Now Barton Suggests Allowing Women to Vote Is Bad for Families

Just when you think David Barton‘s ideas can’t get any more archaic and offensive, he can surprise you. Today the religious right’s favorite phony historian and the head of Texas-based WallBuilders told listeners on his radio program that our nation’s founders didn’t allow women to vote because limiting the vote just to men protected the family.

In his response to a listener’s question about why women originally couldn’t vote in this country, the former Texas Republican Party vice chair explained that men — as “head of the family” — represented their family when voting. He went on to suggest that allowing women to vote has simply contributed to “family anarchy.” Our friends at Right Wing Watch transcribed Barton’s remarks:

And you have to remember back then, husband and wife, I mean the two were considered one. That is the biblical precept. That is the way they looked at them in the civil community. That is a family that is voting and so the head of the family is traditionally considered to be the husband and even biblically still continues to be so …

Now, as we’ve moved away from the family unit – you need to be independent from the family, don’t be chained down and be a mother and don’t be chained down and be a father and don’t be chained down to your parents, you know, we’ve moved into more of a family anarchy kind of thing, the ‘Modern Family’ kind of portrayal – that understanding has gone away.

Clearly, what [the listener] has asked is a brilliant question because it does reveal that the bigotry we’re told they held back then, they didn’t hold and what they did was they put the family unit higher than the government unit and they tried to work hard to keep the family together. And, as we can show in two or three hundred studies since then, the more you weaken the family, the more it hurts the entire culture and society.

So they had a strong culture, a strong society and it was based on a strong family to preceded government and they crafted their policies to protect a strong family.

In Barton’s world, apparently, women can’t be trusted to express their own opinions at the ballot box. Because if they disagree with their husbands, that’s bad for the family and — by extension — society. “Family anarchy,” as he puts it.

Of course, those kinds of attitudes are why legions of right-wing male legislators continue to pass laws that restrict women’s ability to control their own bodies and their own lives. Those male legislators think they know what’s best, you see. And they expect women to simply fall in line — whether within the family, in the halls of government or at the ballot box. Otherwise, it’s “anarchy.”

Right Wing Watch has audio of Barton’s remarks here.

16 thoughts on “Now Barton Suggests Allowing Women to Vote Is Bad for Families

  1. I have been in and around evangelical BS all my life and was a part of it and most evangelicals still hold to the biblical precept that women should shut up in church except to make sure the husband pays tithe and toes the line.

  2. Women’s lives were not always safe, orderly, and secure when men had a legal monopoly on votes, property, wages, and custody of minor children. There was a time when a man’s will had to stipulate that his wife could keep her clothing in the event of his death because even that was not her own; when a husband or father had all rights to a woman’s wages; when rape was considered a property crime.

    I started to write this comment with the words, “I’m sure Barton realizes… ” but then I remembered that I actually studied history and Barton did not.

  3. Barton’s mommy probably raised him on a diet of baloney and hot air. He probably thinks that only millionaires should be allowed to vote.

    1. Barton is probably like most of us in that he would prefer for no one to vote who doesn’t agree with him.

      The difference between him and most people is that Barton actually demands that his preference be encoded into law.

  4. Because the south is the Bible Belt and the Scots-Irish settled the Bible belt, let’s go to Ireland to find out the real reasons women were not allowed to vote for so very long:

    I will finish off with one handed down to me from adults in my own family when I was a kid:

    “Women cannot be elected to head a nation. Their mothering instincts would kick in if the nation ever had to go to war, and they would fight with the same viciousness that a mother in the animal kingdom uses to protect her cubs from predators. The result would be an appalling level of savagery and butchery the likes of which mankind has never seen.”

    Truth is: Jesus liberated women. He knew they could do this, or he would have never given them the ability to do it.

    How ’bout them apples?

  5. Yeah, rich planters voted for the interests of their slaves, too. Anybody ever think that families are fading because we became a plutocracy that off-shored jobs and broke unions, making the two-earner family the norm?

  6. I read stuff like this and think, “Nobody still believes that crap, do they?” I mean it’s like believing the world is flat — nobody believes that anymore. Oh, wait, some do. Nevermind.

  7. Once again, the widow is left completely out. Now, biblical “Word,” would have me placed with my late husband’s brother’s family. He had no brother, and the rest of his family refused to have anything to do with me, because if they acknowledge me, they will have to share the family fortune with me, so they think. I don’t want it. I am not entitled to it. Papa-in-law can leave it to the home for wayward polo ponies if he wants to. But, anyway, who votes for me? Same person as the one they have taking care of me, I guess. No one.

  8. Barton is an idiot, a jerk, and a liar, but you’ve got to give him credit for being an innovator. He has changed the definition of “historian” from “a person who researches past events and writes reasoned accounts of the past based on evidence” to “a guy who just makes stuff up and then claims that it’s history.”

  9. those of those who watch the Patriarchy movement, this is not a surprise. They have been headed this way for many years, Barton’s just the one dumb enough to state it outloud.