Stuff like this makes it hard to take Barton and his ilk seriously when they complain that others are disrespectful of people of faith. They have done all they can to turn the National Day of Prayer into an occasion to promote a political agenda. Now they’re also commercializing it. Talk about being disrespectful to people of faith.… Read More
Our friends at Right Wing Watch caught a fascinating David Barton radio lecture today on “just war” theory — the concept of when war is morally justified. The far right’s favorite pseudo-historian apparently used the wars against Native Americans as an example. Read the full post from Right Wing Watch (including an audio clip) here, but here are a couple of excerpts:
“A lot of it is based on what you have to do to secure justice and to secure the protection of life and liberties for your citizens and you do what you have to do at times, but you play on the rules sometimes that the other guys have set up. And if they’re not going to negotiate with things like the Geneva treaty or other rules of civilization, you still have to secure the life and the property and the protection of your citizens.”
“What happened was the Indian leaders said ‘they’re trying to change our culture’ and so they declared war on all the white guys and went after the white guys and that was King Philip’s War. It was really trying to be civilized on one side and… Read More
At her Texas Senate Nominations Committee hearing last month, State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill made a number of commitments should her appointment to a second term be confirmed. (It was.) Among those was a commitment to beef up qualifications required for individuals appointed by SBOE members to serve as “expert” advisers during the revisions of curriculum standards for Texas public schools. But perhaps it would be good to know just how Cargill defines “expert.”
During her hearing, Cargill offered an example of someone she thinks is a true history expert: David Barton, the pseudo-historian who founded the Texas-based advocacy organization WallBuilders. Barton, whose bachelor’s degree was in religious education, has made a living by running around the country claiming that our nation’s Founders intended to create a distinctly Christian nation with its laws and government based on Christian biblical principles. Distinguished (and exasperated) historians have repeatedly said such claims are a gross distortion based on an ideological conviction, not facts.
In any case, when asked during her hearing about proposals for various qualifications that should be required of “experts,” Cargill had this to say about Barton:
“One of the… Read More
Rick Green, the former state legislator and failed Texas Supreme Court candidate who works for David Barton‘s WallBuilders outfit, is promoting his own 15-week online course in American government. Even a casual review of the materials in his class shows that he has the problems with accuracy similar to Barton.
The course’s website promises that “Constitutional expert Rick Green” will provide a “completely fun and exciting” explanation of the U.S. Constitution and “how to participate in our government.“ From Green’s website:
“As a bonus, high school students who take this class will receive 3 hours of college credit from Ecclesia College if they enroll! You will also be well prepared for taking the CLEP test to receive credit for other colleges. Additionally, we are working towards ACE accreditation, which means that after ACE approval, more colleges will accept this course for credit.”
The website includes a course syllabus and list of textbooks and other materials, including Green’s 2008 self-published book Freedom’s Frame. The most obvious indication that this course is more about promoting an ideological point of view rather than an academic study of the Constitution and American government is… Read More
Speaking on right-wing commentator Glenn Beck’s web-based TV show last month, Barton suggested that arming students as well as teachers is the solution for protecting schoolchildren from mass shootings like the one at a Connecticut school in December. The far right’s favorite pseudo-historian and founder of the Texas-based organization WallBuilders even suggested that there’s precedent in history for armed students stopping gunmen:
“The great example, in the 1850s you have a school teacher who’s teaching. A guy — he’s out in the West — this guy from New England wants to kill him and find him. So he comes into the school with his gun to shoot the teacher, he decides not to shoot the teacher because all the kids pull their guns out and point it at him and say, ‘You kill the teacher, you die.’ He says, ‘Okay.’ The teacher lives. Real simple stuff. Saved the life of — there was no shooting because all the kids — we’re talking in elementary school — all the kids pull… Read More