David Barton

Once Again, David Barton Puts His Ignorance on Display

Mat Staver was the guest on "WallBuilders Live" today as he, Rick Green, and David Barton discussed the importance of the issue of judges in this upcoming election by highlighting various recent Supreme Court decisions that had been decided by 5-4 margins.

After Staver rattled off several cases that were decided by close votes, Barton piped up to declare that the Lawrence v. Texas case was also a 5-4 decision.  Barton was wrong, as usual; it was a 6-3 decision

But then again what do you expect from someone who absurdly claims that in this case the Supreme Court ruled that everything that is consensual is constitutional ... even eleven year old girls having sex with ninety-five year old men: 

Lawrence v. Texas was a 5-4 decision and that's the one that gave the whole foundation for gay marriage because the court there said "look, here's the new deal: if it's consensual, it's constitutional."

Really?

So if an eleven year-old girl says she wants to have sex with a ninety-five year-old guy and they both consent, that's constitutional?

Now wait a minute; if five guys want to marry one girl and they consent, that's constitutional?

So what happened is that decision was a 5-4 decision that has opened the door to what we're seeing now not only with gay marriage but with what they're calling polyamorous marriages and open marriages and so many other things because the premise is that if everybody agrees, it's fine. And that's a wild decision.

Boykin: FRC Didn't Kill the Shooter, So How Can it Be a Hate Group?

Today's episode of "WallBuilders Live" was dedicated entirely to attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center with David Barton repeatedly (and falsely) claiming that the SPLC had placed him on its "hate list" while guest Jerry Boykin reiterated his claims that the SPLC was “anti-American," "anti-Christian," and "anti-Semitic."

The most interesting revelation was when Boykin, along with Barton and co-host Rick Green, wondered how an organization like the Family Research Council could be classified as a hate group when, during last month's shooting at FRC headquarters, the building manager did not kill the shooter after he had disarmed him because God told him not to:

Boykin: Let me tell you a quick thing you may not even know; the day that the shooter came in here and shot our building manager who just happened to be sitting at the reception desk that day. The building manager, after being shot, wrestled him to the ground with one arm, took his pistol away from him, bleeding profusely and started to shoot him and he said to us "God told me not to kill that man."

Now I want you to think about that. We're the hate group but he said "God told me not to kill him." And he could have justifiably killed that guy right there that had just shot him.

...

Green: What a great response by that guy at FRC. I didn't realize ... man what a witness that he did the way that he responded.

Barton: The Lord said don't shoot him and we're the haters? Nobody would have said a thing if he had shot that guy that had just shot him and shattered his arm, he was under attack, self defense, he's got a perfect right, he's an officer, he can do that and the Lord says "hey, don't shoot that guy." And somehow we're the haters in this thing. How crazy is that?

Once Again, David Barton Rewrites Modern History

A few weeks back, we wrote a post noting that David Barton's supporters and defenders had been saying that the criticism of his pseudo-scholarship simply boiled down to disagreements over matters of interpretation. We agreed and pointed out that Barton's documented inability to accurately "interpret" events and information is precisely the problem.

And today Barton again demonstrated the fundamental disregard he has for facts or accuracy when he and co-host Rick Green welcomed Rep. Louie Gohmert onto "WallBuilders Live" to defend the witch hunt that he and several other Republicans members of Congress launched against Huma Abedin under the guise of investigating the Muslim's Brotherhood's infiltration of the government.

Here is how Barton framed it:

And so what happened is you have some really high people in the State Department that, it turns out, man they've got some real direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

And so what happens is Louie [Gohmert,] and Michele [Bachmann,] and Trent Franks and some others write a letter and say "have you guys actually investigated these ties?" And so all they did was ask a question and of course the administration when they got that letter, instead of answering the question, they released it to the media and said "look what these guys are doing, it's a witch hunt."

And so they suddenly get attacked for having accused a person of being a part of the Muslim Brotherhood and that's clearly not what the letter said, the letter is out there, easy to read.

On one level, Barton is correct: the letter is out there and easy to read ... but not because the administration leaked it to the media, but because Michele Bachmann posted it on her website!

As a matter of fact, Bachmann and crew sent five different letters to the Inspectors General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of State in which they named several high-ranking advisors who are alleged to have "extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood."

So it seems that Barton's "interpretation" of events is pretty accurate - except for the two central claims of his statement.

As we have said several times before, if Barton cannot be relied upon to accurately "interpret" information pertaining to recent events that anyone with access to Google can easily check and verify,  why should anyone trust anything that he says about complex events in early American history?

Barton: People Who Say the Constitution is Secular are Just 'Biblically Illiterate'

Given all the criticism that David Barton has been receiving for his pseudo-scholarship and misrepresentations of history in recent weeks, you would think that he would be making an effort to reign in his tendency to make blatantly false statements ... but you would be wrong.

Several times in recent months we have documented Barton claiming that the Constitution directly quotes the Bible despite the fact that it is obviously and demonstrably untrue. 

But Barton was giving a presentation at Northwoods Community Church in Illinois over the weekend and made the claim yet again, claiming that those who claim the Constitution doesn't quote the Bible are just biblically illiterate:

If you will take the Constitution in one hand and read its language and take a Bible in the other hand and read it, you'll say "wow, that's a direct quotation out of a Bible verse." Yeah, exactly. If you'll look through the Constitution, you'll find so many direct quotations right out of Bible verses because that's what they put in the document.

Now today we're often told, on no, the Constitution is a secular document, it's a godless document. When people tell me that, I know that they're biblically illiterate, they don't recognize Bible verses. If you read the content of that and you know the Bible, you'll say "hey, that's a direct quote out of Ezra 7:24 and there it is out of Deuteronomy 17:5." It's just throughout the Constitution.

Let's take a look at Barton's claims and see if any of them hold up:

Article I, Section 8:

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States.

Leviticus 19:34:

But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Does that look like a "direct quote" to you? How about this?

Article II, Section 1:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President.

Deuteronomy 17:15:

You shall surely set him king over you, whom the LORD your God shall choose: one from among your brethren shall you set king over you: you may not set a stranger over you, who is not your brother.

Nope.  Or this?

Article III, Section 3

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Deuteronomy 17:6:

On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.

Again, no. What about this one?

Article III, Section 3:

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

Ezekiel 18:20:

The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.

Not even close.  Barton also claims the idea for separation of powers came from Jeremiah 17:9:

The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse — who can understand it?

And the concept of the three branches of government came from Isaiah 33:22:

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

And the idea for elections came from Exodus 18:21:

You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

Clearly, not a single one of Barton's claims holds up, nor does his claim that tax exemption for churches comes out of Ezra 7:24:

You are also to know that you have no authority to impose taxes, tribute or duty on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants or other workers at this house of God.

And that is primarly because the Constitution does not actually say anything about tax exemption for churches.

The ironic thing is that Barton says that people who point out that his claims are patently false are "biblically illiterate" when, in fact, it seems that Barton is both constitutionally and biblically illiterate since he is unable to realize that these passages he cites clearly do not say the things that he claims that they do.

Todd Akin Looks to Disgraced Pseudo-Historian David Barton for Help following 'Legitimate Rape' Controversy

Embattled Missouri congressman and Republican senate nominee Todd Akin appeared on WallBuilders Live today with David Barton, where the two showered each other with praise. Barton recently appeared with Mike Huckabee on a Missouri Baptist Convention teleconference trumpeting Akin’s candidacy and compared him to biblical figures, just as in an earlier radio show Barton likened Akin to the Founding Fathers. Many called on Akin to drop out of the Senate race after he said, while explaining his opposition to abortion rights in cases of rape, that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancies as “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin told Barton and co-host Rick Green that there has been a “concerted effort to shoot him out of the saddle” by groups like Planned Parenthood, and that he is “looking forward to moving ahead with this race and seeing a great victory in November.”

I really appreciate your prayers and the tremendous encouragement that’s come from all across our country, and this has become in a way a national race. It’s not uncommon when somebody who is a strong conservative gets in a position to run for a different seat that there will be a pretty concerted effort to shoot him out of the saddle. We know who our enemies are, Planned Parenthood has put me on their “Toxic Ten” list and there are other kinds of liberal groups likewise that if you don’t trust the conservative ratings look what the liberals are saying. I really appreciate both of you, you both have been really great patriots, always stood for a good, balanced understanding of freedom, we’re looking forward to moving ahead with this race and seeing a great victory in November.

Barton said “party bosses” despise Akin because of his conservative voting record, and Green maintained that Akin only gets in trouble because he’s an “uncompromising, absolutely solid conservative” and “the kind of guy everybody says they want in Congress, we want that consistent conservative, but it does make it harder on the campaign trail sometimes.”

Barton attempted to explain that “missteps” like Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments are inevitable and therefore people should “blow that off,” and even used the fact that we at Right Wing Watch on a regular basis write about Barton’s dishonest and bizarre statements as an example. He said that Akin’s comments don’t reflect his time in Congress and shouldn’t concern people, however, Akin’s views on rape and abortion clearly reflect on his congressional record and a larger Religious Right worldview.

One of the things that I’ve been pointing out to people that have been asking about Todd and what happened in Missouri is he made a misstep, he said something that shouldn’t of been said, that’s been taken care of, he apologized, asked forgiveness, we move on from that. That misstep would bother me if this was a pattern of behavior and it’s not, it would also bother me if his voting record showed that he had any inclination toward what he said, which it clearly doesn’t. So we say we made a mistake. You and I get quoted all the time by Right Wing Watch for what they call our mistakes, anyone who talks is going to make mistakes and you blow that off especially if you got a record. So the response is: hey let’s not get distracted with this because what happened is liberals in the Republican party and liberals in Democrat party [sic] would love for people to focus on that misstep that Todd said and that way they don’t have to talk about the contrast between him and his opponent, Claire McCaskill.

If Barton is making the case that Akin’s assertion would only bother him “if this was a pattern of behavior,” then maybe Barton should be troubled by his own career as a self-proclaimed historian as his latest book was pulled from publication over its inaccuracies, and as Barton himself notes, has to be frequently called out on this blog (and others) for making clearly false and absurd claims.

Barton: 'If You Want Abortion, You Want Bigger Government'

A few months ago, an effort to legalize abortion in Ireland failed and David Barton hailed the development on today's "Good News Friday" program of "WallBuilders Live."

But Barton was not really concerned about the illegality of abortion in Ireland, as he was mostly just interested in the title of an article about it posted on LifeNews.com that read "Ireland Dáil Defeats Socialist’s Bill to Legalize Abortion" because, to him, it proves that people who support a woman's right to choose are really just socialists:

I love the title on this. It says "Ireland Dáil Defeats Socialist’s Bill to Legalize Abortion." Now the two words that stick out to me there are "socialists" and "abortion." It's interesting how those two things go together. Pro-abortion people tend to be pro-socialism people; that is, they want bigger government. If you want abortion, you want bigger government.

And I don't think I had really thought of socialism and abortion as going side-by-side until I saw the headline to this article that they defeated a socialist's bill to legalize abortion. And, you know, that kind of helps me identify things here in America; I can kind of start looking at people who are pro-abortion and say, you know, they really are pro-socialism, they're pro bigger government, less individual rights and responsibilities.

But I think it's good news for us to identify pro-abortion people with socialism, quite frankly.

Copeland: My Books Helped Topple the Berlin Wall

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland is taking at least part of the credit for the collapse of the Berlin Wall, telling guest David Barton that German pastors used his books to topple the wall with the power of positive confession. A Word-Faith preacher, Copeland believes that Christians can use “positive confession” to speak things into existence, typically physical health and material wealth. During Believer’s Voice of Victory, he claimed that his books and those of fellow Word-Faith preacher Kenneth Hagin were used to bring down the Berlin Wall, to which the self-declared “historian” Barton eagerly agreed.

Watch:

Barton: Gay Rights and Reproductive Rights mean 'You are Going Down as a Nation'

While appearing on televangelist Kenneth Copeland’s Believer’s Voice of Victory, disgraced pseudo-historian once again used his platform on Copeland’s show to deliver an attack on gay rights and women’s rights, this time saying that marriage equality and reproductive rights lead to a nation’s destruction. “If a nation says, ‘hey, we want abortion, we want homosexual marriage,’ it is going down,” Barton said, “anytime you move away from what God says, you are going down as a nation.”

Watch:

Copeland: I don’t care who you are, if you turn loose of God and the truth of God, you’re going down, brother! You can’t—it’s created that way; you can’t violate the way it was put together.

Barton: That is why public policies in a nation are so important. If a nation says, ‘hey, we want abortion, we want homosexual marriage,’ it is going down.

Copeland: It’s going down.

Barton: You have taken what God had up top and said ‘we’re not going to do that, we want to go in a different’—anytime you move away from what God says, you are going down as a nation.

David Barton Went 70 for 71 in Shaping the GOP Platform

It is already well-known that Religious Right activists played a central role in drafting and shaping the official Republican Party Platform to reflect their political agenda. 

The extent to which just how thoroughly the Religious Right's agenda dominates the 2012 GOP platform was helpfully exposed last night when David Barton appeared on GBTV to brag that the platform is "the most conservative in my lifetime," revealing that he personally "made 71 motions to add to this platform and 70 of them got passed":

Barton: 'Messing Around With Marriage will Affect Economic Prosperity in the Nation'

While appearing on Kenneth Copeland's "Believer's Voice of Victory" television program, David Barton said that any effort to change the definition of marriage to include "a man and a man or a dog and a horse" will harm a nation's ability to prosper economically "because you're violating commands of God":

Barton: God Will Come Out of Heaven to Oppose Our Unbiblical Economic System

David Barton has returned for another extended appearance on Kenneth Copeland's "Believers Voice of Victory" television program where he made the case that our economic system must be set up to correspond to "the way God says the government should do economics," which means that government needs to "reward those who make a profit."  

But rather than doing that, Barton warned, our government is punishing those who have been successful and using their money to reward those who aren't productive or bail-out those who have run their business into the ground ... "and there's no way God is going to bless that ... because we're not following his laws."   

But not only is God not going to bless our government, He is "actually going to come down and oppose" it, coming straight out of Heaven to say "what's going on down here? This isn't what I ordained":

Barton: Cops Should Have Refused to Arrest Arizona Pastor for Illegally Building a Church

Yesterday on "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green discussed the case of Arizona pastor Michael Salman who has recently become a Religious Right cause célèbre because he is  supposedly being persecuted simply because he wanted to hold Bible study meetings at his home. 

In reality, Salman had been attempting to illegally build a church in his back yard and had been holding multiple-weekly church services on his property until he was found guilty of dozens of code violations and sentenced to sixty days in jail.

Barton took up the case today and voiced his outrage, calling on voters in Phoenix to work to remove political leaders in that city for allowing something like this to happen. Barton went on to falsely claim that Salman's home was raided by a SWAT team sent to arrest him and said that law enforcement officers must refuse to participate in things like this because they have an obligation to uphold the Constitution:

And the one we have today, the one we're going to talk about today is a great example is a bunch of political leaders in a city who need to be seriously removed. The fact that they would even think about enforcing this particular ordinance against anybody means that we've got a bad set of leaders there that need to be gone.

...

There needs to be some changes in Phoenix and people really do need to let city hall hear it over this. And I'm really concerned about cops who are willing to go in as a SWAT team to arrest a pastor who's had Bible study. The cops should have said "no, we're not doing that. I mean, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution too; there's the right of assembly, the right of speech, the right of religion. We're not going to go arrest this guy with AR-15s and a SWAT team." At some point, citizens are going to have to say we're not going to be part of this and that should have happened at this point.

6 Right-Wing Zealots and the Crazy Ideas Behind the Most Outrageous Republican Platform Ever

Note: this story is cross-posted at AlterNet.

The official 2012 Republican Party platform is a far-right fever dream, a compilation of pouting, posturing, and policies to meet just about every demand from the overlapping Religious Right, Tea Party, corporate, and neo-conservative wings of the GOP.  If moderates have any influence in today’s Republican Party, you wouldn’t know it by reading the platform.  Efforts by a few delegates to insert language favoring civil unions, comprehensive sex education, and voting rights for the District of Columbia, for example, were all shot down.  Making the rounds of right-wing pre-convention events on Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann gushed about the platform’s right-wing tilt, telling fired-up Tea Partiers that “the Tea Party has been all over that platform.”

Given the Republican Party’s hard lurch to the right, which intensified after the election of Barack Obama, the “most conservative ever” platform is not terribly surprising. But it still didn’t just happen on its own.  Here are some of the people we can thank on the domestic policy front.
 
1. Bob McDonnell.   As platform committee chair, McDonnell made it clear he was not in the mood for any amendments to the draft language calling for a “Human Life Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution and legal recognition that the “unborn” are covered by the Fourteenth Amendment – “personhood” by another name.  McDonnell is in many ways the ideal right-wing governor: he ran as a fiscal conservative and governs like the Religious Right activist he has been since he laid out his own political platform in the guise of a master’s thesis at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. 
 
His thesis argued that feminists and working women were detrimental to the family, and that public policy should favor married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals, or fornicators.”  When running for governor, McDonnell disavowed his thesis, but as a state legislator he pushed hard to turn those positions into policy.  As the Washington Post noted, “During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.”  As governor, McDonnell signed the kind of mandatory ultrasound law that is praised in this year’s platform.  When his name was floated as a potential V.P. pick, Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood decried his “deeply troubling record on women’s health.”
 
2 Tony Perkins.  Perkins heads the Family Research Council, whose Values Voter Summit is the Religious Right’s most important annual conference, at which movement activists rub shoulders with Republican officials and candidates.  Perkins bragged in an email to his supporters how much influence he and his friend David Barton (see below) had on the platform.  Perkins was an active member of the platform committee, proposing language to oppose school-based health clinics that provide referrals for contraception or abortion, and arguing for the strongest possible anti-marriage equality language.  Perkins also introduced an amendment to the platform calling on the District of Columbia government to loosen its gun laws, which Perkins says still do not comply with recent Supreme Court rulings.
 
The media tends to treat Perkins, a telegenic former state legislator, as a reasonable voice of the Religious Right, but his record and his group’s positions prove otherwise.  Perkins has been aggressively exploiting the recent shooting at FRC headquarters to divert attention from the group’s extremism by claiming that the Southern Poverty Law Center was irresponsible in calling FRC a hate group.  Unfortunately for Perkins, the group’s record of promoting hatred toward LGBT people is well documented.  Perkins has even complained that the press and President Obama were being too hard on Uganda’s infamous “kill the gays” bill, which he described as an attempt to “uphold moral conduct.” It’s worth remembering that Perkins ran a 1996 campaign for Louisiana Senate candidate Woody Jenkins that paid $82,600 to David Duke for the Klan leader’s mailing list; the campaign was fined by the FEC for trying to cover it up.
 
3. David Barton.  Texas Republican activist and disgraced Christian-nation “historian” Barton has had a tough year, but Tampa has been good to him.  He was perhaps the most vocal member of the platform committee, and was a featured speaker at Sunday’s pre-convention “prayer rally.” During the platform committee’s final deliberations, Barton couldn’t seem to hear his own voice often enough.  He was the know-it-all nitpicker, piping up with various language changes, such as deleting a reference to the family as the “school of democracy” because families are not democracies.  He thought it was too passive to call Obamacare an “erosion of” the Constitution and thought it should be changed to an “attack on” the founding document.  He called for stronger anti-public education language and asserted that large school districts employ one administrator for every teacher.  He backed anti-abortion language, tossing out the claim that 127 medical studies over five decades say that abortion hurts women.  Progressives have been documenting Barton’s lies for years, but more recently conservative evangelical scholars have also been hammering  his claims about American history.  The critical chorus got so loud that Christian publishing powerhouse Thomas Nelson pulled Barton’s most recent book – which, ironically, purports to correct “lies” about Thomas Jefferson – from the shelves.  Of course, Barton has had plenty of practice at this sort of thing, from producing bogusdocumentaries designed to turn African Americans against the Democratic Party to pushing his religious and political ideology into Texas textbooks. Barton’s right-wing friends like Glenn Beck have rallied around him. And nothing seems to tarnish Barton with the GOP allies for whom he has proven politically useful over the years. 
 
4. Kris Kobach.  Kris Kobach wants to be your president one day; until now, he has gotten as far as Kansas Secretary of State.  He may be best known as the brains behind Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, and he successfully pushed for anti-immigrant language in the platform, including a call for the federal government to deny funds to universities that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition – a plank that puts Kobach and the platform at odds with Kansas law.  Immigration is not Kobach’s only issue. He is an energizing force behind the Republican Party’s massive push for voter suppression laws around the country, and he led the effort to get language inserted into the platform calling on states to pass laws requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration.  He also pushed language aimed at the supposed threat to the Constitution and laws of the US from “Sharia law”; getting this language into the platform puts the GOP in position of endorsing a ludicrous far-right conspiracy theory.  Kobach hopes that will give activists a tool for pressuring more states to pass their own anti-Sharia laws.  In the platform committee, he backed Perkins’ efforts to maintain the strongest language against marriage equality.  Even an amendment to the marriage section saying that everyone should be treated “equally under the law” as long as they are not hurting anyone else, was shot down by Kobach.  Kobach also claims he won support for a provision to oppose any effort to limit how many bullets can go into a gun’s magazine.
 
5. James Bopp.  James Bopp is a Republican lawyer and delegate from Indiana whose client list is a Who’s Who of right-wing organizations, including National Right to Life and the National Organization for Marriage, which he has represented in its efforts to keep political donors secret.  As legal advisor to Citizens United, Bopp has led legal attacks on campaign finance laws and played a huge role in bringing us the world of unlimited right-wing cash flooding our elections.  Bopp chaired this year’s platform subcommittee on “restoring constitutional government,” which helps explain its strong anti-campaign finance reform language. 
 
Bopp is also an annoyingly petty partisan, having introduced a resolution in the Republican National Committee in 2009 urging the Democratic Party to change its name to the “Democrat Socialist Party.”  In this year’s platform committee, Bopp successfully pushed for the removal of language suggesting that residents of the District of Columbia might deserve some representation in Congress short of statehood.  His sneering comments, and his gloating fist-pump when the committee approved his resolution, have not won him any friends among DC residents – not that he cares.  He also spoke out against a young delegate’s proposal that the party recognize civil unions, which Bopp denounced as “counterfeit marriage.”  In spite of all these efforts, Bopp has been at the forefront of Romney campaign platform spin, arguing in the media that the platform language on abortion is not really a “no-exceptions” ban, in spite of its call for a Human Life Amendment and laws giving Fourteenth Amendment protections to the “unborn.” 
 
6. Dick Armey.  Former Republican insider Dick Armey now runs FreedomWorks, the Koch-backed, corporate-funded, Murdoch-promoted Tea Party astroturfing group – or, in their words, a “grassroots service center.” Armey has been a major force behind this year’s victories of Tea Party Senate challengers like Ted Cruz in Texas and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, both of whom knocked off “establishment” candidates – FreedomWorks also backed Rand Paul in Kentucky and Mike Lee in Utah in 2010.  As Alternet’s Adele Stan has reported, FreedomWorks’s goal is to build a cadre of far-right senators to create a “power center around Jim DeMint,” the Senate’s reigning Tea Party-Religious Right hero. 
 
To put Armey’s stamp on the platform, FreedomWorks created a “Freedom Platform” project, which enlisted Tea Party leaders to come up with proposed platform planks and encouraged activists to vote for them online. Then FreedomWorks pushed the party to include these planks in the official platform:
      Repeal Obamacare; Pursue Patient-Centered Care
      Stop the Tax Hikes
      Reverse Obama’s Spending Increases
      Scrap the Code; Replace It with a Flat Tax
      Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment
      Reject Cap and Trade
      Rein in the EPA
      Unleash America’s Vast Energy Potential
      Eliminate the Department of Education
      Reduce the Bloated Federal Workforce
      Curtail Excessive Federal Regulation
      Audit the Fed
 
An Ohio Tea Party Group, The Ohio Liberty Coalition, celebrated that 10 of 12 made it to the draft – everything but the flat tax and eliminating the Department of Education.  But FreedomWorks gave itself a more generous score, arguing for an 11.5 out of 12.  FreedomWorks vice president Dean Clancy said that the platform’s call for a “flatter” tax “opens the door to a Flat Tax” and said that they considered the education section of the platform a “partial victory” because it includes “a very strong endorsement of school choice, including vouchers.”
 
Honorable mention: Mitt Romney.  This is his year, his party, and his platform.  The entire Republican primary was essentially an exercise in Romney moving to the right to try to overcome resistance to his nomination from activists who distrusted his ideological authenticity.   The last thing the Romney campaign wanted was a fight with the base, like the one that happened in San Diego in 1996, when Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition delighted in publicly humiliating nominee Robert Dole over   his suggestion that the GOP might temper its anti-abortion stance.  Romney signaled his intention to avoid a similar conflict when he named Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to chair the platform committee. 
 
Keeping Everybody Happy
 
The new GOP platform reflects Romney’s desire to placate every aspect of the party’s base.  It also demonstrates both the continuingpower of the Religious Right within the GOP, as well as ongoing efforts to erase any distinctions between social conservatives and anti-government zealots, as demonstrated by Ralph Reed welcoming Grover Norquist to his Faith and Freedom coalition leadership luncheon on Sunday.

Barton: Seventh Amendment Bans Abortion

We are used to watching David Barton give off an aura of expertise by speaking so quickly that people can’t notice when he is making patently false claims and simply making stuff up about America’s founders and the Constitution. For example, last night at the Prayer Rally for America’s Future, the event hosted by Focus on the Family and the Florida Family Policy Council in Tampa’s River Church right before the Republican National Convention, Barton made a rather peculiar claim about the Seventh Amendment.

Here’s what the Seventh Amendment of the US Constitution says:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re–examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Read that one more time, because according to David Barton, the Seventh Amendment bans abortion, which he offers as evidence to back up his false assertion that the founders criminalized abortion.

Barton, who has made the same claim about the Seventh Amendment before, does not say how exactly the right to a trial by jury bans abortion, but because Barton is so confident that all of the founders agreed with all of his own theological and political views, he sees no need to explain the connection between the right to jury trials and the legality of abortions.

Watch:

The first belief we have in American government, in American society is that there’s a divine Creator, that’s not a personal belief, that’s an official government belief, that’s in our founding document. The first thing we say is there’s a Creator, the second thing we say is we believe the Creator gave us a certain set of rights, that are God-given inalienable rights, they exist to every person on the globe just because they were born, actually just because they were conceived quite frankly. Founding Fathers recognized abortion as a crime way back in the beginning, that’s why in the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution, part of the common law, you’re not allowed to do abortions because God gives life, not humans, humans can’t take life that God gives so it’s real simple stuff.

Barton: The SCOTUS Health Care Decision is a Sign of Spiritual Revival

Every Friday on 'WallBuilders Live" is "Good News Friday" where David Barton and Rick Green discuss what they consider to be positive developments around the nation and today Barton caught Green off-guard by kicking off the show by citing the Supreme Courts' recent decision upholding the constitutionality of the health care reform legislation.

The ruling was good news, Barton explained, because it contained a line written by Chief Justice John Roberts that declared that it was "not [the Supreme Court's] job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices." And this sort of statement, Barton declared, is a sign of spiritual revival:

Barton: I'm going to start with a victory, and don't think I'm crazy for choosing this as a victory because I really think it is, but it deals with the Supreme Court's health care decision.

One of the greatest lines out of any Supreme Court case in the last one hundred years is when Chief Justice Roberts said "it is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices."

Green: Amen to that.

Barton And I say amen! ... Why I really like this is in Jeremiah 31, in that passage God talks about the difference in a nation and how he is going to change the nation, so both Jeremiah and Isaiah talk about this. But he says in the time that a nation's under a curse, he says the proverb is that the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge. So what they're saying is, the kids say 'hey, it's not our fault; our fathers did this.'

But he says at the Day of the Lord, when he comes and heals the nation, you'll then say each one has eaten sour grapes and his own teeth are set on edge.

Green: You're responsible for your own actions.

Barton: You're responsible for your own stuff; you can't blame this on anybody else. And that's a sign of revival, when you start saying you're responsible for your actions and the court says, hey, you're responsible for your own political decisions, guess what? That is a spiritually good sign. 

Even More Conservative Scholars Publicly Question David Barton's Scholarship

Earlier this month, World Magazine published a piece noting that "conservative Christian scholars" had begun to publicly question the veracity of David Barton's work.  That article and the questions it raised about Barton's work was part of a chain of events that ultimately led Barton's publisher to pull his book from circulation and cancel his contract.

Since then, more and more conservatives have been coming forward with their own questions about Barton's pseudo-history while Barton has focused his response primarily on attacking his most prominent critic, Warren Throckmorton, as some sort of fake Christian who cannot be trusted because he doesn't support the use of reparative therapy to "cure" gays.

But while Barton is intent on attacking Throckmorton's conservative bona fides, conservative scholars continue to undermine Barton's credibility, to which Barton has thus far been unable to respond.

In fact, a new piece published today on the World Magazine website quotes several more Glenn Beck-approved scholars agreeing that Barton's book is misleading and that his claims are wrong: 

The Jefferson Lies commends Daniel Dreisbach, an American University professor, calling him one of the few Jefferson scholars who employs a "sound historical approach," so I asked Dreisbach whether he agreed with Barton. Dreisbach replied that he has a "very hard time" accepting the notion that Jefferson was ever an orthodox Christian, or that Jefferson ever embraced Christianity's "transcendent claims."

...

Louisiana State University professor James Stoner, one of Glenn Beck's "Beck University" lecturers, says Throckmorton and Coulter's book seems "entirely in line" with what he knows about Jefferson's faith. Stoner describes Jefferson as a "rationalist skeptic."

Professor Kevin Gutzman, who has appeared both on WallBuilders radio and the Glenn Beck program, argues that "Jefferson was not a Christian, if the word 'Christian' has any meaning," because he rejected the Bible's "supernatural content." Gutzman thinks Jefferson's skepticism certainly predated 1813. 

Pseudo-Historians Unite: David Barton and Scott Lively use Fake Scholarship to Disguise their Extremist Views

David Barton defends his junk history by pointing to an anonymous group of academics who apparently approve of his “scholarship” while simultaneously saying that people can trust his work because the liberal, secular, academic elite doesn’t approve of it. While Barton refuses to name anyone from his supposed gaggle of admirers in academia, he is touting the support of a fellow pseudo-historian: Scott Lively, who blames the Holocaust on the gay community.

That’s right, Barton, who has the ear of Republican politicians and is helping to write the Republican Party platform, is touting the endorsement of someone who thinks gays brought about the Holocaust.

As Kyle reported yesterday, Lively appeared on WallBuilders Live, Barton’s radio show which he co-hosts with Rick Green, to defend Barton and denounce his critics, namely Professor Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College. Throckmorton co-authored “Getting Jefferson Right,” a book that scrutinizes and debunks many of Barton’s claims in “The Jefferson Lies,” which was so inaccurate it was pulled from publication.

Even before Lively’s appearance on WallBuilders Live, Barton was promoting Lively’s attack on Throckmorton via Twitter and Facebook, arguing that Throckmorton lied about Lively’s involvement in shaping Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill and therefore shouldn’t be trusted in whatever he said about Barton. While on WallBuilders Live, Lively said it is “absolutely not true” that he promoted “forced therapy of homosexuals in Uganda”:

However, that is exactly what he told Janet Mefferd back in May, arguing that he wanted Uganda to treat homosexuals just like drunk drivers who have the choice between jail time and therapy, in this case sexual orientation conversion therapy:

This brazen dishonesty is how both Lively and Barton operate. While they like to fashion themselves as historians they are in reality simply political activists.

Similar to how Barton misrepresents the Founders as conservative evangelical Christians to advance his own conservative political agenda, Lively rewrites the history of Nazi Germany to argue that gays and lesbians are responsible for the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust in order to further his own anti-gay politics in the U.S. and abroad.

In “The Pink Swastika,” Lively asserts that “the glaring truth of history is that homosexuals bore a disproportionately large share for the responsibility for the rise of Nazism.” He claims that gays in Germany sought to restore homosexual occult religion and eliminate its Judeo-Christian detractors: “there is a spiritual element to the Holocaust that suggests that it was, in some respects, vengeance against the people whose moral laws had relegated pagan homo-occultism to obscurity and ignominy” (p. 49). According to Lively, “the rise of homosexuality in a Judeo-Christian based culture” inevitably means that “violence and depravity increase” (p. 137).

“The Pink Swastika” later shifts the conversation to the U.S. debate on gay rights, warning that “Nazi themes are common in the homosexual community” today (p. 146) and that American society is heading down the same path as pre-WWII Germany thanks to gay rights (p. 187).

No legitimate historians have given any credibility Lively’s claims that the Nazi party leadership was overwhelmingly composed of gay men. Throckmorton has posted one of the most thorough refutations of Lively’s book. In fact, homosexuals were a targeted for persecution in Nazi Germany and thousands were sent to concentration camps.

Throckmorton and countless others haven’t criticized Lively and Barton’s work out of a malicious desire to smear conservatives, as the two claim, but because it is necessary to call out those like Lively and Barton who are clearly rewriting and twisting history in order to advance their own political goals.

David Barton and the Matter of Interpretation

As David Barton has been fighting to salvage his reputation over the last few weeks, one of the main claims that he and his supporters are making is that the disputes over the veracity of Barton's work all boil down to simple matters of interpretation.

Rick Green, for instance, claims that the attacks on Barton are nothing more than "empty rhetoric using the tiniest of semantics over one fact out of thousands to try and discredit the entire premise of the book."

In Green's view, people are just nitpicking Barton's work because they disagree with his interpretation of facts ... but, as we have repeatedly pointed out, people are questioning Barton's interpretation of facts because he has a long record of intentionally misinterpreting them in order to promote his own agenda.

And today on "WallBuilders Live," Barton offered up another perfect example of this when he discussed the controversy that surrounds Jerry Boykin:

He's actually a three-star general and he got in a lot of trouble from the secular guys because he talked about God in a church. Can you imagine him doing that? He spoke in a church and he talked about God. They beat him up and demanded that he be kicked out of the military and went to the President and said "you can't let a guy speak about God when he is in church" and he's taken abuse and a beating.

He was dis-invited from speaking up at West Point last year under the Obama administration because he is the head of a group that deals with domestic terrorism, that deals with the threat of Islamic terrorism but how it applies itself domestically and the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. So because he points out where there are threats, he as a guy who recognizes a threat when he sees it, who had Delta Force special forces, was kept from speaking at West Point by the Obama administration.

So that is Barton's "interpretation" of what happened and, you will be shocked to learn, it does not correspond very closely to reality.

In fact, Boykin got in trouble not for talking about God in church but for appearing in full uniform before a religious group to declare that Muslims hated the United States "because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian ... and the enemy is a guy named Satan" and that Boykin knew the US would win because "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

After retiring from the military due largely to the controversy he generated with this address, Boykin then turned his attention full time to anti-Islam activism, calling on Christians to “pray over mosques and go on the offensive against Islam while declaring that Islam should not be protected under the First Amendment and that America should ban the construction of mosques. And it was this long and documented history of anti-Islam activism that led Boykin to withdraw from his speaking engagement at West Point.

This perfectly demonstrates why the matter of Barton's reliability as an "interpreter" is central to the concerns about the reliability of his historical claims because, as we have said several times before, if he cannot be relied upon to accurately "interpret" information pertaining to recent events that anyone with access to Google can easily check and verify,  how can anyone trust the arcane claims he makes about complex events in early American history?

Leading Religious Right Ministry Breaks with Barton and his 'Misinformation'

BreakPoint ministry, founded by the late Chuck Colson and chaired by Timothy George, appears to be making a clean break with junk historian David Barton. While Barton and his deputy Rick Green continue to claim their only critics are left-wing, anti-Christian academic elitists, more and more conservatives are distancing themselves from Barton.

Just as Barton projects his own right-wing political views and fundamentalist version of Christianity onto the Founders, Tom Gilson writes for BreakPoint that many Christians readily accepted Barton’s version of history because it validated their own political and religious beliefs: “He gave us what we wanted.” Consequently, “Barton’s errors are not only his” as they “also belong to those of us who bought his message carelessly, unquestioningly, too eagerly, and too comfortably.”

Gilson points out that Barton’s work faced significant scrutiny long before evangelical historians began criticizing Barton’s “scholarship” as “serious questions that have surrounded Barton’s work for a long time” and the Christian publishing giant Thomas Nelson pulled “The Jefferson Lies” from publication, and yet many Barton fans agreed with his claim that any criticism is a result of the “liberal academy’s antipathy to Christianity.” “It’s not political opinion that’s stacking up against him now,” Gilson writes. “It’s well documented facts.”

David Barton was American evangelicals’ favorite historian. He taught us about the Founding Fathers’ almost uniform commitment to Christian principles, and secular historians’ attempts to bury our Christian heritage under reams of revisionist distortions. He gave us firepower in support of our mission to return America to its godly founding principles.

He gave us what we wanted. But now David Barton has been credibly charged with serious distortions of his own.

The story has been told in both the secular and the Christian press: Barton’s most recent book, The Jefferson Lies, was riddled with misinformation. Its publisher, Thomas Nelson, pulled it from distribution. Barton is standing firm in his position, but reliable historians—strongly conservative Christian scholars among them—continue to hold him in error, and not just because of this work but because of others as well.

I am no historian, so I am in no position to form an independent judgment of his veracity. Few of us are. But that doesn’t excuse our eager acceptance of his inaccuracies. With a bit of care, any of us could have known of the serious questions that have surrounded Barton’s work for a long time. These recent revelations are nothing new, except in the degree to which conservative Christian scholars are involved in calling him to account.

Nevertheless we became for him a devoted cadre of disciples. We knew our country’s founding principles were vitally important. However, so is historical accuracy. It looks as if Barton compromised one to make a case for the other.

If the signs have been there for some time, why then did we love Barton so? And is it possible that we share the blame? Barton fended off criticism by blaming it on the liberal academy’s antipathy to Christianity. That had more than a little believability to it. I am quite sure that liberal academics often hold to an ideological agenda that motivates them to discredit Christianity’s part in our nation’s history. Thus, it was easy (and it still is) to be suspicious of their criticisms in this case. But the ideology defense is no help when it’s conservative Christians making a case against Barton—especially when it’s a case as verifiable as this is proving to be. It’s not political opinion that’s stacking up against him now. It’s well documented facts.



To accept any human teacher without checking on his message with due diligence is to abandon our responsibility to the truth. David Barton’s errors are not only his. They also belong to those of us who bought his message carelessly, unquestioningly, too eagerly, and too comfortably.

WallBuilders Turns to Scott Lively in an to Attempt to Salvage David Barton's Reputation

Things have now gotten so desperate for David Barton and WallBuilders that they are reduced to calling in support from none other than Scott Lively to defend Barton's work by attacking Warren Throckmorton, Barton's primary critic.

Lively, as you know, is widely seen as the inspiration behind Uganda's notorious "kill the gays" legislation and the author of the book "The Pink Swastika," which claims that "the Nazi Party was conceived, organized and controlled throughout its short history by masculine-oriented male homosexuals who hid their sexual proclivities from the public, in part by publicly persecuting one group of their political enemies: out-of-the-closet effeminate-oriented homosexuals aligned with the German Communist Party."

Throckmorton has likewise been a vocal critic of Lively's "scholarship" and so the the geniuses at WallBuilders thought it would be a good idea of have Lively come on the program and explain that what is happening to Barton is the same thing that happened to him:

I had the same kind of run-in with Mr. Throckmorton myself. I'm the author of a history book along with Jewish researcher Kevin Abrams called "The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party." Very controversial but heavily documented and Mr. Throckmorton has attempted to attack my work in the very same way.

Why WallBuilders thinks this comparison helps Barton's cause is utterly beyond our comprehension. 

Green and Lively also suggested that Throckmorton is responsible for some sort of widespread conspiracy against anti-gay Religious Right leaders because he is favorably quoted on "really nasty anti-Christian blogs" such as Box Turtle Bulletin, Joe.My.God, and Truth Wins Out and engages in interaction with us here at Right Wing Watch:

Green: I noticed in your article you said just Google his name along with these really nasty anti-Christian blogs like Box Turtle Bulletin, Truth Wins Out, Joe.My.God, I mean they got some really nasty stuff on there ...

Lively: Very nasty.

Green: And apparently he's kind of a champion of these guys. They really kind of see him as a hero. They quote him all the time.

...

Lively: There's a lot of interaction there between him and some of the other people and the group Right Wing Watch ...

Green: Oh yeah, those guys love us. They just love us. They love us so much that they watch us all the time and listen to us all the time. They're always taking stuff out of context and out of quotes ... so to all of our friends at Right Wing Watch and these other liberal blogs and whatnot listening today, we just want to say "hi, love ya, Lord bless you."

Lively: Amen. Hey, I want these people to be saved. I want them to be turned from the foolishness of their positions but I'm not simply going to sit back when they're attacking people who are standing for biblical truth.

It is interesting that Green would accuse us taking things out of context while categotically refusing to even acknowledge all of the instances we have documented of Barton spreading falsehoods, such as claiming that Constitution directly quotes the Bible "verbatim":

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