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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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In the article Barton also promotes the books of Robert Spencer, a right-wing author whose vehemently anti-Muslim books have been criticized by scholars of religion and civil rights advocates.

In September 2010, Barton devoted several WallBuilders Live broadcasts to critics of the cultural center that opponents describe inaccurately as the “Ground Zero Mosque.” Barton criticized media coverage of the issue, saying, “When they’re claiming it’s a freedom of religion issue, and that’s all they’re talking about, that’s great proof that’s not the issue.”

Debra Burlingame, the sister of a pilot killed in the 9-11 attacks, was a guest one day. She said promoters of the cultural center want to build a Muslim presence at a site of conquest that would “be seen in the Muslim world as the hand of Allah basically ratifying what happened on 9-11.”She called it “an overt and audacious history grab.”Barton co-host Rick Green agreed that it would be “a beachhead for Sharia law.” Barton referred to Feisel Abdul Rauf, the imam promoting the cultural center, as “this nut” and argued that he is “trying to provoke a nuclear incident with Israel and with Iran.”

The next day, WallBuilders continued the conversation with Walid Shoebat, a self-described former PLO terrorist and convert to evangelical Christianity, who said that Rauf wants to do the same thing Osama bin Laden wants to do, which is to see America subjugated to Sharia law. Shoebat said that liberals are supporting the project because “liberals always agree with Muslims,” an “insight” that Rick Green called “brilliant.” Barton and Green agreed that the worldviews of liberals and Islamicists “fit together.”

Barton also complained when a Hindu priest was invited to give the invocation before Congress that “the prayer will be completely outside the American paradigm, flying in the face of the American motto ‘One Nation Under God.’”

Not surprisingly, Barton is seemingly unconcerned about the impact on religious minorities of his efforts to re-install Christian prayers in public school classrooms. The Star Telegram writes:

Barton's views on school prayer illustrate one of the tenets of his belief system: an abiding faith in majority rule.

Students of all religions should be able to pray in the classroom, during graduation or at football games if the majority of a community wants it, Barton argues.

"I fully understand if New York City doesn't want prayer in schools, but Pampa, Texas, may," he said.

Barton says other faiths should be able to pray, too, but only according to their representation in a given community. Christian prayers, then, would dominate in most places.

Smaller faiths are owed no more by the majority, he believes. Above all else, Barton believes that America was founded on Christianity.

He has written and spoken approvingly of early state constitutions that required officeholders to profess "faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son."

But secularists still top the list of Barton’s enemies. For all his criticism of Islam, and his defense of those concerned about the election of Muslim public officials, Barton says nonreligious public officials would be even worse:

From a societal standpoint, there should be more concern over elected officials who are secularists and will swear an oath on no religious book, than for Muslims who swear on the Koran. After all, secularism presents a greater threat to American traditions and values than does Islam.

Immigration

Barton brings his trademark style -- claiming God’s blessing for all the Religious Right’s political positions -- to the issue of immigration as well. Last summer, Barton argued against immigration reform, saying,

 
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