Fox News Channel opinion show host Glenn Beck has teamed up with Texan Christian right activist David Barton in an online seminar series called "Beck University." Beck fans who want to attend the "University" need to pay fees ranging from $6.26 to $9.95 per month for "insider extreme" access. Beck's Web site says Barton is a "Professor," but Barton does not have any advanced degrees, nor does he teach at any legitimate institute of higher learning. He has a bachelor's degree in Christian education from Oral Roberts University. While Barton is not an actual historian, he has posed as one since the 1990s, and has written two books that are both studded with errors. His first book, originally titled "The Myth of Separation," argues that the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation, and the Founding Fathers never intended to have separation of church and state. Barton argues that constitutional division between church and state was imposed on an unwilling nation by the Supreme Court in 1947. Amid criticism over inaccuracies, Barton withdrew the book and retitled it "Original Intent." His other book, "America: to Pray or Not To Pray?" is a self-published collection of charts that Barton uses to "prove" that a 1962 Supreme Court decision striking down school-sponsored prayer led to increased crime, higher rates of venereal disease, alcoholism and other ills. None of his factual inaccuracies have slowed him down, though. Barton, Beck and Sarah Palin are scheduled to join forces at an event August 28th at the Lincoln Memorial called "Restoring Honor."
By Anne Landman on August 25, 2010