David Barton

David Barton Schools Jon Stewart On The Constitution And Religious Liberty

We were very blessed that the respected historian David Barton taped a video for us last fall, while here to keynote our Pastors Summit, to promote this year's Call To Prayer in Colonial Williamsburg on June 1. Little did we know, coincidentally, that he appeared on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart yesterday, the day after we debuted the video here and via e-mail, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to tens of thousands of people (see it here). As an avid student of history, especially the Founding period of America, and with a degree in history and English from one of the commonwealth's well thought of institutions of higher learning, I always thought of myself as pretty well informed on early American history. Not that I knew it all, but with a life-long study of it, I thought I at least knew the major points pretty well. But then I started my association with The Family Foundation and got my first exposure to Mr. Barton, the founder of WallBuilders.

What a breath of fresh air! Not only does he give voice, reason and fact to what I always instinctively and academically believed was our Founding Fathers' actual intent regarding religious liberty, he also has thousands of original period documents which prove the point — that nowhere in the constitution can it be construed that government is hostile to religious expression, whether in private or public. No one in America has done more research from original sources on this topic than David Barton and he can quote from them faster than I can items from a fast food menu. It's hard to imagine a more informed person on this subject — anywhere.

He also points to hundreds of events from the period, long neglected in the classroom, that flesh out principles by which these Founders lived, argued, fought and died. Actions do speak louder than words, even words on paper, and the same men who put those words to paper participated in events that today would have them fined, suspended, fired or kicked out of club, association, job or public position. Go figure. In the end, though, no one is better than simply explaining the simple or basic elements of an already straightforward document: Congress shall establish no law . . . how does that translate to prohibiting a prayer to Jesus at a high school graduation? Or state police chaplains praying in Jesus' name? Or a city council opening its session with a prayer? How are public acts of prayer a Congressional law establishing a religion? Maybe if secularists just read the constitution they would come to understand this themselves. Otherwise, we are left to think they have a blatant disregard for it and are intent on nothing less than to "transform" America.

No one exemplifies this misguided, misinterpreted, contorted, secularist slant on the constitution in pop culture more than Jon Stewart. I give him credit for inviting Mr. Barton on his show (at the insistence of another guest, former Arkansas Governor and another friend of The Family Foundation, Mike Huckabee). But it was nothing more than mismatch, a true learning moment for Mr. Stewart.

Learning curve: David Barton taught Jon Stewart, a William & Mary grad (and not his real name), a good deal Wednesday night on The Daily Show. (Part 1 is mainly introductory talk.)

It's unfair debating a left-wing celebrity type, but instructive: Stewart gives truth to the adage "That a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing."

Recalling The House Of Burgesses: A Call To Prayer In Colonial Williamsburg

Mark your calendar for June 1 as we again gather in Colonial Williamsburg with concerned citizens from Hampton Roads and across the commonwealth to call out to God to restore our nation to its Judeo-Christian principles and heal our land. (See picture from last year's event.) On June 1, 1774, the Virginia House of Burgesses called a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer (see proclamation at CW's web site) as American colonists called out to the Lord to intervene when the British closed the harbor at Boston. Today, our foes are much different, but they are just as real. Whether the attack is on life, on marriage or on religious liberty, we know that there are real threats to our freedom, liberty and prosperity.

The Family Foundation will commemorate that important prayer event on Wednesday, June 1, in the historic colonial capital, with the ad hoc group Virginians for Liberty, to ask the Lord to have mercy on us and heal our land. See the video below to see historian and WallBuilders founder David Barton briefly recount the historic event and explain how to participate in this very important event. After watching it, please share it or this blog post's link with your friends, family members and especially your pastor. We have a similar video available that is designed to be shown in churches during worship services and will make that available to any church that would like to show it to their congregation. If your church does not have the ability to download and show the video, we can also make a DVD copy available for viewing.

We will assemble at the Colonial Capitol on Duke of Gloucester Street promptly at 8:00 a.m. and walk to Bruton Parish Church where prayers will be offered along with some 18th century hymns. This will cover several blocks, so wear comfortable shoes. The event will end at 9:00. Bring a U.S., Virginia or Christian flag and wave it as a symbol of your devotion to this cause.

Parking can be confusing around Colonial Williamsburg. There is a parking lot near Bassett Hall, 522 Francis Street East, which is very convenient to the Capitol. For more information or questions, please call Roger Pogge in our office at 804-343-0010 or e-mail him at roger@familyfoundation.org. We look forward to seeing you there.

A Call to Prayer

Colonial Williamsburg

Wednesday, June 1, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m

What's A Room Full Of Pastors Ready To Engage In The Public Square Look Like?

Here's a picture of Monday's Annual Pastors For Family Values Pastors Summit, held in Richmond. About 250 pastors from around Virginia and from all denominations heard from religious liberty experts worthy of a national convention: Virginia Fourth District Congressman and Founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Randy Forbes, historian and Wallbuilders Founder David Barton, scholar and Ameriseach Founder Bill Federer, Alliance Defense Fund Chief Legal Counsel David French and PFFV Chaplain and S.T.A.N.D. Founder Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr. If you think we had a motivated bunch before . . . .

pastotrs summit 2010

What do you get when you have a room full of pastors? A modern "Black Robe Regiment" which the pastors who led the call for independence from Britain were called. Today, such pastoral leadership in the public square is just as much in demand.

"Every Speaker Was Inspiring, Informative And Motivating"

Those are the words of just one of the nearly 250 pastors and church leaders from around the commonwealth who gathered in Richmond yesterday for The Family Foundation and Pastors For Family Values Pastor Summit. This year's theme was, "A Passion to Preserve Our Religious Liberty." From the opening time of praise and worship to the closing stirring address by our own chaplain, Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr., we were, as another pastor said, "enlightened, convicted, and motivated." It was great to have so many longtime Family Foundation pastors combined with many new faces who are committed to discipleship in the area of civic involvement.

Our first speaker, Congressman Randy Forbes, provided an insiders look at some of the ridiculous attacks on our religious founding that he has fought against in Washington, D.C., such as when the new Capitol visitor center would not allow the Pledge of Allegiance because it references "God"! We so appreciate the work of Congressman Forbes as he has led the fight to protect our history in Washington.

Of course, many in the room came to hear from our keynote speaker, historian David Barton. Barton addressed the crowd twice and once again supplied an extraordinary amount of information about our founding — in particular, the role that clergy played in our fight for independence. As always, he was informative and motivational. One pastor told of praying with a colleague after the event who was spiritually convicted by David's words.

Perhaps the most moving address of the day came from Alliance Defense Fund attorney David French. He spoke about the direct attacks on Christian religious liberty taking place on our college campuses and how ADF has defended the rights of dozens of students and professors. He told of how much courage it takes for a college student to stand up to the threats and intimidation of college administrators, professors and other students. But he then told his own personal story of volunteering for the Army at age 37 and going to Iraq to fight for our freedom. He talked of God's provision and how our God is bigger than any threat we face. We also heard a presentation by Bill Federer concerning the history and philosophy of Islam and the threats it presents to both our religious and political liberties.

Other words and phrases used by pastors to describe yesterday’s summit include "excellent," "outstanding," "a wonderfully inspiring and educational conference," and "best equipping event I’ve ever attended."

It is our firm belief that unless pastors take the lead in educating and motivating their congregations to action in civil government we cannot be successful in returning our commonwealth and nation to their founding principles. That is why we are so encouraged by yesterday’s event. The pastors who came left energized and ready to take the lead. As a result, we know Virginia will never be the same.

Pastors Summit In Richmond September 20 Features David Barton, Congressman Randy Forbes, Bill Federer And Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr.

Since our founding 25 years ago, The Family Foundation has worked to engage pastors in the civic process. With new threats to religious liberty and the rights of the church to proclaim publically the gospel exposed every day, there is no time like the present to get involved. In that vein, on September 20, our Pastors for Family Values outreach arm is holding its third annual Pastors Summit, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Ramada Plaza Richmond West (directions, information). More than 200 pastors from all corners of the commonwealth already have committed to attending. More are welcome as we have assembled a lineup of extraordinary speakers whose credentials rival that of any national convention, and of which we barely scratch the surface here, including: 

» Historian David Barton, Founder and President of WallBuilders, who appears frequently on cable news channels (see interview with Mike Huckabee on Fox News Channel); 

» Virginia 4th District Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder and Co-chairman of The Congressional Prayer Caucus, whose House floor speech on religious liberty is one of the most watched Congressional speeches ever (see video);

» Bishop E. W. Jackson, Sr., Family Foundation Chaplain and President of S.T.A.N.D., a national organization dedicated to maintaining America's Judeo-Christian heritage;

» Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel David French, one of the country's top religious liberty attorneys, (see Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham, here);

» Author and lecturer Bill Federer (see video), President of Amerisearch and frequently quoted in the media; and

» Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb, a recent participant in the 2010 The King's College Distinguished Visitor Series.

The theme this is, "A Passion to Preserve Our Religious Liberty," which is timely with new and greater threats to our religious liberty emerging almost every day, coming at us from every direction. It is imperative that pastors are equipped and engaged for the inevitable battles that lie ahead, and the reknown speakers addressing the summit will educate and inspire. 

The event is free for pastors, but registration is required (click here). Summit information, including hotel room discounts, can be found there. If you are not a pastor, but think your pastor should know about the summit, please share this link with him. For more details, please call Roger Pogge at 804-343-0010 or e-mail him at roger@familyfoundation.org. It is vitally important that every pastor in Virginia is informed and encouraged to engage the culture in this very important area of our faith.

Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr., speaking at a Pastors For Family Values event in Norfolk earlier this year, where he underscored the importance of pastor engagement in the public square. 

Update: 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala Information

The Family Foundation is thrilled to announce that sponsorships and program ads for our 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala, featuring keynote speaker Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), are now available (here). Find event details, sign up for sponsorships for this exciting event or reserve a program ad by clicking here or by visiting our Gala Web page: www.familyfoundation.org/gala. Individual and couples tickets will be available in mid-August. This year's Gala is Saturday, October 9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. A private sponsors' reception and photo line will begin at 5:15, followed by dinner at 6:30. The suggested dress for the evening is business attire. Sponsorship benefits for the various levels include seats at Congressman Pence's table, a private reception and photograph with Congressman Pence, and a breakfast with Historian David Barton. Click here for complete details.

Congressman Pence describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order!" An outspoken advocate for the values we share, he has been named one of the 20 most influential conservatives in America and has repeatedly received the "True Blue Award" from the Family Research Council for his commitment to the family and sanctity of human life. Human Events named Congressman Pence "Man of the Year" in 2005. If you have not heard Congressman Pence speak you are in for a real treat!

For out of town guests who wish to stay overnight, a discounted group rate is available at Hilton Garden Inn, at 501 East Broad Street, located directly across the street from the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Please call 877-782-9444 and mention The Family Foundation Annual Gala for more information. The cut-off date for the group rate is September 9.

We look forward to another big turnout in what promises to be a major event in the midst of a potentially historic election year. To register online, click here; to register by phone or for more information, please call The Family Foundation at 804-343-0010 and speak with Dan Thompson or John Downer; or e-mail questions to Gala@FamilyFoundation.org.

Save The Date: The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala October 9!

Our Annual Gala this year will be a little more special than most years and we're excited about that. It will be extra special because it will be our 25th Anniversary Gala, and we're celebrating it on a Saturday evening instead of the typical weekday so more people can attend.

So, please save the date: October 9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Befitting a silver anniversary event, we're planning activities throughout the day in addition to the dinner, which will make the Gala a fully rounded, lively and engaging celebration. It is certain to be a memorable event as we look back on a quarter century of defending our shared values and celebrate our many victories. We’ll also look ahead to the next 25 years as we advance our critical mission.

Okay, Okay . . . people hear that all the time and the word has been out for a bit, but people keep asking me who the keynote speaker is, or even if we have one lined up yet. The answer is, yes, we do a have a speaker and, just as with last year, when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee inspired a crowd of more than 1,250 guests, the keynoter this year will encourage, motivate and energize you for the future. In fact, we have a pretty good track record of Gala speakers: William Bennett, Tony Snow, former Senators Rick Santorum and George Allen, Gary Bauer, David Barton, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Steve Forbes, Maggie Gallagher, Eric Metaxas and former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, among them.

This year's speaker — named one of the "Top 20 Most Influential Conservatives in America" and a frequent national television guest — is a national leader for conservative principles and is certain to bring a powerful, engaging and inspiring message that you won't want to miss. In fact, you will be disappointed if you do. So, please get your tickets now to see. . . .

Stay tuned for the big reveal in the weeks to come. We will have exciting announcements and updates delivered to you in exciting ways, so sign up for our e-mails, return to this blog, join us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube. Help us launch an exciting new era at The Family Foundation where we bring our traditional message to new audiences with modern techniques. 

The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m., preceded by a private reception for sponsors with the speaker. We hope you’ll reserve this date on your calendar.

Additional information on sponsorship packages, tickets and program advertisements will be provided this summer via email and online at www.familyfoundation.org/gala.htm. To receive the information by mail, please call us at (804) 343-0010 or e-mail Gala@FamilyFoundation.org.

Wallbuilders Founder David Barton To Keynote Valley Family Forum Events May 24

The Prince William Family Alliance isn't the only regional Family Foundation affiliate proving that values voters not only never went away, but are, in fact, thriving. The Valley Family Forum, in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, also proves the point with its robust growth and vigorous activism. On Monday, May 24, it will host David Barton, founder and president of Wallbuilders — one of the nation’s leading experts on America's Christian heritage — at its Annual Salute To The Family. The bad news is that the event already is sold out. But there is good news: To accommodate the demand, it has added a luncheon with Mr. Barton from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., Monday, May 24, at the James Madison University Festival Conference and Student Center, and tickets are still available! 

Mr. Barton is an award winning author, nationally acclaimed speaker, and advisor to legislators and educators. He draws from original sources to remind us about what made America an "exceptional" nation from our earliest settlers to today. Who were our Founding Fathers, and how did their faith influence the formation of our government? What are the key principles on which America was founded and prospered, and to which we must now return? Why is this great history now being deliberately ignored and even re-written, and why does it matter to us now?

The theme of his speech will be, "Keys to Good Government — According to the Founding Fathers." If you have never heard David Barton we encourage you to attend the Valley Family Forum Luncheon on May 24. You will learn more about our nation's history in a half hour from him than you probably ever did in school.

Seats are $25 per person or $200 for tables of eight. For reservations or more information, e-mail family@valleyfamilyforum.org or call 540-438-8966.

In God We Trust Conference This Saturday Features David Barton, Standout Speakers

While we battle here at the General Assembly to ensure that our commonwealth's public policy reflects the eternal values our forefathers enshrined in the constitution, a Richmond church will host a conference to remind folks of exactly that history. This Saturday, February 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., you have the opportunity to attend the In God We Trust Conference at Grove Avenue Baptist Church. The conference's speakers include:

» David Barton, Founder and President of Wallbuilders

» Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist's Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

» Steven McDowell, co-founder of the Providence Foundation and President of its Biblical Worldview University

» Craig Parshall, the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for National Religious Broadcasters

Rarely are all of these great leaders in one place and this conference is not simply to remind you of the Biblical worldview of our Founding Fathers, but also to address the issues facing the church today. To help with this goal, we invite attendees to learn more about The Family Foundation and how to put their worldview to work for their family and their faith. Join us Saturday by purchasing your ticket, then stop by our table and say hello.

Virginia Renewal Project Recap

Since we brought up pastors events and Winning Matters 2009 last post, we thought we'd review a major event that we had a hand in from earlier this month that, in essence, was a launch to the whole idea of more civic activism from people with a Biblical perspective. The Virginia Renewal Project took place at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel on June 4 and 5, and you know it was an important event when certain groups raised hackles about it

More than 450 pastors from across Virginia attended, and represented every denomination and ethnicity. The hotel's grand ballroom was packed as speakers such as historian David Barton, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke of the need to return America to its Godly heritage. 

Barton was especially moving as he related how the Founding Fathers all gave credit for their inspiration to the pastors of the day. We often hear that the Founders were a bunch of  deists and secularists, but Barton's research and documentation convincingly proves what used to be a common notion taught in America — that this nation was founded primarily by Christians on Judeo-Christian principles. 

Pastors at the conference were encouraged to engage the culture and make a difference by being salt and light in all arenas, even in the political realm.  They were told that despite the threats of the ACLU and People for the American Way, no church has ever lost its tax-exempt status. Everyone left encouraged and inspired to make a difference in our Commonwealth and in our nation.