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Meet the Religious Right Charlatan Who Teaches Tea Party America The Totally Pretend History They Want to Hear

David Barton is 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.

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But Cornwall and Barton go well beyond criticism of the science on man-caused climate change. Barton 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.”

Barton appeared on Glenn Beck’s October 15, 2010 television show along with Cornwall Alliance founder and spokesman Calvin Beisner. The show was largely devoted to attacking “ And Let There Be … Stuff?” a pro-environment curriculum designed for use by religious congregations. Beck asserted that “environmentalists are now worshiping the ancient god of Babylon, the god of weather.” And Barton took to the blackboard to demonstrate visually his claim that, while the traditional religious view places mankind as the pinnacle of creation, the “secular religious view” actually places mankind at the bottom, as less important than plants and animals. He complained that environmentalists are therefore willing to “inconvenience man” in order to save other animal species. Beisner and Barton agreed with Beck that the environmental movement is “anti-human” and that the environmental curriculum designed for use in churches was more evidence that “the progressive left is coming for the kill on religion.”

Barton on Religious Minorities

When Rep. Keith Ellison was elected to the House of Representatives from Minnesota in 2006, Ellison -- the first Muslim in Congress -- chose to use a Koran once owned by Thomas Jefferson for his private ceremonial swearing-in (the actual swearing-in takes place on the floor of the House of Representatives in a group). Some conservative Christians reacted with anger to that decision; Barton defended those reactions by citing 19th-century history as a reason Americans are right to be worried about a Muslim in Congress.

In January 2007, Barton penned “An Historical Perspective on a Muslim Being Sworn into Congress on the Koran,” which generously quoted two of Ellison’s most vocal critics. Radio show host Dennis Prager said the use of the Koran “undermined American civilization” and said, “Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book: the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don’t serve in Congress.” Barton also approvingly quoted Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia, who said Ellison’s election was evidence of the need to restrict immigration.

In the article, Barton argues that the U.S. conflict with the Barbary pirates in the early 1800s provides “useful background in addressing the issue of a Muslim being sworn into Congress.” Barton refers to the Barbary pirates as “Muslim terrorists.”He wrote that Ellison’s use of a Koran owned by Thomas Jefferson was “perhaps not as noble” as Ellison portrayed, saying the reason Jefferson owned the Koran was to “learn the beliefs of the enemies he was fighting.”

Ellison may not have the same beliefs as the Muslims who openly decry and even attack America; nevertheless, their behavior reflects on him. It is therefore understandable that citizens outside his district are highly concerned. This concern was heightened by the fact that Ellison himself publicly flaunted his abrogation of American precedent by making his swearing-in on the Koran a national issue.

After a litany of historical examples of human rights abuses by Muslim leaders, Barton concludes:

Keith Ellison may be the one to break this pattern and start something new with Islam, but in the meantime, he should not be surprised that there is widespread concern over his decision to publicly flaunt American tradition and values and replace them with Islamic ones.

 
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