Glenn Beck’s and Newt Gingrich’s Christian Nation

At the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans yesterday, former disgraced House speaker Newt Gingrich, a twice-divorced Catholic convert who now touts “America’s Godly heritage” as the solution to the country’s woes, declared that President Barack Obama’s administration to be a “secular, socialist regime” and “the most radical administration in U.S. history.”

While Gingrich was in New Orleans, David Barton, who serves on the board of Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership (ReAL), appeared on Glenn Beck’s program to promote his theocratic claims about constitutional history and the intent of the founders.

In a statement promoting Barton’s appearance on the program, ReAL maintained (emphasis in original):

David’s appearance builds on the mission of ReAL. We work to protect our God-given freedoms in Washington, D.C. and around the country. Educating Americans is critical to preserving those freedoms and spreading the truth about our Judeo-Christian heritage. 

Charles Johnson, the conservative blogger now considered a heretic by the right and by Beck himself, wrote after last night’s appearance:

Beck’s show today featured a full hour promoting the agenda of extreme fundamentalist/creationist/theocrat David Barton of Wallbuilders, one of the main forces behind the recent outrageous historical revisionism perpetrated by the Texas State Board of Education.

Barton and Beck are old pals, with Barton headlining Beck’s recent “American Revival” events. Will Bunch reported for the Philadelphia Daily News from the Florida revival:

But from the stage, the seven-hour event was little about Obama – and a lot about God. The kickoff speaker was David Barton – a leader in the recent fight to push conservative and Christian themes into Texas textbooks – and Beck’s own stage appearances, including a long closing speech, were larded with references to finding Jesus and his 12-step recovery from alcoholism in the 1990s.

Gingrich and Barton have long traversed the country promoting that “Godly heritage” — in fact, the idea for ReAL was hatched at the secretive Pastors’ Policy Briefings held in various states during the 2008 presidential campaign season. The purpose of the briefings was, according to David Lane, one of the organizers, the “mobilization of pastors and pews to restore America to her Judeo-Christian heritage. That’s our goal.”

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