David Barton

Lapin: Homosexuality and Islam Represent 'Barbarism'

During his speech at David Barton’s Pro-Family Legislators Conference, Daniel Lapin claimed that Islam and homosexuality are both cultures of “barbarism” that are diametrically opposed to civilization. Lapin, who has called for the quarantine of homosexuals to combat AIDS and claimed that men are becoming “hideous hermaphrodites” because of liberalism, tried to explain that while he doesn’t think gays or Muslims are themselves barbarians, he claims they participate in a “culture” of barbarism that “venerates death”:

Lapin: Civilization struggles to protect life, civilization struggles to feed life and generate life. Barbarism has no respect for life at all, actually, barbarism venerates death. Homosexuality, which side is that on? Civilization or barbarism? It’s got to be—see, please understand I’m speaking about the cultures and the ideas, I’m not saying that any particular Muslim is a barbarian, I’m not saying any particular homosexual is a barbarian, I’m saying the culture—and the answer is very simple, civilization has sex in the life-giving birth canal, and barbarism has sex in the canal through which dead, useless, waste material is excreted. It’s a fundamental difference, you can tell.

Daniel Lapin Attacks Harvard's 'Barbarism' and the 'New Secular Liberal Male'

The Religious Right’s favorite rabbi and Jack Abramoff partner Daniel Lapin railed against emerging “barbarism” and the “new secular liberal male” at David Barton’s Pro-Family Legislators Conference. Lapin, who propagates his own version of the Prosperity Gospel, said that those protesting Wall Street, not the Wall Street bankers who triggered the financial crisis, are “barbarians” who want to “obliterate” civilization. He bemoaned that “the spiritual heirs of Bach and Beethoven” at Harvard University “are now banging bongo drums” and claimed “degeneracy” dominates the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations:

Now please understand when I say barbarism, I’m not only talking about the wiles of Asia and Africa, I’m talking about Harvard. You’ve got to remember, please, for those of you who have visited Boston lately, you’ve got to remember, that the spiritual heirs of Bach and Beethoven are now banging bongo drums in Boston. Have you been to Harvard Square? That’s what’s going on. If you take a look at the cooks and cranks now occupying Wall Street parks, who are these people? Civilized or barbarians? Let’s be candid about it. if you doubt my words please just walk through one of these encampments and see the squalor and the filth and the degeneracy, that’s all you’ve got to see, and then just recognize that in the great struggle of our age all you have to do is ask yourself, are they on the side of civilization or are they on the side of barbarism? It’s as simple as that. Do they want to sustain civilization or obliterate it? That’s easy to see, they want to obliterate it.

Lapin later lashed out against the “new secular liberal male” whom he said is either a “thug” or a “hideous hermaphrodite.” According to Lapin, the proper role of men is only found in the Bible:

Take a look at what’s going on around us, basically what happens I believe is that if you strip away the biblical blueprint, then males fall into one of two categories: they either become thugs and treat women with brutal callousness, or they become hideous hermaphrodites lacking the charm of women and the masculinity of men. Welcome to the new secular liberal male in America. Those are the two kinds you get, thugs or wimps, because the gifts of masculinity with all its traditions of honor and respect, commitment and responsibility, and yes treatment of women, spring directly from the pages of the Bible.

‘Historian’ Barton Cites Michele Bachmann, Gets Her Made-Up Facts Wrong

Lest we need any more proof that David Barton is not a real historian, or even someone with a vague grasp of current affairs, in the latest installment of WallBuilders Live he cites the research of well-known fact fabricator Michele Bachmann – and gets her fabricated facts wrong.

Discussing with co-host Rick Green the relationship between increasing secularism and the economic collapse, Barton pulls out one heck of a Bachmann whopper. Citing Bachmann as his source, Barton asserts that before the Bush administration’s financial industry bailouts and the Obama administration’s auto industry bailout, “100 percent of the American economy” was privately owned. Now, he says, that total is 33 percent:

Barton: One of the things we’re starting to see is that as the economic system is shutting down, it is corresponding to the time that we’ve become increasingly secular. As we have had an upturn in, “Hey we want less of God, we want less religion, keep it to yourself, don’t let it get out, don’t talk about it, separation of church and state,” as we’ve gone in a more secular direction, guess what? Spending’s gone through the roof, economic policies have gone away. As Michele Bachmann pointed out, before that government bailout and takeover of the various entities, what was it, now three and a half years ago, but that’s when the government stepped in and took over insurance, took over AIG, took over GM. At that point, we had 100 percent of the American economy still being free, private, privately owned. It is now down, by her calculations, to less than 33 percent of the market is still free owned and free run

Green: Is it fair to say, “Less God, more government”?

Barton: You bet it is. It is. And that’s economically as well. You lose your economic freedom, you lose your religious freedom, you lose your civil freedoms. This stuff all ties together.
 

Bachmann, as it turns out, did claim after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in March 2010 that “100 percent of our economy was private prior to September of 2008, but as of Tuesday, the federal government has now taken ownership or control of 51 percent of the private economy." Both of those numbers were, of course, completely made up. Barton not only cites Bachmann’s ludicrous claim that the U.S. economy was free of government spending before 2008, but exaggerates Bachmann’s already exaggerated figure of the federal government’s economic control.

Later in the program, Barton brought his revisionist history to Europe, claiming that labor unions were responsible for the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Soviet Union -- and will put America on a similar path. Commenting on on Green’s interview with business professor Steve Pejovich, a native of Yugoslavia, Barton said:

Barton: He made a statement I don’t think I’ve heard anybody else have the guts to say. He said, “Investing in labor unions is the way to destroy the best economy in the world.” I mean, that’s a profound statement. Now, he understands unions, because that was a lot of what brought Hitler in, that’s a lot of what happened with the Soviet Union afterward, they had all these workers’ unions. And there’s a guy who’s seen what’s happened with unions, and he’s watching what’s happening over here with the rise of unions and unionism and all the stuff that Obama’s doing to promote unions and unionism, he knows where it will take us.

David Barton's 'Outrageous Fabrication' about Thomas Jefferson

David Barton has been actively promoting his soon-to-be-released book, The Jefferson Lies, and one of Barton’s central claims is that Jefferson actually wanted to use “The Jefferson Bible” to evangelize Native Americans. Craig Ferhman in the Los Angeles Times yesterday discussed the Jefferson Bible and dissected Barton’s erroneous assertions, writing that Barton “cherry-picked” and “distorted” Jefferson’s work in order to make it “fit the Religious Right’s agenda.” Barton has a long track record of misrepresenting history to make it seem that Jefferson was trying to proselytize the Native Americans, and Ferhman says that the right-wing pseudo-historian even used an “outrageous fabrication” while arguing that Jefferson gave “The Jefferson Bible” to missionaries.

Ferhman also details how many of Jefferson’s opponents tried to stoke fears that he was an enemy of Christianity and that “some families buried their Bibles in their gardens” following his election as President. Much like today when Republican and conservative leaders say Obama is leading a “war on religion” and is “hostile toward Christianity,” many of Jefferson’s adversaries warned that a vote for Jefferson was “no less than rebellion against God” and a “sin against God,” dubbing him an “an open enemy to their religion, their Redeemer.” Barton himself consistently stokes fears about Obama and his religious faith, telling voters that God will hold those accountable who don’t vote the way Barton would like them to.

Ferhman appropriately writes that “Barton loves to cherry-pick a phrase and manipulate it support his side in a partisan, present-day debate,” and notes that presidential candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry continue to give Barton unmerited praise:

In a presidential campaign, and in the hands of Jefferson's enemies, this passage became proof of the candidate's radicalism. One popular pamphlet from a pro-Adams minister quoted "Notes," then countered it: "Let my neighbor once persuade himself that there is no God," the minister warned, "and he will soon pick my pocket, and break not only my leg but my neck."

Such attacks proved effective enough that, when Jefferson did win the election, some families buried their Bibles in their gardens, fearing the new president would burn them. So it made sense that Jefferson continued to keep his religious views private. Years later, after he and Adams had resumed a correspondence, Jefferson described Jesus' teachings as "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals." The problem, he wrote in another letter to Adams, came in the "artificial scaffolding" that surrounded those teachings — the Virgin Birth, the miracles and so on.

"The Jefferson Bible" is his attempt to tear down that scaffolding. Jefferson took his first stab at it while still president. In the White House, "after getting through the evening task of reading the letters and papers of the day," he used a razor to slice Jesus' teachings out of a couple of King James Bibles, then grouped them by subject (e.g., "false teachers") and pasted them into a scrapbook. Its title page included these words: "an abridgment ... for the use of the Indians." Scholars agree it was most likely a sly joke about the impossibility of circulating such a genuinely radical book, or perhaps a joke about Adams' political allies, whom Jefferson referred to as "Indians" in his second inaugural.



Today, the facts about "The Jefferson Bible" might seem like an impossible obstacle to anyone who wants to fashion Jefferson as a hero for right-leaning Christians — and America as a "Christian nation." Instead, the book has been distorted to fit the religious right's agenda.

There's no better example of this than David Barton, an amateur historian who's become quite popular with Perry, Santorum and Michele Bachmann. Barton loves archival flourishes — his Texas offices include a concrete vault filled with 18th century arcana — but his true concerns lie in the present. Though Barton admits that "The Jefferson Bible" often comes up as proof that its namesake wasn't the evangelical Christian conservatives want him to be, he also says he can refute this. In a TV appearance in 2010, Barton fixated on Jefferson's "Indians" title page, mixed in some unrelated material about Jefferson's Indian policy, then pivoted to an outrageous fabrication: "He then gave it to a missionary," Barton said of Jefferson and his Bible, "and he said, 'Here, if you get this printed, and you use this as you evangelize the Indians.'"

There's absolutely no evidence of Jefferson giving either version of his Bible to anyone other than his bookbinder. Perhaps it's no surprise that last year, in Iowa, Newt Gingrich said, "I never listen to David Barton without learning a whole lot of new things." That's because Barton loves to cherry-pick a phrase and manipulate it support his side in a partisan, present-day debate.

But there's a bigger problem with Barton's method: He strips history of its complex human appeal. After all, "The Jefferson Bible" stands as one of the most interesting and iconoclastic moments in America's religious past — one man with a razor, a pot of paste and a unique and private set of ideas. They were intricate ideas: Jefferson was no more a Bible thumper than he was a Bible burner. And that's why he and his handmade book have enjoyed such an odd and exciting afterlife. After one politician got his 14 copies of the 1904 edition, he reported receiving more than 2,000 requests from his constituents.

Gingrich Intends to Pack Courts with Judges from Regent and Liberty University, Federalist Society

Newt Gingrich appeared on Monday’s program of WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green, where Gingrich once again praised Barton’s right-wing pseudo-history and activism. In fact, Gingrich gave Barton credit for helping him develop his plan to assault the “judicial dictatorship” if elected president. He told Barton and Green that his plan is sending shockwaves through the “the secular left, which has been using the courts to replace the America we grew up in” by legalizing abortion, “driving God out of public life” and making same-sex marriages become “legitimized as if they were the same between traditional marriage between a man and a woman.”

Gingrich added that he would appoint judges in the mold of Robert George, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage and a drafter of the Manhattan Declaration who has called people to defy Supreme Court decisions on issues like marriage that they disagree with, and graduates of Regent University and Liberty University, the schools founded by the far-right televangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, respectively. Regent University absorbed the Oral Roberts University law program and teaches conservative Christian interpretations of the law, and the Liberty University School of Law even pressured students to disobey U.S. law if it conflicts with what they believe is “God’s law” in situations such as the Lisa Miller kidnapping case. Gingrich also pointed to the right-wing Federalist Society as a source for judicial appointments

Gingrich: What you have is, the secular left, which has been using the courts to replace the America we grew up in, the secular left which is desperately committed to Roe v. Wade and abortion, desperately committed to marriage between same-sex couples becoming legitimized as if they were the same between traditional marriage between a man and a woman, desperately committed to driving God out of public life, and they are suddenly faced with the possibility that we the people are going to take back our authority, that we are going to take back our rights, that we are going to redress the balance. The level of hysteria, I predict, will grow as they come to realize at the American Bar Association and elsewhere that this really is an effort to limit the power of lawyers to redesign America.

Green: Should you become president, is there a crop of attorneys and judges out there that understand history and understand originalism that you would have to choose from, in other words it’s got to be more than just you and Congress, what about good judges?

Gingrich: You start looking at people of the caliber of Robbie George of Princeton, you look at Regent University, you look at Liberty University, you start looking around and realizing there is a whole crop - Vince Haley of University of Virginia graduate who is a deeply, deeply committed Christian who clearly understands these kinds of issues - I think people would be surprised that the Federalist Society has many members who agree that we need a balance of power between the three, not a judicial dictatorship.

Barton: God Established Elections

In our coverage of David Barton, one of the things we have been highlighting in recent years is his insistence that all manner of governmental and social institutions came directly out of the Bible.

In Barton's view, if something has any sort of parallel to anything in the Bible, then the inspiration for that thing could only have come from the Bible, thus Barton routinely asserts that our three branches of government and separation of powers, our free market system, our due process clause, and all manner of other Constitutional provisions were explicitly based on Biblical models.

To this list we can now add the entire concept of elections, as Barton claims that the Founding Fathers specifically cited Exodus 18:21 as the basis for Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution which guarantees to every state a Republican form of government:

Barton: Hate Crimes Legislation Designed to Imprison Pastors

I think that is has, by now, been pretty well established that David Barton is a Religious Right pseudo-historian with a stunning disregard for the veracity of his statements who is willing to sacrifice truthfulness for the benefit of promoting his right-wing agenda.

We have watched countless hours of Barton's standard presentation over the years; all of them very similar but also regularly including different little nuggest of nonsense that compel us to keep watching because we never know when Barton is going to drop in something new and ridiculous.

Back in 2008, Barton delivered just such a presentation to Pastor Miles McPherson's Rock Church in California and the video was recently uploaded to the church's Vimeo account ... and we are grateful that it was because it contains one of the most absurdly false statements we have ever seen Barton make.

Barton was discussing the importance of Christians voting and voting their values because it is the values of those who vote that are reflected in Congress.  Saying that Christians had stayed home in 2006, Barton said the result was that Congress then felt free to try and pass things like Hate Crimes Legislation that protected gays and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

And then, in typical Barton fashion, he flat-out lied as he asserted that Hate Crimes legislation was designed specifically to imprison pastors for preaching against homosexuality from their pulpits while the purpose of ENDA was to force churches to hire gays:

It should be pointed out that Hate Crimes Legislation was signed into law in October 2009 and not one pastor, priest, or preacher has yet been charged with a hate crime for preaching against homosexuality.

Daniel Lapin Says Gays Should Have Been Quarantined During AIDS Crisis

Daniel Lapin of Toward Tradition has emerged as the Religious Right’s favorite rabbi whose rants against government and gays have kept his image among conservatives untarnished despite his close ties to the Jack Abramoff scandal involving Indian gambling companies. Today on WallBuilders Live, Lapin not only tried to say that gay rights derived from the collapse of morality but also argued that it was “insane” that gays weren’t quarantined during the AIDS pandemic the 1980s.

Lapin told co-hosts Rick Green and David Barton, who has previously called for the government regulation of homosexuality, that health institutions should have tried to “impose quarantine” against the “homosexual-related disease” but “nobody had the moral will to do it simply because it reeked of bigotry and selective oppression and so on.”

Listen:

Lapin: Look, you’ll remember when the AIDS epidemic began, if that was anything other than a homosexual-related disease, which it obviously was, particularly at the outset, any public health organization that did not impose quarantine would have literally been tried before a court, it’s insane.

Green: So they ignored from what a health perspective they should have done.

Lapin: Yes, yes of course. If it was an outbreak of cholera or if it was an outbreak of the same severity as the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the ’80s, yes, yes of course they should have been quarantining but nobody had the moral will to do it simply because it reeked of bigotry and selective oppression and so on.

Barton Blames Disney Movies for Making Us Believe Animals Feel and Think

Rabbi Daniel Lapin was the guest on today's edition of "WallBuilders Live," which was dedicated primarily to dismissing the concept of animal rights.

As usual, David Barton and Rick Green kicked off the discussion, with Barton blaming Disney movies for making us wrongly believe that animals think and feel:

Barton: I love Disney, I’ve got all of the collections of Disney, but Disney’s the first one to make animals seem human, and that’s what animation does. Bambi seems human, "Lady and the Tramp," a nice romantic dinner for dogs over at an Italian restaurant—I don’t think so—"Beauty and the Beast." And I love these stories but what they do is they elevate animals to mankind’s status ...

Green: Yeah, it start's making you think that they feel and they think ...

Barton: And they don’t.

Later in the program, Lapin sought to explain the rise of animal rights issues by asserting that the movement is rooted in the loss of Judge-Christian morality which leads to the belief that homosexuality is okay "because we’re nothing other than baboons with a little less hair":

Lapin: Over the last fifty years, little by little America has obliterated the role of the Judeo-Christian biblical worldview as a fundamental guide to morality and ethics. What happens is the uncertainty stimulates philosophical experimentation. Animal rights is particularly attractive because frankly there is something very appealing about establishing the doctrine that you and I are nothing more than sophisticated baboons. Because what it does is it strips away the uncomfortable conscience that bothers us at odd moments, it completely exculpates any concerns we have about morality because once we are nothing but sophisticated baboons then our entire moral system becomes extremely simple. So for instance the fact that baboons practice homosexuality obviously legitimatizes it for human beings too because we’re nothing other than baboons with a little less hair.

Another Anti-Gay Diatribe Courtesy of David Barton

Last week right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton of WallBuilders appeared on City On A Hill Radio, where he railed against a California law that ensures students learn about prominent LGBT figures and agreed with a host who compared the anti-bullying leader Kevin Jennings to Adolf Hitler. Jennings, the past leader of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and current CEO of Be The Change, had worked in the Obama administration on ways to help schools prevent bullying. Barton, who has warned the public schools are trying to “force” students “to be homosexual” through “homosexual indoctrination,” concurred with host Diana Crews said that she sees “Hitler” in “the likes of Kevin Jennings,” whom she claimed is promoting a “very dangerous that the agenda is really leading kids away from God.” He went on to attack California’s SB 48 and claim that textbooks there will teach kids the debated claims that George Washington Carver and Abraham Lincoln were gay, contending that “public schools are more into indoctrination than they are into truth or knowledge.”

Crews: Mr. Barton, it’s also dangerous in that I see Hitler in that, in the mindset that’s going to be perpetrated from Washington on down with the likes of Kevin Jennings.

Barton: Yeah.

Crews: I think it’s very dangerous that the agenda—that is really leading kids away from God.

Barton: Yeah it is.

Crews: Those are little souls.



Barton: I got a call recently from the standards people who are working this in California, and they are creating textbooks now to show kids all the contributions of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, and among other things in the textbook, they’re saying, ‘we need to point out that George Washington Carver was gay, we need to point out that Abraham Lincoln was gay.’ And then you get to George Washington Carver and the reason they say he’s gay, and they’ll point this out, but back when he was young he had a lung infection and a serious respiratory problem that kept him from working outside, he did everything inside. And working inside he actually learned to crochet and to sew, and they say, ‘that proves he’s a gay guy, because that’s so effeminate!’ That’s the basis of saying George Washington Carver is gay, is that he crocheted and sewed, and so that’s why I’m saying public schools are more into indoctrination than they are into truth or knowledge, they won’t tell you the story of these guys but suddenly we’re going to start telling all of our kids in California that Abraham Lincoln was gay, that George Washington Carver was gay, and none of it is true.

David Barton and Rick Green: WallBuilders' Lawsuit Happy Duo

Back in September, David Barton of WallBuilders revealed that he had filed defamation lawsuits against several individuals; specifically against two Democratic Texas State Board of Education candidates over a YouTube video that asserted that Barton was "known for speaking at white supremacist rallies" and an Examiner.com writer who asserted that Barton is "an admitted liar."

Last night, while searching around to see if there had been any recent updates on any of these lawsuits, we stumbled across a report that, in April of this year, Barton's "WallBuilders Live" co-host , Rick Green, had filed libel lawsuits against seven defendants stemming from his failed run for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court in 2010:

Former Republican Texas Supreme Court candidate Rick Green has filed a libel suit against several defendants alleging he lost the GOP 2010 primary because political activists in his own party and media members “crossed the line” in attacking his character during the course of his campaign. In his April 11 original petition, filed in Hays County’s 207th District Court, Green names seven defendants including former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips, who now is a partner in Baker Botts in Austin; Dr. John R. Coppedge; the Texas Tribune; and the Texas Association of Realtors. Among other things, Green alleges in the petition that Phillips and a political action committee run by Coppedge distributed a letter that accused Green, a former member of the Texas House of Representatives, of “several disturbing ethical lapses and lack of judgment” including that he “drew censure” from legislative colleagues for filming a nutritional supplement infomercial in his Capitol office. In the petition, Green disputes that he drew censure and writes that he “gave a short videotaped interview which was later used in an infomercial” in his office. Green alleges the Texas Tribune defamed him by publishing an article on its website that referenced Green as being “baggage-laden” and having a “questionable history,” among other things. Green also alleges the Texas Association of Realtors distributed an e-mail critical of him that contained false information.

It is truly amazing that men like Barton and Green, who seemingly do nothing but spread misinformation which they blatantly refuse to retract, have the gall to collectively sue multiple people on the grounds that criticism of them and their work constitutes libel and defamation.

America as a 'Christian Nation' -- A Conversation with Experts on Religion, History, Law and the Constitution

One year before the 2012 election, the role of religion in our public life is already a hot topic in the presidential race. The idea that America is, or should be, a "Christian nation" is taught by Religious Right figures such as "historian" David Barton. What do "Christian Nation" advocates get wrong about American history and the role of religion in public life, and what are the implications of their policy demands? Join us for a conversation with scholars on religion, history and the Constitution.

David Barton Files Defamation Suits Against Three

Yesterday David Barton dedicated his "Wallbuilders Live" radio program yesterday to addressing various criticisms he has been received, among them allegations that he has spoken at events hosted by racist and anti-Semitic groups.

As we noted in our post, Barton stated that he had been forced to file defamation lawsuits to protect his reputation. And, according to The Weatherford Democrat, that is exactly what he has done:

David Barton of Aledo-based WallBuilders has filed a libel and defamation law suit against an Internet writer and two former Texas State Board of Education candidates.

Barton is alleging public policy opponents have falsely painted him as a white supremacist sympathizer and liar.

The suit unspecified damages from the three defendants for allegedly exposing Barton and WallBuilders to “public hatred, contempt, ridicule, financial injury and impeaching [Barton’s] honesty, integrity and virtue.”

The suit alleges Barton has been subjected to a loss of business because of the false statements.

The article reports that Barton has filed suit against two Democratic Texas State Board of Education candidates over YouTube video that asserted that Barton was "known for speaking at white supremacist rallies" and an Examiner.com writer who asserted that Barton is "an admitted liar."

The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection

While people across the world celebrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability, a powerful coalition of corporate and religious right organizations are seeking to radically redefine our relationship with the environment.

David Barton’s Christian Nation: Sham ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America

Who is David Barton? A new PFAW report explores the growing influence of the fast-talking, self-promoting, self-taught , self-proclaimed “historian” who is systematically misinforming millions of Americans about U.S. History and the Constitution – and increasingly influencing prominent Republican decision-makers.

Barton’s Bunk: Religious Right ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America

A new PFAW report explores the growing influence of David Barton, a fast-talking, self-promoting, self-taught , self-proclaimed “historian” who is systematically misinforming millions of Americans about U.S. History and the Constitution – and increasingly influencing prominent Republican decision-makers.

Losing Their Appeal: The Real Reason the Right is Terrified by the Prop 8 Case

In the weeks since Judge Vaughn Walker found California's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, the Right Wing has, unsurprisingly, worked itself into a characteristic bigoted bluster. But this time, something about the bluster is different.

Texas Textbooks: What happened, what it means, and what we can do about it

In Texas, a decades-long battle culminated in May with the adoption of social studies standards that give the far-right faction and its Religious Right advisors far too many victories in their efforts to replace history with ideology and turn public school classrooms into Heritage Foundation seminars.

The Right Re-Tools as a 'Resistance Movement'

Now that the Religious Right and the Republican Party are regrouping from significant electoral defeats, many progressives as well as pundits are tempted once again to dismiss the movement or the continued threat it poses to the constitutional principles of equality, privacy, and separation of church and state. But the legal, political, grassroots, and media infrastructure that has been built steadily over recent decades is still largely in place. It maintains a powerful ability to shape public debate and mobilize millions of Americans. And it is finding a renewed focus in opposing the Obama administration and obstructing progressive change.

David Barton: Propaganda Masquerading as History

In 1987, God reportedly told David Barton, a one-time science teacher at a fundamentalist Christian school that grew out of a church started by his own parents, that he was “to search the library and find the date that prayer had been prohibited in public schools [and] obtain a record of national SAT scores … spanning several decades.” Predictably, the result of Barton’s unscientific study was to find a “correlation” between the alleged banning of prayer and a decrease in SAT scores, as well as increases in everything from alcohol consumption to crimes rates across the nation.

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