Foundations of Freedom – Conservative Pastors, Young Liberals, Convention of States, And More:  Are pastors allowed to agree with Republican principles from the pulpit? Why are so many young people liberal on social issues? What’s going on with the Convention of States? Tune in to learn about these topics and more on today’s Foundation of Freedom Thursday!

Air Date: 03/12/2020

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

President Thomas Jefferson said, “€œI know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves. And if we think they”€™re not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”€



Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It”€™s WallBuilders Live, we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith and the culture. But we always do that from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. In other words, we take whatever that issue is and we say, what does the Bible say about it, what’s the constitution say about it, what was the original intent of the founders with regard to the constitutional position on that issue? And then what can history teaches us, what works, what doesn’t work? What can we learn from other cultures or even our own nation when that particular issue has been addressed? So that’s our perspective on issues.

WallBuilders actually comes from a scripture in Nehemiah that says arise and rebuild the walls that we may no longer be a reproach. That means we are rebuilding the foundations of America so that our nation can stand strong and so it can be a place where freedom thrives. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And I’m here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Tim Barton is with us, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders.

Foundations of Freedom

And it’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, which means we’re taking your questions today looking into those foundations. So, please mail those into us. You can email them at, that’s

And actually, before we get to our first question, guys, we had a request from Joshua. I don’t see a note on what state he’s from. But I’m just going to read his request because it’s so good and frankly, I have failed miserably at doing what he’s asking us to do. So, I think just reading his email will help with that.

He says, “€œThank you guys very much, I do appreciate what you do. And on a very important note, I”€™d ask that Rick Green talk about the items you sell through your website. During the show, he always says other useful items, which really downplays what a treasure trove you have there. We currently have your Declaration of Independence, first prayer in Congress and United States Constitution posters on the wall next to our copies of the Constitution of the Declaration of Independence. Is not to mention a grab bag of other books we picked up. If you guys would just talk a little bit more about the resources that you have. But talk about it on the radio program, you’d see a spike in sales and a better informed populace.”€

The Constitution Made Easy

And so that’s what we want to do. By the way, he says on another side note, “€œDuring the Constitution class, Rick Green holds up my college, The Constitution Made Easy”€. By the way, that Constitution Made Easy is available in our workbook for the Constitution Alive class. And so if you’d like more copies of those, check out the workbook there and it’s got those available for you.

But you know what, Josh was exactly right. There is a need for these resources, not just the posters and the books, there’s all kinds of DVDs and other materials available for you there. There I did it again, just like Joshua said not to do. I just kind of say other useful items, I should go down the list. Tell you what, I’ll try to highlight some of those items in programs going forward so that we make folks more aware of some of the tools that are available. But thank you, Joshua, for highlighting some of those, such as the posters and so many great books available there as well. But The Constitution Made Easy, you can get there in the Constitution Alive workbook, it’s in the appendix. And we really want to thank Mike Collar for making that available to the folks who go through our Constitution class or if you just want to grab the workbook, you can do that as well. And maybe you want to host a Constitution class. Go to to be able to do that.

Alright, we’re going to dive into some of these questions. We’re going to get to as many as we can today. The first one is going to come from Wayne, a little bit of a long question, David, Tim, are you guys ready for this one? Here we go. He said, “€œRecently at our church, we had two families leave; their reasons partly alleging that we were promoting republicanism and conservatism, holding too high a view of America.

Should Pastors Stop Talking

Our Pastor is ordinarily bold about preaching the word unashamedly and is not usually intimidated from speaking on such issues. However, this is making him nervous. He sent the Sunday school teachers a link from about protecting tax exempt status of churches with the implication to avoid such quote, political unquote issues. I seem to remember hearing WallBuilder Live program address this. The particular program I remember focused on time spent addressing political issues relative to time spent on other issues. If you could help me find that particular program, I’d be thankful.”€

The email”€¦ and by the way, Wayne, thanks for the question. Thanks for being willing to even ask. A lot of churches, they just get nervous and they stop talking about these issues that affect the culture and almost pretend that the Bible doesn’t address these things. But you have brought it to our attention and therefore we’re going to dive into it. David, what say you?


Yeah, great question. And this is something we have covered before. I just start with the philosophical side of it. If you can’t”€¦, what subjects should you not be able to hear at church? If you can’t hear truth at church, where do you go to get it? And if truth happens to look like it”€™s republican or conservative, so what?

Can You Hear Truth in Church?

We talked before that”€¦ for myself, I don’t particularly call myself a conservative. I mean, that’s what my opponents label me because they said, well, you believe in marriage and you believe in life and you believe in whatever traditional, sexuality and the same thing with partisan labels. I mean, I get called a Republican, because I tend to believe in limited government, I tend to support the Constitution, I tend to think that America is not the evil nation that everybody thinks it should be or so many think it should be. And so those labels they stuck on me, they’re artificial. So if you’re in a church that believes certain principles, and people say, well, if you”€™re a prolife, you must be Republican. The church is preaching republicanism. That’s a crazy position now”€¦


Well, let me go a bit further. It’s not just that the church is teaching truth and maybe there’s no way you’re going to hear it. Well, I mean, it depends on how we’re defining truth. I think, dad, what your meaning is if you can’t hear what”€™s biblical in church, where you’re going to hear it? Because, I mean, you could say truth is two plus two equals four. Well, that’s not really a sermon, the pastor is probably to do a math lesson in church, right?

But what truth are we talking about? We’re talking about biblical truth. We’re talking about what the word of God says when it comes to moral issues, when it comes to relationships, interpersonal in relationships, in marriage, in family and in culture, there’s a lot of guidance the Bible gives. And to say that, well, he’s just teaching Republican talking points. Well, really the question we”€™re going to ask, is it biblical or not? And if it is biblical and it seems to be a Republican talking point, then the question is, why isn’t it also a Democrat talking point? Because if we agree, it’s biblical, then at this point all you’re arguing is that the Republican Party is lining up closer to the Bible on this position than the Democrat Party is.

Promoting Party Principles

Because as a pastor, you don’t necessarily openly endorse or promote a party, you promote principles. Now, you can highlight that a certain party does a better job promoting or defending said principle. Right? If you talk about the issue of life or marriage or religious liberty or Israel, all of those are biblical issues. And there certainly is one party that does a lot better job promoting and defending those issues than the other the party does.

And, you know, the idea that a pastor is going to be nervous because people are leaving, because he’s promoting and teaching what the Bible says, now, again, you know, maybe go back and listen to what was said, especially as someone who does a lot of communication, dad, Rick, I mean, all of us have spent time listening to our own talks to make sure that I say that the right way, did I have the right tone, did I communicate what I want to communicate? Certainly, you can go back and listen and make sure the message was on point with what you wanted to communicate. But if you’re communicating what is biblical values and it’s not a partisan political endorsement and it just so happens to offend people, well, then I would back up and say, well, I’m pretty sure Jesus talked about that the message that he gave his disciples was going to be offensive to people. He told his disciples, hey, don’t think you’re going to get off the hook. They persecuted me, they’re going to persecute you.

A Worldview Shaped by Culture

The apostle Paul talked about the truth of the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. And if you’re in a culture that is shaping your worldview, which unfortunately, a lot of Christians worldview is shaped by culture, then when the pastor says something that is countercultural and your worldview has told you that you should live based on what feels good, on what you think is right, it’s a very subjective opinion that the pastor says something that is objectively true from the word of God, but it doesn’t make you feel good or it doesn’t seem right to you. If you’re not measuring it according to biblical truth, I understand you might get offended and leave, but that doesn’t mean the pastor is wrong. And certainly, as a pastor, you wouldn’t want to back down. And even the idea of the nonprofit status, you know, the pastor being worried, well, what if we teach Sunday school and is”€¦ That’s something that both constitutionally and even under the President Trump administration is something that pastors shouldn’t worry that much about.


Yeah. The Johnson Amendment is what they’re talking about with that nonprofit status. And President Trump has said that is an unconstitutional restriction on freedom of speech and freedom of religion and it will not be enforced in my administration. Now, it should not be enforced anyway. Rick, you and me and Tim, we’ve been working with a group for 10 years trying to get the IRS to sue some pastor over what he said in the pulpit because we know that if they do, we’ll win the case. And that’s why the IRS has not sued.

The IRS Won’t Come After Pastors

We’ve had over 8,500 pastors turned into the IRS for violating that nonprofit status and IRS won’t come after any of them because they know they’ll lose. So what happens is and by the way, just another way to think of this. Planned Parenthood is very active voting Democrats. They give a lot of money to Democrats, they endorsed Democrats. They”€™re endorsing Democrat presidential candidates. Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit, churches are nonprofit, so it’s Planned Parenthood. How come nobody is saying Planned Parenthood can’t be politically active because they’re nonprofit? Or Unions, Unions are also nonprofits. Nobody is accusing Unions of getting involved in politics and they can’t do that. Of course, they’re involved in politics and they endorse. So, why is it that churches are told they can’t? Now that doesn’t mean that churches need to or that they even want to. But should they do that, what’s the big deal in case they do? They are a nonprofit.

And what I would point out is, people get it up and leave. That’s designed to cause you to change your message. And Tim, as you pointed out, we should listen to message. Maybe we didn’t say it right. Maybe it didn’t come across the right way. If you were teaching biblical truth and they got up and left because you were teaching biblical truth, you don’t stop teaching biblical truth, even if they call it republican or conservative or whatever.

Keep Teaching the Bible

Tim, you know what the guy just a few minutes ago before we got on radio, he’s a pastor of a church. And he went in, he was telling us that he had just preached a sermon. And as a side, he said, look, I really don’t care what the culture says, homosexuality is wrong. The Bible says this is sin First Corinthians 6, Paul says, if you’re homosexual, you won’t enter the kingdom of heaven. He said, while I was reading the Bible, I had people get up and walk out of the service. It turned out later that they were homosexual and they were living a lifestyle. It’s all I did was read the scripture. So should that pastor stop teaching what the Bible says because it’s republicans that think moral values of homosexuality might not be as good? No, you keep teaching what the Bible says.

So, that’s the answer to that question. Good question. But just because people leave doesn’t mean that you should stop preaching biblical truths.


Now, great point, but it does mean we have to take a break. And so we’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back. Next question from our folks in the audience, send those into, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

The Rightful Masters

Abraham Lincoln said, “€œWe the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but you overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”€

Constitution Alive!

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know, but it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the constitution either.

Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. And it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the cradle of liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders library, where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.

We call it the quick start guide to the Constitution, because in just a few hours through these videos, you will learn the citizens guide to America’s Constitution, you’ll learn what you need to do to help save our constitutional republic. It’s fun, it’s entertaining and it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at

Power Inherent in the People

Thomas Jefferson said, “€œThe Constitution of most of our State and in the United States assert that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves, that is their right and duty to be at all times armed: that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property and freedom of press.”€


We’re back on WallBuilders Live. Next question, it”€™s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, so we’re taking your questions from the mailbag. Send them in to This next question says, “€œI interact with many adults my age that are in their mid to late 20s and it’s rare that I interact with someone that’s socially conservative. Why do you think so many young adults these days are embracing this philosophy of being fiscally conservative, but socially liberal? And would you take someone’s conservatism seriously if they were to espouse such views?”€


Alright, guys, I’m going to jump in on this one first. It”€™s a really interesting question. Because certainly, guys, as we do a lot with young people, throughout the summer, most of our summers are dedicated just to doing stuff with college and high school students. From our leadership training program to Patriot Academy, it”€™s a high point. There’s a lot of things we do and then certainly throughout the year as well.


But that two things I would identify about this. The first one is, most young people have bad information and really, because said most Americans. But especially with young people, they have bad information and bad information leads you to draw wrong conclusions, which leads you oftentimes to wrong behavior. So certainly, someone can be very conservative or fiscal when it comes to their money and maybe very liberal, when it comes to maybe more of the social issues, more of the moral issues. And a lot of that is because of the upbringing. Because of the voices that they have heard of the external forces and that there’s a really kind of funneled statement. It’s been credited to many different people. But the statement is, right, if you’re not a liberal in your 20s, then you don’t have a heart. If you’re not a capitalist or a conservative in your 30s, you don’t have a brain. And this is really kind of the idea, right?

Well, the reason so many young people embrace socialism as an idea of how to take care of people is because their heart is, I care for people, I want people to be taken care of. And this is a really good value for young people to have. They’ve just very much misaligned the best way to take care of them. And they don’t understand that if you want money, then a lot of these social programs are not good ways to take care of it or even very liberal and policy, such as one of the kind of the big arms in libertarianism says that we think the government shouldn’t control our money, but the government also shouldn’t control our sexual lifestyle.

Where Is the Standard?

And so if you want to be a prostitute at 12 years old, be a prostitute. If you want to, right do drugs and legalize drugs, and here’s where the even some irony because they might say, well, we would never say a 12 year old could be a prostitute. And so I’d say okay, well you have to be? Well, 18. Why? Because we’ve determined that’s the legal age that you’re old enough now to make decisions. Well, okay, so what if we determined that 12 is a legal age you’re old enough to make decisions? Does that mean it’s okay for 12 year old to be a prostitute?

And here’s the problem with some of that argument is it conflates objective moral truth, right, objective reality with either a collective or a subjective truth or reality. Just because the majority of Americans have agreed on something doesn’t mean it’s right. Just because you think something is good, doesn’t mean it’s right. There has to be an objective standard we point to.

And one of the things that certainly I think we are seeing is, more and more people are recognizing, especially one of the things with the Trump economy, that having the government take less from you in taxes, having the government out more of some of the economic positions and deregulating things, I think more and more people are seeing that in positive light. But saying more and more people seen in a positive light doesn’t even mean the majority of young people. Because the majority of young people don’t see that in a positive light, which is why the majority of them are favoring socialism.

Intentional or Ignorant?

But I do see where they are coming from, the way we help get them back to maybe a different perspective or give them some better understanding. In life, you deal with two primary kinds of people: the intentional and the ignorance. And sometimes there will be young people who are very intentional, who don’t care what is true, they just want to promote what they like, what they want. But then you have a lot of people who are ignorant and they just don’t know what’s right. They don’t know why socialism is wrong. They don’t know why maybe prostitution wouldn’t be good for culture or wouldn’t be good for individuals. They don’t know why legalizing all drugs wouldn’t be good, because they don’t think of the downstream effects. How is that going to impact society?


What was it called second stage thinking or third stage?


Yeah. So Thomas Soul talks about an economics, you have stage one and stage two thinking. And in economics, he says, stage one thinkers are only thinking about how is this immediate action going to benefit me, right? If I buy this ice cream, I’m really going to enjoy this ice cream, so I’m going to buy this ice cream. But if you do that at every meal every day, you don’t think about the consequences that you’re going to start gaining weight, right? That stage two, you start thinking about what impact is going to have down the road? And how am I spending habits impact that?

The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God

Well, it’s the same thing true with social and cultural acceptances or promotions or toleration, is you can say, that’s fine now, but what impact is that going to have on people down the road? And there’s a lot of societies who have made already a lot of the choices that people are promoting and we just don’t really seem to stop and examine those things. And certainly, young people don’t have the perspective, the insight, the understanding in a lot of situations to be second stage thinkers and think what is that going to ultimately produce in society. And do we want that in society? And if we don’t want that in society, then maybe we shouldn’t promote it here.

And one of the arguments is, yeah, but the Federal Constitution doesn’t give the federal government that authority. Well, that’s really kind of a different argument, because the federal government, if US Constitution was built on the principle of Declaration and the Founding Fathers talked about the common law was what we based America on, the common law was rooted. And what William Blackstone talks about the laws of nature, nature is God, which gave fixed moral standards, where Blackstone argued that everything that you need to know about how the world operates, God has revealed both in his creation and in His word and therefore all the laws that we need to know, God has given to us.

A Moral Standard

And this is what the Founding Fathers largely believed is that God’s already given us moral rights and wrongs. And so if God had already said something was morally wrong, the Founding Fathers didn’t believe you could vote on that to change what God had already established to be morally wrong. And we could go on further and further, but those are some of the thoughts certainly around that question. And the way we reach the young people is to engage in conversation, help them learn to think through some of their positions. Because sometimes they just haven’t fully thought through to maybe that second stage or third stage of what some of those ideas are going to produce in culture and in their own lives.


Taking your next question from the audience, this one is about the Convention of States. It says, “€œCould you give an update on the Convention of States movement? I just listened to your webinar from 2014 and that indicated we would hope to have it on enough states on board by 2016. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I’m trying to educate myself and others on the benefits. I do think it’s our only hope to regain this nation for the people.”€

Well, I certainly agree with that statement that it is, not that it’s our only hope, but I think it’s absolutely necessary if we’re going to save the Republic. I do think that important and we don’t have enough State yet. But we are moving forward, there is positive momentum. David, what do you think?

The Convention of States


The Convention of States movement really got started several years ago, that the federal government was really just getting bigger, such an explosive rate, particularly latter years of Obama was just taking off. And so it was a movement because you can’t expect people who are doing bad things to police themselves. You can’t expect the federal government to wean itself off of its bad habits. So you need some kind of outside influence, you need an intervention of some type.

The Constitution allows for an intervention through Article 5 of the Constitution, which allows the states to call a Convention of States to propose constitutional amendments. If you just allow, for example, balanced budget, when Congress is spending itself into debt and oblivion in 20 and $22 trillion, etc. what incentive do they have to pass a balanced budget amendment to say that we can’t keep going in debt? They have no incentive. They’re doing it. They’re the ones that are creating the problem.

So the Convention of States says so the States themselves can get together and they can propose amendments to the Constitution. So let the states who are having to deal with higher taxes as a result of all the spending, let the States say, let’s get a balanced budget amendment. So you have to get two thirds of the States to come together and say, let’s all pass a balanced budget amendment. At that point, it then goes to the State have three-fourths of the States ratify, it becomes part of the Constitution. So what it really does is it really kind of leaves Congress out of the provision of waiting for them to fix their own problems. It allows the States to step in and fix the problem. So it’s a great idea.

It Is a Movement that Is Not Going Away

But the problem is we’re assuming that there’s two-thirds of the States that want smaller government. And that’s just not likely to happen. Look at the debt that goes in the States and what’s happened over the States. So to expect the States to do what the feds are not doing, that’s probably not going to happen either. So that’s why early on, this thing had a really good start to it.

There were a lot of states that jumped on early and other States looked like they were going to jump on, but it just kind of drawn itself down the red blue line, and it’s kind of stalled. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s a movement that’s gone away. Tim, you recently spoke for the Convention of States movement, I spoke with their national convention. And I would say it’s a body of activists that want to see government fixed. They’re largely people who have not been involved in the process, who want to get involved and want to see something done. I don’t know, maybe it’s like a new version of what used to be called the Tea Party.


Yeah. And one of the things, too, is recognizing that the 10th Amendments of the US Constitution says that whatever powers are not specifically delegated, expressed, right enumerated in the Constitution, those remaining powers belong to the States and States have authority and ability.

An Increased Interest in What’s Going On

And so people kind of forget that there was specific jurisdiction and boundaries given to the federal government, as the federal government has grown out of control in many, many areas. It now is becoming increasingly difficult as dad as you’re mentioned to kind of rein in some of what federal government is doing. And as people begin to study the constitution more, which I do see now more and more around the country that there is an interest in people going okay, what’s this Constitution”€¦


Well, that was what struck me at the national convention is, they just wanted to learn more about the Constitution. I mean, they want to do stuff, they want it fixed, but they were just like sponges on teach us more about the Constitution.


And that’s part of right when you when you see the 10th Amendment and you go, okay, wait a second, so power belongs to the States. And then you read the 9th Amendment, which actually generally you read in order, so you read that before the 10th Amendment. The 9th Amendment talks about there’s more rights to the people than just what was expressly written in the Bill of Rights.

A Far-Fetched Idea

And in the midst of this, you begin to learn that, wait a second, we have more power and what else do we have power over? And then Article 5, it explains that, well, there’s power inside the States that people of the State can [inaudible 23:28] for convention of that State and then they can propose amendments. And if amendments go forward, then it has to be accepted by three-fourths of the states. And some people have a fear of a runaway convention, which is really kind of silly. Because if you have to have 75% of the States agree on anything that’s happening, I mean, right now, 75% of the States can’t even hardly agree that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. And that’s because part of people would go, no, the sun doesn’t move. It’s because the earth rotating. Right? It”€™s silly. Right?


You”€™re right.


We’re just arguing about things that don’t even matter, but the point is we can’t agree. And so the idea that there might be a runaway convention is very far-fetched. The idea that it would now change the entire US Constitution, Article 5 says you propose specific amendment. So it has to happen one thing at a time”€¦


And it says amendments to this Constitution, it doesn’t say that you can have a different one.

It’s Gaining Traction


But so all that to say the Convention of States is something that it is getting traction in certain places, especially as people are learning more about the Constitution and learning about how it is being really trampled on in a lot of ways in federal government.


Well, we are out of time for today, folks. But if you’re wondering about this Convention of States and these other solutions for saving our country and restoring America’s constitutional republic and as you hear all this, you go, well, I can’t pass a call for my State to call for Convention of States, what can I do? Listen, everyone in the sound of my voice right now, you have the ability to have an impact on this process. You have the tools at your fingertips, let me tell you what they are.

You can call on your legislators and ask them to call for the Convention of States. More importantly, even than that, is you can be the catalyst in your community for restoring these biblical and constitutional principles. And you can do that by hosting a Constitution class that educates them. You can become a Constitution coach in your community. That means you can host it at your church. You can do our biblical citizenship class. You can host it at your local gun range or gun clubs. You can even use our version of the Constitution class that’s more heavily emphasizing the Second Amendment. You can do this in your living room. You can host people in your living room, at the local community center. There are so many ways that you can be a part of the solution.

Foundations of Freedom – Conservative Pastors, Young Liberals, Convention of States

Become a Constitution coach today. Go to and start hosting these classes. You can host three or four classes at a time all across the community in these different arenas. Become a part of the solution, help us save America’s constitutional republic. Visit today.

You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live. It’s been Foundations of Freedom Thursday, you can get other archives of our program there at our website, and that’s also the place where you can make that contribution to WallBuilders Live. That allows us not only to teach these truths on the radio program, but also to teach young people, to train them how to be leaders in every area of the culture, to take pastors to Washington DC on our pastors briefings, to bring legislators in for our legislators conference. Every dollar that you donate to today is helping to save America’s constitutional republic. Thanks for coming alongside us and thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live.


Samuel Adams said, “€œThe liberties of our country and the freedom over civil constitution are worth defending against all hazards and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”€