What can be learned from the David Barton controversy

John Fea posted a must-read article on Patheos this morning about what can be learned from the debacle over The Jefferson Lies. He brings together many threads and items of relevance to the entire controversy. I hope those who still think criticisms of Barton’s history are only coming from Alinsky-inspired liberals will read this piece.

The truth is out there. The effort to paint us all as academic elitists and liberals is just a way to try to change the subject.

Go read Fea’s post; it is very well done and on target.

New Getting Jefferson Right Endorsement: Charles Dunn

Former Dean and current Distinguished Professor of Government in the Robertson School of Government at Regent University, Charles Dunn, sent along an endorsement of Getting Jefferson Right. Dunn’s endorsement:

“‘Getting Jefferson Right’ by Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter stands up for truth in scholarship against the scholarly problems found in David Barton’s ‘The Jefferson’s Lies.’ Because of the courage of Throckmorton and Coulter, Barton has regrettably fallen from his pedestal of preeminence as a scholar of the early American era. Throckmorton and Coulter deserve the ‘Medal of Honor’ for courage and probity.”

-Charles Dunn, Distinguished Professor of Government & Former Dean Robertson School of Government, Regent University. Author and/or Editor of 20 books on American politics, including The Seven Laws of Presidential Leadership and American Culture in Peril.

David Barton and Rick Green want to convince their audience that liberal elitists are behind the concerns over The Jefferson Lies. Rick Green said elitist professors are using the tactics of Hitler and Alinsky to attack Barton.  Chuck Dunn can in no way be accused of being a leftist.

For more endorsements, go to the Getting Jefferson Right website.

Media on David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies

The UK Guardian covered the removal of Barton’s book today.

Glenn Beck’s news site The Blaze reported on the removal of the book and carried a Barton v. Throckmorton section to be completed tomorrow.

Here is a link to several more stories on the Barton controversy over The Jefferson Lies going back to last week.

Wallbuilders #2 Man Compares David Barton’s Critics to Hitler and Alinsky

Rick Green, David Barton’s right hand man at Wallbuilders, uses some creative and colorful language to address those who have examined David Barton’s claims about Thomas Jefferson.

Question: What do elitist professors have in common with Adolf Hitler & Saul Alinsky?

Answer: They masterfully use the powerful art of innuendo to falsely defame those with which they disagree.

Definition of Innuendo: A derogatory hint or reference to a person or thing.

The internet is abuzz today with leftwing bloggers, elitist professors, and downright jealous peers licking their chops and rubbing their hands in excitement as they repeat the juicy quotes about David Barton books being full of “embarrassing factual errors, suspiciously selective quotes, and highly misleading claims.”

Yet not a single article can point to a single factual error, quote out of context, or misleading claim.

How ‘bout that.

It is one thing to defend your boss or friend, it is another thing to accuse someone of using the tactics of Hitler. I thought everybody knew the first rule of arguing: the first one to invoke Hitler loses the argument. Since he did it first, he loses.

More seriously, this is an outrageously irresponsible reaction. Those looking to Wallbuilders for thoughtful reactions to their recent crisis should be more than disappointed. They should be astonished and shocked that someone who claims to run a pro-family ministry would respond in this manner. Many conservative Christian scholars have raised substantial, documented issues with The Jefferson Lies in various places.  Instead of taking these matters seriously, Wallbuilders resorts to hyperbolic name calling.

It is beyond belief that Green claims that “not a single article can point to a single factual error, quote out of context, or misleading claim.” Just go search for hot-pressed Bible, Kaskaskia Indians, Gnadenhutten, Jefferson Bible, manumission and/or Thomas Jefferson on this blog to get numerous posts outlining in detail factual errors, out of context quotes and misleading claims.  Anyone doing 5 minutes worth of searching will find many more elsewhere.

This is a classic example of trying to change the subject. However, the truth is that the critics are bringing the specifics. Right now, it is Wallbuilders that is using the innuendo and defamation as their chief argument.

David Barton says he has another publisher for The Jefferson Lies

That was fast.

On the Wallbuilders Facebook page, Barton writes the book will rise again. See also this email to his supporters.

I might have more to say when the publisher is announced but until then, consider this an open forum on the matter…

John Fea has some thoughts on those rising to Barton’s defense.

There are many reports on various facets of this story. I hope to bring all the links together on Monday. If Barton does get another publisher, the story will revive with fresh controversy. My hope is that Christian leaders who know the issues will step forward and speak clearly.