On last night's The Daily Show, rabid fundie whacko and founder of Wallbuilders David Barton was on to spew even more of his patent falsehoods, such as "the USA is a [Evangelical Conservative] Christian Nation" bullshit. He has a long history of serial lies stretching from Mexico City to Edmonton, which both Mainline and even some Evangelical theologians have debunked. He is even endorsing the mainstreamization of previously fringe 7 Mountains Dominionism.
It appears now that David Barton has to mislead others to cover-up his own falsehoods.
He also dismisses historians who disagree with him simply as secularists. But many of his major critics are indeed Christian historians, such as J. Brent Walker of the Baptist Joint Committee, John Fea of Messiah College and Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College. Barton may be an expert in dodging questions, but he has holds little respect for the study of history.
Here are some key points of Barton's distortions:
A synoposis on Barton:
Barton is a largely self-educated historian whose academic
credentials are a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral
Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate
of Letters from Pensacola Christian College. His
WallBuilders enterprise, through which he publishes
books and videos and travels the country to promote his
ideas and campaign for Republican officials, includes
both nonprofit and for-profit arms.
Barton says the Christian America he wants to create is not
a theocracy, but it would clearly be an America in which
religious minorities would have to settle for schools and other
governmental institutions promoting Barton’s version of
Christianity in every realm of life.
Barton, like other Religious Right leaders, has been
increasingly embracing Seven Mountains Dominionism,
which teaches that certain kinds of Christians are meant by
God to dominate every sphere of society. Barton quotes Jesus
telling his followers to “occupy till I come.” Although that
quote comes from a parable, it’s a favorite of dominionist
speakers who believe it affirms their belief that Christians are
meant to be running the nation and the world. Barton serves
on the board of the dominionist Providence Foundation,
which claims to have trained tens of thousands of leaders on
behalf of its mission, which is “to spread liberty, justice, and
prosperity among the nations by instructing individuals in a
He is a GOP Shill:
Barton is an unabashed partisan. He was vice-chair of the Texas
Republican Party from 1997-2006 and has recently helped
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Religious Right favorite, peddle his
book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington.
Barton tells pastors that the GOP is their “logical home if
you’re concerned about Biblical issues” since “it’s very clear in
the party platforms that one party does support traditional
marriage and opposes abortion and supports school prayer—
and the other opposes that.”
Barton also campaigned for the McCain/Palin ticket
in 2008. That year, he cited four factors he considers
when deciding how to vote in presidential elections in
a Fire Away Friday conversation sold by the American
Family Association as a DVD entitled Christianity and
Politics: Do they Mix?:
1. What are you going to do on judges?
2. What are you going to do on right to life?
3. Where are they on homosexuality – do they
understand absolute moral rights and wrongs or put
the Bible on the back shelf?
4. Acknowledgement of God. If we keep religion at
church and out of the public arena we’re going to miss
blessings that come from the acknowledgment of God.
He misleads on history:
Barton’s long years of promoting a vision of a non-secular
American government created by and for Christians prepared
him well for the current political moment, in which right-wing
pundits, leaders of the Tea Party movement, and increasingly,
the Republican Party, are turning the idea of a divinely
ordained “American Exceptionalism” into a political weapon
against President Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, and
liberals in general.
Barton also insists that the U.S. Constitution was not meant
to be a secular document. The First Amendment prohibits
an establishment of religion and the Constitution includes an
explicit ban on religious tests for public office, and its authors
did not include any assertion of divine origin or blessing, but Barton has a theory.
Barton is undeterred by such criticism. Instead, he insists that
he is revealing to Americans the inspiring truth about their
country that has been hidden by academic and media elites,
who have conspired to keep Americans in the dark about the
religious intentions of the nation’s founders.
He dislikes anyone who isn't an Evangelical Christian Conservative and hates "secular liberals":
When Rep. Keith Ellison was elected to the House of
Representatives from Minnesota in 2006, Ellison—the first
Muslim in Congress— chose to use a Koran once owned
by Thomas Jefferson for his private ceremonial swearingin
(the actual swearing-in takes place on the floor of the
House of Representatives in a group). Some conservative
Christians reacted with anger to that decision; Barton
defended those reactions by citing 19th-century history as
a reason Americans are right to be worried about a Muslim
Barton says other faiths should be able to pray,
too, but only according to their representation
in a given community. Christian prayers, then,
would dominate in most places.
Smaller faiths are owed no more by the majority,
he believes. Above all else, Barton believes that
America was founded on Christianity.
He has written and spoken approvingly of early
state constitutions that required officeholders
to profess “faith in God the Father, and in Jesus
Christ His only Son.”
But secularists still top the
list of Barton’s enemies.
As part of his tireless efforts to promote the Republican
Party, Barton has peddled a one-sided “documentary”
called Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black
& White, which is designed to help the GOP reach out to
black voters by blaming the Democratic Party for slavery,
lynching, and Jim Crow. That documentary was a focus of
People For the American Way Foundation’s 2006 report
on Barton, Propaganda Masquerading as History. Barton’s
film credits the GOP with the passage of civil rights
legislation in the 1960s. Not so surprisingly, his history
stops there, ignoring the decades of GOP power-building
in the south based on fanning racial resentment among conservative white voters. Barton continues to promote
his ideologically blinkered history of race in America,
devoting his WallBuilders Live radio show in the first
week of March 2011 to a recap of Setting the Record
Barton frames the details for maximum impact
on contemporary politics, to an increasingly
growing audience. Like Barton’s larger revisionist
effort to develop and perpetuate the narrative
that America is a “Christian nation,” the
narrative is not entirely fictive. Some
historical points Barton makes are true; but he
and his star pupil Beck manipulate those points
along with false historical claims in order to promote their political agenda.
He is a well-known homophobe:
Barton believes the government should regulate gay
sex, relying on bogus claims about gay people to make
his case, such as “homosexuals die decades earlier than
heterosexuals.” Barton has also maintained that countries
that “rejected sexual regulation” have inevitably collapsed.
He has griped that “if there’s a group in America that is
hypersensitive, it is homosexuals. I mean, they got a short
fuse on everything.” Not surprisingly, Barton opposes
marriage equality and has campaigned for state restrictions
on legal equality.
He's playing the debunked "'homosexual agenda' invading America" card:
Barton: They generate and start. It goes back to the question Jesus asks, “What’s it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?” The question I gotta ask is, what’s it worth to you to gain everything you want and lose your kids?
Because unless you’re willing to monitor what’s going on in that classroom, I guarantee you they are getting homosexual indoctrination. I don’t care whether you’re in a rural area or not, because this is so much a part of textbooks, so much a part of curricular stuff, so much a part of what goes on with other kids. We see it too often in lawsuits, we hear of accounts like this, and we hear of dozens of other accounts where nothing’s ever done. You better get on top of what’s being taught to your kids.
He falsely accuses Liberals of being "judicial activists who want to erode the
Barton has been an active participant in the long-running
Religious Right campaign to impose ideological domination
on the federal judiciary. He has published “Restraining
Judicial Activism,” a book calling for the impeachment
of federal judges who don’t interpret the Constitution the
same way he does. And he has argued that members of
Congress should use the threat of impeachment as a way
to intimidate federal judges into falling in line. Barton
has celebrated Iowa voters’ rejection of pro-equality state
Supreme Court justices last November as a signal to the
U.S. Supreme Court.
In fact, Barton says judges are his number one voting issue
when it comes to electing a president, citing the prophet
Isaiah saying that the righteousness of a land will be based
on its judges.
He supports union-busting and anti-Minimum Wage garbage:
Religious Right activist David Barton promotes
his version of American Exceptionalism (America
was created by its divinely inspired founders as a
country of, by, and for evangelical Christians) and
Biblical capitalism (Jesus and the Bible oppose
progressive taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes,
and minimum wage laws). Claiming divine backing
is a long-standing Religious Right technique with
a powerful political edge: "if God supports radically
limited government, then progressive policies are not only wrong but evil, and liberals are not only political opponents but enemies of God."
Barton also enlists Jesus in the
war against unions and collective
bargaining. According to Barton, a
parable from the 20th chapter of the
book of Matthew about the owner
of a vineyard making different
arrangements with workers was about “the right
of private contract” – in other words, the right of
employers to come to individual agreements with
each employee. Jesus’ parable, he said, is “antiminimum
wage” and “anti-socialist-union kind of
He even tries to claim net neutrality is unbiblical:
David Barton: But we talk about it today because it is a principle of free market. That’s a Biblical principle, that’s a historical principle, we have all these quotes from Ben Franklin, and Jefferson and Washington and others on free market and how important that is to maintain. That is part of the reason we have prosperity. This is what the Pilgrims brought in, the Puritans brought in, this is free market mentality. Net Neutrality sounds really good, but it is socialism on the Internet.
David Barton: This is the Fairness Doctrine applied to the Internet, and I’ll go back to what I believed for a long time is: fair is a word no Christian should ever use in their vocabulary. Fair has nothing to do with anything. What you want is justice, you don’t want fairness. Fairness is subjective, what I think is fair, what you think, what happened to Jesus wasn’t fair. That’s right, but we needed justice so God did that for us.
Here are the videos for his appearance on last night's show:
From the 05.04.2011 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show: