Glenn Beck's History Lessons Appear to Be as Bad as David Barton's

by Dan Quinn

Right-wing radio and television host Glenn Beck and WallBuilders founder David Barton have some interesting similarities. They both live near Fort Worth. Barton has been a repeat guest on Beck’s programs. Both are demagogues. And both twist historical facts to promote their political views.

For example, our friends at Right Wing Watch caught Beck misleading his audience at the Values Voter Summit in the nation’s capital last weekend. The annual event brings together religious-right activists and groups like the American Family Association for a weekend of political diatribes. The rhetoric gets so extreme that another Texas speaker this past weekend, Republican U.S. Rep. Louie “Terror Babies” Gohmert, told the audience that GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona supports al Qaeda.

Anyway, playing to the religious right’s persecution complex, Beck told the audience that the German Nazis persecuted “Bible scholars” — anyone, he said, who “knew anything about the Bible” — before and during World War II. He explained that those “Bible scholars” wore a purple triangle in the Nazi concentration camps.

But Beck was promoting bad history, as Right Wing Watch points out. The purple triangle was used to designate Jehovah’s Witnesses, who at the time were known as Bible Students or Bibelforscher. Think we’ll hear a correction from Beck? Don’t hold your breath.

By the way, Beck also went on to claim that the religious right doesn’t want to impose its own religious views on others. Well, then maybe he should ask his buddy Barton why he argues that atheists, Muslims and other religious minorities shouldn’t have the same freedoms as other Americans. Or why he wants government to “regulate homosexuality”. Or why he argues that the Bible supports his radical anti-tax and anti-government political views. We’d love to hear the answers to those questions.