Today's Lesson in White Privilege is Brought to You by David Barton

Yesterday, Right Wing Watch posted some audio of David Barton lamenting his status as white, Christian male. Want to understand white privilege? Today’s lesson is brought to us by Mr. Barton. On the American Pastor’s Network radio show, Barton said (audio posted by RWW):

Every item in the Bill of Rights is given to every individual, it’s not given to groups, but today, the Supreme Court says the purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect the minority from the majority. Now how stupid is that? Because I’m in the majority as a white guy, do I not get the right to a trial by jury, do I not get the right to free speech? No, because I’m in the wrong group. And so, what happens is even back in 1992, in a Supreme Court case I was involved with, the court at the time created classes of religions and if you’re in Christianity, that’s the biggest religion so we give you the least protection. But if you’re in a small religion, we’ll give you more protection than anyone else.

Keep calm and speak freely, Mr. Barton; you have all your First Amendment rights. Even though you are a white Christian, you can have a trial by jury if ever you need one. What hubris to think minorities have it better than you. I can’t think of a better way to illustrate white Christian privilege than these statements.
Surely, Mr. Barton has read the Federalist papers. It appears he disagrees with Madison who wrote in #51:

It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.
There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable. The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. Whilst all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority.
In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects.

Madison (also in #10) expressed confidence that the U.S. system would protect the rights of minorities from the state and from the majority. In the quote above, Madison wrote that “Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens.” Madison was not as troubled by discussing the interests of “groups” as Barton is. Instead of complaining that the majority had fewer rights, Madison expressed concern that minority rights could be “insecure.”

Daily Stormer: Stephen Bannon is 100% Our Guy; His Idea to Omit Jews from Holocaust Proclamation

I am not saying that Stephen Bannon would approve of this but I think he should go out of his way to denounce it if he doesn’t. Here is Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer on Bannon and Trump’s Holocaust proclamation (which didn’t include any reference to Jews being the principle target of the Holocaust).

For the most part, Donald Trump does not have any strong beliefs. That is to say, no specific strong beliefs. He wants to bring the people together and make America great again, and he wants to take the best path possible to that goal.
As such, it is extremely important that he is surrounded by the best people possible. And Bannon is the best man possible. He is 100% /ourguy/. Who do you think came up with the idea of writing a Holocaust Day message that didn’t include any mention of the Jews? That’s not something Trump thought of himself, and it certainly isn’t something that could have been done by accident.
The more Bannon we get, the better. Just as the less Kushner we get, the better.

Perhaps Bannon doesn’t care about what is said about him. And for most people, that isn’t a completely bad idea. However, when you advise the president and sit on the National Security Council, there is a higher standard. While I am not prepared to believe Bannon is affiliated with neo-Nazi groups, I also think vigilance is necessary given the administration’s mixed signals and confused message.

Eric Metaxas: Trump is not wrong nearly as much as everybody says he’s wrong

Trump is not wrong nearly as much as everybody says he’s wrong. – Eric Metaxas
This and other gems can be found in an interview with Metaxas conducted by Emma Green for The Atlantic and out this morning. Green interviewed Metaxas at the March for Life and then followed up with an email about Trump’s controversial travel ban.
The above quote in italics comes from an exchange where Green asked:

Green: Evangelical Christians, as a group, are committed to the idea that there is a truth that can be firmly established. But at times, this does not seem to be Trump’s worldview. Take voter fraud—a claim he has repeated with no evidence to back it up.

About Trump’s outrageous claim that 1.5-3 million people voted illegally in the last election, Metaxas answered:

Metaxas: I’m dying to see what this investigation will turn up. Here’s one thing the media and all of us should learn: Trump is not wrong nearly as much as everybody says he’s wrong. In the end, often, what he’s said has been corroborated. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to look into it. It undermines democracy even if there’s a perception of voter fraud.

Probably, I shouldn’t be too surprised since Metaxas said he used David Barton’s materials to help him write his fact-challenged book, If You Can Keep It.
No, the media doesn’t need to learn anything. They need to proceed on the basis that facts should be verified.
Metaxas told Green: “It undermines democracy even if there’s a perception of voter fraud.” We agree there. And that’s why it is irresponsible for Trump to continue claiming without evidence that millions voted illegally.
Finally, on the immigration ban, Metaxas reveals that he hasn’t read that much about it: “As far as I can tell from my limited reading, the order is not what so many are saying it is.” My answer is that he needs to read more. He could start here, and then here and especially here. Perhaps, he should read this report as well.

Something Was Missing from Trump's Proclamation on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

See if you can tell what is missing:

Statement by the President on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

“It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.
“Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.
“In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.”

John Podhoretz caught it. So did Jake Tapper.
And then according to CNN’s Tapper, White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks said, “despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.” Words really don’t have much meaning anymore.
Yes, the Nazi’s killed anyone opposed to them, but they singled out the Jews because they were Jews. The statement is a tip of the hat to those who minimize the Holocaust.
Evangelical leaders (you know who you are), I hope your Supreme Court justice is worth your support for the alt-right, white nationalistic, xenophobic, and incompetent elements you have enabled since the primaries.

David Barton Offers Spring Break Teachers Conference

Instead of relaxing and refreshing, school teachers can now look forward to several days with David Barton over Spring Break.
Wallbuilders Teachers Conference
Barton left off some of the “how-to” topics he should cover.

So many topics, so little time.

Robert Morris' Message to Gateway Church from the Inauguration

While the youth group kids in his church have to pay for their youth meeting refreshments, Robert Morris and Gateway Church co-sponsored one of the glitzy inaugural balls to celebrate the victory of Donald Trump. In a pre-recorded message played to his congregation inauguration weekend, Morris sounded a non-partisan tone. However, as we now know, the church co-sponsored an inaugural ball where Morris declared Donald Trump the “right guy” for president because the church came together in unity. Watch the message to Gateway Church:

Robert Morris: Donald Trump is the Right Guy Who Won Because the Church Came Together

Yesterday, I noted that Dallas area mega-church Gateway Church co-sponsored an inaugural ball in Washington, D.C. At the same time, Gateway Church can afford to sponsor the pricey affair, the church charges youth group kids for pizza at the weekly youth gatherings. A source at Gateway has informed me that the cost is a part of measures designed to address a drop in income at the church.
One of the benefits of sponsorship was the opportunity to address the crowd at the event. Below is Robert Morris’ words on behalf of the effort to elect Donald Trump. Watch:

Transcript of Morris’ remarks:

What brought us to this day was all the hard work.  All the giving.  All the things that we did in the natural.  But really what brought us to this day was that the Church for the first time in a long time came together and prayed for our nation.  But here’s the problem.  Many times it’s the candidate that we don’t like gets elected, then we don’t pray for him.  We don’t like him.  And then if the one that we like gets elected, we don’t pray because we think we got the right guy and he’ll do the right thing.  And I believe Donald Trump is the right guy, but he won’t do the right thing without our help and without God’s help.  And so what we do when we pray is we reach out with one hand and he grab hold of God and we reach out with the other hand in the spiritual and we grab hold of Donald J Trump and we intersect him with God every single day.  Every day.  And this is actually what it means when it says Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.  I don’t wanna burst your bubble but He’s not up there, as Chonda was saying ‘in Jesus’ name’, to his father praying for us, he actually has the Father with one hand and us with the other hand and he brings us into an encounter with His holy Father.  And so I want us to pray and I just wanna give you a charge that we need to continue to pray for our president, our vice president, for our congressmen and women, for our elected officials.  First Timothy says I wish men everywhere would pray and I want them to pray for the governing authorities so will you join me in prayer as we intersect God and our government.
Lord we wanna tell you we are so grateful for today.  Lord, we sensed in our spirits that something has changed in the heavenlies today.  Not just something on earth, but something in the heavenlies changed today.  And so Lord, we ask you to anoint our president with your Holy Spirit.  Lord, to guide his mind and his heart.  Lord we ask you to give him wisdom as you gave Solomon wisdom.  And Lord we ask you that you would bring about a spiritual revival in our nation.  And that the church that came together in this election would continue to come together and be light and salt to America and then to the world.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

Morris believes Trump’s win represents a unity in the Christian church. I don’t agree. I think Trump is a divisive figure in that many Christians oppose him and his vision for the nation. However, the spin from his supporters is that Trump’s victory represents a deliverance or at the least a pause in the path toward social destruction. Others at the Faith, Freedom and Future Ball sounded similar themes (e.g., Tony Perkins said now we at least have a future.).
 

Gateway Church Pastor Robert Morris Dines in Style While Youth Group Kids Pay for Pizza

Recall that Gateway Church founding pastor Robert Morris told his congregation two weeks ago that God wanted him to break the annual churchwide fast in order to eat the food served at Donald Trump’s inauguration. According to video served up by the Family Research Council, Morris did more than attend the festivities, he helped sponsor them. Gateway Church was one of nine sponsors of the Faith, Freedom and Future inaugural ball hosted by FRC’s Tony Perkins (Gateway Church, the only church involved, is circled in red below) in celebration of Donald Trump’s victory.
Inaugural Ball sponsors
Tony Perkins gave a shout-out to each sponsor.

I don’t know what it cost to sponsor the formal affair but, in my opinion, that money could have gone to a more important purpose.
Pizza.
Like most youth groups, Gateway Church serves food during youth meetings. For adolescents, food is a draw since they always seem to be hungry. At the same time, many such groups attract teens who might not eat well at home. At one time, like most churches I know, Gateway Church served food at no cost to the youth group attenders. Now, to help “steward” church funds, teens have to pay $2 for their pizza. Since teens have to pay, this means some kids can’t eat because they really can’t afford it. Thus, Gateway Church is actually soliciting church members for donations to help buy pizza for needy youth group kids. This news comes from one of Gateway’s youth pastors:Gateway pizza

In this season, 60% of students showing up on Wednesday nights at Gateway NRH come from families who do not attend Gateway or another church. We’re reaching our community!
We’ve served pizza on these evenings for many years, not for hype, but to be helpful. To ensure we steward our budget well as we grow, we’ve started charging $2 per plate (two slices of pizza, desert and a bottle of water).
$2 a week seems small to most of us, but it is not possible for some families. I’m okay with giving “free” pizza to those in need, but there’s little lasting value in a freebee.
A student hearing, “Somebody at Gateway cared enough to buy this FOR YOU” is way more meaningful than, “Just take this; it’s free tonight.”
If you would like to purchase one or more pizza tickets for us to bless students with, email us at studentsNRH@gatewaypeople and we’ll send you instructions for either a cash or card purchase.

I know one way Gateway could “steward” the budget better.
It seems to me that pizza for needy kids should be easy for a church that can afford to co-sponsor a presidential gala. Tickets sold for $450/person and rooms at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill (where the ball was held) were $1000/night with a four night minimum. This was no pizza party.
According to the youth pastor, a donation to the pizza fund shows caring for those needy students. What does it show that Gateway’s leaders lavishly spend tithes and offerings to celebrate a Trump victory but can’t spring for pizza?
C’mon Gateway, your donors have already given their tithes and offerings. Can’t the kids have some pizza on the House of God?
 

David Barton Criticizes Public Schools Then Incorrectly Links Quote to Lincoln

You can’t make this up.
Writing for OneNewsNow today, David Barton claimed to know the thinking behind the protestors who descended on Washington DC during the inauguration weekend. Without providing any polling or even anecdotal evidence, he said the protestors were unaware of the reasons why a candidate for president could win the popular vote but lose the election. He said the protestors were unaware that America is not a pure democracy. Somehow, Barton knows the views of all those protestors.

The protestors believe that only the national popular vote matters (which Hillary won – barely). But even though she garnered the votes of most of the largest cities in America, she did not win the majority of the states, cities, or counties. In fact, Trump won 30 of the 50 states, more than 80 percent of America’s 3,141 counties, and an equally lop-sided percentage of its 35,000 cities. The protestors were unaware (as are most Americans) that the Constitution establishes an election system that balances diverse measurements. Shame on schools for not teaching the Constitution.

How does he know this? Because some of the protestors carried signs saying, “Trump is not my president.” Of course, legally Trump is the POTUS. However, I suspect many of the protestors know that but had a different meaning in mind. They don’t believe Trump represents their beliefs and values, or that he is someone they can be proud to call president. Thank God for the freedom to protest and express one’s views.
After ranting and mind reading a little more, Barton pronounces more shame on the schools.

Shame on schools for teaching students to elevate personal opinion above absolute facts.

Speaking of facts, I cannot help but point out that Barton ends his article with a quote that cannot be found in Lincoln’s writings. This is a quote Barton himself once said couldn’t be confirmed.

It’s time that Americans demand that their schools once again teach American history (so students know that the popular vote winner does not always win the presidential election), American government (so they know we are a republic and not a democracy), the Constitution (so they understand our bicameral federal and election system), and absolute truth (that personal opinion must submit to truth and reality). If we don’t make these changes, we will not want to imagine, much less experience, the horrifying results from Abraham Lincoln’s warning that “the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” (emphasis added)

After awhile of looking for this quote in Lincoln’s works, I got that familiar feeling that this was a misattributed quote. Indeed, I can’t find it in any Lincoln source or in any reputable source about Lincoln. I could find no instance of the quote with a citation of anything Lincoln said or wrote.
So after shaming schools for questionable sins, Barton blatantly commits an actual one.
Who should we blame, Mr. Barton or his schools?

Which Donald Trump Did Eric Metaxas Support?

Just before Donald Trump told the whole world that all decisions he makes will be according to the values of “America First,” Eric Metaxas published a piece in the Wall Street Journal with the title, “The Promise of Donald Trump.”
In his inaugural address, Trump said:

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.
From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.
From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First.

In his short piece, Metaxas echoed the themes in his factually flawed book, “If You Can Keep It.” From the article:

Most who have truly loved America have done so with a conviction that we are, to use Lincoln’s phrase, God’s “almost chosen people.” We have been abundantly blessed not for ourselves, but so that we could be a beacon of hope and freedom to the world, not least for people like my parents, who sailed to these shores from war-torn Europe in the 1950s and who, when they passed the Statue of Liberty, were enraptured and emotional, knowing that the liberty it represented was not just a word but could be a way of life, one they hoped to embrace and pass on to their children, and now have, by God’s grace.

Metaxas doesn’t seem to hear the “America First” part of the promises from Donald Trump. Metaxas wants us to believe that America has been brought into existence by God to help others. Trump seems to favor a more nationalistic set of values.