'Glenn Beck': Republic vs. Democracy: What Did Our Founders Truly Intend?

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," August 6, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Tonight, we're going to do something a little different.

We have teenagers from 13 to 19 years old. Everybody goes to school. Yes. It's just tough questions like that for the rest of the hour.

We are going to — we're going to find out what teenagers know — what they think, what they have learned about the Constitution, about the Declaration of Independence, what they've learned in school, what they've learned on this program.

Who's learned anything from this program that you — one, good.

How many learned something from the program that you went back and you said, "That can't be true, that can't be true"? OK. So, quite a few of you.

How many have watched this program and then gone back to their teacher at school and challenged them? Good! Good! Good!

Ashley, what is the — what is the thing that you learned from this show?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: You had the list of the goals of the communist party and how many of them had come true.

BECK: Surprising, wasn't it?


BECK: I found that probably 10 years ago and looked at it, and not all of them have been completed. And now, it seems like so many are.


AUDIENCE MEMBER: I learned on your show that Thomas Jefferson actually signed a lot of his documents "in Christ," but a lot of people say that he was deist. So, is he a Christian or a deist? That's what I learned.

BECK: Right. You know, it's funny. David Barton is here with us, America. Put David on camera.

David, I saw somebody write you up — some professor wrote you up ands said, oh, that David Barton just making that stuff up. That was at one document.

Isn't that one document that —

DAVID BARTON, WALLBUILDERS FOUNDER: That one plus thousands of others. Yes.

BECK: OK. But it is that one document.

BARTON: It is that one and a whole lot more.

BECK: All right. Good.

And, Nicholas?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: This wasn't actually during your program. It was during your speech at CPAC, and it was about the real history of the Statue of Liberty and it's not just the French giving us a gift. It was much more than that.

BECK: I mean, you guys really didn't think the French were just being nice, did you? No. No sense.

Let me — let me ask — let me ask you this. I want to transition into: are we a democracy or republic?

AUDIENCE: Republic.

BECK: Republic. Anybody want to tell me the difference between the two? Mic — do we have a microphone down here? Do we have a mic? Pass it down to him.

There you go, right behind you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: A democracy is directly ruled by the people. A republic, you get representatives who rule for you.

BECK: Why do they do that?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Because people don't have time to read over documents and things of that nature. So, they almost hire someone to do it for them.


AUDIENCE MEMBER: Make the best choice for them.

BECK: OK. What is the problem with the republic?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, I guess the people don't necessarily always get what they want. They have to trust in other people.

BECK: OK. Good.

Any other problems that anybody can see? Nicholas, what do you think the problem is?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, sometimes, the people don't elect their representatives directly. And that can sometimes cause a problem, like it has in history.

BECK: OK. Anybody else? Anybody else see a problem? Pass the mic down here.

Go ahead, Scott.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's a lot easier to control one person's opinion than a million.

BECK: How do you mean?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Like if you have one person in government, you can corrupt them a lot easier than a million.

BECK: OK. Has anybody thought of — Alexander, go ahead. Maybe you have it.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, I was just going to say that some people could campaign on certain issues and then once they're in office, completely do a 180.

BECK: That happens all the time! Hello, that happens all the time.

Here's what I'm thinking. You guys were all talking about the government. Well, what about the people?

You said that a republic — because the people don't have time, and so they just hire somebody to do it. But if the people get lazy, and they're not vigilant, then everything goes to hell in a hand basket. Then you're — then you're in real trouble, right?

Is that kind of where we find ourselves now?


BECK: So, whose fault is it? Is it Washington's fault or is it the people's fault?

AUDIENCE: The people's.

BECK: It really is our fault. I mean, we can blame them all they want but — you know, all we want. But really, I mean, it comes — it comes from us.

Who has been taught that the Declaration of Independence is irrelevant today? Plays no role in today's society? Just an old dusty document?

One, Nicholas has.

Anybody else?

How about the Constitution? That it's just a relic. Couple of people?

You have, Anthony. By your teacher or by media or what?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: The former president.

BECK: The former president? Yes, you mean by actions?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: He did say it.

BECK: He did?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: He said the Constitution is just a piece of paper.

BECK: Well, yes, OK, I see what you're saying. The Constitution is just a piece of paper. And, technically, he's accurate on that.


BECK: We want to talk a little bit about — and I want to bring David Barton in on this. And I want to talk a little bit about the difference between a republic and a democracy, why it was written the way it was.

Can anybody give me — I mean, you're a smart group. We tested you before you came in. You're very smart group. I hope you really are a representation of the cross-section of America because you guy are very, very bright.

Help me out on this. Can anybody — can anybody give me the five points, the philosophical point of our government, of the make-up of our government? There's five things.

Two people can do it, David. Two people can do it.

Who raised their hand?

Mike has his hands raised.

Do we have a microphone here?

Go ahead, Mike.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Checks and balances for one.

BECK: I'm looking at David.

BARTON: That would be Constitution. Five things from the Declaration set the philosophy of government.

BECK: I didn't know — I didn't know even know this one. I had no idea.

Anybody? Give it, David.

BARTON: And the first 126 words you find that there is a Creator, he gives the inalienable rights, he has a moral law which governs men, the government exists to protect the rights he gives and below the God-given rights, you rule by consent of the govern.


BARTON: So, those are five principles.

BECK: I'm going to come — what I'm going to do is because you guys have a lot of great questions. I've asked you questions. You have a lot of great questions, we're going to get to those here in a second.

But, first, I want David, I guess, to give kind of an overview of because there are people now that are saying — Woodrow Wilson was one of them. I hate that guy!


BECK: Woodrow Wilson was one of them. And he has a similar opinion of the Constitution and the Declaration as Barack Obama. Wilson said, forget the Declaration of Independence.


BECK: It's an old list of grievances, right?

BARTON: Wrong. It is a list of grievances that's common. Well, here's a good example: 27 clauses in the Declaration tell us why that we separate from Great Britain. Among those clauses, there's one that says, the king keeps setting up brand new government offices among us. He keeps sending new employees from the government to eat all of our tax money. Kind of sounds like today.

For the grievances, they said, we're tired of the judicial activism. We're going to start our country where the judges don't make policy. Kind of like today.

One of them said, we're tired of what's happening with immigration through Great Britain. We're going to do something different.

Those are issues that are relevant. And they've not been issues that were isolated just to them.

BECK: The difference is the progressives think that we make progress as human beings. And so do I. I mean, we're not Stone Age people.

BARTON: Right.

BECK: But the basic greed, desire to control, even keep people, you know, as slaves one way or another, controlling them, manipulating them.


BECK: All of the bad traits in humans. We don't progress out of those.

BARTON: See what happens is, technology progresses but human nature doesn't.

BECK: Right.

BARTON: We got the same characteristics, the same desires, the same abuses, the same virtue and honor that is there. It's the technology that changes.

BECK: And so, really, it was — the idea was a smaller government because the government — if the government is — then just a handful of people, they take it and then they control everybody.

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: And so, everybody is under control with these, where a small government, you might have abuses here and there, but the people can rise up against it. And for the most part, people are as free as they allow themselves to be, based on their responsibilities, right?

BARTON: That's right. And what you have with the larger government is — the problem is, larger governments tend to gravitate up rather than down. So, they get further away from the people. They're less account. They didn't mind large government if it was local government.

BECK: Right.

BARTON: But the higher you got up the chain —

BECK: That's what everybody —

BARTON: — the more problem it was.

BECK: — we found just the opposite direction here. For instance, let's take immigration. How would the Founders view immigration today? What's happening in Arizona? What would they do?

BARTON: The Founders look to immigration and said it was a state issue. And that — I'm talking to signers of the Declaration, of the Constitution, those who served on the Supreme Court, immigration was a state issue. Now, what the feds would do is they will protect the coast and the borders. They would use the Army, Marines, the Coast Guard, the Navy, whatever. They will protect the integrity of the nation.

But you had to immigrate in a state. And going into the state, you had to meet standards of the state. Now, once you got there, Article IV would allow you — Article IV of the Constitution allows you to travel among the states, contracts are honored, commerce is honored. But you had to go in the state.

So, it's really the states who controlled immigration and not the feds. The feds controlled the boards, but not immigration.

BECK: And People don't understand — the people on the left don't understand that that's what the Tea Party Movement is really all about. It's not — they — I just heard a speech the other day from Barack Obama and he said, you know, they haven't had any new ideas, the Republicans, they haven't had any new ideas. They're right.


BECK: Republicans haven't had come to Jesus moment. They don't — I mean, they're progressive light. Many of them, not all of them — many of them are. And they haven't had a new idea.

But Barack Obama and the progressive left idea really comes from about 1848, with Karl Marx and socialism. That's —

BARTON: Not a new idea.

BECK: Yes, that's not a new idea. I think that's actually the oldest idea known to mankind.

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: And what they think is we're arguing to go back to 19 — you know, 1990 or, you know, Ronald Reagan. We're not.


BECK: We're arguing that the states should be empowered because this giant government doesn't work, you can't afford it. It doesn't work. And so, you dismantle the government and bring the control local there.

BARTON: One of the things that we're arguing for is a set of principles that are proven to be successful across time. They keep changing the principles. We don't care if technology changes.

But the Founders — that's what's so cool about the Constitution — it doesn't deal with specifics. It deals with the principles. Therefore, it's timeless. It works as well today. Two hundred and thirty years later, as it did back then, because it's principle-driven.

Now, over that time, we've found that those principles work, we want to go back to those principles, including we were talking about democracy, republic. And the American republic, we're — in addition to being a republic — we are a federal constitutional republic. And federal republic means that we share power evenly with the states. And that's what we don't do anymore.

BECK: Who here has — raise your hand if you — I'm going to give you several choices. Raise your hand if you think the Soviet Union was just a failed state.

Raise your hand if you think the Soviet Union was a bad state. Kind of one.

Raise your hand if you think the Soviet Union was evil. OK, not everybody. Not everybody, but most.

To me, the problem is, is once we defeated communism, we stopped thinking communism, they just change uniform.

BARTON: That's right. That's right.

BECK: Putin — have you ever watch — next time you watch Vladimir Putin on TV, the president or the — no, he's now the prime minister of Russia — watch the way he walks. Does anybody ever notice this? You'd notice it?

He walks and he only — he only swings one arm. Why would he only one arm when he walks? Who walks like that? KGB. Why does he have one? Because he's trained himself so long to keep your hand where your pistol is that he walks like this.

Now, that is — that's bred into that guy, man. He has worked hard to make sure KGB principles. All he did was take off the colonel uniform and put on a suit and tie, and say, I'm good.

The problem with — where we let you down is we haven't taught enough about communism. It didn't go away. We thought it did.

My whole life — has anybody — anybody spent any time at all growing up worried that nuclear missiles were going to come over the pole and obliterate all of us?

Never? Terry, you did?


BECK: Missiles? Do we have a microphone for — yes, go ahead, Terry.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, honestly, like I guess I'm — I'm really heavy into history. So, I like, with everything that I've read, I always sat there and said, well, this could happen one day.

BECK: Yes.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Because it's not necessarily, it's not completely over. But —

BECK: Right. There were times — there were times when I was a kid, and I'm not alone. David, you probably did this, too, when you were a kid. You had a hard time going to sleep because you thought —


BECK: — the missiles could come anytime.


BECK: I remember in 1980, I work in Washington, D.C., and it was right after KAL 007, the Soviet Union shot down a jetliner, a 747. It was filled with people. And we said, that was — that was — I think we said it was an act of war, did we not? And I remember working in Washington, D.C., and looking at the Lincoln or the Washington Memorial thinking I could be vaporized in the next 24 hours because the missiles will come here.

It was a different time. And so, when we defeated it, we moved past. Now, there are people targeting you, to try to teach you that democracy is what we are.

We're not a democracy. Why is it — why it is bad to assume that we're a — let me rephrase that. Why would somebody want to change us from a republic to a democracy?

Peter, do we have a mic over here? Let me have this. Peter?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Because a republic is ruled by law and democracy is ruled by the majority. The leaders can just manipulate the majority to do what they want.

BECK: Yes. Wouldn't the people be smart enough to figure out what was going on?


BECK: What about the Constitution? Can the Constitution change?


BECK: How? Who said that?


BECK: Amendments. And how does the — and why do they have the amendments in there? Why do they have that?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: So that if they think that something should be, I guess, changed about the Constitution, they can vote in an amendment.

BECK: Good. What happens if there's a bad amendment? Has there ever been a bad amendment?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: It can be repealed.

BECK: It can be repealed? OK. It's actually not repealed, is it? Is that technically repealing it or is amending it again?

BARTON: It's amended but it in effect negates it.

BECK: Repeal — yes, it negates it.

Here's what's interesting to me. Can anyone tell me if you read the Constitution, you'll see that what was one amendment that was repealed?


BECK: Prohibition. Right. Exactly.

Is the 18th Amendment still in the Constitution?


BECK: Why?


BECK: Because of the (INAUDIBLE) of it. But why? Bobby, why do think it's still in there?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: A reminder so that people can look back and see that we made mistakes before and we have to learn from them.

BECK: You can barely see this on my hand. It happened when I was very young.

But anybody, you can see the scar that's right here on my hand? Anybody see that scar? That was me being stupid as a kid, really stupid as a kid.

And I was writing on the back of somebody's bike. And I had my hand on the handlebars. And we tipped and we were going down a cement viaduct, a cement bridge and we couldn't stop and my hand dragged across that cement all the way. And it was done to the bone. It was nasty.

The pain I would have forgotten. The only reason why I really remember that because I was very small is the scar.

We remember the things in the Constitution — they were genius. Remember the scar.

Was it Thomas Jefferson that said, people will make mistakes but they will have — but I trust the American people when they realize it?

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: They will —

BARTON: He said the true corrective for all constitutional mistakes is education of the people. You rely on the people. He said they're going to make mistakes, but people will correct those mistakes.

BECK: OK. Back in just a second.




BECK: Hello, America.

Back with David Barton of WallBuilders, our audience of teenagers. And we're talking about the difference between a republic and a democracy. In a minute, I'm going to show you this. This is 1950 —

BARTON: `54.

BECK: 1954, Air Force training manual. You will — you will not believe what we used to teach and how that's all been erased. We'll do that here in a second.

I want to actually, David, share this, this is from —

BARTON: 1832. Public school textbook by Noah Webster.

BECK: Now, he in this — this is school textbook.

BARTON: School textbook. Now, he's called the school master to America, probably one of the three most significant American educators and he's personally responsible for constitutional language. Article I, Section VIII.

BECK: OK. Now, I want to show what it says here. It says, "The preface (ph) position of the Constitution of the United States will unfold to young persons the principles of Republican government and it is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of the correct Republican principles is the Bible; particularly, the New Testament or the Christian religion."

Now, how many would say or have teachers or whoever, professors that you will meet down the road — and oh, you will meet them — that will say this is a perversion of what America is? There's a separation between church and state. How many of you would say?

David, can you explain where we've gone wrong?

BARTON: Partially. And it's in defining terms. Defining one what a republic is, and what makes a republic. Two, and defining what separation of church is. Why it's there and what it's intended to do.

And anytime you get away from the original intent, you start perverting things to use in ways that were never intended.

BECK: How many believe that we are — that our Founders put in the separation of church and state to protect the people from church?

How many people here believe that separation of church and state means that the — that was put in there as a protection from — of the church from state?

OK. And some are not sure. Is there another answer than that, or you're just unsure?

You'd say the other way around? You'd say protect the state from the church — David.

BARTON: Separation of church and state, let me go at it another way. Number, the phrase doesn't exist in any constitutional document or any government document. So, we're now talking about a metaphor that has no place in the Constitution, except because judges tell us it belongs there.

BECK: Right.

BARTON: Second is: the history of the phrase — if you want to attach it to the First Amendment, go to the Bill of Rights. The purpose of the Bill of Rights goes back to the Declaration, the Creator who gives inalienable rights, the government exists to protect those rights. The Bill of Rights exists for no other purpose than to make sure we have the right to practice what the Creator told us to do.

BECK: This is really important. This is going to blow your mind. This is a training manual from the Air Force, 1954. Listen to this. This is unbelievable.

"The idea upper most in the minds of men who founded the United States was that each and every human being was important. They were convinced that the importance of the individual did not come from any grant from the state. This importance of the individual did not come from any position he had achieved, nor from power he had acquired, nor from any wealth he had amassed. They knew the importance of man came from the very source of life. Because man was made in the image and likeness of God, he had a destiny to achieve."

So, in other words, there is something you've been sent here to do. You're not just a shlub that has been pumped out in a baby factory. You made a deal with the Creator and he sent you down to achieve something.

You have purpose. And because of that, he had a destiny achieved. He had inalienable rights and the inherent freedom to achieve it. That is the basic idea.

BARTON: Yes. Now —

BECK: That's incredible.

BARTON: — if you take that and go back to the separation of church and state, the purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect an inherent and inalienable right which is the right of conscience, the right to worship God, however we want to ascribe it. When they wrote the First Amendment, they used both terms.

The interesting thing is everything in the Bill of Rights does not limit a citizen at all, everything limits the government. The First Amendment says Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting for exercise thereof. No individuals are prohibited from anything. Congress is told it can't set up a religion and it can't stop anybody from practicing their religion.

BECK: Right. And that's what's protecting — you can't have a state, when you say protecting the state from a religion, it is that. We can't become a theocracy.

BARTON: Right.

BECK: We don't want the state telling us how to live our lives and practice worship of God.

Can anybody tell me — the Soviet Union constitution, the former Soviet Union, all Marxist communist countries, have a freedom of religion clause. It's, you have the right to freedom of worship. We have freedom of religion.

Can you tell me what the difference is? Because they'll equate them to be the same. Raise your hand and pass the mic. Anybody has — anybody have an idea? One back there? It's a long way.

We're going to break and then we'll come back with that answer in a second.




BECK: We were talking about what the difference is. By the way, if you just joined us, we have a studio full of teenagers from 13 to 19, really bright group of people. And you were just randomly selected and wanted to come to the show. And I thank you for that.

Do you feel the importance of the time period you are living in now? Do you know what is happening? There are a lot of people in college right now are like, "Yes." I mean, it's unbelievable how clueless some people are.

This will — and I have to tell you. We didn't know. I'm sorry that we've left such a mess for you. We really didn't know. We lost our way somehow or another but we're trying to figure it out.

When we, when we left, I asked what the difference is in the old Soviet Union Constitution — the freedom of worship versus the freedom of religion. And Ben was about to speak. Ben?

BEN, AUDIENCE MEMBER: I think freedom of religion gives the governed the ability to practice whatever religion they want to, wherever they want to and whenever they want to. However, this freedom of worship — you can worship whoever you want, just where we tell you and when we tell you.

BECK: Yes. Keep it to yourself.

BEN: Yes.

BECK: You want to pray? Pray all you want, just not around here. That is the big difference. And that is a huge difference, because what can happen from there, David, as you know, means, well, you can't say those things. Not — if you want to believe them, believe them in your head, whatever. But you can't say them from a pulpit.

BARTON: Yes. Worship is a lot narrower than religion and worship is more easily regulated than religion. And quite frankly, we have a number of court cases — I've been involved with seven cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.

And we have a number of court cases where the courts are going after people because of what they say in their prayers. I have a case from Santa Fe, Texas, where a federal judge says, "I'm going to have a marshal at graduations listen. And if I hear somebody say the word 'Jesus' in prayer, they're going to get six months in the Galveston County jail."

BECK: Wow.

BARTON: Now, that is regulating both — not only worship, but religion. But Soviet Union would take worship. And the other thing is, while the Soviet Union gave you freedom of worship, they also had a clause that demanded separation of church and state, which gave the state the right to regulate your worship; that's why the churches were underground.

The problem with separation of church and state is it was never in history the church trying to take over the state. It was always the state taking over the church.

BECK: Right. Because this is (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: We already have it. The progressives are already leading into our churches —

BARTON: They are.

BECK: Social justice and everything. Read C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters" -

BARTON: There you go.

BECK: Written at the same time as "Road to Serfdom." And you will be amazed. I mean, he talked about it all in "The Screwtape Letters." Amazing, amazing stuff.


BECK: Let me go to David. Go ahead, David.

DAVID, AUDIENCE MEMBER: I asked if our Founding Fathers were alive today, and they were just regular citizens, how would they react to the action our government has been taking?

BECK: David, I have to tell you — this is something I have heard from a ton of — a great question. From a ton of people there. Because there's a lot of people who say, "They would have been with the torches and the pitchforks and they would have taken this (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Wrong.

BARTON: Good for you.

BECK: Why?

BARTON: Several things. We were being shot at for five years before we ever thought about a declaration.

BECK: How long did it take? We pick up the phone. How long did it take to get over to England?

BARTON: About six weeks. About six weeks. And see, what was interesting is we've been fighting for five years. And in May of 1776, just weeks before the Declaration, we sent the olive branch petition saying, "Guys, we want to reconcile. We're not trying to separate here."

BECK: Right.

BARTON: They send 25,000 British troops at us. And at that point, we got no — nothing we could do could defend us.

BECK: What is his name — was in the pulpit, and rode down —

BARTON: John Peter Gabriel Mullenburg, right? Yes.

BECK: He rode up and he said, "You don't know what is coming."

BARTON: Yes. That's right. That's right. He had seen the attack launched in Virginia, one of the first in Virginia. It happened in Boston and it happened in other places, but not in Virginia. And they saw it coming. And it's interesting that even in Virginia — excuse me, even in Massachusetts with the first shot at Lexington, 18 guys on the ground.

How come we didn't get any British? Because the leader, which is the pastor, said, "You can't fire the first shot. Now, once they attack you, you can defend yourself, but you can't start anything." So we have 18 go down before we get a shot off.

BECK: I tell you, David, it's a great question. But I will tell you, I'm convinced that just like today, nobody wants to go against the Constitution.


BECK: Who wants to fight? Who wants us to do that? I think they exhausted absolutely everything, and we've just begun.

BARTON: We've got so many political opportunities left to us that we haven't touched. I mean, we can turn this thing around.

BECK: But there is a difference between technology. That is the other side — technology. Man, they could close this thing down tight as a drum. The whole world could be shut down. You know, Iran is doing it. Tehran — they just shut it all down. If it wasn't for Twitter, the world wouldn't know what's going on.

BARTON: And that's the cool part now, the social networking that we've got and everything else — Internet.

BECK: They can't do anything. Margot(ph), what is your question?

MARGOT(ph), AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hey, Glenn. As a Christian, I understand the Founding Fathers' viewpoint that religion is really important to government. What was the purpose in adding "In God we trust" on the money? And what was also the purpose in using the Bible as one of two (UNINTELLIGIBLE) inspirations for Constitution as well as the Anglo Saxons?

BECK: They are — I don't even think — boy, knowing the Anglo Saxons. So you know the original seal was of the United States then, if you know about the Anglo Saxons, right? What was it, Margot(ph)? Can we put the mike — give Margot the mike back.

MARGOT: I believe the back was the two heads of the Anglo Saxon brothers that brought the Anglo Saxons to England. And the other one was that the three-headed eagle with the two wings?

BECK: No, no. I mean, bonus points for knowing what you know.

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: Most Americans don't even know that. The seal was Moses parting the seas and the pillar of fire.


BECK: That was the proposed seal by Jefferson and Franklin.

BARTON: Jefferson, Franklin and Adams were on the committee.


BARTON: And Adams came up with a different seal. But Jefferson and Franklin agreed on that seal with Moses.

BECK: And in God we trust?

BARTON: Well, what happened was, it goes back to that 126 words in the Declaration. Point number one of the philosophy of American government is there is a creator.

BECK: Right.

BARTON: And we start with that point.

BECK: So here is the thing. The Founders — one of the first things they did and a lot of them did this. They fought for people's rights outside of their religion. How many people know there were — how many official religions? Thirteen? Were there 13 or 10?

BARTON: At least, in early colonies — out of the 13 colonies, nine official.

BECK: Nine official. How many people would believe that there were official religions? Nine official state religions. Have you ever been taught that? They were state religions.

So if you went to one state, the official religion was this. If you go to another state, the official religion was that. And the Founders fought that. That was constitutional.


BECK: Right?

BARTON: It was constitutional. You got it.

BECK: Constitutional. You could do it at the state level. The federal government could not. I really think their genius was it provided an escape valve.

For instance, I don't care if Massachusetts wants to do universal healthcare — do it. If you want to destroy the state, you can destroy the state. I'll move. Business will move.

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: You will learn your lesson. It will repair itself.

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: But the federal government can't do it because there is no place to escape to. So what they did is they fought. They all believed in God. Thomas Payne is kind of up in the air.

BARTON: He believed in God. He didn't believe in Christianity.


BARTON: He said, "I'm going to stand before God and answer him for what I do." So believed in God.

BECK: So you think there was a time period at least that he was —

BARTON: He was pretty God hostile.

BECK: Yes.

BARTON: He did not like the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of the people who saw —

BECK: Here is the — well, standing in the line, I'm not —

BARTON: Exactly.

BECK: The idea was this — that they would go and they would fight for another religion in court. They would stand up and say you have a right. They have a right. I'm not a member of their religion.

And that's where we've gotten lost as a country. We think that we have to impose our views on someone else. Look, I'm not — I'm a Christian. I'm not offended by the menorah. Is anybody offended by the menorah? When I have the menorah up, I think it's great.

I teach my kids about the Festival of Lights. But I think it's good. Where the hostility comes is from people who are trying to jam it down somebody else's throat. My religion or the highway.

No, you can say whatever you want. You can do whatever you want. But I also have the right to do it. And the other hostility comes from people who say no god. That goes against the principles of the country, because if there is no God that hands out rights, who grants you your rights?

BARTON: Let me read you — let me just quote you a quote inside the Thomas Jefferson memorial. It came from the first book Jefferson did. Thomas Jefferson said, "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we remove their only firm basis?"

According to Thomas Jefferson, the only firm basis in national liberties, he said, is a conviction in the minds of the people that the liberties are the gift of God and they're not to be violated, but with his wrath. If you ever lost the concept of God you lose the concept of inalienable rights, limited government and everything else.

BECK: Well, again, I ask you this, America. Just ask this one question. If God is erased, who issues rights to man?

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: Back in a minute.


BECK: We're restoring history with an audience of teenagers age 13, 19. They're from the high school through college from all over the country. We have them from Connecticut. Anybody from Maine? Nobody from Maine. We've got have a moose in the green room — all the way to California.

Also, we have David Barton of Wall Builders here with me. And where did we leave off? Tiffany, where do we go next? Kelly. Where is Kelly? Hi, Kelly. How old are you?


BECK: You're 15 years old. What is your question?

KELLY: I know that in school, we've learn how the Founding Fathers had to take great risks for the independent America. And they often put their lives on the line. And I was wondering if you feel that politicians today would be willing to do the same for America?

BECK: I think there are some. I know that I have actually spoken to some. Michele Bachmann — I don't think she would mind me saying. I have spoken to Michele Bachmann. And you know her.

BARTON: I know her well.

BECK: She's a very spiritual, religious woman.

BARTON: She is.

BECK: She has — we haven't talked about life but she knows that she is in the cross hairs and she knows she is the biggest target. And she will stand and she is not going to sit down.

I can't speak for a lot of the politicians because I don't have a lot of contact with them. I kind of like — it's kind of like quarantine. And one thing that I have met with is — and this has been very, very hopeful to me.

I have, in the last six months, met with people in business, and - I mean, people who run large corporations, people who are worth tons of money, people who are just very stoic and, you know, they're successful.

And I have stood with them and you know — you know I cry a lot, right? Yes. I've stood with these people and not cried and have them cry and say, "I will lose every dime. I will lose my life. I'll lose my house. I will lose everything I have if the republic can be preserved for my children or my grandchildren."

I will tell you that there are a ton of people that are starting to stand up. And they're willing to do the right thing. You know, I talked the other day about a book that I'm writing. And I don't know when it will come out. But it's called "God: Blessing and Curse."

And the blessing is once you know God, the sky is the limit. I didn't know God and I was a miserable human being. And I changed my life in 2000. And I went from not being able to be hired anywhere to where I am today.

But more importantly, I went from suicidal to genuinely happy. That's the blessing of knowing God. The curse is once you know him and once you know what he has done for you, when he asks you to stand — and I think this is where the Founders were. When he asks you to stand, you don't have a choice.

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: You have to stand and there are tons of those people. A lot of them just don't know it yet.


BECK: Back in a second.


BECK: We were just challenging each other. I just said, "David, do you have an answer to something?" And he said yes. And Erin, our floor manager, said, "He has an answer to everything."

Really? Oh, we're going to find out. I'm going to have him back and we're going to challenge him. Let me go to — it's Steven(ph), right? Steven(ph), your question?

STEVEN, AUDIENCE MEMBER: Did the free masons influence George Washington? And do they still have an influence to this day?

BARTON: Free masons had an influence on George Washington but not what we think of today. There is a big difference between the two. Free masonry today is not what it was at the time of Washington.

It was introduced in America in 1734. Washington entered into what were called field lodges, which was the only way in the British military, the officers and the common guys could meet together.

So it doesn't have the rituals or oaths or anything else that's common today. Actually, by 1799 it began to change. Washington was dead then. 1813 —


BECK: Wait, wait, wait. I have seen a painting of George Washington laying the cornerstone.

BARTON: You bet.

BECK: He was wearing the apron and everything else.

BARTON: You bet. You bet.

BECK: What do you mean there was no —

BARTON: The painting was done in 1976. The painting was done —

BECK: What?

BARTON: Yes. The one in the Capitol of Washington standing and laying the cornerstone. Now, there were some in 1840s and '50s.

BECK: I believe I have seen his apron in Mt. Vernon.

BARTON: Oh, he has an apron.

BECK: Right.

BARTON: But he would not allow himself to be painted as a mason. One guy tried to paint him and he said no way.

BECK: OK. If he had been (UNINTELLIGIBLE). He had the rituals.

BARTON: No, because the rituals didn't come in until much later. 1825 is when the rituals appeared. So there were three simple degrees, no oaths, no rituals, whatever. That came in about 1813 with what is called speculative masonry.

BECK: May I ask — I've always thought the role that masons played in the Declaration or in the revolution in the forming of the nation was the honor of it as it was understood back then.

But that you had a place to where you could go and speak privately, openly and no one would violate the secret.

BARTON: That was more European than it was American. That was the European model, but it was not the American model. And that's the way they hid it from monarchs in Europe.

The American model, when spoke your piece straight out any way, it was not a problem. And you'll find most of Americans — Founding Fathers who became masons did so as British citizens.

And so it wasn't that big a deal for them. Washington records in his last two years and talking about the masonry, that it was a very small influence in his life. He maybe attended 12, 10 lodge meetings over 40 years.

BECK: The Illuminati is going to off him —

BARTON: Oh, yes. They hate this.

BECK: Back in just a second.


BECK: We have been real blessed to have so many teenagers here that are — you know, just a great cross-section of America. There is hope for America. Thank you for coming. Thank you for watching.

From New York, good night..

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