This is my official return to American Creation as a Contributor after a long absence and one aborted attempt last year to find time to do this. With that stated, my first post is going to be on something I almost never post about on this blog: David Barton. I have avoided writing posts in the past and rarely comment on those that do. This was because there is a real danger in poisoning this blog by bringing in all the supercharged hysteria found in the "Culture Wars". I believe this because this is mainly a History blog and the job of the Historian is to be a dispassionate umpire that calls the balls and strikes as he sees them.
However, I learned one very important thing in being a History teacher over the years. This is that the only reason to really study the past is to understand the present. The reason for this is obvious. We cannot change the past but we can learn from it. So, I think it wise from time to time that we do bring up the present here at American Creation in order to better understand the History we seek to study. With that in mind, I present to you a response I left to Chris Rodda at Free Thought Blogs with my take on the whole David Barton mania in general.
More specifically in regards to his book being pulled, Rick Green's challenge for anyone to find inaccuracies in Barton's work, Chris Rodda's response, and his back to her. All of which has been chronicled in recent posts by Jon Rowe. Here is my response to Ms. Rodda:
I have just re-engaged back with American Creation and have read the posts that Jon is linking here. I left a comment on one of your posts on Facebook under my Brand page “3rdWAVElands” and would love to hear a response. I have a proposal for you:
If you can give me your most simple and undeniable way in which Barton uses bad history I will take to the blog as a Christian and get them to pay attention. I disagree with you at times but find you to be a fair person. But I am going to call it as I see it on both sides if this thing is finally going to be settled.
If that is your goal I think I can help you. They cannot dismiss me the way they did you. I am a Christian and share many of the same theological and political beliefs as they do. I struggle with a great deal of the latter but still can work with them and speak their language. Recently, I have joined a bunch of Facebook Groups with libertarians and Tea Party evangelicals with the goal of trying to get them to unite.
That may sound like a bad thing to you but in fact if the liberty movement can make end roads with the Religious Right a lot of this national stuff will stop. I personally do not believe homosexuality is right according the Bible but it is not worse than me sleeping with married(separated but still married) women the last few years when I got fed up with the church. As far as society goes I am a firm believer that the state should not have a say in marriage at all or it should be hyper-local at best. No way the Federal Government should be involved in marriage. As far as abortion I believe personally that it is morally wrong. This is both philosophically and theologically. But I know their are other issues that the Bible talks about too that get ignored.
In fact, I find it laughable that the Religious Right that purports to stand for “Constitutional Values” started a 25 year crusade to stack the Supreme Court as their only goal. This by solely focusing on the Presidential races. In the end, their golden child Roberts may have ended their influence. 25 years and no overturn of Roe v Wade but Roberts did pass Obamacare? This has pissed off the "liberTea" movement, as I think it is best labeled, and they are fighting mad. More and more at the Evangelicals that put Roberts there than even Obama who they hate.
What they miss is that our government was just given the unlimited power to tax for the first time in our history. This was the very thing the founders declared independence over. The whole Declaration of Independence was a response to King George telling them he could tax them anyway he pleased. Thus, relegating them to slaves.
The ignorance of History in the liberTea movement is amazing. Someone recently contacted me about helping them with something political wanting my support(I helped a candidate here in Florida with Social Media and have gotten a lot of connections in doing so) talked to me about the Federalist Papers. I told that person I was wanting to finally get around to reading the Anti-Federalist papers and she had no idea what they were? It is not a bad person but it really shocked me that someone so involved in the "Get Back to the Constitution" movement did not know that.
Sorry for the long comment but I think we both want to see accurate History put out there and for people to make up their own minds. When I get you and Ed Brayton away from your followers and over to American Creation where all the supercharged rhetoric gets eliminated you get to see that you are well meaning people that just want to see the truth come out. I am a product of Ed’s willingness to discuss things with people that are trying to be intellectually honest. I went on his blog to tear him a new ass. I left respecting him and his passion. Same with you.
I was one of the zealots you guys seem to be trying to reach to show them that the Religious Right is in error on some key points. I was never all that fond of them but was still heavily influenced because in that world you get isolated from the “evils of this world” and live in a bubble. A bubble I have found that 99 percent of the world lives in. I have traveled enough and talk with enough people overseas to know that most never question it one bit and are taught from birth to listen to the holy man or guru.
Thank God for me that I was atheist skeptic and had to change my mind to believe in the Bible. A choice some might think absurd but nonetheless a choice based on study, questioning, and soul searching. I also was raised a Socialist by my grandfather the famous labor leader William Winpisinger and have converted to "Old School" Conservatism. This through much study, questioning, and soul searching. Same way he came to be a Socialist. I disagree with much of his politics now but he is still my hero because he believed honestly from the heart and knew why he believed.
My point to you Chris is that we can disagree and still work to see that people are presented all sides and encouraged to choose what they believe is right. This is what "Free Thought" is all about. So let me know your best, simple, and most undeniable case against something Barton wrote and I will put the heat on this guy to answer it. Starting with the Proverb he quoted. This is because if he just dismissed you without merit that makes him the fool.
I can see both sides and just want the truth to come out.