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← David Barton's Revistionist History & Liars for Jesus

David Barton's Revistionist History & Liars for Jesus - Comments

godsbelow's Avatar Comment 1 by godsbelow

I can't afford it, but I'll buy it anyway. I'd like to think I'm supporting sceptical/free thinking writers and their publishers.

Fri, 06 May 2011 02:18:28 UTC | #623644

Fouad Boussetta's Avatar Comment 2 by Fouad Boussetta

xjudgeday77 is another asshole lying for Jesus, I found out by following the link he provided!

Fri, 06 May 2011 02:26:05 UTC | #623647

thatgingerscouser's Avatar Comment 3 by thatgingerscouser

I can't say I agree with the original poster, in my mind Stewart totally pwned this whinging Christer, dominated the conversation towards the end and left him with an eggy mess where his face should be.

Although a free book is nice...!

Fri, 06 May 2011 02:28:13 UTC | #623648

M D Aresteanu's Avatar Comment 4 by M D Aresteanu

That was one heck of an interview(especially the extended version). I actually must say Jon Stewart did quite well. Sometimes it's better to show more class than to it is to win every point in a bigger argument.

Fri, 06 May 2011 03:13:16 UTC | #623654

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 5 by The Truth, the light

I think Stewart did a very good job in making Barton's arguments look very weak.

Fri, 06 May 2011 04:06:58 UTC | #623664

Beachbum's Avatar Comment 6 by Beachbum

David Barton is a bold faced liar who has fabricated quotes and many other things in his pursuit of Christianizing US history. One of my favorites is the Madison fabricated quote:

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, nor upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves ... according to the Ten Commandments of God. -- James Madison (false)

For which Barton had to write this (I think these are retractions). Anyway, he's scum; don't get any on you.

Fri, 06 May 2011 04:11:09 UTC | #623669

Pitchguest's Avatar Comment 7 by Pitchguest

Is it too early to say, "If Stewart goes, goes the nation?"

Fri, 06 May 2011 04:13:40 UTC | #623671

Rob Schneider's Avatar Comment 8 by Rob Schneider

What's wrong with Stewart's approach? Or rather, why is Barton arguing as he argues? Because we lose if we allow the debate to become a doctrinal debate over framer's intent. Christians have 2000+ years of experience with finding ways to interpret dead authors to support anything they want to achieve.

We must engage on principles and drag Barton and his I'll back to the table whenever they go off topic or appeal to some text.

Is a religiously neutral society desirable or not? Is it the best thing we can do: advocate for separation? Let's discuss these ideas on the merits.

Let's not let the Bartons of the world claim their writing is more true because it has more footnotes, or is thicker.

Worst of all, though he tried to counter, Stewart allowed the constant framing of the issue as one of stopping persecution of Christians. Equal, neutral treatment of ALL faiths is not = persecution of any given faith.....though as I make that argument I have to admit that the courts are all too frequently disagreeing with this reading.

http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2011/05/medicaid-denial-of-bloodless-liver.html

Fri, 06 May 2011 04:37:45 UTC | #623678

MMAtheist's Avatar Comment 9 by MMAtheist

Well said, Rob.

I never got why a lot of people worship the "founding fathers". They were wrong in so many ways. Who cares what they thought really.

Fri, 06 May 2011 05:01:42 UTC | #623684

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 10 by Jos Gibbons

This enormous (500 pages+) work is apparently the first half of Rodda's work, judging by the last page of its Introduction. Has she written the second half? I'm not asking her to make that free too - if it exists it deserves to be bought, as does the first half - but is it currently available, or is a release date known? Judging from her website neither is. All I can say is she's a very prolific, fastidious author! I'll have more praise to heap once I've read volume I though.

Fri, 06 May 2011 05:31:12 UTC | #623689

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 11 by Jos Gibbons

My mistake; three volumes will be made altogether.

Fri, 06 May 2011 05:43:25 UTC | #623692

mmurray's Avatar Comment 12 by mmurray

Comment 15 by MrD_W :

How can you go through life being so angry? I mean its our souls that will end up in hell if you're right not yours. So why all the fuss and hatred? Can't you just be happy in the knowledge that you'll go yo heaven and well rot in hell for all eternity? Or are it your own doubts that make you angry? Or are you possibly unsure about your own pointless little existence?

If this is the usual guy with caps he is best just flagged for the mods to clear out.

Michael

Fri, 06 May 2011 06:27:55 UTC | #623701

Pitchguest's Avatar Comment 13 by Pitchguest

Oh, I just noticed the glaring typo of "revisionist" in the title. Nnnggg.

Fri, 06 May 2011 06:59:02 UTC | #623710

MadEd's Avatar Comment 14 by MadEd

I wish we could watch this in the UK.

Fri, 06 May 2011 07:05:06 UTC | #623714

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 15 by Stevehill

@MadEd

Channel 4/More 4 do two episodes a week which are omnibus editions of the best of the show... pot luck whether this gets included, of course. The next one is on Monday.

A lot of it turns up on YouTube as well...

Fri, 06 May 2011 08:33:35 UTC | #623733

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 16 by Tryphon Tournesol

If this is the usual guy with caps he is best just flagged for the mods to clear out.

Michael

He is. In the past I've twice flagged exactly the same post.

Fri, 06 May 2011 08:35:54 UTC | #623734

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 17 by Michael Gray

Methinks that the "friendly atheist" is becoming a little more realistic, and slightly less friendly to theists who spout less than the truth. He is one step further along the inevitable path from blissful accommodationism to outright repugnancy.

Well done.

Fri, 06 May 2011 09:03:49 UTC | #623743

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 18 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Here is recent article about David Barton from the New York Times.

Of the possible Republican candidates for President, Mike Huckabee describes him as "maybe the greatest living historian on the spiritual nature of America’s early days”, Newt Gingrich declares he will use him as an advisor if elected and Michelle Bachman plans to have Barton lecture Congress on Constitutional history.

Fri, 06 May 2011 09:56:20 UTC | #623763

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 19 by KenChimp

Wallbuilders (http://www.wallbuilders.org) is an insidious group dedicated to spreading fallacious propaganda that the United States government was founded upon the christian religion. I've perused their site and examined the alleged quotes by earily Americans they use to support their propaganda.

Not long ago, I e-mailed their research department with the following (needless to say, I have received no reply):

To the Research Department of Wallbuilders.org

Dear Sirs,

I've perused your website at http://www.wallbuilders.org and at some of the historical writings shown, cited and even photocopied which you use as evidence to support the case that the Framers of the Constitution did not intend a separation between church and state. Your case seems to be made upon the assumption that because there is no specific mention of "separation of church and state" within the Constitution or its first ten amendments, or within "official" writings of the "Founding Fathers". I'll grant you the former, however there are examples of the latter which you seem to neglect mentioning.

Also, you mention that many of the original delegates to the Constitutional Convention were, in fact, holders of seminary degrees from various seminary colleges. Many, if not most, colleges in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were constructed and funded by religious organizations. If one wished a college education in those times, one attended such colleges, and many of these colleges offered ONLY seminary degrees to their graduates.

Although you do list some writings by several of the "Founding Fathers" of the United States in support of your assertion, none of those specifically state any intention for the government of the United States to be based upon the Christian religion, nor do any of them specifically deny a design of separation of church and state within the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. There are also many more writings by the same Founding Fathers which you seem to have neglected to include.

You have mentioned the letter of Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association dated January 1, 1802, and indeed a few other writings by the man, yet neglect to include other writings by Mr. Jefferson and other "Founding Fathers" which are extremely relevant to the case you are attempting to make. You also seem very willing to dismiss as evidence personal letters and autobiographical works by these same men when they conflict with your assertions, yet include them when they do not conflict with your assertions. I've found it is the same for their writings which are "official", that is to say pertaining to a specific office of public service in the early United States.

Among the particular writings I've mentioned as not included in your website discussions of the issues involving separation of church and state are:

"Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination."

-Thomas Jefferson, from his autobiographical writings specific to the Virgina Act for Religious Freedom

"And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."

-James Madison in a letter to Edward Livingston, 10 July, 1822.

"As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

-George Washington, Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, 1796

"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

". . . Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind."

-John Adams, from his writings "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America", 1787-1788.

"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. These found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here [England] and in New England."

-Benjamin Franklin, An Essay on Toleration

"Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity in exclusion of all other religions may establish, with the same ease, any particular sect of Christians in exclusion of all other sects? That the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute threepence only of his property for the support of any one establishment may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?"

"Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just Government instituted to secure & perpetuate it needs them not."

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient allies."

"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize, every expanded prospect.

Experience witnesseth that eccelsiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation."

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, suberstition, bigotry and persecution."

    -- James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, addressed to the Virginia General Assemby, June 20, 1785

The above quotations are only a small list of the same from a handful of the Framers of the Constitution. That being the case, I am sure we may agree that the men quoted were extremely influential in the formatioin of, and formative first years of, our beloved nation. These same men, and others whom you contend meant to establish a Christian government for the United States, wrote frequently, vehemently and in depth in repudiation of such a heinous ideal.

Based upon my own examinations, and the examinations of very reputable historians into the lives, writings and work of the Framers of the Constitution of the United States, I must conclude that the intention of your website is not to reveal truth, but to present deception as truth. I find this practice to be cowardly, despicable and dangerous and I urge you to return to sane, reasonable study and publishing regarding the foundation of the United States and the original intent of the framers of this nation, its government and its beloved Constitution.

Sincerely,

-Ken

Fri, 06 May 2011 11:59:48 UTC | #623792

Ode2Hitch's Avatar Comment 20 by Ode2Hitch

Ken,

I think you missed a bit.....

:-)

Fri, 06 May 2011 12:22:56 UTC | #623798

jibanez's Avatar Comment 21 by jibanez

Good on Chris Rodda for making her book available for free! Though I'm a Christian, but I'm more than a bit ashamed of some of the political tactics that others use in the name of relgion, especially mine.

I look forward to reading it and getting a better sense of the scope of the claims.

Fri, 06 May 2011 14:11:26 UTC | #623828

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 22 by KenChimp

Comment 24 by Ode2Hitch :

Ken,

I think you missed a bit.....

:-)

Indeed I did! Fortunately, it is enough to present some empirical evidence to refute a hypothesis. One needn't present all the available evidence. Hehehe. So, I'm a lazy scientist. I plead insanity. My scientific field of expertise is computers, and anyone who works long enough with these infernal, yet indispensable, machines is quite mad, I assure you....and lazy. ;-}

'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.' 'How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice. 'You must be,' said the Cat, 'or you wouldn't have come here.'

-Lewis Carroll, from "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland"

Fri, 06 May 2011 14:16:03 UTC | #623831

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 23 by KenChimp

Comment 22 by Ivan The Not So Bad :

Here is recent article about David Barton from the New York Times.

Of the possible Republican candidates for President, Mike Huckabee describes him as "maybe the greatest living historian on the spiritual nature of America’s early days”, Newt Gingrich declares he will use him as an advisor if elected and Michelle Bachman plans to have Barton lecture Congress on Constitutional history.

Each and every one of these ' politicians' you've mentioned has already shown himself or herself to be an enemy of the liberal principles upon which the United States government and society were founded. It is no surprise to me that they all consider this irresponsible, deceiving fool known as David Barton, to be an expert on American history worthy of their endorsement.

Christianity is not under attack in the United States. Rather it is reason, science and the liberties which provide both with the opportunity to flourish that is under attack in the United States. The aggressors are those theocratic and/or socialist warmongering tyrants who view the sovereign individual with contempt, liberty with ignorance, and education toward critical thinking with fear and hatred. These despicable persons seek to make a hell on earth which rivals, in scope and horror, the very one they profess as an afterlife for 'sinners'.

Fri, 06 May 2011 14:34:20 UTC | #623841

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 24 by AtheistEgbert

Free books is a great idea (hint hint) for spreading atheism. I understand the work, time and love involved in writing, and it's natural people want a reward for their time, but there are sometimes more important things to do than making money.

I hope to do something similar in the future.

Fri, 06 May 2011 14:57:51 UTC | #623846

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 25 by Vorlund

Barton is merely carrying on an ancient tradition of mendacity among Xtians which was started by Saul of Tarsus a notorious conman and liar who invented Xtianity started off all the gibberish.

psuedologues eventually forget where they got off the last load of bullshit and are eventually seen for what they are when they contradict themselves.

Fri, 06 May 2011 15:29:18 UTC | #623852

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 26 by Nunbeliever

Thank you so much Chris Rodda. My weekend is saved :)

Fri, 06 May 2011 16:35:35 UTC | #623866

steveb0503's Avatar Comment 27 by steveb0503

Was watching the Daily Show that particular night and yelled at the TV when I realized just who John was interviewing.

"How could someone who had enough insight to have Sam Harris on his show give this twit any airtime?" I wondered to myself.

And then the tragedy began. He had a genuine opportunity to eviscerate this guy AND his inanity on national television, but unfortunately (due to some apparently poor research on the part of either his staff or John himself) every time he tried to challenge David, or point out an issue where he was either clearly mistake (or flat-out lying), Mr. Barton managed to defuse the situation by doing nothing more substantial than uttering: "No it isn't" - and John, not being properly prepared, simply had to drop that particular line of questioning, giving David an undeserved air of credibility to the uninformed viewer.

It's time the people in this world who are doing everything in their power to distort the facts to promote their ideology are called out, shown wrong (or deceitful), and corrected for all those watching so that these insidious LIES lose their currency in the culture.

AAAAGGGHHHH!!!!

Can you tell I,m P.O.ed?

Fri, 06 May 2011 17:19:33 UTC | #623874

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 28 by KenChimp

Comment 32 by steveb0503 :

Was watching the Daily Show that particular night and yelled at the TV when I realized just who John was interviewing.

"How could someone who had enough insight to have Sam Harris on his show give this twit any airtime?" I wondered to myself.

And then the tragedy began. He had a genuine opportunity to eviscerate this guy AND his inanity on national television, but unfortunately (due to some apparently poor research on the part of either his staff or John himself) every time he tried to challenge David, or point out an issue where he was either clearly mistake (or flat-out lying), Mr. Barton managed to defuse the situation by doing nothing more substantial than uttering: "No it isn't" - and John, not being properly prepared, simply had to drop that particular line of questioning, giving David an undeserved air of credibility to the uninformed viewer.

It's time the people in this world who are doing everything in their power to distort the facts to promote their ideology are called out, shown wrong (or deceitful), and corrected for all those watching so that these insidious LIES lose their currency in the culture.

AAAAGGGHHHH!!!!

Can you tell I,m P.O.ed?

I feel your pain, Steve, and share it. The time is long past due when reasonable people must stand up and shout "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

Fri, 06 May 2011 17:27:25 UTC | #623880

Ai Deng's Avatar Comment 29 by Ai Deng

Actually, I thought Stewart did alright, and was able to expose a very important point at the end of the interview. Mr. Barton stated he is alright with schools in Dearborn, Michigan (where the majority of population is Muslim) implementing policies of Sharia. As Stewart points out, at least the guy is consistent.

This tells me he is willing to screw liberty over in a vain effort to protect an old way of life. This is a culture of fear, and such tactics only exhibit how desperate they are. The majority fears becoming a minority, and current trends with immigration and population growth in various ethnic minorities suggest this will occur. Not that I expect them just to lay down, but this is just a process in life, things die, things are born.

Fri, 06 May 2011 17:34:34 UTC | #623881

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 30 by Nunbeliever

I live in Finland which is a vastly secular country and this is what I find truelly fascinating. USA is one of the few democracies with a constitution that explicitly endorses a separation of church and state. Finland has a state religion (actually two). Still, in practice the finnish government is much more secular than the american government. In fact finnish politicians rarely discuss religion because it is considered awkward. We even have a christian party that hardly ever brings forth religiious views in public. The fact that we have a state church might be inconvenient at times but is largely irrelevant in practice. The state church has a few benefits and are allowed to raise taxes, but in practice the state church deals with mostly secular tasks not in any way exclusive to believers. The state church of Finland is much like CoE. A very beaurocratic and boring institution that mostly doesn't even deal with any religious issues. In practice it is pretty much an institution like any other. On the contrary USA has no state church but is a truelly secular country from an adminstrative perspective. Still, in practice USA is one of the most religious countries in the western world. While we ignore the religious nature of our constitution USA ignores the seculare nature of its constitution.

This is in itself quite absurd. But, my point is. The whole discussion of what the founding fathers meant or did not mean is totally irrelevant to whether a country ought to be secular or not. The fact that americans are so interested in discussing legal formalities just goes to show that USA has never really been or will not in a forseeable future be a secular nation in any way. Who cares what the constitution says about separation of church and state. We finns certainly don't. We don't even need to mention this since it is a in large a no-brainer. I don't say we religion does not in any way influence political decisions in Finland. It does and there are things we ought to change. But, the discussion of whether the state is secular or not is largely a non-sequitur although the constitution clearly states we have a state church. You don't see christians in Finland quoting the constitution demanding political power. To the extent that religious discuss the relation between religion and the government they claim Finland and our national culture is shaped by christian values and customs. It think that claim can be refuted but that is beside my point. My point is that no one cares about what the constitution has to say about the relation between religion and the state. Even if the consitution clearly says we have a state church. I don't say it is bad to have a constitution that clearly endoreses a separation between church and state. In fact I think it is something you americans can be proud of. And if it is not I am sorry to say no constitution in the world is going to change that. What I am saying is that secularity ought to be a non-sequitur in any modern democracy. It should be the most important thing in the world. Much like you don't really have to explicitly forbid fascism or other un-democratic principles in the constitution, or even human rights. These things are in practice merely curiosa. They reflect a part of a nation's history. A period of time when human rights and democracy were not granted or the most natural things in the world.

Fri, 06 May 2011 17:47:28 UTC | #623884