Friday, August 10, 2012

"The Jefferson Lies" Pulled

As I drive home in the evenings, if I'm still en route after 6:05 p.m., I catch a few minutes of David Barton's Wallbuilders show. I'm generally sympathetic to what Barton believes, but listening to him describe it is often painful. Part of the problem is his speech pattern, where he cuts off his words as if he's in a hurry. That grinds on me. He says he swallows his words because he's from Texas. No, Mr. Barton. I've known many Texans, working with them and attending church with them. I've never heard a one of them swallow their words like you do. Don't blame your speech on Texas.

The latest controversy is his book The Jefferson Lies, which deals with what he considers revisionist history having been foisted on an unsuspecting population by generations of inaccurate historians. On August 9, 2012, the publisher, Thomas Nelson (a division of Harper Collins), pulled the book due to concerns about it's inaccuracies. The Internet is abuzz over this. I found what I consider to be a fair treatment of it at

I've been concerned about Barton. As I said I listen to him some and think I'm somewhat in agreement with his conclusions, but wonder how he could get to those conclusions based on his logic. Also, he has the view that we should base what type of country we are today on the type of country we were in the distant past. I don't know that I agree with him. So far I've not read any of his published books, nor even as much as a blog post of his.

I think the case for basing our current public policies and administration on biblical principles needs to be made afresh for each generation. They were good in the past? So what? Why are they good now? This is what Barton has failed to do in my listening to him. He needs to make the case that biblical conduct is superior to secular conduct. It was in 1776. It was in 1789. It was in 1861. And it is in 2012. Absent of that case being made, whatever our Founding Fathers believed is an important item to throw in the mix of other items, but is not definitive.

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