Posts Tagged ‘david barton’

Texas Textbooks, Moses Founding Father

Posted in Church and State on September 26th, 2014 by Jim Newman – Be the first to comment

texas textbookDifficult few days replacing windows in a residence. Not terribly complicated  but inconvenient to resident so rushing through them. The old windows are perhaps 100 years old, except for on new wing. Big Box store windows flimsy but what can be afforded, better than old. I doubt they can possibly last 100 years.

Texas in its typical fashion has incorporated an alternative universe in their school textbooks. One would think with on-demand printing so viable now that Texas would no longer dominate the text book industry. Even if this were possible, schools should not have their own standards. We no longer live in autonomous communities with little mobility between them. Economic survival for many requires moving several times in one’s life. For these reasons, need to create effective opportunities, national standards help people succeed, and prevent welfare dependence or job stagnation, decline.

Careful analyst by Justine Esta Ellis (a scholar who was not part of the TFN group) finds the strategy of starting with Moses is aimed at presenting the United States as a unique “redeemer nation,” predestined among all others to act out God’s will. Arch-conservative David Barton, who has no historian’s credentials but who nonetheless has had a huge impact on TEKS, maintains that verse after verse from the Bible is quoted “verbatim” in the Constitution. Checking Scripture demonstrates quickly that this is just not so. The language and the ideas do not match. Any professor of history teaches history majors not to make that kind of mistake.

David Barton, one of history’s greatest liars is still in the thick of it… In typical fashion Texas has no interest in academic integrity.

But the State Board of Education wanted nothing to do with professors. More than a dozen from Texas colleges and universities volunteered to take part in reviewing texts this past summer. Almost all were turned down.

One of those historians, my colleague and former Southern Methodist University department chair Kathleen Wellman, testified at the SBOE public hearing this month. She told the SBOE that the effect of the TEKS requirement to find biblical origins for the Constitution would be to make Moses the “first American.” Some historians give that honor to Benjamin Franklin. Whoever might merit it, Moses definitely does not qualify.

Would be nice if we even knew Moses existed. Of course it is in extremist Texas Christian’s best interest to ignore history.

“It is not pretended,” Madison wrote in April 1787, that professed religion could provide a “sufficient restraint” on individuals bent on doing wrong. He knew as well that “kindled into enthusiasm … by the sympathy of a multitude,” or even in “its coolest state,” religion can just as readily become “a motive to oppression as … a restraint from injustice.”

Madison knew directly how colonial-era Anglicans had persecuted Baptists. He had read about Europe’s post-Reformation wars of religion. Nobody who knows the tragic history of 20th century Ireland, let alone the Middle East now, could disagree with his judgment then.

Whether the Framers were ardent evangelicals, cool Episcopalians and “Old Lights,” or outright doubters, they accepted Madison’s point. They had wrestled with the problem of political religion in the original state constitutions after independence. Their answer on the national level was to exclude religion altogether from the Constitution and from national politics.

The push back against arrogant atheism from recovering or apologist religious people seems to forget the need is to prevent theocracy which is not a small matter. Liberals and moderates seem to think no one would really believe that stuff literally or wish to promote it. After all, they had the sense to quit or know the difference, so must everyone. Some say it’s a matter of freedom. As if school kids, parents, could choose.

Jim Newman, www.frontiersofreason.com

David Barton and Kenneth Copeland on Biblical Cure of PTSD

Posted in Humor, religion on November 14th, 2013 by Jim Newman – Comments Off

bartonFriends and neighbors, we have discovered a new, old cure, reason for PTSD. Soldiers fighting a just war belong to the biblical hall of fame and need to understand they are elevated. They no longer need to condemn themselves. All you have to do is read the bible and you will know you are of David’s army and the righteous are elevated to a biblical platform, an elevated hall of fame. Don’t need no drugs, don’t need no psychology, don’t need no doctors. Just reading the bible and knowing you are a just hero will cure you because you were never sick, you just didn’t acknowledge your god. Your sin of feeling blame is to blame.

Numbers 32 says  soldiers “shall return and be guiltless before the Lord.” As long as you are guiltless you can’t have PTSD and any guilt you feel is because you do not understand you belong to the faith hall of fame. It’s a devil’s mind trick.

In case you are wondering what a just war is. Any war that promotes the bible and conquers those who don’t believe is a just war. Any war asked by god is just. That’s why we didn’t have PTSD back in WWII or WWI, it was a just war and those boys felt blameless. Now, these wars now are just as important but soldiers go into it with secular values and because of that they feel guilt and get PTSD. If these soldiers understood their mission was god’s mission, if we got back to realizing these wars are just wars for god’s will then there wouldn’t be PTSD.

It’s really that simple folks. Those suffering boys need to get over their guilt, need to conquer their feelings of doubt, need to know in their heart they are god’s soldiers. Once they truly know they are elevated not only will the guilt disappear but pride will replace their self condemnation and the PTSD evaporates.

Do you think David had PTSD after fighting Goliath? Do you think Moses suffered from poor sleep and nightmares? It wasn’t until this country doubted the justness of our wars that PTSD appeared, a sin against the lord. It is god’s curse on those who don’t embrace faith and once you embrace your being a hero of faith, you will be healed as if you had never been sick, as if you had never sinned.

Now, I know the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Baptist Liberty Commission has said Copeland and Barton are “profoundly ignorant about theology and history” but these fine historians are only quoting the bible and that’s not ignorant.

Then Moses said to them: “If you do this thing, if you arm yourselves before the Lord for the war, 21 and all your armed men cross over the Jordan before the Lord until He has driven out His enemies from before Him, 22 and the land is subdued before the Lord, then afterward you may return and be blameless before the Lord and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the Lord. 23 But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out.

You see if you fight the just war, if you follow your lord, if you help him drive out his enemies then you may possess their land as your own–god’s right of just conquest. If you do not follow or if you do feel guilt, blame, because you doubt the lord then your sin will wrack your body with PTSD. It’s that simple folks. Get a bible, read it, and calm down.

Jim Newman, bright and well

www.frontiersofreason.com

David Barton Did Quote a Western Novel as Fact

Posted in Uncategorized on March 8th, 2013 by Jim Newman – 1 Comment

Louis_L'AmourWhen I last posted on David Barton, a story he regales often as fact was suspect as a myth, a made up story. It was indeed taken from a Western Novel as history. Chris Rodda:

So, David Barton, in an article on his WallBuilders website, has finally responded to the question of where he got the story he told on Glenn Beck’s web-based TV show about a classroom full of gun-toting elementary school students saving their teacher from a gunman in the 1850s. As suspected, the story did come from Louis L’Amour’s novel Bendigo Shafter. But Barton, who incessantly claims to use only primary sources, and constantly accuses anyone who criticizes him of not using primary sources (even when they do), defends his use of the story because L’Amour, in a recorded introduction to the audio version of one of his other stories, said it really happened:

“There’s a case I use in one of my stories; I use it in the story called Bendigo Shafter. All the kids coming to school used to hang their guns up in the cloakroom because they were miles from home sometimes, and it was dangerous to ride out without a gun. And this is taken from an actually true incident. I use it in my story and tell the story, but it really happened. Now a man came to kill the teacher. It was a man. And he came with a gun, and all the kids liked the teacher, so they came out and ranged around him with their guns. That stopped it. But kids twelve and thirteen used to carry guns to school regularly.

Chris Rodda goes on to detail how borrowing from fiction and recollections is not good research.

Now, L’Amour did do research for his novels, and probably had some sort of source for the incident that he based his story on, but we still don’t know what that source was. L’Amour, in the same audio introduction said he used diaries, books, and newspapers. One book that he singled out as an example of a good source was a book written by a woman who had grown up in Deadwood, South Dakota, but if you look at that book (as I did, of course), you see that much of it was the woman’s recollections many decades later of things that happened when she was a very young child, making its details about as reliable as those in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. Reliable enough for a fiction writer? Yes. Reliable enough for an historian? Not so much.

We still know nothing of the source.

Without the where and when details of the incident that L’Amour based his gun-toting students story on, and not even knowing whether he got the story from a newspaper, someone’s book or diary, or just from someone telling it to him, it can’t be verified. We don’t know if it was exaggerated by whoever L’Amour heard it from, or if he further exaggerated it to make his novel more exciting.

You can read the rest of her blog here.

As a kid I wanted a horse more than anything. I adored all that was Western and read every Western, frontier, or horse book series I could get: Zane Grey, Will James, LI Wilder, Ralph Moody, Holling C Holling, Mauguerite Henry, Walter Farley, Owen Wister, Mark Twain, J Frank Dobie, Bret Harte, Jack London, John Steinbeck, and others I can no longer remember. Max Brand and Louis L’amour came later.

I was reroofing my inlaw’s house on the south shore of Lake Superior while my spouse-to-be was working in the city. Built by Fins there was a Finnish sauna. A large building, 20 ft square, divided in half, with the first part a gaming, dressing, conversational area. The second half was the sauna with several benches, like bleachers, facing a stove with rocks on top to pour water for steam.  The work was hard and early in the afternoon I would start a fire to build heat. At the end of the day, sore from roofing I would look through the shelves of Louis L’Amour and Max Brand paperbacks. Short and easy I could read one a night if I stayed up late or one every two days.

L’Amour is best considered a pulp writer. The plots were simple, the morals easy, the shooting quick and deadly. Often a loner unable to be with the woman he loved until the end. The backs of the books and sometimes inside would show L’Amour, a modern westerner with his big hat, and he talked about his inspiration. There were 30-40 of his books there, not even half of his 90 or so works. Most were Bantam editions that tended to melt in the steam. He had sold hundreds of millions of books (320 million by 2010). He had done some western history as well. They were iconic of the dream but not of the history, not even of the literature. John Tuska wrote.

I have no argument that L’Amour’s total sales have probably surpassed every other author of Western fiction in the history of the genre. Indeed, at the time of his death his sales had topped 200,000,000. What I would question is the degree and extent of his effect “upon the American Imagination”. His Western fiction is strictly formulary and frequently, although not always, features the ranch romance plot where the hero and the heroine are to marry at the end once the villains have been defeated. Not only is there nothing really new in the basic structure of his stories, even L’Amour’s social Darwinism, which came to characterize his later fiction, was scarcely original and was never dramatized in other media the way is was in works based on Zane Grey‘s fiction.

I have to agree Zane Grey’s books were longer, denser, and more complicated as well. Will James’s books were the most authentic and his 1927 Newberry Metal novel “Smokey, the Cow Horse” deserved the NYTBR praise.  “There have been many horse stories. But not one of them can compare with this book.” … “One of the finest horse stories ever told …” Nevertheless with absence of TV (no reception) or better reading material they served in those evening sweats to take away my  care from not being with my girlfriend, soon to be my spouse. Truly, I would have rather driven 7 hrs a day to be with her but could not.

The books were just a little too much like a white guy wannabe cowboy that romanticized frontier times into a sterile heap of black and white morality and personal value. L’Amour wasn’t of the 1800’s lamenting the end of the West or describing the unparalleled vistas, he was lingering over a West that had never been, could never be, and probably we should be glad it hadn’t been.

His book “Bendago Shafter” won the National Book Award in 1979 and it’s likely that many men read this book. I don’t recall if I did as I read so many of his books in those few weeks they blend into a haze of smarmy westernism. “In 1982 he won the Congressional (National) Gold Medal, and in 1984 President Ronald Reagan awarded L’Amour the Presidential Medal of Freedom. L’Amour is also a recipient of North Dakota’s Roughrider Award.”

It is understandable but pathetic that David Barton would wish that history were as L’Amour wrote it. He well embodies the feelings of the Reagan era mystique where good men win, ladies are saved, and justice is served. A dream of the past no matter how pleasant cannot be history. Better to understand the full story that we may learn from it than wallow in self serving glory at the expense of the future.

Jim Newman, bright and well

www.frontiersofreason.com

 

David Barton Liar, Misquotes and Intellectual Terrorism

Posted in atheists on May 11th, 2012 by Jim Newman – 8 Comments

Post by Jim Newman

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David Barton is the most dangerous man in America. I hate to give him credit but if there were a most wanted list for intellectual terrorists it would be him. In my opinion if there were a prison for intellectual dishonesty he should have a life term. Not because of his opinion but because he lies for it, over and over and over again.

Barton is an intellectual terrorist. He uses lies misquotes to instill fear into Americans that atheism is ruining America and to instill false information into everyone that America is a Fundamentalist Christian Nation and always has been. He pretends that it was originally a theocracy and should be now. He wants to make people afraid and defensive of their Christianity. He lies for religious intolerance of anything but his rigid brand of Christianity.

He was forced to rescind 12 quotes publicly; from the Examiner.

In his 1989 book The Myth of Separation, Barton used twelve quotes which he claimed were from the founding fathers and the U.S. Supreme Court, which supported his claim that the separation of church and state as guaranteed by Thomas Jefferson in his Letter to the Danbury Baptists. He also said in the book that the “wall of separation” Jefferson wrote about was one-directional, meaning that the government has no right to infringe upon the church but not the other way around (3). Thing is, you see, after some tedious research by historians, Barton was called out on this lie. As cited in the article “Wallbuilders Shoddy Workmanship” by Rob Boston (in the magazine Church & State), Barton admitted he had made the quotes up. He was pressured into publishing a pamphlet entitled “Unconfirmed Quotations” in which he admitted such.  The word he used was “spurious” which, for anyone who doesn’t know, means “of falsified or erroneously attributed origin” (4).  In other words, he made them up.

I am sure Eusebius would be proud of Barton for it was he that said it was good to publish fictions if they supported the church. For Eusebius the church he wished to create was more important than what the church was. Recall that Eusebius was at the time of Constantine.

Gibbons (Decline and Fall of Roman Empire) writes of Eusebius.

“The gravest of the ecclesiastical historians, Eusebius himself, indirectly confesses, that he has related whatever might redound to the glory, and that he has suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace, of religion.”

Jacob Burckhardt the 19th century historian writes  “the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity”.

Leave it to Christianity to breed contempt of truth in favor of ideology. David Barton deserves no exception at his utterly outlandish misquotes. His Christian reconstruction of America is a paradigm of propagandistic revisionism. I can only assume that in future years when I look up Liars in history Barton will be next to Eusebius.

He best champions Neoevangelisiom where it is no longer important or even proper to look at the bible literally or even exegetically or even hermeneutically. Rather, the bible and church are whatever you think it should be. It’s not even important to get the facts straight. It’s best to promote his peculiar Christian agenda.

It’s not that the Founding Fathers were Christian Jesus lovers it’s they should have been so they are. It’s not that a school boy was fighting at lunch, it’s that christian reconstructionists need an example of prejudice against passive prayer at schools to promote their agenda. It’s not that Patrick Henry insisted on a state religion, it’s that he insisted on Christianity as the state religion because that’s what he should have done. It’s not that Thomas Jefferson crossed out the miracles in his bible it’s that he should’t have so he didn’t. It’s not that bibles were printed for Indians, it was that they should have been.

David Barton is enveloped in a religious wet dream where he fantasizes like a little boy that his every Christian Dream will come true when he insists to all of his friends that it is indeed already true.

Newt Gringrich has been called America’s worst historian:

Is the reputation deserved? I am not qualified to judge Gingrich’s knowledge of pterodactyls or the merits of establishing a colony on Mars. However, I have just completed his latest book of history: A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters. And I can say, with absolute confidence, that it may be the most inaccurate, least intellectual book about our nation’s past I have ever read.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a lie and is one of the world’s greatest living liars, justifying lies based on ideology.

“The pretext (Holocaust) for the creation of the Zionist regime (Israel) is false … It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim,” he told worshippers at Tehran University at the end of an annual anti-Israel “Qods (Jerusalem) Day” rally.

“Confronting the Zionist regime is a national and religious duty.”

But politicians are often liars so they are more easily dismissed. People who commit economic fraud like Ponzi are great liars. Stalin, Hitler. Mussolini, Mao and many other fascists dictators are wanton liars but we expect it in war. Is Barton engendering a war against history and secularism? Is his intellectual terrorism designed to encourage aggression to fellow citizens? Tea partiers spoke of bringing guns to town halls and DC and I am afraid their history teacher is Barton who wishes to “reclaim” America to it’s nonexistent Christian roots.

But a historian? I think Newt needs to stand aside, for David Barton is the worst and most blatantly inaccurate, purposefully misquoting liar in modern history. His books should be burned. I embrace opposing viewpoints but not intentional intellectual fraud. He should have to apologize for his misquotes every damn day until history is flushed of his wrong words. There are a plethora of sites out there showing his lies.

Barton told Stewart that he “never had to retract a single thing” But we’ve provided a ong list of times when Barton has had to retract his statements and assertions, as well as times that he has been directly called out for misrepresenting quotes and lying about historical events and figures.

This from Barton’s Bunk:

Barton’s work is not just an academic exercise. It is meant to have a political impact. For Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Barton promotes a false reality in which anyone who opposes any element of his political agenda stands in opposition to both the Founding Fathers and to God. He believes that everything in our society – government, the judiciary, the economy, the family – should be governed according to the Bible, and he promotes a view of the Bible and Jesus that many Christians would not recognize. Opponents, even Christians, who disagree with Barton about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.

This from Rightwingwatch concerning the celebrated but wrong 18 yr-old misquote of a child punished for praying in school:

On NBC-TV’s “Meet the Press,” Gingrich described the situation as “a real case about a real child. Should it be possible for the government to punish you if you say grace over your lunch? That’s what we used to think of Russian behavior when they were the Soviet Union.”

But school officials said the incident never happened. Rather, they said, Raymond was disciplined for fighting in the cafeteria.

“I can tell you he was not reprimanded for praying,” said Kenneth Brostron, the school’s lawyer. “Do you think it makes sense that the teachers would look around the cafeteria and target the one student who was praying quietly at his seat?”

Herman Mehta wrote on Barton and Stewart’s first interview last year here.

The whole thing is just infuriating. Barton goes on and on (and on), talking over Stewart, saying that Christianity is under attack. Stewart calls him out on it. Barton changes the subject, cherrypicks court cases to prove some obscure point, and acts like he’s victorious.

Chris Rodda wrote “Liars for Jesus” and you can buy it here. If you can’t afford it now you can download the PDF here–she made it available after Jon Stewart’s interview last year. Jon’s interview this year is better but still too soft.  Here is the first of her video’s and you can follow the rest at Youtube or here at American Creation.

Rodda has also debunked his latest book on Jefferson at free thought blog.

To begin my debunking of Barton’s new book, I picked the chapter titled “Lie #2: Thomas Jefferson Founded a Secular University,” and there are so may lies in just this one chapter that my video on it ended up being nearly two hours long.

The following is a list of his misquotes. Some will be familiar as they are still used now. That is the danger of misinformation. Learn to spot them and refute them as they are perniciously present.

= = = = = =
It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.

˜ George Washington (1732-1799), 1st US president, American revolutionary

= = = = = =
The only assurance of our nation’s safety is to lay our foundation in morality and religion.

˜ Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th US president

= = = = = =
The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.

˜ Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th US president

= = = = = =
America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.

˜ Alexis de Tocqueville

= = = = = =
I have always said and always will say that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make us better citizens.

˜ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd US president, author of the Declaration of Independence

= = = = = =
Whosoever shall introduce into the public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.

˜ Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American revolutionary, author, scientist, inventor, satirist, statesman, and rake

= = = = = =
It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!

˜ Patrick Henry

= = = = = =
There are two powers only which are sufficient to control men, and secure the rights of individuals and a peaceable administration; these are the combined force of religion and law, and the force or fear of the bayonet.

˜ Noah Webster

= = = = = =
Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extent, our civilizations and our institutions are emphatically Christian.

˜ US Supreme Court, Supposedly from Holy Trinity v. US

= = = = = =
We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves … according to the Ten Commandments of God.

˜ James Madison (1809-1817), 4th US president, “father” of the Constitution and Bill of Rights

= = = = = =
The principles of all genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations are to be drown from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be assessory [sic] to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer.

˜ Noah Webster

= = = = = =
A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or eternal invader.

˜ Samuel Adams, American revolutionary

Banish this intellectual terrorism and do not let Christian Reconstructionist liars like Barton continue to sway the public, too easily terrorized in these trying times of global and economic uncertainty.

Jim Newman, bright and well

www.frontiersofreason.com  www.brightpride.com