The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State
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The Barton Chronicles

Including some William Federer errors as well

This is a current list (5-2-05) of all the David Barton articles on this site and links we have to David Barton articles on other sites. This list just makes it easier to navigate the topic. Any additional articles, facts, etc will be added as they are discovered.

Researched and edited by Jim Allison

William Federer & David Barton

David Barton Only

Responding to the Religious Rights, the Basic Arguments:

Politics of Law and the Courts-Past and Present

State and U.S. Supreme Court Cases - 1799-1947

Barton is famous for misrepresenting the facts of court cases, court decisions, meaning and impact of such court cases, etc. including the following cases:

Additional Articles

Google search

A Review of The Myth of Separation: What Is the Correct Relationship Between Church and State? (Paperback) by David Barton

As a Christian, I object to these distortions, April 23, 2004

Reviewer:Thomas Luttrell "Theology & Psychology" (Berrien Springs, MI United States) - See all my reviews

This book by David Barton is full of distortions that I could not possibly use the book for any research. Small "quote-lets" are constantly taken out of context and used to say the *opposite* of what the original authors intended. Barton makes several lists of people who "support" ideas by taking small quotes out of context that sound good, when the Barton is really stretching their use.

Pat Robertson's Regent University Flunks American History

Religious Pseudo-science and Revisionism

[Excerpt] Christian Revisionist History

Of course, if the proponents of the Religious Equality Amendment have their way, those sorts of dilemmas will be somewhat maximized. The same movements and organizations which propose the Amendment often have their own, distinct interpretation of the historical record which they would have taught in public schools newly liberated from the grips of Atheism, "dogmatic science", heresy and secular "humanism." There exists a whole panoply of ready-made and newly-revised historical "facts" ready to be dispensed from the bully pulpit of public education. We might aptly the term, for this peculiar version of events, past as "Christian Revisionism." Its leading proponent is a little-known but highly influential religious activist named David Barton

American Atheist News (Atheist-l) for June 8, 1995

Religion in Public Schools by the Back Door?

[Excerpt} Christian Revisionist History?

When Christian conservatives met last March with U.S. Representative John Istook to begin crafting the Religious Equality Amendment, the roster of participants included David Barton, a Texas-based religious activist whose influence in right-wing evangelical groups is often missed. Barton has done more than perhaps even Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson in shaping and articulating the set of peculiar historical assumptions that grounds right-wing perceptions about America and the world. They include:

History Revisionists By Gene Garman

The Author of Judicial Intimidation

The national media seems to be ignoring the outcry by civil liberties groups and Democrats about Christian Right author David Barton's religious history of the U.S. tour sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. They are also ignoring Barton's role in formulating the strategy of "intimidation" of judges by the Christian Right and their allies in Congress. The notable exception so far, is a fine article in The Nation magazine, by Max Blumenthal.

Founding Fathers Misquoted by Christian Zealots

David Barton is a Christian fundamentalist from the WallBuilders group. He wrote a book full of quotes from the Founding Fathers that really took the Atheist's take on the foundation of this country to task. Many people jumped to do the research to find out the validity of these quotes. Firms devoted to Madison and Jefferson became involved, universities got involved and ultimately the Library of Congress was the final resting place for these quotes.

David Barton was cornered and he admitted to fabricating the quotes, okay he actually called them "spurious," but we all know that means he made them up. He was ordered to create a pamphlet that listed all his bogus quotes. Unfortunate that pamphlet has had almost zero impact on those use the quotes daily in newspapers around the United States.

Barton's Biography:

David Barton

Author and historian, David Barton is the Founder and President of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization which distributes historical, legal, and statistical information, and helps citizens become active in their local schools and communities. WallBuilders is a name taken from the Bible book of Nehemiah. And just as Nehemiah led a grassroots movement in Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of that city and restore its

strength and honor, so, too, WallBuilders seeks to energize the grassroots today to rebuild that which makes America strong—its constitutional, moral, and religious foundations.

David's exhaustive research (from original writings) on the Founding Era has rendered him an expert in this field, and consequently he serves as consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several cases at the Supreme Court, was involved in the development of the History/Social Studies standards for both Texas and California students, and has contributed to projects and legislation set forth by countless other groups, individuals, and legislators across the country. David is the author of numerous works and this information has been directly implemented to reclaim the original intent of our Founding Fathers in the areas of faith and family.

David speaks to hundreds of groups each year across the nation and appears on numerous television and radio programs to communicate the truth regarding our country's religious roots and the role individuals can play in reclaiming our spiritual heritage which has been forgotten. David is currently breaking ground in the African-American community with his presentations, American History in Black and White. His heart for ministers has paved the way for exclusive Congressional Pastors' Briefings on

Capitol Hill where hundreds of clergy have been impacted by some of the country's top conservative political leaders in these educational and informative sessions.

David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College. He has been a recipient of national and international awards including Who's Who in Education and DAR's highest award, the George Washington Honor Medal. His work in media and the educational medium have merited several Angel Awards, Telly Awards, and the Dove Foundation Seal of Approval.

David and his wife Cheryl have three grown children, Damaris, Timothy, and Stephen, and reside in Aledo, TX.

You can find Barton's bio online at where it says he's an "author and historian." It should be noted that he is not an historian. The bio even says he has a degree in Arts from Oral Roberts University and an honorary doctorate from the Pensacola Christian College. That's far from being an historian.

David Barton & the 'Myth' of Church-State Separation

The Bush campaign has hired a controversial activist who calls the U.S. a 'Christian nation'

By Deborah Caldwell

The Republican National Committee is employing the services of a Texas-based activist who believes the United States is a "Christian nation" and the separation of church and state is "a myth."

David Barton, the founder of an organization called Wallbuilders, was hired by the RNC as a political consultant and has been traveling the country for a year--speaking at about 300 RNC-sponsored lunches for local evangelical pastors. During the lunches, he presents a slide show of American monuments, discusses his view of America's Christian heritage -- and tells pastors that they are allowed to endorse political candidates from the pulpit.

Top Christian Nationalist On Hot Seat

by Frederick Clarkson

Mon Apr 11th, 2005 at 10:33:28 PDT

David Barton is perhaps the leading proponent of the notion that the U.S. was once, and should again be a "Christian Nation." He wants to sell you on that idea. He has books and tapes to sell too. The problem is that his slick products and presentations don't stand up to scrutiny. For example, in 1996, the mainstream Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs wrote a detailed critique,'s%20Godly%20Heritage.html ] debunking Barton's Christian nationalist notions.

[Editor's Note: the site mentioned is no longer available, but an updated article is available at]

. . .

A simple Google search turns up other disturbing information about Barton.Not only does he disseminate biased and misleading materials, he has a profound, and profoundly alarming political agenda. Last year, Beliefnet reported that Barton is on the board of The Providence Foundation, a Christian Reconstructionist-oriented organanizaton. Reconstructionism is an influential political theology whose proponents argue that the U.S. should be a Christian theocracy, under "Biblical law." (I wrote about this movement and its role in the Christian right in detail in my book Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy.)

[ ]

Interfaith Alliance Asks Frist to Cancel Barton Tour of Capitol

Barton's revisionist history distorts Constitutional separation of religion and government, Gaddy says

View the full text of Dr. Gaddy's letter to Senator Frist and additional background information on Mr. Barton's revisionist history:

Brownwood: Who is David Barton? Depends on who you ask!

Protesters' presence shows not all are on evangelical's bandwagon By Staci Semrad / Reporter-News Staff Writer

David Barton is not a historian

Original report

The New York Times ran an interesting item yesterday on the efforts of some religious conservatives to use revisionist history to advance their political agenda (i.e. — more government sponsorship of their theological beliefs). It holds special relevance in light of the Supreme Court's work this week on state-endorsed Ten Commandments displays. The NYT piece centered on a guy named David Barton.

In our web site email:

From : Gary [delete]

Sent : Friday, March 25, 2005 12:42 AM

To : The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State

Subject : David Barton

Thank You! Thank You! for taking a reasoned approach and analysis to David Barton and his "Wallbuilders" organization. David Barton has spent most of his adult life rewriting (revisionist) history, distorting facts, making statements that have absolutely no documentation and creating passion in people toward church/state separation based upon his mis-understanding and skewed approach to history. He has been rejected by virtually every known scholar of church/state history and the intent of the founders.

The problem is that people like this represent a danger to our culture because so many persons buy into it.

I could go on and on but I think you get my point. I could cite instance after instance, mostly with regard to Thomas Jefferson, but I sense that you are probably one step ahead of me on that - which I appreciate.

Sincerely, Gary [delete]

David Barton Caught in Error Again

We caught David Barton in another "error."

This excerpt is from James Madison and Religion in Public by David Barton

George Washington provides a succinct illustration. During his inauguration, Washington took the oath as prescribed by the Constitution but added several religious components to that official ceremony. Before taking his oath of office, he summoned a Bible on which to take the oath, added the words "So help me God!" to the end of the oath, then leaned over and kissed the Bible. [27] His "Inaugural Address" was filled with numerous religious references, [28] and following that address, he and the Congress "proceeded to St. Paul's Chapel, where Divine service was performed." [29]

. . .

[27] 4 Washington Irving, Life of George Washington 475 (New York: G. P. Putnam & Co., 1857); Mrs. C. M Kirkland, Memoirs of Washington 438 (New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1870); Charles Carleton Coffin, Building the Nation 26 (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1882); etc.

[28] 1 Richardson, Messages and Papers 51-54 (April 30, 1789).

[29] 1 Annals of Congress 29 (April 30, 1789).

Now for the Facts

The following transcriptions show the actual text from the pages referenced in footnote 27 above:

26 Building the Nation. Chap. l

Flags wave from every window, not only the stars and stripes, but the flags of all nations-from window, door-way, and the roofs of houses. Never has there been such a gathering of people in the western hemisphere. Hotels, private houses, all are full. Fields and pastures are thick with tents. People from the country spend the night wrapped in blankets beneath their wagons.

The great day came, April 30th, on which Washington was to be inaugurated. At nine o'clock in the morning all the church bells rung, and the multitude thronged the meeting-houses while prayer was offered that the blessing of Almighty God might rest upon the people, and upon the President whom they had chosen. Once more the military paraded and marched in procession to Federal Hall, where, upon the balcony, in presence of a great multitude, filling Broadway and Pearl Street, thronging every window, and standing upon all the house-tops, the President swore to uphold the Constitution, kissing the Bible to manifest his sincerity.

"lt is done." The Chancellor who had administered the oath said it, and up from the multitude, swelling in mighty chorus, carne the shout, "Long live George Washington, President of the United States!"

With the uttering of that solemn oath the Republic took its place among the nations.


Building the Nation: Events in the History of the United States from the Revolution to the Beginning of the War Between the States, Charles Carleton Coffin [Author of "The Boys of '76" "The Story of Liberty" "Old Times in the Colonies" Etc.] New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers 1900 Copyright, 1882, by Harper & Brothers, p 26.

Note that footnote 27 refers to page 475 of Life of Washington (but I do have to mention that I have seen other sources that list the page as being 474, so a whole bunch of people are too lazy to do their homework and verify). The pages covering the inauguration are pages 512-15.


dances.There were balls in camp, in some of the dark times of the Revolution. "We had a little dance at my quarters," writes General Greene from Middlebrook, in March, 1779. "His Excellency and Mrs. Greene danced upwards of three hours without once sitting down. Upon the whole we had a pretty little frisk.*"

A letter of Colonel Tench Tilghman, one of Washington's aides-de-camp, gives an instance of the general's festive gaiety, when in the above year the army was cantoned near Morristown. A large company, of which the general and Mrs. Washington, general and Mrs. Greene, and Mr. and Mrs. Olney were part, dined with colonel and Mrs. Biddle. Some little time after the ladies had retired from table, Mr. Olney followed them into the next room. A clamor was raised against him as a deserter, and it was resolved that a party should be sent to demand him, and that if the ladies refused to give him up, he should be brought by force. Washington humored the joke, and offered to head the party. He led it with great formality to the door of the drawing-room, and sent in a summons. The ladies refused to give up the deserter. An attempt was made to capture him. The ladies came to the rescue. There was a melee ; in the course of which his Excellency seems to have had a passage at arms with Mrs. Olney. The ladies were victorious, as they always ought to be, says the gallant Tilghman.+

* Greene to Col. Wadsworth. MS.

+ This sportive occurrence gave rise to a piece of camp scandal. It was reported at a distance that Mrs. Olney had been in a violent rage, and had told Washington that, " if he did not let go her hand she would tear his eyes out, and that though he was a general, he was but a man." Mr. Olney wrote to Colonel Tilghman, begging him to refute the scandal. The latter gave a true statement of the affair, declaring that the whole was done in jest, and that in the mock contest Mrs. Olney had made use of no expressions unbecoming a lady of her good breeding, or such as were taken the least amiss by the general.


More than one instance is told of Washington's being surprised into hearty fits of laughter, even during the war. We have recorded one produced by the sudden appearance of old General Putnam on horseback, with a female prisoner en troupe. The following is another which occurred- at the camp at Morristown. Washington had purchased a young horse of great spirit and power. A braggadocio of the army, vain of his horsemanship, asked the privilege of breaking it. Washington gave his consent, and with some of his officers attended to see the horse receive his first lesson. After much preparation, the pretender to equitation mounted into the saddle and was making a great display of his science, when the horse suddenly planted his forefeet, threw up his heels, and gave the unlucky Gambado a Somerset over his head. Washington, a thorough horseman, and quick to perceive the ludicrous in these matters, was so convulsed with laughter that we are told the tears ran down his cheeks.*

Still another instance is given, which occurred at the return of peace, when he was sailing in a boat on the Hudson, and was so overcome by the drollery of a story told by Major Fairlie of New York, of facetious memory, that he fell back in the boat in a paroxysm of laughter. In that fit of laughter, it was sagely pre-

* Notes of the Rev. Mr. Tuttle. MS.


Life of George Washington by Washington Irving, Vol IV, New York G.P. Putnam & Co. 321 Broadway 1857 pp. 474-75

The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State

HRSepCnS &$middot; Hampton Roads SepChurch&State

Part I: The Lure of Christian Nationalism:America's Religious Right - Saints or Subversives? By Steve Welshman

A nice exposing of David Barton

Radical Religious Right Propagandist David Barton Works for Bush

Here is some info about David Barton Honesty, ethics, accuracy, facts, truth take back seat to winning as the following shows: But then, the radical right does own the Republican Party.

Bush hire doesn't believe in Church and State separation

Beliefnet reported recently that the RNC has been employing a "Texas-based activist who believes the United States is a "Christian nation" and the separation of church and state is a myth."

Without a Doubt

For more information on Barton and the Bush Campaign

Results 1 - 100 of about 85,700 for David Barton, Bush campaign. (0.19 seconds) (As of May 31, 2005)

Wallbuilders website

Misguided Tour: Senate Majority Leader Frist Promotes 'Christian Nation' Propagandist

[Editor's Noted: Scroll down the page to find the entry]

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-Tenn.) promotion of a fringe Religious Right activist's "tour" of the U.S. Capitol has sparked controversy in Washington, D.C.

On March 31, Frist sent out letters inviting his colleagues to a "private tour of the U.S. Capitol building with WallBuilders President David Barton." Frist asked senators and their families to come enjoy a "Fresh Perspective on Our Nation's Religious Heritage with a Special Tour of the U.S. Capitol." Barton was described as "a historian noted for his detailed research into the religious heritage of our nation."