American History X: David Barton

by Lorette C. Luzajic
Part 28 of Pillars of Faith

Thou Shalt Not Lie

David Barton is reclaiming America for the Lord. He is tirelessly educating Americans about their historical roots and beloved constitution. He talks about the secular invasion in America, and he’s taking it back and giving it to God.

We’ve heard about one nation under god so often that we believe it. We know that in the beginning, God wrested America from the pagan hands of the devil’s children and gave it to his righteous servants.

But this is wishful thinking. Barton and his kind are Christian Revisionists, revising and denying history and spreading lies to suit an ideological agenda.

“The notion that America was founded as a Christian nation is a central animating element…of the Christian Right…The idea that America’s supposed Christian identity has somehow been wrongly taken, and must somehow be restored, permeates the psychology and vision of the entire movement,” writes Frederick Clarkson in The Public Eye.

The End Justifies the Means

Pullquote: “What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church… a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie. Such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.”
Martin Luther

Christian Reconstructionists don’t just re-construct a nation for God- they reconstruct facts. And history revisionism is a huge part of the movement. Forget that the Old Testament law that they aspire to return to forbids false witness. Lying is a standard modus operandi for so many “Christian Nationalists.” The end justifies the means.

We don’t have room for all details- suffice it to say that the word “God” was not in the Constitution, and the founding fathers, Christian or not, were adamant about separation of church and state. “We’ve seen how religious beliefs (and other ideologies) inspire people to view others as subhuman, deviant, and deserving of whatever happens to them, including death. It is the stuff of persecution, pogroms, and warfare. The framers of the U.S. Constitution struggled with how to inoculate the new nation against these ills…” wrote Clarkson.

And “In God we Trust” did not become the official motto until 1956.

Enter Christian Nationalist David Barton, a major player in the Texas Republican Party, and founder of WallBuilders, a Dominionist group hell bent on “restoring” theocracy. Time (2005) named him among the 25 most influential evangelists. He is on the advisory committee for National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, and for Providence Foundation, “training and networking leaders to transform nations.” Reconstuctionist groups like Providence ultimately aim to “reinstate” Old Testament law, including the stoning of homosexuals, witches, and disobedient children.

Barton lectures and ministers all over the Christian and mainstream media, given a voice by bigwig networks of all faith stripes, spreading his fiction gospel about the roots of the nation. He insists in The Myth of Separation that only Christians should hold office!

His flock won’t balk at his extremist views- or his falsehoods. Goaded by “authority” figures like James Dobson, the late D. James Kennedy, and Glenn Beck, they praise Barton for holding up the Constitution. His teachings inform politicians, too. Never mind that Barton has lectured alongside holocaust deniers for white power “Christian Identity” groups like Scriptures for America. Barton claims he didn’t know, a weak protest for someone so politically astute.

Revising History

Barton’s research in his speeches and books is convincing- how can all those facts be wrong? With so many quotes and references to so many documents, he makes a strong case even if we don’t like that case, no?

No. History scholars refute Barton’s teachings. He misquotes past presidents, and twists their ideas. He deliberately leaves out quotes and distorts contexts.

He also makes it up as he goes along.

Barton has been thoroughly debunked. Rob Boston writes frequently on this, showing us that scholars have questioned quotes pumped by Barton and attributed to the founders. Not only did they find no sources for many facts and quotes, but Barton himself admitted some were bogus!

He’s an admitted liar. His education is from Oral Roberts University, ahem. But now he reviews material for curriculum textbooks. And his words are as good as God to homeschoolers. Say what?

AFTER all of his lies became common knowledge, Barton’s influence and popularity increased. Go figure.