David Barton

Todd Akin Recounts Arrest at Anti-Choice Demonstration

At a 2011 “pastor’s briefing” with disgraced pseudo-historian David 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 has strongly backed 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.

Watch:

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.

Barton: Obama's Decision Allowing Flexibility in Welfare Work Requirements is 'Anti-Biblical'

Today's episode of "WallBuilders Live" was dedicated entirely to perpetuating the right-wing lie that President Obama had "gutted" welfare reform by removing the work requirement; a claim that has repeatedly been shown to be demonstrably false.

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.

Barton: 'I Don't Think the President has Ever Read the Bible From Cover to Cover'

As David Barton sees it, anyone who doesn't buy his absurd claim that the Constitution is chock-full of verbatim direct quotes from the Bible is simply "biblically illiterate." And, as Barton explained on "WallBuilders Live" today, the reason people are so uninformed about the Bible is because they have never read it from cover to cover  ... and that includes our "Christian atheist" president Barack Obama:

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.

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/24/12

David Barton's New Axiom: 'Liberalism Kills'

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.

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. 

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