David Barton, Jesus and Taxes

The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the fringe-right American Family Association as a hate group, but that didn’t stop politicians from flocking to AFA’s religious-right confab in Iowa this weekend. Yesterday, for example, maybe-presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke at the event, and he praised another speaker we’re all familiar with: phony historian David Barton, who says separation of church and state is a myth and has flirted with white supremacist groups. Mother Jones quotes Gingrich:

“I never listen to David Barton without learning a whole lot of new things. It’s amazing how much he knows and how consistently he applies that knowledge.”

And what did Gingrich learn during Barton’s speech at the event? Well, Jesus hates taxes — progressive income taxes, estate taxes, even the capital gains tax:

“Jesus has two entire teachings on the capital gains tax.”

Seriously, David? Oh, and Barton says Jesus doesn’t like the minimum wage either. One might be excused for wondering which Holy Book Barton is sourcing on all this: the Bible or the Republican Party platform?

“Real simple stuff,” Barton says during his speech. Yeah, very simple: Barton is a master propagandist who uses faith as a political weapon to divide Americans and promote his hard-right ideological views.

Right Wing Watch from People for the American Way has more, including a short video clip of Barton’s speech in Iowa:


13 thoughts on “David Barton, Jesus and Taxes

  1. Just wait and see folks. This guy has done all of this crap for one reason and one reason only—the day he announces that he is personally running for some public office—in an attempt to capitalize on his fame—fame that has been generated from suckering rhubarbs from sea to shining sea. He’s 56 years old now and time is a wastin’. I expect that announcement to come any day now. Y’all just remember that you heard it here from old Charlie first. I wonder what office it will be?

  2. The way I remember it the religious establishment tried to pull a win-win by asking Jesus about paying taxes hoping that he would either endorse it (thus allowig them to paint him as a Roman stooge) or to condemn it (allowing them to have him arrested for incitement of tax dodging). The result was the famous “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s*.” Although there is (reasonably) still discussion what and how much actually is ‘Caesar’s’, it can’t be properly read as an anti-tax teaching.

    *10% of income iirc, as far as the purely financial part goes 😉

  3. @Hartmut I totally agree. It’s also the Biblically-endorsed statement that pronounces the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, people don’t seem to recognize that little fact.

  4. I have checked the King James Version of the Bible, approved by Christian fundamentalists from sea to shining sea. So far, I have checked only this one thing. Barton has said that Luke 19:13-26 and Matthew 25: 14-29 speak against the capital gains tax. Neither passage says anything directly or even remotely between the lines in interpretation about being against the capital gains tax.

    Several things appear to be telling here about how Barton propagates his deceptions in this case. For one thing, please note that he is in a room full of allies and friends. He knows that they want to believe everything he says. They do want to believe everything he says. Is anyone going to run home and look up the Bible verses. Absolutely not, because Mr. Barton is a good servant of the Lord and good servants do not lie to or deceive those they serve. No need. Yeah, right?

    Also, notice how he has deftly flashed references to these verses, often called proof texts by the fundies, only by the book, chapter, and verse range. He never displays the actual text of the verses nor does he explain how these verses somehow relate to a capital gains tax—unless he does that somewhere in his talk other than in the film clip TFN shows.

    Moreover, and this is very important, these verses are two different versions of a parable that Jesus told. The literary purpose of a parable is to illustrate a philosophical or spiritual point, in this case a point about level of personal commitment to a cause, which has nothing to do with finance, investment in stocks, and taxes of any kind in real life. If you look at how Jesus treats money in the rest of the New Testament, one thing is crystal clear, as the associate pastor at our church pointed out one morning in a recent sermon. Jesus holds money and money-related activity in very low esteem—about the level of esteem you would pay to a sheet of toilet paper with poop on it. In addition, in both versions of the parable, the master that highly esteems money above all else and is very hard-hearted about it is just the opposite of Jesus in regard to the esteem he gives to money and in the way he behaves. In short, Jesus portrays him as a “bad guy” in the parable. He uses the bad guy to illustrate a philosophical point, but the point is not about money or taxes. It is about a spiritual issue that has nothing to do with money per se. This is what you have to remember in the New Testament. Jesus is not on a mission for Prudential Equities and Fair Tax advocates in the 21st century. He is on a 1st century mission of spirituality and love for all centuries.

    In my opinion, from the foregoing analysis, Barton is engaging in a wholesale perversion of scripture to attain worldly ends. None of his true followers would ever believe that because they have either blinded themselves or the Force of Evil in this world has blinded them to the truth.

  5. I think that’s about it David—only it’s the extremely bad kind that has been trapped in place for many constipated years and has been cooking way too long at a baking temperature of 98.6 degrees F.

  6. A question: If separation of church and state is a myth, can we now levy taxes on church properties and perhaps enact a pew tax to help with our national debt?

  7. Barton to the unwashed masses:
    “Jesus loves me, but he can’t stand you!”
    With apologies to the Lounge Lizards.

  8. Wow, the Blush LimpBlah is now a reverend, he can take his place next to the other flakes like Jim Jones, Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, (all silly jimmy’s), Ted Haggard, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Franklin Gramham (son of Billy), John Hagee, and we can’t forget the rev. Mike Huckabee. Maybe LimpBlah next sermon will be about the scripture “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s”, found in the good book. But alas we probably hear more or the same lies that we heard today. He is such a windbag.

  9. Hi,
    What David Barton is saying about what the Bible or Jesus teaches about the estate tax, the capital gains tax, and the income tax are wrong. He is crazy!

  10. David Barton states, the progressive income tax is contrary to the teachings of the Bible based on these verses: Leviticus 22:32, Numbers 18, 28, 29, and Deuteronomy 14:22. He is wrong. There is nothing in these verses remotely related to the progressive income tax. However, Numbers 18: 7states: “Your work as priests is a gift from me, and anyone else who tries to do that work must be put to death.”
    Now, if David Barton was an anointed priest: he would know these Old Testament verses related to God, the temple or religious sacrifices—or Tithes: not a tax to a political state or government. Therefore, he must be put to death [silenced]. The same applies to the estate tax: the verses he uses to support his opinion mean something else—the same with the capital gains tax, and his statement: Jesus does not support the minimum wage—shows he is a quack. He is wrong on all four points.