Following is even more proof that self-styled “historian” David Barton is little more than a propaganda artist: now he’s rewriting his own history. Yet Barton’s distorted versions of history are still getting traction on the political right, as Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston demonstrated last week.

Let’s start with Barton.

The president of Texas-based WallBuilders, an organization dedicated to rewriting American history and rejecting separation of church and state, has faced a number of embarrassments lately. Last year a religious publisher halted publication of Barton’s book about Thomas Jefferson, citing factual errors throughout. That came just weeks after Christian conservative scholars panned Barton’s work. Earlier this year writer Chris Rodda discovered that Barton had used a Louis L’Amour novel as a source for historical claims about 1800s America. We also caught Barton spreading falsehoods, including his false claim last fall that President Obama had ignored “God” in his four Thanksgiving proclamations.

Now it looks like Barton is trying to paper over one of his biggest blunders: bogus quotations he has in the past attributed to some of America’s Founders and various other important figures in our nation’s… Read More

We expected all kinds of crazy when East Texas Congressman Louie “Terror Babies” Gohmert joined David Barton and Rick Green on the latter duo’s WallBuilders Live radio program on Monday. And sure enough, that’s what we got.

The three agreed, for example, that the Southern Poverty Law Center — one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations — has been “linked to domestic terrorism” (not true, unless by “linked” they mean in the fevered imaginations of right-wing fanatics). But, as our friends at Right Wing Watch report, the crazy really bubbled over when Gohmert started talking about sex education. Gohmert, who clearly doesn’t understand what sex education is, wondered why anyone needs to teach kids how to have sex since “mankind has existed for a pretty long time without anyone ever having to give a sex-ed lesson to anybody.” And then his paranoia gene kicked in, leading him to link the issue of sex education to life in the old Soviet Union:

Let the kids be innocent. Let them dream. Let them play. Let them enjoy their life. You don’t have to force this sexuality stuff into their life at… Read More

Blogger and psychology professor Warren Throckmorton has a new piece up exposing how David Barton, the pseudo-historian who founded the religious-right organization WallBuilders in Texas, is trying to cover up errors in his historical work. Barton’s apparent strategy: revise his claims but don’t tell anyone about those corrections.

Throckmorton points out how a Barton tour of the U.S. Capitol for the far-right group Family Research Council in 2007 was turned into an FRC video presentation. In that video Barton makes various assertions about the intentions of the nation’s founders. A number of those assertions are distortions, and Throckmorton writes that 34 Christian historians and social scientists asked FRC to remove the video from You Tube. FRC recently made the video private on its You Tube page. Then Barton revised the video and posted it on his WallBuilders site. (Throckmorton includes both versions of the video in his blog post.)

Throckmorton goes on to list a number of revisions in Barton’s new video — revisions Barton apparently made without any announcement or other public acknowledgement that his old video was filled with distortions. Some of the changes are fairly subtle (though still significant).… Read More

First, credit to our friends at Right Wing Watch for capturing the audio below.

Next, there’s not much that can be added. David Barton‘s comments today, that AIDS is punishment against gays, are vile and speak for themselves. Equally vile is what he added, that if the all-powerful God is somehow bested by humanity and a cure for AIDS is found, God will simply try again and come up with another disease.

Comments are transcribed below, followed by the audio from Barton’s radio show.

I’ve gone on record before, and I’ll say it again: I think Romans 1:27 is one of the reasons that we’ll never find a complete cure for AIDS; and if we do there will be another disease pop up like this bacterial meningitis because the Bible says this, Romans 1:27 says ‘men committed shameful acts with other men, sexual acts, and received in themselves the due penalty for the error.’

There is going to be a consequence for this type of sexual behavior, so even if we find a cure for AIDS, something like bacterial meningitis is going to pop up; if we cure that, something else is going to… Read More

David Barton, the religious right’s favorite pseudo-historian, is promoting a disputed Heritage Foundation study that says immigration reform will cost taxpayers trillions of dollars in welfare and other public costs. We’ll leave to pro-reform groups to argue why the Heritage study is flawed. (But we’ll note that some conservative are arguing that immigration reform would lower the deficit. Moreover, the Social Security Administration says it would boost Social Security.)

We also won’t quibble here over Barton’s portrayal of reform as “amnesty.” But we do think it’s interesting that the study Barton is promoting was co-authored by someone with some stunning views on race and intelligence.

Co-author Jason Richwine has also argued in the past that immigrants on average have lower IQs than white Americans and that at least part of the reason for that is genetics. His doctoral dissertation called for a policy that excludes immigrants with lower IQs (calling it “IQ selection”). Here’s what he said about Hispanic immigrants:

“No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue… Read More