Because It's Completely Innacurate. Thank You, Chris Rodda
By now, most of you are aware of the fact that the tome of bullshit that was vomited out by David Barton, titled “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson” has been dropped by Thomas Nelson publishers. Really, we should have known something was wrong by the simple fact that the foreword was penned by Glenn Beck. Nevermind that this has been covered by the Tennessean, USA Today and others. No, the real hero of our story is a brilliant investigative journalist named
Here’s basically what happened:
“Nashville-based Thomas Nelson Publishers has canceled a controversial best-seller by David Barton, an influential evangelical leader, because the book contains historical errors. Barton’s book, “The Jefferson Lies,” claims to expose liberal myths about Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the nation’s third president.
But a group of conservative scholars says Barton’s take on Jefferson is factually untrue. And a group of ministers from Cincinnati called on Nelson to cancel the book. Casey Francis Harrell, director of corporate communications for Thomas Nelson, said the publisher had gotten several complaints about the book and found enough errors to cancel it.”
If anyone deserves to heap on a multitude of “I told you so’s,” to the entire planet, it’s Chris Rodda. She’s been onto Barton for quite a while. To say that her 2006 book, “Liars For Jesus” is informative is like saying Mount Rushmore is a statue. In fact, you should go to her website of the same name and spend some time watching her video series on historical revisionists, including some mind-blowing videos on the Beck-Barton duo. There are also segments of the book available for online reading.
Her work has been widely distributed on The Huffington Post (here as well), as well as Talk To Action. The sheer amount of data that Chris has compiled is staggering, and the detail and research that has gone into her investigation into Barton and his shenanigans puts her square in definition of “expert.” You can pretty much bet good money that most of the authors, writers and bloggers who have written about Barton have been able to do so because of Chris’ research.
On October 25, 2008, Chris presented a copy of her book to Barton while attending a presentation she was giving. A book which, as I stated, debunks many of his lies. Three months later, she ended up the topic of a segment on his radio show in which he did what he does best. Lie. So Chris did one of the things she does best. Made a video. As do any researcher worth their salt, the information is exhaustive, accurate and well documented. It is also very long, so she split it up into nine segments.
You can start here:
Barton Brought Down…!
Hardly. Even Chris understands this, and has stated so the other day in her blog:
“I want to say that anyone who thinks that Barton’s book being pulled means that Barton has been “taken down,” as some articles are putting it, is wrong. Barton has not been taken down by any stretch of the imagination. His supporters have not lost “faith” in him, and he will find a way to spin this into something that makes him a hero.”
If there is anything that the fundamentalist excels at, it is how to play the martyr card. Considering that Thomas Nelson has never before canceled publication of a New York Times best-seller, this is likely to be spun into something on the level of the actual (sic) crucifixion. In fact, Chris is making predictions on her Facebook page, and invites everyone to join in the fun:
“I’ve already made some predictions on my Facebook page about how I think he’s going to do it. My Facebook page is also where I’ve been talking about this whole Barton thing, so, while I’m too busy to spend much time blogging, please visit me on Facebook.”
In fact, as you are reading this, Chris is working on another the book that debunks Barton’s Jefferson book. I have no doubt it will be on par with what we’ve come to expect from her.
For old times sake, I have to include a few words about Mike Huckabee’s comments regarding David Barton during the Rediscover God in America conference that was held in Iowa during March of 2011. I do this because it was another story covered by Chris, and it focused on Huckabee’s off-hand comment that,
“…almost wished all Americans would be forced — forced at gunpoint no less — to listen to every David Barton message.”
Wait, what? Yes, Mike Huckabee stated that he wished all Americans should be forced at gunpoint to listen to Barton. I know he was joking, but the sad thing is that there are undoubtedly followers of Barton who actually believe this. If you think I am being paranoid, you obviously have not been following the attempts by the religious right to turn this country into a Theocracy – by force, if necessary.
The final video of Huckabee’s introduction was edited to redact the statement, but Chris was one of the “quick-at-mouse” who saved the original video:
The offending remark starts right around the one minute mark, for those of you who become physically ill at the sound of Huckabee’s voice.
On the one hand, you have your run-of-the-mill fundamentalists who regularly blur the lines between religion and politics by their consistent attempts to either change or mutate existing legislation to reflect their particularly heinous brand of morality. We know them well, and many of us easily debunk their ill-founded beliefs by using actual historical documents to show how wrong they are.
However, historical revisionists attempt to change the past in order to justify the rhetoric that comes from the religious right. Kind of reminds of the scene from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” where they bend time to their will:
Or, more relevant, this little nugget of cognitive dissonance:
“Dinosaurs fossils were planted by Satan to throw us on the wrong track, and away from the Lord. “Dinosaurs” never roamed the earth, and they never breathed. They only exist in the fossil state. Do not let Satan lead you away from the unaissailable truth the Bible, which is God’s unfaillible word.”
The above is a comment on the Anti-Evolution website, but over the years I have heard this come from a lot of young earth creationists and it is a typical example of revisionism, but in the science genre. It is much like:
“The universe was created mature, with apparent age. Light from the sun and stars fell on the earth from its beginning.” – Philip Gosse / Henry M. Morris
Barton and his ilk are beyond disingenuous. They are dangerous, and we all owe a debt of gratitude to those who make it their priority to bring their lies to the forefront. In my opinion, nobody does this better than Chris Rodda. I look forward with great anticipation to her next book, and if you want to learn all about David Barton, you would do good to bypass everyone else and go to the source.
Read Chris Rodda…