David Barton, a Christian “historian,” recently said lockdowns across the country are happening because America has become increasingly secularized, making people more afraid of death.
As Right Wing Watch points out, Barton is influential in at least some Republican circles and has helped write some of the party’s recent platforms. While appearing last week on the Stand In The Gap radio program, Barton misconstrued historical facts and pushed a questionable narrative, Montgomery writes.
Reciting a list of epidemics and pandemics that have occurred on U.S. soil, including a smallpox epidemic during the colonial period, Barton claimed COVID-19 has killed roughly one out of every 100,000 Americans. He stated the death toll in the U.S. was around 30,000, but the number is actually much higher, at more than 58,000. Then he compared that with the smallpox epidemic of 1633, claiming “the mortality rate was over 70 percent.”
That means “the fear factor was much, much, much greater back then,” he claimed. During this time, according to Barton, people weren’t panicking about death because of their belief in God.
“As you look across Massachusetts, as you look across the New England areas, so many of those guys had come here on the Bible, on religious liberty. And for them, death was, that was a step into eternal life,” Barton said, “Today, this is the most secular America has ever been. And so we’re watching governors and mayors respond out of fear and panic, and shutting down stuff that’s never been shut down before because they’re just scared to death somebody’s going to die. And so, the confidence of courage is really what we don’t see right now nationally.”
Watch the video below:
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) April 28, 2020