In a new essay NPR calls the political activist David Barton an ‘evangelist’. Not by any stretch of the imagination; not by any accurate or authentic use of the word, can Barton be titled ‘Evangelist’. He is NOT an evangelist. Please, refrain from calling him that. It gives Evangelists who really are such a bad name which they don’t deserve.
David Barton is not a historian. He has a bachelor’s degree in Christian education from Oral Roberts University and runs a company called WallBuilders in Aledo, Texas. But his vision of a religion-infused America is wildly popular with churches, schools and the GOP, and that makes him a power. He was named one of Time magazine’s most influential evangelicals. He was a long-time vice chairman for the Texas Republican Party. He says that he consults for the federal government and state school boards, that he testifies in court as an expert witness, that he gives a breathtaking 400 speeches a year.
He has a B.A…. That’s all. That says it all. No wonder his citations are inaccurate. Nevertheless, he isn’t, and I can’t repeat this enough, he ISN’T an evangelist.
If NPR wants to call him anything, call him an ideologue.