This uncommon interpretation of American historical past, which the motion embraces utterly, comes from David Barton. Barton has spent the previous three and a half a long time publishing books that declare to show that the Founding Fathers had been deeply spiritual; that the bible instantly impressed each the Structure and Declaration of Independence; and that the separation of church and state is a pernicious and ahistorical fantasy. His guide The Jefferson Lies, which portrayed Deist and slave proprietor Thomas Jefferson as a non secular civil rights pioneer, induced such outcry from historians that the writer pulled the guide from cabinets.
Johnson’s affiliation with this motion is not any secret. He appeared on Barton’s “Wallbuilders” podcast final Might to decry the “weaponization” of the FBI to go after pro-life protesters who block entry to abortion clinics. In 2021, Johnson spoke at Barton’s ProFamily Legislator’s Convention, the place he talked in regards to the impression of Barton’s teachings on his life. “I used to be launched to David and his ministry 1 / 4 century in the past, and it has had such a profound affect on me, and my work and my life, and every little thing I do,” Johnson informed the group. “Because of all of you for being prepared to serve on this crucial time for the nation.”
“This man has a biblical worldview. I’m in tears,” Patriot Academy founder Rick Inexperienced, who like Johnson and most COSA supporters is a longtime Barton acolyte, stated throughout a livestream on Rumble simply after Johnson accepted the gavel. “We’ve been praying for leaders which have a worry of God, that we all know have a basis of biblical reality.”
“We’ve already been speaking to [Johnson] about workers,” Barton stated the following day on “Wallbuilders.” “The members which might be serving to him are all good guys. They’re all God guys. They’re all conservative guys.”
Inexperienced and Barton are rather more vocal than Johnson about their help for the Conference of States motion. Inexperienced was a delegate to COSA’s first simulated conference again in 2016, and he co-hosts an eight-week “Biblical Citizenship” course with Meckler to unfold the gospel of America’s evangelical founding. The cross-promotion works: Once I attended Patriot Academy’s five-day handgun coaching course final 12 months, a lot of my classmates actively supported COSA. Barton and Inexperienced each spoke at COSA’s Reclaiming Liberty summit in October 2022. Neither man units apart their convictions relating to America’s spiritual roots when endorsing the Conference of States. Somewhat, they current the Conference of States as a core answer for America’s irreligiosity. The 2 points, for them, are the identical.
“The rationale we teamed up with COS is in an effort to host biblical citizenship lessons in your neighborhood, the place you may be planting the seeds of liberty,” Inexperienced informed his Reclaiming Liberty viewers final 12 months. “It offers them hope, and it builds your staff for Conference of States proper there in your neighborhood.”
“You’ll discover the extra secular the nation turns into, the extra progressive it turns into, the extra anti-constitution it turns into,” Barton informed the identical crowd just a few hours later. “It’s a nasty route for us to maneuver.”
In recent times, COSA has turn out to be more and more entrenched within the conservative firmament. Mark Meckler appeared on the CPAC stage in 2022 and was a visitor on Tucker Carlson’s Fox present earlier this 12 months. The COSA web site lists 51 high-profile endorsements that embrace Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Jeb Bush. The Heritage Basis reversed its longtime opposition to an Article V conference to particularly endorse Meckler and COSA two days after Johnson turned speaker. John Malcolm, who penned the group’s opposition to the concept in 2016, provided a easy clarification for the change: “The scenario on the bottom in the mean time is favorable to conservatives.”