Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time To Meet Glenn Beck's "Most Important Man In America:" David Barton-- No, Not Joe The Oil Guy... David, The False Republican Prophet


People For The American Way has been bringing David Barton up for a long time. Monday their efforts went big time when Peter Montgomery spent some time (above) chatting about the GOP sewer that is Barton on MSNBC. And for anyone who missed it... it's time to be aware of a deadly enemy in our midst. Who is he? The long version. The short version of one of the Republican Party's most influential, albeit deranged, bigots:
“David Barton’s brand of ill-informed good-vs.-evil politics, buttressed by an increasing volume of discredited ‘research,’ has taken a dangerous hold on right-wing political discourse,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Barton uses sham historical and biblical scholarship to assert that his political opponents aren’t just people with different views, but that they are anti-American, opponents of religious liberty, and enemies of God himself. This kind of pinched and distorted view of history, religion, and what it means to be American makes respectful discourse impossible, and ultimately harms our democracy.”

Barton uses his stature as a self-proclaimed historian and academic to provide Biblical and historical justification for right-wing policy initiatives, including:

• The Myth of the Christian Nation: Barton cherry-picks historical documents in an attempt to prove that the Founding Fathers intended the United States to be a Christian nation where all laws conform to biblical teachings. He has also joined the “Seven Mountains” dominionist movement, which seeks to have Christians take control of all parts of government, business and society.

• Opposition to Unions, Workers’ Rights, and Progressive Taxation: Barton’s “biblical capitalism” has helped form the basis for the Religious Right’s embrace of pro-corporate fiscal policy and opposition to workers’ rights. He makes sweeping claims about the Bible’s teachings on American tax code issues, citing barely related Bible passages to allege Jesus’ opposition to minimum wage laws, progressive income tax, the estate tax, and the capital gains tax.

• Anti-Environmentalism: Barton has been active in the Religious Right’s campaign against environmentalism. He is actively involved in the “Resisting the Green Dragon” project, which attacks efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, and which portrays environmentalism as “deadly to human prosperity, deadly to human life, deadly to human freedom, and deadly to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

• Opposition to Immigration Reform: Barton asserts, “National boundaries are set by God…God’s the one who drew up the lines for the nations, so to say open borders is to say ‘God, you goofed it all up and when you had borders, you shouldn’t have done it.’”

• Opposition to Gay Rights: Barton has suggested that the government should regulate gay sex, and has maintained that countries which “rejected sexual regulation” inevitably collapse. He has worked to oppose marriage equality on the federal level and in the states.

• Revising Racial History: Barton picks and chooses from American history to attempt to portray white Republicans as the real heroes of the anti-slavery and civil rights movements. He has argued that the Founding Fathers were in fact anti-slavery and downplayed the role of African American leaders in the civil rights struggle, saying, “Only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society.” In 2006, he traveled the country peddling a one-sided “documentary” he made blaming the Democratic Party for slavery, lynching, and Jim Crow…and ignoring more recent history.

And you know, of course, how the Bible, the Pilgrims and Ben Franklin all would have opposed Net Neutrality and how “'Fair' is a word that no Christian should ever use in their vocabulary.”

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