This diary seeks to build on the much recommended diary by Christian Dem in NC.Christian Nationalist author and longtime Republican operative David Barton has been much criticized over the years. Including by me. (History is Powerful: Why the Christian Right Distorts History and Why it Matters.) And much more famously by Chris Rodda and Robert Boston. (Here are small recent examples from Chris and Rob respectively about Barton's latest book.) His work, while often described as coming from a Biblical Worldview, has even conservative Christian scholars rolling their eyes and publishing debunkings. (See this story by journalist Bill Berkowitz.)
Barton had been (and continues to be) important -- providing an ideological vision of the Christian Nation intended by the Founding Fathers, and somehow taken away by an evil cabal of liberals, secularists, the ACLU and the Supreme Court (and more!) And he has informed and been a close ally of leading Republican pols including Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann. Mike Huckabee went so far as to say that all Americans should be forced to learn from David Barton at gunpoint.
I could go on (and on.) But suffice to say that there has been a growing outcry about Barton's work in general and his latest book in particular, that his publisher has pulled it from further distribution and for the first time, Barton is likely to get the kind of national attention he deserves. Here is a press release from the always excellent Texas Freedom Network which has nicely explained the matter so I don't have to.
Thomas Nelson Publishing Drops Barton's
The Jefferson Lies
Today, in what has to be the strongest repudiation of Texas-based religious-right activist David Barton yet, his book, The Jefferson Lies, was pulled by leading evangelical publisher Thomas Nelson.
For years Barton has brushed aside criticisms of his distorted work by claiming he is the victim of attacks from anti-Christian secularists and liberal academics. That makes today’s decision by a leading evangelical publisher even more damning.
TFN President Kathy Miller had this to say:
"It’s clear that even the evangelical community is starting to see David Barton for what he is — a propagandist who distorts history for political and ideological purposes. The question is now, will politicians and pundits who have promoted his views have the integrity to follow suit and repudiate Barton?"The Texas Freedom Network has been an outspoken critic of Barton for more than a decade. From his leading role in turning the Texas Republican Party platform into a religious-right manifesto to his more recent involvement in the politicized re-write of social studies standards at the SBOE, TFN has repeatedly called attention to Barton's corrosive influence on Texas politics.
Just last month, the TFN Education Fund published an extensive scholarly critique of Barton's book on Jefferson by Dr. Steven Green of Willamette University. For the background on why Thomas Nelson chose to disown this deeply flawed book, read Dr. Green's excellent review.
The full library of resources TFN has compiled on Barton's career can be found at tfn.org/davidbarton.