Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Dispatch from an Ex-Wallbuilder"

Barton Gingerich is a research assistant at the conservative Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD). He was an Intercollegiate Studies Institute Honors Fellow and a graduate of the conservative Patrick Henry College, a college that caters to Christian homeschoolers.

Today at "Juicy Ecumenism," the blog of the IRD, Gingerich describes himself as an "ex-Wallbuilder."  (Wallbuilders is David Barton's Christian nationalist organization).  He says that Barton deserves a "court martial."

Here is a taste of his takedown of Barton:

So, Wallbuilders fans, why do you support this harmful process by deluding the conservatives of the next generation? Everyone’s desires and rationalizations differ, but here is my guess. The American people are rightly worried, and Wallbuilders provides an outlet for them to combat harmful forces in the culture. Atheist and secularist complaints have stripped the public architecture of cross and nativities, public schools of prayer and Christian convictions, and primetime TV of Little House on the Prairie’s homespun domestic piety. Amoral sex education and comedies about the “New Normal” of single parenthood and homosexuality have filled their place. State and federal laws push harder and harder against public manifestations of religion. Any complaint about the ghettoizing of Christianity meets with the retort of “separation of church and state” accompanied by “sensitivity and tolerance.” Parents are worried for their children. They react to these arguments by grasping to whatever tools make sense and offer a devastating counter-narrative.

Wallbuilders provides this desired story. Look again at who first supported this fanciful revisionism: homeschoolers. They have strong and very legitimate concerns about who is in charge of the spiritual and intellectual formation of their offspring. Thus, the Wallbuilders narrative is sometimes the only one at hand. Note that in this debate on both sides, history is seen as a tool.

And as for the powerhouse spokespeople for such reactions, David Barton provides the material to meet the agenda. Thus, the “exaggerations” are propped up even more since they meet the requirements of a belly-aching pattern of decline and ruin. Unfortunately, the agenda comes at the expense of individual souls. Students—especially the scholastically adept—are hurt very badly by the misinterpretations, misportrayals, mistruths. I barely survived coming across the knowledge, and there are many who do not. David Barton isn’t helping by circulating lies. Those of Christian-cultural influence must realize that we their children are not just bullets in the culture war. I’m not really much for the metaphor in the first place, but if we’re really serious about protecting marriage, life, and the Western heritage, we ought never to stretch the truth to get our way. Proceedings have already gone underway; it’s time to court martial David Barton.

Is anyone other than Glenn Beck, Mat Staver of Liberty University, Rick Green, and Family Research Council (the sponsor of his yearly capitol tours) left in Barton's bunker?