The Marriage of Ted Cruz and David Barton

It’s a political marriage, at any rate.

David Barton, the religious right’s favorite phony historian and political propagandist, is taking over leadership of the super-PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate and Texas senator Ted Cruz. According to the Bloomberg news service, Keep the Promise PAC is the umbrella organization for a group of related pro-Cruz political committees that raised $38 million in the first half of the year.

Barton is one of the most politically influential far-right, Christian evangelicals in America. He served for a decade as vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party and in 2004 helped the Republican National Committee recruit conservative evangelicals to support President George W. Bush’s re-election.

Barton and his WallBuilders’ organization, which is based in Aledo near Fort Worth, argue that separation of church and state is a “myth” and that the nation’s founders intended to create a distinctly Christian nation with its government and laws based on the Bible (or at least a fundamentalist Christian reading of the Bible).

Barton also is a self-styled historian, but his undergraduate work was in religious education. His collection of historical documents impresses some folks, his ability to critically analyze and accurately interpret such documents much less so. Three years ago, for example, Thomas Nelson Publishing ceased publication and distribution of Barton’s The Jefferson Lies after historians criticized the book’s distortions and inaccuracies. (A scholar noted many problems in a report for the TFN Education Fund.)

Barton’s appointment to head the pro-Cruz super-PAC isn’t a big surprise — Cruz clearly is pushing hard to win the support of the conservative evangelicals who are so influential in the Republican Party. Cruz’s appeals to religious-righters have always been over-the-top, but — especially since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down bans on same-sex marriage in June — that rhetoric has become almost incendiary.

Barton’s rhetoric is also similarly divisive and inflammatory. (Earlier this year, for example, Barton suggested that AIDS is a punishment from God.)

Cruz and Barton appear to be a well-matched couple. They surely are hoping their political marriage is a match made in heaven and confirmed on election day.

(H/T to John Fea’s great blog about religion, history and politics)

7 thoughts on “The Marriage of Ted Cruz and David Barton

  1. Oh Shucks, I hope not. Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School fame was very impressed with Cruz’s brain and ability. No shrinking conservative by any stretch.

    I hate to see that one. Cruz certainly knows better.

    1. Cruz is not campaigning on intellect, history, fact or policy. Cruz is campaigning on fear, uncertainty and doubt. Good old FUD. Cruz doesn’t care about what is true or what is false. All Cruz cares about is whipping up scared, uneducated, gullible, ignorant voters to vote for him.

      Sure, that’s a very cynical view but Cruz hasn’t demonstrated anything to argue against that. I would hope that Cruz is educated and knowledgable enough to know that Barton is a fraud, but Barton and his buddy Beck are showmen with a following and that’s what Cruz needs – showmanship.

      Sad for Cruz, though, he’s led a very sheltered (and probably very weird) life and to the rest of us he’s as transparent as cheap single ply, and about as useful.

  2. Cruz has been working full-time to destroy his characterization by Dershowitz. Cruz has done ZERO, ZIP and NADA for Texas (or the USA) as a senator. I don’t consider self-promotion “doing something.”

    Now Cruz has gone full-blown theocrat and I can only imagine he thinks that there enough theocratic voters to put him in power. That would truly be a rude awakening for Cruz to find out he’s only a president, not an ayatollah.

  3. Barton is a damned LIAR, ditto for Cruz. Texans are morons when it comes to electing intelligent individuals. Although nobody can say that Cruz is not intelligent, but his misuse of his brain is a horrible thing to see.
    He along with Barton are a danger to the country. The ONLY thing that they want is to make this a Christian nation which was never an idea that the founders would have supported.
    Just visit for all the proof you need to understand that this is purely a SECULAR nation. It never was a religious nation and it never will be one.
    The problem I have with Christianity is that the FUNNY-MENTAL types simply cannot believe that the whole world is not Christian, I certainly am not one of them; I pray to God, not a man-made god.
    Take this: 1. “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
    ~Founding Father George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789
    Was not Washington a Deist and NOT a Christian?
    Do not believe that we have a separation between religion and state? How ’bout this from Thomas Jefferson? “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, “…THUS BUILDING A WALL OF SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE”
    ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802

    “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
    ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814,

    I’ll end with this beauty: 28. “No religious doctrine shall be established by law.”
    ~Founding Father Elbridge Gerry, Annals of Congress 1:729-731

    IF the founders had that and more to say about the wall of separation between church and state (which they did say) then why won’t people who preach lies to the world refuse to agree with the people who knew a lot more than lumps of dung like Cruz and Barton accept that?
    May they disappear soon.

    1. I will argue that Cruz’s goals are not that lofty. Cruz uses Christianity ™ as a vehicle for his self-promotion. I would bet that Cruz knows as much about Christianity as the average fundie, and that ain’t much. Sort of the difference between a National Geographic documentary about bears and Yogi Bear; Cruz paints a cartoon version of religion.

      Cruz knows that most Americans are raised to give deference to religion and he uses that as a cloak to hide his true interests which is to gain personal power.

      What is emerging in the country post-Moral Majority is a secular backlash and a growing tendency to call BS on people who play the religion card. We just don’t have time for people who believe the world is 6000 years old and Moses crossed the Delaware with Washington.

      1. I hope you’re right, but I wouldn’t underestimate the desperation and fanaticism of the religious right or the .01% that has always sought to leverage their fanaticism.

  4. Maybe Barton is the Albatross around Cruz’ neck now. I’d like to see them both in Davy Jones’ Locker, (politically speaking).