Tuesday, March 24, 2009

David Barton: Liar

Thanks to Explicit Atheist for pointing this out in a comments section below.

A few months back, I recall posting a brief video done by Chris Rodda, author of the book, Liars of Jesus. In the video, Rodda attends a religious gathering featuring none other than history revisionist David Barton. At the conclusion of the meeting, Rodda approaches Barton and presents him with a copy of her book. Simple enough. I thought that would be the end of it. Oh but was I wrong.

A few months later, David Barton, on his radio program, mentioned Chris Rodda and portrayed the meeting as one in which Barton completely and utterly confounded the "clueless" Rodda by expounding upon his wealth of historical "knowledge."

Well, Ms. Rodda has not backed down (and good for her). In a series of Youtube posts, Rodda has exposed Barton for what he is: a liar. See for yourself. I know many of you hate video clips, but please give this a chance. Rodda does a very thorough rebuttal of Barton in a way that he has NO ground to stand on:

Clip 1:


Clip 2:


Clip 3:


Clip 4:


Clip 5:


Clip 6:


Clip 7:


Clip 8:


Clip 9:


What a fantastic set of videos! I chose to post all of them because Rodda does such an excellent job in each clip. Let me be the first to say, well done Ms. Rodda! You absolutely obliterated David Barton and exposed him for what he is: an utter fraud! I look forward to reading the words of Barton apologists as they try to "twist" all of this. Good luck. But PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEOS!

149 comments:

Raven said...

I just finished watching these videos and Rodda kicks Barton's lying ass! The best Barton debunking I have ever seen. How can anyone give Barton the time of day after seeing this.

Rodda, baby, I LOOOOVE YOU!!!

Scott Case said...

Thank you for posting these videos. This is a pretty complete exposure of the lies and half-truths of Mr. Barton. I know some on this blog do not appreciate it when Barton is exposed but I for one (and I believe I am not alone) really appreciate posts like this. Rodda obviously took her time and prepared a virtually "bullet-proof" presentation that leaves Barton in the dust. Thanks for posting these videos.

Brad Hart said...

Hmmmmmm...Barton is back with a vengeance here at American Creation!

Having watched all nine videos, I think it's fair to say that Rodda does in fact expose Barton on a number of historical errors. But is anyone surprised? Honestly? I think, for the most part, there's a general consensus on this blog that Barton is far from a credible "historian." Rodda simply adds further credence to this notion.

Is Barton a Christian revisionist? Yes. Is he a liar? I'm not going to go that far. I do not know his intent. Perhaps he is simply not that thorough in his research, but that doesn't make the man a liar.

I'm not trying to stick up for the guy or anything like that. I find his work to be quite lacking myself. However, let's be careful with labels like "liar."

Scott Case said...

Mr Hart:

I do not believe that it is inappropriate for Ms. Shuman, Raven, Ms. Rodda or myself to label Barton a liar, and here is why:

Do you recall in the videos above how many times Barton cited only half of a source? At least more than 4 times. Do you recall the times that Rodda pointed out how Barton simply changed words in a source to better fit his interpretation? More than once. Do you recall the times that Barton simply made stuff up to fit his presentation? Remember the alleged Jefferson University/religion connection? That was an outright lie.

Protecting historical integrity can be a messy proposition in that nobody wants to accuse a fellow colleague of having gone too far. However, in this particular case, Barton makes it easy and very necessary. I cannot recall how many times Ms. Rodda mentions how Barton's "fans" simply follow him like blind bats. This is why "Barton bashing" is so important. Nobody is attacking the man personally. I do not recall a single instance in the video when Ms. Rodda made things personal. She was quite professional and appropriate.

If we cannot expose the lies of Christian revisionists then what is the point of having a blog on this subject? Barton and his lies are a legitimate topic that need to be exposed, and I appreciate the time and effort that Ms. Rodda took to do just that.

Brad Hart said...

Mr. Case:

With all due respect, I think you may have misunderstood what I was getting at. I agree 100% with you and Ms. Rodda that David Barton is far from a credible “historian,” and I too greatly appreciate Ms. Rodda’s attempts to expose the errors in Mr. Barton’s work (in fact, I have even subscribed to Ms. Rodda’s Youtube page in the hopes that I can be notified of any future videos she may choose to make).

With all of that said, I still feel squeamish about labeling Barton a “liar.” None of us know the inner workings/intentions of Mr. Barton. Did he make mistakes? Yes. Nobody is going to deny that. However, I know that I am guilty of having made some mistakes in my school papers in the past. Everyone does. Sometimes you inadvertently take a quote out of context, forget to site something accurately, etc. It happens. We all do the best we can but in the end we are all human. Is there anyone here who believes they have NEVER EVER made a mistake in their writing?

Now, I am not saying this as an excuse for Barton. It’s obvious from Rodda’s work that he got a lot of things wrong. Let’s also keep in mind that despite his self-anointing as the premiere scholar of early American religious history, Barton IS NOT a historian. He’s a prominent religious figure making a layman’s attempt at history with no training, or experience of any kind. Now, I am not saying that a “layman” can’t produce good history. Of course they can. But Barton has obviously had his struggles.

By calling Barton a liar, you are insinuating that the man had malicious intent to deceive his readers/followers, and that he willfully changed the historical record for his own purposes. Thus far, I see no evidence of this type of behavior. Barton may suck at research and history, but I see no ground for calling him a liar. None at all.

jimmiraybob said...

Brad Hart - on a number of historical errors....but I see no ground for calling him a liar. None at all.

It goes well beyond a few "historical errors". Barton uses a number of blatantly dishonest techniques to paint false impressions of our political and religious heritage. What good is knowing what dishonesty is and what a lie is if we're not willing to use it as a measure of ethical behavior?

As to what his intent is, I'd suggest visiting his web site or use the miracle of Google. Barton is an evangelical Christian activist in reformulating the history of our founding to advance the Christian Nation agenda.

He is a liar by commission as well as by omission. These lies have been perpetuated now for over a decade and each lie always - always - favor only the conclusion that Barton wants his audience to embrace (fitting the facts to the conclusion). This is overwhelmingly documented by Chris Rodda who's work is readily available for critique. She is certainly not alone in providing ample evidence of a history of abusing the facts and the truth in pursuit of his agenda. It is a pattern of behavior. He is a repeat offender. With a clear agenda. It's not that hard to see.

His refusal to stop producing false and misleading history until he can sharpen his research skills is tantamount to major malpractice if there was some way to hold him accountable - but keeping himself and his work outside of an academic setting prevents any responsible oversight. In the meantime his propaganda is unquestioningly spun off by the faithful who want to believe the lies.

Why would anyone with intellectual integrity and a desire to advance the truth of our founding and religious heritage continue to provide cover for Barton? When do you call a lie a lie?

bpabbott said...

Brad: "However, let's be careful with labels like 'liar.' "

It may be possible that Barton at some point told lies and was ignorant that he was doing so.

However, it there any reason to expect he remains ignorant? ... and if so, is he not deserving of an even more derogatory term?

Barton is to be taken seriously as an activist, but not as a historian.

I am unaware of anything original content in what Barton promotes as [sic] history that qualifies as accurate, but have been exposed to a great deal whose qualification falls between erroneous and fraudulent.

Scott Case said...

Mr. Hart:

Ok, you "feel squeamish" about calling David Barton a liar. I can respect that I guess. I will take that burden on myself then.

Hart's quote:

By calling Barton a liar, you are insinuating that the man had malicious intent to deceive his readers/followers, and that he willfully changed the historical record for his own purposes.

Yes! Barton is intentionally trying to deceive those who accept his work as absolute historical truth. There's no doubt in my mind, and Rodda's work only strengthens my belief.

I want to change topics a little bit because I think it's important to note a particular trick used by Barton and most of the religious right when it comes to their interpretation of history. In Ms. Rodda's videos above, David Barton, along with his "Robin" counterpart Rick Green, regularly attack academia for being "biased," "liberal," "secular," and "revisionist." While this may be true of some historians (there are always a few screw-looses in every professional field) it is not true of the overwhelming majority of historians who are professional in their work.

Speaking for myself, I think it is appropriate to mention that fact that I am an extremely conservative Republican and Christian. I voted for McCain, despise the agenda of Obama, listen to Rush Limbaugh, watch FOX News, and go to church almost every Sunday. The reason I say this is because I loathe attempts made by Barton and others to categorize my chosen profession (history) as the domain of the "liberal, socialist-loving, God-hating secularists." I stand against all of that. This is a trick that I have grown weary of, and it doesn't do Barton any favors.

As even Ms. Rodda pointed out, she did not attend a "liberal" academy where her` mind was somehow "cleansed" of all conservative thought. She gained her insight on her own accord. I feel that I am the same way. I can assure you all that I am probably the most conservative follower you have on this blog.

I'm not trying to get into politics here. I'm simply trying to say that Barton's lame attacks against "those liberal, communist, anti-American, anti-gun" people of academia makes him look more like a redneck NASCAR fan than anything else. He needs to actually learn how to address his critics, which is hard to do when you are a bona fide, exposed liar.

Yes, David Barton is a liar.

Brad Hart said...

Jimmyraybog, Ben Abbott, and Scott Case:

None of you are going to hear a disagreement from me when it comes to Barton's obvious historical errors. I am 100% with you on that. He's been exposed so many times in the past that I find it astounding when people (Our Founding Truth comes to mind) esteem him as a legitimate historian. I guess willful ignorance knows no bounds.

However, your insistence in calling Barton a liar seems irresponsible to me. Do any of you possess a crystal ball that allows you to read then inner thoughts of Mr. Barton?

History is not a cut-and-dry enterprise. So much of it is left to the eyes of the beholder. Even here at American Creation we have seen how a different perspective can lead to some “heated” exchanges. Now, Barton's perspective is clearly off by leaps and bounds. His interpretation is obviously influenced by his unquenchable desire to portray every founder as an Evangelical Christian. You are all right when you point out his ridiculous errors on this matter.

But a liar? I just can't get there. Since we are all expressing our views, I think it's worth mentioning that I worked as a cop for roughly 5 years. During that time I met a LARGE number of liars, cheats, etc. I have no problem with calling someone a liar when I see it. My reasons for not doing so now are because none of us...NONE OF US...know the inner working of David Barton's mind. Perhaps he really does believe that a $50.00 donation to Jefferson's school does support his belief that the university supported religion. We have not caught him in an outright lie…not yet!

I guess my point is this: I DON'T KNOW, and as a result, I am willing to give Barton the benefit of the doubt. That's certainly what I would want if my work came under fire for its integrity. The man has never plagiarized anything (at least to my knowledge), which would be an outright demonstration of deceit. Instead, we are attacking (rightfully so) his sources. And yes, many of them are crap. But does this make someone a liar?

Too much gray area for that claim!

Chris Rodda said...

While we can't, as Brad wrote, know the inner workings of David Barton's mind, I do know the inner workings of my own mind, and want to give a little explanation of just how I decide whether or not I'm justified in coming right out and calling a particular history revisionist a liar.

My biggest deciding factor is their footnotes. If their footnotes are to the original documents, as many of Barton's are, and they repeatedly misquote or edit these documents, and all of the editing clearly has the result of changing the meaning of all of these documents to fit the same conclusion, I'm going to call them a liar because they were looking at the original document and deliberately altered or misrepresented what it said.

Now, there are other cases in which I won't go as far as calling someone a liar, and a big factor in this decision is also their footnotes. If they obviously copied the footnotes of someone else, and most likely did not look at the original sources themselves, then they are guilty of shoddy scholarship, but may actually believe what they are copying, and I have to give them the benefit of the doubt. A good example of this is Congressman Randy Forbes's House Resolution 888, a proposed resolution for a religious heritage week in which Forbes copied a number of Barton's lies. If you look at Forbes's footnotes, there is no question that he just copied these footnotes from Barton's book. How can I be so sure of this? Well, the footnotes are identical, including the same mistakes. Now, what are the chances that both Barton and Forbes made exactly the same mistake in exactly the same footnotes. There are also two cases in which Forbes, quoting only a sentence or two from certain documents in the records of Congress, has footnotes for them containing multiple, non-consecutive page numbers, although the brief passages he quoted appear on a single page. Amazingly, If you look at Barton's footnotes for those particular documents in his book, you see that Barton cited the same multiple and non-consecutive pages, because he had quoted much longer passages from these documents, which did span several pages. So, I think its safe to accuse Forbes of not looking at the original documents, but simply copying Barton's footnotes.

Then there are those who are obviously just completely clueless, and I'll call them stupid, but not liars. One of the ones in this category was the late D. James Kennedy, who clearly didn't know enough about history to get the lies right when he paraphrased them, resulting in some almost comical versions of some of them.

bpabbott said...

Brad: "By calling Barton a liar, you are insinuating that the man had malicious intent to deceive his readers/followers, and that he willfully changed the historical record for his own purposes."

Personally, I think he lies, but not for malicious reasons. I expect he believes his actions are for the greater good.

That said, I also believe he intentinally introduces deceptions, distortions, misrepresentions, and fraud into his presentation of the historical record ... all in order to support his activism.

Not to offend anyone, but while I don't qualify Barton's actions or his intent as being evil, I do think he has knowledge of his lies ... even if his motive might be altruistic.

Thus, "liar" works for me.

Brad Hart said...

Ms. Rodda:

First off, thanks for making these videos. I for one greatly enjoyed them and believe you did an excellent job in exposing many of Barton's falsehoods.

I do have a question: Since you have seen these Barton footnotes more than us, how much was actually changed? Depending on how much he changed things I might be willing to jump on the "LIAR" bandwagon. Did he change a word here and there, or was the entire meaning of a quote changed to fit his agenda? I know you mention a couple examples in your video, but I'd like to know more.

Oh, and by the way, I couldn't agree more about D. James Kennedy. That guy's stuff is great to read if you need a good laugh!

Lindsey Shuman said...

Darn! I was hoping to read the lame excuses provided by some of our resident Christian Nationalists when I got on here this morning. Instead we are debating whether or not to call Barton a liar. Oh well.

Here's the thing. Regardless of whether or not we choose to call Barton a liar (as for myself, yes, he's a liar) he obviously is a terrible historian. Nobody (as of yet) has disagreed. Yes Brad, I too am excited to hear Our Founding Truth explain this one withour resorting to his typical "none of you know the Bible, you are just a bunch of liberal secularists" B.S.

So for now, I am content to have this meaningless debate over Barton being a blatant liar or not. The most important thing is that we all recognize just how pathetic Barton's work is. He has no foot to stand on.

Thanks, Chris Rodda for taking the time! Also, please check in with us from time to time. We'd love to hear from you!

Chris Rodda said...

Brad...

If you want to see just how deceptive Barton is, I would suggest reading one of the sample chapters of my book on my website. I go into much more detail in the book, breaking Barton's lies down point by point to show just how he distorted things to create them. Read the part of the chapter on the Northwest Ordinance (which is available as a free PDF on my site) about how Barton distorts the state constitutions in order to lead his readers to the conclusion that Congress, as a condition of statehood, required all of the states to include religious education in their public schools. I don't think you'll be able to read this and still believe that Barton just happened to get that many state constitution facts and quotes wrong by accident.

Chris Rodda said...

Lindsey wrote: "Thanks, Chris Rodda for taking the time! Also, please check in with us from time to time. We'd love to hear from you!"

You're welcome. And I really don't know why I don't come to this blog more often. Every time I have come here, usually when Jon Rowe posts a link to something here on our mutual friend Ed Brayton's blog, I've ended up reading a bunch of other really interesting posts and thinking I should come here more often.

Lindsey Shuman said...

Yes you should!!!

=)

jimmiraybob said...

To practice a pattern of behavior that includes propagating known discredited work in order to create a false impression is a lie.

To practice a pattern of behavior that includes deliberate manipulation of the data in order to create a false impression is a lie.

To bear false witness is to lie.

Brad - if you really feel that Mr. Barton is only a bad "historian" and that his work is discredited then you should get in touch with him immediately and ask him to cease and desist his behavior - a behavior of deliberately and selectively manipulating the data to create an impression that is clearly at odds with a reasonable non-selective, non agenda driven interpretation.

Whether by intent or not he is propagating false and misleading conclusions in support of a clear agenda and ALL of his "errors" do support his agenda, which strongly suggest intent.

He is more than an advocate of a controversial conclusion reached by an honest evaluation of the facts and people depend on him to be as diligent as possible and he is failing them. If what he is saying is blatantly false (and I think that there is clear evidence of that), he and his believers should be made aware so that they can stop bearing false witness.

In addition to his historical revisionist work just listen to him on Rodda's posting. He clearly says things on the radio that are false in order to create a false impression for the listeners. He bears false witness. And in doing so is maliciously maligning Ms. Rodda to diminish her standing.

Prov 24:28 (KJV) Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.

Ex 23:1 (KJV) Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Dan said...

I am so sick and tired of all the anti-David Barton rants on this blog. Don;t any of you know how to think for yourselves? You watch these videos made by someone with an axe to grind and you call them "bulletproof." Give me a break.

David Barton has changed the way history is done. Didn't you see for yourselves in one of the clips when Baron exposes the lies in "The Godless Constitution?" And Rodda simply side-steps the issue by sweeping it under the rug.

Barton takes history at face value. He looks at the actual writings of the founders, not what some Ph.D. with an axe to grind has to say. Ph.D.'s usually have to cater to what their department wants, making their history quite liberal and biased. That's a fact.

I bet Barton has read more works from the founders than everyone on this blog put together. I'd bet on that. It's obvious that American Creation is just a sesspool for secularism and nothing more. I've all but given up on this blog, but this stuff on Barton made me come back.

Barton isn't the liar...YOU ALL ARE. Like Rodda is some kind of objective writer. Look at the title of her book. LIARS FOR JESUS. That says it all. She has an axe to grind.

If you want to really know the founding legacy you need to read both the Bible and the words of the founders together. you will see just how similar they are.

Dan said...

Oh come on Jimmyraybob...or whatever your name is.

Tell me, when did Barton lie? One example will do. In what way is he twisting history?

You can't name a time because there isn't a single example. He's not lying.

Brad Hart said...

I believe it was Aristotle who said, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't teach him how to fish."

Ok, Aristotle didn't say that. Dan, the point is this: If you can't see the obvious errors in Barton's work then you never will. Rodda made it as plain as can be. Did you even watch the videos?

Atkinson says:

David Barton has changed the way history is done.

Well, you're right about that one!!!

Chris Rodda said...

Actually, the title "Liars For Jesus" came from an Episcopalian who got me started using the term. The term itself was coined on the old Compuserve message boards, and since it was people on a message board where I was debating about history, including that Episcopalian and the Lutheran minister who ended up writing the book's foreword, who initially started pushing me to write a book, and then encouraged me throughout the long process of writing it, I wanted the book's title to have a connection to the internet message board where the idea for it was hatched.

Our Founding Truth said...

Your post is weak to say the least, unless you provide specifics on Barton's errors. It doesn't surprise me coming from this blog though.

Jonathan Rowe said...

OFT,

You are supposed to listen to Rodda's video's for Barton's errors. We've got her attention on this thread. Why don't you post something substantive based on her remarks in her videos?

Jonathan Rowe said...

Dan,

Apparently you aren't well versed in philosophical debate. Does Rodda have an axe to grind? Perhaps. But SO DOES BARTON. (Or are you going to say with a straight face that while Rodda has no axe to grind, Barton does).

And by the way, the assertion that someone has an "axe to grind" is a logically fallacy known as the genetic fallacy. It proves nothing for your argument, although it may explain someone's motive for distorting truth.

That is someone with an axe to grind may still be right. Indeed, all Christians when they try to argue the Bible as historically true, do so because they have an "axe to grind." Therefore what? Only non-Christians should be taken seriously when they argue whether the Bible is historically true?

Our Founding Truth said...

The Jefferson signing "In the Year of our Lord Christ" is a weak take, I bet you wish you had back.

Would Jefferson have signed a document that said in the year of Satan, or anyone else? The point is, he put his name to it, and he knew it was there. You need something more than that; where is it?

Although I don't agree with everything David Barton says, the fact is, you're a rude woman, who had the audacity to disturb David Barton in a time of worship. Nice judgment on your part! What you did is the definition of rudeness!

Chris Rodda said...

Actually, I didn't approach Barton until after the worship service, if you can call a Barton presentation, (which was really a political event right before the election) a worship service. I politely waited until after the church's pastor got up and ended the meeting, directing people who wanted to talk to church representatives as to where they could find them. I have all this on video, clearly showing that I did not interrupt the actual meeting, but waited until after the pastor's remarks on how to vote and his closing prayer.

Even Barton, in his story on his radio show, said I went up to him after the meeting.

Our Founding Truth said...

I will give you this, you could be right about that letter from John Adams to Ben Rush on the Holy Ghost. Does that mean he is a liar? I've found some errors in your writings as well, should I call you a liar? I'm sure everyone interprets incorrectly.

I guess you would have to prove he intentionally lied.

Our Founding Truth said...

Chris Rodda: Actually, I didn't approach Barton until after the worship service, if you can call a Barton presentation, (which was really a political event right before the election) a worship service.

So, it was worship? It sounds like the music is playing, that happens at churches. If it wasn't worship(but a meeting), I take back what I said, but, it sounds like worship music to me.

Brad Hart said...

You are un-freaking-believable, OFT. Rodda does a very good job of shooting down the myths of Barton's "scholarship" and you have the audacity to criticize her for some mundane issue like approaching Barton at a meeting?

Oh well. It's obvious that you have found yourself in a pickle. I like how you are now backtracking by saying, "I don't agree with everything Barton says." In a previous thread you called Barton "one of the best historians" on this subject.

You and your argument are TOAST!!! Deal with it!!!

Chris Rodda said...

Our Founding Truth write: "I've found some errors in your writings as well, should I call you a liar?"

Please give me some specific examples.

Chris Rodda said...

Cool ... Huffington Post just published my piece containing these videos. I submitted it a few days ago, but wasn't sure if they'd publish it. It's not really a news story. But, I always submit all my pieces there anyway, and they've actually published several of the non-newsy ones that I didn't really expect them to.

The title of the full piece is "Don't Mess With Me, David Barton." Here's the link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-rodda/dont-mess-with-me-david-b_b_177687.html

Brad Hart said...

OFT writes:

I will give you this, you could be right about that letter from John Adams to Ben Rush on the Holy Ghost. Does that mean he is a liar? I've found some errors in your writings as well, should I call you a liar? I'm sure everyone interprets incorrectly.

Well, as Rodda points out (using the primary source mind you) Barton changed words, and omited some major sections of the letter.

Hard to defend Barton on that one.

BTW, congrats on getting this piece published in the Huffington Post. I hope Barton will see it.

Our Founding Truth said...

Oh well. It's obvious that you have found yourself in a pickle. I like how you are now backtracking by saying, "I don't agree with everything Barton says." In a previous thread you called Barton "one of the best historians" on this subject.>

What does a great historian have to do with me not agreeing with everything he writes?

Brad Hart said...

So you still insist that Barton is a "great historian?"

Chris Rodda said...

The even more damning thing about Barton's misquoting of the Adams letter is that he actually has an accurate transcription of it on his own freakin' website. As I said in my video, he owns this letter. But, lest anyone think that Barton's accurate transcription on his website somehow exonerates him, he only posts the whole letter in a piece in which he fudges what the letter was a response to, so nobody's likely to be paying attention to the holy ghost part of it.

The very last paragraph of Adams's letter was on the unrelated subject of Benjamin Rush hoping for a reconciliation between Jefferson and Adams, so Barton says Adams's letter was a reply to another letter from Rush about that. Without an explanation of the context of Adams's holy ghost comments actually being in response to the Rush letter that I quoted in my video, Barton doesn't have to misquote them in his piece about Rush's hopes for an Adams/Jefferson reconciliation. In Barton's context, his readers wouldn't know what Adams was referring to in the rest of the letter, and would probably only be looking the last paragraph about Jefferson.

Our Founding Truth said...

Our Founding Truth write: "I've found some errors in your writings as well, should I call you a liar?"

Please give me some specific examples.>

How about your twisting of John Adams' use of the word "ought to" does not mean "should" in celebrating the DOI? You attack Forbes for claiming the celebration as a religious holiday; where does he say that? It could be that he's speaking of a celebration as Adams is. You conveniently delete the rest of Forbes' context, so we can't see exactly what he means. Adams said the revolution was based on the Bible(Moral Law)!

Or how about you claiming our government never prayed to Jesus?

And you saying Jefferson and Madison could be for separation of church and state for our country, but ok for our people to give money to other countries(Indian nations) to support religion. Madison and Jefferson specifically said "any government"

From this: "Religion, Morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

you get this: "The final language that ended up in Article III only gave the government authority to promote education. The first part of the sentence was turned into nothing more than an ineffectual opinion of what was necessary to good government."

You have to be kidding me? You say that, when the Congress says religion is necessary to good government and the happiness of man? What religion are you talking about, taoism? You can't see they are linking education with religion(Christianity) in the schools? Give me a break?
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2008/1/4/24725/53989

You're opening yourself up to attack, so, take it easy on Barton, unless you want the same heat you give him. However, I won't go into your church and disturb you.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Be careful what you say, Tom. Rodda absolutely destroys Barton in these videos. Watch and you will see for yourself. And if not, I'd love to hear how you twist it.

Gee, Lindsey, see if you can be a little more open in your hostility. I don't source Barton; I don't read him. And I don't twist. People say that when they have no legitimate answers to legitimate evidence.

I'll be skipping these proceedings. I'm not interested in personalities, sorry. I read Ms. Rodda's Northwest Ordinance chapter awhile back. She did well.

The point is that Barton's errors [or dishonesty, I'm not getting into that] are used to challenge everything he says about the religious origins of the Founding. But that's bad history too. [I'm not accusing Ms. Rodda of this, BTW.]

Should Ms. Rodda or anyone else care to hang around here more often, I'd welcome them. There is plenty of good evidence to be discussed that even Mr. Barton can't taint.

jimmiraybob said...

Dan - Oh come on Jimmyraybob...or whatever your name is.
Tell me, when did Barton lie? One example will do. In what way is he twisting history?
You can't name a time because there isn't a single example. He's not lying.


It's obvious that you and OFT share in Barton's agenda. Neither you or OFT have done anything in your writing here to convince me that you are anything other than willing participants in Barton's presentation of deception as history. Your attitude is a disservice to the honest brokers on this blog. There is more than enough evidence made available by Chris Rodda to make the case.

But just one instance that she cites is the case of Adam's December 21, 1809 letter to Rush. Barton deliberately selects a portion of the text to present an impression that is not borne out by reading the letter in the whole (that he changed some of the words in his oral presentation, while suspicious, might be written off as careless). He states that Adam's wrote:

"The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this Earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a Sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost...

"There is no authority civil or religious: There can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation."

His intent in selecting this portion is to portray an impression that Adams is advocating for the Holy Ghost as necessary to legitimize government and is completely at odds with the meaning of the writer. In whole, the paragraph is as follows"

"The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this Earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a Sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost, who is transmitted from age to age by laying the hands of the Bishop on the heads of candidates for the Ministry. In the same manner as the Holy Ghost is transmitted from monarch to monarch by the holy oil in the vial at Rheims which was brought down from Heaven by a dove and by that other phial [vial] which I have seen in the Tower of London. There is no authority civil or religious: There can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation. Although this is all artifice and cunning in the secret original in the heart, yet they all believe it so sincerely that they would lie down their lives under the ax or the fiery fagots [wood used for burning individuals at the stake] for it. Alas, the poor weak ignorant dupe human nature. There is so much king craft, priest craft, gentlemen’s craft, people’s craft, doctors craft, lawyers craft, merchants craft, tradesmen’s craft, laborers craft and Devil’s craft in the world that it seems a desperate and impractical project to undeceive it." (the Original is at Wall Builders) - highlighted portions are what were omitted in Barton's oral presentations.

From here on you can take the trouble of viewing the video and attempting a refutation.

While I believe that Mr. Hart is sincere in his hesitance to brand Barton a liar, and I'm very sympathetic to that, I also believe that it's a bar set too high to have to look into a persons mind to discern motive. Barton has established a pattern of deceptive behavior, always in favor of his political agenda, that betrays his intent.

So Dan, if you don't believe that repeated manipulation and deception in order to create a false impression is morally wrong that is your problem. Perhaps you can provide the Biblical sources to justify bearing false witness.

Lindsey Shuman said...

Tom writes:

I'll be skipping these proceedings. I'm not interested in personalities, sorry

Of course you will...you haven't a let to stand on and you know it. But it's just as well. You'd probably just get in the way.


You also write:

Gee, Lindsey, see if you can be a little more open in your hostility. I don't source Barton; I don't read him. And I don't twist. People say that when they have no legitimate answers to legitimate evidence.

But you sure do get mad when people point out his errors. What's the deal, Tom? Sounds like you're a bit of a closet Christian Nationalist to me.

Pinky said...

.
I never wanted to come out and call David Barton a liar; but, that is what he is and a bald faced one at that.
.
I referenced his book, The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers, in my recent post and showed that he played "fast and loose" with the truth and that is just exactly what his kind of liar does.
.
And, what is so despicable about his type is that they stand in pulpits conniving the gullible all day long. And, they give honest theologians a black eye.

.

Pinky said...

Thanks to Chris Rodda for a great presentation.

Our Founding Truth said...

t's obvious that you and OFT share in Barton's agenda. Neither you or OFT have done anything in your writing here to convince me that you are anything other than willing participants in Barton's presentation of deception as history.>

Take a hike! You don't know me! I never said I agreed with everything Barton said, so go get a haircut!

Lindsey Shuman said...

But you did call him a "great historian."

Our Founding Truth said...

But you did call him a "great historian.">

He is a great historian. Do you make mistakes? You need to catch him purposely deceiving people, have you did that?

Tom Van Dyke said...

But you sure do get mad when people point out his errors. What's the deal, Tom? Sounds like you're a bit of a closet Christian Nationalist to me.

Do you even read this blog, Lindsey? Just last week I wrote that Barton's errors have hurt his cause. Look, you got what you wanted, our ritual Barton bloodletting. You can play with Dan and OFT. Enjoy.

Chris Rodda said...

OFT wrote: "How about your twisting of John Adams' use of the word 'ought to' does not mean 'should' in celebrating the DOI?"

The phrase "ought to" was commonly used in those days to mean causing something or resulting in something, and that's how Adam's was using it. But, my main point in my rebuttal of Forbes was that he only included Adams's mention of religious celebrations, while omitting that Adams just included this as one of many ways in which he thought the 4th of July might be celebrated in the future. So, you're going to have to do better than your etymological disagreement, and address the editing Forbes did to what Adams actually wrote to make it look like Adams thought the 4th of July should be a solemn religious holiday.

OFT wrote: "Or how about you claiming our government never prayed to Jesus?"

Where, exactly, did I ever claim that?

OFT wrote: "And you saying Jefferson and Madison could be for separation of church and state for our country, but ok for our people to give money to other countries(Indian nations) to support religion. Madison and Jefferson specifically said 'any government'"

As I've explained everywhere I've ever written about this subject, this came out of a lengthy debate in the House of Representatives on the treaty making power in 1796. I never said there was some specific quote from Madison or Jefferson addressing this. The founder in the debate who did put this into words, and who I quote, was Abraham Baldwin, who had been a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and, by the way, also happened to be an ordained minister who, at one point, was offered the divinity chair at Yale. Obviously, based on their later actions and opinions regarding the Kaskaskia treaty, its clear that Madison and Jefferson must have agreed with Baldwin, but I've never claimed to have a direct quote from either of them saying this.

As for the thing about the Northwest Ordinance, this is thoroughly explained in my chapter on the subject, which is available on my website for anyone who wants to read my entire explanation of what OFT is attempting to use to discredit me. It would take too long to explain it here, so, since the full story is already on my website, I'm not going to post a ridiculously long comment about it here.

jimmiraybob said...

OFT - "Take a hike! You don't know me! I never said I agreed with everything Barton said, so go get a haircut!"

I do like to hike. And technically it's probably time for a haircut. But you do nothing to separate yourself from Barton's misleading and deceptive methodologies in historical revisionism, which are clearly in support of a specific political agenda. So, ......

Brad Hart said...

As surprising as this will sound, I'm with TVD on this one. Thanks for letting me play along, but there's no convincing Dan, OFT of anything. After all, Jesus tells them everything!!!!

Good job debunking Barton, Ms. Rodda. You clearly have a case.

I too will be heading for the sidelines on this one.

Our Founding Truth said...

Chris Rodda: But, my main point in my rebuttal of Forbes was that he only included Adams's mention of religious celebrations, while omitting that Adams just included this as one of many ways in which he thought the 4th of July might be celebrated in the future. So, you're going to have to do better than your etymological disagreement, and address the editing Forbes did to what Adams actually wrote to make it look like Adams thought the 4th of July should be a solemn religious holiday.

I went by what you wrote on talk2origin website.

Chris Rodda:The phrase "ought to" was commonly used in those days to mean causing something or resulting in something, and that's how Adam's was using it.

Really? But, you could be wrong:

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1828

Aught (?), n. [OE. aught, ought, awiht, AS. āwiht, ā ever + wiht. √136. See Aye ever, and Whit, Wight.] Anything; any part. [Also written ought.]

There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord has spoken. Josh. xxi. 45
But go, my son, and see if aught be wanting. Addison.

Chris Rodda:Obviously, based on their later actions and opinions regarding the Kaskaskia treaty, its clear that Madison and Jefferson must have agreed with Baldwin, but I've never claimed to have a direct quote from either of them saying this.

I don't think you say this on your website, so, why do say Jefferson and Madison were for separation if they were for giving our money to other nations for the support of religion. That is hypocrisy.

I don't need to read anyone's website, I can read the ordinance myself, just like everyone. It isn't in French! It's self-explanatory.

Lindsey Shuman said...

Van Dyke: Do you even read this blog, Lindsey? Just last week I wrote that Barton's errors have hurt his cause. Look, you got what you wanted, our ritual Barton bloodletting. You can play with Dan and OFT. Enjoy.

I know you see no practicle need to debunk Barton, but face the facts. Millions of people follow this guy. Have you ever stopped to wonder where people like Our Founding Truth and Dan Atkinson come from? Barton is their field general. Sorry to disappoint, but this isn't a "bloodletting." It has a real value, which I am sorry you are incapable of seeing.

Our Founding Truth said...

I do like to hike. And technically it's probably time for a haircut. But you do nothing to separate yourself from Barton's misleading and deceptive methodologies in historical revisionism, which are clearly in support of a specific political agenda. So, ......>

That's why you can't refute a word I say, so stick with Barton.

Our Founding Truth said...

Have you ever stopped to wonder where people like Our Founding Truth and Dan Atkinson come from? Barton is their field general.>

Another error. It's almost funny. Lol!

Lindsey Shuman said...

It would be funny if it wasn't so true. You are the quintessential example of a bogus Christian Nationalist who is also involved in rewriting American history so you can build a theocracy.

Bigot!

bpabbott said...

OFT: "I've found some errors in your writings as well, should I call you a liar?"

Then when corrected ...

OFT: "But, you could be wrong"

What a laugh. You've gone from making a bold faced false assertion to baseless speculation!

I have a suggestion. Perhaps an apology is in order.

Raven said...

Here's the official scorecard:

Chris Rodda: 10 points

David Barton: 0 Points

Our Founding Moron: -100 points

Our Founding Truth said...

You want to play rough, ok.

Chris Rodda: The General Assessment bill, introduced in the Virginia legislature
by Patrick Henry, would have levied a tax on all Virginians for the
support of the Christian religion
." http://www.liarsforjesus.com/downloads/LFJ_chap_2.pdf

It wasn't a levy[imposition], it was choice! The bill was for secular education with each person having the choice of tax going to their preferred teachers' denomination.

"Whereas President Jefferson not only attended Divine services at the Capitol throughout his presidency and had the Marine Band play at the services, but during his administration church services were also begun in the War Department and the Treasury Department, thus allowing worshippers on any given Sunday the choice to attend church at either the United States Capitol, the War Department, or the Treasury Department if they so desired;" More serious, and very sparsely attended, religious services were, in fact, held in other public buildings. These solemn, four hour long communion services were held in buildings under the control of the executive branch, which is pointed out, of course, to make Jefferson responsible for these services, although there isn't one shred of evidence that the organizers of the services asked Jefferson for permission to hold them."

What a lame excuse! And you hammer Barton? You're saying Jefferson never gave permission for church services he was attending? Why was he there if he didn't approve of them?

There are many more, how about this one:

"The Kaskaskia were already Catholic, and had been for generations. These things were what the Kaskaskia wanted, and this being a treaty with a sovereign nation, there was no constitutional reason not to provide them."

So, Jefferson and Madison would give our money to another country, to support a religion(law) when they believed "any government" support of religion was a violation? No, if they believed in sep of ch. and st. like you say, they wouldn't have given them a dime; of our money too!

I like this one:

"Congress never provided funding for any religious purpose for the American people."

But James Madison did, and he was in congress for how long? Notice the word "bill":

In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided a Bible Society in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.

Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States 1325, 12th Cong., 2nd Sess. (Washington: Gales & Seaton 1853) ("An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia. Be it enacted, &c., That the duties arising and due to the United States upon certain stereotype plates, imported during the last year into the port of Philadelphia, on board the ship Brilliant, by the Bible Society of Philadelphia, for the purpose of printing editions of the Holy Bible, be and the same are hereby remitted, on behalf of the United States, to the said society: and any bond or security given for the securing of the payment of the said duties shall be cancelled. Approved February 2, 1813.")

Here's a funny one:

"Mr. Forbes simply masks the fact that the president being quoted was referring to the individual, and not the government. This is accomplished by selective quoting, which, in the case of the following Herbert Hoover quote, means removing a few words."

"Whereas President Herbert Hoover declared that 'American life is built, and can alone survive, upon . . . [the] fundamental philosophy announced by the Savior nineteen centuries ago';"

But secularists love to use Jefferson's personal writings. How classic!

There are many more, but, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

I'm sure we'll meet again in the future, but, you may want to take it easy on David Barton.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, we've called people liars, bigots and morons. Now that we have that out of the way...

I don't want to accuse you of mischaracterizing my viewpoint, Lindsey, but I've never objected to refuting David Barton.

What I object to are these blanket demonizations and massive data dumps in the form of video which make it impossible to evaluate and discuss the claims and counterclaims point-by-point.

I see another one here from 2008 on a different blog. Many of our usual suspects are in attendance, and the discussion sounds distressingly familiar. But at least it's courteous.

http://americanrevolutionblog.blogspot.com/2008/05/danger-of-david-barton.html

Well, these Barton things erupt around here with clockwork regularity. With any luck, this one should keep us for awhile. Cheers.

Lindsey Shuman said...

If Barton would quit the lies we would stop. The problem is that he keeps throwing this stuff out there. Why aren't you mad about that, Tom?

bpabbott said...

OFT: "You want to play rough, ok."

Tossing volumes of vommited pasta about won't win you any favor.

Chris Rodda said...

OFT wrote: "You want to play rough, ok."

Actually, OFT, I really can't spend any more time running down where you're grabbing these snippets from, so I'm just going to pick one from your last little list.

You parrot the claim that, "In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided a Bible Society in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible."

This is debunked in Chapter 1 of my book, which is another chapter that's available for free on my website. (If anyone wants the PDF of this one, just scroll down to the section of my homepage below the video, and look for the download of "Congress and the Bible.")

Anyway, all this Bible society bill signed by Madison was was a refund of an unfairly charged import duty. The Bible society had ordered a shipment of printing plates from England before the import duties on trade with England were doubled to fund the War of 1812. Their shipment, however, didn't arrive in the United States until after the new tax schedule had gone into effect, so they were charged at the higher rate. So, the Bible society petitioned Congress, and once they proved that their shipment had actually been ordered before the new tax schedule went into effect, Congress determined that they should have been charged at the pre-war rate, passed a bill granting them a refund, and Madison signed it. That's it. Congress did the same thing for any other merchant that was unfairly charged a tax and could prove it. This act, which is lied about in almost every revisionist history book, had absolutely nothing to do with aiding this Bible Society in "its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible."

Tom Van Dyke said...

Intelligent discussion is simply impossible in the presence of words like "lies," Lindsey. All I can get out of engaging is being tarred with the same brush. Nor is it possible or productive to wade through over an hour of video.

It's interesting to see OFT become Chris Rodda's Chris Rodda, though, counterarguing some of her claims. I have no idea if his arguments hold water, but I will say with confidence that many who praise Ms. Rodda's work do so out of a knee-jerk animus against Barton and the religious right, and have no real knowledge of whether her claims and counterarguments are accurate or not. They are disposed to believe her and disbelieve him, so that's that.

This is not to say Ms. Rodda is wrong about anything; I do not know and don't want to put any sort of cloud over her work.

But if David Barton is lying about Chris Rodda and their interactions, it's of no concern to me as it has nothing to do with the facts of the Founding. I'll stick with reading the Founders in their own words, from unabridged sources, and pipe up now and then when I think we're diverting from our stated purpose.

bpabbott said...

Tom: "I have no idea if [OFT's] arguments hold water"

Tom, Even if you're too humble to admit it, I'm convinced your intelligent enough to postulate an opinion based upon past experience.

Chris Rodda said...

Tom Van Dyke wrote: "This is not to say Ms. Rodda is wrong about anything; I do not know and don't want to put any sort of cloud over her work." and "I'll stick with reading the Founders in their own words, from unabridged sources..."

So, you would have known, just from reading the text, for example, of the act signed by James Madison quoted by OFT about the Bible society, that there was a completely non-religious reason for this act? The text of the act doesn't explain in detail why this Bible society was being granted "relief" by Congress. That required further research into the circumstances of this "relief," which turned up the specific circumstances. I my book and other writings, I explain the circumstances of things like this, and provide the sources from which I got the additional information that shows what acts such as this one were really about.

Take, as another example, Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance. Yes, the words, "Religion, morality, and knowledge, etc." appear in this document. But there is a story behind how they ended up in the document, a document written by the same Congress that, only two years earlier, had firmly rejected a proposal to grant any land for religious purposes in the 1785 land ordinance. Did this Congress do a complete 180 just two years later and suddenly, for no apparent reason, decide to include religion in the new ordinance? Of course not! Article 3 of the new ordinance was insisted on by the company that was buying a huge amount of land that the Congress needed to sell to make the payments on the money borrowed from France and Holland during the Revolutionary War. Will simply reading the ordinance tell you that the Congress under the new government, the very first time it actually used the ordinance to admit a state, replaced Article 3, substituting a land grant for education in lieu of it? And that they did the same thing for all the subsequent states? No. For that, you need to read much more than just the ordinance. You have to go to the debate in Congress over admitting Ohio as a state in 1802. It is there that you will find that Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance was never actually used, and its "Religion, morality, and knowledge" was abandoned without argument in favor of the more practical land grant provision from the ordinance of 1785 -- the one that Congress had quite deliberately voted religion out of.

jimmiraybob said...

OFT - "It wasn't a levy[imposition], it was choice! The bill was for secular education with each person having the choice of tax going to their preferred teachers' denomination."

Are we talking about the bill entitled, A Bill Establishing a Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion? The one that contains the following:

"Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That for the support of Christian teachers, _____ per centum on the amount, or _____ in the pound on the sum payable for tax on the property within this Commonwealth, is hereby assessed, and shall be paid by every person chargeable with the said tax at the time the same shall become due; and the Sheriffs of the several Counties shall have power to levy and collect the same in the same manner and under the like restrictions and limitations, as are or may be prescribed by the laws for raising the Revenues of this State."

"And be it enacted, That for every sum so paid, the Sheriff or Collector shall give a receipt, expressing therein to what society of Christians the person from whom he may receive the same shall direct the money to be paid, keeping a distinct account thereof in his books."


And that goes on to say:

"And be it further enacted, That the money to be raised by virtue of this Act, shall be by the Vestries, Elders, or Directors of each religious society, appropriated to a provision for a Minister or Teacher of the Gospel of their denomination, or the providing places of divine worship, and to none other use whatsoever, except in the denominations of Quakers and Menonists, who may receive what is collected from their members, and place it in their general fund, to be disposed of in a manner which they shall think best calculated to promote their particular mode of worship."

Did I miss the part about using the funds to provide a dispersal of secular knowledge rather than "the general diffusion of Christian knowledge?"

Maybe we're talking about another General Assessment bill introduced by Patrick Henry to the Virginia legislature just prior to April 1785.

Lindsey Shuman said...

Tom writes:

All I can get out of engaging is being tarred with the same brush. Nor is it possible or productive to wade through over an hour of video.

And the winner for most narcissistic blogger goes to....TOM VAN DYKE!!! Geez man! Just because you think it's non-productive to watch video doesn't mean that is true. YOu are so very fixed on yourself! The videos were quite enlightening, but I guess you will never know that.

Tom also writes:

I have no idea if his arguments hold water, but I will say with confidence that many who praise Ms. Rodda's work do so out of a knee-jerk animus against Barton and the religious right, and have no real knowledge of whether her claims and counterarguments are accurate or not. They are disposed to believe her and disbelieve him, so that's that.

How can you make such a claim if you are unwilling to look at the evidence? Again, you try to come off as intellectual but you just look narcissistic.

And finally Tom writes:

But if David Barton is lying about Chris Rodda and their interactions, it's of no concern to me as it has nothing to do with the facts of the Founding. I'll stick with reading the Founders in their own words, from unabridged sources, and pipe up now and then when I think we're diverting from our stated purpose.

But of course. You truly do soar above all the fringe arguments, on the wings of angels. Whenever you are able to come down from your pedestal and mingle with us common, simple-minded folk we would be truly honored.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Ms. Rodda, I believe I said something nice about your work on the Northwest Ordinance, which I took the time to read the last time Lindsey posted video with your doings with David Barton. However, to fully evaluate your claims, I'd have to buy your book and David Barton's. I'm simply not interested in spending time with David Barton when there's John Locke and James Wilson to be pored over.

As for OFT's claim about the Bible Society, I take nothing like that at face value, whether from him or from you. I'd have to research it for myself before commenting, but your argument certainly seems persuasive at first glance, using OFT's own evidence.

But as you can see, OFT made a blizzard of counterarguments and you found it impractical to address them all. So it is with the blizzard directed at Mr. Barton, along with a mountain of harsh language to wade through as well. In fact, my eyes glazed over at OFT's blizzard and I admit I have no idea what he said. I still have no idea what a Kaskaski is and I'm not sure I need to know at this point in my studies. Neither is OFT the most consistent of interlocutors. [Sorry Jim, but that's a fact. However, you've come a long way from Lindsey's post of 2008.]

Ms. Rodda, I'm simply not disposed to engage you on your own terms, via videos or even at your blog. The tone is just too uncomfortable for me. However, I'd welcome your hanging around here where we usually take it down a notch or six. I trust I'd learn a few things from you. I'm quite cautious when it comes to making claims, but things get past even the most conscientious of us now and then. Perhaps even you. ;-)

Tom Van Dyke said...

But of course. You truly do soar above all the fringe arguments, on the wings of angels. Whenever you are able to come down from your pedestal and mingle with us common, simple-minded folk we would be truly honored.

Well, Lindsey, when you wrote "Sounds like you're a bit of a closet Christian Nationalist to me," that's the kind of crap I can live without, OK? Cheers.

Lindsey Shuman said...

I thought you were going to sit this one out?

Tom Van Dyke said...

I intended to, Lindsey. But you attacked me with the "twist" thing on the Masons thread. I came here to make sure you read my response, as you appear to have missed some things on the blog, like me tsk-tsking David Barton myself only a week ago.

Darn! I was hoping to read the lame excuses provided by some of our resident Christian Nationalists when I got on here this morning. Instead we are debating whether or not to call Barton a liar. Oh well.

Well, Lindsey, I'm sorry the discussion wasn't as substantive as you may have wanted, but you did that yourself by turning up the flames with the "liar" thing. The first comment was about Barton's "lying ass."

What did you expect?

Neither did it help when you intimated I was a "closet Christian Nationist." Whatever that is. Regardless, you clearly used it as a term of derision. So you turned on me. Then you called out any defenders of Barton in insulting terms and got the usual in response.

What did you expect?

I think you got exactly what you asked for, drama and unpleasantness. Now, Chris Rodda runs a "David Barton Sucks" blog quite well on her own. I see no reason to turn this perfectly good blog into a clone of that one. But if you want to, I can't stop you. But such redundancy is a waste.

Our Founding Truth said...

Chris Rodda: You parrot the claim that, "In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided a Bible Society in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible."

I just posted the reference. Everything else I posted, I stand by. For all I know, you may be right that David Barton does try to deceive people. Where is the evidence for that; not just mistakes, but purposeful deception? I don't need to deceive anyone to prove this was formed a Christian Nation. The States are empowered with religion, and I have their Constitutions. Why doesn't the state constitutions matter for religion?

Brad Hart said...

Yes, things are getting "fiesty" here at American Creation as of late! I'm amazed at how we have all managed to turn an inquisitive historical blog into a "talk smack" blog.

And yes, guilty as charged I am.

Pinky said...

.
My take on Barton is not that he is trying to deceive anyone or to lie--even though he does purposely deceive and lie.
.
Instead, he appears to think life is all about winning and that whatever it takes to win? He'll do it.
.
His ethics leave much to be desired.

Chris Rodda said...

Tom Van Dyke wrote: "Now, Chris Rodda runs a "David Barton Sucks" blog quite well on her own."

What on earth are you talking about? I don't run any blog. There are three or four blogs that I regularly post on, writing on a number of subjects, one of which is historical revisionism, but I don't have a blog myself, let alone a "David Barton Sucks" blog.

Our Founding Truth said...

Did I miss the part about using the funds to provide a dispersal of secular knowledge rather than "the general diffusion of Christian knowledge?">

Yes.

"That for every sum so paid, the Sheriff or Collector shall give a receipt, expressing therein to what society of Christians the person from whom he may receive the same shall direct the money to be paid"


P.207
http://books.google.com/books?id=9m5GNzIp22YC&pg=PA209&lpg=PA209&dq=henry+wirt+on+patrick+henry's+assessment+bill+of+1785&source=bl&ots=8KlkdSFSH5&sig=HdAQDOnpu7Ar-vATJOOPWHqBNE0&hl=en&ei=4MvKSayCJpTsnQeSl-zrCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA207,M1

Lindsey Shuman said...

Oh don't mind Tom, Ms. Rodda. The man is as delusional as they get. Sitting from his high pedestal it's hard to see things clearly.

Oh, and he LOOOOVES to chastise those who attack Barton and the Christian Nationalists but he says little to nothing of those who defend him...hypocrisy? Oh I am thinking a definite yes!

jimmiraybob said...

TVD, I would think that you would have more interest in trying to keep the general discussion of our founding and religious heritage on an honest footing. Chris' work is not a "David Barton Sucks" fest. It is to a response to a very real contemporary discussion.

Barton's work has tentacles that reach throughout contemporary Christian literature and is the foundation of many believer's knowledge. It is picked up and used in home schooling texts and is a large part of a political movement with influence at the highest levels of government.

How can we have a moral and ethical society if it's built on deliberate mischaracterization of our roots for the purpose of advancing a political agenda or ideology? If there are valid and honest ways to make the argument for the nation's Christian heritage then it should be done.

I tend to think that the discussion here at this blog is honest and sincere and is more of an academic exercise that a polemical advocacy, which allows for a greater flexibility. Opinions can be expressed as such and mistakes will be made without having to resort to using terms like "liar" and there is plenty of time for reflection and amendment as thought necessary.

But when Barton produces a defective argument by the use of deceptive and misleading methodology for the purposes of political use, it should be of concern to everyone. From my point of view, this abuse is a malignant attack upon my interests. From a biblical standpoint it appears indefensible. From a historians standpoint it threatens the credibility and integrity of the profession. From a Christian heritage point of view it is a poisoning of the well. From a Christian perspective I would think that it would be true to Jesus' ministry to stand against the liars in favor of truth.

I can understand not wanting to be engaging in what you perceive as a mudfight but maybe this isn't just a mudfight. To blithely dismiss Barton's misleading tactics and work products is to give the impression of tacit approval and by extension tacit approval of Christian National sentiments. Please note that I'm not saying that you are approving since I've seen you speak against the Christian Nationalist movement.

Since this is a blog about the founding, this argument seems more than appropriate and I think that Lindsey does a valuable service to provide the discussion space. And Chris Rodda deserves more than a casual and seemingly condescending dismissal.

Our Founding Truth said...

Chris Rodda: What on earth are you talking about? I don't run any blog. There are three or four blogs that I regularly post on, writing on a number of subjects, one of which is historical revisionism, but I don't have a blog myself, let alone a "David Barton Sucks" blog.>

Are you kidding me? You've blasted Barton into a million pieces! Tom was being facitious (sp) about the "barton sucks" blog. Unreal!

Our Founding Truth said...

Jimmyray: Barton's work has tentacles that reach throughout contemporary Christian literature and is the foundation of many believer's knowledge. It is picked up and used in home schooling texts and is a large part of a political movement with influence at the highest levels of government.

And most of it is truth, that you fail to see. Did you read p.207 from Wirt on the assessment bill?

Jimmyray, everyone, including Chris Rodda, makes mistakes, as I showed you.

jimmiraybob said...

Did I miss the part about using the funds to provide a dispersal of secular knowledge rather than "the general diffusion of Christian knowledge?">[JRB]

Yes. [OFT]

"That for every sum so paid, the Sheriff or Collector shall give a receipt, expressing therein to what society of Christians the person from whom he may receive the same shall direct the money to be paid"


Zounds, non-sequitur much? How would this support the contention that the monies were to be used to advance secular knowledge when the preamble states the purpose to be, "the general diffusion of Christian knowledge?"

As for your link, I read someone's assertion that the Bill was, "For the support of secular education, with the privilege to each taxpayer of devoting his tax to the support of the religious teachers of his denomination."

Did you follow my link and read the language of the primary document? The bill entitled, A Bill Establishing a Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion? Note the title. It is not a bill entitled, A Bill Establishing a promotion of secular education with the privilege to each taxpayer of devoting his tax to the support of the religious teachers of his denomination.

Chris Rodda said...

OFT wrote: "everyone, including Chris Rodda, makes mistakes, as I showed you."

Which mistakes did you show? You asserted that I made many mistakes, but I have yet to see you prove any of your assertions.

Raven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

OFT - Jimmyray, everyone, including Chris Rodda, makes mistakes, as I showed you.

What Chris Rodda said.

jimmiraybob said...

Anon at 7:26 was me.

Our Founding Truth said...

Chris Rodda:Which mistakes did you show? You asserted that I made many mistakes, but I have yet to see you prove any of your assertions.

What about this one, of the ones I posted:

Chris Rodda: The General Assessment bill, introduced in the Virginia legislature
by Patrick Henry, would have levied a tax on all Virginians for the
support of the Christian religion." http://www.liarsforjesus.com/downloads/LFJ_chap_2.pdf

It wasn't a levy[imposition], it was choice! The bill was for secular education with each person having the choice of tax going to their preferred teachers' denomination.

P.207
http://books.google.com/books?id=9m5GNzIp22YC&pg=PA209&lpg=PA209&dq=henry+wirt+on+patrick+henry's+assessment+bill+of+1785&source=bl&ots=8KlkdSFSH5&sig=HdAQDOnpu7Ar-vATJOOPWHqBNE0&hl=en&ei=4MvKSayCJpTsnQeSl-zrCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA207,M1

Jimmyray:A Bill Establishing a promotion of secular education with the privilege to each taxpayer of devoting his tax to the support of the religious teachers of his denomination.

It shows how incorrect Madison, and Mason for that matter, were on this issue. Read Richard Henry Lee's opinion on it. He couldn't believe the people were against the bill, because it was about choice. Madison had an axe to grind.

jimmiraybob said...

OFT - Read Richard Henry Lee's opinion on it.

Make the argument yourself from the original language of the bill. Of course you can't, since the language clearly intends to levy a tax on Virginians to support the Christian religion by promoting "the general diffusion of Christian knowledge" with the proceeds going to the various "societ[ies] of Christians."

With the only opt out being, "...except in the denominations of Quakers and Menonists, who may receive what is collected from their members, and place it in their general fund, to be disposed of in a manner which they shall think best calculated to promote their particular mode of worship."

Tom Van Dyke said...

Ms. Rodda, I'm trying hard not to start up with you, because this isn't really about you, it's about this blog. Let me again praise your work on the Northwest Ordinance, which seems credible.

No disrespect was intended with the "David Barton Sucks Blog" remark. It was indeed facetious, and refers to the sometimes inordinate amount of attention [and unspecified attack] Barton receives around here sometimes, as well as the last time you were featured on our blog, about your initial encounter with David Barton [which I admit I didn't view favorably for your part]. In any case, you have made David Barton a specific subject of your attention, and that's what I meant.

Lindsey, the insults are unnecessary. They don't make either of us look good, nor our blog.

Jimmyraybob, perhaps my position got lost in all this, which I already wrote above:

I've never objected to refuting David Barton.

What I object to are these blanket demonizations and massive data dumps in the form of video which make it impossible to evaluate and discuss the claims and counterclaims point-by-point.


OK? I believe that answers your fair-minded objection. I'm all for fisking Barton. But the message here is clear---don't believe a word Barton says.

Which is fine and to which I add, check everything with the original source no matter who you're reading.

And so, I find video is an unsuitable medium for scholarly disputation. You can't grab a set of words and google them for yourself to see what's up.

How often is Ms. Rodda correct? 100% of the time? Well, that would be a superhuman standard.

How often is Barton wrong? 10% of the time% 50? 90? 100%?

100% is a standard even blind squirrels have meeting.

I hope that clears things up, and Chris, that John Adams/Holy Ghost thing jumped out at me when I went by Wallbuilders to check on Mr. Barton's doings recently. Having previously read the original context for myself, Adams was certainly being sarcastic about the whole world running on the will of the Holy Ghost.

Lindsey Shuman said...

You are right, Tom. The insults don't make our blog look good, but niether does your pompus attitude.

Explicit Atheist said...

Tom Van Dyke said...

"How often is Ms. Rodda correct? 100% of the time? Well, that would be a superhuman standard."

"How often is Barton wrong? 10% of the time% 50? 90? 100%?"

You are comparing an honest person with someone who is an inveterate and shameless liar. This isn't about how many mistakes someone makes, its about a persistent pattern of umistakeably blatent and deliberate lying on the part of David Barton. When you make such an inappropriate comparison and white wash lying as "mistakes" you are defending ethically inexcusable behavior.

Our Founding Truth said...

jimmyray:Make the argument yourself from the original language of the bill.

I think Richard Henry Lee knew the bill. I can't find what he wrote, I'll get it later. But he was for the bill because it was about choice and not forcing people to support a christian church.

You are comparing an honest person with someone who is an inveterate and shameless liar. This isn't about how many mistakes someone makes, its about a persistent pattern of umistakeably blatent and deliberate lying on the part of David Barton. When you make such an inappropriate comparison and white wash lying as "mistakes" you are defending ethically inexcusable behavior.>

Who are you? Oh, a Barton hater; on this blog? I should have known. How nice. Maybe you should stay at the Barton hater blogs.

Tom Van Dyke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad Hart said...

Ok, after thinking this one over, I've decided to leave this thread with the following points:

1.) Gordon Wood, a Pulitzer Prize winning historian has been criticized for some errors made in his book, "The Radicalism of the American Revolution." Is he therefore a liar?

2.) David McCullough inadvertently made some mistakes on his Pulitzer Prize winning book, "John Adams." Is he a liar?

3.) Daniel Walker Howe has been scrutinized for his Pulitzer Prize winning book, "What Hath God Wrought." Is he therefore a liar?

Look, writing history is hard and messy business. Don't take this the wrong way either. I think Rodda has clearly exposed Barton for some poor research, but I am not willing to call the man a liar. That word seems to promote such venom from both sides that it eliminates any chance at being objective. Maybe that isn't the case for you guys, but it is for me.

I'm no Barton apologist. I think he's been exposed on so many occasions that he has virtually no credibility. As a historian, he has MUCH to be desired. But judging the man's character seems to be a bit above the pay grade of this blog. I don't know Barton and probably never will. As a result, I will refrain from labeling his character. After all, going after him with "David Barton: Liar" is like hitting him with, "David Barton: Anorexic," or "David Barton: Night-Walker." How are any of us qualified to know???

Explicit Atheist said...

TVD, David Barton is a complete, absolute, total, unequivocal fraud. You want a percentage? OK, here it is: David Barton is 100% a conman. His word is worth not a penny, there is nothing that he says that isn't wrapped in lies. Nothing. Zero. Take off your glasses, TVD, its like you are not seeing the obvious, its right in front of you on the videos.

Explicit Atheist said...

Brad Hart, you are also making an entirely inappropriate comparison between the shameless and inveterate lying of David Barton and the occasional mistakes of some historians. On those videos, David Barton is engaging in the most direct and blatant lying, they are NOT MISTAKES, this is, beyond and reasonable doubt, deliberate lying. It is appalling that you guys are equating such bald and direct lying with innocent "mistakes".

Brad Hart said...

Explicit:

I don't think Barton is innocent of anything. I believe he is 100% guilty of terrible research. My point is that you and I have no idea what the motive was behind it. I'm not defending the man. Instead I am simply saying I DON'T KNOW. I have no clue if Barton is lying. He certainly could be. There's a lot of circumstantial evidence to that conclusion. But there's also the possibility that he looks at history from a very different (very skewed) perspective. Remember, Barton is NOT a trained historian. Of course this is no excuse. A lot of great history comes from "novice" historians (if that's even the right word to use).

I get where you are going on this. The bottom line is that I'm simply not willing to go there. Like I mentioned before, I used to work as a cop and have no problem with calling someone a liar when I see it. In this instance, I think there is at least some "wiggle room."

Besides, labeling the guy a liar doesn't prove anything more or less. He's still guilty of the same shoddy research.

Explicit Atheist said...

David Barton would have to be a complete fruit cake, completely crazy, if he actually believed what he is saying. There is no way, none, that it can reasonable be said that he is committing innocent "mistakes". What he is saying about the documents that he is commenting on is so far removed from what the documents themselves say that there can be no question that he is deliberately lying. He is selectively omitting phrases, selectively adding and changing words, falsifying the context, making up stories and that have no basis at all and weaving his fiction and the fiction of others into the real history, and he is doing this consistently, persistently, and blatently and then shamelessly falsely claiming that only he is right and the real scholars are all wrong. There is nothing that he says that isn't wrapped in the most blatant of falsehoods.

Explicit Atheist said...

Brad Hart

"Besides, labeling the guy a liar doesn't prove anything more or less. He's still guilty of the same shoddy research."

No, shoddy research is very different from lying. What is going on is this: There is a political agenda here. The lying is to convince as many people as possible of a false history in the service of that political agenda. In a democracy, votes count and any political agenda that has votes behind it has power. So its a means justifies the ends situation. One of the ends aparantly being to try to pressure the Supreme Court, via political opinion, to reverse or halt civil rights gains for minorities, particular for non-Christian, non-monotheistic minorities.

Pinky said...

.
I guess I have to go along with Explicit Atheist. In the study of history, NOTHING should be held so sacrosanct that it cannot be taken apart and carefully inspected for what it was and is.
.
TVD seems to be letting opinion get in the way of his understandings. And, that has the tendency to make him a questionable witness.
.
But, we're all human.

Perhaps that's why the Founders knew they had to include the Bill of Rights?
.

Brad Hart said...

Explicit writes:

No, shoddy research is very different from lying. What is going on is this: There is a political agenda here. The lying is to convince as many people as possible of a false history in the service of that political agenda. In a democracy, votes count and any political agenda that has votes behind it has power. So its a means justifies the ends situation. One of the ends apparently being to try to pressure the Supreme Court, via political opinion, to reverse or halt civil rights gains for minorities, particular for non-Christian, non-monotheistic minorities.

I think we are probably all going in circles here. Explicit, you may very well be right. I simply don't know, which has been my point all along.

Do people have agendas? Of course they do. My guess it that you do as well. With a name like "Explicit Atheist" my guess is that you view things from a certain perspective. Now, I certainly do no begrudge you that. It's more than your right to see things as you wish. My thinking is that Barton is the same way. He clearly has an agenda to "save" America's "Christian" heritage. Ok, that's fine by me. I certainly don't agree with him, but it's his right. Now, naturally, Barton sees history from that singular perspective. Everything he does is to "liberate" the true "Christian" history of our Founding. It is therefore no surprise to me that he misinterprets history on a regular basis.

Now, none of this is meant as an excuse, and I certainly do not want to be considered a Barton apologist. But at the same time, I'd hate to see things boiled down to each side calling the other a liar, cheat, evil, etc., which, sadly, happens way too much as it is. I'm not suggesting that we throw the baby out with the bath water. By all means, let's question and critique Mr. Barton's work. His credibility has been thoroughly diminished and rightfully so. However, what good is it to call him a LIAR? It's like we're a bunch of playground kids pointing fingers at one another while yelling, "LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE." It just seems so counterproductive to me.

Pinky said...

.
But, Brad, why would anyone want to ever "question and critique Mr. Barton's work" unless they wanted to come to some conclusion about his worthiness as a source for additional information?
.
It seems quite reasonable to conclude that he is purposely involved in the production of political goals and objectives. Adding that to the fact that he in prima facia misrepresents the truth, what else can we do but accuse him of being a liar?
.
So? What's the big deal? That it isn't nice to point to a person's lies?
.
A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.
.
A misrepresenter is a misrepresenter is a misrepresenter is a liar.
.
Add that to the fact he was and--most likely--still is an authority in the Republican Party of Texas (Yippie kiyo) and you get the drift of just what kind of a person Mr. Barton is.
.
.

Brad Hart said...

Wohoo! I am the the one who gets to make comment #100 on this thread, which tells me a couple of things:

#1: This is obviously a very passionate and polarizing topic.

#2: Barton really does have an impact, good or bad (my belief is bad based on his zero credibility).

#3: We haven't heard the last of this debate.

Chris Rodda said...

I guess Barton watched my videos. He just posted a document dated "in the year of our lord Christ," signed by Jefferson, on his website. Oddly, however, it still isn't the 1804 document mentioned in my video that he won't show anybody.

What Barton just posted on his website is part of a ships' papers. These documents, which every ship leaving the United States had to carry, were a fill-in-the-blanks form with columns translated into several languages, and were printed in quantity. Each new president signed a big stack of these forms, leaving all the other information blank, and then the blank signed forms were sent to the officials at all the ports, where they were filled out as needed. So, Jefferson did not personally write the date "in the year of our lord Christ." He just signed a bunch of blank ships' papers that someone had dated that way.

Barton claims in his description of this form that "this is the explicitly Christian language that President Thomas Jefferson chose to use in official public presidential documents." Jefferson didn't choose the language of this form. It's exactly the same language as the ships' papers form signed by Adams, the president right before him, and Madison, the president right after him. (I just found images of the same form as it was printed during the Adams and Madison administrations.) The only difference is that the printer changed the name of the president, which appears at the top of the form, to whoever the current president was.

I guess Jefferson was a hypocrite for not refusing to sign the forms. He should have sent them right back to the printer demanding that the date be written differently! :-)

jimmiraybob said...

Brad, the thing that boggles my mind is the extreme reluctance to call a liar a liar. If there are secularist or atheist authors that are leading an organization, whether political or religious or both as Barton does, that have such a clear record of methodically distorting the historical record of our founding and religious heritage and in such a manor so consistent with the organizations clearly stated goals, then they too should be called out.

I see exposing fraud as exposing fraud and see this particular issue as in the national interest.

Barton's religio-political agenda is clearly exposed before us. His fraudulent methods and resulting defective arguments are clearly exposed for even him to have access to but I see no effort to incorporate criticism.

I know that this argument has run its course here for a while but it certainly goes deeper than Barton or today. His works and works that rest uncritically on his findings are tomorrow's history. As I've tried to say before is that a pattern of abuse establishes motive maybe I should also include willful evasion of contrary evidence or argument.

Whether by fraudulent or flawed reasoning, serious "mistakes" with such dire consequences should be ferreted out of the generally discussion so that some guidelines can be set.

Perhaps Mr. Barton, assuming on his part no willful intent to deceive and a pure motive to present well informed conclusions, would agree to a dialog and would further agree to set the record straight if an examination reveals his conclusions to rest on faulty and deceptive methods - regardless of intent or motive.

Maybe at American Creation. There sure seems to be a high level of commitment to a full and fair examination of the subject as well as a balance of posters and commenters with respect to religious affiliation. Maybe a refereed presentation.

A willingness to correct the record would certainly mitigate any notions of malicious intent on his part and would only strengthen his position.

At least it is generally agreed that his work is critically flawed, I guess that's enough for now.

Our Founding Truth said...

jimmyray:Barton's religio-political agenda is clearly exposed before us. His fraudulent methods and resulting defective arguments are clearly exposed for even him to have access to but I see no effort to incorporate criticism

You keep saying Barton is a fraud, which is bogus, because everyone would be a fraud in your book. So maybe Barton made a couple of errors that he neglected to examine carefully in his research; you have to prove those few errors were made on purpose; until you do, forget about it.

Why don't you forget about Barton, and go after what I have written on this blog? If I did make an error, I acknowledged it and recanted, however, I doubt you'll find any false accusations. The Christian Nation Thesis is on firm ground; I don't need to lie to prove it, the words of the framers, and State Constitutions defend it nicely.

Making mistakes and purposefully misleading people are two different things.

Our Founding Truth said...

Chris Rodda:I guess Jefferson was a hypocrite for not refusing to sign the forms. He should have sent them right back to the printer demanding that the date be written differently! :-)

This is exactly what I'm talking about! You're making an issue of something that is totally irrelevant, especially if he knew "in the year of our lord Christ," was on there.

If Jefferson put his name to it and knew those words were on there, he affirmed it. So, why are you making a big deal out of all this? This is completely consistent with Jefferson; he called himself a Christian! Regardless if he wasn't a true Christian; the fact is, he called himself one.

Pinky said...

.
In response to OFT's latest comments, you might want to check out
this article.

From what I'm learning, it should produce some good commentary on the religiosity of the Founding Era.
.

jimmiraybob said...

OFT - "Making mistakes and purposefully misleading people are two different things."

Exactly,

1) we all make mistakes, and
2) Barton's deceitful tactics purposefully mislead people.

I'm glad we can find common ground.

bpabbott said...

Tom: "100% is a standard even blind squirrels have meeting."

I'm in late today ... but I thought I'd point out that the rodent in question isn't blind. He willfully lies.

it is not about accidents.

bpabbott said...

Tom: "Lindsey, your spelling makes only one of us look bad. And our blog. Please, let's not do this anymore"

Tom, on my opanion yuor arrogence is a far graetar desgrase than mispellign evary wurd! ;-)

bpabbott said...

Brad: "2.) David McCullough inadvertently made some mistakes on his Pulitzer Prize winning book, "John Adams." Is he a liar?"

Did McCullough include those passages after the mistakes were pointed out to him?

Our Founding Truth said...

Jimmyray:Did you follow my link and read the language of the primary document? The bill entitled, A Bill Establishing a Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion? Note the title. It is not a bill entitled, A Bill Establishing a promotion of secular education with the privilege to each taxpayer of devoting his tax to the support of the religious teachers of his denomination.

Here's a note from one of the greatest Virginians ever, who was acting Governor of Virginia, when it demanded independence, and President of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, 1778-1803:

"The act was preceeded by a resolution that they would pass laws for incorporating any society of Christians, who should desire it . I am not able to discover in this law, any thing which can justly alarm any other society, no more than in another bill [assessment bill], (which is put off till the next session) for a general assessment to support religious teachers, with a right of appropriation-in the prayer; yet in both some very sagacious gentlemen, can spj designs to revive the former establishment, which I believe, do not exist in the minds of any member of that church, the clergy and a few monarchy men excepted." [bold face mine]

-Edmund Pendleton-EDMONSBURG, February 28th, 1785.

And here is Waldman on the correct interpretation of the assessment bill:

"Henry was no Royalist. He was taking the far more liberal view that religion in general should be aided. Under his proposal, voters could designate the denomination, or even the specific church, that their tax dollars would fund. Baptists could give money to the Baptist Church, and Presbyterians to their own church. Henry's bill even went so far as to provide that those who didn't want to support religion could have the option of targeting their tax dollars toward education in general."

-Steven Waldman
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/0604.waldman.html

Lee and others also knew the assessment bill, but Chris Rodda is wrong, and Barton is correct.

Chris Rodda said...

When Madison was fighting Henry's assessment for teachers of the Christian religion, he was regularly corresponding with Jefferson, who was in France at the time, about it. In one of those letters, Jefferson, referring to Henry, wrote to Madison that maybe what they should do is to "devoutly pray for his death." Of course, OFT will probably twist that into proof that Jefferson was a praying man!

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, Jefferson did leave The Lord's Prayer in his "Jefferson Bible." Not a well-known fact.

And he did pray, at least in a formally public way, in the closing of his oft-discussed Letter to the Danbury Baptists:

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.


But anyone who wants to enlist Jefferson as an orthodox Christian should note that the Danbury Baptists cleverly closed their letter to him

And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.

We see that although Jefferson says he "reprocate[s]" the prayers, he eludes the "Jesus Christ" snare, substituting more generic language for the deity.

Chris Rodda said...

"Well, Jefferson did leave The Lord's Prayer in his "Jefferson Bible." Not a well-known fact."

Why would you think that wouldn't be a well-known fact? Anyone who knows anything about the Jefferson Bible would know that because Jefferson left in anything that Jesus was reported to have said, which, of course, would include the Lord's Prayer.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, you didn't answer the Danbury Baptist part, Chris.

Neither do I believe that "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" appears in the Jefferson Bible, so I reckon your assertion above is inaccurate.

But quibbling over what is "well-known" can lead nowhere anyway. I withdraw the Jefferson Bible reference and leave the Danbury Baptists in place. At least in some public way, elusive as it is, Jefferson prayed.

jimmiraybob said...

OFT - "...Henry's bill even went so far as to provide that those who didn't want to support religion could have the option of targeting their tax dollars toward education in general." - Steven Waldman

Jumpin' Jehosephat! I've provided a link to the original language. The language of the final version of the Bill before it faded into the history bin. It is available to you. Much is made around these parts about the use of primary documentation. Here's the opportunity.

Go for it dude! You make this same case out of that language. Read it. Cite it. Bask in it. Break it down. Savor it over a fine Bourbon. Make the case if you can. Really. I'm pullin' for ya bud. Use the language of the Bill and make a case. Maybe I missed it. Maybe I was imagining language that wasn't in the Bill when I made this statement, "Make the argument yourself from the original language of the bill. Of course you can't, since the language clearly intends to levy a tax on Virginians to support the Christian religion by promoting 'the general diffusion of Christian knowledge' with the proceeds going to the various 'societ[ies] of Christians.'"

And then noting the exception, "...except in the denominations of Quakers and Menonists, who may receive what is collected from their members, and place it in their general fund, to be disposed of in a manner which they shall think best calculated to promote their particular mode of worship."

And remember, your original challenge was, "It wasn't a levy[imposition], it was choice! The bill was for secular education with each person having the choice of tax going to their preferred teachers' denomination" You must have read at least part of the linked Bill since you've wisely dropped the levy thing.

Until then, and given everything else I've stated on the issue, this statement of Rodda's that you quoted and challenged stands unruffled - like the noble gobbler that missed the dinner table for one more year (see how I threw in a gratuitous nod to Franklin just to keep it real), "The General Assessment bill, introduced in the Virginia legislature by Patrick Henry, would have levied a tax on all Virginians for the support of the Christian religion."

Of course if you want to quibble, some people would argue that the Quakers and Menonists aren't like real Christians and they could be all like "Chris Rodda should have footnoted the Dickens out of this exception but she didn't so she must be covering something up and why is she lying and and and all that kinda thing."

Tom Van Dyke said...

I've only been skimming this Virginia assessment thing, and indeed my remarks to Ms. Rodda above on another issue were only intended to show how hard it is to write something nit-picker-proof.

That the forces at play in the Virginia assessment controversy were secular vs. religious would be an oversimplification, of course.

http://www.loc.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper.html

There is a greater truth involved than nit-picking can explain. Among the supporters of religious assessments were future Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, and George H. Washington hisself. And the legislatures of 5 other states did support such assessments, and John Adams was in favor of Massachusetts'. [Massachusetts's?]

On the whole, it was a close thing at the Founding, and more political than religious. Perhaps the most persuasive argument Madison made in the Virginia debate was not secular, but merely anti-sectarian, and understandably persuasive to the minority sects:

"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..." [From Article 3, Memorial & Remonstrance]

and then

"Because it will destroy that moderation and harmony which the forbearance of our laws to intermeddle with Religion has produced among its several sects. Torrents of blood have been split in the old world, by vain attempts of the secular arm, to extinguish Religious disscord, by proscribing all difference in Religious opinion." [Article 11]

Torrents of blood. Jeez.

As for the Steven Waldman quote above, Mr. Waldman is usually viewed as an "honest broker" at this blog. If he did indeed write

"...Henry's bill even went so far as to provide that those who didn't want to support religion could have the option of targeting their tax dollars toward education in general."

there might be more to the various versions of the bills and debates than can be made clear here in a comments section. [I recall that the issue dragged on for years, and wasn't just a one-shot deal, hence Jefferson "praying" for Patrick Henry's death.]

Or Mr. Waldman is mistaken. I dunno. I would not, of course, call him a liar.

Our Founding Truth said...

Until then, and given everything else I've stated on the issue, this statement of Rodda's that you quoted and challenged stands unruffled - like the noble gobbler that missed the dinner table for one more year (see how I threw in a gratuitous nod to Franklin just to keep it real), "The General Assessment bill, introduced in the Virginia legislature by Patrick Henry, would have levied a tax on all Virginians for the support of the Christian religion.">

You can say what you want about the words, I'm sure a quote from Lee or Marshall will come up sooner or later. Most likely Wirt received his info from his grandfather's correspondence.

"The bill levied a tax for the support of religion but permitted individuals to earmark their taxes for the church of their choice."
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel05.html

"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..." [From Article 3, Memorial & Remonstrance]>

I side with Lee, Marshall, and Washington on this bill. Madison obviously had an axe to grind, the bill had nothing to do with establishment. Madison is trying to win the debate and these words are his misleading tactic. Madison won because Henry left the House of Delegates.

Brad Hart said...

OFT (quoting the LOC):

The bill levied a tax for the support of religion but permitted individuals to earmark their taxes for the church of their choice.

OFT then writes:

Madison obviously had an axe to grind, the bill had nothing to do with establishment.

Sounds like it had a helluva lot to do with establisment. Whether you tax dollars are going to support religion by force or by allowing you to choose which religion is irrelevant. The bottom line is that it required tax dollars to support religion in one fashion or another.

Now, I agree, Madison had an axe to grind, but it sounds like a pretty damn good axe to me. As he said in a letter to Jefferson (which Rodda quotes in her book):

How a regulation so unjust in
itself, foreign to the Authority of Congress, so hurtful to the
sale of the public land, and smelling so strongly of an antiquated Bigotry, could have received the countenance of a
Committee is truly matter of astonishment.


Ok, so he had an axe to grind. You don't think his opponents did as well?

Tom Van Dyke said...

Brad, I agree completely that Madison had an axe to grind, and also that every one of us human beings do. Duh.

Madison's axe, I think, was that government-supported religion was perhaps the major obstacle to man seeking God, perhaps even Christianity. Government-subsidized religion gets lazy, fat, dogmatic, and cares more about money and politics than God.

Who could deny that as truth? We see it every goddam day.

Pinky said...

.
And some of you call yourselves historians.
.
During those three hundred years that culminated in the creation of the American nation, the world was turned upside down.
.
No doubt religion played such an impactful force on just about everything that was said and done.
.
But, in the end, America was created a secular state.
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Liberty toward free choice came to rule the day.
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And, here we are.
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Pinky said...

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In my thinking, the point is that Lori Stokes has opened the door to understanding this major sea change change in the structure of Western Civilization in her Wednesday, March 25, 2009, article, Biblical Scholarship and the Founders.
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Don't push it off.
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What was that turning of the world upside down all about?
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And, as we are about to go through another such change, it seems our interest might be a little more focused on how the Reformation affected America's Founders.
..

jimmiraybob said...

OFT - You can say what you want about the words,...

Sigh. Yes, why look at the words? It surely is best to look at someone else's words about the original words. Especially, if the original words don't support your contentions.

Tom, The only point that I was continuing to comment on is a statement made by OFT that Rodda was wrong when she made this statement, "The General Assessment bill, introduced in the Virginia legislature by Patrick Henry, would have levied a tax on all Virginians for the support of the Christian religion."

I looked up a bill (providing a source link) entitled, A Bill Establishing a Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion, introduced by Henry to the Virginia legislature in 1784 and produced language from it that clearly supported Rodda's statement and refuted OFT's.

I find it instructive that Mr. OFT will not comment upon the language of the Bill under question.

As far as Mr. Waldman, I've only read some of his online work so far and his newest book is on my list. From everything that I have heard about him he is and honest broker.

Now OFT has moved the discussion to whether Mr. Madison was an axe grinder. Fine, but that was not what my comments were about.

Out of all the authors and scholars cited on this blog and of all the posters and commenters that I've read here it is only Barton that I denounce as a liar. He has worked long and hard to earn it.

Pinky said...

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When persons who claim to have a reputation as an historian take the podium, they have a responsibility to turn their back on any agenda other than to represent the truth as clearly as it is available.
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In my view, Barton has a distinct agenda that he superimposes on truth. Therefor, persons purporting to be in search of historical truth should deny men like Barton access to the respectability of their podium.
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When it comes to history, a liar is a liar is a liar.
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There must be an ethic to which historians must pay homage. And, this ethic requires Barton be denied any legitimacy until and unless he comes clean.
I doubt he will ever come clean as his agenda is obedience to the ideology that drives his presentations..

Chris Rodda said...

I want to clear something up about a statement in a comment above that said George Washington supported Patrick Henry's assessment bill. This isn't quite true. The basis of it is a letter Washington wrote to George Mason (one of the two men who talked Madison into writing his Memorial and Remonstrance against the bill). In his letter to Mason, Washington did say that he didn't have a problem with the idea of people supporting their churches, but what Washington didn't realize when he wrote that was that Henry's bill was only for Christian churches. What is always left out of the claims of Washington's support of Henry's bill was that Washington began his letter to Mason by saying that he hadn't actually read the bill yet. Then, Washington went on to include Muslims, Jews, and all other religions in his statement, making it certain that he didn't realize at the time that the bill was exclusively Christian.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Chris,

I differ slightly on your claim that GW didn't realize.... I think he DID realize it was for Christians only (as I read that letter). But that because ALL religions had equal rights of conscience under the law, if one simply declared himself a Jew or a Muslim, one had a natural right to some kind of exemption or accomodation of legal programs that tax one to support a religion in which one doesn't believe.

I think he started from the same premise of natural rights of conscience for all that Jefferson, and Madison believed in, but ended at a different point for how to implement those rights.

Chris Rodda said...

Jon...

I just read the letter again, and really don't get any indication that Washington knew it was for Christians only. Of course, it's impossible to know for sure from such a brief letter, but, if you read it with the assumption that Washington did know it was for Christians only, then his statement that he didn't oppose the idea if Jews and Muslims "obtain proper relief" would have to mean that he did not support Henry's bill, at least not as written. Either way, any claim of Washington's unconditional support for this bill is not true. Too bad Washington didn't write more on the subject so we could know for sure, but he really seems not to want to have gotten involved in the fight over it, so that one letter to Mason is all we have to go on.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Chris,

Your interpretation could be right. One thing I glean from that letter and others is GW thought most or all religions should have equal rights. He thought very higly of "religion" in the "abstract" as well as of "Christianity" in the abstract, but never spoke in "orthodox" langauge (i.e., the language of "Worldview Weekend") that "Christianity" was true and therefore deserving of support and other religions were not, and therefore not deserving of support.

Chris Rodda said...

I'll be writing about this letter in Volume 2 of my book (if I ever find the time to fulfill my New Year's resolution to finish writing it this year), and will, as usual, include the entire text of the letter so that people can see why I find that the claim that Washington supported Henry's bill is not supported by this letter, which is always the source cited for the claim. My personal opinion is that it's more likely that Washington didn't know it was for Christians only, but when I write about it in my book, I will, of course, present both possibilities and let the reader make up their own mind from the letter itself. I'll also be hunting to see if there's anything else Washington might have written about it that might have been overlooked. I doubt that there is, but, I've thought that before on other things and been wrong, finding things that I had no idea existed once I really started looking, so I'll be doing a very thorough search on this one.

Our Founding Truth said...

The bottom line is that it required tax dollars to support religion in one fashion or another.>

Patrick Henry, who wrote the bill said it was about choice:

The resolution was followed quickly by one from Patrick Henry—that "the people of the commonwealth, according to their respective abilities, ought to pay a moderate tax or contribution for the support of the Christian religion, or of some Christian church, or denomination, or communion of Christians, or of some form of Christian worship," which was adopted by a vote of 47 to 32, and a special committee, with Henry at its head, was appointed to prepare a bill.

-P. 80, The Life of James Madison, By Gaillard Hunt, 1902.

According to John Samples of the Cato institute, it was for secular education, and Washington knew about the bill, and added the proviso for "Jews, Mahometans, or otherwise." p.135-136.
http://books.google.com/books?id=3vh3OUHx-xIC&pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq=patrick+henry's+assessment+bill&source=bl&ots=qXx-sku8T-&sig=1DfJwUt0Acb9f4lyPvEGY_qamg0&hl=en&ei=-wvNScqjOoeclAeH4uDQCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#PPA135,M1

James Hutson at the library of congress affirmed the same belief as Pendleton, p.163.
http://books.google.com/books?id=E50wfNFcWQcC&pg=PA165&lpg=PA163&ots=YXGq6U4Ktp&output=html
Establishment refers to a national church.

Madison's 20th century biographer Ralph Ketcham says the same thing on p.162.
http://books.google.com/books?id=hCAjgs4mmQ4C&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=patrick+henry's+assessment+bill&source=bl&ots=ea1BGhbHlw&sig=uDMS8eYAA_sOVne1g552cthoEsY&hl=en&ei=_hHNSdSqCMLMlQeL2JDWCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result

Chris Rodda:Then, Washington went on to include Muslims, Jews, and all other religions in his statement, making it certain that he didn't realize at the time that the bill was exclusively Christian.

I think Washington understood the bill like everyone else, that it had nothing to do with establishment:

"The declaration of Rights, it seems to me, rather contends against forcing modes of faith and forms of worship in religious matters, than against com- pelling contribution for the support of religion in general. I fully agree with the Presbyterian? That true freedom embraces the Mahometan and the Gentoo, as well as the Christian religion."

-Richard Henry Lee to James Madison, TRENTON, Nov. 26, 1784

The evidence is overwhelming the assessment bill was about secular education, with the choice of contributing to a church.

Our Founding Truth said...

Christ Rodda:but what Washington didn't realize when he wrote that was that Henry's bill was only for Christian churches.

This is incorrect as I've shown above. It wasn't for Christian Churches, it was for secular education with choice to a Christian Church. It's actually a great bill, based on everything our country is founded on; Christianity and freedom of conscience.

Chris:but, if you read it with the assumption that Washington did know it was for Christians only, then his statement that he didn't oppose the idea if Jews and Muslims "obtain proper relief" would have to mean that he did not support Henry's bill

Why not? Everyone says he supported the bill. Most likely he added that in there for clarification.

jimmiraybob said...

OFT - The evidence is overwhelming the assessment bill was about secular education, with the choice of contributing to a church.

Absolutely, unless of course you consider the actual Bill itself - all its wordy parts and such. But why trifle with details when you're on a roll.

Has anyone ever seen OFT and Barton in the same room at the same time?

bpabbott said...

JimmyRayBob: "Has anyone ever seen OFT and Barton in the same room at the same time?"

Careful, no doubt OFT/Ray/? will be flattered by such a comparison ;-)

Our Founding Truth said...

OFT - The evidence is overwhelming the assessment bill was about secular education, with the choice of contributing to a church.>

You could be hopeless, why don't you tell every Madison, or Henry historian they're wrong, and do better research.

bpabbott said...

OFT #1: "The evidence is overwhelming the assessment bill was about secular education, with the choice of contributing to a church."

OFT #2 responds to himself: "You could be hopeless, why don't you tell every Madison, or Henry historian they're wrong, and do better research."

OFT/Ray/Jim/David(?) ... Are you suffering a cognitive division?

In any event, OFT #1, Have you ever read James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments?

Our Founding Truth said...

In any event, OFT #1, Have you ever read James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments?>

You mean the one you said Madison wrote when he was retired? Yes.

jimiraybob said...

Careful, no doubt OFT/Ray/? will be flattered by such a comparison ;-)

What can I say, I'm a giver.

Our Founding Truth said...

Jimmyray:Absolutely, unless of course you consider the actual Bill itself - all its wordy parts and such. But why trifle with details when you're on a roll.

Your ignorance is oozing out of the computer screen:

"And be it enacted, That for every sum so paid, the Sheriff or Collector shall give a receipt, expressing therein to what society of Christians the person from whom he may receive the same shall direct the money to be paid, keeping a distinct account thereof in his books. The Sheriff of every County, shall, on or before the _____ day of _____ in every year, return to the Court, upon oath, two alphabetical lists of the payments to him made. distinguishing in columns opposite to the names of the persons who shall have paid the same, the society to which the money so paid was by them appropriated; and one column for the names where no appropriation shall be made".


*This copy of the assessment Bill is from one of the handbills which on December 24, 1784, when the third reading of the bill was postponed, were ordered distributed to the Virginia counties by the House of Delegates. See Journal of the Virginia House of Delegates, December 24, 1784; The bill is therefore in its final form, for it never again reached the floor of the House.
http://members.tripod.com/~candst/assessb.htm

You may know the bill better than the author! The money not appropriated goes to the general education fund.

bpabbott said...

bpa: "In any event, OFT #1, Have you ever read James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments?"

OFT: "You mean the one you said Madison wrote when he was retired? Yes."

retired? ... no. He was no longer paid, but was obviously not only involved in politics, but more persuasive than Patrick Henry.

bpabbott said...

JimmyRayBob: "Absolutely, unless of course you consider the actual Bill itself - all its wordy parts and such. But why trifle with details when you're on a roll."

OFT: "Your ignorance is oozing out of the computer screen"

Patrick Henry's bill: "And be it enacted, That for every sum so paid, the Sheriff or Collector shall give a receipt, expressing therein to what society of Christians the person from whom he may receive the same shall direct the money to be paid, keeping a distinct account thereof in his books. The Sheriff of every County, shall, on or before the _____ day of _____ in every year, return to the Court, upon oath, two alphabetical lists of the payments to him made. distinguishing in columns opposite to the names of the persons who shall have paid the same, the society to which the money so paid was by them appropriated; and one column for the names where no appropriation shall be made".

OFT, cosider: "And be it enacted, That for every sum so paid, the Sheriff or Collector shall give a receipt, expressing therein to [any society other than that] of Christians the person from whom he may receive the same shall direct the money to be paid, keeping a distinct account thereof in his books. The Sheriff of every County, shall, on or before the _____ day of _____ in every year, return to the Court, upon oath, two alphabetical lists of the payments to him made. distinguishing in columns opposite to the names of the persons who shall have paid the same, the society to which the money so paid was by them appropriated; and one column for the names where no appropriation shall be made".

Would such not be anti-Christian?

In any event, if the sectarian portion is removed ...

"And be it enacted, That for every sum so paid, the Sheriff or Collector shall give a receipt, [snip]. The Sheriff of every County, shall, on or before the _____ day of _____ in every year, return to the Court, upon oath, [one] alphabetical [list] of the payments to him made. Distinguishing in columns opposite to the names of the persons who shall have paid the same, [and those who have none]".

jimmiraybob said...

In the beginning it was said:

Chris Rodda: The General Assessment bill, introduced in the Virginia legislature
by Patrick Henry, would have levied a tax on all Virginians for the
support of the Christian religion." http://www.liarsforjesus.com/downloads/LFJ_chap_2.pdf

It wasn't a levy[imposition], it was choice! The bill was for secular education with each person having the choice of tax going to their preferred teachers' denomination.


I challenged your contention that Rodda’s statement was wrong. Let’s break this down again. Rodda’s statement has two parts; The General Assessment bill, introduced in the Virginia legislature by Patrick Henry 1) would have levied a tax on all Virginians, and 2) for the support of the Christian religion.

As to part 1, the Bill states, “…and the Sheriffs of the several Counties shall have power to levy and collect…” Can we all agree that the Bill would reasonably appear to be calling for a levy of monies?

As to part 2, the Bill states:

• “Whereas the general diffusion of Christian knowledge hath a natural tendency to…”
• “…amongst the different societies or communities of Christians.
• “That for the support of Christian teachers…
• “…shall forthwith pay to such person or persons as shall be appointed to receive the same by the Vestry, Elders, or Directors, however denominated of each such [Christian] society,…”
• “That the money to be raised by virtue of this Act, shall be by the Vestries, Elders, or Directors of each religious society, appropriated to a provision for a Minister or Teacher of the Gospel of their denomination, or the providing places of divine worship, and to none other use whatsoever,…”

And I noted the exception:

• “…except in the denominations of Quakers and Menonists, who may receive what is collected from their members, and place it in their general fund, to be disposed of in a manner which they shall think best calculated to promote their particular mode of worship.

The wording of the Bill clearly states its purpose to be “the general diffusion of Christian knowledge” via appropriating monies to the “different societies or communities of Christians” to provide “for a Minister or Teacher of the Gospel of their denomination, or the providing places of divine worship [or, again, for the Quakers and Menonists, to “promote their particular mode of worship”].

It can be argued how many people might have felt comfortable enough to opt out [the issue that you raise] of their taxes going to the Church, but whether one or a hundred opted out it wouldn’t have diminished the fact that monies from the general levy would go to support the Christian religion in that funds would be directly given over to the Churches for “the general diffusion of Christian knowledge”; the Christian religion would be the principle beneficiary of the tax. Therefore, Part 2 of Rodda’s statement stands.

Therefore, when Rodda writes, "The General Assessment bill, introduced in the Virginia legislature by Patrick Henry, would have levied a tax on all Virginians for the support of the Christian religion" she is correct.

It takes a very special reading of the Bill to say that it is solely for secular education and that it is not in general support of the Christian religion.

It would have put the state in the position of funding Christian church activities through the levy of taxes.

You should get your monitor checked immediately.

Connection said...

Hmmmm - We have the research of an educated man invited to speak all around the country - verses some wack who admits she didnt even finish highschool - but "reads alot and visits historical sites". Then she comes here to some obscure blog and posts videos she created in her living room exposing her obvious bias towards all things Christian for the handful of other wacks who live here as well.

Great job everyone.

Give me a break!

Bill Saunders said...

Dr. Gregg Frazer an American History professor and born again Christian at "The Master's College" which is a Christian College gave a great message at John MacArthur's Grace Community Church pointing out that America was NEVER a Christian nation. Here is a link to an audio MP3 to that message -

http://www.masters.edu/podcast/chapel/The%20Religious%20Faith%20of%20America%27s%20Fou.mp3

If the .mp3 doesn't show up just do a copy & paste and add .mp3.

Anonymous said...

What is your real agenda for attacking this man anyway? I suppose we have an atheist here, thats the only reason i can see for this attack. Well no matter i think before long you will get a taste of government approved religion anyway. If you don't want to stand up for your God given right then I'm really sorry for whats about to happen to you. I really mean that, not being sarcastic about it. So go right on attacking everybody you thing is not up to your standards. What i really think is the man just used simple words for explaining things that you over educated fools like to make it seem so difficult. God Bless You All In Jesus Name Amen

Naomi said...

Nothing will change until the people the right relies on to maintain their status begin to think for themselves and ask questions and verify information. As long as they continue to believe that formal education make you elitist, and people like Sarah Palin are more believable than our Harvard Law education President, that the academic community can't be trusted, and anyone who said they should be is a art of a vast left wing conspiracy, what is there people like you and I can do? I can debunk David Barton all day long. It's easy. But it doesn't matter if the people who really need to hear it and believe, won't. Perhaps we we need to do is get out of the way and let the GOP and the right have their way with them for a while. It will be painful, but maybe that is what needs to happen in order to show people that they are being used and lied to, mostly, for money.

Rita said...

Sorry, I don't believe anyone who professes to be an Atheist. Their basis of belief is a lie.

Pinky said...

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You need to stick around, Rita.
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:<)

delilah13 said...

i don't think david is a liar in this conversation i think he was just re telling the situation it doesn't seem that far from what she says she was saying...we never recount word for word a converstaion or any thing we are told that doesn't make it a lie. no one has a photo graphic mememory about conversations. She had a recorder in her pocket i doubt he did so he is just recalling what he remembered....which is not a lie. a lie is telling something untrue deliberatley and this is not the case....

rodda...chica listen i have been doing research after barton in a class on christian history of the forefathers and the orginal documents indicate what he says is true.....sorry we were founded on christian principles...

anyone can take a document and prove or disprove this pointing out to other people...but if you really want to know the truth look it up yourself and don't take anyones word for it that is the best for self development.

Deutschmann said...

She seems mean-spirited and bitter. Looks like she was out witch-hunting to me.

Anonymous said...

I 'm deeply thankful/grateful for the videos!they have helped and armed me against the Christian right-wing.freedom of religion and freedom from it is what the 1st amendment guarentees.those right wingers are nothing but a crock of phonies.they should be striped of their tax exempetion.maybe if they paid their fair share,the u.s. would not be in so much debt[which aint never gonna get paid off]talk about the perfect mole.each and every one of those televangelists are clogged/overflowing with shit.canada was/still is more of a Christian nation than down here.think of brazil where they have the gianantic Christ staure.david barton is just a 21st century snakeoil salesman.p.s.keep up the great work!