David Barton Claimed His Anti-Gay Remarks Were “Taken Out of Context and Mischaracterized.” Here’s the Context.

Jim Burroway

July 14th, 2016

I’ve decided that no one in the English-speaking world has more fun telling tall tales than fourth- and fifth-generation West Texans. My partner hails from Fort Stockton. His brother loves telling tall tails. And when he does, there’s his mother revealing another fine talent that it seems Texans of all stripes posses: the pithy putdown. Think Ann Richards. After another tall tale, Chris’s mom always chimes in. “Ricky! You’d climb a tree to tell a lie!” In other words: Even when telling the truth is much, much easier, Ricky would rather exert the added physical effort to avoid doing so.

Which, of course, brings us to David Barton, another Texan from Aledo, just west of Ft. Worth. A fake historian who got his Bachelor’s degree in religious education from Oral Roberts University, Barton has climbed an entire rainforest of trees in his adult lifetime. Barton also happens to be a member of the Republican National Convention’s platform committee which just approved what the Log Cabin Republicans call the “most anti-LGBT platform in the party’s history.” On Monday, when the platform committee was about halfway through its work, The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak confronted Barton over just a couple of his anti-gay statements:

And David Barton, a committee member from Texas, believes that God is preventing the medical profession from finding a cure for HIV/AIDS, and claimed that gay people die “decades earlier” than others and have more than 500 partners apiece in their lifetimes.

Barton told The Daily Beast that these statements did not represent his views, and this was “an example of something taken out of context and mischaracterized. I’m an advocate for faith-based conservative values, which include love, grace, and truth, focusing on traditional family values.”

One might wonder what kind of context could possible render those arguments reasonable. Barton, of course, doesn’t explain. But he’s right: context is always important. Which is why Right Wing Watch re-posted the full context of those remarks:

In the case of his claim that gay people die “decades earlier” and have hundreds of sexual partners, Barton said that on his radio program back in 2010, when he was somewhat facetiously making the case that the government should regulate gay people’s sex lives.

Barton argued that since the government seeks to regulate all sorts of things that are unhealthy, it should also regulate consensual sex between members of the same gender because it is not only dangerous for those who practice it but bad for society as well:

Homosexual/bi-sexual individuals are seven times more likely to contemplate or commit suicide. Oooh, that doesn’t sound very healthy.

Homosexuals die decades earlier than heterosexuals. That doesn’t sound healthy.

Nearly one-half of practicing homosexuals admit to five hundred or more sex partners and nearly one-third admit to a thousand or more sex partners in a lifetime.

Those statistics are not only stale — invented in the late 1980s — but they were invented out of whole cloth by Paul Cameron, using methods that got him barred or censured by every relevant professional professional organization in North America. Birds of a feather and all that.

As for Barton’s claim that God was preventing the medical profession from finding a cure for AIDS, let’s go to the videos. Here’s Barton at Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, Colorado, in March 2015:

…anything the Bible says is right, there is scientific basis for it now. It’s fun to be able to show that. So, these guys, homosexuals — I’ll say guys, I’m from Texas, that’s guys and girls. Everybody’s “guys” in Texas . So these guys, homosexuals, lesbians, they want AIDS stopped. You saw the prevalence: sixty times higher than the general population, et cetera. And what they’re looking for is a vaccine. So the federal government in the last several years as spent tens of billions of dollars looking for a vaccine for AIDS — HIV/AIDS. And I don’t think they will ever find a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. And I say that based on a particular Bible verse. If you look at what Romans 1:27 says. This is what the Scripture says. It says, “Men, leaving natural relations with the woman, lusted toward each other and did that which is wrong receiving in their bodies the penalty due them.” And notice this: homosexuals receive in their bodies the penalty due them. The Bible says that if you engage in homosexuality, your body will do things that will penalize you. So if you can have a vaccine for AIDS, then you’re keeping your body from penalizing you. I don’t think they’ll ever find a vaccine for AIDS.

And that was not just a one-off thing. A month later, Barton gave the same talk at Faith Baptist Church in Knightdale, North Carolina:

The population where AIDS is increasing is the homosexual population, and that’s why these guys are looking for a vaccine. They’ve spent about 26 billion dollars of federal money to find a vaccine and so far they have not found a vaccine. There’s been no vaccine that they have found for AIDS. Now in my opinion I don’t think they ever will find a vaccine for AIDS. Well that’s pretty callous isn’t it? No. Actually, I’m just using what the Bible says here. Romans 1:27, this is what the Scripture says: “Men, leaving natural relations with the woman, lusted toward each other and did that which is wrong receiving in their bodies the penalties (sic) due them.” Notice the last phrase: homosexuals receive in their bodies the penalties due them. If you can find a vaccine for AIDS, then you’re not receiving in your body the penalty.

Now, you know why they haven’t found a vaccine for AIDS so far? [It] is AIDS is the fastest known transmuting virus in the history of mankind. It is. Every time they get right on the verge — “Oh we finally have a discovery!” — AIDS is like dominos on the board. They just reshuffle and it comes out, “Oh my gosh, we’ve to to start from ground zero again.” They get real close to a vaccine and then it reshuffles — and every time they get close it just reshuffles. It’s a transmuting virus. They can’t identify it. Every time they get close, it becomes something new and they have to start again.

Now, that was my position that I don’t think you will find a cure for it based on Romans 1:27. But I acknowledge that I make mistakes. And so when this article came out: “for the first time ever, an HIV vaccine shows success in trial.” You go, well I must have misinterpreted because, you know, this… And then about six weeks later, this article came out and says “NIH halts trial of HIV vaccine after it fails to work.” They made a big splash, “Oh we finally have one that works!” And then they went back and tested it and said, “That doesn’t work! It’s just like all the others.” So, to this point, there is still no cure for that behavior which is the result of their body’s penalizing them for what they do in homosexuality. That’s just what the Bible says.

So, so many trees. Barton had actually trotted out those vaccine headlines a month earlier in Colorado, and Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton tracked them down:

The problem with Barton’s presentation is that the second headline didn’t come out “six weeks later.” Rather it came out four years later in 2013 and was about an entirely different attempt to create a vaccine.

The Yahoo News article Barton referred to (the second headline) is only available via Internet Archives and is dated April 26, 2013. The Yahoo article linked to the NIH announcement that the HVTN 505 clinical trial had been halted. The HVTN 505 trial results had nothing to do with the earlier success of RV 144. The RV 144 trial was reported in 2009, the same year that the HVTN 505 started. The NIH has more on the HVTN 505 trial on the NIH website.

Barton got the time frame wrong and made it appear that the two headlines were related to each other.

When the second video came out, Throckmorton added:

Barton’s use of the headlines is extremely deceptive. In fact, progress continues to be made which builds upon the modestly successful vaccine already available. In fact, R144 vaccine does offer protection from HIV infection. An extension of the success of R144 is being conducted in South Africa now.

Mary in the ABQ

July 14th, 2016

That waste of oxygen Barton clearly knows nothing about virology, nor of the strides made in the two recent decades to make HIV disease much more manageable for many patients.


July 15th, 2016

Barton is a compulsive and unregenerate liar. His book on Thomas Jefferson was withdrawn by the publisher (Christian publisher Thomas Nelson) because it was so riddled with “factual errors” that even they couldn’t stand by it, although a “revised” edition was published by World Net Daily Books. That should give you a broad hint as to how reliable it is as history.

The man can’t open his mouth without telling a lie.


July 18th, 2016

Like all good little fundamentalists, Barton’s understanding of science and HIV is lacking.

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