Joseph Patak and David Barton. On Facebook, Patak writes, “The picture is of me and one of my heroes, David Barton, the founder of Wallbuilders. He is a historian and minister that teaches the truth about the Christian foundation of the USA and that Christians should get involved in the political process.”

Joseph Patak is seeking election to the Kettering City Council and he has signs all over town declaring that he is CONSERVATIVE. His Facebook record reveals that he is not an Eisenhower or Reagan conservative, however, but, in fact, identifies with people and ideas that the old mainstream Republicans would have firmly rejected. 

On Facebook, Patak says he has a business and that he also conducts services as a Christian minister. He writes, “I am excited about God’s call on me to serve Kettering. If you know me, this decision did not happen on a whim but through godly council and fasting and prayer.” This sounds fine, but it is troubling that Kettering might elect a man who aligns with a Christianity espoused by David Barton — a discredited self-published historian who advocates for Christian Nationalism, who rejects the notion of a separation of church and state, and who advocates for Dominionism, the belief that God and all Christians should have and take dominion over all of the earth. Regardless, Patak declares that David Barton is “one of my heroes.”

On Facebook, Patak urges his “Friends”: “You want to take America back? You want to stop fraud? You want to take back control of the establishment?

  • Start taking over school boards
  • Start taking over city councils
  • Start taking over mayor races
  • Start taking over local GOP positions
  • Start being poll workers
  • Start being poll watchers.”

Patak sees his effort to become elected to the Kettering Council, I guess, as his start to “taking over” the Council.   

Joseph has run an active campaign and has placed his CONSERVATIVE signs all over Kettering

Facebook shows Patak with a big smile with the discredited historian, David Barton. On his website, Patak has taken down a reference to a political training seminar he evidently had attended and I’m guessing this picture comes from a seminar that Barton led

It’s shocking, really, that Patak would glorify Barton — a person with so much baggage. Barton claims that Thomas Jefferson was an orthodox Christian and makes many other absurd claims. Barton is loved by radicals like Glen Beck, Pat Rob­ertson, and Ted Cruz, but his claims have been debunked time and again — by mainstream conservatives and by devout evangelicals who are trained historians.  

David Barton once was a respected evangelical historian, but over time his views became so outrageous that, according to Southern Poverty Law Center, “Virtually all serious conservatives have repudiated him” and now, “only the most extreme and uneducated segments of the Christian Right” support him. 

It is disturbing that in this time of deep division and polarization, that Kettering has an active candidate aligning with views that are so radical and out of the mainstream. I sent Patak three different emails asking for him to respond to questions I had prepared, but he ignored my requests. The other two at-large candidates — Jyl Hall and Jacque Fisher did respond. You can read my questions and their answers here: For Kettering City Council — “At Large” Positions — I Am Voting For Jacque Fisher and Jyl Hall

What follows are excerpts from several articles: This from a 2018 Vox article

Understanding The Fake Historian Behind America’s Religious Right

Barton argued that the founders never intended for a separation of church and state, deriding the concept as a “liberal myth.” …

 

Instead, as a dominionist, Barton is among those who believe the ultimate goal for American government should be a Christian theocratic state, which is necessary to properly usher in the apocalyptic End Times. …

 

Many political figures, including Ted Cruz and Roy Moore, have embraced a form of Christian nationalism or Dominionism, based on the idea that the American government should run on Christian principles. Barton’s focus is giving this idea legitimacy. …

 

It’s also telling that so much of this revisionist American history is about blending Christianity with a very specific form of American (usually white) nationalism. Figures like Barton blend the idea that America is a “Christian country” with the idea that the only critiques of the Founding Fathers — that, say, they owned slaves or contributed to racial inequality — come from “politically correct” historians seeking to discredit America’s great history for political ends. …

 

Barton uses the appearance of academic inquiry without any of its rigor — to shill for a Christian dominionist approach to government that ideologues from Newt Gingrich to Michele Bachmann to Brownback to Trump’s latest favorite candidate, Saccone, are all too happy to accept without question.

 

Of course, the concerns of most Christian dominionists isn’t historical at all, but rather eschatological. … more concerned with the apocalyptic End Times a Christian nation is supposed to usher in, according to certain strains of evangelical belief.

 

This from Americans United For Separation of Church and State — an article from 2012: 

The Barton Lies Debunked

The past few months have been pretty rocky for “Christian nation” advocate David Barton.

 

The Texas-based Barton, who has posed as a historian for the past 20 years and claims to have proven that church-state separation is a “myth,” suffered a humiliating blow in August when the publisher of his latest work, Thomas Nelson, announced that the firm was withdrawing the volume, having lost confidence in its accuracy.

 

The controversial book, “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson” (published April 10, 2012)  purported to tell the “real” story behind our nation’s third president. According to Barton, Thomas Jefferson was for most of his life an orthodox Christian who freely blended church and state and never seriously backed a wall between the two.

 

The audacity of the claim was apparently Barton’s undoing. His downfall came from an unlikely source: a band of conservative Christian scholars who grew weary of his abuse of history.

 

Warren Throckmorton and Mich­ael Coulter, professors at Pennsylvania’s Grove City College, earlier this year published a detailed refutation of Barton’s book titled Getting Jefferson Right: Fact-Checking Claims About Our Third President. The book marked the beginning of the end for Barton.

 

What made the Throck­mor­ton­/ ­­Coulter broadside so powerful was its source: Grove City is a conservative Christian institution. … Throckmorton said he began looking into Barton’s work in October of 2010. At the time, the psychology professor was doing some research about a bill in Uganda that would have imposed the death penalty on gays. He had come across references to Bryan Fischer, a staffer at the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association, who has argued that the First Amendment doesn’t protect non-Christians.

 

As he took a closer look at Fischer, Throckmorton began seeing references to Barton. “I found that many of Fischer’s ideas were derived from Barton’s writings,” Throckmorton said. “That led to a closer look at key claims Barton made frequently in his speeches and books.”

 

Throckmorton told Church & State that he and his colleague Coulter were dismayed by the poor quality of Barton’s scholarship. “Barton is often introduced as a Christian historian and is cited by politicians and policy makers who conduct their work in the name of Christ,” Throckmorton said. “To me and my colleagues, the first goal of any scholar, Christian or not, is to get the facts right.

 

Throckmorton continued. “We examined the claims made by Barton about Jefferson and found that they were off. Christians often fault others for disregarding objective facts. However, Christians are the offenders in the service of political objectives.” …

 

Once under the critical microscope, Barton’s troubles quickly piled up. The hammer really fell on Aug. 8, when National Public Radio’s Barbara Bradley Haggerty aired a devastating report on Barton and his claims.

 

Haggerty enlisted Barton critics to fact-check his claims. Their research showed the claims to be spurious. (Two examples: Barton asserts that the Constitution is laced with biblical references and that Thomas Paine ad­vo­cated teaching creationism in schools. The Constitution contains no biblical citations, and Paine died in 1809 – 50 years before Charles Darwin outlined the theory of evolution in On The Origin of Species.)

 

Around the same time, World, an evangelical Christian magazine, reported that Jay W. Richards, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a group that promotes “intelligent design” creationism, asked 10 conservative-Christian college professors to examine Barton’s work. “Their response was negative,” reported World.…

 

Even Break Point, a ministry founded by the late Charles W. Colson, decided to cut Barton loose. In an Aug. 21 column, ministry official Tom Gilson chided his fellow evangelicals for so readily swallowing Barton’s line.

 

“With a bit of care, any of us could have known of the serious questions that have surrounded Barton’s work for a long time,” Gilson wrote. “These recent revelations are nothing new, except in the degree to which conservative Christian scholars are involved in calling him to account.”

 

Gilson noted that Barton has frequently attacked some of his critics because they are liberals and asserted, “But the ideology defense is no help when it’s conservative Christians making a case against Barton – especially when it’s a case as verifiable as this is proving to be. It’s not political opinion that’s stacking up against him now. It’s well-documented facts.” …

 

Writing in The Atlantic, journalist Garrett Epps summed up the matter with a certain refreshing bluntness, observing, “For at least the past 20 years, Barton has been a tireless producer of books and pamphlets designed to demonstrate that America was found­ed by Christians and should be governed by Christians, that the separation of church and state is a myth, and that Protestant Christianity should be a part of government.

 

“In that time,” Epps continued, “he has come to occupy a position of influence within the Republican Party. His success is appalling, first because he is not a historian of any kind (his sole degree is from Oral Roberts University in religious education), and second because, even by the standards of today’s right wing, he is an obvious crackpot.” …

 

Remarkably, none of this slowed Barton down. In fact, he and his “Wallbuilders” organization began a rapid rise among the Religious Right. Barton began appearing at national conferences, where he would present his cut-and-paste version of history to adoring audiences.

 

Along the way, he became aligned with people like TV preacher Pat Rob­ertson, Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other leaders of the religious and political right. They lauded Barton as a premier Christian historian. …

 

Jon Fea, associate professor of American history and chair of the history department at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., is also a Barton critic. As Fea noted on his blog, “When legitimate historians criticize [Barton’s] work, he paints them as godless and liberal. But can all these historians and critics be wrong? Apparently Dav­id Bar­ton is the only one out there who has correctly interpreted Thomas Jefferson.

 

“This kind of arrogance,” Fea continued, “not only shows a deep disrespect for the work of historians, many of whom have devoted their lives to the study of Jefferson, but, perhaps more importantly, it is an embarrassment to the Christian church.”

According to Southern Poverty Law Center

David Barton’s Own Words

“Money does not belong to the government, it belongs to individuals, and to steal money from individuals through whatever government spending program is taking private property, and you’re not supposed to do that.”   —WallBuilders broadcast, January 2011

 

“Jesus says the sun shines on the just … the rain falls on the wicked. … God treats everybody exactly the same, whether you’re rich or poor you pay a ten percent tithe. … The concept of justice goes out with the progressive income tax which is why the Bible is opposed to it.”  —“Making the Constitution Obsolete: Understanding What is Happening to America’s Economic and Cultural Heritage,” an educational DVD marketed by the American Family Association, 2011

 

“There’s a passage that I love in Romans 1. … [I]t talks about homosexuality and it says that they will receive in their bodies the penalties of their behavior. … The Bible [is] right every time … and that’s why AIDS has been something they haven’t discovered a cure for or a vaccine for. … And that goes to what God says, ‘Hey you’re going to bear in your body the consequences of this homosexual behavior.’”  —WallBuilders broadcast, April 27, 2012

 

“People use Jefferson all the time and say, ‘Hey, you can’t do religious stuff at a school, Jefferson’s opposed to it.’ … He wasn’t opposed to that kind of thing.”  —“The Daily Show,” Comedy Central, May 1, 2012

 

For example, Barton has claimed that President Ronald Reagan, even after surviving an assassination attempt, opposed gun control. That’s entirely false. In fact, after being shot in 1981, Reagan voiced clear support for the Brady gun control bill in an opinion piece published in The New York Times.

 

Some of Barton’s claims are mind-boggling to any reasonably well-educated person. For example, in his version of history, the founding fathers “already had the entire debate on creation and evolution,” and chose creationism. Reality check: Charles Darwin didn’t publish his theory of evolution in The Origin of Species until 1859, more than half a century after the founding fathers were active. 

 

In 2010, Barton joined the battle to bowdlerize the Texas social studies curriculum for public schools, supporting efforts to excise Martin Luther King Jr. and 1960s farm worker activist Cesar Chavez from textbooks. As reported by Washington Monthly, Barton said King didn’t deserve to be included for advancing minority rights because “only majorities can expand political rights.”

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