David Barton weighs in on Friday's Supreme Court gay marriage decision

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage, Glenn spent the majority of Friday's radio show speaking with experts about the impact of the decision on people who believe in traditional marriage. David Barton doesn't have a lot of confidence that religious liberty and freedom of conscience will be safe given the political atmosphere and the activist courts.He also thinks there is zero chance conservatives will be able to pass a constitutional amendment to preserve traditional marriage. So what happens next?

GLENN: David Barton is with us now. Hello, David.

DAVID: Hey, guys.

GLENN: We just talked to the Liberty Institute. And we felt pretty good about what they were saying about the -- the Supreme Court, all nine justices stood up for religious liberty. Do you have comfort on that?

DAVID: No. I don't.

GLENN: Okay.

DAVID: Anymore than I have comfort on the fact that the Hobby Lobby decision where the Court came out emphatically and said you have a right to conscience, that court after court after court said, well, that's for abortifacient. You don't have the right for conscience for marriage.

So I've watched as we've had very emphatic rulings from the Court, and lower courts just refuse to do anything with it. And below that, lower officials do the same thing.

I mean, we still have -- we have 8-0 ruling by the US Supreme Court you can have all sorts of religious activities in schools, and yet we have principals across the nation saying, wait a minute, kid. You can't say "God" at graduation, et cetera.

So I don't have much confidence in that. But there's really a fundamental question that I think has to be asked at some point. And it deals with the nature of the judiciary itself.

And that is: At what point are we going to go back to saying, you know, we have to allow elected officials to make policy, rather than the courts? Because for the last five sessions, we've watched the Court increasingly make grander and more bold statements on what they should do.

And reading Kennedy's decision this morning, I felt like I was listening to a televangelist at 2 o'clock in the morning somewhere. I mean, that kind of rhetorical language, that kind of apologetic language is pretty unbelievable coming out of a court.

And so at some point, we'll have to get back to fundamental decisions of, okay, the Constitution doesn't allow judges to do this. So what will we do as a result? And that's a whole different discussion. But I'm not that secure on religious liberties. And I think you'll see that through the NDOs and through the things that will happen at the city level, that there won't be much protection for religious liberty.

GLENN: Okay. So I'm back to completely depressed. David, what do we do now? What do you recommend that the average person does this weekend?

DAVID: Well, at some point, and it's what you've already been talking about. At some point, you have to have standalone courage and stand up and say, you know what, the rest of the world may be going off the cliff, but I'm not.

And let me tell you, this is a wrong decision. And this is why. And at this point, if we just get in the boat and decide to float with the current, we'll be done with this. This to me is very much like what happened with the fugitive slave law in the 1850s, where that you had one side that said, hey, the Court's ruled. You know, this is a done deal. Congress has spoken on this. And other people said, no, they may have spoken, but they said the wrong thing.

And it really started turning things back in a right direction. But you had the Dred Scott decision and everything else that goes with it. Yeah, the Court ruled, but they ruled in a bad direction for the country and a bad direction for the Constitution.

I really did appreciate what Roberts said. He said, if you want to celebrate gay marriage, do it. But don't celebrate the Constitution because the Constitution had nothing to do with this ruling today.

And at some point, I think we're -- where we were with Dred Scott where we said, you know, the Constitution had nothing to do with this ruling. This was judicial activism, and we'll have to get back at some point to living by a document that we swore to uphold. So I think that's what we do right now, as we start raising our voice and saying, you know, that may be the Court, but I'm not going over the cliff with everybody else. I won't get in this rowboat and go over the Niagara Falls. I'm not going to float that direction. I'm going to swim upstream. I think we'll find quickly that we're not as upstream as we think we are.

GLENN: Governor Walker just announced that he is adding to his platform now that one of his main things is that he will pass a marriage is between a man and a woman amendment in the Constitution. That's what he'll push for as president of the United States. Do you think that's wise? What do you think of that politically speaking?

DAVID: Politically, it's not going to happen. You need two-thirds of the Senate go with it. There's no way you'll get 25 percent of Democrats join 100 percent of Republicans. Politically, that's a dead issue. It will not go anywhere. A constitutional amendment. The only thing that will make a constitutional amendment go -- I have congressman in Congress years ago who told me something 25 years ago. They said, Congress only sees the light when it feels the heat. And unless Democrats still feel the heat from black pastors and Hispanics and others that are so much more pro marriage than even whites are, unless they feel that kind of heat, there's no chance of a constitutional amendment going, nor is there a chance that you would get three-fourths of the states to ratify it. I think we can pretty quickly name 13 states that would refuse to ratify, and that would keep it from becoming policy. So, you know, that's a great piece of rhetoric. But policy-wise, we're back to, how long do we want nine elected people to have the majority vote to tell 330 million people what their policies will be?

PAT: If you can't get it done and the case you laid out pretty convincingly, David, suggests he can't, I don't think it is a great piece of rhetoric. Because that will hurt him with the electorate.

STU: But maybe not in the primary.

DAVID: Yeah, I don't think it will hurt him as much as we think. Because what will happen -- I mean, we're seeing polling right now. You would never recognize right now that 81 percent of the nation says that the issue of gay marriage should not be allowed to infringe on the rights of conscience. Now, that's what 81 percent believe. But we have dozens, if not hundreds of accounts across the nation, whereby public policy we're doing that. And what happens is, people aren't being told about rights of conscience. They're being told about equality and everybody should have the right to love who they want to and marriage is something -- that's great.

GLENN: That's where France went wrong.

DAVID: That's right. And it depends on how you frame the rhetoric. And so I think that people have a sense of, yeah, I prefer traditional marriage, but I think everybody should have the right to do what they want to do. So in that sense, I don't think what Walker does is going to hurt him, particularly with a primary vote where he's struggling with a dozen other guys to come out with a position -- I don't think it will hurt him much. I think if someone turns his rhetoric into an anti-equality position, then it hurts him. But just to say it the way you said, I don't think it will hurt him politically.

GLENN: David, thank you very much. Could you just give me a little quick hit on how you think this is affected by 8/28 and what we're planning to doing there.

DAVID: Well, 8/28 essentially it's coming back to the individual. And where we are today is one of the frustrations that Americans have. We look at the Court and say, I wish they would have done it different. There's nothing I can do. Great. That's fine. But the American Revolution was not won because we watched George Washington. It was won because people in their local communities said, you know, I'll defend my town. I'll defend -- I'll stand up against the British when they come here. I'll be Naphtali Daggett out on the hillside, one man taking on 200 -- excuse me -- one man taking on 2500 British in the battle of New Haven. I'll be that guy on the hillside that will take on 2500.

And that's what 8/28 will be. It's time for us to have the force of convictions to stand up in our local areas, talk in our own families, talk in our own churches, talk in our own communities, talk to our own school boards and start letting our voice be heard at a level where it will be heard. And I think that's one of the great things that has to happen. And that's always been the movement in America that's turned America in the right direction. Is when the grassroots starts bubbling up from the bottom, not coming down from the top at the Supreme Court.

GLENN: David, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

DAVID: Bless you guys.

GLENN: Bless you too. David Barton. President of Wall Builders. You know, we should call him Dr. Barton. You know, he has his PhD I think in history and education. Too many people just dismiss him as -- as -- you know, oh, just some guy who thinks he knows history. No, he has his doctorate in education and he's a brilliant, brilliant man.

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.