's on his way over to former Soviet states to help them," Beck reported. "Is that not incredible? And it's not just like a couple of people; I think it's the main people in the government [who] are saying 'help us'":

Mike Huckabee To Join Liberty Counsel For Right-Wing Pastor Rallies

Liberty Counsel is organizing a “powerful, five-screen multimedia extravaganza” for conservative pastors who want to stop America from “spiraling out of control as our foundation of traditional values is threatened and eroded every day” and “to dramatically affect the 2014 elections this coming November.”

The “Who Will Stand?” rallies will feature former Gov. Mike Huckabee, pseudo-historian David Barton and Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver, along with uplifting songs and “thousands of images portraying the beauty and grandeur of all 50 states of our great nation” that apparently will help bring an end to President Obama’s tyranny.

Televangelist James Robison, Star Parker, Ralph Reed and Samuel Rodriguez are also listed as speakers.

While so far the events are only scheduled to take place in Florida churches, Liberty Counsel aims to expand the effort to “Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Virginia.”

The Wilks Brothers: Fracking Sugar Daddies For The Far Right

Last June, presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz traveled to Iowa for an event convened by David Lane, a political operative who uses pastors to mobilize conservative Christian voters. 

Lane is a Christian-nation extremist who believes the Bible should be a primary textbook in America’s public schools, and that any politician who disagrees should be voted out. Lane’s events are usually closed to the media, but he has given special access to the Christian Broadcasting Network’s sympathetic David Brody.  Brody’s coverage of the Iowa event included short video clips of comments by brothers Farris and Dan Wilks, who were identified only as members of Lane’s Pastors and Pews group.

CBN’s Brody reported, “The Wilks brothers worry that America’s declining morals will especially hurt the younger generation, so they’re using the riches that the Lord has blessed them with to back specific goals.”  One of those goals may be David Lane’s insistence that politicians make the Bible a primary textbook in public schools. 

Here’s Dan Wilks speaking to Brody: “I just think we have to make people aware, you know, and bring the Bible back into the school, and start teaching our kids at a younger age, and, uh, you know, and focus on the younger generation.”  And here’s Farris: “They’re being taught the other ideas, the gay agenda, every day out in the world so we have to stand up and explain to them that that’s not real, that’s not proper, it’s not right.”

That was the first time we had heard of the billionaire Wilks brothers, who have become generous donors to right-wing politicians and Republican Party committees.  While both Farris and Dan have given to conservative groups and candidates, it is older brother Farris whose foundation has become a source of massive donations to Religious Right groups and to the Koch brothers’ political network. Farris also funds a network of “pregnancy centers” that refuse, on principle, to talk to single women about contraception (married women need to check with their husband and pastor).

Like David Barton, Farris thinks conservative economics are grounded in the Bible. Like Mitt Romney, he says people shouldn’t vote for politicians who promise “free this, free that.” Like any number of Religious Right leaders, he saw Barack Obama’s re-election as a harbinger of the End Times and he believes God will punish America for embracing homosexuality. Unlike all of them, he’s on the list of the world’s richest people.

They’re Fracking Billionaires!

Dan and Farris Wilks became successful working in and then running the masonry business that was started by their father; they have now turned the company over to the next generation of Wilks men.  But Dan and Farris really hit the big time when they got in on the ground floor with fracking, the controversial natural gas drilling technique that has boomed over the past decade. 

The fracking boom has produced a surge in wealthy Texans. In 2002, the Wilks brothers created Frac Tech, which produced equipment used in fracking, or in industry parlance, “well stimulation services.”  In May 2011, Dan and Farris sold Frac Tech to a group of investors led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund for $3.5 billion. Their share was reportedly 68% of that total, and they showed up on the 2011 Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans with an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion each.  The most recent Forbes list put their estimated wealth at $1.5 billion each. (In our gilded age, that puts them near the bottom of the Forbes 400, and barely gets them into the top 40 in Texas. But you can still do an awful lot with $3 billion.)

The Wilks brothers have gone on a land-buying spree out West, amassing huge holdings in Montana, Idaho, Texas, Kansas, and Colorado.  In December 2012, the Billings Gazette reported that they had amassed more than 276,000 acres in Montana, or more than 430 square miles; more recent reports say they own more than 301,300 acres in the state.  Among their purchases was the historic 62,000-acre N Bar Ranch, which had been listed for $45 million. 

The brothers reportedly started building an airstrip that summer across from the N Bar Ranch headquarters to make travel to their property on their 18-passenger corporate jet a little easier. The Wilks brothers have proposed a land swap with the Bureau of Land Management to consolidate their holdings; last month their attorney said they were “blindsided” when BLM said it would not trade the 2,700-acre Durfee Hills after hunters complained about losing access to the land and its elk.

In January 2013, they bought a nearly 18,000-acre ranch in Idaho, which brought their total in that state to almost 36,000 acres.  In 2011, Farris was reported to have paid $16 million for what was then the most expensive ski-accessible home in the history of Snowmass Village, Colorado. 

An Aspen newspaper reported in 2012 that Dan owned two homes in Aspen, one worth $8.3 million and another worth $4.9 million. At the end of 2012 they bought the Advancial Tower, a 17-story skyscraper in Dallas reportedly appraised at $16.25 million. And last August, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the Wilks brothers had bought 122 acres of land in a business park in Southlake, Texas. Farris also reportedly paid to have a “world class” recording studio installed in his 20,000-square-foot home and to have his church’s audio-visual system similarly upgraded.

Members of the Wilks family have been philanthropists in their hometown over the years, funding, for example, a community center and mobile emergency command post for local fire departments.   More recently they have distributing their wealth in support of right-wing causes and conservative politicians. According to Forbes, Dan has six children, Farris has 11.

A(nother) Foundation for the Far Right

The Wilks brothers and their wives have stashed a sizeable chunk of money in charitable foundations: Farris and his wife Joann created The Thirteen Foundation, while Dan and his wife Staci started Heavenly Father’s Foundation. The Thirteen Foundation has become a major funder to Religious Right organizations and to right-wing political outfits that are part of the Koch brother’s network.

In 2011, Farris and Joann each put $50 million into The Thirteen Foundation, and they started writing huge checks. In 2011 and 2012, the last year for which giving records are publicly available, the foundation gave away more than $17 million. Here’s where much of it went:  

Media Revolution Ministries (Online for Life)                             $2,242,857

American Majority Inc                                                               $2,114,100

State Policy Networks                                                              $1,526,125

Focus on the Family                                                                 $1,400,000

Franklin Center for Gov't and Public Integrity                          $1,309,775

Life Dynamics Inc.                                                                    $1,275,000                  

Liberty Counsel                                                                        $1,000,000

Heritage Foundation                                                                   $700,000

Family Research Council                                                              $530,000

Texas Right to Life Committee Education Fund                           $310,000

Texas Home School Coalition                                                      $250,000

Heartbeat International                                                              $197,000

Wallbuilders Presentations, Inc                                                    $85,000

National Institute of Marriage                                                       $75,000

These gifts amount to a massive infusion of funds into some of the most aggressive right-wing organizations that are fighting legal equality for LGBT people, access to contraception and abortion services for women, and promoting the Tea Party’s vision of a federal government that is constitutionally forbidden from protecting American workers, consumers, and communities by regulating corporate behavior. 

American Majority, the Franklin Center, the Heritage Foundation, and the State Policy Networks are all part of the Koch brothers’ right-wing political network, promoting policy attacks on public employees and their unions, outsourcing public resources for private profit, privatization of public education, and more:

  • The Franklin Center, closely allied to the American Legislative Exchange Council and other right-wing groups, produces and supports ideological advocacy sites that that it pretends is “nonpartisan” journalism.
  • American Majority trains and supports Tea Party activist networks.
  • The Heritage Foundation is a right-wing propaganda behemoth masquerading as a think tank. It promotes Religious Right social conservatism and Tea Party anti-government ideology, arguing that the two are “indivisible.”
  • The State Policy Network comprises mini-Heritage Foundations – right-wing “think tanks” at the state level that work closely with ALEC and right-wing lawmakers.

The Thirteen Foundation’s gifts are a boon to some of the most extreme Religious Right groups in the country. Among the recipients:

  • The Liberty Counsel, a legal advocacy group affiliated with Liberty University, is home to right-wing legal activist Mat Staver and the increasingly unhinged Matt Barber. Liberty Counsel promotes extreme anti-Obama and anti-gay rhetoric, warning that the country is descending into religious tyranny and on the verge of revolution.  Staver and Barber support laws criminalizing homosexuality and call the Obama administration’s opposition to such laws in other countries “immoral.”
  • The Family Research Council, designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, hosts the annual Values Voter Summit, the annual family reunion for far-right religious and political groups and right-wing politicians. FRC and its leader Tony Perkins oppose equality for LGBT Americans and promote the myth of anti-Christian persecution in the U.S.
  • Wallbuilders promotes the historical revisionism of “historian” David Barton, whose claims have been widely discredited but who remains influential within the Religious Right and the GOP. In addition to his “Christian Nation” history, Barton argues that the Bible opposes the minimum wage, progressive taxation, capital gains taxes, the estate tax, and unions and collective bargaining.

See the section on the War on Women below for information about anti-choice organizations on the list. Other gifts supported Prime Time Christian Broadcasting, Inc., which runs God’s Learning Channel, “a satellite network dedicated to bringing the gospel of the kingdom into the entire world and teaching everyone about the Torah and the true roots of Christianity“; the Wounded Warrior Project; and a number of local churches that seem to be affiliated with the church at which Farris is an elder. One gift that seems like an outlier was $50,000 to the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, which funds legal services for the poor, advocates for immigration reform, and filed a lawsuit on behalf of a binational same-sex couple.

Farris’s brother Dan and his wife Staci each gave $55 million to their Heavenly Father’s Foundation, according to the group’s 2011 990 form. That year the foundation reported $110 million in income but only $309,000 in disbursements, mostly to the Mountain Top Church in their hometown of Cisco ($287,000) with smaller amounts to a pregnancy center called the Open Door ($20,000) and to the American Diabetes Association ($2,000).

Its 2012 contributions were primarily to several churches but also included ministries that provide meals to the poor, a five-year pledge to a local domestic violence crisis center, $20,000 to the Open Door pregnancy center, $1.7 million to a drug and alcohol treatment center whose 30th anniversary celebration in May featured Mike Huckabee, and intriguingly, $100,000 to the Eastland County District Attorney’s office to cover “budget shortage.”

Of course, individual contributions that Wilks family members make to advocacy organizations are not publicly reported.

In Politics, Paying to Play

The Wilks brothers made a bit of a splash in Montana when it was revealed that they were the top donors to 2012 Republican legislative candidates in the state.  A February 2013 report by the National Institute on Money in State Politics found that Dan and Farris Wilks and their wives “donated to more than 70 candidates, all Republicans, and generally gave the maximum contribution allowed by law to legislative candidates, $160 for a general election.”

The report said that 70 percent of Republican legislators got contributions from the Wilkses. (AP noted that all bills aimed at regulating fracking in the 2011 legislature were killed by Republican-led committees.) According to the Institute, 64 of the state-level candidates they supported won – 63 legislators and Attorney General Tim Fox.

The Wilkses also gave heavily to Dennis Rehberg, a former Republican U.S. congressman from Montana who gave up his seat to mount an unsuccessful challenge against Sen. Jon Tester in 2012, and to Steven Daines, the Republican who won the House seat vacated by Rehberg and who is now running to for U.S. Senate. 

Collectively, Dan and Farris and their wives gave the Rehberg and Daines campaigns each $10,000 in 2012, with another $37,500 going to the Rehberg Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee that funneled money to Rehberg’s campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Farris and Joann have together given $10,400 toward Steve Daines’s 2014 reelection.

Their political giving has not been limited to Montana.  In Texas, according to state campaign finance records, the brothers each gave $25,000 to Texans for Rick Perry in 2012.  Farris also gave $2,500 to State Rep. Stefani Carter, the first Republican African American woman to serve in the state House; Farris and Joann also gave $5,000 to the failed Supreme Court campaign of Steve Smith. 

Last year, Perry announced he would not run for a fourth term as governor.  Earlier this year, state Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor, reported nearly $31,000 in in-kind contributions from Farris and Dan for use of an airplane. Farris also gave $1,000 in January to the Texas Home School Coalition PAC.

This year, in the election for California’s 44th Assembly District, Dan, Staci, and Farris Wilks have given thousands to the campaign of Rob McCoy, a conservative evangelical pastor who is also backed by Rand Paul, Rick Perry, and Mike Huckabee. In the June 3 primary, the Wilks-backed McCoy came in second place to Democrat Jacqui Irwin, a City Councilwoman from Thousand Oaks, beating the more moderate Republican candidate, businessman Mario de la Piedra. Irwin and McCoy will face off in the general election.

During the 2012 election cycle, according to the Federal Election Commission’s database, the brothers and their wives together contributed $125,000 to the Romney Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee benefitting the Romney campaign and the Republican Party. 

Joann also contributed $25,000 to the Faith Family Freedom Fund, a “soft money” fund run by a former Family Research Council executive and housed in FRC’s Washington, DC building. The fund makes independent expenditures for or against candidates; in 2012 it spent in support of Todd Akin, George Allen, Steve King, and other right-wing candidates, and against Claire McCaskill, Tim Kaine, Barack Obama, and other Democratic candidates.

In 2011, Farris gave the National Republican Congressional Committee $2,500, and he gave $7,600 to the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund between 2010 and 2012. In 2010 Farris gave Nevada Senate candidate and Tea Party darling Sharron Angle $1000 and in 2008 he gave $2,500 to the McCain-Palin Victory Committee.

Wilks and the War on Women

As Kate Sheppard reported last August for Mother Jones, The Thirteen Foundation’s 2011 gift to Life Dynamics, a Texas-based anti-abortion group, funded a campaign to mass-mail DVDs to lawyers encouraging them to sue abortion clinics into oblivion.  Crooks and Liars blogger Karoli has noted that Life Dynamics “actively engages in espionage against organizations serving women” and operates campaigns to harass doctors who perform abortions. 

The more than $2 million that The Thirteen Foundation gave to Media Revolution Ministries in 2012 allowed for a vast expansion of the group, which had only an $80,000 budget the year before. The group, also known as Online for Life, says it “implements cutting-edge Internet and traditional marketing outreaches to connect with abortion-determined women and men.” In other words, they try to “intercept” women who search for abortion information and send them to anti-choice “pregnancy centers.”  

Those funds may have been used to help “pregnancy centers” buy ads on search terms like “abortion clinics” to “intercept” women who went online.  NARAL Pro-Choice America cited Online for Life’s Google ads  when it announced in April that  its investigations had led Google to take down ads from crisis pregnancy centers that violated the search engine’s rules against deceptive advertising.

The Thirteen Foundation also gave $450,000 in 2011 to Care Net, a network of Christian “pregnancy centers” whose “standards of affiliation” include this requirement:

The pregnancy center does not recommend, provide, or refer single women for contraceptives. (Married women seeking contraceptive information should be urged to seek counsel, along with their husbands, from their pastor and physician.).

The Wilks are also backers of Open Door, a local Christian “crisis pregnancy center” to which the Thirteen Foundation gave more than $90,000 in 2012. Farris and Joann have also been benefactors of Texas Right to Life.

The Wilks Worldview

With the exception of the brief interaction with CBN’s David Brody, the Wilks brothers have generally been media-shy. But the worldview of Farris, the older of the two brothers, whose foundation is backing the Religious Right and Tea Party movements, is quite clearly revealed in the sermons he preaches.

In addition to his business ventures, Farris, the older brother, is also a pastor at the church founded by his father, The Assembly of Yahweh (7th Day).  The church’s doctrine seems to be an amalgam based on the elder Wilks’ anachronistic interpretations of the Bible. It combines biblical literalism with a heavy emphasis on the Old Testament: The church celebrates its Sabbath on Saturday, follows the dietary rules laid down in Leviticus, and celebrates Jewish holidays but not “the religious holidays of the Gentiles,” which include “Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, White Sunday, Good Friday, and Halloween.”  (I had to look up White Sunday, which is a traditional Samoan holiday. There’s a significant Samoan community in Texas).  Women may not speak during worship.

The church’s doctrinal points align with the Religious Right on many policy issues.  Abortion is “murder,” including pregnancies resulting from rape and incest. Homosexuality is “a serious crime – a very grievous sin.”

A number of Farris Wilks’ sermons can be heard through his church’s website.  Back in November 2012, he was pretty despondent about the re-election of Barack Obama:  “I do believe that our country died that Tuesday night, to all that’s honorable, that’s good, that’s ambitious, and that has justice. The old way of life that we will take care of ourselves, we will be self-sufficient as much as we are able, the pride in pulling your own weight, or paddling your own canoe.”  The sermon includes small-government quotes from Thomas Jefferson, anti-socialist quotes from Winston Churchill, and a bootstraps approach to poverty. “The best way to get out of poverty is to go to work,” he says. “That is one of the simplest ways to make it go away.”

Wilks said he was “refreshed” by biblical texts about the End Times, speculating that the election went the way it did “because maybe it’s time to wrap up some things, maybe it’s time to move on to the next one thousand years.”  And he warned of persecution against Christians:

I will tell you now that you need to be ready for a little bit more scoffing and ridicule than maybe we’ve experienced in the past, because I think not only us but the Christian community at large is coming under attack, not only in America but throughout the world.  We see it on the late night talk shows. One man in particular. And some time you think, man, it would almost be nice if the judgment would happen so we can see what would happen to those people. …for the things they are saying, which are so vulgar and violent against Yahweh…his mercy must be inexhaustible to put up with that…

Several months later, after his participation in the David Lane event in Iowa, Wilks was feeling motivated to do more to impact the future of America.  In a July 2, 2013, sermon he referred to claims made by discredited Religious Right “historian” David Barton about the country’s founders and Barton’s assertion that many of our laws come from the scriptures.  And in a sermon he described as a “study of Sodom and Gomorrah,” he laid out his belief that the country is facing a clear choice:

As most of you probably know by now, we are in a battle for our society. Will we follow the secular religion of man, him being supreme, and evolving, or will we submit to Elohim, who has the right to give us laws and commandments to follow since he is the one who created us? Who is in charge? Is it man, or is it our creator?

He read scripture passages that referred to the story of God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in what he said was punishment for “base and demented” sexual practices, the tolerance of which in America “could bring about the end of our nation.” He warned that allowing same-sex couples to get married would soon lead to bestiality being promoted and accepted. “I do believe we live in a nation that will start to vomit some of its people out,” he warned.  After reading a passage from Isaiah in which the land and its inhabitants are cursed for their depravity, he said:

I fear that that is where we are as a nation. We have been in the blessed part of our nation, but I think we’re coming to the point now…we’re going to reap what we have sown, and what we have sown has not been good…what it says here, that the earth lies polluted under its inhabitants. Think of all the murder that has happened in this country….all the babies that have been murdered…think of all the perversions in the realm of sexual perversion of all kinds…all the breaking of Yahweh’s covenant….and so you recognize that at some point Yahweh’s going to say it’s time to wrap up… it’s time to move on to a kingdom of people that want to serve me, that want to be redeemed, that want salvation…we have to draw some lines in the sand for ourselves….

He also mocked environmentalism and the effort to save certain animals or the polar caps.  “We didn’t create the Earth so how can we save it?”  When you realize that Yahweh is in control, “it’s much simpler,” he says. “You can turn over some of those responsibilities to him.” Maybe the melting of polar ice is us “getting a little scorched here” as a message from God.

Later last summer he returned to the Sodom and Gomorrah theme, denouncing the gay pride movement as an example of lust and defiance of authority described in the Bible. “What we’re fighting against today is not a sexual revolution particular to our own enlightened age, but it’s a return to pre-Christian pagan sexual immorality or perversion.”

And Farris sounded like the most extreme anti-gay Religious Right leaders in portraying gay people as child predators: 

If we all took on this lifestyle, all humanity would perish in one generation…So this lifestyle is a predatorial lifestyle in that they need your children and straight people having kids to fulfill their sexual habits. They can’t do it by their self. They want your children….But we’re in a war for our children. They want your children. So what will you teach your children? A strong family is the last defense.

And, he said, they won’t stop, predicting that pedophilia and bestiality will soon be legal.

Just before Christmas he preached on spiritual apathy in America. He warned that apathy is closing church doors in America just as liberalism and secularism. He railed against people forgetting the Sabbath and spending too much time on entertainment. He warned that God would lift his “mantle of protection” against the U.S. because it is no longer protecting the family.

Earlier this year, Farris preached on “Government That We Can Believe In.”  In that sermon, he proclaimed that he loves America but that all nations fail at some point. The founding fathers did a good job, but the nation’s cornerstones are now crumbling: “It’s because of the lack of morality, the lack of continuity of one like belief in our heavenly father – those are the things that are bringing our nation to its knees.”

But this sermon focused less on sexual immorality and more on the threat of socialism. Yahweh, he preached, is “someone who respects private ownership” and the Torah is “set up on the free enterprise system.”

He said “there are only two basic ideas in the whole world” – and those are free enterprise and socialism. The U.S., he warned, is “inching closer to socialism.” You either have more government or more freedom; the more money taken from you in taxes, the fewer choices you have in life. He acknowledged that he has a “personal stake” in this, saying he pays a “huge amount” in taxes.

He urged congregants not to vote for politicians who promise “free this, free that,” saying that would lead us to become one of the poor nations of the world. “Yahweh never intended for us as a people to be afraid and reliant on government.”

An Answer to Prayer?

Televangelist James Robison recently told participants in a Tea Party Unity conference call that he is praying for a merger of the Tea Party and the Religious Right.  It’s enough to make one wonder where Robison has been for the past few years.  There has always been a overlap between the Tea Party and the Religious Right movements.  And since the early days of the anti-Obama Tea Party organizing, right-wing strategists like Ralph Reed and Rick Scarborough have been trying to more fully merge the organizing energies of the two movements into an electoral machine. 

Groups like the Family Research Council and Heritage Foundation have worked hard to limit the influence of libertarians in the conservative movement by portraying social and economic conservatism as “indivisible,” while Republican activists like “historian” David Barton have claimed that there is a biblical underpinning for the far-right’s anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-government agenda.

Maybe the miracle Robison was really looking for was a big pile of cash to fund his next project. In which case, the answer to his prayers might be found in the person of Farris Wilks, preacher, right-wing activist, and billionaire.

Ted Cruz And Rick Santorum To Join Iowa Pastor Who Predicted Marriage Equality Would Increase The Murder Rate, Destroy America

Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum are slated to appear at a September “American Heritage Summit” in Washington, D.C., hosted by a right-wing Iowa pastor Cary Gordon of Cornerstone World Outreach.

Along with Gordon and the pair of likely presidential candidates, the guests include conservative pseudo-historian David Barton, Iowa-based talk show host Steve Deace and Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King.

Gordon became heavily involved in politics during the 2010 campaign to remove Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality, and he endorsed Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign, helping the former Pennsylvania senator to win the Iowa caucuses.

At an anti-gay marriage rally in 2011, Gordon described marriage equality as a demonic attempt that would bring about America’s destruction, warning that Iowans must “protect the virtue of true Americanism from our own mental barbarians who attack our minds with the God-hating secularism of Europe” or risk being “extinguished from the earth.”

Gordon even predicted that gay marriage would increase the murder rate: “The natural problem that causes is an overt immorality. The crime rates go up, people suffer, people are stealing and murdering and [doing] all the things morality tells you not to do.”

The pastor, insisting that it is a “glaringly obvious fact that being ‘gay’ is a behavior, and has nothing to do with civil rights,” charged in a 2010 blog post that the same-sex marriage ruling put Iowa on the road to Nazism: “True pastors, in the fashion of Christ, will not and cannot bow before the arrogance of Caesar and Herod. We have learned from our past mistakes. We will not repeat the mistake made by Lutheran pastors when confronted with German fascism.”

“[T]o the intelligent religious man, homosexuality will always be un-natural for a myriad of obvious reasons one shouldn’t have to explain,” Gordon wrote. “To the intelligent evolutionist, it will NEVER agree with the doctrine of ‘survival of the fittest.’”

Gordon’s church also released a video asserting that same-sex marriage would legalize incest, pedophilia and bestiality.

Janet Porter Wants Republicans 'Nationwide' To Adopt Texas GOP's Ex-Gay Resolution

Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action is so happy about the Republican Party of Texas’s decision to embrace ex-gay therapy as part of its new far-right platform that she wants similar language endorsing the pseudo-science “adopted nationwide”:

She might find allies in Tony Perkins and David Barton, members of the 2012 Republican National Committee platform committee who are both vocal supporters of ex-gay therapy.

Barton, a former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party, bragged in 2012 of getting 70 of his 71 resolutions approved by the RNC, and Perkins released a statement yesterday praising the Texas GOP’s ex-gay resolution.

In 2012, Perkins claimed that his Family Research Council joined forces with Eagle Forum to shape the national GOP platform. Eagle Forum is the same group that successfully added the ex-gay language to the Texas GOP platform.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/6/14

  • The Texas Eagle Forum had quite the line-up for its "Patriotic Banquet at the 2014 GOP Convention" with Ted Cruz, David Barton, and Tom DeLay all speaking.
  • Listening to anti-gay activists continually insist that "it was through a terrible misuse of the Bible that the African slave trade was sanctioned" is getting really tiresome.
  • Matt Walsh is outraged by "transgendered toddlers," saying it's "A tragedy. A tragedy of nonsense. Horrible, abusive, pathetic, sad, bizarre, tragic nonsense."
  • Watching the Religious Right frame efforts to control the amount of money in politics as a repeal of the Bill of Rights is fascinating.
  • Finally, a flag that flew upon one of the ships during D-Day sold at auction yesterday for $350,000 ... to Glenn Beck.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/30/14

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 5/29/14

  • Glenn Beck, David Barton, Michelle Malkin and other anti-Common Core activists will participate in a live event that will air in movie theaters throughout the country this summer called "We Will Not Conform."
  • Speaking of Beck, he has spent all week blaming Elliot Rodger's murder spree on video games, so logically he'll blame the murder of this two year-old girl on the Bible, right?
  • Predictably, David and Jason Benham have now become full-fledged Religious Right stars and have been given a speaking slot at Ralph Reed's upcoming Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.
  • Mat Staver reiterates his demand that Congress impeach President Obama: "Our Constitution and precious liberties are under full-scale assault by Barack Obama and his leftist administration. Patriotic Americans must refuse to stand silently by while leftists take our nation apart, plank by plank We MUST perform our duty as Americans to free ourselves of this tyranny."
  • Finally, Tea Party Nation has a message for the GOP: "America is waiting for you to prove you are patriots, not eunuchs."

Barton: Not Allowing Women To Vote Was Designed 'To Keep The Family Together'

On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton explained that women were not given the right to vote when the Constitution was written because the Founding Fathers were trying to protect the institution of the family by giving every "family" a right to vote through the male head of the household.

Responding to a question from a listener who argued that the Founding Fathers denied women the right to vote not out of sexism but rather based on the biblical principle that a house divided against itself cannot stand, Barton said that this interpretation was exactly right because not allowing women to vote was designed "to keep the family together":

The family was the first and fundamental unit of all government. Actually, you have individual self government first, then you have family government second, you have civil government third, and have church government fourth.  Those are the four levels of government in the order they are given in the Bible.

So family government precedes civil government and you watch that as colonists came to America, they voted by families. You look at the Pilgrims, when they finally moved away from socialism and moved toward the free enterprise system, they called the families together and gave families plots of land. Private property given to the families. And so that's the way things work.

And you have to remember back then, husband and wife, I mean the two were considered one. That is the biblical precept. That is the way they looked at them in the civil community. That is a family that is voting and so the head of the family is traditionally considered to be the husband and even biblically still continues to be so ...

Now, as we've moved away from the family unit - you need to be independent from the family, don't be chained down and be a mother and don't be chained down and be a father and don't be chained down to your parents, you know, we've moved into more of a family anarchy kind of thing, the 'Modern Family' kind of portrayal - that understanding has gone away.

Clearly, what [the listener] has asked is a brilliant question because it does reveal that the bigotry we're told they held back then, they didn't hold and what they did was they put the family unit higher than the government unit and they tried to work hard to keep the family together. And, as we can show in two or three hundred studies since then, the more you weaken the family, the more it hurts the entire culture and society.

So they had a strong culture, a strong society and it was based on a strong family to preceded government and they crafted their policies to protect a strong family.

Beck Goes Full Barton, Claims One-Third Of The Constitution And Declaration Came Straight From Deuteronomy

On today's radio broadcast, Glenn Beck went full David Barton, claiming that one-third of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence came straight out of the Bible; more specifically, right out of the Book of Deuteronomy.

Continuing his argument from last night that the Bible is the "cookbook" of America's system of government, Beck echoed David Barton's claim that the Founding Fathers were so well-versed in the Bible that they quoted it continually in their correspondence.

When Barton made this very claim on Beck's show a few years ago, we pointed out that it was total nonsense, but Beck cited it as true nonetheless this morning before adding his own bizarre assertion that "thirty-three percent of every federal line in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence ... comes from the Book of Deuteronomy":

Not surprisingly, this claim is also pure Barton bunk, as Chris Rodda explained back when Barton made this claim on Beck's program in 2010.

But even worse, Beck somehow managed to utterly misrepresent things even further by claiming not that one-third of the quotes from the Founders came from the Bible, which is what Barton misrepresents the original study to claim, but that one-third of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence came straight out of Deuteronomy.

Glenn Beck Says David Barton's 'Founder's Bible' Is 'The Only Answer' To Saving America

Last week, Glenn Beck had David Barton on his television program where he heaped praise upon Barton's last book, "The Founder's Bible." Now Beck has begun personally promoting Barton's book during advertising breaks on his show, as he did last night when he beseeched his audience to buy the book because is represents "the only answer" to our problems.

"This is, honest to God, we are out of all other options," Beck said, holding up Barton's book. "This is the only answer and he have to know it inside and out ... We have to start reading this with our kids that the table at dinner every night."

"I can't urge you enough to get involved and get this," he concluded before, later, interviewing Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center, who declared that America is God's "chosen nation" because the Holy Spirit inspired the Founding Fathers to create this country and our Constitution.

That prompted Beck to proclaim that "it wasn't a coincidence that the Democratic Party denied God three times," referring to the vote that took place during the 2012 convention.

"Three times they called that and all the biblical meaning behind that," Beck marveled. "God's just going to say, he's begging us, please don't do this":

Once Again David Barton Falsely Claims The Obama Administration Won't Prosecute Child Pornography

As we have noted many times before, the simple fact that a claim happens to be demonstrably false has never stopped David Barton from repeating that claim endlessly. That tradition remains intact as today, on his "WallBuilders Live" radio program, Barton once again asserted that the Department of Justice under President Obama has entirely refused to prosecute those who traffic in child pornography.

Barton made this same claim back in 2011 and we pointed out then that he was lying, but that didn't stop him from making the false claim once again today, asserting that, until recently, nobody in America supported pedophilia but now it is gaining support because the Obama administration is turning a blind eye to the issue of child pornography by refusing to prosecute anyone for it.

"The Obama administration has refused to prosecute any child pornography," Barton lied, "which is, again, sex between children and adults ... They have refused to prosecute any of it":

We would just like to point out that, in the last week alone, the FBI has issued no less than six different press releases announcing indictments of or sentences for people involved in trafficking of child pornography.

How exactly these sentences are being handed down if, as Barton claims, the Department of Justice "has refused to prosecute any child pornography" is beyond us.

But, once again, the mere fact that Barton is demonstrably wrong about this claim will not, of course, stop him from repeating it time and time again.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/18/14

Beck: The Bible Tells Us 'Everything We're Supposed To Know' About Politics

All week, Glenn Beck has been very torn over the showdown between the federal government and supporters of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy because his anti-government views make him inclined to side with Bundy and his supporters, but he cannot bring himself to do so because some of Bundy's supporters seem very intent on fomenting a violent conflict with the government.

On last night's television broadcast, Beck brought David Barton onto the program to discuss the situation and dispute the anti-government activists who are justifying their calls to take on the federal government by likening the Nevada standoff to the beginning of the American Revolution in 1776.

"It's not even close to that," Beck said. Barton readily agreed, absurdly declaring that "when people say that, that proves to me they've been through a government education system that taught them lousy history":

The discussion of the ranch standoff was rather perfunctory as Beck changed topics and began heaping praise upon Barton's "The Founders' Bible" as an extremely important resource for addressing all of our contemporary political problems.

After Barton ran though his standard litany of lies about how various components of our society and government all came directly out of the Bible, Beck said that in reading the Bible cover-to-cover over and over again, he has become "amazed at how much a book of revolution that [it] really is."

"We disconnect this from politics," Beck said of the Bible, but "this gives us everything that we're supposed to know":

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/11/14

  • PFAW: Edit Memo: Judicial Confirmations Under Bush and Obama — By the Numbers.
  • David Neiwert @ Hatewatch: Pete Santilli’s Violent Rant about a ‘Fight to the Death’ in Nevada.
  • Jeremy Hooper: Iowa's governor signs truly unbelievable proclamation.
  • Warren Throckmorton: Deja Vu All Over Again: David Barton Misleads Audience Again About Crime Statistics.
  • Andrew Kirell @ Mediaite: Just Try to Get Through the First Page of Todd Starnes’ New Book Without Laughing.
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