“Blind Guides” David Barton, Brannon House Defend Palin In One Of The Most Pathetic, Embarrassing, Anti-Biblical Presentations I Have Ever Seen
“And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” — Matthew 15:14b.
By John Lofton, Editor
The headline over the top of the video was promising. It read: “David Barton Takes On Those Who Say It Is Un-Biblical For Sarah Palin To Be Vice President.” Hmmmmm, interesting, I thought since I’ve read/heard several thousand words on the other side of this topic by, among others, the Rev. Joe Morecraft III, Pastor Bill Einwechter, Doug Phillips and Scott Whiteman. So, I looked forward to a good iron-sharpens-iron discussion here as I watched Barton be interviewed by Brannon House, who is identified as an “author, talk-show host, columnist and President of Worldview Weekend.”
Long story short: Barton’s presentation was pathetic, embarrassing and, for the most part, Biblically illiterate.
Here’s the way it went. My comments are labeled “Comment.”
House begins by noting the Liberals are no fans of Sarah Palin “because she’s not a feminist” in the sense that she didn’t abort her Down Syndrome baby. He adds: “She’s not a radical feminist. She embraces a Biblical worldview.”
Comment: Palin certainly is a feminist, has said so, and would not be running for VP if she had “a Biblical worldview.” In a late September 2008 interview with Katy Couric on the “CBS Evening News, there was this exchange:
Couric: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Palin: I do. I’m a feminist who believes in equal rights and I believe that women certainly today have every opportunity that a man has to succeed and to try to do it all anyway. And I’m very, very thankful that I’ve been brought up in a family where gender hasn’t been an issue….I’m absolutely for equal pay for equal work.
House praises Palin’s pregnant, unwed teenage daughter for coming to her Mom and Dad about her pregnancy noting: “This says a lot about how they have trained their daughter and the relationship they have with their daughter.”
Comment: What the daughter’s unwed pregnancy says about how she was trained evidently says nothing since House is silent on this subject.
House says there are “those within the church, those within Christian circles, saying it is un-Biblical for a woman to hold such a high office, to be vice president and maybe eventually a commander-in-chief.” He asks Barton to explain why all this not un-Biblical.
Barton laughs. House laughs, too, saying to Barton: “I know you got to laugh but go ahead.” Barton says this shows why he developed the axiom: “We don’t need enemies. We got friends.” House says: “Don’t we know it.”
Barton says he understands the concerns of the Palin critics “because you got Paul saying out loud, ‘I don’t allow a woman to usurp authority over a man.’” He adds: “You can point to Isaiah 5 where God says it’s a curse on a nation when women and children are the rulers, et cetera. So, there’s some basis for their concern.”
Comment: The correct Isaiah verse is in chapter 3, verse 12.
Barton says: “This is where the tenor of Scripture becomes so important. You can always take one Scripture out of context and do anything you want to with it. The key is to look at all Scriptures on the subject and see how they all fit together. And that’s where you get tone.” He notes that though a Christian himself who tries to pursue a Biblical worldview, he has “lots of blind spots and lots of holes.”
Comment: OK. Great. So, Barton is now going to go through “all the Scriptures” on this subject, right? And he’s going to comment on the tens of thousands of words written and spoken on this subject by, among others, the Rev. Joe Morecraft III, Pastor Bill Einwechter, Doug Phillips, and our own Scott Whiteman - all of whom together quote many Scriptures which they say forbid women from being civil magistrates, right? Well, no. In fact, Barton, at no point, mentions any of these men and what they have said and written about what they say the Bible says.
Instead, on this topic, Barton says he has consulted —- who? —- what? Other Christians? Certai one of his “favorite resources,” an orthodox Jewish Rabbi named Dan Lapin. He adds: “I believe every single Christian needs a rabbi. There’s no doubt in my mind every Christian needs a rabbi because so much of Christianity not only incorporates the Old Testament but that is the model….And God doesn’t change across time. But we do have two different dispensations, two different covenants. But, God is the same.”
Comment: Huh? Barton’s promised refutation is here off to a flying stop. If he’s a Christian wanting to know what the Bible says about female civil magistrates, women holding God’s ordained civil government offices, why is he consulting an unbeliever, a non-Christian who Scripture tells us cannot understand Scripture because Scriptural truths are spiritually discerned, and this means only by believers, Christians (I Corinthians 2:14)?
Referring to Rabbi Lapin as “a solidly Biblical guy,” Barton says that when he (Barton) testified before Congress on global warming, he (Barton) called on Rabbi Lapin and asked the Rabbi to take him through the first three chapters of Genesis. The Rabbi did this “and in about five minutes he completely shifted my paradigm” which “I thought I had laid out and had studied for years,” says Barton.
Barton says he asked Rabbi Lapin: “What is the Biblical thing on Sarah Palin?” To which he says the Rabbi said to look at the Bible. Said the Rabbi: “You start with a family, Adam and Eve as a family….everything past that you interpret in the sense of family. We have civil government but it’s made up of families. We have church government but it’s made up of families. Everything goes back to the family. So, the key becomes, in the family, is the wife in rebellion to the husband or is the husband usurping his position with the wife, with their family?” No Scripture is cited for any of what is said here.
Comment: Well, no. You start with God and His Word. The family is important. But the family is not God. Only God is God.
Rabbi Lapin, as reported by Barton, continues: “The first thing is did [Mr. and Mrs. Palin] pray together? Are they both in accord on this decision? And is this what they felt like God told them to do?”
Comment: No. Again, please: The “first” thing is what God says in His Word - not did the Plains pray together.
Barton, re: what he says Rabbi Lapin told him: “That’s an interesting question. That’s a whole different analysis.” He mentions Deborah and Esther as examples of God raising up women leaders. House adds the name of the Queen of Sheba. Barton notes that in Hebrews 11 “you still got them in there. And God’s holding them (women) up as examples to follow.”
Barton says Rabbi Lapin says: “The key is: did Sarah and Todd pray about this? Is Todd supportive of what she’s doing? Because if Todd is supportive then she’s not usurping authority over men.” Such a usurpation would have occurred only if Todd said “no” and she ignored what her husband said, according to what Barton says Rabbi Lapin said.
Comment: What Sarah Palin can or cannot do is determined by what God says and not by what the Palins agree on among themselves!
Barton says he was recently with a pastor who said he had asked Todd Palin if he was OK with what his wife was doing? He says this pastor says Todd Palin said he supports his wife 100 percent in running for vice president. So, Barton says, “they’re doing this as a family. It’s not that this woman is out there doing her own thing because that would be a Biblical problem just as if a man was out there doing his own thing….So, within the framework of going back to the original institution of the family, you got a great model here. You got a family that’s involved here.”
Comment: Ah, but is God and His Word “involved” here? - that is the most important question.
Barton reiterates that Palin “may be like a Deborah that God has raised up, or an Esther, for such a time as this - that’s just part of it….” He adds: “So, when you look at the big picture and take it back to what Rabbi Lapin did, and take it to the original institution, is this anything that undermines the family? Are they in disaccord? They are not. And that’s a great way to analyze this.”
Comment: No, actually, in all honesty, this family-is-God-and-can-decide-all-things hermeneutic is a lousy, un-Biblical, absurd, totally humanistic way to analyze the woman/public office issue. But, things get even more ludicrous.
On another topic, education, Barton notes correctly that parents are told to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. But, then he says, amazingly, incredibly, that this “can be public schooling if the parents make that choice. But the parents are in charge of education.” Later, he notes that there is, however, now, a slight problem with the public schools - “they fight the values of [Christian] parents rather than enforcing them.”
Comment: So, in some cases, it might be OK, and it might be raising children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” if they are put in the Godless, Christ-hating “public schools”?
Barton also says, re: the different church-state spheres of authority and jurisdiction: “The government can do faith-based programs to help provide an atmosphere of protection for church but the government is not the church and is not to be run like the church” and vice-versa.
Comment: Really? Where does God and/or the Constitution authorize civil government to do such “faith-based programs”? I see no such authorization - none.
Barton says: “Sarah Palin is not a problem for a bigger Biblical worldview. It is a problem for some people for some verses.”
Comment: Barton offers no such “bigger Biblical worldview” on the topic under discussion. As I say, he totally ignores the numerous specifics cited in articles and sermons by Morecraft, Einwechter, Phillips, Whiteman saying nothing at all about the Biblical qualifications for rulers - they must be knowledgeable Christian men, who fear God, etc.
Brannon House: “And this is not equal to a woman teaching over men in the church because the church is a separate sphere.”
Barton: “That’s right. She’s not usurping authority. Ruling is a different thing. Esther was a great ruler.”
Comment: The distinction here strikes me as a bit too glib.
Brannon House: “So, what do you say to those who say women ruling over men is a sign of judgment?”
Barton: “Well, you can say it’s a sign of men not stepping up to the plate. Let’s not put it on the women. Let’s say, ‘All right guys, if you’d been doing what you should have been doing, maybe we wouldn’t need this.’”
Comment: Interesting —- because Barton here seems not to be disputing that what he sees as fine, in fact commendable (correction, what the Rabbi told him is fine) is indeed God’s judgment. And, ironically, in following this Rabbi, Barton is an example of a man who (in Christian/Biblical terms) is not “stepping up to the plate.”
Barton says, regarding women who choose to work outside the home: “Fine. In Christ, there is no gender, no male, no female, no giving of marriage in Heaven. God doesn’t recognize male and female in that way. He made us two separate components but he put them together to be one and that’s the model…So, if Sarah and Todd prayed about this and they think this is what God told them to do, then get out of their way. That’s between them and God.”
Comment: So, God has assigned no specific roles to men and women? Biblical references to male headship means nothing? In God’s eyes we’re all just a bunch of, of - things - unisex things He’s created - but for nothing specific? We’re all interchangeable? No wonder Barton is defending Palin’s run for VP. They both have the exact same un-Biblical, anti-Biblical views. She has said on more than one occasion that she was “blessed” (sic) to grow up in a family where gender was not an issue - that the boys and girls all did the same thing, blah, blah, blah.
Barton says, re: our rulers: “Hopefully, they’re God-fearing and they will honor God and incorporate His principles.”
Comment: Well, yes, amen! One would hope that all our rulers will be God-fearing, God-honoring men - which is what Scripture says.
Brannon House: But what would you say to those who say OK, Palin may be able to do the job but shouldn’t because her kids will suffer, that her first calling is to be the wife and mother and how can she be vice president and run all over the world and still raise her children?
Barton says his “sarcastic answer” to these Palin critics is: “As soon as you get your life in order, start running her life.” He snaps, somewhat testily: “If she’s prayed and heard it from God, and God’s told her to do that, get out of her way. You can’t take over her spiritual life and tell her what she can or can’t hear from God or tell her God hasn’t called her to be a Deborah because you don’t think she has. We have so many verses in the Bible that say don’t judge another servant because the master will judge that servant. That’s where she is.”
Comment: But, the way we know that one is “hearing from God,” is whether or not what one “hears” is in accord with the Word of God - not just in agreement with your family or some Rabbi!
Noting that he has recruited many people to run for public office, Barton says: “And when they tell me God told them to run for public office, I just get out of their way because if God told them to run I’m not going to be the one to tell them not to run.”
Comment: Really? So, if someone tells Barton that they heard something from God he just assumes they did? Yep, that would appear to be what he does.
At this point, Brannon House says that as vice president Palin “will have a lot of staff to help and allow her to have time freed up for her family. They will specifically schedule in family time, trips.”
Comment: Whoopeeeeeee! How exciting! That’s what every family needs, right? - some Federal Government officials scheduling your “family time.” But, is this really better than the Mother being a keeper of the home, the Mother raising her family in her own home? Of course not.
Barton then defends what seems to be being an absentee father, not being at home a lot of the time. He says “no,” being “a real father” does not mean “being at home with your kids.” He says he’s been on-the-road for 20 years doing 400 meetings on the average per-year; he’s got millions of frequent-flyer miles. He says God has called his whole family to what’s he’s done and is doing. “We’re all called to this traveling life and God gives them grace when I travel,” he says. Barton denies there is any Biblical paradigm that says you have to be with your kids “24-hours-a-day.” He asks: Was Hannah a lousy mother because she gave Samuel to be raised in the temple?
Comment: Truly ridiculous remarks here. Embarrassingly idiotic.
Brannon House says Barton is “a comprehensive Biblical worldview guy.” He says Barton speaks at many of his own “Code Blue” rallies. House’s “Code Blue” rallies, according to his Web site, are held because “the church in America is in critical condition. Christian adults and young people alike embody worldviews that are no different from those outside the church” (emphasis mine.)
Comment: Amen! And if anyone doubts that the “church” in America is “in critical condition,” all they have to do is watch this House/Barton video here
A Footnote: Before you believe or repeat any Barton quote attributed to our Founders, double-check that quote, preferably from a primary source.