“Christian nation” advocate and pseudo-historian David Barton is angry that Americans United has asked the Internal Revenue Service to look into his partisan political activities and is so upset he’s threatening to take up arms.
On Jan. 31, Americans United asked the IRS to investigate a biased voter guide issued by WallBuilders Presentations, a non-profit organization run by Barton. AU charged that the guide, which was also distributed by the American Family Association (AFA), was clearly stacked to favor candidate Mike Huckabee.
The guide, AU asserted, distorted the views of other candidates and relied on outdated information about their views on select issues.
Barton is apparently not one to follow Jesus’s admonition of turning the other cheek. Speaking on his radio show, “WallBuilders Live!” on Feb. 26, the Texas Religious Right activist told his co-host, Rick Green, “If they come at you with intimidation, what you’ve gotta do is punch them in the nose a lot harder than they were going to hit you the first time…”
To Green’s enthusiastic, “Yeah!,” Barton then added, “You know, they’re coming at you waving all these butcher knives and all these bowie knives, and great, I’ll just pull out my machine gun and shoot y’all…”
At this point, Green began laughing nervously. Barton concluded by saying, “You know, you want to bring a knife, we’ll have a gun fight!”
Later on the same show, Tim Wildmon of the AFA came on to complain about AU’s letter to the IRS. The AFA also issued an e-mail alert to its supporters, accusing Americans United of trying to intimidate the organization. (See “Unholy Hucksters,” March 2008 Church & State.)
Barton is best known for disseminating misleading materials asserting that the United States was founded to be a “Christian nation.” His book The Myth of Separation (also known as Original Intent) has been criticized by mainstream historians for numerous errors and sloppy research. Nevertheless, Barton has become a popular speaker at Religious Right gatherings.
Barton is not the only Religious Right activist harboring violent thoughts toward Americans United. Earlier this year, Pastor Wiley Drake, a Southern Baptist minister in California, urged his followers to pray for the deaths of Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn and other AU staff members. Drake was angry because AU reported him to the IRS for using church resources to endorse Huckabee.