Newt Gingrich promises to seek his advice and texas republican critical thinking for the 2012 presidential campaign.
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. 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. Barton broadened his audience when Fox News’ Glenn Beck became a fan.
Barton’s books up the bestseller lists. And when Beck brought his messianic road show to Washington, D. August 2010, Barton shared the stage with him. While Barton is best known for his claims about the religious intentions of the nation’s founders, he has become a full-service pundit for the far-right in Tea Party America. He pushes predictable positions on abortion, gay rights, and the judiciary. But he is also attacking environmentalists working to combat climate change.
Scholars have criticized Barton for presenting facts out texas republican critical thinking context or in misleading ways, but that hasn’t stopped him from promoting his theories through books, television, and, yes, the textbooks that will teach the next generation of Americans. He promotes conspiracy theories about elites hiding the truth from average Americans in order to undermine the nation from within. Barton’s work is not just an academic exercise. It is meant to have a political impact. Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon.
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Barton promotes a false reality in which anyone who opposes any element of his political agenda stands in opposition to both the Founding Fathers and to God. President Obama is a particularly frequent target of Barton’s. Why is Obama Trying to Remove God from the United States? Those are the kind of accusations long favored by the Religious Right, and they are destructive.
Claims that political opponents are evil and are actively trying to destroy Americans’ freedoms poison the public arena, make constructive civic discourse nearly impossible, and have the potential to incite acts of violence. Elected officials who endorse Barton give his claims credibility they do not deserve. He in turn gives cover and a veneer of legitimacy to right-wing politicians interested in putting their notions of a nation created by and for Christians into public policy. Both Barton and his backers are undermining understanding of, and respect for, vital American values and constitutional principles like separation of church and state and equal treatment under the law.
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