Who is David Barton?
David Barton is…
- an American evangelical minister
- a Republican political activist
- one of Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Evangelicals
- "a major voice in the debate over church-state separation."
- the author of America: To Pray or Not to Pray
- an idiot
In his book, America: To Pray or Not to Pray, Barton makes the claim that the removal of mandatory prayer from schools in 1962 has destroyed America. This is utter bullshit. The statistics and graphs he uses are deceptive and present only a narrow snapshot of the data. When we look at MORE of the data, it becomes clear that the real cause for spikes in the graph is not prayer, but WAR. We will also have a look at Canada. You see, in 1982 Canada also stopped forcing children to pray in school. What happened? Stay tuned.
Why do I care about this?
Before I get into the data, I want to tell you why I’m writing this. It’s because I care about what’s true. David Barton is influencing people with his misinformation. Good people like Robin @ Heart of Wisdom Blog, Carol Brooks @ inplainsite.org (follow these links to see Barton’s deceptive graphs and statistics), and many others believe this man’s twisted lies. And belief leads to action, so then we have people who are fighting to save the world by trying to forcing children to recite prayers again, and it’s all based on a lie.
On to the data…
First Question: Could you guess the year forced prayer was taken out of schools based only on this graph? Of course not.
There are 3 green spikes of war I’d like you to note:
- WW1 1917-1919
- WW2 1939-1945
- Vietnam 1965-1975
Now see if you notice those dates below in the Divorce Rates Graph.
That’s right. They match up pretty much exactly. Eliminating forced prayer doesn’t increase divorce rates, WAR does. Furthermore, in most cases religion has been shown to actually INCREASE divorce rates.
Now we look at STDs. Specifically Gonorrhea, because that’s the only graph I could find with this many data points. Again notice the spikes surround the WARS.
Canada stopped forcing children to pray in schools in 1982. Why didn’t they receive a spike in Gonorrhea like the United States did? Because WAR caused the spike, not lack of forced prayer.
There are more graphs and more data, but I think I’ve made my point. David Barton, please stop spreading your lies.