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Don't Mess With Me, David Barton

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On October 25, 2008, I attended a presentation given by Christian nationalist history revisionist David Barton. After his presentation, I approached him and gave him a copy of my book, Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History, a book debunking many of his lies, as well as those of a number of his fellow revisionists.

On January 16, 2009, I became the subject of a segment on Barton's WallBuilders LIVE! radio show, in which he lied about me, my book, and our encounter at his presentation.

Rather than just write about the lies Barton told about me on his show, I decided to make a little video with iMovie, something I've never tried to do before. I ended up getting a bit carried away, making a video that's over an hour long, but once I got started, I wanted to address not just the lies Barton told about me on his show, but also the lies he told in the presentation I attended in October.

For those unfamiliar with Barton, he is not only the most popular of all the Christian nationalist history revisionists, but a former vice-chair of the Texas Republican Party who was used by the GOP in recent elections to travel the country stumping for their "family values" candidates, and is very well connected with the far right members of Congress. In 2005, was named one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America by Time Magazine. But, outside of evangelical Christian circles, and those of us who fight the religious right, few people know who he is.

Barton's pals in Congress, who regularly appear on his radio show to push their far right agenda, include Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Randy Forbes (R-VA, Mike Pence (R-IN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Trent Franks (R-AZ).

Another one of Barton's buddies, described by Barton as "One of the Really Cool Guys," is Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. During Jindal's gubernatorial campaign in 2006, Barton appeared with him at churches in Louisiana, and, on October 18 and 19, 2006, had him on his radio show for a two part interview. Referring in the opening comments of the program to Jindal's election to Congress two years earlier, Barton remarked, "That is the election in which we saw a huge increase in Christian voter turnout, and he is part of that product of what we were able to put in office in 2004."

Barton is currently joining forces with Newt Gingrich and his newly launched Renewing American Leadership organization. According to a March 20 U.S. News & World Report article, "This spring, Gingrich will speak to a handful of large gatherings for politically conservative clergy that have been organized by David Barton, an influential evangelical activist who spearheaded the Republican National Committee's rigorous outreach to pastors in 2004."

I realize that only those people already interested in Christian nationalist history revisionism will be likely to watch this entire video, but I would urge those not familiar with David Barton to at least watch enough of it to see how easily he is able to dupe his audiences into believing that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, a necessary element in getting these people to vote for and support the agenda of his political cohorts.

The video is split into nine segments because of the ten minute limit on YouTube. The first four segments are primarily about what Barton said on his radio show, with a few examples of the lies from his presentation thrown in where they relate to the radio show segment. The last five segments debunk a number of other lies from the presentation itself.


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