Thursday, April 28, 2011

When God's work requires building walls, not bridges

A story in Mother Jones points us to the historian favored by the GOP elite (Gingrich, Bachmann, Huckabee), a man named David Barton. Here's how MoJo describes him - as a...

"...Republican activist and minister who founded WallBuilders, a for-profit evangelical outfit that works to inject religion into politics. Barton holds some pretty unconventional views, and in the past he has spoken alongside fringe figures like Holocaust deniers and white supremacists. Among other things, he claims that Jesus would oppose the capital gains tax and the minimum wage; that global warming is "self-correcting"; and that the nation's homeland security apparatus has been infiltrated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. He also contends that the separation of church and state is a perversion of the Founding Fathers' intention to create a Christian nation."
Let's just say Barton and I are not likely to be invited to the same parties.

Here's what Mike Huckabee says about Barton:
"I just wish that every single young person in America would be able to be under his tutelage, and understand something about who we really are as a nation," Huckabee said. "I almost wish that there would be…a simultaneous telecast, and all Americans would be forced—forced at gunpoint, no less—to listen to every David Barton message, and I think our country would be better for it."
Leave it to a Republican to bring guns into a discussion of religion!

I suppose in Huckabee's Christianity, the best way to take your religious instruction is by gunpoint, but again, I differ widely from current GOP leaders on pretty much everything.

Barton's organization - WallBuilders - is aptly named. On the website, the reason given for the name is, of course, biblical.
"In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, the nation of Israel rallied together in a grassroots movement to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and thus restore stability, safety, and a promising future to that great city. We have chosen this historical concept of "rebuilding the walls" to represent allegorically the call for citizen involvement in rebuilding our nation's foundations. As Psalm 11:3 reminds us, 'If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?'"
Unfortunately, what we need in this divided nation of ours is not more walls. What we need the "righteous" to do is to reach out and build bridges that connect those with differing viewpoints. The foundation of America is in need of connection, not walls that divide us even more.

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