David Barton

What Exactly Is Glenn Beck's Definition Of 'Anti-Gay'?

Glenn Beck apparently lives in complete isolation from the world around him because there is no other way to explain how he can go about decrying the anti-gay fascism that is rising in Russia on his radio broadcast yesterday while simultaneously declaring that "I don't know anybody who is anti-gay, at least not any of my friends."

We have no idea what Beck's definition of "anti-gay" must be if it doesn't apply to the people that he surrounds himself with since, as we pointed out last week, his good friend Ken Hutcherson was probably best known for being a vehemently anti-gay activist who once called for a ban the promotion of homosexuality.

And let's not forget that Rabbi Daniel Lapin, whom has appeared on Beck's show numerous times, has said that "barbarism has sex in the canal through which dead, useless, waste material is excreted" and declared that people with AIDS should have been rounded-up and quarantined during the early days of the AIDS crisis.

And what about Beck's good friend David Barton, who has said that gay sex should be regulated by the government and asserted that it is a sign that a nation is going through a spiritual revival when it stops tolerating homosexuality. Barton has predicted that gay marriage will lead to people marrying dogs and horses and said that it doesn't matter what the Supreme Court rules, homosexuality ought to always remain illegal. Repeatedly declaring that homosexuality is "an aberration" that "violates the laws of nature," Barton has also proclaimed it to be "reprehensible" and "disgusting" and stated that science will never find a cure for AIDS because the disease is God's punishment for those who engage in "shameful sexual acts."

Barton also has close ties to rabidly anti-gay activist Scott Lively and even spoke at a fundraiser for Lively's group. Lively, of course, has been instrumental in spreading the Religious Right's anti-gay animus all over the world and took partial credit for the crackdown in Russia, declaring it to be "one of the proudest achievements of my career."

In fact, just about the entire Religious Right movement in America has praised Russia's anti-gay laws, admitting that the laws passed in Russia are exactly the sort of "public policy that we've been advocating."

Beck brings anti-gay activists on to his radio and television programs with shocking regularity and is close friends with several people who perfectly represent exactly what it means to be "anti-gay."

But Beck declares that he doesn't even know people who are anti-gay, which raises the question of just what his definition of the term could entail if none of his good friends meet it.

David Barton's Choice For Texas Attorney General Seeks To Turn State Into An 'Independent Nation'

As we all know, there is nobody more patriotic than a politician who promotes secession from the United States and backs white nationalist groups.

Take for example Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman, once boasted to WorldNetDaily that thanks to him, Texas has “made great progress in becoming an independent nation.” Smitherman, now a Republican candidate for state attorney general, has also attacked the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling as “hate groups” organizations that subscribe to white nationalism and have neo-Nazi ties.

Now, naturally, Smitherman has earned the endorsement of pseudo-historian David Barton: “David Barton, founder of Wallbuilders, has endorsed Barry Smitherman for Texas Attorney General! Stand with David to elect a true conservative to the Office of the Attorney General.”

We won’t hold our breath to see if Barton — who believes that the United States is a divinely inspired nation and that bad stuff started to happen only recently because of the removal of government-sponsored prayer from schools and homosexuality — sees a problem with reconciling his nationalistic views with a politician who talks about turning Texas into “an independent nation.”

(HT: Warren Throckmorton)

Is David Barton A Time Traveler?

We are starting to suspect that David Barton either owns a time machine or else he simply has a tendency to exaggerate about the amount of work that he does.

Last year, Barton was the keynote speaker at the Family Leader's "Celebrate The Family" dinner where he delivered his standard presentation, but one thing caught our attention, which was his standard assertion that he speaks to hundreds of groups every year. In this case, Barton said that he personally "spoke to over 600 different groups" in the last year, which averages out to speaking to a group and a half every single day for an entire year.

That seemed a little hard to believe simply on its face. But it becomes even harder to believe in light of his later assertion that he owns a ranch that requires him to work "from sun up to sun down" fourteen hours a day during the summer.

"We wish we had eight hour days like people in the city have," Barton said. "We never get eight hour days; that would be a vacation. We work all the time":

How on earth does Barton manage to speak to more than 600 groups every year while also working all day long on his ranch during the summer?

More Proof That Religious Right Myths Never Die

Back before the holiday break, we noted that just because some right-wing tale of supposed anti-Christian persecution happened to be totally false, that would never stop the Religious Right from repeating it endlessly, as they have been doing with the saga of Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, who claims he was relieved of duty for disagreeing with a lesbian commander over the issue of gay marriage.

As we noted last time, a military investigation found Monk's claims to be baseless ... which means that David Barton and friends are just going to keep on repeating them time and again, as he did on his radio program last week where he took it all a step further and claimed that Monk's lesbian commander "read him his Miranda Rights ... for not affirming homosexuality ... For refusing to affirm openly homosexuality and gay marriage, she gets him demoted and gets him knocked off his post and they read him his Miranda Rights telling him that a criminal investigation is now under way":

Barton and the Liberty Institute's Kelly Shackelford made the same claim when Barton guest-hosted Glenn Beck's television program last week as well, adding, for good measure, that if members of the military are not allowed to be open about their Christian faith "we'll end up with Hitler's SS":

What neither Barton nor Shackleford bother to mention is that Monk was, in fact, read his Miranda Rights during the investigation because he was suspected of lying about the entire thing, which is a violation Uniform Code of Military Justice.

As the Air Force stated upon completion of its investigation, Monk did indeed make false statements about what happened, but "they did not rise to a level that violated Articles 107 and/or 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice":

The investigation, initiated Aug. 15 by Col. Mark Camerer, 37th Training Wing commander at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, found the claim unsubstantiated. The investigation also looked into whether Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk made false official statements. It concluded statements he made were false; however, they did not rise to a level that violated Articles 107 and/or 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Monk asserted through interviews with several national media outlets that he was improperly removed from his position as first sergeant of the 326th Training Squadron at Lackland because he did not agree with his commander’s position on same-sex marriage.

“I felt the need to conduct a thorough review to ensure no Air Force policies were violated, and the investigating officer provided that,” Camerer said. “Ultimately I wanted to be sure all facts were collected so we could determine if there was merit to the sergeant’s statements.”

The investigation concluded Monk was not removed from his position, but rather moved, as scheduled, to another Lackland unit, an assignment he was notified of in April 2013. The report stated Monk never voiced a religious or moral objection about same sex marriage to his commander.

“The weight of the evidence shows that religion was never discussed between the two,” Camerer said. “In the end, this is a case about command authority, good order and discipline, and civil rights—not religious freedoms.”

Monk was read his Miranda Rights because he was accused of lying about being the victim of anti-Christian persecution which never happened. But, for the Religious Right, this is now being held up as proof that he was the victim of anti-Christian persecution.

Barton: If Cuccinelli 'Had Been More Pro-Life,' He Would Have Won Election

During his time in office, Ken Cuccinelli worked to pass a personhood law which would have criminalized not only abortion but also several forms of contraception and fertility treatments. On top of that, he declared that God will punish America over abortion rights, which he compared to slavery, and routinely pressed to close clinics that provide abortions as well as to defund Planned Parenthood.

But to hear David Barton tell it, the only reason that Cuccinelli lost his bid to become governor of Virginia last year was because he was not anti-abortion enough!

Filling in for Glenn Beck over the holiday break, Barton brought on anti-abortion activist Michael New to discuss the state of the movement. New asserted that the "pro-life" position routinely beats the "pro-choice" position in public polling, which prompted Barton to declare that an analysis of Cuccinelli's lost found that "if he had been stronger on pro-life issues, he probably would have won the election in Virginia."

"That's fairly amazing," Barton added, "to say, for Virginia which - northern Virginia is so blue - that if he had been more pro-life he would have won, which means we must be picking up public opinion across the board on this kind of issue":

Rafael Cruz Is Now Just Repeating David Barton's Pseudo-History

Recently, Rafael Cruz spoke to the Allen Area Patriots, a Tea Party group in Texas, where he informed those gathered "about the Liberal Progressive's move to socialize America, and what we can do about it."

While watching Cruz's remarks, we were struck by fact that he has essentially become a second-rate version of David Barton, so much so that he is now just repeating Barton's pseudo-history as part of his stump speech, claiming that the Declaration of Independence is nothing more than a collection of sermons and that over half of the Founding Fathers held "seminary degrees."

Both of these claims come straight from Barton, as we demonstrate in this video featuring Cruz's claims alongside excerpts from Barton's standard presentation in which he makes the same assertions:

The Perils of Religious Politicking

Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, a centrist Democrat facing a tough re-election campaign, launched a new political ad this month, and both the ad and the responses to it have highlighted the challenges of mixing religion and politics in ways that respect religious freedom, pluralism, and the spirit of the Constitution.

In Pryor’s new ad, he doesn’t talk about political issues or his opponent; he just talks about the Bible.

“I’m not ashamed to say that I believe in God and I believe in His word. The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does. And neither political party is always right. This is my compass, my north star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas. I’m Mark Pryor, and I approve this message because this is who I am and what I believe.”

The centrality of faith in Pryor’s life is well-known. But the ad was slammed by Brad Dayspring at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who mockingly suggested the ad contradicted comments Pryor had made last year: “The Bible is really not a rule book for political issues. Everybody can see it differently.”  But I don’t see the contradiction. In both, Pryor seems to be acknowledging that even people who look to the Bible for guidance can disagree on particular policy positions. Dayspring’s attack drew a surprising rebuke from Pryor’s Republican opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, who called the NRSC response “bizarre and offensive.”

The ad has drawn a mixed response from progressive commentators. Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly praises Pryor for “basically saying the Bible teaches some humility and reserves wisdom and final judgment to Gold Almighty, not to his self-appointed representatives on earth.” But Paul Waldman at the American Prospect takes issue with Pryor’s “I’m not ashamed” line, suggesting it is a dog-whistle for those who believe the Religious Right’s charge that Christianity is under attack in America.

Waldman notes, however, that the ad could have been a lot worse, reminding us of this notorious Rick Perry ad from 2012 which starts with very similar “I’m not ashamed” language but then gets “much more vulgar.”

A more recent example of the “a lot worse” school of religion and politics came from Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, who is currently running for the Senate. In a six-minute speech from the floor of the House of Representatives in September, he mixed personal religious testimony with Christian-nation claims that the government should be run according to his interpretation of the Bible.

Broun’s remarks start with a core Christian Reconstructionist principle: that God ordained family, church and government and gave each a specific area of authority. But, he says, because of “this mistaken idea that we’re supposed to have a separation of church and state, the family and the church have abdicated a lot of its duties over to government.” (Reconstructionists believe that God did not authorize government to be involved, for example, in education or the reduction of poverty; that role is meant for family and church.)

Broun calls the Bible “the basis of our nation,” and says the fact that we aren’t running society accordingly will mean the death of our Republic.  The founding fathers, he says, were “Bible-believing Christians” who believed that “every aspect of life should follow the dictates of God’s inerrant word. That’s what I believe in. That’s what we should all believe in.”

This message is not new for Broun. Last year Kilgore wrote about a Broun speech in which he said that evolutionary science is “from the pit of hell” and that the Bible is a “manufacturer’s handbook” that “teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society,” as well as our lives as individuals. “That’s the reason as your Congressman I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C.”

There are important distinctions between Pryor’s ad and Broun’s speeches.  It is helpful to look at them through the prism of People For the American Way Foundation’s 12 Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics. These “rules of the road” are meant to generate a broader conversation about how we can create and sustain a civic space that reflects the principles of the Constitution and the values of respectful civic discourse, one that welcomes the participation of people of all faiths and people of none. Consider this passage from the 12 Rules:

Public officials are free to talk about their faith, the role it plays in their lives, and how it influences their approach to issues, but must not use the power of their office to proselytize or impose particular religious beliefs or practices on others.

Pryor’s ad seems to be intended to keep to the appropriate side of this rule, where Broun clearly violates the rule by proselytizing from the floor of the House.

In addition, Broun, like David Barton and other Religious Right leaders, claims that the right-wing position on every political issue finds some grounding or justification in the Bible, which should be the final word on every policy matter.  Broun’s insistence that every aspect of law and society should fit his interpretation of the Bible also violates another rule, “It is appropriate to discuss the moral and religious dimensions of policy issues, but religious doctrine alone is not an acceptable basis for public policy.” In contrast, Pryor’s ad explicitly says that he doesn’t claim to have all the answers, even though he uses the Bible as his moral compass.

A Religious Right critic of Pryor’s ad broke another of PFAW Foundation’s rules: “Religion should not be used as a political club.” As blogger Jeremy Hooper noted, Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition was “outraged” by Pryor’s ad. She said his claim to be guided by the Bible “the furthest thing from the truth” because he had voted for the Employment Non Discrimination Act, which protects people from being discriminated at work based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Lafferty is of course free to believe that fairness is not a biblical value; but she shouldn’t denigrate the sincerity of Pryor’s faith because he disagrees.

Still, Pryor’s ad is a cautionary tale about the fact that, as he himself has said, the intersection of faith and politics can be difficult to navigate.  It can come across as saying, “vote for me because I’m a Christian,” a message that fails to respect America’s constitutional ideals and growing religious pluralism. And it could be seen as uncomfortably close to the message of Mike Huckabee’s 2008 primary campaign against Mitt Romney in Iowa, which essentially boiled down to, “vote for me because I’m the right kind of Christian.” Candidates or campaigns that suggest only Christians, or certain kinds of Christians, are worthy of public office violate the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution’s prohibition on a religious test for public office. 

With Christian-nation advocates like David Lane organizing all over the country for the 2014 and 2016 elections, there’s little doubt that the months ahead will bring some downright toxic mixing of religion and politics.

PFAW

A Convention Of States: The Right's Latest Plan To Amend The Constitution

For the last several months, spurred on by the publication of Mark Levin's "The Liberty Amendments," right-wing activists have been floating the idea of convening a "Convention of States" through which representatives of the individuals states would gather together for a convention to amend the Constitution and reign in the federal government.

Under Article V of the Constitution, "legislatures of two thirds of the several states" have the power to "call a convention for proposing amendments" and the idea to convene such a convention has been warmly embraced by people like David Barton who has promoted it not only on his radio program but also while filling in as host on Glenn Beck's television program.

Recently, Beck himself has begun promoting it as well and today his The Blaze website reported that nearly 100 right-wing legislators from 32 states met in Virginia over the weekend as the first steps toward turning this fringe fantasy into reality:

Close to 100 legislators from 32 states met in Mount Vernon, Va., Saturday to discuss the possibility of adding amendments to the U.S. Constitution through a convention of the states.

...

Lawmakers on Saturday discussed term limits on U.S. lawmakers and certain limits on federal taxation and spending as possible amendments, Red Millennial noted.

State legislators stressed Saturday the bipartisan nature of support for the discussed amendments, citing a recent poll that shows 74 percent of Americans support a balanced budget amendment while another 75 percent support congressional term limits.

Saturday’s Mount Vernon meeting was organized by Indiana state Sen. David Long and Wisconsin Rep. Chris Kapenga.

There has been growing support for the idea of a convention, but there is also healthy skepticism.

Still, regardless of whether one thinks it’s a realistic idea, Virginia and South Carolina have both pre-filed applications for a convention, meaning some are taking the idea very seriously.

Saturday’s meeting represents the most recent attempt by legislators to discuss seriously the possibility of adding amendments to the Constitution through a convention.

Barton: The Bible Says Convicted Murderer Scott Peterson Should Not Have Received The Death Penalty

One of the main points that we try to make whenever we write about David Barton is not just that he is a pseudo-historian who has a problem telling the truth, but that he is also a borderline theocrat who believes that our nation's laws ought to be literally based upon the Bible.

During his recent appearance on "The Gospel Truth" with Andrew Wommack, Barton explained that Scott Peterson, who was convicted of having murdered his wife and unborn child back in 2002, should not have received the death penalty because there were no eyewitnesses to the crime.

Citing Deuteronomy 17:6, which states that "on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death," Barton argued that even though Peterson was guilty of murder, he should not have received a death sentence because there were not two or more witnesses to the crime as required by the Bible:

Barton: Everything Good In American History Came From The Bible; Everything Bad Came From Not Following The Bible

As anyone who has read any history knows, the idea that slavery was ordained by God through the Bible was an argument frequently and forcefully put forth by the institution's most dedicated Christian defenders leading up to and throughout the Civil War.

But in the telling of modern day revisionist historians like David Barton, it is now taken as an established fact that the Bible does not support slavery and never did, meaning that it was failure to follow the Bible that was responsible not only for the institution of slavery but for every bad thing that has ever happened in America.

As Barton conveniently summed it up for Andrew Wommack recently, "the Bible is what shaped the good things in American culture; ignoring the Bible is what shaped the bad things in American culture":

Barton Repeats Debunked Claim That Obama Won't Mention God In Annual Thanksgiving Proclamation

One thing that you realize after studying David Barton for any bit of time is that one key to his success is the fact that his audiences blindly accept everything he says without question, never bothering to actually verify anything he says. 

And Barton is fully aware of this, which is why he has no qualms about lying to them time and again about things that a simple five minute Google search would prove to be false.

For example, Barton recently sat down for a series of programs on "The Gospel Truth" with Andrew Wommack where he falsely declared that President Obama does not mention "God" in his Thanksgiving proclamations:

Barton: One of the unfortunate things, this is in the past several years, the Thanksgiving message out of the White House no longer even mentions God. When we give thanks, God's not part of that.

Wommack: Part of that's because of who is in the White House.

Barton: That's a real problem. You check Thanksgiving proclamations of this president with the previous ones and it's not the same.

As usual, some basic research proves this claim to be utterly false (emphasis added):

Presidential Proclamation--Thanksgiving Day 2010

Thanksgiving Day is a time each year, dating back to our founding, when we lay aside the troubles and disagreements of the day and bow our heads in humble recognition of the providence bestowed upon our Nation.  Amidst the uncertainty of a fledgling experiment in democracy, President George Washington declared the first Thanksgiving in America, recounting the blessings of tranquility, union, and plenty that shined upon our young country.  In the dark days of the Civil War when the fate of our Union was in doubt, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day, calling for "the Almighty hand" to heal and restore our Nation.

In confronting the challenges of our day, we must draw strength from the resolve of previous generations who faced their own struggles and take comfort in knowing a brighter day has always dawned on our great land.  As we stand at the close of one year and look to the promise of the next, we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings, for one another, and for our Nation.  This Thanksgiving Day, we remember that the freedoms and security we enjoy as Americans are protected by the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces.  These patriots are willing to lay down their lives in our defense, and they and their families deserve our profound gratitude for their service and sacrifice.

This harvest season, we are also reminded of those experiencing the pangs of hunger or the hardship of economic insecurity.  Let us return the kindness and generosity we have seen throughout the year by helping our fellow citizens weather the storms of our day.

As Americans gather for the time-honored Thanksgiving Day meal, let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God.  Let us recall that our forebears met their challenges with hope and an unfailing spirit, and let us resolve to do the same.

Presidential Proclamation -- Thanksgiving Day, 2011

Though our traditions have evolved, the spirit of grace and humility at the heart of Thanksgiving has persisted through every chapter of our story.  When President George Washington proclaimed our country's first Thanksgiving, he praised a generous and knowing God for shepherding our young Republic through its uncertain beginnings.  Decades later, President Abraham Lincoln looked to the divine to protect those who had known the worst of civil war, and to restore the Nation "to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union."

In times of adversity and times of plenty, we have lifted our hearts by giving humble thanks for the blessings we have received and for those who bring meaning to our lives.  Today, let us offer gratitude to our men and women in uniform for their many sacrifices, and keep in our thoughts the families who save an empty seat at the table for a loved one stationed in harm's way.  And as members of our American family make do with less, let us rededicate ourselves to our friends and fellow citizens in need of a helping hand.

As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives.  Let us pause to recount the simple gifts that sustain us, and resolve to pay them forward in the year to come.

Presidential Proclamation -- Thanksgiving Day, 2012

On Thanksgiving Day, Americans everywhere gather with family and friends to recount the joys and blessings of the past year. This day is a time to take stock of the fortune we have known and the kindnesses we have shared, grateful for the God-given bounty that enriches our lives. As many pause to lend a hand to those in need, we are also reminded of the indelible spirit of compassion and mutual responsibility that has distinguished our Nation since its earliest days.

Many Thanksgivings have offered opportunities to celebrate community during times of hardship. When the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony gave thanks for a bountiful harvest nearly four centuries ago, they enjoyed the fruits of their labor with the Wampanoag tribe -- a people who had shared vital knowledge of the land in the difficult months before. When President George Washington marked our democracy's first Thanksgiving, he prayed to our Creator for peace, union, and plenty through the trials that would surely come. And when our Nation was torn by bitterness and civil war, President Abraham Lincoln reminded us that we were, at heart, one Nation, sharing a bond as Americans that could bend but would not break. Those expressions of unity still echo today, whether in the contributions that generations of Native Americans have made to our country, the Union our forebears fought so hard to preserve, or the providence that draws our families together this season.

As we reflect on our proud heritage, let us also give thanks to those who honor it by giving back. This Thanksgiving, thousands of our men and women in uniform will sit down for a meal far from their loved ones and the comforts of home. We honor their service and sacrifice. We also show our appreciation to Americans who are serving in their communities, ensuring their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. Their actions reflect our age-old belief that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, and they affirm once more that we are a people who draw our deepest strength not from might or wealth, but from our bonds to each other.

On Thanksgiving Day, individuals from all walks of life come together to celebrate this most American tradition, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country. Let us spend this day by lifting up those we love, mindful of the grace bestowed upon us by God and by all who have made our lives richer with their presence.

Presidential Proclamation -- Thanksgiving Day, 2013

Our annual celebration has roots in centuries-old colonial customs. When we gather around the table, we follow the example of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags, who shared the fruits of a successful harvest nearly 400 years ago. When we offer our thanks, we mirror those who set aside a day of prayer. And when we join with friends and neighbors to alleviate suffering and make our communities whole, we honor the spirit of President Abraham Lincoln, who called on his fellow citizens to "fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union."

Our country has always been home to Americans who recognize the importance of giving back. Today, we honor all those serving our Nation far from home. We also thank the first responders and medical professionals who work through the holiday to keep us safe, and we acknowledge the volunteers who dedicate this day to those less fortunate.

This Thanksgiving Day, let us forge deeper connections with our loved ones. Let us extend our gratitude and our compassion. And let us lift each other up and recognize, in the oldest spirit of this tradition, that we rise or fall as one Nation, under God.

David Barton, A Master Of Taking Things Out Of Context, Complains Of Being Taken Out Of Context

A few weeks ago, we posted a clip of David Barton and Kenneth Copeland asserting that those who serve in the military are "ministers of God" and therefore are to be "esteemed and venerated" for their service.  As such, Copeland asserted that soldiers should never suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because the Bible says that they are to be "guiltless before the Lord" and Barton wholeheartedly agreed.

Needless to say, this has generated a bit of a backlash which has now prompted Barton to issue a statement claiming, of course, that his words were "taken out of context":

David Barton and WallBuilders have a long unwavering and proven record of unequivocal support for those in the Armed Forces, including their families, as well as military personnel and veterans suffering from PTSD. David not only has several children and family members serving in the military but we also regularly highlight numerous military heroes on our daily radio program and send out blasts in support of the military. Additionally, we actively raise money for groups who work to help heal our warriors, including those suffering from PTSD. Yet despite this unflagging support, Right Wing Watch, Huffington Post, and others from the liberal secularist left recently circulated a short clip, taken out of context from a long interview David did on a Veteran’s Day program stressing the importance of spiritual components in the treatment of PTSD. As a result of the inaccurate “reporting” of these so-called “news” outlets, many who saw those reports voiced concern to us over what they had been wrongly told. It is lamentable that while we support multiple approaches for PTSD treatments, the critics are so hostile to religion that they flatly dismiss possible spiritual solutions. Rest assured that we will continue our demonstrated record of support for using all available resources to assist those suffering from PTSD. And we will continue to work closely, as we have been, with top military and medical officials who on a daily basis treat these men and women who make so many sacrifices to preserve and protect the freedoms for the rest of us.

We encourage you to watch the full program for yourself to see the entire context (link provided below)!

http://www.kcm.org/media/webcast/kenneth-copeland-and-david-barto/131111-an-awakening-to-god-in-america

We too encourage everyone to watch the full program where you will see that Barton's and Copeland's words were not, in any way, taken "out of context."  In fact, the entire context of the program was that God believes in war and soldiers are the ministers who carry out His justice, which is exactly what Barton was saying in the segment that we published!

But perhaps we should not be surprised that Barton willfully misrepresents what taking something out of context actually means since literally taking things out of context is part of his standard operation procedure.

Barton: Drinking Starbucks Is Like Committing Treason Against God

Several months ago, David Barton told an audience that they could not continue to patronize Starbucks because of the company's support for marriage equality, declaring that "you can't drink Starbucks and be biblically right."

Given this position, it was no surprise to see that the guest on today's "Wallbuilders Live" was Chris Walker of 2nd Vote, an app designed to allow conservatives to know which companies support liberal policies so they can avoid shopping there or buying their products.

As Barton explained, shopping at places like Starbucks that support a liberal agenda is basically like committing treason against God:

God does draw a distinction, sometimes that's called holiness or sanctification or whatever theological terms you want to use, but there is right behavior and wrong behavior. And one of the things God makes really clear is you're not to be helping the bad guys advance their agenda which is against God.

Sometimes we do that without realizing that we do it. We're kind of really ignorant of sometimes the people we help and what they stand for and so we've got a guest on today that's giving us a really high-tech tool to help us understand whether certain companies or groups or people are absolute enemies of God; now, I'm not talking about people who differ with us theologically  on this point or that, I'm talking about the whole value system, people who reject God's value system across the board and if we go help them, then we're in trouble with God because we're helping the enemies.  It'd be like an act of treason if this were a military term, but to do that spiritually, you can't go join the enemies of God and expect God to bless you on all the values and all the things he said was right and wrong.

Right Wing Leftovers - 11/18/13

  • Once again, David Barton insists that the Constitution is filled with quotes out of the Bible.
  • The World Congress of Families is not happy about having its meeting kicked out of the Dirksen Senate Office Building last week.
  • Quote of the day from Sen. Ted Cruz: "God bless James O'Keefe."
  • Will Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell become the president of his alma mater, Pat Robertson's Regent University, upon leaving office?
  • Finally, good luck trying to understand "Coach" Dave Daubenmire's position on bullying in his latest video, which seems to be that bullying of adults doesn't exist, especially in football ... which it, itself, a form of organized bullying, which is why anti-bullying advocates are trying to eliminate it.

Ted Cruz's Weekend Plans: Puppy Bombs, Islamophobia, Junk History & Glenn Beck

Sen. Ted Cruz has a busy weekend planned. Not only is he confirmed to headline a Texas conference for state legislators hosted by fake historian David Barton, he is also confirmed to speak at a conference of anti-Muslim activists and right-wing muckrakers in Florida hosted by leading Islamophobe David Horowitz .

Warren Throckmorton reports that Cruz is scheduled to speak at David Barton’s “ProFamily Legislators Conference” along with effusive conspiracy thoerist Glenn Beck, master voter suppressor and now Family Research Council bigwig Ken Blackwell, FRC vice president and radical anti-Islam activist General Jerry Boykin, and anti-gay, anti-Islam activist Rabbi Daniel Lapin. But perhaps the most questions for Cruz should come around accepting an invitation from Barton, who routinely pushes junk science and history and who just this week found himself in hot water among conservatives for telling veterans that it’s unbiblical to have PTSD.

Cruz is also set to join Rep. Louie Gohmert at “David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend,” along with Horowitz’s fellow anti-Islam activists Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Erick Stakelbeck and Daniel Pipes; right-wing pundits Ann Coulter and Ben Shapiro; “voter fraud” truther Catherine Engelbrecht ; erstwhile Christian Coalition leader and Jack Abramoff pal Ralph Reed; prankster/martyr James O’Keefe; and rising right-wing star Dr. Ben Carson.

Previous “restoration weekends” have similarly allowed sitting members of Congress – including Sen. Jeff Sessions, Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Steve King and Rep. Michelle Bachmann -- to mingle with anti-Islam leaders inluding Geert Wilders, Frank Gaffney, Andrew McCarthy and Pastor John Hagee.

While Horowitz’s summit includes a wide variety of far-right activists, its real star power comes from its Islamophobe coalition.

Horowitz himself has built his career on tying American progressives and mainstream Muslims to radical Islam. He's the editor of FrontPage magazine and has reportedly funded Robert Spencer's JihadWatch website. Horowitz was a leader of the smear campaign against former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who anti-Islam activists accused of being a Muslim Brotherhood agent sent to "penetrate" the US government . Horowitz alleged that Abedin, who is married to former Rep. Anthony Weiner, was a "Muslim Brotherhood operative" and "been given a special dispensation to marry a Jew so she can infiltrate our government.” He has also accused anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, whose wife is Muslim, of secretly practicing Islam and leading a Muslim Brotherhood "infiltration" of the Republican Party, and believes that teachers' unions are pushing an “infiltration of Islamic Jihadist doctrines” in the public schools.

Geller is also one of the most vocal figures on the anti-Muslim right. It was Geller who dreamed up and drove the "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy in the summer of 2010. Like Horowitz, Geller sees Islamist infiltration wherever she looks, including theWhite House, public schools, the media, and even the Conservative Political Action Committee (thanks, of course to Norquist). Geller frequently suggests that President Obama is secretly Muslim and has even theorized that the president is the love child of Malcolm X.

Geller even attempted to justify Anders Breivik’s massacre at a Norwegian summer camp (which she initially, of course, blamed on Muslims), writing that the victims would have become “future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, who commit major violence against Norwegian natives including violent gang rapes, with impunity, and who live on the dole.” Breivik had extensively cited Geller’s work in his anti-Islam manifesto.

Spencer is another one of the anti-Muslim movement’s leading lights, and also sees sneaking radical Islam in in the “Sharia-compliant” CPAC , the Obama administration,the media, TLC reality shows and progressives, whom he argues are “in league with Islamic supremacists” because of their shared dislike of America and western civilization.

To give you an idea of just how willing Spencer and Geller are to run with any anti-Muslim conspiracy theory, no matter how ridiculous, this month both gleefully picked up a story from New York’s local CBS station that alleged that members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt were dipping puppies in gasoline and lighting them on fire in order to make puppy bombs. CBS quickly retracted the story, which was sourced to a Facebook message. But the story so perfectly fit Geller and Spencer’s hysterical anti-Muslim narrative that neither has updated their blog post.

We hope that Cruz at least won’t fall for the puppy bombs story. It’s sad enough to ruin what could have been great weekend.

David Barton Explains How Teachers Can Sneak Christian Indoctrination Into The Classroom

During his recent appearance at Ohio Christian University, David Barton was asked by an audience member who is an education major at the school how he, upon graduating and getting a job, might be able to impart a Christian influence on his students without getting fired.

Barton suggested that the student get a job as an English or History teacher because that would allow him to sneak in discussions of the Bible or read Christian prayers in the classroom under the guise of simply teaching these subjects.

For instance, Barton recommend that, as an English teacher, he could have his students read the works of Shakespeare, which Barton claimed contain quotes from over two thousand Bible verses. "So what you can do," Barton said, "is look up that phrase he just said; well, that's right out of Matthew 7:23.  So you're just simply using English Lit."

He could do the same as a History teacher, Barton said, suggesting that he could teach his students about Founding Father Thomas McKean who used to deliver altar calls in the courtroom when he served as a judge. "You can read an altar call," Barton said, "here's what was done in 1779 in Thomas McKean's courtroom.  It's an altar call, but all you're doing is reading history":

Barton: 'I Am Very Scary For People Who Have A Secular Worldview'

Recently, David Barton spoke at Ohio Christian University where he delivered a truncated version of his standard presentation before doing something we've never seen him do before: answer questions!

During the discussion, Barton was asked about the controversy surrounding his discredited book "The Jefferson Lies" which he, of course, responded to by spewing his patented combination of hubris and misinformation.

Claiming that he had been the target of secularists for a long time but "they couldn't do anything because we had so many documents," Barton said these unnamed secular groups decided to "recruit" Christian professors who would go after him.  

These Christian professors (by whom he means Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter), Barton said, were only able to find fault with a few dozen of the thousands of facts in his book, before asserting that a new version will soon be released by Simon and Schuster that will blow their criticism out of the water (of course, Barton didn't mention that the new version of his book is actually being released by his good friend Glenn Beck's Mercury Ink, which has a partnership with Simon and Schuster.)

"I'm really scary," Barton declared. "I am very scary for people who have a secular worldview," he said, claiming that the ACLU has spent over a million dollars on an effort to discredit him. 

"I try to challenge people to prove me wrong," Barton said, asserting that the Christian professors who criticized him did so only because they are "so secular" before predicting that the entire debate will be over in a few months when his book is released and it "tears them up":

We, of course, have multiple examples of Barton openly lying but, for some reason, he never even bothers to try and refute these documented examples.

Southern Baptist Official Calls David Barton's Propaganda 'Satanic'

Yesterday, we noted that a top Southern Baptist Convention official blasted David Barton and Kenneth Copeland for their “profoundly ignorant” comments on soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Barton and Copeland advised soldiers not to look for psychosocial help, and instead can simply “get rid of” PTSD by reading the Bible because they are God’s warriors. Joe Carter, the communications director for the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, elaborated in a blog post for The Gospel Coalition.

He calls the two right-wing speakers “fools” who are “among the last people who could be relied on to intelligently interpret a text,” adding: “Their mishandling of Scripture is inexcusable, but what makes it unconscionable is they use God’s Word to shame and berate veterans with PTSD.”

“Barton is still, inexplicably, trusted by many conservative evangelicals, he has himself built his reputation on twisting and misrepresenting historical documents for ideological and propagandist purposes,” Carter writes. “For Copeland and Barton to resurrect this ‘blame the victim’ trope and coat it with the veneer of Biblical warrant is Satanic.”

"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes." Proverbs gives us two approaches and expects us to use wisdom in knowing when they should be applied.

How then should we answer the fools Copeland and Barton? While it is tempting to ignore them completely, I believe that would be a mistake. Had they merely proffered another laughably inept reading of the Bible, it would have hardly been worthy of notice. Throughout his career, Copeland has been accused of various heresies, most of which he created through his inept handling of Scripture. And though Barton is still, inexplicably, trusted by many conservative evangelicals, he has himself built his reputation on twisting and misrepresenting historical documents for ideological and propagandist purposes. They are, in other words, among the last people who could be relied on to intelligently interpret a text.

Yet many people will erroneously believe that Copeland and Barton speak as experts on the Bible and that their interpretation is the natural result of a literal or inerrant view of Scripture.

To those who are unclear on that point, let me express what I believe is the shared opinion of Biblical scholars, intelligent laymen, and just about anyone else who has ever bothered to read the Bible: Copeland and Barton's application of Numbers 32:21-22 to modern veterans suffering from PTSD is one of the most profoundly stupid interpretations ever uttered.

When those verses are read in the context of the chapter, and in the context of book of Numbers, and in the context of the Old Testament, and in the context of the entire Bible, it becomes almost impossible to imagine how anyone with an elementary school level of reading comprehension could have come up with such an interpretation.



Their mishandling of Scripture is inexcusable, but what makes it unconscionable is they use God's Word to shame and berate veterans with PTSD. Barton and Copeland imply that PTSD is due to guilt over actions carried out in wartime that leads to self-condemnation. This is a profoundly ignorant view of both the causes of combat-induced PTSD and the motivations behind medical and psychological based treatment.

PTSD is psychological trauma that can change how the brain and mental processes function. While in combat, veterans are exposed to the stresses of hyper-violence while living in a near constant state of hyper-vigilance. As psychiatrist Jonathan Shay explains in Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character:

A human enemy strikes not only at the body but also at the most basic functions of the human mind. The Vietnamese enemy defeated the soldier's perception by concealment and his ability to understand what he saw by camouflage. The basic mental state of intention and will was attacked by ambush, deception, surprise, and anticipation . . . . The cumulative effect of prolonged attacks on mental function is to undermine the soldier's trust in his own perceptions.

On returning from combat, the veteran is no longer exposed to violence, yet the reflex for hyper-vigilance -- whether conscious or subconscious -- may remain intact and beyond the person's control. "Exposed to continuous threats of warfare," says Shay, "the body remains mobilized for battle indefinitely." Veterans suffering from PTSD can lose some of the authority over mental processes, such as perception and memory, which civilians take for granted.

Throughout most modern wars, from World War I to Vietnam, both the military and civilian worlds denied or downplayed the existence of this form of psychological trauma. It wasn't until the post-Vietnam era that the medical community began to recognize that experiences of PTSD sufferers were not only real, but also that the causes were likely rooted in genes and brain chemistry, rather than a defect in the veteran's character.

For Copeland and Barton to resurrect this "blame the victim" trope and coat it with the veneer of Biblical warrant is Satanic. Christians need to counter this demonic, gospel-destroying message by letting the men and women who are suffering from combat related PTSD know what the Bible really says about hope, healing, and deliverance through Christ Jesus.

Southern Baptist Spokesman Condemns Barton And Copeland For 'Shocking And Unconscionable' PTSD Remarks

David Barton is coming under fire from the Southern Baptist Convention, with a spokesman for the conservative denomination’s political arm condemning the pseudo-historian’s recent remarks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The right-wing activist recently spoke to televangelist Kenneth Copeland about PTSD, suggesting that soldiers are warriors for God and therefore should never suffer from such a condition. They advised against psychological help and said that simply reading the Bible will “get rid of PTSD.”

Joe Carter of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said their remarks demonstrate how Barton and Copeland are “profoundly ignorant about theology and history,” arguing that by “downplaying the pain of PTSD” they have “denigrate[d] the suffering of men and women traumatized by war.”

Carter, who also writes for The Gospel Coalition and The Acton Institute, added: “[F]or them to denigrate the suffering of men and women traumatized by war — and to claim Biblical support for their callow and doltish views — is both shocking and unconscionable.”

Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton, whose book Getting Jefferson Right helped convince Thomas Nelson to pull Barton’s book on Jefferson from publication, noted that Barton and Copeland’s “naïve and potentially offensive” comments show “they do not have knowledge of the condition.”

PTSD has been a recurring issue among military veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs classifies PTSD as a mental health problem that can occur after a traumatic event like war, assault, or disaster. In 2011, 476,515 veterans who were diagnosed with PTSD received treatment VA medical centers and clinics.

“Just telling someone to get rid of it is naive and potentially offensive to someone who is suffering with PTSD. It is obvious that they do not have knowledge of the condition,” said Warren Throckmorton, a Grove City College psychology professor who has written on Barton. “Copeland and Barton err theologically as well by taking specific Scriptures written in relationship to Israel and apply them to American armies.”

This isn’t the first time Copeland and Barton have been “profoundly ignorant about theology and history,” said Joe Carter, an editor and communications director for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

“But for them to denigrate the suffering of men and women traumatized by war — and to claim Biblical support for their callow and doltish views — is both shocking and unconscionable,” Carter said. “Rather than downplaying the pain of PTSD, they should be asking God to heal our brothers and sisters.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/12/13

  • PFAW: The Nullification Strategy: How Senate Republicans Abuse the Filibuster to Undermine the Courts, Executive Agencies, and American Voters.
  • Josh Israel @ Think Progress: Group That Opposed Judicial Filibusters Hits Senator For Not Filibustering Judges.
  • Luke Brinker @ Equality Matters: Meet The Anti-LGBT Extremists Behind The Campaign To Repeal California's Transgender Protections.
  • Jeremy Hooper: Audio: Harry Jackson 'explains' his claim that LGBT rights = 'satanic'.
  • David Edwards @ Raw Story: Tony Perkins wants the ‘liberty’ to deny birth control: ‘That’s why the Pilgrims came here’.
  • Evan McMurry @ Mediaite: Here’s the Allen West Angry Eagle Motorcycle Book Cover You Didn’t Know You Wanted.
  • Warren Throckmorton: David Barton: Half Of Students In Christian Colleges Leave Church Due To Pagan Professors.
  • Bluestem Prarie: Fake Stalin quote included: Bradlee Dean preaching at Rick Joyner's MorningStar U.
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