Tag Archives: text books

David Barton – most dangerous man in America and for our children

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David Barton appeared on “The Daily Show” on May 4th and I sighed. David Barton is a SELF-TAUGHT historian and favorite of the cheap labor religious right conservatives. He has been involved in re-writing history text books in the Texas state school system, and testifying to state legislatures and Congress. Luckily “The Daily Show” had a real scholar on the other night to counter Barton’s false view of history.

The main problem with David Barton is his history seems to stop in 1860. The most ridiculous claim he makes is that the Bill of Rights don’t apply to the states since they didn’t when the Constitution came into force in 1791. He ignores or dismisses the 14th Amendment that explicitly applied the Bill of Rights to the states.

Here is the first segment of Barton’s interview on May 4th

Click here to see Part 2 of the extended unedited Barton interview

Click here to see Part 3 of the extended unedited Barton interview

There are so many falsehoods that Barton communicates in the interview that the People for the American Way has detailed pages specific to the Daily Show interview. For example:

5. The Treaty of Tripoli

In discussing the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli and its clear declaration that “America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,” Barton told Stewart first that the language in the treaty’s Article 11 did not mean what it clearly states, and second that the U.S. State Department says there really is no Article 11 in the Treaty. Here is the full text of Article 11:

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

Barton argues unconvincingly that the Article was only meant to imply that American Christianity is different than European Christianity. His assertion that Article 11 is not in the treaty is simply wrong; it was unquestionably included in the treaty that was ratified unanimously by the Senate and approved by John Adams.

GOP Leaders’ Favorite ‘Historian’ David Barton on The Daily Show: Dishonest History & Frightening Constitutional Theory

Then on Wednesday May 18th, The Daily Show interviewed University of Pennsylvania historian Richard Beeman. Unlike David Barton, Beeman has a degree in history and works as a historian.

Beeman said on the show:

“The Constitution is federally devoid of any mention of religion except for one provision which says there shall be no test for public office or any position of public trust, so the only mention of religion is keep religion out of our government,” Beeman says, and “the debate in the [constitutional] Convention is virtually devoid” of religious references.

Here is part 1 of Richard Beeman’s extended unedited interview where he takes Barton to task for ignoring the 14th Amendment.

Link to Part 2 of the Beeman extended interview

As the Religious Right Watch wrote:

During part II of the interview with Beeman, Stewart noted that while Barton told him that he was OK with Sharia law in the US, he would likely make the opposite case to his conservative supporters.

In fact, that is exactly what happened, as Barton dedicated an entire radio program to denying what he plainly told Stewart about Sharia.

Such dishonest actions reflect the fact that Barton is a political activist, not a historian — he even was paid by the Republican National Committee to mobilize church groups to support President Bush’s reelection and Republican candidates. As Kyle notes, even his documentary on African American history is brazenly partisan.

Constitutional Historian Rebuts David Barton On The Daily Show

The goal of people like Barton – besides trying to institute Christian Dominionism – is to focus their religious right agenda on the local and state level as way to outflank national policies and laws that protect our religious freedom.

David Barton is a flim-flam man who has no real expertise in history and he should be kept FAR FAR FAR away from our government and our children.

Please, mess with Texas

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The Texas state school board is working on a statewide curriculum that ignores Thomas Jefferson – you know the guy who wrote the Declaration of Independence – and that refuses to discuss the separation of church and state. If we aren’t careful then this cancer could spread to other states and other children.

Meet the graduating Texas senior class of 2020 and beyond. This group of students has some unique identifying characteristics, products of an education based upon textbooks crafted with an agenda. If you were to test them on their knowledge, here’s what you’d discover:

* They don’t know who Thomas Jefferson is and why he’s significant, but they do known who John Calvin is and believe he was instrumental to the formation of our nation.
* They believe the terms church and state are interchangeable.
* They do not believe in evolution as fact, but are inclined to embrace creation theory or intelligent design as the explanation for how the universe came into existence.
* They believe the right to bear arms is a first AND second amendment right granted by the Constitution. (see 11:12 entry)
* They do not understand the term “democracy”, but can define “constitutional Republic” and apply it to the American system of government.
* They don’t know that the United States Constitution bans placing one religion over others.
* They can name at least three pro-free market factors contributing to European progress in medieval times. (Yes, I’m serious. Read the 6:43 pm entry)
* They cannot define capitalism, but are completely familiar with the idea that taxation and government regulation inhibits free enterprise.
* They ignore Hispanics and their role in various historical events in the United States, such as the Alamo.

The Texas textbook two-step

This is part of a long term effort by the religious right and other conservatives to worm their way into the system that makes these decisions and then throw out actual facts and replace them with their agenda.

The reason the issue is important and focused on Texas is because Texas is one of the largest buyer of school text books and their “standards” are spread to other districts in other states that buy the same books.

The main problem is the response from the left and those of us who support church and state separation has been to laugh at Texas but the writer of the article karoli has a warning:

Still, in all the reports I’ve seen about this, there’s a certain derision from the left that sends danger signals off in me. Laugh at the Texas School Board at your own peril. They have just succeeded in approving a statewide curriculum indoctrinating students, educating them on a single point of view, and threatening our national curriculum in far too many ways. To shrug them off or paint them as buffoons misses their larger, and largely successful, plan.

I worry that we will all be caught flat footed like we were when Intelligent Design swept the nation before the science community and its supporters were able to ramp up to fight the effort.