David Barton: He Gave Us What We Wanted

7 Responses

  1. Michael Rollins says:

    Anytime I post on a Beck-Barton page or site and use the names Roger Williams and John Leland, my post are deleted and I am banned. They will leave ad hominem and criticism of their facts, but urgently remove post about early Baptist and their mission of faith known as Individual Liberty of Conscience. I believe they fear this type of discussion and it needs to be brought to them. The early secularist need to be heard.

  2. I have not devoted time to reading Barton’s books (although they are on a “someday” list.) I have read some articles at Wallbulders and watched him on television.

    One reason I have not is because of a central presupposition of Barton that you seem to share: that liberal academics have betrayed their craft by “covering up” America’s Christian past. While most academics are liberal, this does not necessarily translate into politicized historical research. I earned an MA and wrote a thesis on colonial religion. I read hundreds of books on American religious history. In fact, the 1960s experienced a several decades long revival(!) of religious history. During that decade increasing numbers of historians turned from the study of political “elites,” wars, diplomacy, legislation, judicial decisions, etc. to studying the average people. And what did they find?
    Americans were (are?) very religious.

    But apparently Barton is not aware that these books exist. A man so uninformed about American historiography can hardly serve as an expert in American history.

  3. Joe Becker says:

    Perhaps it would behoove each of us to actually ‘read’ one (or all) of David Barton’s books, giving particular attention to his Footnotes and Bibliography. Then, bring on the critic and criticism! Hard to be ‘objective’ without having actually spent the time to read the materials and research the historical documents, right?

  4. Joe & Susan Becker says:

    Perhaps it would behoove each of us to actually ‘read’ one (or all) of David Barton’s books, with particular attention to his extensive Footnotes, and Bibliography. Then bring your critic, comments and criticism, responding to specific historical ‘facts’ and documents.

  5. Tom Gilson says:

    I tried to get a copy of The Jefferson Lies, but it has been pulled by the publisher and is available only at a rather outrageous price.

    The critics I referred to here have done their homework. If you read their specific, annotated, criticisms, you’ll find they are credible.

    There is some difficulty getting hold of Barton’s documents as you propose, because he has not made large numbers of them (whatever they may be) accessible to other scholars. Meanwhile multiple factual errors have been identified in freely accessible documents. See here, for example.

    I continue to regard it a real tragedy.

  6. Sault says:

    [quoted from the article]“Barton fended off criticism by blaming it on the liberal academy’s antipathy to Christianity. […] Thus, it was easy (and it still is) to be suspicious of their criticisms in this case.

    But the ideology defense is no help when it’s conservative Christians making a case against Barton”

    Thank God that there were conservative Christians making the case against Barton, because otherwise we may never have known the truth.

    I mean, obviously the liberals just hate Jesus, so we can’t hold their criticism as credible. Can you imagine – listening to scientists and academics who don’t agree with our ideological bias? Why, next thing you know we might be accepting evolution and radiometric dating and the medical evidence showing that gays are born that way!


    Thank God for conservative Christians and the “ideology defense”!


  7. E. W. says:

    I am no historian either, but have read the Bible a few times. Barton is loose not only with historical but also biblical facts. I am surprised that few Christian have checked the passages Barton referenced and called him out on claims such as Jesus opposed minimum wage, free market capitalism is based on the Bible, and progressive, capital gain, and estate tax are unbiblical. Seems to me that Barton is promoting not biblical but Republican values.