Archive for the ‘Glenn Beck’ Category

Barton Helps a Brother Out

August 24, 2011

You might have heard about loony conservative radio host — and soon-to-be Texas resident — Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Courage” rally in Israel, which concluded earlier today. (The event featured the typical Beck crocodile tears, an appearance by San Antonio’s John Hagee and, apparently, show tunes.)  But did you hear who is footing the bill for any politician who wants to travel to Israel and attend the event? Our favorite faux-historian David Barton and his group WallBuilders. Credit Think Progress for having the curiosity to click the “Donate” button on the event’s webpage, which:

…takes visitors to WallBuilders website. The site accepts contributions to the ‘Restoring Courage — Israel’ fund:

‘If you want to help and show your solidarity with Israel, you can participate by helping to underwrite the cost of the Restoring Courage event in Jerusalem. All of the funds will go directly towards the production and expenses of the events associated with the Restoring Courage Tour in Israel.'”

Of course, this isn’t the first partnership between Barton and Beck (or the second or third). The two are practically BFFs. In fact, the house Beck reportedly just purchased in Westlake, Texas is a mere 38 miles from Aledo, where Barton’s WallBuilders is headquartered. Maybe they can have a sleepover and plan Beck’s next rally.

Requiem for a Rodeo Clown

June 30, 2011

Good news: Glenn Beck’s FOX News show goes off the air today. Bad news: Beck is considering moving to Texas. Really horrible news if Beck’s serious: he told Gov. Rick Perry he may run for governor if he moves to Texas.

As America’s most beloved tin foil hatter departs from FOX News, the watchdog group Media Matters has prepared a YouTube video of Beck’s greatest hits, including this one:

“Do you really believe that I could, or anybody here at FOX News, could just make things up and remain on the air?”

Well, I guess not, but they gave you waaaaay more than three strikes. Enjoy:

Beck Adds Insult to Tragedy

March 16, 2011

If you had your money on Glenn Beck being the first big-name, far-right icon to conclude that the tragedy in Japan is God’s punishment for (insert reason here), come on down and claim your prize.

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Beck: No ‘Half-Monkey, Half-Human’ Out There!

October 20, 2010

Glenn Beck on the radio today, rejecting evolutionary science (audio clip from Media Matters):

“I don’t think we came from monkeys. I think that’s ridiculous. I haven’t seen the  half-monkey, half-person yet. Did evolution just stop? … There’s no other species that is developing into half-human?”

That argument sound familiar? You might recall that Texas State Board of Education member Ken Mercer claimed during the debate over public school science curriculum standards that the lack of a “dog-cats” and “cat-rats” was proof against evolutionary science.

Beck’s ‘Black Robe Regiment’

September 8, 2010

Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck has clearly climbed aboard the religious right’s campaign to organize fundamentalist clergy in support of its political agenda. After talking to Texan and pseudo-historian David Barton, Beck announced at his recent Restoring Honor rally in Washington the formation of the so-called “Black Robe Regiment.” The name, Barton told him, harkens back to a group of evangelical ministers who supported the American Revolution.

Organizing fundamentalist clergy is not a new political strategy for the religious right. In 2005, for example, the Texas Restoration Project launched an effort to turn pulpits into campaign props for Gov. Rick Perry and like-minded politicians. You can read more about how the Texas Freedom Network helped expose the purpose and secretive funding behind the Texas Restoration Project here.

Barton was one of the organizers of the Restoration Project. Indeed, one of Barton’s responsibilities as a Republican Party functionary (as Texas GOP chair until a few years ago and working for the Republican National Committee in 2004) has been to recruit conservative clergy into the GOP and turn them into political activists in their own congregations. So it’s not surprising that he is helping Beck build a national clergy group to promote a far-right agenda now.

As MediaMatters reports, on his August 30 radio program Beck said he recently told a meeting of evangelical leaders that his new organization “has nothing to do with politics.” Yet at the same meeting, he said, he warned participants: “We’re about to lose our country, and we need to teach the principles of liberty and freedom.” Good grief.

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Barton and Civil Rights

August 27, 2010

In TFN’s 2006 report The Anatomy of Power: The Religious Right and Political Power, we took a hard look at the career of pseudo-scholar David Barton and his efforts to provide a historical justification for making religion the basis for government policy.  Our conclusion:

His main accomplishment (has been) to provide a bridge between the secular and political world  of the Republican Party and the religious world of evangelicals.

Fast forward almost five years to present day, and Barton is now hard at work trying to bridge another gap — this one between the Republican Party and African-American voters. Barton is shopping a revised version of American civil rights history wherein the GOP is the champion of racial equality and Democrats defenders of racism. And guess who’s buying — the man who is preparing to headline a conservative rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech this weekend: Glenn Beck.

But as is always the case with Barton, the story he tells is built on distorted history and half-truths. So says Julie Ingersoll, an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Florida:

Like Barton’s larger revisionist effort to develop and perpetuate the narrative that America is a “Christian nation,” the “Republicans-are-really-the-party-of-racial-equality” narrative is not entirely fictive. Some historical points Barton makes are true; but he and his star pupil Beck manipulate those points along with false historical claims in order to promote their political agenda.

Ingersoll points out that the case for this new right-leaning civil rights narrative is less than persuasive, to say the least. Barton focuses solely on southern congressional Democrats who opposed civil rights until 1964, and apparently has forgotten that a fellow Texan and a Democrat, President Lyndon Johnson, led the successful fight for tough civil rights legislation and enforcement in 1964. Johnson himself predicted correctly that this would lead many Southern Democrats to move to the Republican Party, but Barton also overlooks the subsequent “Southern strategy” used successfully by the Nixon and Reagan campaigns and, to this day, by many Southern politicians to exploit the race issue for their own political gain.

Ingersoll’s entire article on the Beck-Barton partnership is really worth a full read. And here are a few other articles on the controversy swirling around Beck’s attempt to “reclaim the civil rights movement” at this weekend’s rally:

“Glenn Beck’s rally cannot block nation’s path” (Rep. John Lewis in USA Today)

“Glenn Beck rewrites civil rights history” (CNN)

“Beck Rallies In Washington Undercut Church-State Separation” (Americans United for Separation of Church and State)

“Martin Luther King, Jr. Was a Social Justice Christian” (Rev. Jim Wallis on The Huffington Post)

Barton and Beck: An Uncivil Union

August 24, 2010

In the latest step cementing (sanctifying?) his relationship with Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, pseudo-religious scholar/phony historian David Barton has declared in prayer that Beck’s August 28 “Restore Honor Rally” at the Lincoln Memorial in our nation’s capital is divinely inspired. (Civil rights leaders don’t see it that way — they are particularly upset that the rally is set for the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the same site.)

Last week Beck initiated a daily “Glenn Beck Morning Prayer” on his website. Barton, head of the Texas-based far-right organization WallBuilders, offered up the first prayer on August 16, devoting much of it to an assertion that the Beck rally is God-inspired, saying in part:

“We acknowledge this (rally) to be a time given by you, at an event called by you, conceived in your mind and your heart, Father — and executed here.”

Well, gosh. How can people not attend if God (through apostle Glenn Beck, of course) called them to the rally? And you might recall that Barton has declared Beck to be a better Christian than evil Democrats like Bill Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. Good ol’ St. Beck.

The arrogance is astonishing, isn’t it?

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Barton: Beck a Good Christian, But Not Dems

August 22, 2010

When it comes to examples of extremists using faith as a political weapon to divide Americans, one can hardly beat David Barton. The right-wing phony historian who calls separation of church and state a “myth” decided this week to explain why fundamentalist Christians shouldn’t be upset that he has been collaborating with his Fox News buddy Glenn Beck. Beck is a Mormon, and many fundamentalists don’t consider Mormons to be Christians. (Some just bluntly call it a cult.) Barton, however, says Beck is a better Christian than those evil Democrats:

“Christians concerned about Glenn’s faith should judge the tree by its fruits, not its labels. After all, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton openly call themselves Christians, as do Evangelical Christian ministers such as Jim Wallis and Joel Hunter. Although these individuals have the right labels, they have the wrong fruits; yet many Christians have a more visceral reaction to Glenn than to Pelosi, Clinton, or Wallis. This is wrong; it is not Biblical.”

Kyle at Right Wing Watch has more here.

Does Barton ever stop to think, just for a minute, how arrogant and insulting it is to judge the faith of other people? Has he forgotten something about “Judge not, that ye be not judged’ (Matthew 7:1)? The frequency with which he uses faith as a political weapon does make one wonder.

Barton Finally Gets University Gig

July 9, 2010

Well, we can no longer accuse wannabe historian David Barton of never holding an actual teaching position at a university. He can now add “professor at Glenn Beck University” to his vita.

A fake university and a fake historian — a match made in heaven.

Barton’s latest collaboration with his new BFF Glenn Beck of Fox News is typical Barton propaganda.  Barton is serving as the instructor of an online class called Faith 101, which launched this week on Beck’s “Inside Extreme” website.  This and two other courses, Hope 101 and Charity 101, are part of what Beck calls “Beck University” — a title Beck admits he chose to annoy people who don’t agree with the Beckian brand of frequently false, deliberately divisive and always outrageous assertions about issues and people in the news.  Subscribers pay $9.95 a month, and more classes are promised when the current weekly series ends on September 1.

Barton’s first lecture was full of the ideological hyperbole and specious factual claims that TFN Insider readers have become accustom to hearing from Barton, including this gem:

That means the Declaration of Independence is nothing more than a listing of all the sermons that folks had been hearing in church in the two decades leading up to the American Revolution.

We’re surprised that didn’t make its way into Texas’ new social studies curriculum standards, since Barton was appointed to an “expert” panel that advised the Texas SBOE on their recent controversial revision of the standards.

Predictably, those being introduced for the first time to Barton’s brand of sacred history don’t know whether to laugh or scream. Check out this segment from MSNBC’s Countdown last night, which features longtime Barton fact-checker Chris Rodda, author of Liars for Jesus.

Other early reactions have been similarly incredulous, as with this first-hand account from a “student” Talking Points Memo enrolled in Barton’s class.

TFN respects the right of all people to express their religious views, of course, but political partisans like Barton and Beck aren’t entitled to their own facts. And if there is one good thing about Barton’s new-found partnership with Beck, it is that his fringe opinions will be subjected to a much larger audience of fact-checkers.

Welcome to the world of peer review, David.

Breathing Fire in Tyler

April 27, 2010

Political fire-breathing was center stage at “The Oil Palace” on Saturday in Tyler, the only Texas stop on FOX News show host Glenn Beck‘s traveling road show, his “Take America Back” tour. The event showed once again how religious-right rhetoric increasingly dominates the so-called “tea party movement.” Beck and various Texas politicians provided plenty of that rhetoric.

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Barton and Beck, Together at Last

April 1, 2010

Chris Rodda (Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right’s Alternate Version of American History) has a piece up on Huffington Post about the growing ties between David Barton and wacky FOX News host Glenn Beck. Barton, whom far-right members of the Texas State Board of Education last year put on a key panel helping revise social studies curriculum standards, recently spoke at one of Beck’s American Revival events in Florida. Money quote:

“For those unfamiliar with Barton, he is the most popular of all the Christian nationalist history revisionists and 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. He is very well connected with the far-right members of Congress. In 2005 Time Magazine named him one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. But outside evangelical Christian circles and those of us who fight the religious right, few people are aware of who he is or just how dangerous he is. That, however, is now changing. Because of his role in the Texas textbook lunacy, and now, even more, because of his hooking up with Glenn Beck, people who never paid attention to Barton before are suddenly curious about who the hell this guy is. And this may be his downfall. He is no longer flying under a radar, where he was only visible to his blind followers.”

Read the whole thing here.

Death to the Oligarhy! Or Whatever.

August 29, 2009

We noted in April that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was “proud” to be a guest on Glenn Beck’s FOX News show. Beck, as we noted then, believes liberals are trying “to remove God from America,” is an admirer of Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, and seems to buy into the “End Times” theology of the fringes of the fundamentalist right.

Beck is also a world-class conspiracy freak — and in serious need of a spell checker before he launches into one of his unhinged rants.

Even folks at The American Conservative are wondering:

This is too good for satire. Is Glenn Bek a lunati? Or a omic genius?

Still proud, Governor?