David Barton claims that Evangelical voters have been ignored by both parties, a shocking claim in light of the fact that the GOP has for a long time kowtowed to the very voters Barton claims have been ignored. Republican politicians regularly hobnob with the likes of Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, and Barton himself.
Evangelicals are a full twenty-five percent of all voters in any general election in November, whether its presidential, non-presidential. But in primary elections, Evangelicals are even a stronger block. They represent up to fifty percent, for example, of Republican primary voters. That one block. And isn’t it interesting that that one block is most often ignored by both parties.
Watch Barton lie courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
The good news now, is the Republican National Committee is no longer ignoring evangelicals or people of faith. There is now a website called GOPFAITH.com that now focuses on people of faith. People of faith can have a huge impact in elections. As a matter of fact, they are probably one of the most under-performing groups that are out there by way of voter registration and turnout. We know that roughly – of Christians – that about half of them are not registered and that in any given election, about half of the registered ones vote. So we’re leaving three out of four votes generally on the table in most elections, and that’s something that can change.
And now with the Republicans reaching out and saying ‘hey, we’re very comfortable with faith people, we want them involved, you have been involved, you’ve been the basis of America from the beginning. it gives us an even stronger reason to get involved in our churches to move people forward to support, as George Washington said, our foundations of religion and morality.
The Religious Right has been in control of the Republican Party for many years now, having begun their effort to dominate the Republican Party after Goldwater’s defeat in 1964.
Less than 20 years later, as TheocracyWatch.org observes,
In the 1980 elections, the newly politicized Religious Right succeeded in unseating five of the most liberal Democrat incumbents in the U.S. Senate, and provided the emerging that helped Ronald Reagan defeat Jimmy Carter.
In 1992, Pat Robertson said to the Denver Post,
We want…as soon as possible to see a majority of the Republican Party in the hands of pro-family Christians…” Randall Terry agreed, saying in April: “What it is coming down to is who runs the country. It’s us against them. It’s the good guys versus the bad guys. It’s the God-fearing people against the pagans, and some of the pagans are going to church.
David Barton says the GOP has ignored Evangelicals but Jo Martin, a Texas Republican, wrote in 1992 that,
The party apparatus had been taken over by religious activists intent on bringing ‘biblical principles’ to government: outlawing abortion, ostracizing homosexuals and teaching creationism in public schools, among other things. We honest to goodness felt like we had fallen through a time warp into a Nazi brown-shirt meeting.
It got worse.
The Republican Revolution of 1994, what TheocracyWatch.org calls “a watershed year,” saw Republicans gain control of the House of Representatives for the first time in four decades and made huge inroads in State legislatures. TheocracyWatch.org points out that, disturbingly, “Out of forty-five new members in the U.S. House of Representatives and nine in the U.S. Senate in 1994, roughly half were Christian Coalition candidates.” Those 40 million voting guides had had the desired effect, informing Christian soldiers all over America where to direct their votes.
And then came George W. Bush and a frighteningly close encounter with theocracy. On January 20, 2001 Texas governor George W. Bush became president thanks to the votes of White Evangelical Protestants.
Forty years post-Goldwater, The Economist reported in November 2004,
In 2000, 15m evangelical Protestants voted. They accounted for 23% of the electorate, and 71% of them voted for Mr Bush. This time, estimates Luis Lugo, the director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, they again accounted for about 23% of the electorate—which means that evangelicals did not increase their share of the vote. But overall turnout was much higher, and 78% of the evangelicals who voted, voted for Mr Bush. That works out at roughly 3.5m extra votes for him. Mr Bush’s total vote rose by 9m (from 50.5m in 2000 to 59.5m), so evangelical Protestants alone accounted for more than a third of his increased vote.
It doesn’t sound as though three out of four Evangelical votes are “being left on the table,” as Barton claims.
And finally, David Barton was one of those, along with fellow hater Tony Perkins, who wrote the 2012 Republican Party Platform. But the GOP has ignored Evangelical voters?
Barton is violating his own Bible by lying. Lying through his teeth:
“There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19
“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.” Exodus 23:1-2
Jesus said that what comes out of the mouth defiles a person:
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.” Matthew 15:18-20
It is difficult to imagine the GOP becoming more engaged with Evangelicals, or for Evangelicals becoming more engaged as Republicans. But then, it’s difficult to imagine David Barton topping his old lies with new, something he manages to do it on a regular basis all the same.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.