Afghanistan, School Boards, the Betsy Ross Flag And More – On Foundations Of Freedom: Are people still being rescued from Afghanistan? Is the Betsy Ross flag racist? Why are multiple states pulling out of the National School Board Association? What is the agenda behind the film “The 13th”? Find out the interesting answers to these questions and much more on today’s Foundations of Freedom program!

Air Date: 01/06/2022

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then let no more be heard of confidence in man that binds him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. Thanks for joining us today we’re taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and I’m here with David Barton. He is America’s premier historian, and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor. 

We are thrilled to be able to bring these Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs to you, encourage you to send your questions in. And we’re going to cover as many of them as we possibly can.

Be sure to visit our website wallbuilderslive.com. Wallbuilderslive.com, that’s where you can get archives of the program, listen to some of them past weeks and months, as well as make your one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for coming alongside us and helping us to spread truth and give people the courage to stand up for that truth.

Alright, fellas, for our first foundations of freedom question of the year, Nancy Latham has drawn, I don’t know if that’s the black bean, right because we may not give a good answer, or if that’s like the winning prize, but either way from Oklahoma Nancy’s question.

David:

Now, wait a minute, if you’re going to talk black bean, explain the history, come on. Don’t throw up like being out there not say what it means.

Rick:

I don’t know what it means, I’ve used to my whole life.

David:

Oh yeah, are you kidding! You live down there by Goliath and you don’t know what the black bean is.

Rick:

Oh, I’m working on a Texas history curriculum, so now I have to add this. Is that really where it comes from?

David:

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You drew the black beam, then you get shot, remember that’s how they chose the guys…

Rick:

Whoa! How did I not know this.

David:

Oh, yeah, the black beam at Goliath. Oh, bro, man.

Rick:

I only remember Goliath, that’s incredible. Okay, that should be the next question. Alright, our first question of the years from Rick Green to David Barton. And it’s where did the black bean thing come from? Wow@ That’s a bonus for the year, guys, right there. Alright, Nancy’s question.

“Hi, I was just wondering if there are still efforts by the Nazarene Fund to rescue Christians in Afghanistan? When I looked at their website, information did not seem to be from now but from a few months ago.” So guys, what’s going on with the missions and of course, not only Afghanistan, but all over the Middle East and around the world?

David:

I was sorry that the website’s not updated. I’ll check into that and see what’s up on that. There’s been a lot going on and still going on. We got 13,000 folks out of Afghanistan, I think about 1,400 Americans, thousands of Christians, and then also some SIVs, and allies of Americans. And we had to really shut it down because we didn’t have any place else to put them. 

The State Department has not moved out the people that we’re going to from what I call lily pad countries. And lily pad countries are countries that agreed to take the refugees, but only for a temporary basis, will hold them until you get them to a permanent place of relocation. And the State Department has not been moving them on which they had promised to do.

So at this point, we can’t take anymore out because the receiving countries won’t take anymore. The countries we had tried to go to outside of this lily pad countries, the State Department got involved and said no, don’t take them, whether it’s Macedonia, Albania, whatever. So, State Department has been in the middle of this stuff. But in the meantime, there’s still a lot going on.

Got a request just this morning from dozens of Americans still there, and by the way, when we had to shut it down, we still had thousands left on our list to get out. But there’s some Americans that really need to get out. So we’ll see if we can’t do something there to be able to help get that group out. But in the meantime, the folks that are there, they’re still being hunted by the Taliban. 

We had a really tragic incident a few weeks ago, where we didn’t even know about this. But a two year old starve to death, literally a group of 17 in a safe house, they’re scared to go out, they didn’t have any food and they wouldn’t go out because they didn’t want to get killed and we got worried that this two-year-old starve to death. Well, we still got people in the ground over there. They’re helping in safe houses and elsewhere.

And so we got food to them. And so we’re still feeding people over there, still a lot of medical attention going on. We’re working with, India, I think India is willing to take a lot of those who have cancer, and we have medical folks on the ground, they’re going to the safe houses helping all these people. So there’s still a lot going on. But we really need the State Department to get in gear and get these lily pad countries moved out so that we can get more coming out.

So yes, there’s a lot going on. And by the way, there’s still a lot of good groups doing humanitarian work there. I would recommend a group called EPEK, E-P-E-K, EPEK International, and they do great humanitarian work there on the ground and they’re on the ground, working, helping feed those folks like the story I just gave of the two-year-old that starve to death. 

They’re there helping. And so if you give to EPEK International, that is a great group to give to. We’re still doing stuff over there but not at the same level of activity we had. We’re just waiting on the State Department to get themselves in gear and get those lily pad countries cleared out as they promised they would do.

Rick:

And David for your best way to stay up to date on this and also to donate to other missions, not just that area, but other missions around the country, wallbuilders.com and we’ve got a panel there meaning like a link that you can go to donate and it’ll specifically go to these missions. No money taken out of that, it goes directly to the missions.

David:

That’s right. At wallbuilders.com, on our Middle East page, that money goes downrange to folks and helps do all the downrange activities that are needed for that. So that’s a great place to keep contributing. And we are still very actively working to open up other nations. 

We’re working with some nations of South America right now, we think we can get them open even though the State Department can’t. So we’ll see what happens. But that’s still an active mission going on. Thanks for asking the question. And again, I’ll see if we can get that website updated with new stuff.

Rick:

Alright, good stuff. Next question comes from Steve in Medford, Oregon. Said, “I just listen to your show in which you condemn the Confederate flag as being racist based on the Articles of succession and how it makes blacks feel. Concerning the Betsy Ross flag, I have a friend whose HOA, I assume that’s Homeowners Association, “told him he could not fly his Betsy Ross flag on his house for virtually same reason she gave for condemning the confederate flag. 

The Betsy Ross flag represents a time in history when it was legal for all the colonies to practice slavery, and it is offensive to many black people. Would you condemn the Betsy Ross flag on the same grounds you condemn the Confederate flag? If not, why not?”

Tim:

Well, guys, let me jump in and point out that the confederate flag is not racist because it might be offensive to somebody. It was a symbol of a movement that was a racist movement and ideology. Now, we’ve also gone along discussion about this, if we get into some details in our book, ‘The American Story’. The point that we make is not that everyone who fought on the side of the confederacy was racist. It’s not that everyone in the South was racist.

But it is certainly clear that when you look at the main reason for separation, which led to the Civil War, it was over the issue of slavery. When you read the secession documents, the Civil War, the reason it started was the secession movement. It was the issue of slavery. 

And people who are southern apologists say, well, really, it was the war of Northern aggression because the North came down with the North marched down and stopped the secession movement. But why were they succeeding? Read the secession documents. Largely, it was the issue of slavery.

And again, we understand the notion of this thought, well, it’s really states’ rights. Okay, if we’re going to say it states’ rights, well, what right were they arguing that they should have preserved that the federal government shouldn’t take away? Go back and read the documents, it was the right of owning slaves. And this definitely was a political movement. We’ve made the point before.

If you live in California, and not everybody in California agrees with Governor Newsom, not everyone in California agrees with Nancy Pelosi. So it’s absolutely true that you can have political leaders saying something different than what everybody in that state or under that political leader’s regime believes. 100%, that’s not what the argument is.

But again, when we’re looking at Confederate flag, the confederate flag or right the symbol of the confederacy, which is kind of what’s known today as the confederate flag, the symbol of the confederacy, the confederate movement was a movement to preserve the institution of slavery. And that notion might offend people, but that is historically very accurate. 

And again, people might say, well, it was late before Lincoln took that position. Because Lincoln was trying to preserve the Union and we’re not trying to get into the apologetics and history of the civil war necessarily, other than there’s an important distinction in this.

Because the argument today from like the Betsy Ross flag is the 1619 project arguments. It’s the Colin Kaepernick argument that everything in American history was bad, evil, and racist. The notion from the 1619 project, one of the very first articles that came out argued that America actually separated from Great Britain. 

We fought a war with Great Britain to preserve the institution of slavery. Well, that’s nowhere in any original documents at all. In fact, the exact opposite is largely what you find in original documents.

So the notion that this Betsy Ross flag or the American Revolution was a war over the issue of preserving slavery is absolutely a farce. It doesn’t make any sense at all. Again, historically, it doesn’t make sense at all. Go back and read the original draft of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, it’s four pages. 

The longest grievance he lists for all the reasons we should separate in Great Britain, the longest grievance, the longest reason he list of why we should separate from Great Britain was the king’s position, number one, on slavery, number two, the king would not allow us to end slavery or the slave trade in our states, the king was vetoing legislation, etc, etc.

Actually, one of the reasons that we wanted to separate was over the issue of slavery, but not in preserving slavery, it was because the king would not allow the colonies to end slavery and was paying the slaves to fight against the colonists, etc, etc. So it’s the exact opposite of what we’re hearing today. So this is where the Betsy Ross flag is a very different position. And this is where it goes back to that it’s not about who is offended by this sign or similar gesture, just because somebody is offended doesn’t mean something is racist.

We live in a modern day cancel culture where people want to argue if you say something offensive, then that means it’s racist. No, not everything that offends somebody is racist. Sometimes people are offended because they don’t actually know the true story or the true history of it or things can be offensive. Because they’re offensive, it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily racist.

And that’s the exact scenario with the Betsy Ross flag. They might be offended because they’ve learned a bad version of history that says this was a racist symbol. Well, it wasn’t actually a racist symbol. It was the exact opposite.

It was something centered around the Declaration, which was ultimately a freedom document; that when you look at the abolition movement that ended slavery in America, the document they referenced more than any other was the Declaration of Independence that all men were created equal and there should be equality, there should be freedom. The Declaration was a great antislavery document.

And again, we document this very thoroughly on some articles in the website on our book, ‘The American Story’, we get into this a lot. There’s a lot of things there. Just because something is offensive doesn’t mean it is racist, doesn’t mean it’s proslavery. And the Betsy Ross flag was neither racist nor pro-slavery.

David:

What you have, I think, with that Homeowners Association folks saying you can’t do it is they’re just flat woke. They’re not after truth. They’re not after history. Now, let me go ahead and complicate this little discussion a little further. Because the Betsy Ross flag is a flag with round circular 13 stars in it, etc. When’s the first time we learned about the Betsy Ross flag? Take a guess.

Rick:

I actually have no idea. No, no idea.

David:

It is an American Revolution flag we’re talking, right?

Tim:

Well, I learned about it as a kid growing up. So the first time I learned about it was a child. I don’t know when you all first learned about it.

Rick:

All I remember about it is when we did the ‘Chasing American Legends’ thing a few years ago, we were going to run with that story and actually do a chapter on it in Legends of liberty that you guys contributed chapters to. And we pulled the story because we couldn’t find enough solid documentation. It was later that they started calling it that.

David:

Yeah. Well, the reason you can’t find it is nobody knew the story until 1871 when her grandson told the story. So you don’t have stories of contemporaries who saw. You don’t have stories of sons or daughters who saw. You have a grandson in 1870, nearly a century after the fact who first told the story about it and it did not appear in any painting until 1893 at the Columbian Exposition. 

The 400th anniversary of Columbus is the first time you have a painting. And the guy who did the painting, I love his work, what is it, J.L.T. Ferris, I think is his name, he did so many cool American paintings from back then.

But that’s the first time you see that the painting of Betsy Ross doing the flag and George Washington there, etc. But that came from an 1870 story. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have flags with circular fields. We do. As a matter of fact, we’re in the process we think of picking up a civil war flag that was based on an American Revolution flag that did have circular stars in the star field, and there are several other flags back then that had that. So that’s not necessarily a Betsy Ross flag. That’s one that we had in the revolution.

So there’s bad history in this thing all the way along, including the Homeowners Association who’s trying to make the Betsy Ross flag seem like the confederate flag. Man, that’s not just apples and oranges. That’s apples and pecans. Or I don’t know what else, you know, further apart than apples and oranges. It’s really far off when to make that argument.

Rick:

Alright, guys, we got to take a break. When we come back, we got questions about some of these school boards across the country, and the whole domestic terrorist or parents are now domestic tourists for testifying in school board meeting. Stay with us, folks, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live. It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday.

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Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Foundations of Freedom Thursday today, so send your questions in radio@wallbuilders.com is the website. And Steve as the next question and it’s about those school boards and the associations of school boards. Here’s what he said. “Here’s a couple of stories that shocked me this morning. The Ohio School Board Association cut ties with the national body due to the letter requesting federal assistance in labeling parents “domestic terrorists”. 

“I’m in Ohio and just assume the majority of people in the state school boards associations word left of center. The fact that they were willing to break with the National School Board Association shows that the Ohio Association clearly has more conservatives in house than I think many realized. I did a little more research into this and found a National Review article linked in Yahoo News stating that Missouri and Pennsylvania have left the National Association as well.”

So guys, I haven’t really looked into this. I have seen the headlines of multiple states disassociating, pulling out of this national association, which is good, because that means it doesn’t get their fees, which are tax payer dollars that end up going to these associations anyway. 

“But I don’t know that I would make this same assumption that they’re actually conservative at The Ohio State School Board Association. I think they just felt the heat because this was so over the top. What do you think?

David:

Yeah, I think that’s partly it. And let me give a context here. This thing about being domestic terrorists goes back to about three months ago. Before the November election when in Virginia is either in Fairfax or Loudoun County, wherever that they said, hey, these parents that are objecting to what we’re doing with all this woke ideology, they’re domestic terrorists. 

And so they requested that the National School Board Association sent a letter requesting the Justice Department to consider them domestic terrorists and put them on the terrorist list, etc. And the Justice Department now say it was going to do that.

Now, as it turns out, it appears that at least from the National School Board Association, they’re claiming that the guy who did this was actually he did it without letting anybody else know and he was really wanting to position in the Biden administration, thought this would help him. So I put this out. He was their executive director or their president, whatever it is, and he put it out and didn’t ask anybody about it, didn’t change the fact that it really blew upon him.

And so at this point, there’s been about 26 states that have distanced himself from the association, and about 18 states have broken away completely and they’re not part of the National School Board Association. Now, that doesn’t mean they’re not woke. That doesn’t mean they don’t have all the gender ideology, that they don’t do CRT, that they don’t do all the other stuff. They’re just not willing to say that parents are terrorists.

So I think you still have school board associations at the state level very much left of center. And I think that’s why you’re seeing so many hundreds of school boards change hands even in what we consider to be rural or even conservative areas because parents started finding out what these folks really believed. So it is a national movement that’s going against the National School Board Association. But I don’t think you can necessarily assume that because 18 states have gotten out and 26 states have distanced themselves that that means that those are conservative states. I don’t think that that would be it at all. But it is a good sign that at least they were willing to say we don’t consider parents to be terrorists.

Rick:

Yeah, step in the right direction. At least there is something that can be so over the top and radically leftist that they would say no to it. So that’s a good thing. Alright. Next one comes from Mark. He’s from Alberta in New York, actually, his PS says, I’m from Alberta, please pray for us. So yes, we’ll be praying for you, Mark, and all of our fellow Americans in the states that where you feel trapped right now.

Anyway, he said, Let me start by saying I love WallBuilders Live and everything that WallBuilders does. You, David, and Tim are spot on 100% of the time. Here’s my question. There’s a film called 13th, which claims that even though the 13th Amendment formally abolished slavery in the US, prisons that were privately owned would go around and round up black people and find a charge to bring against them, essentially finding a loophole in the Amendment and re-enslaving them. I know that this film has an agenda behind it, as it only focused on the bad and the ugly of America’s history with slavery while not at all acknowledging the good.

I listened to a lot of your stuff and I think I know some of the things you’ll touch on. But I certainly want to know more on the matter. Could you shed some light on what actually happened from a historical and biblical worldview, and share your thoughts on what we as a country can do to fix this mess? Thank you, Mark.”

And I think he means about the mess, the way we’re educated on this issue. But I haven’t seen the film, guys. Do you all know anything about this claim that even after slavery was abolished that there were these private prisons rounding blacks up and re-enslaving them?

David:

Yeah, that claim has been out there now for a little bit. It’s been around for a bit. And if you go back, even to the time of the Pilgrims, the Pilgrims actually considered being in prison like a life-in-prison thing as a form of slavery because you’re being held against your will in a facility you didn’t choose. So they technically called that slavery, to be imprisoned.

Tim:

And to clarify, this wasn’t just a thought from the Pilgrims. This was something in many of the early colonies. That when you look at some of the slave laws, they would talk about you could have so many years in prison as a slave. And so they considered prison to be a condition of slavery because again, you weren’t working for yourself, you didn’t get to make your own decisions. And so, because you didn’t have freedom, they viewed that as a form of slavery. The difference is of prison, for example, there’s usually an end to that term of slavery.

David:

And also I’d say another difference is you did something wrong to get there, which is not necessarily the case with slavery.

Tim:

And generally speaking, right. So this is where I think part of the argument from this movie, The 13th, they would probably point out that there were some places where they would pass laws that seemingly very subjective and arbitrary that if you don’t have a job, you can be arrested, and we can hold you in jail for so long in perpetuity or so many years, whatever else. And so that’s where they could seem like people are still promoting this idea of slavery.

And I think certainly, there are moments and examples of that happening. This is like when you go back and look at the history of America, at the end of the Civil War, you had a reconstruction. And in reconstruction, you’re seeing a lot of positive advances, where good things are happening. But if you look at some of the democratic strongholds in the south, where there’s still some very strong racist sentiments in some places, now, this is not all the South–

but there were some places that were very strong racist sentiments. And even though there were advances being made, it was really against the will of some of the people there, and had it not been for the Army being in place in some of these towns, they wouldn’t have made those advancements.

Which is why when you see after, I think Rutherford B. Hayes from that presidential election, when you see the army being removed from some of the southern towns, this is when they go back to doing some of the very racist things where we hear about some of these southern Jim Crow or Democrat Jim Crow laws are passed in the south, there definitely were things happening in some places that were very bad and definitely had racist tones and elements to them.

I have not seen the movie, although I am very familiar with the argument. It’s a little bit, to me, of overplaying of a hamlet the 1619 project, that all of America was tarnishing stained by the evil of slavery. Well, that’s not really entirely true. This was that evil of slavery was something was a tarnish and a stain on America’s record. But also consider and keep in mind that this was a tarnishing stain on every single nation’s record in the history of the world. This wasn’t evil that America solely was guilty or responsible for.

Similarly, if you look at some of these seemingly arbitrary subjective or really immoral laws of enslaving people, and using them on prison ships, or for whatever kind of a labor you want to do, this stuff certainly did happen at times. It was not the norm in the vast majority of America. And this is also where you do see some of the legacy of some of the Democrat party that largely was a proponent of some of these things in certain areas.

And dad, I know you’ve done some research into this as well, this certainly is not as widespread as the argument would make it seem to be. Although I think it certainly is reasonable to say this did happen at times in some places.

David:

Yeah. And while the historical acknowledgment, as we covered with the Pilgrims and other early colonists, was that being in prison is a form of slavery, they did not liken that the chattel slavery, where that because you’re black, you’re in prison. And they said this is the kind of slavery the 13th Amendment does not apply to, does not apply to those that are in prison.

So what happened is I’ve read thousands and thousands, and thousands of documents from reconstruction time. And this would have to be a policy from reconstruction time. And I can safely say that I’ve never seen this in any single incident, although it may be out there. Now, I have seen where that they would take someone who did not have a job, and they would throw them in jail for vagrancy. But I didn’t say that they hired them out to the local community of slave labor, they’d be in for 30 days or whatever.

So there are occasions like you have chain gangs where somebody is in prison for 20 years and yeah, we’re going to make you clean up the highway, or you can work, make license plates for the state, or whatever. But it’s not the same.

Tim:

And also to clarify, that doesn’t mean this didn’t happen on some instances in the south. Because certainly the behavior that we saw historically from some of these places, and some of these very strong Democrats southern strongholds, some of what they did would certainly lend credence to the fact that this is certainly within the realm of possibility based on other behaviors they had that were very racist and aggressive and hostile toward some of the black community.

With that being said, this was not a widespread thing and it’s not well documented. And that’s probably why it’s not well documented because it wasn’t widespread. It certainly is reasonable to think this might have happened on some occasions. And I wouldn’t deny that it did happen, because it certainly fits again within the realm of possibility of the behavior of people who were doing things like the Jim Crow laws, like yes, if you’re doing that kind of stuff.

I totally can see that you’re arbitrarily arresting black people and that you are using them to create products or whatever kind of labor force you might need. That’s within the realm of possibility.

But as far as documented history, you have a hard time documenting this historically, especially this is not documented on any widespread level.

David:

And the other thing I’ll throw as a final thought here is yeah, slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment. Did some people find a way around it? Yeah, just like they do now. There are tons of slaves still in America today. We know that. That’s not question at all. Well, it’s had been by the 13th Amendment. Yeah, but there are people who are going to find ways around it, that does not mean that it’s a national movement or that it’s a national blight on us because we have that, but that does happen even today.

As an example, there was a guy in Dallas in the last year or two that was arrested and convicted of slavery. I think he held us this girl in slavery for 20 years against our will. I mean, slavery still goes on. But that’s not a national practice. And that’s not what the 13th Amendment gave you a loophole around.

Afghanistan, School Boards, the Betsy Ross Flag And More – On Foundations Of Freedom

Tim:

Yeah, that there are still people who are criminals who violate the law, and that is something that happens all over the world. Forever that will continue to happen because we know the sinful heart of man. But again, it’s different saying that America endorses or condones something when certainly that is not the case for criminals and lawbreakers today. We don’t condone or endorse those crimes, by and large, what we’re talking about.

And so this is where that would be a little more nuance to answer. There certainly is reason to think it could have happened on some level, but certainly not widespread, not historically documented.

Rick:

Alright, friends, we are out of time for today. But thanks for joining us here on Wallbuilders Live on this Foundation to Freedom Thursday. Be sure and join us tomorrow for Good News Friday. And visit our website at wallbuilderslive.com for more information and more programming.

I also want to encourage you to check out constitutioncoach.com. That’s one of our websites where we actually allow people for free to become one of our coaches and host our biblical citizenship courses, our Constitution courses. Also, I want to encourage you to come out with us to Front Sight for the constitutional defense course. 

That’s your chance to learn how to defend your family effectively with a handgun. It’s the safest, the best training in the world. We have a great time and we also cover the Constitution. So you study the Constitution at night, and you learn how to shoot during the day, and it’s great fellowship. Hope you’ll check that out today at constitutioncoach.com.

Thanks for joining us today. We’ll see you tomorrow on Good News Friday. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.