Historian David Barton on Slavery – Church and State Separation
David Barton, noted historian and founder of the national pro-family organization called WallBuilders, was a guest on the KGVO Talk Back show on Tuesday to promote his upcoming appearance at Crosspoint Church on Sunday.
Barton took calls and answered listeners’ questions on a variety of subjects, including the concept of the separation of church and state, something Barton said the founding fathers meant to keep government from interfering in religious freedom.
“The Founding Fathers were real clear that separation church and state is what keeps the government from controlling religion and religious exercise,” said Barton.” It was not to secularize the public square. Anyone who doubts that can read (Thomas) Jefferson’s separation letters, which are 277 words long and three paragraphs, where Jefferson makes it real clear. The only purpose of separation is to make sure that the government can't stop religious activities, not the other way around.”
The Founding Fathers were real clear that separation church and state is what keeps the government from controlling religion and religious exercise,” said Barton.” It was not to secularize the public square.
Barton said the full text of Jefferson’s letters concerning church and state have been hidden for many years.
“Since 1947, no one has quoted Jefferson's full letter,” he said. “Prior to 1947, we did, and when we did, we kept religion in public. Since 1947, we only quote eight words ‘out of the wall of separation’ which is completely twisted. So now we keep religion out of public which is exactly the opposite of what they intended.”
Barton also addressed the recent riots, the tearing down of monuments and claims that America is a racist nation.
“The number of black Founding Fathers that were a key to the American founding when they were taken out of textbooks, the answer is 1902,” he said. “And actually America's role in fighting slavery; instead of being a racist nation, we're the first nation in the world to ban the slave trade. We're the fourth nation in the world that banned slavery. We were the first region in the world to ban slavery. And today, America is considered number two in the world in all the hundred 95 nations in fighting racism and slavery.”
Barton went on to emphasize America’s role in ending slavery and the slave trade.
“There are still 94 nations today that have not yet banned slavery. So we look at how bad America is, oh my gosh, do we not understand that America is the one who really started changing the world in this direction, and that even the world today has not largely changed with slavery. I helped run an organization where we actually rescue literal slaves. There are 40 million actual slaves in the world today, 9.2 million are in Africa and we are criticized here in America.”
Barton will be speaking at four events on Sunday at Missoula’s Crosspoint Church, located on Mullan Road, three miles west of Walmart.