David Barton Tells Some Stories in Montana

According to the Helena Independent Record, David Barton delivered some predictable stories to the Montana Governor’s Prayer Breakfast earlier today. ┬áReporter Sanjay Talwani provides the high spots.
The two hour prayer meeting and Ben Franklin’s 14 verses (these wouldn’t be the first politicians to use religion for political purposes) are typically stretched and devoid of the rest of story. In fact, according to Franklin, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention did not following Franklin’s advice, thinking prayer unnecessary. Barton also told his standard legends about George Washington at Valley Forge and the Aitken Bible. It appears he made some of his usual claims about religion and the Constitution.
John Fea addresses the legendary Washington story and I take on the Aitken Bible here and here.
Barton criticized Coulter and me for debunking details which are not central to his arguments. However, the stories he tells are clearly central since he tells them just about wherever he goes.

2 thoughts on “David Barton Tells Some Stories in Montana”

  1. If Christian historians like Prof. Fea want to improve the standards, I don’t oppose that. But it’s done by clear reasoning about abstract matters, and you can’t substitute that by attacking persons.
    I’ve just read what Prof. Fea tells about the Washington story. In the beginning he says:
    “Over two hundred years later David Barton appeared in the U.S. Capitol building and tells a story about George Washington that has been proven over and over again to be false.
    Thereafter he says:
    “These discrepancies, coupled with the fact that Weems was known for writing stories about Washington based upon scanty evidence, have led historians to discredit it.”
    Now there’s an obvious difference between unsufficient evidence and proven falsehood (i.e. sufficient counter-evidence). And when a spokesman for “Christian historians” like Prof. Fea is unsure about such a simple distinction, “Christian historians” have to do a lot of epistemological study in order to improve their standards.

  2. If Christian historians like Prof. Fea want to improve the standards, I don’t oppose that. But it’s done by clear reasoning about abstract matters, and you can’t substitute that by attacking persons.
    I’ve just read what Prof. Fea tells about the Washington story. In the beginning he says:
    “Over two hundred years later David Barton appeared in the U.S. Capitol building and tells a story about George Washington that has been proven over and over again to be false.
    Thereafter he says:
    “These discrepancies, coupled with the fact that Weems was known for writing stories about Washington based upon scanty evidence, have led historians to discredit it.”
    Now there’s an obvious difference between unsufficient evidence and proven falsehood (i.e. sufficient counter-evidence). And when a spokesman for “Christian historians” like Prof. Fea is unsure about such a simple distinction, “Christian historians” have to do a lot of epistemological study in order to improve their standards.

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