Baptist Minister Reacts to David Barton's Justification of Indian Destruction

At Crosswalk and Huffington Post, I posted articles this week with comments from Randy Adams, outreach minister with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (Southern Baptist). Adams has outreach responsibilities with Native Americans in OK and has commented before on Bryan Fischer’s views of native people. He reacted similarly to Barton’s statements about the destruction of Indian tribes as being a part of a just war theory.

About Barton’s claims, Adams said, “using just war theory to support the general subjugation of Native people seems outrageous based upon the fact that Europeans were occupying a land already occupied, at least in part, and that by a people of vastly different culture and religion.” Furthermore, Adams considers Barton’s account to be harmful, adding, “Does it help Native Americans feel better about things? No. Does it help other Americans feel justified in some way? No. This kind of generalization is careless and too easy to disprove, in part if not in whole, to be of any good.”

This week, I have spoken to other native Americans who did not want to comment on the record, but believe Barton’s comments are outrageous. One minister with an outreach to native peoples told me such views are a barrier to his work. This is an instance where one’s approach to history matters in the here and now.

Reporting on the Kansas Prayer Breakfast, Topeka Capital-Journal Covers David Barton Controversy

David Barton spoke at the Kansas Governor’s Prayer Breakfast today and among other things again said that the Constitution directly quotes the Bible. And if you don’t see it, you wouldn’t know a Bible verse if it bit you. So reports Phil Anderson of the Topeka C-J.
Anderson then provides quotes from me about the misleading statements Barton frequently makes at such meetings. He says some historians disagree with Barton about direct quotes from the Bible. I think it would be more accurate to say most if not all historians disagree with Barton on that point. Are there any actual historians who believe this?
In any case, I was very glad to see some balance in the article.

Uganda Watch: David Bahati Vows to Press Ahead with His Anti-Gay Bill

Recently, a delegation from the Kennedy Center visited Uganda and spoke with various politicians, including mover of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, David Bahati. In this NTV clip, Bahati sounds resolved to continue with his crusade.

Parliament is currently on recess, subject to the Speaker’s recall.
Bahati continues to frame his bill as a child protection measure despite the fact that existing laws already cover offenses against minors. Moreover, every gay organization in Uganda supports penalties for child molestation.

More on David Barton and King Philip's War

After David Barton’s astounding defense of the destruction of Indian tribes and their means of supporting themselves, I started reading more about King Philip’s War. Barton said the Indians declared war to defend torture in particular and their culture more generally. This is inadequate as an explanation. In addition to any concerns about culture, there was the more important matter of English encroachment on Indian lands. Philip (Metacomet, son of Massasoit) had appreciation for elements of English culture, having taken an English name and even buying English clothing. However, the English inflamed the Indians by disarming them and disregarding their property rights. After the trial and execution of three of Philip’s tribe by the English — which he believed was unjust — Philip engaged in his first attack on an English village.
Regarding torture, it is arrogant to suggest the English only used it as a response to the Indians, at least according to George William Ellis and John Emery Morris in their book about King Philip’s War, written in 1906.  Ellis and Morris wrote:

In connection with the captivity of Mrs. Rowlandson, it may be said that one party was as forward in the exercise of cruelty as the other. The torture of Englishmen by the Indians was the exception rather than the rule. The women and children were not tortured and were generally spared if the pursuit pressed not too fast upon their captor’s heels. The Indian conqueror never lowered himself to the level of the European soldiery of the time in the sack of captured towns and villages with their carnival of rape and murder. In all the chronicles of the time, the reader finds no recorded instance of outrage upon a woman captive or the useless torture of children.
“And such was the goodness of God to those poor captive women and children that several found so much favor in the sight of their enemies that they were offered no wrong to any of their persons save what they could not help, being in many wants themselves, neither did they offer any uncivil carriage to any of the females or any attempt the chastity of any of them, either being restricted of God as was Abimeleck of old or by some other external cause which withheld them from doing any wrong of that kind.” (A quote from Hubbard).
The settlers slew without discrimination as to age or sex and inflicted torture with a stern self-righteousness. The former generation had set an example in the destruction of the women and children in the Pequot fort, the present followed it closely, the next was to burn the Salem witches. The temper of the age and their belief that they were the people of the new Israel, their foes the old Canaanites and Philistines with new faces hardened them to mercy. In the books of the Old Testament, they sought and found precedents and divine commands in plenty that spoke with the same authority and inspiration for the guidance of their Israel of the new dispensation as to the fate to be meted out to hostile people as it had for the old. Hence arose more than one instance of bad faith. Hence, men women and children were slaughtered or sold into slavery in the West Indies. Rhode Island alone, to her credit, prohibiting the practice by statute. 

Ellis and Morris referred to the destruction of “Pequot fort.” This took place in 1637 and involved the massacre of older men, women and children of the Pequot tribe during the Pequot War. As Ellis and Morris noted, the English believed they had the right to clear the land of the natives because they believed God had given them the land. All that to say that it is hard to tell who was civilized and who wasn’t when one really looks at the history.
I am not saying that I would have done anything differently if I was an English settler. I hope I would have but the lessons of my discipline (e.g., Stanford Prison Experiment, Milgram studies) tell me that the power of the situation can corrupt good morals. What I am saying is that even if I had engaged in atrocities as a resident of that time and place, I would have been wrong. To me, it is misguided arrogance and pride to defend such behavior and it is moral cowardice to refuse to call it evil.

David Barton Justifies Civilizing Indians By Destroying Them

Yesterday, on Wallbuilders Live, David Barton addressed just war theory and conduct toward nations who don’t follow conventions of war. In doing so, he said:

What happened was the Indian leaders said “they’re trying to change our culture” and so they declared war on all the white guys and went after the white guys and that was King Philip’s War.  It was really trying to be civilized on one side and end torture and the Indians were threatened by the ending of torture and so we had to go in and we had to destroy Indian tribes all over until they said “oh, got the point, you’re doing to us what we’re doing to them, okay, we’ll sign a treaty.”

King’s Philip’s War was about much more than Barton describes (e.g., one reason involved English encroachment on Indian lands in violation of prior agreements) and the English did their share of torturing as well. In fact, they burned entire villages to the ground and often went beyond the behavior of the Indians.  Barton’s narrative is woefully inaccurate.
I wonder how this justification of American atrocities will sit with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Barton is slated to speak at the Kansas prayer breakfast next week (March 27). Brownback was one of the champions of the Native American Apology Resolution that passed through Congress and was signed by President Obama.  According to Barton, no such apology is needed; the colonists were justified in destroying Indian tribes “all over.”
(Hat tip to RWW where you can also hear relevant portions of the audio)
UPDATE: Indian Country Today has a feature on Barton’s ideas about wiping out the Indians.
More on King Philip’s War.

Uganda Watch: President Says There is No Discrimination Against Gays in Uganda

Speaking to a delegation from the Robert F. Kennedy Center, Uganda’s President Yowari Museveni sounded moderate tones in discussing homosexuality yesterday.
Contrary to numerous reports of discrimination and violence, Museveni said that in Uganda, “there is no discrimination, no killings, no marginalization, no luring of young people using money into homosexual acts”. Perhaps he means there shouldn’t be such actions, but the country’s Parliament needs to put away the Anto-Homosexuality Bill before his words can have any credibility.
Currently, Parliament is on recess to get constituent feedback on the contentious Marriage and Divorce Bill. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill remains at #3 on the list of items to be considered.

NARTH's Tax Exempt Status: Do They Care?

Typical of NARTH, much of the world is talking about them and they haven’t made a public comment on the loss of their tax exempt status. I have heard from people who have written them and the response from NARTH is to claim there is a mistake and they anticipate maintaining their status.
Maintaining, of course, is not the right word since they don’t have it now. They would have to regain it which is possible but involves re-submitting applications and paying fees. If there is some reason why they did not file that would be acceptable to the IRS then they might get the status retroactively. However, I imagine it would have to be a pretty good story.
This means that donations made to NARTH are not tax deductible and there is pretty good chance that donations made now never will be deductible until they regain their status. However, they have offered no official recognition or advisory notice on their website so that donors are warned. Donors who attempt to deduct gifts to a non-eligible organization are subject to penalty.
Here’s another thing, thus far, I know of no religious media source who has written about this. While I can imagine that they might not want to write an embarrassing article, they are not helping their readers.
Last week, I asked NARTH’s Executive Secretary David Pruden for a comment or reaction but thus far, silence.
UPDATE: Surprisingly, One News Now (AFA) covered this story. And they quote someone who knows all about losing one’s IRS status – Peter LaBarbera. Not letting a crisis go to waste, LaBarbera makes the IRS action about government persecution. However, his own group which is even more anti-gay than NARTH got their non-profit status back after filing the necessary papers.
It still seems odd that NARTH did not comment on their status even in what is a friendly venue for them.

World Publishes Our Response to David Barton

World continues the focus on the Barton Controversy with our rebuttal to Barton’s response to our book.
We focus on Barton’s contention that we make mountains out of molehills in our critique. In fact, the details matter as we demonstrate.
We also make it clear that Barton isn’t living by his own standards. He takes historians to task for using secondary sources, but he does the same thing. His sources are often unknown as with the Louis L’Amour story presented on Glenn Beck’s Show as an historical fact.
In this article, we also launch a feature on the Getting Jefferson Right website called Ask a Professor. Have a question about American history facts? Our panel of historians will attempt to help out.

Uganda Watch: Anti-Gay Bill Next to be Considered by Parliament (UPDATED)

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 continues to move up and down the list of items to be considered next by Uganda’s Parliament. Today, it is the third item but the first bill to be considered once current business is completed.
Several bills have leapfrogged over the anti-gay bill in the last several weeks and so the position of the anti-gay bill on any given day is not necessary an indicator of when the bill will come to the floor, if at all. However, Speaker Kadaga continues to keep it on the agenda.
UPDATE: The order paper for today (3/14/13) maintains the same order of business with the anti-gay bill still being third on the list of business to follow the current action on the floor.

NARTH Loses Tax Exempt Status (UPDATED)

In September 2012, the tax exempt status of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) was revoked due to failure to file Form 990 for three consecutive years. The notice of revocation was yesterday according to the IRS website.

narthrevocation

Even though the full name of the organization is not listed, the Employee Identification Number and address match up with the 2009 990 form. A call to the IRS also confirmed it.

NARTH’s website advises prospective donors that their donations will be tax deductible but it appears such deductions after September 15, 2012 may not be allowed.

It is difficult to know what this means. NARTH has never been a wealthy organization and conference attendance has declined in recent years. Members are hoping to maintain their ability to conduct reparative therapy with minors in CA via lawsuits against the state to overturn SB 1172 (see this article for more on SB 1172 and then NARTH’s perspective). NARTH has been actively soliciting donations to help support their legal actions. One would not be able to tell from the website that those donations are not deductible.

UPDATE (3/14/13) – I have heard from two commenters and other reliable sources that NARTH continues to tell those who inquire that donations are still deductible. However, according to an IRS representative I spoke with on Tuesday, their status is revoked and there has been no action from NARTH to attempt to reinstate that status. As is typical for NARTH, there has been no on-the-record comment on this situation, despite requests.