David Barton Again Misleads a Church About Violent Crime

Since at least mid-2013, David Barton has been telling church audiences that violent crime has gone up 694% since the Supreme Court ruled on prayer and Bible reading in public schools. I wrote first about this in 2013, and then again last year. Recently at First Baptist Church in Eastland TX, he made the same false claim. Watch:

His chart demonstrating a rise in crime from the early 1960s only goes to the mid-1990s. There was a rise in crime during that period. However, the crime rate has dropped dramatically since the mid-1990s until the present. Barton has never explained that. It is as if he still thinks it is 1995.
In June 2013, Barton showed Crossroads Church (OK) this chart (dark because it is a screen cap) and made the same claim he made to the First Baptist audience.

According to the Department of Justice, homicides were at 1963 rates in 2011.
BJSMurder19602011Violent crime has declined since the mid-1990s and continued to decline in 2013. Barton must want it to be the mid-1990s but it is not. The actual data since the 1960s doesn’t support his claim but he keeps making it to church groups all over the country.

Quest Church Has Purchased the Building Formerly Known as Mars Hill Ballard

It is official: Quest Church in Seattle has purchased the old Mars Hill Ballard location. In a press release out late last night, the church announced that it will rent the building to Cross and Crown Church, the current occupant until they can move into a new facility.
Quest Church Purchases Mars Hill Building (Press Release)
Sources in a position to know have told me that Cross and Crown Church leaders (formerly Mars Hill Ballard) plan to move into the old Mars Hill University District building sometime later this year. Mars Hill Church is in the process of selling and distributing assets, including this sale and the distribution of the University District building to Cross and Crown.  Mars Hill has been silent about the pace of dissolution. At one point since the announcement of Mars Hill’s closing, executive elder Dave Bruskas told me that the press@marshill.com account was being monitored. However, no answers have come as the result of inquiries to that account.

Wait, What? Moments from the Right and Left

Earlier today I saw this tweet:

Wait, what?
I replied that it was unbelievable and that I would like to see evidence. So far, community organizer Zach Green hasn’t provided anything on his twitter feed. It sounds too good to be true. Thus, evidence is needed.
Just a bit ago, Right Wing Watch posted David Barton’s newest claim: President Obama has “publicly leaked” Israeli intelligence to the Muslim Brotherhood seven times. Watch:
As Right Wing Watch’s Kyle Mantyla points out, there is no evidence, nor does Barton take into account evidence which would argue against his conclusion.

As usual, Barton did not actually provide any evidence to support this claim other than his own “research,” so it is impossible to know what he is even referencing or how he would explain the millions of dollars in U.S. aid to the al-Sisi government in Egypt, which has vowed to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood.

I suspect such leaks would be illegal and the charges are reckless. I want proof of that. Probably Brian Williams has the story but he is on break right now. So Barton is going to have to step up and provide the proof.
Wait, what?

David Barton on Real Life with Jack Hibbs: Did the University of Virginia Have Chaplains?

David Barton was on Calvary Chapel pastor Jack Hibbs’ show Real Life with Jack Hibbs last night. Part one is available on You Tube with apparently more to come. They didn’t get into much until near the end of this segment. At about 22 minutes into the video, Barton accuses others of using history to support an agenda. Then he illustrates how he revises the work of PhDs in history with original sources by citing his involvement in a 2011 book with Daryl Cornett, William Henard, and John Sassi titled, Christian America? Perspectives on our Religious Heritage. In that book, Daryl Cornett said about the University of Virginia:

At the University of Virginia there was no Christian curriculum and the school had no chaplain.

Barton cited that claim to Jack Hibbs. Watch:

Barton claims to have refuted Cornett by going to an original source. While it is true that the University of Virginia eventually created a chaplain position, this was not the case from the beginning of the school. Originally, UVA did not employ chaplains. Barton doesn’t tell you that scholars are concerned with the founding of the school and no academic historian I am aware of disputes that the school eventually added chaplains.
Barton tells Jack Hibbs that the claim about chaplains and the UVA is made in connection to Jefferson (who died in 1826). In addition, Barton says he has a newspaper from “that era” which contains an ad by the chaplain of UVA. However, what Barton does not tell Jack Hibbs is that Jefferson was long dead before that newspaper article was published in 1837. By not placing the events in proper context, Barton misleads the audience to think the existence of chaplains at UVA came when Thomas Jefferson was alive. Not so.
The claim about chaplains at UVA is also in Barton’s pulled-from-print book The Jefferson Lies and was one Michael Coulter and I addressed in our book Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President. To fully address Barton’s claim and our response to it, I have taken that section from our work on the 2nd edition of the book and made it into a pdf file for review.
Barton’s claim to correct academic historians is stunning. From the pdf, let me take just a bit of what Barton does to James Madison. From Getting Jefferson Right:

Another aspect of the chaplain story bears comment. Barton takes portions of a letter written by James Madison and selectively portrays the quote as an announcement about chaplains. Here again is what Barton quotes [from The Jefferson Lies] from Madison:

By 1829, when the nondenominational reputation of the university had been fully established, James Madison (who became rector of the university after Jefferson’s death in 1826) announced “that [permanent] provision for religious instruction and observance among the students would be made by…services of clergymen.”

Rather than a public announcement or a policy change, Madison wrote those words in a May 1, 1828 letter to Chapman Johnson, one of the members of the university Board of Visitors. The actual quote depicts a completely different meaning than Barton implies. Here is the entire section of the letter, from which Barton lifts his quote. Barton leaves out the words from Madison which are required to understand the meaning. Another unwarranted change Barton makes is to add the word “permanent.” What Barton omitted is in italics below:

I have indulged more particularly the hope, that provision for religious instruction and observances among the Students, would be made by themselves or their Parents & Guardians, each contributing to a fund to be applied, in remunerating the services of Clergymen, of denominations, corresponding with the preference of the contributors. Small contributions would suffice, and the arrangement would become more & more efficient & adequate, as the Students become more numerous; whilst being altogether voluntary, it would interfere neither with the characteristic peculiarity of the University, the consecrated principle of the law, nor the spirit of the Country.

Contrary to Barton’s claim, Madison did not make an announcement in 1828 that permanent provision for religious worship would be made by clergymen. Instead, he told one of the university board members his hope that parents and students would voluntarily secure clergymen to provide religious services if so desired by the parents and students. Indeed, reading the entire letter, Madison’s view was that such instruction should come in this voluntary manner rather than having it come via the hiring of members of the clergy to teach.vii Such an arrangement would preserve the independence of the school from religious entanglements and disputes while respecting the free exercise of religion. Barton’s selective quotation of a primary source obscures Madison’s meaning and adds a revised one he apparently prefers.

Obviously, Barton is the one doing the revising. Barton said Madison wrote this:

 “that [permanent] provision for religious instruction and observance among the students would be made by…services of clergymen.”

However, James Madison actually wrote this:

I have indulged more particularly the hope, that provision for religious instruction and observances among the Students, would be made by themselves or their Parents & Guardians, each contributing to a fund to be applied, in remunerating the services of Clergymen, of denominations, corresponding with the preference of the contributors. Small contributions would suffice, and the arrangement would become more & more efficient & adequate, as the Students become more numerous; whilst being altogether voluntary, it would interfere neither with the characteristic peculiarity of the University, the consecrated principle of the law, nor the spirit of the Country.

I hope it is obvious that the import of this is not about when UVA had chaplains. It is about credibility and what appears to be an intent to mislead people.
I have images of the Globe newspaper Barton referred to. Barton touts his original documents but I haven’t found anything yet that I can’t get via an historical data base. The letter was in an 1837 edition but wasn’t an ad to get students to come to UVA.
Top of the page
Bottom of the page

To read the segment on chaplains at UVA, click Did the University of Virginia Have Chaplains?

Ergun Caner Back in the Saddle at Texas Youth Conference

Just weeks after resigning from Brewton-Parker College citing health reasons (but alleged to be for other reasons), Ergun Caner is back speaking at an Aledo, TX (David Barton’s home town) church youth conference.
He has some interesting things to say about people, to say the least.

Quest Church to Occupy Old Mars Hill Ballard Building

Although details are few, an announcement in church this morning indicated that Quest Church, pastored by Eugene Cho, will occupy the old Mars Hill Ballard building.
An unidentified staffer indicated that a press release would come out later this week with more details. It is not clear at this time whether Quest Church will purchase the building or enter into some other kind of relationship with what is left of Mars Hill.
Mars Hill Church ceased holding services on the last Sunday of December 2014. The church continues to function as a legal entity to dispose of property and other assets. Church sources have gone silent about the pace of dissolution. The potential lawsuit is still potential.
Mars Hill Ballard  became Cross and Crown Church in 2015. For now, Cross and Crown still meets at 1401 NW Leary Way in Seattle. I wonder where they will go next.
UPDATE: Several reliable sources have informed me that the current plan is for Cross & Crown Church to take control of the old University District church.

Simon & Schuster Has No Plans to Publish David Barton's The Jefferson Lies

Yesterday, I wrote about how Thomas Nelson removed David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies from publication in late July, 2012. According to philosopher Jay Richards, Barton’s book was investigated by Thomas Nelson and then removed from their catalog several days before anyone reported it publicly. Richards led an effort to gather information to inform Glenn Beck about the historical problems in Barton’s work. Beck, along with other religious conservatives, eventually chose to ignore the evaluations of academic historians in order to preserve Barton’s reputation and influence.
For his part, Barton minimized the devastating critique from various historians. He also said publisher Simon and Schuster was prepared to publish The Jefferson Lies.

After Thomas Nelson dropped the book, The Jefferson Lies was subsequently reviewed and then picked up by Simon & Schuster.
Clearly, Thomas Nelson’s public statements about the reason for pulling the book are incongruous with the above facts, so was there perhaps some other reason behind their announcement? Quite possibly, for only two weeks prior to suddenly dropping The Jefferson Lies, Thomas Nelson had been taken over in an acquisition by Rupert Murdoch and HarperCollins Publishers.6
Thanks to Throckmorton and other critics, The Jefferson Lies will reach a far larger audience through Simon & Schuster than it would have with the Christian publisher Thomas Nelson.

To my knowledge, this claim has never been withdrawn. The rumor that Simon and Schuster was about to publish Barton’s book has been going around since The Jefferson Lies was pulled. Today, I can announce that Simon and Schuster has no plans to publish the book. According to Jennifer Robinson, Vice President and Director of Publicity with Threshold Editions at Simon and Schuster:

There are no plans for Threshold to publish The Jefferson Lies.

Threshold is an imprint of Simon and Schuster which has published books jointly with Mercury Ink, Glenn Beck’s publishing imprint. I wrote Ms. Robinson again to ask if Mercury Ink was going to publish the book and she referred me to Kevin Balfe at Mercury Ink. Balfe has not responded as yet. According to Mercury Ink’s website, Simon and Schuster is a partner in some manner (probably distribution) which led me to ask Ms. Robinson if publication by Mercury Ink could be construed as publication by Simon and Schuster. In her reply, Robinson said I needed to hear from Mercury Ink and added:

S&S is not publishing the book.

If Mercury Ink provides an update, I will add it to this post. For now, according to Simon and Schuster’s representative, there are no plans for them to publish The Jefferson Lies.

The League of the South Honors John Wilkes Booth

On the League of the South website, League president Michael Hill wrote today:

The League of the South looks to the present and future. However, from time to time we do look back at our past.

This 14th of April will mark the 150th anniversary of John Wilkes Booth’s execution of the tyrant Abraham Lincoln. The League will, in some form or fashion, celebrate this event. We remember Booth’s diary entry: “Our country owed all her troubles to him, and God simply made me the instrument of his punishment.” A century and a half after the fact, The League of the South thanks Mr. Booth for his service to the South and to humanity.

Stay tuned . . .

Michael Hill

Booth considered slavery to be a blessing.

Currently, the senior instructor of the Institute on the Constitution, David Whitney, is the chaplain of the Maryland/Virginia branch of the League of the South. The founder of the IOTC, Michael Peroutka says he is no longer a member but thanked Hill for the League’s support in Peroutka’s November election to the Anne Arundel County (MD) Council.

New Jersey Judge Says Gay Cure Claim is Fraud

Recognizing the position of all mental health organizations, a New Jersey judge said yesterday it is consumer fraud to claim homosexuality is a disease which can be cured.
Judge Peter Barsio, Jr. wrote:

It is a misrepresentation in violation of the CFA (Consumer Fraud Act), in advertising or selling conversion therapy services to describe homosexuality, not as being a normal variation of human sexuality, but as being a mental illness, disease, disorder, or equivalent.

Reparative therapists hold that attractions to the same sex represent a disordered state due to deficits in parenting. These theories have been discredited long ago but reparative therapists have held on to them. Given that therapists offer a service to consumers, consumer protection law has been used in the New Jersey case against JONAH to address the fraudulent claims.
JONAH claims not to offer therapy but I suspect testimony will establish that they do (or at least did). I know that JONAH historically has promoted reparative therapy which has parental fault at the center of the causal narrative. I have seen many families torn up over the reparative theory.

Full Text of Joint Resolution to Declare War on ISIL

This afternoon the President is slated to hold a news conference regarding the declaration against ISIL.
The full text from the Senate website is below. This will debated and voted on soon according to media reports.

To authorize the limited use of the United States Armed Forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Whereas the terrorist organization that has referred to itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and various other names (in this resolution referred to as ‘‘ISIL’’) poses a grave threat to the people and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, regional stability, and the national security interests of the United States and its allies and partners;
Whereas ISIL holds significant territory in Iraq and Syria and has stated its intention to seize more territory and demonstrated the capability to do so;
Whereas ISIL leaders have stated that they intend to conduct terrorist attacks internationally, including against the United States, its citizens, and interests;
Whereas ISIL has committed despicable acts of violence and mass executions against Muslims, regardless of sect, who do not subscribe to ISIL’s depraved, violent, and oppressive ideology;
Whereas ISIL has threatened genocide and committed vicious acts of violence against religious and ethnic minority groups, including Iraqi Christian, Yezidi, and Turkmen populations;
Whereas ISIL has targeted innocent women and girls with horrific acts of violence, including abduction, enslavement, torture, rape, and forced marriage;
Whereas ISIL is responsible for the deaths of innocent United States citizens, including James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller;
Whereas the United States is working with regional and global allies and partners to degrade and defeat ISIL, to cut off its funding, to stop the flow of foreign fighters to its ranks, and to support local communities as they reject ISIL;
Whereas the announcement of the anti-ISIL Coalition on September 5, 2014, during the NATO Summit in Wales, stated that ISIL poses a serious threat and should be countered by a broad international coalition;
Whereas the United States calls on its allies and partners, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa that have not already done so to join and participate in the anti-ISIL Coalition;
Whereas the United States has taken military action against ISIL in accordance with its inherent right of individual and collective self-defense;
Whereas President Obama has repeatedly expressed his commitment to working with Congress to pass a bipartisan authorization for the use of military force for the anti-ISIL military campaign; and
Whereas President Obama has made clear that in this campaign it is more effective to use our unique capabilities in support of partners on the ground instead of large-scale deployments of U.S. ground forces: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That
This joint resolution may be cited as the “Authorization for Use of Military Force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”
(a) AUTHORIZATION.—The President is authorized, subject to the limitations in subsection (c), to use the Armed Forces of the United States as the President determines to be necessary and appropriate against ISIL or associated persons or forces as defined in section 5.
(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION.—Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1547(a)(1)), Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544(b)).
(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS.—Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.).
The authority granted in subsection (a) does not authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations.
This authorization for the use of military force shall terminate three years after the date of the enactment of this joint resolution, unless reauthorized.
The President shall report to Congress at least once every six months on specific actions taken pursuant to this authorization.
In this joint resolution, the term ‘‘associated persons or forces’’ means individuals and organizations fighting for, on behalf of, or alongside ISIL or any closely-related successor entity in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.
The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107– 243; 116 Stat. 1498; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) is hereby repealed.