David Barton, recently given a national forum by Fox News host Glenn Beck to promote his revisionist version of American history, has donned his “biblical scholar” hat yet again. This time Barton has declared that “it’s God, not man, who establishes the borders of nations,” a writer for Religion Dispatches reports. Barton’s statement came on his July 26 radio program about illegal immigration, during which he referred to Scripture and said:
“When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he’s the one who set up boundaries for the nations. National boundaries are set by God; he is the one who drew up the lines for the nations. If you have open borders you say, ‘God you goofed it all up.'”
Barton, of course, created plenty of havoc with his historical revisionism as a member of a s0-called “expert” panel advising the State Board of Education, teachers and (real) scholars working to revise social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools last year. That revisionism is doubtless quite comforting to right-wing supporters of the Texas-based WallBuilders organization Barton founded. He uses WallBuilders to promote his argument that the Founders really didn’t want to keep government and religion separate. They wanted, he insists, our laws and society to be based on a narrow, fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.
More objective observers — including real religious scholars and real historians — can be excused for rolling their eyes when reading such claims. They know the reverence the Founders expressed for religious freedom and to the importance of protecting that freedom by keeping church and state separate.
Unhappily, however, far-right state board members embraced Barton’s misguided notions when they vandalized the proposed social studies curriculum standards. That harsh reality should be discomforting to Texans who believe that what schoolchildren are taught should be based on sound scholarship, not personal and political agendas and certainly not on the arguments of propaganda artists posing as “scholars.”
11 thoughts on “Barton: God Drew the Borders”
Oh geez, TFN wrote above:
“….the importance of protecting that freedom by keeping church and state separate.”
Oh Puh-LEEZE, TFN!!! Please don’t write stuff that’s only going to inspire Gene to treat us to another one of his essays.
As for God “drawing borders,” God can’t seem to make up his/her/its mind since borders keep changing. What’s up with that, Barton, eh?
TFN also wrote above:
“They [the Founders] wanted, he insists, our laws and society to be based on a narrow, fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.”
David Barton just can’t satisfy his need to prove how stupid he is. I bet he hasn’t a clue what the 613 Commandments command. I’ll bet he doesn’t even know there are 613 commandments. Someone should point him to the website Judaism 101 for a quick reference. He might be amazed to discover what it is he is advocating.
Funny… I don’t recall there being anything in the bible (lower-case ‘b’ on purpose) about the borders of the USA and Mexico. S**t… I don’t recall anyting being said about our nation’s borders in the bible.
If sh**s like him are going to take the bible literally then they should really refrain from saying anything about America, the Founding Fathers, etc. because there is absolutely no mention of either in the bible.
I have some new headlines for you TFN:
“David Barton: Borders of Evil Soviet Empire Drawn by God!!!”
Borders of 1941 Japanese Empire Established by Jesus!!!
Nazi Tanks Cross Polish Border: Jesus Rewrites German Boundaries!!!
People of Texas. How long are you going to let this fruitcake politician and his friends on the Texas SBOE control the education of your children? What more does it take for you to recognize that these school politicians have gone looney tunes? All of you have said that you are fed up with politicians and that 2010 is the official year for “booting incumbent politicians.” Give some thought as to where it might be most appropriate to start.
Gollee gee, I used to teach my students that national boundaries were created by politicians after wars. Too bad I didn’t have Barton around to pout me straight. Please, David, tell us how we acquired the Southwest and Puerto Rica and Guam.
Ha, y’all crack me up. Yeah, God sure seems to be hemming and hawing over the borders of Israel/Palestine. For years maps have been displaying certain areas as “Disputed Territory.” So is God some kind of schizo, needing a strait-jacket? And what’s with “God” giving back the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, eh? I’d say “God” has some ‘splainin’ to do.
Charles, the questions you pose in your text are falling on blind eyes. Remember, Texas is a RED state. The majority here have drunk the Kool-aid: fruitcake politicians and their friends are exactly what the majority of Red Texas wants on its SBOE.
For the ones, perhaps only a few, who really do want to kick some well-deserving incumbent politicians in the seat of the pants just to show them that the American people are the boss, I am suggesting that a good house cleaning always begins at home. The right wing extremists on the Texas SBOE? When the carpet has ground in dirt and all the furniture is covered with dust, break out the vacuum cleaner and a can of Pledge!!!!!
Can you catch “dumba$$” from a toilet seat?
May need some Bon-ami.
Ok, Barton, you’ve passed the entrance exam! Congratulations!!!
Please print out this certificate and present it at the gates of the Glenn Beck House of the Mentally Ill. A frontal lobotomy is usually all they do, but that is enough to knock some sense into your skull.
You are confusing the land borders that the Jewish people were dolled out. As for the 613 commandments (actually 623 including the ten suggestions) those apply to those living in the land of Israel and to different types of people, i.e. farmers, builders, etc. It would be hard for someone to give up the first fruits of a tree if someone did not own a tree.
Now hang on a second, Cytocop. Gd DID mention the United States. It can be found in Genesis where it says that Noah opened up the Ark and saw. Over in Acts, the car is mentioned where is says “And they were all in one Accord.”
Only the uneducated would think that the bible was meant to be read literally. Glenn Beck, Barton et al believe just about anything because they’ve never studied it else it would be understood instantly that it cannot be read word for word. The books are open to interpretation. I’ll let one parable stand for all: Noah and the flood. It says “the whole world.” REALLY? The whole KNOWN world at that time, but not the entire planet.
Yes, Bev, but what about the sea shells that are found in deserts? Answer THAT. Okay, I will. The areas in what are not deserts were once oceans. Sea fossils do not develop in 40 days. We were not meant to be stupid, we were meant to understand why such-and-such is mentioned. For example, Sodom. It wasn’t homosexual activity that caused the place to go up in smoke, it was GREED. The residents there would rather see someone dying of thirst die than give them a drink of water. What was theirs was THEIRS and nobody could have something they didn’t have.
It reminds me of the Republican party. They want a small government until someone gores THEIR ox and then they want the government to “do something about it.” A miracle occurs when a person becomes a Republican. Their hearts disappear but somehow they still live. They are this generation’s Sodomites.
Barton at once amuses me and ticks me off at the same time. The problem is that so many Texans are like him; ignorant and proud of it!
I wonder what kind of car Barton drives? I’d like to find it and, when he’s not looking, slap a “Darwin Loves You” bumper sticker on that sucker.
There is so much to work with here.
Why are these people so different from our Grandmothers who donned their “Sunday finest” and their cute hats (until the mid -60’s or thereabouts), and whom Phyllis Shafly attempts to emulate?
They represent a simulacrum of the old time religion.
Part of it is the influence of televangelism. People are content to lay around in the squalor of American consumerism and get their religion over the boob tube.
I remember the smell of talcum powder within a certain vicinity of my grandmother, and I remember the paper fans with the picture of a blue eyed Jesus holding a lamb and with the name of the church or the local funeral parlor. I remember the swamp coolers in the back of the old church creating a bass line hum for the whole service and the hint of coolness.
Now the profane spectacle of NFL football is of much greater importance than any church service.
How many of these true believers of today were converted out of the depths of their cocaine/alcohol/ sex addiction in the ’80’s?
Quite a few. How quickly they forget.
It’s their self-doubt, and their own lack of faith, that creates this political definition of their religion.
“From one man He created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and He determined their boundaries” – Acts 17:26