Dazed and confused: Leading Christian Nationalist David Barton makes the false claim that the U.S. Constitution offers more protection to religious people than non-religious people.
Barton, a leading figure in the Christian Nationalist movement, was commenting on the recent dishonest and disastrous Supreme Court ruling that a 40-foot Christian cross on public land in Maryland does not violate the separation between church and state because it is supposedly a secular symbol.
Barton, ignoring the actual justification for the disappointing ruling, instead asserted that “religious folks” are entitled to “more protection” under the First Amendment than atheists and other non-religious “folks.”
Speaking on his “WallBuilders Live” radio program Barton made the bizarre claim that “Secular speech is protected by the Constitution, but religious speech has several protections in the First Amendment,” suggesting that somehow the Constitution gives more protection to Christians than atheists.
The dishonest and ignorant Christian Nationalist declared that his religious speech was “protected by three clauses,” and because of that his speech as a Christian is entitled to “more protection, if you will, than just normal, secular speech.”
In a profoundly confused and rambling monologue Barton said:
It [the First Amendment] gave me more protection because I get my speech but if it’s religious, I get it twice, and if it is religious with others, I get it three times. In addition to free speech, there is also free exercise of religion, which often involves free speech. For me to exercise my faith means I will speak about it, I will live it out, I will activate it, I will do it.
And, by the way, I have the right to assembly, so I can get together with other believers and we can act out our faith. While religious folks have at least three different forms of protection under the First Amendment for their speech, secular folks have their protections as well for speech and assembly, but they just don’t have the same religious motivations.
That’s a level of protection the Founding Fathers wanted to make sure that religious folks had, so they singled that out to give, if you will, added protection if you’re a religious folk. The First Amendment says, ‘Hey, religion is so vitally important that you get added, special protection.’
Barton has been repeatedly and extensively exposed as a fraud and a con man pushing a false narrative of American history to gullible Christians willing to sacrifice truth for a false history that promotes Christianity at the expense of historical reality.
In 2012 Christian publisher Thomas Nelson stopped the publication and distribution of Barton’s dishonest book, “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson,” because of the gross historical inaccuracies and outright fabrications. (The book was later re-published by the right-wing Christian conspiracy publisher WND Books in 2016.)
Indeed, Barton has long been arguing for a false historical narrative, claiming that the founding fathers intended not a republic, but some sort of Bible-based Christian theocracy.
Attempting to force feed Americans, and in particular American children, a false and inaccurate American history, Barton has been leading the Christian Nationalist movement in this country. The movement, popular with Christian homeschoolers, is a blatant revision of American history in an attempt to pave the way for a Christian theocracy.
Barton’s false and discredited historical narrative claims that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, that the American Constitution is not a secular document but based on the Bible, and that most of the founding fathers were evangelical Christians, when in fact most were deists. Perhaps most egregious, Barton has been a leading proponent for the false notion that Constitutional guarantees of church-state separation are in reality a myth.
Bottom line: Leading Christian Nationalist David Barton makes the false claim that the U.S. Constitution offers more protection to religious people than non-religious people.