Leave it to South Florida 9-12, the local offshoot of political charlatan Glenn Beck's 9-12 Project, to lasso a fraud like David Barton and bring him here to preach his bogus version of American history.
Texas native Barton holds a degree in Christian Education from Oral Roberts University and is a self-described "expert in historical and constitutional issues." For more than 30 years, he has worked to spread the word that the United States was founded as "a Christian nation," telling Pat Robertson, for example, that the American Revolution's motto was "No king but King Jesus."
Barton's farcical scholarship would be funny if it hadn't gained him enough of a following that he served for a decade as vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas and has been a consultant to the Texas Board of Education. His fans include presidential aspirants Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, and our own Marco Rubio, whom Barton has endorsed.
Here's how the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2005 summarized his views:
Barton is working toward an America where students invoke the name of Jesus in morning prayers, where the Ten Commandments occupy a place on state Capitol grounds, where so-called activist judges are impeached for their decisions.
Barton rose into the right-wing stratosphere when Glenn Beck plucked him out of the pulpit and placed him on the faculty of Glenn Beck University. True believer/professional weepoid Beck stood by Barton even when the pseudoscholar's distorted text on Thomas Jefferson was pulled by its publisher -- its Christian publisher -- for historical inaccuracies. (History News Network in 2012 dubbed the Jefferson book "the least credible history book in print," narrowly edging out Howard Zinn's left-wing People's History of the United States.)
Samples of Barton's cherry-picked mishmash of factoids and the debunking of same by genuine scholars can be found here, here and, most especially, here. You can also stroll through the archives of New Times' sister publication the Dallas Observer to pick up on the "noted homophobe's" hometown follies.
Barton's local appearance this weekend will be in the friendly confines of the Palm Beach Gardens campus of Christ Fellowship, a fast-growing Florida fundamentalist group. The church's key belief is that "The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the complete, divinely inspired, infallible Word of God." Historical accuracy isn't going to concern them.
David Barton: "I am the Nation" Saturday, June 28, 6 p.m. Christ Fellowship 5343 Northlake Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting -- covers South Florida news and culture. Got feedback or a tip? Contact [email protected].