Glenn Beck's "Restoring Courage" rally in Israel features religious figures who espouse anti-gay bigotry.
Tonight Glenn Beck and David Barton, the anti-gay pseudo-historian who inspired Beck's "Black Robe Regiment," mocked the Supreme Court's reasoning in the 1980 decision invalidating a Kentucky law that required classrooms to display the Ten Commandments. In doing so, they completely misrepresented the ruling.
Barton claimed that the Supreme Court said it "would be unconstitutional" if children read and obeyed the Ten Commandments, which say "[d]on't kill, don't steal, all those terrible things ... that hang in courts of law all over the country":
BECK: I don't know if you've ever heard why the Court says we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in school. Listen to this.
BARTON: Stone V. Graham, 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court said if the posted copies of the Ten Commandments were to have any effect at all it might be to induce the schoolchildren to read them. And if they were to read them they might meditate on them. And if they were to meditate on them they might respect and obey them and that would be unconstitutional. Don't kill, don't steal, all those terrible things that -- all the things that hang in courts of law all over the country.
RABBI DANIEL LAPIN: So in other words it's OK to do the things, you just mustn't think about them.
BARTON: Exactly right.
Barton's interpretation of the ruling misses the point.
In Stone v. Graham, the Supreme Court stated that "[t]he Commandments do not confine themselves to arguably secular matters" and inducing religious behaviors "is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause," which prohibits the government from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion."
From the ruling:
The preeminent purpose for posting the Ten Commandments on schoolroom walls is plainly religious in nature. The Ten Commandments are undeniably a sacred text in the Jewish and Christian faiths, [n3] and no legislative recitation of a supposed secular purpose can blind us to that fact. The Commandments do not confine themselves to arguably secular matters, such as honoring one's parents, killing or murder, [p42] adultery, stealing, false witness, and covetousness. See Exodus 20:12-17; Deuteronomy 5:16-21. Rather, the first part of the Commandments concerns the religious duties of believers: worshipping the Lord God alone, avoiding idolatry, not using the Lord's name in vain, and observing the Sabbath Day. See Exodus 20:1-11; Deuteronomy 5:6-15.
This is not a case in which the Ten Commandments are integrated into the school curriculum, where the Bible may constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the like. Abington School District v. Schempp, supra at 225. Posting of religious texts on the wall serves no such educational function. If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.
We've previously reported on the background and views of David Barton, the factually challenged "historian" whom Glenn Beck has called "the most important man in America today." Barton inspired Beck to form his "Black Robe Regiment," and he also serves up (factually challenged) lectures at Beck's online university.
Barton -- like the rest of Beck's Black Robe Regiment -- is virulently anti-gay; he has even wondered why we don't "regulate homosexuality" like cigarettes or trans fats. So it's no real surprise that Barton would go on another gay-bashing tear.
Right Wing Watch notes that Barton recently had as a guest on his radio show Brian Camenker of MassResistance, which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an anti-gay "hate group" and is best known for peddling numerous false claims about Obama administration official Kevin Jennings. Barton bizarrely blamed bullying of gays in schools not on the bullies but, rather, on "people from outside the schools coming in and saying 'Oh, you got a bullying problem and we need to teach a course for you.' " Barton continues:
BARTON: It goes back to the question Jesus asks, "What's it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?" The question I gotta ask is, what's it worth to you to gain everything you want and lose your kids?
Because unless you're willing to monitor what's going on in that classroom, I guarantee you they are getting homosexual indoctrination. I don't care whether you're in a rural area or not, because this is so much a part of textbooks, so much a part of curricular stuff, it's so much a part of what goes on with other kids. We see it too often in lawsuits, we hear of accounts like this, and we hear of dozens of other accounts where nothing's ever done. You better get on top of what's being taught to your kids.
Again, this is the person Glenn Beck thinks is "the most important man in America today."
Tonight, Glenn Beck endeavored to teach his audience about the evils of environmentalists and environmental science with Wallbuilders Founder David Barton and Calvin Beisner, the Founder of the Cornwall Alliance.
As we've noted, as Beck has attempted to transform himself into a spiritual leader, he has surrounded himself with religious and secular figures that share a hatred for the "homosexual agenda." We can add Beisner to that list.
As reported by DeSmog Blog, in 1990, Beisner wrote an article arguing against the "militant homosexuals" that were calling for an increase in federal spending on AIDS research, treatment and education. Beisner asked if it was "rational" to increase funding to "fight a disease that is almost 100 percent self-inflicted by people intent on immoral and irrational behavior?"
Beisner was joined on Beck's show by David Barton, whom Beck has labeled "the most important man in America." Barton has written about "Why Should Homosexuality Concern a Society?" and once buttressed an argument against open service by homosexuals in our military by writing that homosexuality "was long considered too morally abhorrent and reprehensible to openly discuss." Barton also reportedly spoke at an event to promote and anti-gay marriage amendment, and his WallBuilders group published an election guide in 2008 fearmongering about Obama's supposed support for a "curriculum that promotes homosexuality."
Nice friends you have there, Glenn.
Rupert Murdoch claimed in a recent speech that "the most virulent strains" of anti-Semitism "come from the left." However, his own Fox News personalities have a history of promoting anti-Semitic sources and mainstreaming people who have associations with anti-Semitic groups.
Media Matters has already noted today that David Barton "has twice spoken to groups affiliated with the racist and anti-Semitic Christian Identity movement" according to the Anti-Defamation League.
In other Barton related news, on his radio show this week, Glenn Beck's favorite Christian nationalist pseudo-historian wondered aloud why the federal government doesn't "regulate homosexuality," comparing gay men and lesbians to trans fats, fast food, cigarettes, hard liquor, and salt.
Boy, that conservative movement is really warming up to the LGBT community.
From the October 5, 2010 edition of Wall Builders Live with David Barton and Rick Green:
Transcript After The Jump
From the September 16 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
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Evidence continues to mount that Glenn Beck's supposedly non-political Black Robe Regiment is, predictably, just a thinly-veiled attempt to boost conservative candidates in the upcoming midterm elections (and beyond).
As we detailed last week, two Black Robe members indicated that part of the group's mission is to boost voter involvement. And Beck, though he claims he would leave any church that "preach[ed] who to vote for," formed the Black Robe Regiment with the help of James Dobson, who has a long history of using churches to attempt to influence elections.
Now it appears that members of Beck's Black Robe Regiment -- including David Barton, whom Beck credits with helping form the idea for the group -- are closely tied to former Speaker of the House and putative 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his "Renewing American Leadership" group.
As described on their "Who We Are" page, the mission of Renewing American Leadership (ReAL) is to "preserve America's Judeo-Christian heritage by defending and promoting the three pillars of American civilization: freedom, faith, and free markets." They explain that they are "dedicated to educating, organizing, training, and mobilizing people of faith to renew American self-government and America's role in the world."
In a U.S. News article from last year on the launch of ReAL, Gingrich spokesperson Rick Tyler - who doubles as "Founding Director" of ReAL - describes the group in explicitly political terms, saying that he wants to "prove" to Republican donors that "that mobilizing evangelical voters leads to the best economic policies."
David Barton - described in the article as having "spearheaded the Republican National Committee's rigorous outreach to pastors in 2004" -- is quoted expressing his hope that the group can help cease the "circular firing squad" between social and economic conservatives.
As he attempts to rebrand himself as a spiritual leader, Glenn Beck has surrounded himself with religious and secular figures who share a fervent opposition to the "homosexual agenda."
For several weeks now, Media Matters has been highlighting the work of Chris Rodda -- senior research director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History -- and her "No, Mr. Beck" series debunking the historical revisionism of Beck and "Christian nationalist pseudo-historian" David Barton.
It seems Rodda was mentioned on the last edition of "Founders' Friday" and in vintage Beck fashion, the Fox News host couldn't manage to get his facts straight.
As Rodda notes in her latest post -- titled "No, Mr. Beck, That Wasn't 'Some Professor' -- That Was Me" -- Beck mentions her work in response to a question from the audience, this time made up of teenagers (my favorite part is in bold towards the end for emphasis):
Last Friday, on his "Rewriting Restoring History" show, Glenn Beck scoffed at one of my posts from my video series debunking the American history lies being told on his "Founders' Fridays" episodes and other shows. The particular post that Beck was referring to was one in which I debunked one of the lies told by his lovely assistant, and Beck University "professor," David Barton -- that Thomas Jefferson dated his documents "in the year of our Lord Christ."
Beck's audience for this show was made up of all teenagers, and Beck began by taking some questions from the audience. This one came from a student named Joe:
"I learned on your show that Thomas Jefferson actually signed a lot of his documents 'in Christ,' but a lot of people say that he was a deist, so is he a Christian or a deist?"
Barton, who was once again Beck's guest "historian," responded by making his lie even bigger than usual, claiming that Jefferson dated "thousands" of documents in this way.
Beck: "David, I saw somebody write you up. Some professor wrote you up and said, 'Oh that David Barton -- just making that stuff up. That was that one document.' Was it that one document?
Barton: "That one plus thousands of others, yeah."
Beck: "OK. But it is that one document.
Barton: "Yeah, it is that one -- and a whole lot more."
For those who are new to my "No, Mr Beck" series, in my June 24 installment, titled "No, Mr. Beck, Jefferson Did Not Date His Documents 'In the Year of Our Lord Christ,'" I explained that Barton bases this lie on only one document -- a document that was nothing more than a preprinted form required to be carried by ships leaving the United States. These fill-in-the-blanks forms were printed in bulk, and every president signed big stacks of them, leaving all the information blank. The signed forms were then sent to the officials at all the ports to be filled out as needed. The reason these forms were dated "in the year of our Lord Christ" was because this was the language specified by an 1782 commerce treaty with the Netherlands, which was a Christian power. Jefferson did not choose this language, as Barton claims. Nor did he date any other documents in this way.
So, Mr. Barton, let's see some of those "thousands of others" that you claim Jefferson dated that way. I challenge you to show us all a few of them the next time you're on Beck.
And, just for the record, I'm not a professor, and have never claimed to be one, unlike Beck University's "Professor" Barton, who apparently thinks that his honorary doctorate from Pensacola Christian College qualifies him to use such a title. But, I guess that's acceptable at a university whose "chancellor" calls himself a doctor because of his honorary doctorate from Liberty University. Referring to me as some unnamed professor is just part of the Barton and Beck shtick. It fits their unceasing claim that it's those liberal professors at our colleges and universities who are rewriting history and destroying America. So, I can't be just an author and blogger. To properly demonize and discredit me, I need to be a professor.
Chris Rodda -- senior research director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History – is back with the fourth installment of her own version of Beck University. Only in this version Beck is the one being schooled.
This time around Rodda demolishes the lie pushed by Beck and "Christian nationalist pseudo-historian" David Barton that "that our founding documents were based on the Bible, especially the Book of Deuteronomy."
Be sure to check out Rodda's latest post here.
Earlier today, Media Matters' Terry Krepel posted about the latest from Chris Rodda, senior research director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History.
Previously, we'd posted about the first installment of Rodda's thoughtful debunking of the dynamic dunces -- Fox News host Glenn Beck and "Christian nationalist pseudo-historian" David Barton -- that the first Bible printed in America was printed by Congress.
Somehow, however, we skipped Rodda's second debunking installment that tackled "an 1809 letter" butchered by Barton and promoted by Beck "to make it appear that" John Adams thought all governments "must be administered by the Holy Ghost in order to be legitimate." Rodda writes:
On Beck's show, Barton also incorporated his other lie about this letter, claiming that this was the letter that magically reunited Jefferson and Adams, who had been on the outs since Jefferson got elected president in 1800. Why does Barton do this? Because it allows him to combine two completely unrelated parts of Adams's letter into a claim that it was really God, working through his "prophet" Benjamin Rush, who restored the friendship between Adams and Jefferson.
Rodda provides the following video that annihilates Beck and Barton's historical revisionism:
Earlier this month, we highlighted how Chris Rodda, senior research director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History, debunked the claim historian David Barton made on Glenn Beck's TV show -- and fawned over by Beck -- that the first Bible printed in America was printed by Congress.
Rodda is back with another Barton/Beck debunking, this time of the claim that Thomas Jefferson dated his presidential documents with the phrase "in the year of our Lord Christ," which went beyond the commonly used "in the year of our Lord." "That's the way Jefferson signed his documents," Barton declared on Beck's show, with both he and Beck portraying it as something runs counter to Jefferson's reputation as someone who believed in the separation of church and state. Beck added, "I love this."
But according to Rodda, the truth is quite different: Jefferson took pains to omit "in the year of our Lord" in his documents, instead using phrases like "in the Christian computation," and "of the Christian epoch." Further, according to Rodda, the evidence Barton provided of Jefferson purportedly using the phrase is, in fact, a preprinted form that Jefferson had no input into creating.
Read the whole thing, or watch the video below.
Chris Rodda -- senior research director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History -- absolutely destroys Fox News host Glenn Beck's contention that "the first bible printed in English was printed by Congress" in the following video:
Rodda goes into even greater details in a post on the Talk 2 Action blog (emphasis added):
For anyone who has been following the unholy new partnership between Glenn Beck and Christian nationalist history revisionist David Barton, no explanation for why I'm posting this is necessary. For anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of watching Beck and Barton in action, here's the background in a nutshell: David Barton, the pseudo-historian from Texas who's probably more responsible than any other individual for spreading the erroneous belief that America was founded as a Christian nation, has now teamed up with Glenn Beck. Barton, who appeared on the radar recently as one of the history "experts" in the Texas textbook massacre, is also a former vice-chair of the Texas Republican Party, and, in 2005, was named one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America by Time Magazine. Barton has now made several appearances on Beck's show, armed with his usual scholarly schtick and pile of impressive historical items from his extensive private collection.
One of the items in Barton's bag of historical tricks is a rare Bible printed in 1782 by Philadelphia printer Robert Aitken. This Bible has been a mainstay of Barton's presentations for years, and was, as expected, one of the featured pieces of Christian nation "evidence" whipped out on Beck's show. Barton's bogus claim about this Bible? It was printed by Congress for the use of schools -- proof that the founders never intended a separation between church and state. Needless to say, Beck and his audience are just eating this stuff up. Barton's appearances on Beck's show have propelled his fifteen-year-old book of historical hogwash, Original Intent, to bestseller status, reaching as high as #6 on Amazon. Right now, as I sit here writing this post, this masterpiece of historical revisionism is ludicrously, and alarmingly, holding the #1 spot in the category of "Constitutional Law."
I highly recommend reading Rodda's post in its entirety.