Reposted by arrangement with Think Progress
Glenn Beck’s upcoming rally to “Restore Courage” has run into a snag after House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the House Ethics Committee rejected the request by a number of House members to travel at the expense of the International Israel Allied Caucus Foundation to Beck’s rally in Jerusalem.
But political and religious leaders from “around the world” will be enjoying U.S. taxpayer subsidized — through non-taxable charitable contributions — travel to the rally. The travel will be paid for by WallBuilders, an organization founded by David Barton, a pseudo-historian and frequent Glenn Beck guest. Barton has a history of anti-gay and anti-Muslim rhetoric, has spoken at events sponsored by anti-Semitic organizations, and promotes a revisionist history of the U.S. claiming that the “Church-state separation is a liberal myth.”
Beck’s partnership with WallBuilders is listed on the rally’s front page by clicking the “Donate” button which takes visitors to WallBuilders website. The site accepts contributions to the “Restoring Courage — Israel” fund:
- If you want to help and show your solidarity with Israel, you can participate by helping to underwrite the cost of the Restoring Courage event in Jerusalem. All of the funds will go directly towards the production and expenses of the events associated with the Restoring Courage Tour in Israel.
Or donors can contribute to the “Leader & Clergy Scholarship Fund — Israel”:
- If you would like to help sponsor these leaders so that they can attend the event and thus help send a powerful message to Israel’s enemies in the world, you can make a contribution for their travel and accommodations.
But David Barton’s record of intolerance and historical revisionism should offer some insights into who is funding Beck’s Jerusalem rally and which individuals have Beck’s ear. Back in 1994, the Anti-Defamation League had harsh words for Barton’s decision to appear at events hosted by the Christian Identity movement, a group the ADL said:
- Asserts that Jews are ‘the synagogue of Satan’; that Blacks and other people of color are subhuman; and that northern European whites and their American descendants are the ‘chosen people’ of scriptural prophesy.
Barton denied knowing anything about the Christian Identity movement before his decision to speak at the group’s events
Barton’s “scholarship” — although referred to as “Professor Barton” at Glenn Beck University, Barton holds no advanced degrees — hinges on characterizing the founding fathers as evangelical Christians. The ADL also directly criticized Barton’s work:
- [Barton’s] ostensible scholarship functions in fact as an assault on scholarship: in the manner of other recent phony revisionisms, the history it supports is little more than a compendium of anecdotes divorced from their original context, linked harum-scarum and laced with factual errors and distorted innuendo. Barton’s “scholarship,” like that of Holocaust denial and Atlantic slave trade conspiracy-mongering is rigged to arrive at predetermined conclusions, not history.
While Barton’s long association with Glenn Beck is well established, Beck’s decision to let a widely discredited “historian” with a history of speaking at events hosted by the anti-Semitic far-right is an interesting choice of fundraising allies for his rally in Jerusalem.