As we noted yesterday, we are working our way through David Barton's new book "The Founders' Bible" and we've made it up to the book of Deuteronomy, which Barton has filled with articles about how the Founding Fathers disapproved of using the government to help the poor, wanted the Bible taught in schools, included God in the wording of oaths, created courts to carry out Biblical justice, and opposed the imposition of unbiblical progressive taxation:
America's original system of taxation treated Americans as individuals rather than as part of a group, and it allowed, figuratively speaking, for the sun to rise alike on the good and the evil, and the rain to fall equally on the just and the unjust. This is just one of the many areas in which the Constitution specifically incorporated Biblical principles. We would do well to return to the wisdom that God establish for how to order our society. Forsaking it only invites destruction.
There is also a long article defending the Biblical legitimacy of the death penalty, which Barton roots in Deuteronomy 17:6, which says that "on the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness."
Barton again asserts that this passage is the foundation for the Constitution's treason clause, but also explains that God was using DNA evidence way back in Genesis and so it counts as an "eyewitness" in today's courts of law:
Biblically, the death penalty could not be applied unless there were at least two eyewitnesses to the incident. Circumstantial evidence, even when strong, is not the equivalent of multiple eyewitnesses and therefore does not meet the Biblical standard. Interestingly, however, the Bible long ago acknowledged a specific eyewitness that only in recent decades has become recognized in Americans courts.
Recall the account of Cain's murder of his brother Abel from Genesis 4:8-10. When God asked Cain where his brother was and Cain lied, God specifically confronted him with the declaration: "The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground" (v. 10). Blood cries out? Blood has a voice? How can that be? We now know that DNA has a voice - that it serves as an eyewitness to specific crimes, just as when it cried out to God about Abel's death. This voice therefore Biblically qualifies as one of the "two or three eyewitnesses" needed to secure the death penalty in a capital crime.
Last week, David Barton participated in a conference call for Champion The Vote, the Religious Right election effort that seeks to register and mobilize millions of Christian voters because "it only takes 5 million votes to decide an election."
During the call, Barton set out a pretty simple rule to help conservative Christians determine how to cast their ballots: vote the Ten Commandments:
Now you take the Ten Commandments and look at them and there are certain issues that do appear there. One is the public acknowledgement of God, that's the first thing off. So when there's a difference between candidates on whether God should be mentioned in public, if one of them wants a secularization of the public square, the other says "no, God needs to be acknowledged," that's a big deal, that's one of God's top ten issues.
You'll find that also in the top ten, don't shed innocent blood. Well, that goes to abortion.
You'll also find in the top ten that God says "I want you keep marriage the way I told you it was back in Genesis." Hey, the marriage issue makes the top ten.
What doesn't make the top ten is the environment or helping the poor or energy or whatever. So if we take other issues and raise them above God's top ten, then we have usurped what God has told us in the Scriptures and what God told his nation: "I've given you 613 laws, but here's my prioritization; these are the most important ones." So we need to vote with that cognizance.
As we've noted before, marrige in the Book of Gensis consisted mainly of polygamy and/or some form of incest ... but we are pretty sure that is not what Barton had in mind.
Over the last several months, we have written a series of posts highlighting the various social, cultural, and governmental institutions that David Barton claims are directly rooted in the Bible. For Barton, any parallel he can discover between a provision in the Constitution and language in the Bible can only mean that the latter was the cause for the former, often going so far as to falsely claim that the Constitution quotes the Bible "verbatim."
Now Barton has produced a new book called "The Founders' Bible" which is designed to help readers "discover the Scriptures that the Founders used as the basis for our original founding documents, see what chapters inspired them in the fight for independence, understand the sacrifices they made because of their Biblically-based beliefs and learn about America as a Christian nation."
We received our copy of the book today and we were not at all surprised to discover that it is full of the sorts of absurd claims we have come to expect from Barton. In essence, the book is a Bible interspersed with long explanatory articles written by Barton explaining how the adjoining passages served as the foundation for America and our form of government.
Many of the claims we have heard from Barton before, but the book also to contain several new ones, such as the statement that Independence Day was based on Biblical precedent.
As Barton explains it:
The turning point for the independence of the Jews ... was the Passover, when God, in a miraculous demonstration of power, struck down the firstborn of the Egyptians. Out of all the amazing things along Israel's lengthy road to becoming an independent nation and people, God commanded them to remember that one particular event and to celebrate the anniversary of that one particular day every year thereafter (Exodus 13:10.) And not only were they to honor that day, but they were also to use it to teach the rising generation about what God had done in birthing their nation (Exodus 13:8.)
Barton then explains that some of the Founding Fathers "saw a correlation between the account in Exodus and the American experience," prompting him to declare that "the Fourth of July is an annual day of celebration and remembrance like that in Exodus 13 - one of the many American practices with Biblical precedents."
Later in the same chapter, Barton declares that the Second Amendment is rooted in Exodus 22 which says that "if a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed" (though Barton conveniently edits out the rest of the line, which says "but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.") For Barton, this is proof that "the Second Amendment's 'right to keep and bear arms' is the constitutional embodiment of the Biblical right to self-defense found in Exodus 22 (and other passages) - another of the many American rights rooted in Biblical teachings."
These are just a few examples that jumped out at us in just the first two chapters of Barton's book, which contains several dozen of these sorts of explanatory articles through out its 2000+ pages; so undoubtedly this is merely the first in a series of posts highlighting the various claims Barton makes about how our social, cultural, and governmental institutions are all rooted in the Bible.
When David Barton appeared on Glenn Beck's program to discuss the important of prayer and fasting, he displayed various prayer proclamations issued by the Founding Fathers before highlighting one issued by Abraham Lincoln that Barton claimed Lincoln released because he felt that America had "become so prosperous, so bountiful" that it had forgotten God and needed to be reminded to humble itself and be thankful for all God had given this nation, declaring that it showed that "Lincoln had great spiritual insight at a time when the nation really was doing well":
The proclamation that Barton cited was issued by Lincoln on August 12, 1861 ... just a few months after the start of the Civil War; not exactly "a time when the nation really was doing well":
And whereas, when our own beloved Country, once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him, and to pray for His mercy, -- to pray that we may be spared further punishment, though most justly deserved; that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the re-establishment of law, order and peace, throughout the wide extent of our country; and that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under His guidance and blessing, by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its original excellence.
At a 2011 “pastor’s briefing” with disgraced pseudo-historianDavid Barton, Congressman and Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) recounted an experience of going to jail after protesting against abortion rights. Akin told the audience that he had earlier spoken with “a group of people who had been in jail with me” who were all “involved in the pro-life movement.”
“Don’t tell anybody I’m a jail bird,” Akin said, briefly telling a story about when “a bunch of us sat in front of these doors and the police gave us a ride to the free hotel for a while and you know how it goes.”
At the event with Barton, who hasstronglybacked his candidacy and has been campaigning with the embattled candidate, Akin was discussing biblical views on when to submit to governmental authority. Akin’s extreme views on abortion rights and rape are already well-known, but he only gave few details about his time as a “jail bird” during what may have been an illegal blockade of a clinic.
Akin: Yesterday I spoke to a group of people who had been in jail with me, you know don’t tell anybody I’m a jail bird, you know, but there were a bunch of us that were years ago involved in the pro-life movement and the question becomes: the Bible says, ‘rescue the innocent that is being led to slaughter,’ so a bunch of us sat in front of these doors and the police gave us a ride to the free hotel for a while and you know how it goes, and the question is, is that biblical or not?
UPDATE: Akin confirmed his arrest at a news conference, as reported by the Associated Press.
Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin said Friday that he had been arrested during an anti-abortion protest about two decades ago but didn't provide details of where or when the event occurred.
In a video circulating widely on the Internet Friday, Akin is seen discussing his involvement in an anti-abortion demonstration and says "you know, don't tell anybody I'm a jail bird." He also says in the video that "a bunch of us sat in front of these doors and the police gave us a ride to the free hotel for a while, and you know how it goes."
Asked at a press conference Friday in Kansas City to confirm the arrest, Akin said: "Yeah, well, certainly. Probably about 25 years ago or so I was involved in some peaceful protests. As I've made very clear I don't apologize for being pro-life. I stand up for the things I believe in."
His campaign promised to provide details of the arrest later Friday.
But, as we have noted time and time again, the fundamental falsehood of a claim isn't going to stop David Barton from repeating it over and over, which is just what he did today on the program where, for good measure, he also declared that the waivers were "anti-biblical" and further proof that President Obama is hostile to the Bible:
This is serious stuff and not the least of which is on what basis do you have to unilaterally rewrite the welfare law? And by the way, it was on a biblical principle; the Bible says if you don't work, you don't eat and he removed the word requirement. He says "well, you can eat without working."
See, that's another area where I could say he is biblically hostile because the Bible says if you don't work, you don't eat and he says "well, not in this country, we're not going to do that." So not only is it anti-Constitutional, it's anti-biblical and that's a real problem.
I've started asking people "have you read through the Bible from cover to cover?" And I'm talking people fifty, sixty, seventy years old who have been in the church fifty years who have never read the Bible from cover to cover.
Now if you haven't read the play book or the rule book, you're not going to know what's in it. Going back to a baseball analogy, that's like alright, I've got the bat, the glove, the ball but I don't care what the rules are, I don't know what the rules are, I don't want to read the rule book or the play book. You can't do that.
And so we really have a biblically illiterate group of folks now who claim Christianity and that's where I put the President; I don't think the President has ever read the Bible from cover to cover.
On "WallBuilders Live" today, Richard Land was discussing the dangers of liberal Christianity when he made the declared that "liberalism kills," meaning that churches or denominations that embrace more liberal theologies will inevitably lose members and collapse.
David Barton was particularly enamored with Land's axiom and declared that they "ought to emblazon [it] on everything we have":
I tell you what, Richard gave a two word axiom that we ought to emblazon on everything we have: liberalism kills.
Liberalism kills, whether it's in the family; whether it's in a university; whether it's in education; whether it's in business; whether it's in government, and especially in denominations, liberalism kills.
That's a great axiom to remember is liberalism kills.
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."
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.
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?
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 havesaidseveraltimesbefore, 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?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 calledout on this blog (andothers) for making clearly false and absurd claims.
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.
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.
While appearing on televangelist Kenneth Copeland’s Believer’s Voice of Victory, disgraced pseudo-historian onceagainusedhisplatform 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.”
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":
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":