Barton and BeckVia Right Wing Watch, radio talk show host and former Fox television show host Glenn Beck lavished praise upon pseudo-historian David Barton, claiming that Barton is saving America and will be credited for his efforts in the afterlife.

Before Beck lost his show on the Fox television network, he actively promoted David Barton, the Texas evangelist who claims that the United States was formed as a Christian nation and that its constitution and laws are based upon the Bible. According to Barton, the Founding Fathers did not intend that there be separation of church and state.  In 2010, Beck amped up his promotion of Barton when the two teamed up in “American Revivals” held at stadiums throughout the country which were political-evangelical presentations designed to promote the idea of an American “duty to God.”

It was Beck’s promotion of Barton on his Fox News program and elsewhere that seemed to vault the preacher from popularity with the Republican Party and Christian evangelical audiences to almost a household name.  As People for the American Way explains in its in-depth report on Barton and his version of Christian nationalist history:

Newt Gingrich promises to seek his advice and counsel for the 2012 presidential campaign. Mike Huckabee calls him America’s greatest historian, says he should be writing the curriculum for American students, and in fact suggested that all Americans should be “forced at gunpoint” to listen to his broadcasts. Michelle Bachmann calls him “a treasure for our nation” and invited him to teach one of her Tea Party Caucus classes on the Constitution for members of Congress. State legislators from around the country invite him to share his “wisdom” with them. Glenn Beck calls him “the most important man in America.” Who is this guy?

This guy is David Barton, a Republican Party activist and a fast-talking, self-promoting, self-taught, self-proclaimed historian who is miseducating millions of Americans about U.S. history and the Constitution.

Barton has been profitably peddling a distorted “Christian nation” version of American history to conservative religious audiences for the past two decades. His books and videos denouncing church-state separation have been repeatedly debunked by respected historians, but that hasn’t kept Barton from becoming a folk hero for many in the Religious Right. His eagerness to help elect Republicans has won him gratitude and support from national as well as state and local GOP leaders. Former senator Sam Brownback, now the governor of Kansas, has said that Barton’s research “provides the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today – bringing God back into the public square.” Indeed, Time Magazine named him one of the nation’s 25 most influential evangelical Christians in 2005.

Barton broadened his audience when Fox News’ Glenn Beck became a fan. Last year, Beck invited Barton to appear regularly on his “Founders’ Fridays” broadcasts, sending Barton’s books up the bestseller lists. And when Beck brought his messianic road show to Washington, D.C. in August 2010, Barton shared the stage with him. At America’s Divine Destiny, the kick-off event on the eve of Beck’s Lincoln Memorial rally, Barton waved copies of old books and sermons and argued that the nation’s founding documents were essentially cribbed from colonial-era sermons.

Beck and Barton exchanged the following remarks in a broadcast last week:

BECK: If we save — let me rephrase that — When we save the country, a lot of that credit in the afterlife, I think, is going to go to you. You and your wife, Cheryl, are amazing, and your staff at Wallbuilders, you have been fighting this fight for a long time. And I’m going to share with the audience in a couple of weeks a timeline idea that came to me, and I think this has happened several times in the last 200 years and it’s always saved by the same kind of people holding up the Founders. And I don’t think we’d be able to do it if it wasn’t for you, I really don’t.

BARTON: God’s been real gracious to bring stuff to our path. We kind of made a covenant with Him that if He’d bring it across our path we’d grab it and hold it and preserve it and so that’s what kind of built our library. I am amazed at what comes across our path but I am convinced it’s because He wants it saved and preserved for the country.

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The library that Barton and Beck refer to is Barton’s private collection, which was featured in Kurt Cameron’s Monumental movie. Chris Rodda, author of Liars for Jesus points out some of the flaws in Barton’s versions of history told to Cameron:

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Rodda points out at the end of her video that Americans across the country will simply believe what Cameron and Barton are saying — a sentiment expressed by Kyle Mantyla of People for the American Way in its Right Wing Watch blog with respect to Barton’s latest book, The Jefferson Lies:  Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson, which is generating robust sales and rising to the top of the charts at Amazon:

For academic historians to generally remain silent as Barton’s brand of pseudo-history becomes increasingly popular seems, to me, to represent a serious disservice to their field of expertise. Barton’s brand of partisan history remains popular, at least in part, because actual historian so rarely speak out against Barton’s flagrant misuse and misrepresentation of history.

Barton is not a trained historian. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious education from Oral Roberts University in 1976.

  • May 2, 2012 — Controversial activist David Barton appears on “Daily Show” with Jon Stewart
  • April 23, 2012 — Coming out atheist — former pastor speaks at Humanist of Florida Association conference
  • April 8, 2012 — Over 100,000 attend Easter Sunday Mass at the Vatican
  • March 20, 2012 — Pakistani Muslim nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
  • February 7, 2012 — BREAKING: Proposition 8 deemed unconstitutional
  • April 4, 2011 — “The Way” directed by Emilio Estevez and starring Martin Sheen to debut next month
  • January 15, 2011 — “Touched by an Angel” actor John Dye dead at 47
  • February 13, 2011 — Pope declares the Internet presents great missionary opportunity
  • January 1, 2011 — Happy Wall of Separation Day!

Source : Glenn Beck: Barton to be rewarded in the afterlife for saving America – God Discussion

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