Friday, February 19, 2010

Chris Rodda on Barton & Beck

Check out her latest Huffington Post entry here.

A taste:

On October 25, 2008, I attended a presentation given by 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.

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."

6 comments:

Oprah said...

I'm not a terribly big fan of HuffPo, nor am I of Beck and Barton. This is what happens when history is "rewritten" by people other than historians. I'm not saying you absolutely need a PhD to study and have opinions about history (I don't) but I'd sooner trust a historian to tell me what happened than a news caster or an evangelical preacher (no offense to either, I'm a journalist and I go to church)...

CybrgnX said...

I have found that very enthusiastic amateurs are good source for detailed history. Barton etc are NOT amateurs but people with agendas rewriting stuff in hopes of convincing ignorant people to go along his line. To paraphrase...
There are lies, Damn lies, and then 'republican facts'.

Brian Tubbs said...

So much of our politics these days in set up in an adversarial context. And Rodda played it just that way. Basically calling Barton a "liar" by giving him her book and doing it in a way designed to humiliate him. Then, she cries foul when he apparently mischaracterizes their exchange. Obviously, she was hoping for that, expecting that, and she thrives on it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Christian this is why I am so against the religious right. The Bible actually tells us to do the opposite of what they promote. They present God as a bigoted tyrant who forces people to "accept" him thus creating enemies of Christianity. Christianity is about sin and repenting of it this is the message of the Bible, not electing Tiberius to another term. I am against atheism,against abortion and homosexuality because the Bible tells me what sin is. But nowhere does the Bible tell me to believe and do what Barton teaches. He needs to let people believe what they want even if they are wrong. I cannot change individuals and neither can he.Let the dead bury the dead!

Anonymous said...

All nations are under God and all nations try to do what they think is right, They have not survived for millennia because they are not trying. America was founded by God to be a melting pot where all nations can be one nation. Barton and his ilk think America is about their religion when it is really about individual rights given by God to every person.
God doesn't force people to believe in him so why does Barton? Because Barton missed his calling.

Anonymous said...

I came here hoping for an update on the status of the legal case. I am interested in the outcome. That being said, I think many of her supporters do not see Rodda for what she is. She displays an intense obssession with Barton and seems to want his attention. WHile I think she should pay for her libel, I also think suing her gives her the platform she desires for public attention. And, yes, sadly enough, I think her agenda is a psychological need for attention that goes beyond normal. As I recall, Rodda has little education while Barton has an education and has spent years amassing data to prove his contentions. Its my personal opinion from reading her statements about Barton that she is obssessed with him because he is everything she will never be - sort of like Manson's obssession with the Beatles. Even when Barton admitted his mistakes and corrected them, she has continued in her verbal assaults against him. Every rational person knows that history, science and every academic study self corrects. Barton has repeatedly proved his honesty by admitting mistakes. Is that enough for Rodda? No. She seems to literally hate him and for that reason, any statement she makes about him or any encounter she has with him must be read with the understanding of her hatred and motivations. Its a sad thing when irrational and pathological hatred parade around as assumed intellectual honesty, but that is just not the case with Rodda in my opinion. Unfortulately, in her case, one must always consider the psychological motivations of someone so hysterican and obssessed and question everything she says. Its not that she is never right - obviously she is occassionally correct. Its her single minded obssession that makes her dangerous. She is little more than a propagandist and should be read as such. No matter what an individual believes to be true regarding the subject matter, an honest person will analyze the data and not lead on the rantings of an obssessed dog hater.