David Barton

From the Intelligence Files of the Southern Poverty Law Center: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/david-barton

David Barton

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              Date of Birth:



Aledo, Texas



Named by Time in 2005 as one of the nation’s “25 Most Influential Evangelicals,” David Barton is a self-styled “historian” who has acted as a key bridge between the mainstream political right and radical-right religious ideology.

Barton, the founder and leader of WallBuilders, is best known for claiming that America was founded as a Christian nation and wrote a book entitled The Myth of Separation. He says the founding fathers intended only Christians to hold office, citing early documents to back that falsehood. Barton has no training as a historian beyond a bachelor’s in religious education from Oral Roberts University.

Barton’s historical revisionism goes beyond that. In a DVD, “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White,” he paints the Democratic Party as responsible for the travails of black Americans, conveniently omitting U.S. history after 1965 and the GOP’s subsequent racist “Southern strategy.”

The scary thing about David Barton is that he has the ear of so many. He is a former co-chairman of the Texas Republican Party, a one-time consultant to the Republican National Committee, and an adviser at various times to Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee. Last year, Huckabee said he wished all Americans could be “forced — forced at gunpoint no less — to listen to every David Barton message.” Former Fox News conspiracy-monger Glenn Beck uses Barton to teach history at Beck’s “university.”

Barton’s interests extend beyond his view of Christianity. He advocates government regulation of homosexuality and has claimed that gay people die “decades earlier” than others and have more than 500 sexual partners apiece in their lifetimes. He cited infamous Islamophobe Robert Spencer in attacking U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim congressman. He opposes immigration reform, saying that God established national borders, and has appeared on the radio show of hard-line nativist William Gheen. At one point, Barton even spoke at an event put on by Pete Peters, a pastor of the anti-Semitic and racist Christian Identity theology (he later said he had no idea that Peters’ group was “part of the Nazi movement”).

In 2010, Barton joined the battle to bowdlerize the Texas social studies curriculum for public schools, supporting efforts to excise Martin Luther King Jr. and 1960s farmworker activist Cesar Chavez from textbooks. As reported by Washington Monthly, Barton said King didn’t deserve to be included for advancing minority rights because “[o]nly majorities can expand political rights.”

rom the Intelligence Files of the Southern Poverty Law Center:


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