Christian historian warns more may follow ‘to protect reputation and livelihood’
By John Aman, World Net Daily
David Barton critics beware: There’s now a price to pay if you want to defame the popular historian, author and speaker with false and outlandish charges.
Barton won a $1 million defamation judgment in August against two left-leaning candidates for the Texas State Board of Education. The pair, Rebecca Bell-Metereau and Judy Jennings, charged in a 2010 campaign video that Barton, a consultant to the Board, was “known for speaking at white-supremacist rallies.”
That highly charged claim stems from two 1991 speeches Barton gave to groups linked to the racist and anti-Semitic “Christian Identity” movement. Barton, recognized as a strong friend of Israel, acknowledges speaking to the groups but said in court filings he did not know in advance about the racist ideology of his hosts.
Barton, the founder of WallBuilders, a group “dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes,” later established a vetting system to avoid repeat engagements and has not addressed similar gatherings since. He told the court that he has given some 8,000 speeches in the two decades following his two 1991 speeches and that addressing “white-supremacist rallies” is not what he is known for.
“We … apologize”
After nearly three years of pre-trial wrangling, including a trip to the Texas Supreme Court, where Bell-Metereau and Jennings failed in their bid to have the suit dismissed, the two settled with Barton just before the case was to go to trial in July 2014.
They agreed to give Barton $1 million and issued a contrite apology repudiating their 2010 claim that Barton is “known for speaking at white-supremacist rallies”: “We understand that this statement suggested that David Barton is a white supremacist, and that the two organizations he is affiliated with, WallBuilder Presentations, Inc. and WallBuilders L.L.C., were associated with or supportive of white supremacists. After learning more about Mr. Barton, we realize this statement was false. We separately and jointly apologize to Mr. Barton for damage to him individually and to his two organizations as a result of that statement.”
Barton told [World Net Daily] he was “very gratified” by the win and has given the monetary award away.
Read more: World Net Daily
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