David Barton

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David Barton is known for reminding American audiences that the words "separation of church and state" do not appear in the United States Constitution.[1] He has spent decades studying documents, letters, and transcripts of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, and personally owns a library of tens of thousands of original writings from the Founding Era, and his organization, Wallbuilders,[2] distributes historical, legal, and statistical information to educate interested citizens through books, videos, and public speaking events.

Original Intent And Other Works

One of David Barton's popular books is Original Intent.[3] In this compelling compendium of organic utterances, Barton lays out the quotes of men and women who lived and breathed during the Founding Era of American History. The reader is acquainted with quotes from letters, speeches, and the Congressional Record. Also documented are some Court decisions which, Barton is convinced, have contributed to the eroding of First Amendment rights, including the removal of prayer in public schools. Barton's books and videos are primarily the presentation and juxtaposition of names and quotes of men who were there when the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States of America were written. Much effort has been made to discredit his work, and those who have read Barton's books and listened to his videos will understand why.

A theme of Original Intent would be Barton's view that the rights of American citizens are "God-given." If people can be convinced that faith in God is not foundational to our American government and way of life, then God-given rights are no longer protected but given and taken at will by the government itself. As The Declaration of Independence penned by Thomas Jefferson intones:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . . ."[4]

According to Barton, the framers of the United States Constitution [5] sweated and prayed together over the workings of that great document which has served the longest-lived government in the history of the world, and yet today young Americans - at sporting events and at graduation ceremonies - are summarily denied their Constitutional right to corporate, public prayer. Textbooks are cleansed of historical references to religion as a part of our nation's foundation, and any books in public schools that include those references are characterized as "controversial." These are issues to which David Barton speaks and which he documents in his books, videos, and lectures.

The Jefferson Lies pulled by its publisher

In August 2012, Thomas Nelson Publishing pulled Barton's book on Thomas Jefferson, saying it has “lost confidence in the book’s details.” [6] The book argued that much of the United States Constitution was drawn from biblical sources. However, the pulling of the book came after NPR "looked up every citation Barton said was from the Bible, but not one of them checked out." [7]