School Prayer: If Congress Can Have Open Prayer Your School Can Too. Good News Friday today on WallBuilders Live!  In this episode, we discuss things such as pro-life good news, that there is actually a remnant of good people in D.C., and prayer in schools! All this and more, tune in now, right here on WallBuilders Live!

Air Date: 05/26/2017


Guests: 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.  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 because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Welcome

Rick:

You found your way to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! Thanks for joining us today where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. All of it from Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premiere historian, our founder at WallBuilders, and also one of TIME magazine’s top 25 most influential American evangelicals. Also here with Tim Barton, national speaker, and pastor, and the president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green.  I’m a former Texas state rep.

You can find out more about us at our websites. We have two of them, WallBuilders.com, that’s our main website.  Wealth of information there for you.   And then WallBuildersLive.com. That’s our radio website. You can find out more about us, all of our guests, you can even go back and listen to programs from the last few weeks.

You’ve actually joined us on a Friday.  We call it “Good News Friday” around here at WallBuilders.  It’s a chance to catch up on a lot of the good news from across the nation and around the world sometimes. But the good news that you typically don’t hear in most media outlets.

Good News Out Of D.C.

David, Tim, I know you’ve got stacks.  We’re not going to get through it all, but let’s cram in as much good news as we can today. David, are you going first?

David:

Going to Washington, D.C. And I know that sounds oxymoronic to say, “good news” coming out of Washington, D.C. but it actually is good news.

Tim:

It’s not as oxymoronic considering last November.

David:

Oh, yeah.

Tim:

But certainly, we still don’t think of it as a bastion of good things happening.

David:

It’s the belly of the beast, drain the swamp, and all the things we associate with it. And even for conservative folk,s they don’t look favorably on DC and Congress. Even though they look less favorably on progressive and really wacky, liberal stuff. But there is really some good stuff that comes out of D.C.

And we talked about that before. I mean, one of the things we do, Tim, is when we take pastors groups to D.C. and twice a year WallBuilders sponsors pastors briefings in D.C with Congressmen. We bring in some 13 to 15 senators and representatives to talk to pastors.

The thing we start them with is, “Hey guys, there’s 435 members of the House, there are 100 members in the Senate. We want you to name every member of Congress you’ve seen on TV in the past year.” And it’s usually six or seven names and that’s all you get. Well, there’s 535.  How come you know six or seven? See, that’s a problem, is that you have a perception of what Washington, D.C. is based on the faces you’ve seen on TV and that’s, you’re talking, one to two percent.

When we start showing the other senators and other reps they get really encouraged and they get really jazzed and I’d say it’s transformational. When those guys get to D.C. and hear from those guys. It’s not what they get on the news. I don’t care whether you listen to Fox, or MSNBC, or whatever it is, this is not what you get on the news.

What You Haven’t Heard On CNN

Tim:

No, and even some of those guys that might be a name they would recognize, someone they’ve seen on CNN, someone they’ve seen on Fox, sometimes they’re not in a position in those interviews if they’re talking about border security where their faith comes up.

And so even though there might be a name they recognize, “I didn’t know that was a Christian guy.  I didn’t know that was a faith motivated guy. I have never known that part of that guy.” Because, of course, if they were going on a national news program it’s generally to talk about a topic not related to their faith and faith doesn’t necessarily come up.

But it is remarkable how many individuals in D.C, how many congressmen, how many senators, are people that faith is the reason they are there. Faith that motivates them, the moral boundaries they’re trying to promote even getting back to constitutional. But faith is a major element.

So you’re right, when we take those pastors it is transformational because they have no idea that people like that are up there. That faith motivated them and faith is inspiring them. And so it really is, there’s a lot of good things there we don’t know about. But that’s not necessarily probably what you’re going to talk about with your good news segment.

Rick:

And if I could throw in there, we’ll just put David’s good news segment off a little bit further here. But even the personalities of a lot of these congressmen, we typically think of the “politician” especially in Washington, D.C. Slick and untrustworthy and all of that. That’s kind of the caricature people have in their minds.  And man, even the pastors serving in Congress like Jody Hice who we’ve had on the program-

David:

Walker, Pastor Walker. We’ve got several guys in Congress who are pastors.

Rick:

Yeah, and others that aren’t pastors but like you said, faith is so important to them they’re living like Christ as best they can.  Anyway, they’re humble.  They’re not there out of ego, they’re not they’re out of out of personal ambition.  They really are dedicated to restoring the Republican.

I mean, most people like you said, don’t ever see that. And so we get to interact with those guys and so we know they’re there.  But sometimes our listeners have no idea and they think, “Oh, there’s nobody that really stands for us anymore.  Let’s give up.” And we’re saying, “No, there’s a lot of great Godly men and women that have been raised up serving in legislatures and in Congress. I mean, they’re all over the country, so be encouraged to know they’re there.  Sorry David, go ahead.”

How Many Pieces Of Passed Legislation Can You Name

David:

But that’s the point.  We often get a superficial view of what’s in D.C. and that gives us a visceral reaction because we don’t like what’s there or what comes out and we don’t hear the good things that come out.

We also asked these pastors, “Name all the pieces of legislation passed in the last two years.” And we usually get four or five. Well, that’s okay, but there were 10 to 13 thousand pieces of legislation that were dealt with over the past two years. How come you only know four or five?

And so that’s where we get that impression. You take the 19 executive departments that meet at cabinet level- when you meet at cabinet level meetings there are 19 different ones there. Okay, we probably know who the attorney general is.  We might know who the secretary of defense is. But tell me who the secretary of agriculture is.

Tim:

And I would even argue that only people that are political junkies could even tell you attorney general or department of defense.

David:

It’s Jeff Sessions or mad as General Mattis. They would have no clue who’s over agriculture, or who’s over treasury, or who’s secretary of treasury, and who’s secretary of transportation, who knows?

And so you know one or two and you’re judging 19 offices based on what you know about one or two? And that’s where I want to take you is after the break we’ll come back and I’ll tell you something that’s kind of interesting about guys you never hear about but you should hear about.

And when you hear this you’re going to think a whole lot better about this, that there are some good things going on in D.C. than what we normally get.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks.  Good news Friday right here on WallBuildersLive.

Moment From America’s History

David:

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. In the minds of many today, government is a purely secular institution and is not in any way to be joined to religious principles. The result is that too often our public policies are now enacted without any consideration of their spiritual consequences.

However, the Founding Fathers believed that even a political act should always be examined from a spiritual viewpoint. For example, in his inaugural address, President George Washington declared, “We ought to be persuaded that the favorable smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” President George Washington believed that the blessings of heaven would reside on this nation only so long as its national policies embraced godly standards. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 Rebuild.

Remembering Our Veterans

Rick:

Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live. Today is Good News Friday. David, you were about to share some good news on — believe it or not, folks out of Washington, D.C. So go ahead.

David:

You know, in Washington, D.C. there is a lot of the memorials and monuments that are there and Tim and I both give tours of D.C. from time to time. Tim just got back with a school group out of Arkansas.

We go to the monuments and one of the really somber- And we love doing the monuments at night where you go the Korean War Memorial, and you go to the Vietnam War Memorial, or you go to the Lincoln Memorial.  You do all that night. It’s just it’s like hallowed ground in many ways. It’s a very sacred somber atmosphere.

For adults particularly, when you walk down the Vietnam Memorial and that wall, two hundred and forty-seven feet long, it kind of slowly dips down into the ground and rises back on the other side.  It gets to a depth of 10 feet, and there are 58,000 names that are listed there of those who gave their life or who are still missing in action in the Vietnam War.

And this thing is open 24/7 365. It never shuts down. And it’s one of the few monuments that they’d let you touch the names of all these folks inscribed.  There are 58,000 names, and people will make etchings to take back because it was a family member, or an uncle, or a neighbor, or whoever.

And so it really is somber and people lean over and cry. All the time that they go through several times a day to pick up stuff that’s left at the base of the memorial. Sometimes medals from somebody who left the medal for another guy that was killed there.

And so, it’s a very, very touching wall.

Believe It Or Not, But There Are Good Folks In D.C.

But the problem is, it is in D.C., thousands, tens of thousands, even millions of people going by this monument and touching it and running their hands over it, and doing etchings of the names on there, and so it ends up getting pretty dirty.  Quite frankly and the park service only cleans it once a month. And they’ve got lots of pigeons in that park and lots of things that allow to become really dingy.

And so something happened back in 1998, this is reported from the Washington Post, in 1998 dissatisfied with the job that the National Park Service was doing and upset that bird droppings had filled in some of the engraved names.  Jan Shrugs of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund took action.  He handed 37 toothbrushes to visiting vets from Wisconsin who scrubbed the filth away.

Now, what’s happened is since that period of time every single weekend there is a veterans group that comes in and they take those toothbrushes and they scrub that wall from top to bottom, 247 feet long, every name, 10 feet high in the middle. They go over this every single inch.  It gets rinsed and gets clean. And now it is kind of a tribute to the veterans to those who lost their life. And they keep these things pristine and spotless.

The Guy You Haven’t Heard Of, But Need To

And so what’s kind of interesting here just a few weeks ago you had out of Virginia and Maryland couple of chapters Rolling Thunder wrote in.  Rolling Thunder, you know, the guys on motorcycles and they’re the ones that will always go with vets who don’t have family.  They’ll accompany those guys at the cemetery and help bury them.  So, always showing honor.

And so these two Rolling Thunder clubs came in from Virginia and Maryland and they’re in their motorcycle gear, and they’ve got all these patriotic patches sewn on, and you know biker clubs, and they’re ready to scrub down the black wall.  And who’s in the middle of them?  The secretary of the interior, Ryan Zinke, who is himself a U.S. Navy SEAL.

Rick:

He was a congressman, wasn’t he?

David:

He was a congressman, that’s right. He was appointed to be secretary of the interior.  I think it came out of Montana, or one of the Dakotas, I don’t remember exactly where Ryan is from but he is a congressman.

He grabs a toothbrush and he goes over there and just starts scrubbing away with everybody else.  And pretty cool, when he rode to work the first day he rode to office in D.C. on horseback. He came up to the Interior Department on horseback.  He takes people and gives them tours through-

Rick:

Wait, David, our audience has got to know why you like that so much.  I mean, they don’t know that you used to ride your horse to the office every day at WallBuilders Live.

David:

Right, back and forth I would ride my horse.  And if I had my way I’d still do it except there’s just too many highways now to cross.  But I still ride my horse everywhere I can all the time I get.  I like riding my horse.

David:

And so Ryan rides in D.C., in the middle of D.C.  He rides up to the Interior Department on horseback and then he also gives tours of the catacombs below the Lincoln Memorial. He takes folks down there. I mean, he was out when we had snow back earlier in the year.  He’s out there with a snow shovel himself shoveling off the steps of the Lincoln Memorial so the folks can get up there to pay tribute to Lincoln and see what’s there.  He’s just such a goo,d good guy.

And I’ll bet you’ve never even heard his name on the national news. You’ve never seen any of these kinds of things that he does and that he’s doing and how much of a down to earth guy that he is.  He’s a Navy Seal.  On top of all that the elite of the elite, and a great servant.  And that’s the kind of guys we’ve got in D.C. that nobody hears about.

So, don’t get cynical because of what you see on TV.  And there are reasons to be ticked with what goes on in D.C, no question about it.  But don’t throw everybody under the bus. I mean, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater to use several metaphors in a row. There are some really good guys and Ryan Zinke has really set the example as the secretary of the interior.  And of course, they’re the ones overall the national monuments, national parks, etc.. Got a great guy there.

Rick:

Alright folks, got to take a quick break now. If you’re imagining David Barton riding his horse to work, if you want a perfect image, if you want to really see what David looks like when he when he’s cowboyed up, you’ve got to go watch The Magnificent Seven. Not the recent one you got to go to the 1960 version.

James Coburn in The Magnificent Seven when he sitting by the fence and he gets up and does the whole knife scene thing. That is David Barton. I’m telling you, I thought David had been in the movie that’s how much he looks like Coburn as a cowboy.

Alright, we’ll be right back, stay with us.  You’re listening to WallBuilders Live!

Biographical Sketches

Hi, friends! This is Tim Barton of WallBuilders.This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. I know, often times as parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.

If you remember back in the Bible, the Book of Hebrews it has the Faith Hall of Fame, where they outlined the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity and our faith as well.

I wanted to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called, “The Courageous Leaders Collection” and this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers.

There’s a second collection called, “Heroes of History” in this collection you read about people like Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, the list goes on and on.

This is a great collection for your young person to have and read. And it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at WallBuilders.com.

When A Student Wanted To Pray In High School

Rick:

Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live Good News Friday today. We’re having a great time talking cowboys and getting some good news at the same time. Tim, think it’s your turn, bro.  What’s up?

Tim:

We’re going to Texas on this one, actually via Louisiana. This is a court case in Texas.  Started in Texas-

David:

Wait a minute, you mean you were going to Texas by way of East Texas, right?

Tim:

Well-

David:

Louisiana might object to that.

Rick:

We’re going to get hate mail from Louisiana.

Tim:

And then we’d have to claim LSU and all kinds of stuff that I don’t even know if I can speak the right words. And I’m into sucking brains out of crawfish. I’m going to let them have their state, nonetheless.

So, there was a situation, let’s call it, out of Birdville High School. Now Birdville High School is not too far from where we are here in the studio. And what they did is what many schools do as they open their school board fall meeting they had a student who wanted to lead in prayer.  

And so they said, “Ok, the student got to lead in prayer.” Well, this caused much consternation to the American Humanist Association. And by the way, a former graduate of the high school. So I guess that’s where they thought they had their standing because it was a former student.

David:

Well, they’re going to have to find a local plaintiff for them to come in from the outside. You have to show some kind of injury. And so you get somebody local. And I’ve seen actually other groups run ads and papers say, “Hey, we’re willing to sue to stop prayer at athletic events. We just need somebody local who wants to object to that.”

And so they’ll shop around, find out something is going on, they’ll put the feelers out to try to find somebody locally, and have somebody local file suit which is apparently what they did here. Got some former student of Birdville High School to go file objections to it.

If Congress Can Have Open Prayer Your School Can Too

Tim:

So, as the scenario unfolds it actually goes to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which is out of Louisiana, out of New Orleans, so that’s how we’re going to Louisiana from Texas. And a three-panel judge from the 5th Circuit said, “Actually, they’re allowed to open with prayer and similar to how even the Congress opens with prayer. No, these kinds of meetings can open with prayer.” And so they have dismissed this suit from the American Humane Association and a former graduate of Birdville High School.

So that is the good news is that you had some judges recognize, “Wait a second, if Congress can open with prayer, it’s probably ok for a school board to open with prayer.” It was student led, student initiated, and so this wasn’t something that is as perceived by so many in the legal community today that they were trying to establish “a religion.”   But nonetheless, it is really good news in a step for religious liberty, religious freedom, even at a school board meeting.

David:

You know, part of that Tim, goes back to a decision the U.S. Supreme Court rendered two or three years ago and I think it was called Galloway versus City of Greece. In the city of Greece out of New York was opening their city council meetings with prayer. And the Supreme Court said, “Of course, you can do that. Congress does that, you can have public meetings open with prayer.”

And so it’s really good that you actually have the Fifth Circuit not trying to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decision on religious expression. But the good news is that the court did recognize that.

See, that’s the cool thing about this case, is if you can just get somebody to fight. And in so many cases, school districts don’t do what Birdville did.  They will capitulate and say, “Ok, we’ll take prayer out. We won’t do that anymore.” But Birdville stood up and fought.

And when our guys win they fight for religious liberties.  We win like 99 percent of the cases and some unbelievable number between the five or six law groups out there that represent all of these schools for free. And so it’s a massive opportunity.

So if you happen to be in a school district and you knew that your school district is going to settle. Don’t let them do it. Never have your school district sign a consent agreement with any of these secular groups to say, “We’re going to stop religion so that people won’t object.” Don’t do that.

You can win if you go to court and that’s all over the nation even in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, or the Ninth Circuit, or whatever you want to call it. Where all the wackies are on the left coast. Even there we win these cases. So the winning rate is over 90 percent. Do not let your school board capitulate and say, “Well, you know, we’re not going to have Christmas carols or Christmas stuff.”

And so it’s like you don’t have to get rid of Christmas and say, “Let’s have Winter Break.”  Don’t do that. So if you’re on a school board or if you’re an associate of a school board make sure you stand up and fight this stuff because we want it. 

And kudos to the Birdville School District for standing up and fighting. And because they did now schools across the state- and by the way, the 5th Circuit controls Mississippi and it controls Texas and Louisiana.

That means school districts in all three of those states can now have kids say prayers to open their school board meetings with no problem because that’s ruling out of the Fifth Circuit which controls those three states.

Rick:

We’ve got to take a quick break, folks.  Got one more segment of good news so stay with us we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live!

Pastors Only Briefing Trip

Tim:

Hi, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting it WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors that you can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation. Not just seeing the sights but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent.

We get to go to the Capitol at night.  And we get to see the spiritual heritage of our Founding Fathers, of who we are as a nation, where we came from. We bring in congressman that will tell you about current legislation, about our religious liberties and freedom, and what’s going on in Washington, D.C.

If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com. And there’s a link that’s for scheduling.  If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor’s briefing. There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.

Good News For Pro-Life

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live! Thanks for staying with us on this Good News Friday and I believe, I can’t remember now, Tim did you do the last segment?

Tim:

I started out with Birdville and my dad kind of wrapped it up.

Rick:

So are y’all flipping a coin? Or arm wrestling? Which one are we doing?

Tim:

I don’t know which one is more appropriate.

David:

He can do either one. He can outrun me if we try to run.  He can whoop me if we get into an arm wrestle.  So I’m going to let him do it.

Rick:

But you’re supposed to still be able to outsmart him, right?  It’s the wisdom over youth.

Tim:

I have a two headed coin.  So it’s also not really fair if we flip a coin. It really is a great advantage. 

Ok, so this one is a piece of pro-life victory. And actually, I have numerous in front of me.  In fact, let me just go to several of these I have. Actually, I have three different articles in front of me that all have the same headline.  Actually, hang on, 1, 2, 3, oh, I have 4 that all say the exact same thing.

“President Donald Trump signs a bill to overturn Obama rule forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood.” So one of the pieces of good news coming down is that now states are no longer required to do funding for Planned Parenthood.

A Fourteen Year Drought Has Just Ended

David:

Remember I think 16 states ended up defunding Planned Parenthood after those videos came out and so the states defunded it and then President Obama issued an executive order said, “No, states, you’re not allowed to defund it.” You have to spend the money for Planned Parenthood. And so that was one of the things he did going out the door was issued this executive order forcing states to continue funding Planned Parenthood which has shown to be corrupt in violation of the law.

Tim:

Now, what’s significant about this is this is also the first pro-life bill signed into law by a president in 14 years. So we’ve had a lot of pro-life things coming on the state level. And actually hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of positive things from the state level. But this is the first time that we’ve had a president sign a piece of pro-life legislation in 14 years.

David:

By the way, 14 years ago when that last piece was signed, I was in Washington, D.C. with President Bush when he signed it. And so it’s been 14 years since the federal Congress has passed a stand-alone piece of pro-life legislation. But getting that rule rescinded, it went through the House, it went through the Senate, and now President Trump has signed it. It is a federal law that has rescinded that rule that that was issued by President Obama.

Rick:

Fourteen years is a pretty good drought, guys.  That’s a drought. So this is a great victory. And hopefully a sign of things to come. 

I mean, I don’t know about you guys.  I’ve been amazed and we talked many times in the program about how Trump has surprised us with his appointments, with his agenda, but the pro-life part of his agenda and even his rhetoric has just been a blessing. I mean it’s so great to have Mike Pence out there talking about these things. And finally us on the federal level being back on offense instead of just defense.

How You Can Make An Impact

David:

Yeah, it’s good news. And by the way, I’ve got one more piece before we close out, Rick. It’s really kind of a public service announcement if you will. It deals with the White House website. The White House is asking the general public for ideas on how to reform and downsize the federal departments.

Because under the new budget you have a 28 percent decrease in funding the State Department and 31 percent in EPA, etc. The president is really trying to pull the size of the government down and he’s asking for ideas and ways to do that.

And if you know particular programs that are out there that needs to go away or funding or grants or whatever. There are so many ways that have been done in the last 10 to 12 to 15 years that have really grown government and they want some help.

And so if you’ve got ideas, if you think you know a really good way to downsize government, or you know if a particular agency that needs to go away, or a local program around you, if you’ve got a university around you that’s getting $4 million in federal grant to find out the sex life of slug’s which was one of the grants they issued. If you know the stuff like that, just let them know and the website is https://www.whitehouse.gov/Reorganizing-The-Executive-Branch. Go there, put your ideas in. Let’s do everything we can to get this thing pulled back to the right size and see if we can’t stop the growth of federal debt.

Rick:

So not just the life issue.  And a lot of people think conservatives only care about life and marriage. No, we care about all of the issues and it’s a moral issue to deal with the debt and deal with the size of government, no doubt about it.

So not just on the life issue on the debt, on the size of government, the role of government, the jurisdictions of government, all those things.  Kind of a pivot year for us here in 2017. Turning back to the right direction of what our constitutional republic was built on.

And that’s all great news. And David, Tim, I know you didn’t even get halfway down your stack so look forward to next week to get to some more good news. All of our new listeners out there if this is the first time you’ve heard WallBuilders Live on a Friday and you like this good news check it out at WallBuildersLive.com. You can listen to previous Friday programs as well a lot of archives there for you to enjoy. Appreciate you joining us today on WallBuilders Live!