David Barton

We Read Rafael Cruz's Book So You Don't Have To

Rafael Cruz, father of senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz, has become a folk hero in his own right among Religious Right activists as he has barnstormed the country railing against Barack Obama, gay rights activists, and other favored enemies of the far right — and promoting his son’s presidential candidacy. Rafael’s new book, “A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America,” will be officially released by WND Books in January, but we at RWW have saved you the time, money and aggravation by reading it for you. Happy New Year!

If you’ve watched Rafael Cruz or his son at all, there’s not much new or surprising in Rafael’s book. It is essentially a book-length pitch for his son’s candidacy, beginning with a gushing foreword from Glenn Beck — “Rafael Cruz is one of the greatest freedom fighters of his generation” and “Ted Cruz will do anything to protect and preserve freedom” — to an epilogue from Ted Cruz, which reads like a reprint of his presidential campaign’s stump speech. Rafael says in the book that he has known since Ted was a young boy that he had “a special calling on his life.”

Rafael is not shy in his political pronouncements. The Democratic Party “promotes an ungodly socialist agenda that is destroying America,” he declares. “And unfortunately, there are those in the Republican Party who aren’t much different.” That is why, he says, it is even more important to vote in primary elections than in the general election, because the primary “gives you the opportunity to select the candidates that best align with biblical and constitutional principles.” Rafael, and Ted in his campaign-speech epilogue, repeat their assertion that 54 million evangelical voters stayed home on Election Day 2012 and that getting more of them to vote is the key to putting the government back in the hands of a “righteous” president.

In between Glenn Beck and Ted Cruz, the book is part memoir of Rafael’s possibly embroidered past as a freedom-fighter against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and part evangelical religious tract. This is supplemented by plenty of recycled Christian-nation historical claims made by GOP activist David Barton, the often discredited “historian” who is currently running a pro-Ted Cruz super PAC. Barton and his Christian-nation history are repeatedly cited by Rafael, who writes:

I believe without a shadow of a doubt that the reason the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States have lasted over two centuries is that they were divinely inspired and then written by men who had spent time on their knees. These were men of God seeking revelation from God, and that’s what He gave them. Of course, these two documents aren’t equivalent to the Word of God, but God certainly directed the men who crafted them.

Also cited in “A Time for Action” is Christian-nation advocate and political strategist David Lane, who is trying to mobilize an army of conservative pastors to run for office, which he hopes will in turn bring out conservative evangelical volunteers and voters. Lane has also been, with FRC’s Tony Perkins, a major promoter of the effort to get Religious Right leaders to unite around a single candidate — a step taken earlier this month when dozens of them voted in a secret endorsement meeting to back Ted Cruz.

Rafael talks about the dangers of secular humanism and makes a glancing reference to Seven Mountains dominionism, the belief that conservative Christians must gain control over the "seven mountains" of American culture.

In no way, shape, or form was Jefferson implying that the church should be restricted from exerting an influence upon society. On the contrary, the Bible tells us that we are the salt of the earth and light of the world…Doesn’t that suggest that our influence should touch every area of society – our families, the media, sports, arts and entertainment, education, business, and government?”

Like Barton and Lane, Rafael makes his case for the Christian nature of the U.S. government by conflating the Pilgrims and Puritans with the founding fathers who gave us the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution more than 150 years later. Rafael declares that “the concept of separation of church and state is found nowhere in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States of America,” which leads into this:

To understand this clearly, we need to go back four centuries to the time of the first settlers in America. If you lived in England in the early 1600s and were not a member of the Church of England, you would be considered a heretic and subject to persecution. So the early settlers immigrated to the New World in order to freely worship the Lord their God. What a remarkable heritage of religious freedom this exceptional country gives us! The only country on the face of the earth founded on the World of God!

As this new constitutional representative republic stretched its wings following the Revolutionary War, citizens of the thirteen colonies wondered if their new government would impose a state religion upon them like the one their forefathers suffered in England…

That is followed by a discussion of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, ending with the Bartonesque conclusion that Jefferson’s wall of separation image “was only referring to a one-way wall.

Rafael’s writing on Cuba is similarly incomplete. He describes the explosion that sank the U.S. Maine in Havana harbor in 1898 as “an unprovoked attack” without any indication that many historians now believe the ship’s boiler exploded and that the “unprovoked attack” story was simply cover for the U.S. to declare war on Spain and bring Cuba under U.S. control. Rafael suggests without offering any evidence that President Obama’s unsuccessful efforts to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay suggest that Obama is “complicit” with Raúl Castro’s demands that the U.S. return the military base itself to Cuban control.

“A Time to Act” includes plenty of familiar Religious Right claims: that Supreme Court rulings on state-sponsored prayer and Bible readings in public schools have contributed to America’s downward slide, along with legal abortion and the “redefinition” of traditional marriage.

The book is also full of the hyperbolic rhetoric you’d expect from Rafael Cruz and World Net Daily, the far-right news outlet that serves as his publisher. Jimmy Carter’s policies were “reminiscent of the bearded dictator I had left behind in Cuba” and Obama taking executive action on immigration in the face of congressional inaction “doesn’t sound much different from the old, bearded dictator I left behind in Cuba almost sixty years ago — governing by decree, by fiat, just like Fidel Castro.”

There’s more: America today “is tragically following the same path that Cuba did a half century ago.” The Obama administration has “intensified our progression into an age of lawlessness.” The Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran will make it “quite literally, the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.” The Supreme Court’s “lawless” and “preposterous” marriage equality decision is “one of the biggest signs of our country’s moral degradation.” The federal government “mandates that teachers affirm alternative, nonbiblical lifestyles, teach evolution as incontrovertible ‘fact,’ and mock the notion that God created the heavens and earth.” Common Core is a means for educational elites to “brainwash our students through federally mandated curriculum that extols socialism, globalism, and immorality from a secular humanist worldview.”

Like countless speeches at Religious Right political gatherings, Rafael Cruz places much of the blame for America’s sad state of affairs on pastors who aren’t being aggressive enough in preaching politics from the pulpit. “The time has come,” he writes, “for pastors to again fearlessly preach toward the political landscape, just like their predecessors centuries ago. If they don’t, Satan will rule without opposition in our halls of legislation.”

It is interesting to read the extent to which Ted Cruz is a product of careful grooming since childhood by his father and by far-right organizations. Rafael was active in the Religious Roundtable’s efforts to elect Ronald Reagan, and Ted, then nine years old, heard plenty of dinner conversations about the importance of getting rid of Jimmy Carter and replacing him with Ronald Reagan. Says Rafael, “My son received a dose of constitutionally conservative politics from a biblical worldview every day for a year when he was just nine!” As a kid, Rafael’s friends introduced Ted to the founder of the Free Enterprise Institute and began inculcating him in the teachings of people like Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. Ted was part of a group of five high school students that the Institute sent around Texas giving speeches on free-market economics and the Constitution.

“A Time for Action” also includes a few appendices. One helpfully explains how U.S. government policies — such as progressive income taxes, net neutrality, Amtrak subsidies and the auto industry “bailout” — align with the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto. Also included, courtesy of David Barton’s Wallbuilders, the letter of the Danbury Baptists to Thomas Jefferson and his response; a sermon preached by colonial pastor Jonas Clark before the battle of Lexington and his account of the battles of Lexington and Concord; and recommended resources, which include Ted Cruz’s “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America” as well as books by conservative economists and a few Religious Right organizations, including the Alliance Defending Freedom, David Lane’s American Renewal Project, Wallbuilders, and, of course, WND. Earlier in the book, Cruz promotes other Religious Right groups that produce voter guides or voting records, including Vision America, Liberty Counsel, Liberty Institute, Eagle Forum and Concerned Women for America.

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/22/15

  • John Fea: David Barton's "The Jefferson Lies" Is Back.
  • Imani Gandy @ RH Reality Check: Anti-Choice Group’s Attorney: No Link Between Attack Videos Against Planned Parenthood and Clinic Violence.
  • David Edwards @ Raw Story: Vigilante uprising: GOP lawmaker calls on gun owners to ‘clean our society of scum bags’.
  • Scott Eric Kaufman @ Salon: “The O’Reilly Factor” goes full conspiratorial, questions “the timing” of Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy.
  • Ben Smith @ Buzzfeed: How Donald Trump Made A Controversial Muslim Rights Group Mainstream.
  • Joe Jervis: GOP State Rep. Bill Chumley To Introduce Bill To “Nullify” SCOTUS On Marriage.

The 2015 Right Wing Watch War On Christmas Gift Guide

When it gets to the holiday season here at Right Wing Watch, our inboxes are flooded with warnings about the “War on Christmas,” often accompanied by year-end fundraising pitches or, better yet, Christmas gift ideas.

As a public service, we’ve compiled some of the best of these into our annual Right Wing Watch War on Christmas gift guide, where you can find something for everyone on your list.

For The Party-Loving Prepper

Televangelist Jim Bakker may have served time in prison for fraud charges related to a previous television ministry, but that hasn’t deterred him from his mission to make sure that his followers are prepared for the End Times with expensive buckets of survival food.

Bakker recommends waiting out the nuclear winter with his 55-gallon milk buckets or sipping on $160 buckets of creamy potato soup, but the really generous gift would be Bakker’s $3,500 seven-year supply of food, including festive desserts that will allow you to “have parties when the world is coming apart.”

Don’t be deterred by the elitist critics who describe the “odd, lingering aftertastes” of Bakker’s food buckets or pan them as “one of the worst things I’ve ever eaten in my life.”

For The Public Official Who Just Really Doesn’t Want To Do Her Job

The War on Christmas began early this year, when Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis became a Religious Right hero after her ill-fated attempts to exempt her county from the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling landed her briefly in jail.

What better way to show your support for Davis’ nonsensical legal arguments than by ordering this nonsensical t-shirt?

For The Ted Cruz Fan With A Strong Stomach

Sen. Ted Cruz liked conservative street artist Sabo’s depiction of him as a tattooed tough guy so much that his presidential campaign is selling it in poster form. Or, it was until the $55 prints sold out.

(Apparently the campaign has opted not to sell Sabo’s other most famous work, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis as “ Abortion Barbie.”)

For The Ted Cruz Fan With A Festive Spirit

For the Cruz supporter with a more wholesome sensibility, consider this sweater, which Cruz’s campaign instructs supporters to wear while setting “an example for the ‘tolerant left’” by saying “Merry Christmas every chance you get!”

For The Downcast Jeb Bush Supporter

Why should Ted Cruz supporters get all the cool merch? For just $20, you can get a deserving friend or relative this stylish Jeb Bush Christmas ornament, guaranteed to cheer up anyone who’s been looking at his poll numbers.

For The Relative With ‘A Case Of The Bah-Humbugs’

Kirk Cameron’s movie “Saving Christmas” came out last year, but the DVD was released last month, just in time to stuff the stockings of loved ones who need a reminder of the true spirit of the season.

In the movie, Cameron plays a pro-Christmas warrior who must cure his brother-in-law of “a bad case of the bah-humbugs.” Film critic Peter Sobczynski writes that the movie is “little more than a screed delivered by Kirk Cameron scorning everyone who doesn't celebrate the season as ostentatiously as he does, justifying his attitude with bits and pieces gleaned from the Bible, delivered in the most self-righteous manner imaginable. The result is perhaps the only Christmas movie I can think of, especially of the religious-themed variety, that seems to flat-out endorse materialism, greed and outright gluttony.”

The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde, however, was pleasantly surprised: “I had assumed it would be a 90-minute jeremiad aimed at atheists, Jews, Muslims, and other people who don’t celebrate Christmas exactly the way Kirk Cameron does. Instead, it’s an 80-minute jeremiad aimed at other Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas exactly the way Kirk Cameron does.”

For The State Legislator Who Knows Too Much

Back in January, the influential Iowa conservative group The Family Leader (whose president, Bob Vander Plaats, just recently endorsed Cruz) raised money to distribute $100 leather-bound copies of David Barton’s “The Founders Bible” to every Iowa state legislator.

In Barton’s commentary, we wrote at the time, legislators would find “a retelling of Exodus that portrays Moses as the inventor of republican government; a made-up story about the early American government printing Bibles; an endorsement of the 'Christian nation' concept from a notorious defender of slavery; information on the 'many areas in which the Constitution specifically incorporated Biblical principles'; and an argument for the biblical origin of DNA evidence.”

Why settle for a Bible when you could have a Bible supplemented by misleading American history?

For The Birther Who Will Never Give Up

President Obama may be entering his last year in office, but the conservative news source WorldNetDaily will never give up on its quest to prove that Obama was ineligible for the presidency all along. What better gift for a similarly persistent loved one than these bumper stickers from the WND store, which a recent email from WND points out would make great stocking stuffers.

Happy holidays!

Religious Right: Bible Dictates Laws & Economic Policy But Islam Not a Religion Because It Is A Political & Economic System

Donald Trump’s call to bar all Muslims from entering the country was widely recognized as an appeal for explicit religious discrimination and generated significant pushback.  But many of Trump’s right-wing defenders have turned to an argument that has long bounced around Religious Right circles: that Muslims are not entitled to the religious liberty protections of the First Amendment because Islam is somehow not a religion. A few years ago, for example, retired Lt. Gen Jerry Boykin called Islam “a totalitarian way of life” that “should not be protected under the First Amendment.”

At this week’s Republican presidential debate, Rick Santorum explained why he believes Islam is not protected under the First Amendment, an argument made repeatedly by the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer. Here’s Santorum:

The fact of the matter is, Islam is different. I know this is going to come as a shock to a lot of people, and I mean this sincerely. Islam is not just a religion. It is also a political governing structure. The fact of the matter is, Islam is a religion, but it is also Sharia law, it is also a civil government, it is also a form of government. And, so, the idea that that is protected under the First Amendment is wrong.

Conservative columnist and radio host Andrew McCarthy has similarly defended Trump’s comments, saying that Islam is not merely a religion because it “has ambitions to be more than a religion, that is to say that it is an ideological, sweeping system that does not recognize a division between spiritual life on the one hand and political and civic life on the other.”

Back in September, Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins defended similar comments by Ben Carson:

“Religious freedom and our liberty is ordered liberty under the Constitution,” Perkins said. “And as Dr. Caron pointed out, and I know this is driving the left crazy, that Islam is not just a religion, Islam is an economic system, it is a judicial system, it is a compressive system which is incompatible with the Constitution. That’s what Dr. Carson said and he happens to be correct.”

More recently, Perkins defended Trump with a dubiously specific statistic, saying that “only 16 percent of Islam is a religion — the rest is a combination of military, judicial, economic and political system.” Televangelist Pat Robertson also said this month that people should not view Islam as a religion but rather a “political system masquerading as a religion.”

Wait a minute. Aren’t these the same people who repeatedly insist that the Bible is the final authority on everything, from laws regulating personal relationships to economic and tax policy, and environmental protection? Anti-marriage-equality activists have insisted that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling was in violation of “God’s law” and therefore “illegitimate.” 

David Barton, an oft-discredited “historian” and Republican Party activist who is currently heading up a Ted Cruz super PAC, argues that the Bible opposes minimum wage laws, estate taxes, capital gains taxes, any progressive form of taxation and even net neutrality. He says the Constitution came right out of the Bible. If you applied Tony Perkins’ calculations to David Barton’s Bible, what percentage would come up as religion?

Many Religious Right leaders have embraced Seven Mountains dominionism, which is grounded in the belief that the right kind of Bible-believing Christians are meant to control all the important spheres of culture, including government, business, education, and entertainment. For example, the American Pastors Network’s Sam Rohrer says this:

Government leaders are charged with wielding the Word of God as an instrument of Justice, promoting God’s moral law as the foundation of right and wrong, encouraging those who do well biblically, and executing judgment on those who break the law.

Along those lines, three Republican presidential candidates, including current Iowa frontrunner Ted Cruz, recently joined a “religious freedom” rally organized by a pastor who argues that the Bible requires the government to execute gay people.

And don’t forget David Lane, whose American Renewal Project is mobilizing conservative pastors to get more involved in politics — and who argues that America was founded for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith, and that the Bible should be a primary textbook in public schools.

So, a thought for Religious Right leaders: If you are going to argue for stripping Muslims of their First Amendment religious liberty protections based on your interpretation of Islam as an enterprise that is more political and ideological than religious, you may have to trim your own political sails quite a bit. Either that, or quit pretending you are proponents of religious freedom, and admit that you, like Bryan Fischer, believe the First Amendment applies only to Christians, or, like Tony Perkins, that gay-supporting Christians don’t deserve the same legal protections because a “true religious freedom” has to “come forth from religious orthodoxy.” Just don’t try to pretend your definition of “religious freedom” owes anything to Thomas Jefferson or the First Amendment. 

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/16/15

  • Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: Party of Religious Liberty Botches Debate on Religion and the Constitution.
  • Imagine 2050: Maria Espinoza launches Congressional bid, seeks to bar Muslim immigration.
  • David Edwards @ Raw Story: Speaker at Trump rally: ‘I believe he was sent from God’ to stop ‘this oppression from illegal aliens’.
  • Joe Jervis: Austin Ruse: Send Money To Stop JMG.
  • Warren Throckmorton: News from the Alternative Universe: David Barton Builds Support for Ted Cruz in the Midwest.

Religious Right Leaders Rally Around Ted Cruz At Secret Endorsement Meeting

Religious Right leaders are intent on being the ones to pick the Republican presidential nominee this time around and they’re throwing their collective weight behind Ted Cruz.

The movement’s leaders have been seething for eight years now that they were forced to rally behind Republican presidential candidates they weren’t excited about — John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.  After years of angling to prevent that from happening in 2016, “several dozen” Religious Right leaders met in secret in early December and voted to rally around Ted Cruz.

National Review’s Tim Alberta describes the event, which Cruz backers entered with the upper hand. It took five ballots for Cruz's supporters to browbeat backers of Marco Rubio into submission and give Cruz the three-quarters supermajority needed. Those who attended the meeting had vowed to either publicly support the eventual winner of the day’s balloting or to remain silent in the Republican primary. Reports Allen,

The impact was felt immediately on the 2016 campaign. Three prominent participants — direct-mail pioneer and longtime activist Richard Viguerie, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, and The Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats – announced their support of Cruz within 72 hours of the meeting at the Sheraton. 

Cruz, of course, had plenty of conservative evangelical support before this meeting. We noted back in the summer that he was consolidating support from the Christian Nation crowd, including discredited “historian” David Barton  —  who heads a Cruz super PAC  —  and billionaire fracking brothers Farris and Dan Wilks  —  who have pumped $15 million into the pro-Cruz super PAC effort. Since then, Cruz has been holding and attending “religious liberty” events  —  including one hosted by a pastor who calls for the execution of gays, and one at Bob Jones University, famous for claiming religious backing for its racial segregationist policies.

Cruz openly promotes the efforts of Christian-nation zealot David Lane to “take back” the country by using pastor-candidates to mobilize high evangelical turnout. Cruz told American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon this summer, “Nothing is more important in the next 18 months than that the body of Christ rise up and that Christians stand up, that pastors stand up and lead.”

Lane, who matches Cruz’s contempt for “establishment” Republicans, said back in 2013, “We’re going to try to eliminate the stuff that [GOP leaders] do to us every four years, which is picking somebody who has no chance of being viable and they kill us off and we have the McCains and the Romneys left.” Lane had cheered attacks on Romney’s faith and the “false god of Mormonism.”

Cruz has been courting Religious Right activists for years, even before the underdog, Tea Party-fueled victory in the GOP primary that propelled him into the U.S. Senate. Back before that election, he told the Freedom Federation’s Awakening conference, “we are engaged in spiritual warfare every day.” That message hasn’t changed: Just last week his campaign’s “prayer team” was told that “we’re in a spiritual battle today as never before.”

For the Religious Right, what’s not to like about Cruz? His anti-gay, anti-choice, and anti-government bona fides are unquestionable. His father, Rafael Cruz, an unabashed Christian-nation extremist and anti-gay bigot who says that it is God’s plan for his son to be president, makes an effective ambassador for Cruz to the far right.

Is anyone not jumping on the Cruz bandwagon? A group of Latino Republicans held a press conference yesterday to denounce Cruz for his anti-immigrant positions  —  which they said were the same Romney “self-deportation” policies by another name  —  and for Cruz’s support of Donald Trump’s bigotry.

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, a leader of the effort to get the Religious Right to rally around a single candidate, has tried this before, without much success. In 2012, Perkins and other conservative evangelicals had tried to create unity around a single alternative to Romney. Perkins declared after a January 2012 gathering that Rick Santorum had emerged with a “strong consensus.”

But the voting process and outcome were disputed by Newt Gingrich supporters, and the idea that evangelical leaders could deliver their followers to Santorum was undermined when Gingrich won the next event, South Carolina’s primary. Richard Viguerie, among others, urged Gingrich to drop out in order to boost Santorum’s chances. In the end, Santorum went on to win other southern primaries but couldn’t catch Romney.

In January 2012, after he won that supposed consensus endorsement for Santorum, Perkins dismissed suggestions that the meeting was too late to have an impact, even though it came after Romney had already won Iowa and New Hampshire and was building up a head of steam. Perkins clearly decided not to let that happen again.

David Barton's Sidekick Launches Another Bid For A Seat On The Texas Supreme Court

Back in 2010, Rick Green, a former right-wing Texas state legislator turned David Barton's sidekick at WallBuilders, made a run for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court, only to lose in a run-off for the GOP nomination amid worries about his controversial history. Since then, Green has continued to serve as co-host of the daily "WallBuilders Live" radio program alongside Barton, while producing his own Bartonesque presentations on American history

Today, Green announced in an email that he will once again be seeking a seat on the Texas Supreme Court, not because he wants to but because so many people have practically begged him to run:

For months I've been approached by conservative leaders across Texas and asked to consider running for Texas Supreme Court.

Honestly, I wasn't very excited about it at first. I have a fantastic job and my family is loving the opportunity we have to live out the liberty that we are given. My family has been blessed with opportunities to travel across the country and teach Americans about the Constitution and our founding fathers. It doesn't get much better than that.

But as the calls continued, my children started reminding me of the principle I have taught them: that every generation is in desperate need of leaders willing to sacrifice convenience for the sake of liberty.

Today we have a Supreme Court, both nationally and at times in Texas, which has ignored the rule of law, has trampled on marriage and has refused to stand for the very freedom upon which our nation was founded.

The deliberate violation of separation of powers is a threat to the liberty we all cherish. It’s time to put a constitutional watchdog on the Supreme Court.

I am answering the call today with my family by my side, excited about the challenge and opportunity ahead. I NEED your support.

In a video announcing his candidacy, Green says that he does not even want to run for this office but simply must because "several months ago, our Texas Supreme Court handed down a decision that ignored our Texas constitutional definition of marriage." As such, Green says he feels obligated to run in order to replace one of the justices who supported that position:

For the record, the Texas Supreme Court never struck down the state's anti-gay marriage amendment, but did decline to prevent a lesbian couple who have gotten married in Massachusetts from getting divorced in Texas and that seems to the case that so outraged Green that he had no choice but to launch a bid for a seat on the court.

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/8/15

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/24/15

World Congress of Families Closer Everett Piper: WCF Critics Hate God

The closing keynote address at the recent World Congress of Families conference in Salt Lake City was given by Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. As we noted in our overview of WCF, Piper did not abide by the standard suggested by the conference’s opening keynoter, Mormon Elder Russell Ballard, who said, “We demonstrate our discipleship when we refuse strident tones, when we refuse derisive labels, and when we enter the public square seeking fair outcomes through understanding and mutual respect.”

Piper, by contrast, enthusiastically embraced strident tones and derisive labels in his closing keynote. Piper may have been trying to interest conservative Christian parents in sending their kids to his school, which commits itself to honoring “the Primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth, and the Practice of Wisdom.”

Piper spent much of his time denouncing a culture and approach to education that promote bad ideas and sexual promiscuity, and values clarification rather than moral absolutes. Early in his speech he set the tone:

Imagine that we live in a time and a place where the wise and learned in our courts, and in our classrooms, and, unfortunately, even in our churches, actually work to remove a man’s soul and expect him to stay out of hell.

Piper had harsh words for the educational establishment, which he said “is known not for pursuing truth, but rather for celebrating tolerance, and in the name of tolerance they then tell us that our intolerance is intolerable.” Citing a litany of examples of ideological intolerance against conservatives on campus, he declared it undeniable that there is a “war against Christians” in the academy and the broader culture.

Piper slammed gay rights advocates and other liberals for “ideological fascism,” declaring, “The result of this nonsense is that the rainbow banner of tolerance has become the dark flag of tyranny almost overnight.” And he went after President Obama harshly:

Where is our president in the midst of this? Where is the leader of the free world? Christians are losing their jobs, losing their businesses, losing their tenure, losing their education, and losing their freedom and he says nothing. He lectures us about the crusades rather than defend us in the courts. Christians are being enslaved and burned alive and beheaded across the Middle East and he is silent. Christians are being threatened and intimidated and sued and sequestered in the middle of America and mum’s the word.

For decades, Piper said, “we’ve sent our kids off to sit under the tutelage of faculty who have panned the Judeo-Christian ethic and praised its antithesis.”

“Why are we surprised now,” he asked, “that we have a White House that’s seemingly more aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood than Franklin Graham?”  The Muslim Brotherhood zinger was recycled from Piper’s appearance at the “Future Conference” organized by anti-gay activist Jim Garlow in June.

More from Piper’s WCF rant:

Our judges can’t find the word ‘marriage’ in the dictionary. Our State Department thinks the way to stop terrorists is to give them jobs. Our president says he appreciates the legitimate grievances of the terrorists who are crucifying children. Why are we surprised to see tens of millions of women buying the lie of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ when colleges have been promoting Sex Weeks on their campuses across the land, teaching these same women the virtue of bondage and dominance for the past several decades.

Piper concluded with a prayer, in which he asked God to forgive America for a long list of the kind of things he spent his speech blaming the liberal establishment for, among them “the foolishness of expecting cultural sanity while removing a culture’s soul” and “worshiping government more than God.”

“Please,” he asked, “rescue us from the ugly hell of our own making and give us liberty within the bounds of your law and free us from the bondage of our licentiousness.”

Piper repeated some of his gripes about education on Glenn Beck’s show, which was recorded the day before his WCF speech and broadcast a few days later. One of Piper’s talking points is that “opinions are dangerous; truth sets us free.” Among the dangerous people who had opinions, he notes, were Pol Pot, Mao, Robespierre, Chavez, Hitler and Mussolini. Piper has also appeared on David Barton’s radio show.

The week after the World Congress of Families wrapped up, Piper took to his blog to decry WCF’s critics, especially those who labeled the WCF a hate group.

The bold-faced duplicity of those condemning those who love the family is indeed hateful. Intolerance in the name of tolerance. Bullying while decrying bullying. Exclusion in the name of inclusion. Dumbing down the human being while arguing for human rights. Pretending to be pro-woman while using women as pawns and products. Hate under the banner of anti-hate… These ideas do not come from love, but rather from disdain: Disdain for children, disdain for family, and disdain for truth. Such ideas come from a hateful people who hate anyone who dares stand in their way of hating God.

If you like what Everett Piper has to offer, you’ll probably get plenty of opportunities to hear more of it. In the program book for the WCF gathering, he is listed as chair of the “SWAT Team” in charge of “Strategic Planning for the Future.”

 

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/3/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 11/2/15

  • Glenn Beck, who has spent months openly attacking Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Donald Trump and the entire GOP, is now asking the RNC to allow his network to host a GOP primary debate in February. 
  • Bad news for Andrew Shirvell: "The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a former lawyer for the state of Michigan who lost a defamation lawsuit filed by a gay student at the University of Michigan."
  • Liberty University appears to be relaxing some elements of its hardline code of conduct for students.
  • Beware of the "atheist Gestapo," which is trying to put "an end to Christian activity in sports."
  • Finally, Rafael Cruz is giddy that David Barton is leading one of Ted Cruz's super PACs because Barton "is a man of unquestionable integrity" and "a man that America highly, highly respects."

Barton: 'Conservatives Don't Want To Speak Until They Feel Like They've Mastered The Facts'

David Barton, one of the Religious Right's most relentless promoters of dishonest and misleading information, appeared on Glenn Beck's television program last night, where the two discussed the importance of teaching people not "what to think," but rather "how to think." Teaching people "how to think," Barton said, would pay huge dividends for America by giving conservatives confidence to speak up on the issues of the day. 

"Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in nearly every state," Barton said, claiming that conservatives are reluctant to speak up on current events because they are afraid that they do not have enough knowledge or information, whereas liberals simply don't care that they are clueless and are just willing to lie.

"Why is it that conservatives are convinced that they are in the minority?" Barton asked. "In reality, we're not, but we think we are ... According to statistics, when you look at the groups of liberals, and moderates and conservatives, conservatives are by far the most silent of those three groups. They're least likely to speak up, and why is that? It's because conservatives don't want to speak until they feel like they've mastered the facts about whatever the subject is that is under discussion. Now, liberals or moderates, they're happy to give you their opinion and tell you what they think, regardless of whether they know the facts. But conservatives don't like doing that, they want to know the facts before they answer what are often wild and baseless claims made by liberals and moderates."

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/27/15

  • Rush Limbaugh knows who is to blame for the divisiveness of today's political climate and, of course, it is not people like him: "The divisiveness and the reason there is so much partisanship and mean-spirited, extreme rancor is all on the Democrats."
  • Without a hint of irony, David Barton complains that a Stanford history professor "selectively quotes [John] Adams to make him appear to say almost the opposite of what he actually said."
  • Billy Graham tells Christians in America to "prepare for persecution."
  • Theodore Shoebat is not a fan of Ben Carson's Seventh Day Adventist faith: "This is the fruit of the SDA: cult abuse, heresy, murder and the support for Nazism."
  • Some hard-hitting analysis from CBN's David Brody: "Watching Jeb Bush today at Regent University in Virginia Beach, it dawned on me: this guy is a serious candidate for the serious times we live in."
  • Finally, Robert Jeffress is "convinced that there are a legion of 'closeted' evangelical Trump supporters who are almost apologetic for being attracted to him."

David Barton: Iran Deal Requires US To 'Fight Israel,' Will Bring God's Wrath

David Barton, the right-wing activist who is now running Ted Cruz’s super PAC, falsely insisted on his “WallBuilders Live” program on Thursday that the nuclear deal with Iran will require the U.S. to ally with Iran and “fight Israel” if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, warning that this will all bring God’s wrath upon America.

Responding to a question from a listener who wondered if the Bible’s promise that “whoever curses Israel will be cursed” means that the U.S. “won’t fight against Israel,” Barton was not optimistic.

He had been talking to a number of elected officials, he explained, who were surprised when he told them that the Iran deal requires the U.S. to side with Iran if Israel attacks the country.

“They were unaware that in the agreement with Iran … that it contains the provision that says that under this accord, if Iran gets attacked, America will come to the defense of Iran,” Barton claimed. “Now, question: If Iran gets attacked, who’s going to be the first nation attacking Iran for having a nuclear weapon? It will be Israel. So we’re now going into a treaty where we pledge to come to the defense of Iran against Israel, we will fight Israel. If Israel sends in her F-16s and others to blow up nuclear weapons that they will have there, we’re going to fight Israel?”

“These legislators that I’ve talked to, they were shocked to find out that that was in the provision, because that’s not covered in much in the news at all, it’s not out there,” he added.

The legislators may have been shocked to find this out because it is not true. As a State Department spokeswoman explained to CNN after Donald Trump made a similar claim, the deal “does not commit any country to engage in this kind of routine nuclear security cooperation, and it is absurd to suggest it [commits] anyone to 'defend' Iran's nuclear facilities.” In a Senate hearing on the agreement, Secretary of State John Kerry also responded to the claim, clarifying that the U.S. “will coordinate in every possible way with Israel with respect to Israel's concern."

But according to Barton, this nonexistent provision will bring God’s wrath upon America because it will “put us in the position of fighting against Israel physically, and that’s a losing position if you believe there’s a God in Heaven, if you believe in his word, if you believe he keeps his word, that is a losing proposition for America.”

Barton: Teach Riflery In Public Schools To Eliminate Gun Violence And Accidents

In the wake of the Charleston church shooting earlier this year, David Barton appeared on the "Up For Debate" radio program to discuss the question of whether Christians should support gun control.

Given that Barton believes there should literally be no limits on the Second Amendment and that individual citizens have the right to own a tank or even a fighter jet, it was not a surprise to hear him argue that Christians should not, in fact, support any sort of gun control efforts.

In fact, Barton said that the only sort of change needed in America is to return to the days when public schools taught riflery in P.E. class because, he insisted, back then there were no gun accidents or violent crime.

"In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s," he said, "in the P.E. books in school, we had a chapter on riflery and we should students all about how to use guns, how to unload guns, how to shoot guns, how to create indoor ranges. We talked about gun safety, gun responsibility; we had such an emphasis on that aspect of training and education that you'll find in the '50s and '60s, gun accidents nearly never existed and violent crime, outside of organized crime, was just almost nonexistent."

Yet Again, David Barton Falsely Claims That 91% Of Christians Want To Hear Their Pastors Preach Anti-Abortion Sermons

One thing that you can count on when it comes to David Barton is that once he has adopted a talking point, he is going to continue to endlessly repeat it regardless of how false or misleading it may be.  

Last month, Barton and Glenn Beck unveiled the results of a survey that they had commissioned Christian pollster George Barna to conduct for the purpose of finding out what sorts of issues average churchgoing Christians wanted to hear their pastors preach about from the pulpits.

Or at least, that is how Barton has been presenting it.

In reality, Barna's survey was heavily biased since a whopping 92 percent of those surveyed were "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views." In other words, Barna's survey represents only the views of Religious Right and conservative Christian activists, but Barton has misleadingly presented it time and again as representing the views of all Christians.

Last month, Barton spoke at a conference on "Religious Liberty in 21st Century America" at a church in Hartland, Michigan, where yet again he falsely portrayed this survey as representing the views of Christians as a whole.

"Christians, in particular, are saying , 'We need some clarity for ourselves and for our kids, we need to know what the Bible says on certain issues,'" Barton stated. "Well, what issues do Christians want to know about? And so we commissioned a poll, George Barna, national pollster, went to the field and asked Christians, 'What is it you want clear guidance on from the Bible? What do you want to hear from your religious leaders?'"

"It came back," he continued, "that of those who said it is critically important or very important for me and my family to hear a biblical perspective ... The number one issue is abortion. Ninety-one percent of Christians said, 'I need to hear about abortion from church leaders.'"

Barton: Churchgoers Are 'Unanimous' In Wanting To Hear Anti-Abortion, Anti-Gay Sermons

One of the most interesting aspects of monitoring David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who is currently running one of Ted Cruz's presidential Super PACs, is watching how the claims that he makes become more and more dishonest as the misinformation that he spreads goes unchecked by his audience and associates.

A few weeks ago, Barton appeared on Glenn Beck's television program to promote a new survey conducted by Christian pollster George Barna, which they all falsely claimed had found that the vast majority of churchgoers wanted to hear their pastors preach against things like legal abortion and gay marriage.

As we pointed out at the time, "92% of the total respondents" of Barna's survey were conservative Christian activists, meaning that it really only represented the views of "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views." But despite the fact that this survey was absurdly biased and represented only the views of a narrow segment of the Christian population, Barton has been hard at work falsely claiming that it represents the views of all churchgoers as he seeks to encourage pastors to start preaching on the issues that are central to his right-wing political agenda.

Last night, Barton appeared on Beck's television program again to misleadingly promote this same survey, which he did this time by claiming that it shows that churchgoers are "unanimous" in wanting to hear these sorts of right-wing issues preached from their pulpits. 

Barton, without a hint of irony, stated that conservatives tend to remain quiet on contentious cultural issues because "they're concerned about truth" and often don't feel that they know enough to be able to comment intelligently on such issues, unlike liberals, who don't care about the truth at all and "will just throw stuff out all the time."

He then proceeded to explain his theory that 20 percent of the population will "oppose everything all of the time," which means that if a survey finds that 80 percent of people support something, then it is essentially unanimous. As such, he said that Barna's survey, which supposedly found that upwards of 80 percent of all churchgoers want to hear anti-abortion and ant-gay sermons, means that American congregations are unanimous on these positions.

"It's a landslide," he said. "When I see a poll that has 80 percent, that tells me it is unanimous. You';re going to have 20 percent of the people who don't think the sun comes up in the east and goes down in the west, so you'll always have 20 percent who are loudmouths on the other side. When you get 80 percent, you're talking unanimous."

David Barton Now Misleadingly Using Barna Poll To Mobilize Conservative Christian GOTV Effort

Last week, we noted that David Barton and Glenn Beck had launched an effort to pressure pastors into speaking out on issues of importance to conservatives by misleadingly citing a survey conducted by Christian pollster George Barna.

All three men appeared on Beck's show to promote the poll, claiming that it found that large majorities of average churchgoers are clamoring to have their pastors preach against things like abortion, gay marriage and the separation of church and state. In reality, the poll represented only the views of "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views," which was not surprising since conservative Christians made up "92% of the total respondents."

Barton is now this same poll to promote an effort called "One Nation Under God," which was organized by Pastor Erwin Lutzer and Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly and is aimed at getting pastors to mobilize their congregations to vote and get involved in politics.

Barton filmed a video on behalf of the effort in which he, once again, misleadingly created the impression that the findings of the Barna poll represent the views of all churchgoers.

Saying that the poll represents the views of "Bible-minded churchgoers," Barton proceeded to declare time and again that "an astounding 91 percent of churchgoers say that it was critically important that they learn the biblical perspective on abortion," and that "82 percent of Bible-believing churchgoers felt that it was crucial to hear the biblical view of sexual identity," and that "80 percent of churchgoers want to hear about Israel," and that "79 percent of churchgoers want to hear about our Christian heritage."

Of course, what the poll really found was that these were the issues that conservative Christians want to hear their pastors preach about. But Barton never bothers to mention that basic fact because doing so would undermine his effort to create the impression that America's churches are filled with people just dying to hear anti-abortion and anti-gay sermons.

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/29/15

  • Timothy B. Lee @ Vox: Whatever you think of Planned Parenthood, this is a terrible and dishonest chart. 
  • Media Matters: After NASA Announces It Found Water On Mars, Rush Limbaugh Says It's Part Of A Climate Change Conspiracy. 
  • Warren Throckmorton: Challenge to David Barton: Where Are the 1500 Bible Verses in Locke’s Two Treatises?
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