Thu Aug 9, 2012, 02:32 PM
Adsos Letter (15,336 posts)
The Barton Lies: Conservative Christian Scholars Debunk ‘Christian Nation’ Propagandist
Wall of Separation
Aug 9, 2012
by Rob Boston
Is this the beginning of the end of David Barton’s influence?
I certainly hope so. The phony history being peddled by the “Christian nation” propagandist is under increasing fire from critics – and here’s the rub: They’re all conservative Christians.
As you might recall, Barton runs a Religious Right group called WallBuilders in Aledo, Texas. His central arguments are that the United States was founded to be a Christian nation, the Constitution is based on the Bible, most of the founders were evangelical Christians and church-state separation is a myth.
Barton is not a historian. He holds a degree in Christian Education from Oral Roberts University. I’ve been debunking his sloppy work since 1993. Other critics, such as Chris Rodda (author of Liars for Jesus) have joined the fray.
But Chris and I represent the pro-separation-of-church-and-state community and are thus easily written off by Barton and his pals as “radical secularists.” The new flock of critics will not be so easy to dismiss. LINK: http://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/the-barton-lies-conservative-christian-scholars-debunk-christian-nation
I'm pleasantly surprised by this. As both a Christian with a strong belief in Church/State separation, and the recipient of an M.A. in History, Barton's "work" was always very, very frustrating and maddening to me. The fact that this guy's stuff is used in some schools as an accurate retelling of the United States' founding principles is a dangerous misuse of the historical record, imho.
The article mentions Rodda's Liars for Jesus, an excellent work. I would add to that Frank Lambert's The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America (2006)
I've just ordered The Founding Fathers and the Debate over Religion in Revolutionary America: A History in Documents which is a 2012 publication by OUP. This one also looks like a good read.
EDIT: added link to original Wall of Separation article
EDIT #2: italicized a title
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