Christian revisionist (he says he is a "historian" but has no credentials to prove it) David Barton has just learned that his publisher is going to print no more copies of the frequent Fox guest's book on Jefferson. Christian fundamentalists don't care for Jefferson's well-known freethinker views; to many in the religious right, Jefferson is the object of scorn for his atheist views and harsh words for organized religion. Barton got his start appearing on Glen Beck, but now goes on the Fox Network's many pundit programs to push the evangelical agenda, which maintains that "America is a Christian nation" and should, therefore, interpret the Constitution by Christian/Biblical principles. Real historians mounted a campaign to show Barton up by pointing out to the publisher the many errors in the book, and the pressure they put on the company to drop the author from their lists. About time! Bye, bye, you moronic theocratic goon.
I don't get it. If people have to lie to support Jesus, why do they even believe in Jesus? If they have to re-create history, then why is that history important?
I would seem as though the belief in their savior justifies any action, including prevarication, distortion, and outright lies. To us, this is nothing new.
As for history, it's only important if it supports their position. Otherwise, it's one more variable which they twist as they see fit.
I guess Thomas Nelson (publisher) did the right thing in recalling the book. But only after criticism, and then, only after criticism from evangelicals. My question is, why didn't they have this piece of tripe reviewed by legitimate historians before they put their name behind it?
Take a look at their web page for a possible answer. They carry such titles as Heaven is for Real. Of what importance are historical facts when you believe in such nonsense as Heaven? http://www.thomasnelson.com/
Point well taken. After I posted the above, I read somewhere that in cancelling his contract, and pulling the books with their name on it, they're turning the rights back over to Barton. I seriously doubt they're turning the profits they've already made back over to him, though.
With respect to the founders of this country, there is a lot of room for interpretation. Politicians have always had to speak out of both sides of their mouths in order to get support. Having said that, I feel Jefferson made his feelings fairly clear regarding religion, expecially in private. Unfortunately, he did not anticipate what might happen hundreds of years into the future. He would probably be outraged to find the theists first accusing him of atheism in the 1800/1804 elections, then claiming him as one of their own in our time. It's fun to speculate as to what he would have done differently had he known.
I'm somewhat puzzled as to why this particular publisher dropped Barton. It's not unusual for publishers to produce complete rubbish, as long as it sells. The pressure must have been extreme. I imagine it must have become apparent their reputation was seriously in jeopardy (and as a result, future sales).
Don't misinterpret what I'm saying as support for Barton. I've been reading books by other authors who I believe do a better job of providing a more complete disclosure. As a result, context is increased, making it much easier to interpret motivation. I realize there are many good books out there but just recently I've read the Chris Rodda book "Liars for Jesus" and the Warren Throckmorton book "Getting Jefferson Right, Fact Checking Claims about our Third President". I highly recommend them as an effective innoculation regarding certain Jeffersonian issues.
In reading just these two books, it is apparent how easy it is to put historical blinders on. Politics is a messy business. Day to day legislating is difficult enough but attempting to responsibly create the identity of a newly formed country is a monumental task. Effective politics is, in general, a collaborative effort. While some players are more influential than others, no one person can be pointed to as the authority for what we "should" be as a nation.
I'm sure nearly all members of AN fully support efforts to provide full disclosure (and understanding) of US history. I believe it intentional that the revisionism of the religious right has distracted from the task we have before us. We need to decide what kind of nation this will be tomorrow, built for the people who will have to live with those decisions. What the founding fathers created almost 250 years ago is amazing and admirable. We need to do a better job of constructively, and openly, building upon that legacy. Crushing this sort of revisionism must be completed before we can move forward.
I'm not sure exactly how the theists want this to play out. I'm speculating that by reinterpreting history, they will feel justified in loading the supreme court with like minded judges. At that point, they can overturn all interpretations of the establishment clause (and everything else that sticks in their craw). What a #%^@# mess that would cause. I'm baffled at the inability to understand a strict interpretation of the clause as being beneficial to all religions. Maybe it's because I'm not on their team and believe them foolish to play for all the marbles. Personally, I'd like to cooperate in providing religious freedom. Unfortunately, they've overplayed their hand over the years. It is not "their" country and I resent having to praise "their" god and gaze upon "their" instruments of torture in the public arena.
Maybe we should be thanking Barton for making an ass of himself. I may not be the ruler of this country but I must say, he has been quite "useful".
Barton is now outed to many of his supporters as a liar and has shown that his ethics and moral obligation to his faith is a sham. he believes that he can say or write anything no matter how irresponsible or disingenuous and get away it. Will this have an effect on their support for him? For many the answer is no because they love and live by the lies.