Barton Finally Gets University Gig

Well, we can no longer accuse wannabe historian David Barton of never holding an actual teaching position at a university. He can now add “professor at Glenn Beck University” to his vita.

A fake university and a fake historian — a match made in heaven.

Barton’s latest collaboration with his new BFF Glenn Beck of Fox News is typical Barton propaganda.  Barton is serving as the instructor of an online class called Faith 101, which launched this week on Beck’s “Inside Extreme” website.  This and two other courses, Hope 101 and Charity 101, are part of what Beck calls “Beck University” — a title Beck admits he chose to annoy people who don’t agree with the Beckian brand of frequently false, deliberately divisive and always outrageous assertions about issues and people in the news.  Subscribers pay $9.95 a month, and more classes are promised when the current weekly series ends on September 1.

Barton’s first lecture was full of the ideological hyperbole and specious factual claims that TFN Insider readers have become accustom to hearing from Barton, including this gem:

That means the Declaration of Independence is nothing more than a listing of all the sermons that folks had been hearing in church in the two decades leading up to the American Revolution.

We’re surprised that didn’t make its way into Texas’ new social studies curriculum standards, since Barton was appointed to an “expert” panel that advised the Texas SBOE on their recent controversial revision of the standards.

Predictably, those being introduced for the first time to Barton’s brand of sacred history don’t know whether to laugh or scream. Check out this segment from MSNBC’s Countdown last night, which features longtime Barton fact-checker Chris Rodda, author of Liars for Jesus.


Other early reactions have been similarly incredulous, as with this first-hand account from a “student” Talking Points Memo enrolled in Barton’s class.

TFN respects the right of all people to express their religious views, of course, but political partisans like Barton and Beck aren’t entitled to their own facts. And if there is one good thing about Barton’s new-found partnership with Beck, it is that his fringe opinions will be subjected to a much larger audience of fact-checkers.

Welcome to the world of peer review, David.

15 thoughts on “Barton Finally Gets University Gig

  1. I wonder if they sell Glenn Beck U’s Master debater t-shirts.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    It would be nice if Chris Rodda would set out a program of counterpoints to Barton’s lies, and train up a cadre of people who would trail him around and debate him wherever he sets up shop.

  2. Barton’s been challenged before and it’s not a pretty sight. He has an “entourage” of “handlers” who hustle out anyone who questions the artist, er, con artist.

    Also, Barton is very careful to ply his trade on the weak-minded on their home turf. He’ll never give an open seminar at a university, excluding Liberty and Bob Jones as “universities.”

  3. I usually don’t translate the posts of my fellow posters. However, in Doc Bill’s post, it seems to me he is saying that Barton is not just a liar—but also a coward. Does that work for anyone here? Hey, I just translate what I see. Just sayin’.

  4. Can you imagine taking the Beck U. courses and then trying to transfer the credits when applying to a real university? They’d be laughing themselves silly in the admissions office! Well maybe not a Cynthia Dumbar’s alma mater Regent. No doubt they’d be most happy to accept the credits at that bastion of idiocy.

    Back in the ’80s I was living in Austin when Madalyn Murray O’hair was in her prime. She was a nasty piece of work to be sure but a very dedicated nasty piece of work. It’s a shame she wasn’t around to ride herd on Barton, Dumbar, McLeroy and the rest of the malignant far right tumors on the Texas School board. Madalyn sure knew how to get media attention.

    Speaking of Regent this from the quote archive: “Pat Roberston is a drooling fool so out of it he still talks to Reagan on the phone twice a day.”

  5. James’s parting shot brings up a question, and I think an important one. D. James Kennedy and Jerry Falwell are…as folks in my neighborhood would say—-“da-a-a-yu-u-u-u-d. Pat Robertson and James Dobson are within a hair’s diameter of meeting their maker and finding out that evolution really does happen and the Earth is not really 6000 years old. Paul Weyrich, Paige Patterson, and Judge Pressler are close too. John Hagee is up in years. Tim LaHaye is 84 and it seems unlikely that he or his wife will be raptured out of here. Phyllis Schafly is old enough to keel over from the next air puff during her glaucoma exam. In other words, the original founders and high priests of the Religious Right are close to checking out in one huge supernova.

    This raises many questions. What will happen then? Will their organizations die off? Will their causes become defunct for lack of leadership. I am sure most of you would say that there are many fruitcakes waiting in the wings to gladly replace them, but I am not so sure. Here is why. I sometimes see Pat Robertson’s son sitting in at The 700 Club. I can tell that his heart is not in it just by observing him. As soon as Paige Patterson and Judge Pressler die, I see Al Mohler and like-minded associates finally showing their true, nonsuck-up colors and leading a moderate (liberal) revolution in the Southern Baptist Convention. Anyone who knows the real, natural, everyday Al Mohler from many years ago knows for certain that his heart is not in it. Frank Schaeffer found his way out of it—another child who ditched the loonies, found the real Jesus Christ, and followed him in spite of this parents and L’Abri. Gary North carried over the Christian reconstruction legacy when Rushdoony died, but only because he was married to Rushdoony’s daughter. He too is up in years, and it is not clear to me who would replace him and whether they would have any real passion for that heretical nonsense.

    Back in the late 1970s, a lot of the big movie stars were retiring or dying out. The question arose as to who would replace them. One of the major national news magazines (TIME Magazine—I think) ran a huge spread in their entertainment section on the “The Great Movie Stars of the Future,” and they did a little synoptic profile on each one and talked about why they thought each one was headed to the top of the marquis. I had never heard of any of these people–complete strangers. It would be like me saying to you that the great movie stars of the future will be Marvin Davis, Joe Kincaid, and Emily Shrimpkiss. In retrospect, the actual names in that old magazine article consisted of people like Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, etc.

    I think TFN might be able to do the same for us. So let’s ask. Please get out your “crystal ball” TFN and tell us your prediction on IF there is a new generation of dedicated, passionate, up-and-coming Religious Right fruitcakes waiting to take center stage—or will the fruitiness and cakeness just die out—thus leaving TFN, the Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, United Methodists, Northern Baptists, and other more sane people/organizations to do God’s real work. If there is a whole new menu of young fruitcakes waiting to take center stage, who are they? Give us names so we can watch them closely—just like Sheriff John Brown in the old song—and “kill them before they can grow” (figuratively speaking of course). How about it TFN? Surely you have some ideas?

  6. When too much religion is never enough………………
    Beck and Barton: a merger of two great minds.
    A marriage made in heaven.

  7. This past week Chris Rodda posted an article on the Huffington Post website in which he details the fraudulent methodology employed by David Barton to support his egregious assertion that the majority of our founding documents were based on the Bible. Apparently Barton pushed this idea in a book he wrote in 1988. I don’t know what publishing house put that book out, probably the book publishing division of the National Enquirer. And the marketing theme? ” Buy this book and register to win a free UFO sighting!”

    Here’s the link:

  8. Chris Rodda deserves a medal or something for her persistent refutation of Barton’s lies.

  9. She deserves a more mainstream venue to state her case than just Huff-post and MSNBC. Today show, 60 min., GMA, Oprah.
    I love msnbc but the viewership patterns seem to have crystallized. Some people watch Fox, some watch Msnbc.

  10. re: fruitcakes waiting in the wings

    My money’s on Generation Joshua (“GenJ”). And, Christian homeschoolers who have been groomed from birth to “take back the land” for God.

    As for offspring of aging clergy, I’ve always had the same impression of Gordon Robertson; I see the opposite in the Grahams, however. It’s the son, Franklin, who’s the radical. I actually think that crazies like Phelps, North, Falwell aren’t as dangerous as people like Lee Strobel and Rick Warren, who put a friendly veneer on, basically, the same hateful ideas. Warren’s influence in California’s Prop 8 campaign is a good example, I think.

  11. I think that when the money starts to dry up they’ll start to lose power. When the “phase” our society’s going thru has played itself out.
    It’s sort of like a dying star. It’ loses energy and mass, and then it supernova-s and then it collapses into a super-dense body.
    That’s the trajectory we’ve been on since , well since the Renaissance, if you want to get particular, but certainly since WWII in this country.
    We need to get out of this “faith-based initiative” crap in the gov. that’s artificially supporting some of these folks.
    When organized religion is back to standing on it’s own two feet, instead of being propped up by government welfare, then it will be able to regain some integrity and credibility.
    Right now, these hucksters are raking in the dough off of their tax-exempt mega-church and televangelist rackets, but that will be a shrinking pond over time. Then they’ll get really outrageous and start eating one another alive.

  12. Funny, I was thinking about the idea of “organized religion on government welfare” just this morning after talking to a woman who (along with family members) has been financially devastated, w/o access to affordable health care. Instead our public funds go to obscene religious ogres who sneer at the suffering of people like her.