David Barton and Rick Green continued their crusade to salvage Barton's tattered reputation by quickly putting together a two-part program on "WallBuilders Live" dedicated mostly to once again attacking Warren Throckmorton has unchristian and untrustworthy - which they know because, among other things, he uses information from Right Wing Watch.
But mostly they just wanted everyone to know that the mounting criticism of Barton's shoddy scholarship is really an effort to "disenfranchise Christians":
Barton: So this really is an attack, not at us per se; this is an attack on religious involvement in general from religious conservatives who have gotten into the process in the last twenty-five years.
Green: They recognize that you are kind of the voice of that for so long. I mean, you've been tireless over the last twenty-five years speaking across the nation and educating us on these things and putting those original documents on-line, putting out there in front of us. So, like you said, they know if they can go after you and somehow taint your image and create this image of you that isn't true that it helps to bring down the whole movement, it helps to kind of disenfranchise Christians, really, from being involved.
Once again, let us state unequivocally that people are not criticizing Barton's scholarship because he is a Christian; they are criticizing it because it is full of falsehoods; falsehoods that Barton's knowingly propagates in order to promote his political agenda.
When we point out that it is not true that "many of the clauses we find in the Constitution are literal, direct quotations out of the Bible," as Barton soregularlyclaims, it is not just a difference of opinion or a matter of interpretation, but rather undeniable proof that Barton has a documented history of intentionally making false claims.
So why wouldn't Throckmorton cite Right Wing Watch in making the case that Barton's history cannot be trusted? Especially when one considers that we have dozens and dozens of documented examples of Barton saying false and absurd things?
But Messiah College professor John Fea notes that Barton’s ability to paint his critics “as godless and liberal” isn’t working as an increasing number of evangelical pastors have denounced him:
Through it all, Barton continues to insist that his interpretation of Thomas Jefferson is accurate despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. When legitimate historians criticize his work he paints them as godless and liberal. But can all these historians and critics be wrong? Apparently David Barton is the only one out there who has correctly interpreted Thomas Jefferson. This kind of arrogance not only shows a deep disrespect for the work of historians, many of whom have devoted their lives to the study of Jefferson, but, perhaps more importantly, it is an embarrassment to the Christian church. Perhaps Barton needs to take a lesson from Rev. Dudley Rutherford, the evangelical pastor who misinterpreted the story of the Star-Spangled Banner. When Rutherford, the pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch, California, learned that his YouTube presentation contained several inaccuracies, he quickly apologized and pledged to look deeper into the historical record.
But even if we allow Barton to dismiss non-Christian historians, he will have a hard time dismissing his fellow evangelicals. Many of his critics have very solid evangelical credentials. Throckmorton is a Romney supporter (or at least “likes” Romney on his Facebook page) and is a conservative evangelical Christian. When I spoke at Grove City College in January 2012, he apologized for having to miss one of my lectures. It turns out that Throckmorton is an elder at his local Evangelical Free Church and had to attend a meeting there on that particular night. Ray McMillian, one of the Cincinnati pastors who led the boycott of Thomas Nelson, runs an organization called “Race to Unity.” Speakers at Race to Unity events have included evangelical luminaries such as Tony Evans, Joseph Stowell, Ed Dobson, and Bill Hybels.
Gregg Frazer, one of the ten historians chosen by Jay Richards, teaches at The Masters College, a school founded by popular evangelical preacher John MacArthur. (Frazer has also written an excellent book on the religious beliefs of the founding fathers which I highly recommend). Glenn Sunshine is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL—certainly not a bastion of godless liberalism. Charles Dunn, who has endorsed Getting Jefferson Right, is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Government at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. Even the folks at WorldView Weekend, an organization that used to partner with Barton, have turned their collective backs on him.
Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics mentions that a number of Baptist scholars have consistently criticized Barton’s “dubious” work:
One of the nation's premier historians, Martin Marty, wrote critically of Barton's new book in May.
"Barton is publishing 'The Jefferson Lies,' which most historians would title 'Barton's Lies about Jefferson,'" said Marty.
A year earlier, Marty said that Barton cherry-picked material.
Another preeminent historian and a Baptist, Richard Pierard, referred to Barton's work as "pseudo-history."
Bruce Prescott, another Baptist scholar and leading advocate for the separation of church and state, wrote in 2010: "For more than two decades, David Barton has been deceiving many honest but naïve Christians with a revisionist history about our system of government that promotes the mythology of Christian nationalism."
In addition to columns, EthicsDaily.com has had news stories about Barton's role in shaping the public education curriculum in Texas.
Now, conservatives are challenging Barton's use of history and distancing themselves from his misuse of history. When Thomas Nelson Publishers backs away from Barton, one knows Barton's work is dubious.
As Kyle pointed out, David Barton is trying to salvage his collapsing support by yet again attacking the religious and political views of his critics, joining American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer today in smearing Warren Throckmorton as a tool of the left. Unfortunately for Barton, more and moreconservatives are denouncing his right-wing pseudo-history on the heels of a scathing NPR report and the news that Thomas Nelson has yanked his latest book, “The Jefferson Lies,” from publication.
Now, the former dean of Regent University’s Robertson School of Government—named after televangelist Pat Robertson—and a leading conservative writer is adding his voice to the growing chorus of historians criticizing Barton’s sloppy scholarship. Regent University professor Charles Dunn endorsed the book, “Getting Jefferson Right,” written by professors Throckmorton and Michael Coulter of Grove City College, which is also an evangelical school. “Getting Jefferson Right” debunked many of the claims found in Barton’s book on Jefferson, and Dunn said the book “stands up for truth in scholarship against the prevarications in David Barton’s The Jefferson’s Lies”:
Getting Jefferson Right by Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter stands up for truth in scholarship against the prevarications in David Barton’s The Jefferson’s Lies. Because of the courage of Throckmorton and Coulter, Barton has now fallen from his pedestal of preeminence as a scholar of the early American era. Throckmorton and Coulter deserve the “Medal of Honor” for courage and probity.
Hitler loved to give “examples” of Jewish “offenses” to support his effort to annihilate the Jewish people. Not only were they most often false “offenses,” even if they had all been true it would not have supported the conclusion that the entire race should be wiped out. Any intelligent observer of today’s debate must challenge the premises presented and make sure that the “facts” of the critics support the conclusion they want you to believe. In every accusation I have seen so far in this debate, no premise or conclusion of David Barton has been proven faulty.
The world’s largest Christian publisher Thomas Nelson has pulled David Barton’s book “The Jefferson Lies” because of Barton’s “unsupportable” claims regarding the third president’s views on religion. Barton’s deputy Rick Green accused academic “elitists” of acting like Adolf Hitler to smear Barton, while Barton ironically defended his book by insisting that a group of anonymous academics endorsed his work. Now that Thomas Nelson has recalled Barton’s book and removed all mention of it from its website, we wanted to see what books the publisher apparently found to be more credible than Barton’s “The Jefferson Lies”:
3. Hank Hanegraaff’s “The Creation Answer Book.” This book claims that humans and dinosaurs walked on the earth together and that the earth was created in six consecutive 24 hour days, apparently less of a stretch than Barton’s argument that Jefferson and the rest of the Founders were fundamentalist Christians.
4. John Hagee’s “The Beginning of the End.” The televangelist describes how the Antichrist will soon come to power, using microchips implanted in humans and hate crimes laws to secure his authority.
Last week, we noted how odd it was that seemingly nobody was coming to David Barton's defense after his shoddy scholarship was exposed by NPR and then Barton's publisher announced that it had "lost confidence" in his work and was ceasing publication and distribution of his book.
Late on Friday night, WallBuilders finally issued a statement defending Barton's work and announcing that his "book has already been picked up by a much larger national publisher and distributor" and would soon be in publication again. Given Barton's, shall we say, lack of credibility at the moment, we remain a bit skeptical and so the veracity of this announcement remains to be seen.
Around the same time, Barton's "WallBuilders Live" co-host and side-kick Rick Green took to his blog to pen a furious screed against Barton's detractors that was replete with references to Hitler and attacks on the "elitists" who criticize Barton's pseuo-history:
Hitler and Alinsky were both masters of this tool. Hitler said: “All propaganda has to … accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”
These elitist professors and reporters attacking David Barton know that most people will not actually go read the supporting material behind David’s books…certainly not the bloggers and reporters who have so quickly jumped on the attack wagon. They are exactly the “least intelligent” Hitler was able to fool, Alinksy taught radicals to fool, and now even Christian “leaders” are joining.
These elitists do not enjoy seeing themselves replaced.
They believe they are the high priests of history and the law.
They do not want you to read the actual writings of the Founders because that negates the need for their position of being the keeper of the keys to history ... The elitist professors like Kidd, Throckmorton, Coulter, & Jenkinson write boring books that very few people read and they give boring lectures that are only attended by students forced to do so in order to get a grade.
When these guys see Barton telling history in a way that is BOTH accurate and fun and they see millions of people are captivated and want to learn more, then perhaps it could be just a little jealousy could be causing them to lash out at Barton with innuendoes backed by no actual merit. But the bigger issue is that they do not want to lose the power of being the keepers of the keys to history. They want their “interpretation” of historical figures to control how generations view history, rather than letting historical events and historical figures speak for themselves.
Near the end of his rant, Green issued a challenge for anyone to show "a specific inaccuracy or false claim by Barton" and promised to post them on his blog for everyone to see:
In the meantime, I’m still waiting for someone to show me a specific inaccuracy or false claim by Barton ... They are claiming that Barton is purposefully presenting a false picture of history and using inaccuracies and distortions to do so. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is these critics who are using inaccuracies, innuendo, and distortions to attack Barton in the first place.
If you can show me specifics that back up the image created by the critics innuendo, I’ll post it right here for the world to see.
Well, Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter wrote an entire book documenting Barton's false claims, so he could start there. Or he could turn to Chris Rodda who tried to take up Green's challenge only to discover that Green refused to post her comments on his blog and instead wrote a follow-up post asserting that he was not about to allow his blog to be used by "critics who have proven themselves to be illogical and slanderous" to promote their "ridiculous, unrelated, illogical ramblings."
We unsuccessfully attempted to take up Green's challenge as well, but he is blocking our comments and refusing to allow them to appear on his blog ... so we will just do so here.
Last week, we posted a collection of ten absurd claims that Barton has made along with ten demonstrably false claims that Barton has made and we hereby issue our own challenge to Green to defend them. He doesn't even have to defend all of them; he merely has to show us just one place where the Constitution directlyquotes the Bible "verbatim":
Barton, for his part, declared that the entire concept of adolescence is unbiblical and was utterly foreign to the Founding Fathers since it is nothing but a modern, progressive liberal phenomenon:
Green: Isn't that the difference between the Founding Era and ours today in terms of expectations? They expected you to do a lot while you were young. You didn't wait until you were 40 to figure out what God had for you in your life.
Barton: They didn't know what the word "adolescent" meant. And, by the way, I checked with Rabbi [Daniel] Lapin, he says that is not a word that appears in Hebrew because it's not in the mind of God. God wasn't into adolescence, He was in to having you become productive, having you be fruitful, having your produce and so that's why there was no adolescence in the Founding Era; that's a modern phenomenon, that's a progressive liberal phenomenon is adolescence.
Right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton, who compares homosexuality to smoking and celebrates the fact that there isn’t a cure for AIDS, said today on WallBuilders Live! with co-host Rick Green that same-sex marriage is much like letting people marry horses or dogs. Discussing the Defense of Marriage Act, Barton warned that marriage equality proponents may try to “evangelize” their belief that “marriage shouldn’t be between a man and a woman” since “that’s unfair for two men who want to be together, or two women, or a horse and a dog, or whatever it is.”
Barton: Other courts, other areas started saying ‘well you know we can’t really justify this position anymore, marriage shouldn’t be between a man and a woman, that’s unfair for two men who want to be together, or two women, or a horse and a dog, or whatever it is,’ so at that point as it looked like the states were starting to mess around the problem you have is the contracts in one state are supposed to be honored by another. So if I make a business contract with you in Texas and we move to Oklahoma, that contract is going to be recognized in Oklahoma. Well on marriage, that’s a contract. So if one state suddenly says we want same-sex marriage and in Texas we say we don’t, just because you got married in Vermont and moved to Texas doesn’t mean we have to recognize your contract.
So that ability of saying one contract is going to be forced on another caused Congress to act in 1996 and say look the federal government and the states both have to deal with marriage, now here’s what we’re doing, on the federal level we are telling you marriage is a man and a woman and everything that deals with marriage on the federal level is going to be considered a man and a woman. They said as far as the states, you states are not going to be bound by the marriage decision of another state. Green: You do it the way you want to do it and don’t expect to be able to export that to another state.
Barton: Don’t use that to try to evangelize the other forty-nine states.
Green: And we won’t let the other states force it on you.
Barton: That’s right.
Ed Meese, who served as attorney general under Ronald Reagan, told Barton and Green that the legalization of same-sex marriage in several states “just shows how the culture has deteriorated over two centuries,” and asserted that same-sex marriage is an attempt to “defy nature.”
Green: It’s almost like they are making it up on the fly, the actual language of the Constitution doesn’t matter; it’s what these judges that happen to be on the bench at the time think it should mean.
Meese: The founders, we go back to the founders, the reason that they didn’t put something in the Constitution to say that marriage is the union of a man and a woman is nobody would have even thought at that time that there could be any other. It just shows how the culture has deteriorated over two centuries.
Green: You also mention that the Defense of Marriage Act should control what’s happening on the military side of things. How have they managed to push through so much with the military in the Obama administration on this issue working around DOMA?
Meese: Well that’s still an open issue and that’s why DOMA is very important. For example, whether chaplains should be required to participate in a homosexual marriage ceremony; whether that would be required as part of their duties, that’s where DOMA is a very important statute. This idea that somehow there is some obscure right in the Constitution to defy nature, as they do in homosexual marriage, is just ludicrous.
A few months ago, David Barton and Rick Green invited early Mitt Romney supporter Jordan Sekulow onto their "WallBuilders Live" program to make the case why Religious Right votes can and should be excited about supporting Romney in the general election.
Sekulow made the case that Romney would nominate good judges, especially to the Supreme Court , and while that certainly appealed to Barton and Green, the fact of the matter is that regardless of how unexcited they might be about a candidate like Romney, their vehement opposition to President Obama meant that they were going to do whatever they could to see Obama defeated.
And that was more or less the argument put forth by Matt Barber last month in a column he wrote calling on Christians to support Romney primarily because Obama was so bad that no "Christian in good conscience" could ever vote for him or even consider sitting this election out.
Today, Barton and Green invited Barber on to the program to make this case to the WallBuilders listeners and the general consensus among all three was that it was a sin for any Christian not to vote for Mitt Romney:
Barber: We are admonished in Scripture to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Now the wise thing to do is to go in and support Mitt Romney because, again, the alternative is catastrophic.
Green: Absolutely. And like you said, not voting is not only a dereliction of duty, it's really anti-Biblical. It's actually being the servant, remember the parable where they gave the talents? It's being the one that buried their talent. Well that was described in the Bible as being a wicked and slothful servant. I don't want to be that one, man, I want to be one of the other guys.
Barber: Well, absolutely. Well, it's worse than that; not voting is essentially a vote for Barack Obama because it fails to cancel out a vote for Barack Obama so it's absolutely a dereliction of duty.
Barton: I don't care if Romney calls himself a Mormon [and] Obama calls himself a Christian. Here's my question: where are you on judges, because Isaiah 1:26 says the righteousness of a land is determined by the judges of the land. Who's more biblical on judges? Romney or Obama?
Green: No question, Romney.
Barton: Let's ask marriage, who's more biblical on marriage? Romney or Obama?
Green: Romney, no question.
Barton: Let's ask where we are on the life issue, who's more biblical? Romney or Obama?
Green: Not even close. Obama supports infanticide he's so pro-abortion. Romney has become very pro-life.
Barton: We know the free enterprise system was started out of five verses in the Bible, the whole economic system that God created we used in America. Who's more biblical on the free enterprise system, Obama or Romney?
Green: Obama's a socialist without question on free enterprise. Romney's a great example on true biblical free enterprise.
Barton: So why do we have a question here? Because he's a Mormon? Hey, we've got to get past labels. Just like Obama's Christian label means nothing, Romney's Mormon label means nothing. What matters is the fruit, which one is going to produce more biblical fruit ...
There's only two options Christians have. Christians do not have the option of sitting this one out. You do not have that option, it is not a possibility. You will stand before God and He will say "I gave you your vote, what did you do with your vote?" And we can't just say "well, I chose to sit this one out."
Green: Especially in a situation like this where so much is at stake. What's the verse, when you know what to do and you do nothing? That's sin!
Barton: James 4:17; when you know what's right to do and you don't do it, that is sin.
But not every episode contains these sort of informative nuggets because sometimes Barton and co-host Rick Green dedicate the program to talking with our nation's veterans about their harrowing experiences fighting in past conflicts. Today was one of those days, and though the program was actually rather interesting, these types of episodes generally don't produce much that is of use to us in terms of blog content - except in this case Barton and Green gave us a nice shout-out at the end while bizarrely taking delight in the fantasy that we would be extremely uncomfortable listening to this show about "a guy who loves God and country":
Barton: We got to do a little shout-out to our listeners that nobody knows about: Right Wing Watch. I mean, these are the radical left social guys and they listen to every program and these are the kind of programs that drive them crazy. I mean, what do you do with a guy who loves God and country, etc ... 'cause they're always beating on us - and by the way, in addition to them doing all their little releases, they always find a little clip here and there out of our program they can release to the Huffington Post. I also, and you may not know this, I made the top 25 this year - I think it's the top 25 for the Southern Poverty Law Center and I'm apparently one of the 25 greatest terrorist, domestic terrorists in America 'cause just way too much of this God/country kind of stuff, you know patriotism now makes you a terrorist.
Green: Well congratulations.
Barton: So I'm curious to see how Right Wing Watch is going to handle a program like this where you've got such patriotism because now patriotism makes you a domestic terrorist.
Green: Yeah, because we're loving our country more than some other country, we're honoring the sacrifices ...
Barton: Yeah, we're not trying to be like France or Europe or those guys, yeah, you're right. What can we say?
Green: Well, sometimes I like to irritate people, so let's irritate Right Wing Watch a little bit with honoring these guys!
For what it is worth, it is not episodes such as this in which WWII vets recount their experiences serving in combat that irritate us - both of my grandfathers served in WWII, after all - it is Barton's flagrant misrepresentations that irritate us; misrepresentations like claiming that he was listed among "the 25 greatest domestic terrorists" when, in reality, he was merely included in a SPLC report highlighting "30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right."
Only in Barton's warped view is a SPLC article proof that "patriotism makes you a domestic terrorist" while our efforts to point out his incessant lies means that we harbor some sort of absurd hatred for our nation's veterans.
Molen was on the program to discuss a recent incident in which a scheduled speech he was to deliver to some high school students was supposedly canceled because of his conservative views, but after the interview, David Barton and Rick Green talked about how excited they were about his forthcoming film, with Barton revealing that Texas Governor Rick Perry was so enamored with it that he has "agreed to raise millions to put this thing in theaters":
Green: Well this new project he's doing - you know we had Dinesh on when he wrote the book "The Roots of Obama's Rage." I love Dinesh D'Souza, I think he's the C.S. Lewis of our day, just a great guy. But to make this a movie now that's going to reach far more people that's actually going to be in theaters even.
Barton: Well, I was just with Governor Perry and Governor Perry has agreed to raise millions to put this thing in theaters. He is committed to this thing in a big way ...
Green: To getting the truth out there for people to really know ...
Barton: He said it's phenomenal ... because they called him and asked him to help and he said "is it okay if I see the movie first before I agree to raise [money]?" And so he saw it and, man he is all over this thing.
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) appeared on WallBuilders Live today alongside hosts David Barton and Rick Green to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health care reform law. The congressman maintained that the law “removes the very freedom and liberty that our founders fought for at its very core” and if it is implemented then America will no longer be “the America that you and I love” and that “our founders fought for.” Price went on to cite a sham, Tea Party study heraldedthroughoutconservativemedia, to claim that “around eighty percent of the physicians surveyed would say if this comes to its full conclusion, that is Obamacare becoming fully implemented, they don’t see how they could practice.” He said that doctors following rules under the reform law will be violating their professional oath, representing the “subjugation of a free citizen, a formerly free citizen.”
Green: It’s allowing government to take over these very personal decisions.
Price: It removes the very freedom and liberty that our founders fought for at its very core. Nothing is more personal, as a physician I can tell you when I would treat patients they understood that it was either an insurance company or the state or federal government that were dictating to them what might be available to them in terms of treatment or diagnosis, they’d bristle, as would I. This is just turning that into the system for every single American and that is a system where Washington decides what you can get, what kind of treatment you can get for yourself and for your family. That’s not America, that’s not the America that you and I love, that’s not the America our founders fought for, that’s not the America that recognizes that our liberty and our freedom comes from God almighty and not from the federal government.
Green: Amen. It looks like as the White House begins to spin this it looks like we’ll be where we were in 2009 where both sides are trying to say whether or not this is a good idea as we go into the 2012 elections. It looks like a lot of doctors are actually saying, ‘If this thing goes forward I’m out of here, I can’t even practice medicine under this system.’
Price: You all have been following this very closely and there’s a recent survey that puts it at somewhere around eighty percent of the physicians surveyed would say if this comes to its full conclusion, that is Obamacare becoming fully implemented, they don’t see how they could practice. The reason is, it’s important for people to appreciate the reason for this, it’s not that things just get too difficult it’s that as a profession we take an oath, physicians take an oath, to provide the highest quality care they are capable of for their patients. If the federal government is going to come in and say ‘we know that you believe Mrs. Smith deserves this and needs this for her treatment but we don’t believe that that’s what Mrs. Smith needs and we will tell you what to give Mrs. Smith,’ that’s no longer a profession, that’s a subjugation of a free citizen, a formerly free citizen, that physicians will not tolerate and I think that’s why you’re seeing that kind of response that you’re seeing from doctors across the land.
On yesterday's installment of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green complained that government regulation was destroying the free market system ... not too much government regulation, mind you, but any government regulation.
In fact, Barton declared that the mere existence of federal regulatory agencies represent "the most dangerous attack on our liberties since the British" while Green explained that there was no need for federal agencies to prevent companies from dumping toxic waste because the truly free market will hold them accountable when they get sued:
Barton: What's going on right now in DC is government at the regulatory level, particularly at the cabinet level, whether it's the Department of Agriculture or Health and Human Services or whatever, those are now pretty much unaccountable agencies. And what they're starting to do to the country, they have no sense of accountability, they fear no one - they don't fear the President, they don't fear Congress, they sure as heck don't fear the people because we don't elect them. the stuff that's now going on with those agencies is, I think, unprecedented and the most dangerous attack we've had on our liberties since the British, quite frankly.
By definition, a free market means there is no government intervention or regulation. So the more these agencies get involved, the less you have the free market and the less prosperity you will have and the less freedom you will have.
Green: You know, people say if you don't have [regulatory agencies] you're gonna have some company that dumps toxic waste or whatever; well then you the company and you go through the civil courts and there's accountability there.
Yes, I am sure that if some company recklessly dumped toxic waste that ended up making one of Green's children seriously ill, he's response would be "thank goodness our truly free maket has no agencies in existence that can prevent things like this from happening so that now I have the opportunity to sue this company and hold them accountable for gravely injuring my child."
Following the interview with Hutcherson, Barton and Green speculated that the gay rights movement has sought to co-opt these things in order to distort God's blessing upon mankind:
Barton: We don't even think about "gay" in the term it was, we only think it in the way of the new definition ... You know, I hadn't even thought about why they chose that word or how they came to use that word or how that became the denotation for homosexuals. I don't know.
Green: Well, when you take that or the rainbow, as Hutch was saying [is] a promise from God, isn't that part of the goal? To distort what God gave us and to distort what would normally be a blessing and be something that you enjoy and honor and worship God because of?
Barton: Well, it goes back to the Garden [of Eden.] The Serpent said "oh yeah, if you'll eat this you will have the knowledge." Eh, it wasn't the right knowledge; you got knowledge but it was a distorted form. And that's why the Bible also says that Satan appears as an angel of light - he looks like the real thing, but it's a distortion. He doesn't come to give you the good things, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy, not give you life and not give you all the good things Jesus wants to give you in John 10:10, but he looks the same when he comes. You know, he makes the same offer, it just doesn't ever work out that way. And so it's the same thing, you take something good like "gay" and you distort it into something else.
One of the central components of David Barton's entire brand of pseudo-history is the way in which he holds up obscure documents, sermons, and individuals from the Founding Era and presents them as representative of the entire generation.
Barton will cite some textbook with references to God, or some sermon discussing the rights of conscience, or some Founding Father who delivered an impassioned defense of Christianity and declare that at the founding of this nation, everyone knew these things and held these views.
Barton is constantly citing unfamiliar individuals from the Founding Era, discussing how religious they were and then asserting that they were extremely influential in drafting the Constitution and shaping the nation. The fact that nobody today has ever heard of any of them is, for Barton, proof that secularists have been succeeding in erasing our Christian history.
Today, Barton provided some insight into just how his mind works when making these sorts of claims when he hosted Rep. Todd Akin on his "WallBuilders Live" radio program. Barton and co-host Rick Green were discussing how people today might be aware of maybe 20-25 high-profile members of Congress despite the fact that there are more than 500 hundred serving in office. Lots of the lesser known members, Barton said, are dedicated Christians while the better-known members frequently are not, giving the American public a skewed view of just how truly Christian our Congress really is.
Barton and Green held up Akin as proof, explaining that when he speaks to the Pastor's Briefings they regularly host on Washington, DC, the pastors are always blown away by just how deeply religious and biblically knowledgeable he is, prompting Barton and Green to compare Akin to John Witherspoon during the Founding Era:
Green: It's probably like with the Founding Fathers when you start pointing out all these guys that went to a seminary and were pastors and did all that, it changes people's perception of the Founders. I figure Todd Akin, he's like the John Witherspoon, you know Witherspoon was probably quoting a lot of the same stuff that Todd Akin is out there quoting to fellow members of Congress and to these pastors.
Barton: But the problem is, it's like today, you know I show that slide of the 56 signers of the [Declaration of Independence] and I get kids at really sharp schools, I mean Ivy League schools, and the most they can give me is two of the 56. And I start going through like John Witherspoon ... John Who? Never heard of John Witherspoon. Well, her served on a hundred committees in Congress, he was George Washington's boss, he was on the Board of War during the Revolution to direct the Revolution, he was the President of Princeton. You've never heard of him but he's a really significant Founding Father and, by the way, he is a preacher and a minister and wrote a dozen books of sermons and did two bibles - it's kind of like Todd Akin. If you throw Todd Akin out there, people go "Todd Who? Haven't heard of him." He's like that Witherspoon guy. We know the 20-25 out of Congress, not the 535 so the perception is bad.
This is rather telling because is reveals a bit about how Barton operate because, while Akin is certainly an influential member of Congress, he is probably not a "really significant" figure that future historians will be writing about two hundred years from now ... except, of course, for future Barton-like psuedo-historians who will probably look back on this current generation and hold up somewhat obscure elected officials like Akin as representative not only of the views of this Congress, but of this entire generation.
As exhibited today in a WallBuilders Live interview with David French of the American Center for Law and Justice, it appears that Barton’s clout has increased not despite the overwhelming criticism he has received for his faux-history and extremist views but because of it. French told Barton’s deputy Rick Green that disapproval of Barton’s work is proof that he is speaking the truth!
Green: We’re worried about cratering because someone might say, ‘that’s mean-spirited’!
French: Exactly, or, ‘you’re a bigot,’ and then all of a sudden you are immediately backpedalling. It shows the power that we have allowed peer and cultural regard to have over our lives and heart. One of the best things that any Christian can do is to begin to just break away from that, to become indifferent to that.
You guys, you and David, get such hate all the time from folks who are just appalled that you are bringing truth about America’s heritage into the public square, a truth they have been spending generations trying to squelch. I’m sure it hurts on some occasion when you see it but it’s also a sign that you guys are making incredible progress and incredible headway and you’ve gotten a message out that I can just tell in the Christian community in the past five to ten years, there’s a difference in knowledge about America because of the work that you guys have done.
Green: Hey man, if you’re not taking flak you’re not over the target right?
Green: It could be a good thing. I think you’re dead-on, if you are speaking truth, if you are doing something that’s going to make a difference, you’re going to take some criticism. We need to challenge this generation to actually be excited about the opportunity to stand for truth.
Barton certainly has made a “difference in knowledge about America”…by consistently fabricating and disseminating false claims about American history.
Last week, we unveiled a campaign featuring a website, web ad, and report exposing Mitt Romney’s dangerous agenda for America’s courts, as demonstrated by the fact that Robert Bork has been tapped to lead Romney's constitutional and judicial advisory team.
As the report noted, Romney's choice of judicial advisors "spells serious trouble for the American people" ... and it is no surprise that it is also music to the ear of the Religious Right.
On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green invited Jordan Sekulow, who worked for Romney back in 2008, to make the case as to why the Religious Right can and should support Romney. While Green was skeptical at first, Barton needed no convincing because Jay Sekulow (Jordan's father) was going to be involved in picking Romney's judges and that was all he needed to hear:
This has not been a hard thing for evangelicals to get over and support Romney and it shouldn't be a hard thing. When Romney ran four years ago, he wasn't my first choice but the reason I never got really worried about Romney was Jay Sekulow. And I tell you he has been very intimately involved in helping get folks like Alito and Roberts on the court. And four years ago, I heard that Sekulow is the guy that Romney has tapped to choose his judges and I said "that's it." I don't have any trouble with Romney because Isaiah 1:26 tells me the righteousness of nation is determined, not by the legislature, but by its judges. And if Romney's got folks like Sekulow picking his judges, I can live with that in a heartbeat.
When Jordan Sekulow joined the program, he made the case that conservatives should support Romney because he has pledged to nominate judges like Samuel Alito and John Roberts and has filled his campaign with people who are going to keep his feet to the fire:
Green: How important is it for us to recognize that if Romney is president, who has his ear? Who are the people that will consider those judges versus another four years of Obama if he gets another quarter of the judiciary appointed?
Sekulow: You've already got people who are long-time Romney supporters like my dad, who has argued thirteen cases before the Supreme Court and was very involved with President Bush - he was one of four people that were involved in the nomination process in the Bush White House - and so if you like Alito and Roberts, these are the kind of people. You have Judge Bork, who was filibustered by the Senate, voted down by the Senate actually, and he is on the Romney committee.
You want Kagan and Sotomayor, and I was at the Supreme Court during the 'Obamacare' oral arguments, you probably don't want more of that, or do you want more Alito and Roberts? And he's made those pledges; I think we need to come to the campaign say "alright, you made these pledges, we're going to keep you honest to them and keep your feet to the fire."
Today's episode of "WallBuilders Live" was dedicated to discussing the on-going fight over the Obama Administration's contraception mandate, with David Barton vowing to "go to the mat" fighting it because it is unbiblical and, if it stands, it spells the end of separation of church and state and the United States will have essentially established an official state church, as Rick Green warned that it was nothing short of totalitarianism:
Barton: I'm going to the mat on this one. I may or may not go to the mat on the healthcare side; that's a political issue and we can deal with that. This is a fundamental constitutional, religious, and biblical issue - there's thirty verses in the New Testament alone that tell you to protect the rights of conscience - that's no small, lightweight thing.
Green: So biblically you got to do it; as patriots for freedom we got to do 'cause the Founders talked about it ...
Barton: Biblically and constitutionally ... oh wait, that's the same thing oftentimes; those biblical principles under-gird the Constitution. And so the Founders did talk about the biblical rights of conscience when the gave Constitutional protection for conscience. And if you lose rights of conscience, you have lost separation of church and state. You might as well just be England; you might as well just have Henry the Eighth declaring an official state church, because that's what's happening.
Green: This may not be a textbook definition, but, to me, totalitarianism is making you do something that's against the very core of what you believe.
As we have pointed out time and time again, the message Jesus is teaching in this parable is that "the Kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner" who pays all of his works the same amount, regardless of how much they worked. The entire point is that no matter how late in one's life one comes to Christ, the Heavenly reward is the same; those who embraced Christ on their deathbed will receive the same eternal reward as those who were Christians all of their lives because of God's generous love.
Recently, Rick Green, Barton's colleague and co-host at "WallBuilders Live," was speaking to a church in North Dakota and making similar claims about how our government and social institutions all originated in the Bible. So it was no surprise that Green likewise made the case that our free market economy is rooted in Matthew 20, though he added yet another interpretation of this passage when he flashed a PowerPoint slide on the screen claiming the lesson of this parable is that "labor is rewarded":
Has Green even read Matthew 20? The parable is about workers being hired at different points thorough out the day to work in a vineyard and then all getting paid the same amount, regardless of how long they had worked. This is equal pay for unequal work, plain and simple. It makes sense when understood as a parable about God's generous love, but sounds like Communism when help up as an economic principle. So how can this passage possibly be interpreted as a Biblical free market principle that "labor is rewarded" when, if interpreted as though an economic lens, it is actually teaching the exact opposite?
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) today appeared on WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green. King rather incredibly described Green as a “constitutional scholar” and lamented the “manufactured, judicial activist right to privacy” protected in Griswold v. Connecticut. King also bemoaned that inability of states to outlaw contraceptives and even said that King George would not have had the “audacity” of President Obama to mandate that insurance companies cover contraceptives as part of his compromise policy with religiously-affiliated organizations. Green even dubbed the policy “totalitarianism.”
King: I watched another thing happen that is very troubling to me, and we’ve watched that, I’ll just dial this back and as a constitutional scholar you will be very familiar with Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965. There, the Supreme Court created a right to privacy that didn’t exist in the Constitution and by essentially ruling that contraceptives that were unlawful in Connecticut and Massachusetts, by the way, and a good number of other states, could not be made unlawful by the states.
We’ve come so far from that standpoint that states can’t outlaw contraceptives because of a manufactured, judicial activist right to privacy, and today we see some weeks ago the President of the United States step up to the podium with the great Seal of the United States on it and in a press conference he legislated by press conference. When he did the press conference and said, ‘ok, I’m going to make this accommodation to the Catholic Church and other religious institutions and no longer require you to provide contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-causing drugs, I’m going to require the health insurance companies to do that for free.’ King George would have not had the audacity to do that, Rick.
Green: If that’s not totalitarianism I don’t know what is.
Last year, David Barton released a six DVD program entitled "Building on the American Heritage Series" in which Barton, along with co-host Rick Green, "navigates our nation’s unique religious, moral and constitutional heritage and answers the questions Americans are asking today."
Today, we noticed that a few of these programs had aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and were archived on its website. And so, being gluttons for punishment, we set about watching them.
In the episode entitled "Revival And Reformation," Green asked Barton just how people would know if a revival was taking place in the nation and Barton stated that the spiritual changes brought about by revival lead to political changes, so one of the signs of revival is that society stops tolerating homosexuality: