Andy Kopsa

Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality

Glenn Beck & David Barton host Lie-a-palooza 2010

I would never typically write about Glenn Beck.  He is repugnant, but is an entertainer that will be the cause of his own tearful, tea-bagging downfall. My tune has changed a bit in the last 48 hours as Mr. Beck now joins forces with David Barton, a politically connected right-wing Christian zealot, to hold a blow-out lie fest called “American Revival” .

David Barton founded a history ministry called  WallBuilders. Barton is a pseudo-historian espousing the falsehood that the Founders, guided by God, established “Christian Nation” in the body of the Constitution (and other historical writings) though the document makes no reference to the deity.

The WallBuilders website has page after page after page of “proof” of a Christian Nation.  Barton’s lies about the Founding, misquotes of the Founders and mastery of non-contextual “facts” has been rebuked many times over by secular and Christian organizations alike.

In his article “Historical Revisionism and the Religious Right” Nicholas P. Miller writes of the WallBuilders’ falsehoods for Christian Ethics Today:

  • “Those who advocate the enshrinement of uniquely Christian values in the laws of our land are literally advocating that force be used to coerce people to conform to spiritual ideals.” and;
  • “Considering the fallacies of its [Wallbuilders] arguments,“Mythbuilders” is the one title that really fits.”

David Barton, and his WallBuilders, are intellectual and constitutional poison. Holding a degree in Christian Education from Oral Roberts University, Barton struck out politically to take this nation back for God.

Barton was hired by the RNC in 2004 to get President Bush back into the White House by specifically using his religious network to recruit pastors to politick from the pulpit.  He also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Texas Republican Party from 1997-2006.

Glenn, starstruck,  writes of Barton on his website in a plug for the March 27 “revival” in Orlando, Florida:

  • “David Barton is going to be the first one [expert] and we’re going to talk about the meaning of faith in America. All the lies that you have been told, that this isn’t a nation of faith, that religion played no role. I’m sure  you will be stunned when you learn and see the real history that is no longer taught. Hope. Hope comes from the truth. And you don’t have the truth, you have false hope and that’s what we have now.” (www.glennbeck.com)

Last year Barton, in an egregiously perverse move by the Texas Educational Association was appointed to sit as an “expert”  in judgement over the Social Studies Curriculum for Texas Public Schools. The TEA and the Texas Board of Education elevated Barton to level of historical expert.

When I heard about what was happening in Texas, and after reading his report to the Texas BOE, I remember David Barton’s name being mentioned in Jeff Sharlet’s book “The Family”.

“The Family” is Mr. Sharlet’s insider look at the highly secretive and politically powerful Christian fellowship that came into the main stream light recently in the C Street sex scandal, and their involvement in Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.

I sent a brief note to Mr. Sharlet:

  • “I read your book and caught this interview [on the Rachel Maddow Show].  I am particularly interested — at this point — in the WallBuilders organization.  You mention David Barton only once in your book.  Do you find them to be a real threat?”

He was kind enough to send a reply:

  • “Andy — Wallbuilders’ falsification of history probably does represent a challenge and perhaps even a threat to the possibility of real democratic debate, especially given the number of followers Barton claims in Congress. Fundamentalists who want to debate the interpretation of history are participating in the democratic process; but people like Barton, who essentially erase history, are trying to make an end run around it.” (Jeff Sharlet)
The WallBuilders, David Barton and Glenn Beck are assuredly trying to make an end run around it.
The good news is that Barton is going mainstream. Glenn Beck embracing him can only be a good thing to further an informed electorate.  For too long, Barton he has been a back scenes operator, moving through Texas politics and working behind the curtain in national political campaigns.  There will likely be a groundswell of Barton lovers initially, flocking to sunny Orlando, Florida to hear the man speak, buy his books, maybe get an autograph.
But, akin to Sarah Palin  - once she started publicly blabbing in earnest  — her approval ratings  plummeted.  Like cleaning out a wound, exposing an utter fraud and liar like David Barton is the only way to go.

Sources, further reading:

4 comments on “Glenn Beck & David Barton host Lie-a-palooza 2010

  1. glennbeckbulletin
    June 3, 2010

    Get more of the facts about Beck at The Glenn Beck Review, http://sharethisurlaboutglenbek.wordpress.com It covers his deceit and his hypocrisy and shows how unqualified he is to address any complicated issue.

  2. Taylor
    September 11, 2011

    This article provides no evidence that Mr. Barton has falsified history. You may not be happy with the way Mr. Barton has presented the information but your unsatisfaction does not eliminate a single word of truth that David Barton has brought to the surface. Our nation needs revival…David Barton has given us the solution.

  3. Clay
    February 17, 2012

    How many of Wallbuilders and Barton’s debunkers have actually cross-referenced his materials with other historical works? That is by going back as far as Barton has and as deep as he has. Probably few to none. Check out what he has on your own and then you’ll hold your tongue unless it fell out from astonishment that our country was founded on Christian principals.

  4. usgrant7
    May 6, 2012

    I read a lot of critical comments concerning David Barton. I see a concerted campaign to discredit him. These things I know to be true. But after searching for a while, the only person using references to make his case is David Barton. You have the freedom to call the man a liar and distorter of truth, but I have a feeling the “People for the American Way” and “Penn and Teller” owe their aliegance to something other than truth.
    This being said, I am not sure that Glenn Beck or David Barton have an agenda that is right for Christians to espouse. The truely faithful Christ followers approach social issues on a one-on-one basis, and don’t seek to profit on social movements. If Glenn or David were really about changing the world around them for the better, their message would challenge people on where they stand with God, as individuals, and not as ahearants to certain messages from which they clearly have a financial interest.
    Being a Christian means following Christ, and not following some personality.
    I think the apostle Paul said it best:
    “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1Co 1:12-18)

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