Idaho Falls City Councilman protesting GOP’s Lincoln Day speaker

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John Radford, left, and David Barton

IDAHO FALLS — A local city councilman is organizing a rally to protest a speaker the Bonneville County Republican Party has invited to Idaho Falls.

Idaho Falls City Councilman John Radford and Bonneville County Democrats Committee Chairwoman Miranda Marquit are hosting an “Inclusive Community Rally” to protest David Barton’s upcoming speech at the Bonneville County GOP’s Lincoln Day Banquet.

“I think his anti-Islamic attitude and his beliefs around LGBTQ issues where he says that they deserve to be penalized — we just think that’s not acceptable,” Radford told EastIdahoNews.com.

Barton is a New York Times bestselling author, evangelical preacher and founder of WallBuilders, “an organization dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious and constitutional foundation on which America was built,” according to the WallBuilders website.

Barton is scheduled to speak at the GOP event on April 13, at Melaleuca Global Headquarters. Radford and Marquit’s counter event is also on April 13, starting at 5 p.m. at the Idaho Falls Friendship Garden.

RELATED: Bestselling author to speak at Bonneville County GOP Lincoln Day Banquet

“We just want to make sure that there’s a conversation out there that Idaho Falls is a community that values diversity, that values faith of all types and that we value accuracy around historical conversations. Especially about our founders and the constitution,” Radford said.

The event’s Facebook page lists a 2012 NPR article discussing the alleged historical inaccuracies Barton has spoken about and written about in his book “The Jefferson Lies.” Christian publisher Thomas Nelson later pulled the book, citing factual errors.

The book was later republished by another publisher, WND Books, and is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Barton thoroughly defends his book on its Wallbuilders website.

“I have penned numerous best-selling history works, and characteristic of each is a heavy reliance on primary-source documentation. Across the past 20 years, I have amassed a collection of some 100,000 originals (or certified copies of originals) predating 1812, including hand-written documents and works of those who framed and signed the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” Barton wrote.

The Inclusive Community Rally Facebook page also cites the Southern Poverty Law Center, which labels Barton as an anti-LGBTQ extremist.

“We want to present an alternative to the David Barton approach, which focuses on exclusion and exceptionalism around race, religion and sexuality,” the group states on the page.

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