David Barton Makes the Misleading Case for Politicizing Houses of Worship

Religious-righters are upset that President Trump and congressional Republicans failed to repeal the so-called "Johnson Amendment" in last year's big tax bill. Last week David Barton, the prominent religious-right huckster and phony historian from Texas, tried again to make the case for getting churches and other houses of worship even more involved in partisan politics. Not surprisingly, he did so by mischaracterizing what the Johnson Amendment actually does. Read More

Phony historian and religious-right pooh-bah David Barton and his sidekick Rick Green (who is seeking a seat on the Texas Supreme Court) hosted one of the country’s most notorious anti-Muslim hysterics on their radio program this week.

The WallBuilders Live! program Monday and Tuesday featured a discussion with Frank Gaffney, a man the Southern Poverty Law Center compares to the notorious Red-baiter Joseph McCarthy, the late senator from Wisconsin. From an SPLC brief on Gaffney:

If Frank Gaffney Jr. had his way, average hard-working Americans of the Muslim faith would be dragged before Congress to face such questions as, “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood?” In Gaffney’s mind, America is in peril, and bringing back the notorious Cold War-era House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) would expose the subversives he imagines are working to implement Shariah religious law throughout the land.

The SPLC notes that Gaffney’s “wild-eyed accusations,” “smears” and “innuendo” have led to condemnation from even GOP leaders like Sen. John McCain and then-House Speaker John Boehner. According to the SPLC, in 2011 Gaffney made the outrageous claim that a top aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was part of a clandestine “Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy.” That same year the Conservative Political… Read More

Ethics-challenged Rick Green, longtime sidekick of religious-right propagandist David Barton, is trying once again to win a seat on the Texas Supreme Court. He filed this week for the high court’s Place 5. He’ll face incumbent Paul Green in the Republican primary.

Rick Green co-hosts the WallBuilders Live! radio program with Barton. Barton is the founder and head of WallBuilders, a religious-right organization that portrays separation of church and state as a constitutional “myth” and argues that America’s founders intended to create a distinctly Christian nation with laws based on a fundamentalist reading of the Bible.

Green served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives, losing a re-election race in 2002. He also lost a 2010 race for the Supreme Court. When he filed for that last election, the Dallas Morning News noted Green’s ethics-challenged history in public office:

While in the House from 1998 to 2002, Green drew fire for using his Capitol office as the backdrop for a health supplement infomercial. He also came under scrutiny for successfully arguing before the parole board for early release of a man convicted of defrauding investors (who just happened to have loaned $400,000 to Green’s father’s company); allegedly pressuring the state health department on behalf… Read More

On his Monday WallBuilders Live! radio program, phony historian and religious-right propagandist David Barton decided to lecture Pope Francis about the advice he gets. Yeah, seriously.

Barton and his sidekick Rick Green invited anti-climate science crank William Briggs on their show to criticize Pope Francis for his June encyclical calling climate change a “principal challenge” for humanity. International leaders and climate scientists have praised the encyclical. Right-wing pressure groups and political activists hated it. (Natch.)

So it wasn’t really surprising to hear Barton, Green and Briggs denounce the pope’s encyclical. But it was a little startling to hear them attack the pontiff for listening to people they described as atheists, abortion supporters and “global warming fanatics.” Barton even conflated political positions on issues like free market economics and climate science with being pro- or anti-God.

Here is Barton talking to Green in one segment of the show:

Barton: “The pope has done some really good things since he’s become pope. But it’s now coming out that some of the counsel he is given, some of the advice he is given, some of the encyclicals that are coming out, are being drafted by people who are his counselors who happen to be atheists, who also happen… Read More

Well, maybe not your money. But Rick Green is trying to talk gullible right-wingers into forking over $45,000 to fund a vanity project — a “reality show” featuring his family traveling the country and teaching folks about America:

“Red, White, Blue, & Green” is an entertaining message of hope for America as you follow the Green Family on their mission to restore an appreciation and passion for the principles that made America the greatest nation in the history of the world!

That’s from the project’s Kickstarter page. Green, who works as a speaker for David Barton‘s WallBuilders and is Barton’s sidekick on their web/radio program, explains more about the rationale for “Red, White, Blue & Green” on his website. This isn’t just any reality show, Green writes:

This one stars one of my all-time favorite families traveling the nation’s historical sites and teaching about American exceptionalism and our Constitution!

The Green Family is one of the most fun-loving families I know, but they unite fun with purpose as they pursue their shared goal of rekindling the torch of liberty in America. They have been traveling and speaking across the nation for years, and… Read More

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