Jan 11, 2011

Local teabgger group sponsoring false attack on the U.S. Constitution

Something called the “912 Liberty Tea Party of Western Livingston County” is bringing us nine straight weeks of misinformation, courtesy of Christian historical revisionist and Republican activist David Barton.

The counterfeit 9-12 movement is a political scheme hatched by deranged hatemonger Glenn Beck launched on Faux “news” in March 2009 , and the local group is holding a screening of Barton’s video series attacking the constitutional principle of separation of church and state that has given Americans more religious freedom than any people in world history.

Baron runs an outfit called “WallBuilders” where he makes a lucrative living traveling the right wing's lecture circuit “where he offers up a cut-and-paste version of U.S. history liberally sprinkled with gross distortions and, in some cases, outright factual errors,” according to Rob Boston, assistant director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The local teabagger group ran an ad in the Fowlerville News & Views touting a weekly, nine week showing of Barton’s revisionist history, calling him a historian and inviting people to “Come learn what was taught in our classrooms until the 1940s.”

According to SourceWatch, Barton “has teamed up with conservative radio and talk show host Glenn Beck. On July 7, 2010 Barton taught the first lecture in Beck's online seminar series entitled, "Glenn Beck University." His lecture, entitled "The Black-Robed Regiment," revolved around the idea of teaching the "true" history of America's founding. Beck’s Web site refers to Barton as “Prof. David Barton,” but Barton holds no advanced degrees and does not teach at any legitimate institution. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education from Oral Roberts University. While Beck is not an actual historian, he has posed as one since the 1990s.

Barton also has a wretched history of supporting racism and prejudice. According to Boston, “Barton addressed the Rocky Mountain Bible Retreat of Pastor Pete Peters' Scriptures for America, a group that espouses the racist "Christian Identity" theology that insist that white Anglo-Saxons are the "true" chosen people of the Bible and charge that today's Jews are usurpers.”

People duped into watching Barton’s “American Heritage Series” can expect, according to Boston, “a compilation of quotes from historical figures discussing the importance of religion or morality to government wrenched from their historical context, and, of course, outright lies; like the one that James Madison is claiming that the future of the U.S. government is "staked upon...the Ten Commandments" that does not appear in the body of Madison's writings.” Or the biggest lie that Thomas Jefferson, who coined the metaphor "wall of separation between church and state,” went on to add that the "wall" was meant to be "one directional," protecting the church from the state but not the other way around. “

Boston also says Barton’s favorite tactic is to “cite obscure legal decisions from state and federal courts in the 19th century that failed to uphold separation of church and state. These magically become "proof" that the concept is mythical. Again, no context is given, and needless to say, the voluminous court decisions that reached the opposite conclusion are not mentioned.”

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization based in Washington, D.C. founded in 1947 dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.

The Center for Media and Democracy publishes SourceWatch, a specialized encyclopedia of the corporate front groups, PR teams, "experts," industry-friendly groups, and think tanks trying to influence public opinion on behalf of corporations or government agencies for citizens and journalists looking for documented information.


Not Anonymous said...

So you haven't seen the American Heritage Series. You're just depending on some guy's writing to give you his facts.

This topic of Separation of church and state is really very simple, and only made difficult by those wanting to change the Constitution.

The exact wording in the Constitution is:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Nowhere does it say that free people who have a religion stay out of Congress, the state or the goverment. In fact, it goes further by saying "or prohibiting the free speech..."

Government cannot dictate religion to people It cannot outlaw religion. It also cannot prevent people of religious convictions from participating in government. It also cannot force you to be religious. To deny you religion or lack of religion infringes on free speech.

Separation of church and state is one sided. It prevents the government from forcing religion on you, but it doesn't for religion out of government.

Perhaps you should see the American Heritage Series and find out what your opponents have to say for yourself and make your own decisions, if you can go with an open mind, rather than depending on someone elses words and letting them decide for you.

I hope I get the chance to see it. If they are trying to force religion on people, they are just as wrong as those wanting to keep religion out of government.

It's amazing to me that you think anyone seeing it is being duped. Is nobody free to decide for themselves to go and see things and make their own decisions or is it just that you require they come to the same conclusion as you.

Communications guru said...

Why see it, it has already been debunked? But, I plan to attend at least one anyway; even though it has already been debunked. You are just depending on some guy's debunked video who claims to be an historian with no qualifications to give you his facts.

I agree, the “topic of separation of church and state is really very simple, and only made difficult by those wanting to change the Constitution,” like David Barton and Glenn Beck.

No one ever said “ free people who have a religion stay out of Congress, the state or the government” certainly not me.

I agree, government cannot dictate religion to people, nor can it establish a state religion, which is exactly what Barton is trying to do. No one is trying to outlaw religion. No one is trying to prevent people of religious convictions from participating in government. But people like Barton are trying to establish a state religion.

No, separation of church and state is not one sided.

Anyone who accepts as fact what this guy is selling is being duped. What he is using to sell it has been debunked. To most reasonable people, that’s duping people.

Once again, anonymous coward, I am still waiting for you to back up your outrageous lie that we were “nearly shoulder to shoulder once.”

Grung_e_Gene said...

Why would anyone want religion intertwined with Government? Christian Domionists, of course, would because then they can use the destructive power of Government (which as conservatives point out is evil and does everything worse than the free market) to force people into tithing and accepting christ or being burned at the stake.

But, that's pretty much what conservatives want, witch trials, inquisitions and stoning of non-believers.

Communications guru said...

Great points, as usual. I enjoy reading your blog.