Conservative activist Barton: Are American children poor "because they only have two TVs instead of three?"
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On the November 9 broadcast of the nationally syndicated radio show Janet Parshall's America, conservative and religious activist David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, a "national pro-family organization" that, according to its website, "seeks ... to rebuild that which makes America strong -- its constitutional, moral, and religious foundations," questioned the statistic that "one out of five American kids live in poverty," asking, "Is that because they only have two TVs instead of three?" Barton further challenged the impact of child poverty, asking host Janet Parshall, "[W]hen's the last time an American kid died of malnutrition?"
According to Columbia University's National Center for Children in Poverty, of the approximately 70 million children in the United States, roughly 27 million live in low-income families. In 2004, 17.6 percent of households with children under 18 reported food insecurity, which the Economic Research Service of the Department of Agriculture defines as "limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways."
From the November 9 broadcast of Salem Radio Network's Janet Parshall's America:
PARSHALL: David, I'm going to ask this question. I know I'm going to come up against a break, and I'll ask you to finish on the other side. But I want our friends to start being quickened to the phrase "social justice." You and I know what that is. Give a working definition to our friends.
BARTON: Yes. Social justice is the new mantra, if you will, for religious left, the religious left agenda. And so what they're calling social justice is health care, what they're calling social justice is ending poverty. And by the way, I was really intrigued with what [former Democratic presidential candidate Gary] Hart said on poverty -- 1 out of 5 American kids lives in poverty. Is that because they only have two TVs instead of three?
And I don't mean to down that, but when's the last time an American kid died of malnutrition? Our definition of poverty, we keep redefining -- he [Hart] was right, whoever controls the words controls the debate -- we need to raise that lifestyle, but for them to make that a social issue that overcomes the issues of abortion, marriage, et cetera, their social justice message that they're trying to put out there is the agenda for the religious left, who does not want to look at fundamental values. They want to look at extrapolated values.
PARSHALL: Mmm-hmm. Excellent point.