The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

David Barton’s Make-Believe Version of American History

By Mark Potok on August 24, 2012 - 4:35 pm, Posted in Extremist Propaganda

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Aug. 20 at the website of Other Words, which publishes progressive editorials and offers them to newspapers around the country.

David Barton, a self-styled Christian historian who claims to debunk left-wing myths about America, is sure of it: If you studied the Founding Fathers like he has, you would know that “as far as they were concerned, they had already had the entire debate on creationism and evolution.”

And the creationists, Barton says, won.

Just one little problem: Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species, the founding text of the theory of evolution, wasn’t published until 1859. That’s, oh, about three-quarters of a century after the founders were active.

The very same day that Barton offered up his unique view of creationism — a term that was first applied to American fundamentalist beliefs only in 1929 — he told his interviewer that most of the founders were abolitionists, even if George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and many others were slaveholders. “That’s why we said we want to separate from Britain, so we can end slavery,” he said.

Hmmm. That was awfully noble of them. Except for one thing: The British were way out front of the Americans on this. In 1807, Parliament outlawed the slave trade in the British Empire. In subsequent years, it pressured other European nations to end or curtail the trade. In 1833, Britain abolished slavery completely.

We Americans finally did so in 1865. That was 32 years after the British, which is kind of strange if you believe David Barton’s fairy tales.

Why does any of this matter? It matters because, sad to say, Barton matters — or at least he did, until the conservative Thomas Nelson Publishers yanked his tendentious but best-selling book, The Jefferson Lies, earlier this month. Despite the fact that he has no academic training in history or related fields at all, Barton has become the go-to man for much of the religious far right — an ideologue who claims that the separation of church and state is a “myth” and that the Founding Fathers actually were building an explicitly Christian nation. Prominent politicians like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann think he’s brilliant.

He’s not brilliant. He’s not a historian. But he is a right-wing bigot.

That became indisputable in the last month, a very bad period for the man described by conspiracy-monger Glenn Beck as “the most important man in America.” Viewers of the History Channel voted The Jefferson Lies, which depicts the man who actually endorsed a wall between church and state as an enthusiast of America as a “Christian nation,” “the least credible history book in print.” Ten conservative Christian professors denounced its totally unsupported claims. An NPR story obliterated his assertion that the Constitution quoted the Bible. Then his Christian publishing house said it had “lost confidence in the book’s details.”

There’s more. Barton believes that gay people should be sent to prison. He claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the government at all levels. He insists, based on nothing but his own highly unusual reading of the Bible, that environmentalism, the graduated income tax, the minimum wage, deficit spending, unions, and measures to battle global warming are all opposed by God. In Texas, he worked to strip Martin Luther King Jr. from high school history textbooks.

No one is saying David Barton can’t make whatever reckless and false claims he wants. He’s as protected by the First Amendment as any of us. But that doesn’t mean that he has to be taken seriously, given a podium, or boosted as a must-read “historian,” as Huckabee called him. Let’s finally consign Barton’s propaganda to the slag heap of baseless and obnoxious ideas where it belongs, and get on with a serious debate about the future of our troubled country.

  • Ariana

    And somehow I’m not quite satisfied with this little writing on Barton…something tell me that splcenter.org – Hatewatch: keeping an eye on the radical right” might be a “little” biased.
    …but they have “.o-r-g” at the end of their site so they MUST be legit. right?

  • aadila

    I wonder why in a society that prizes “free markets” there are so many people enslaved by poverty.

  • Wendell Witten

    “I wonder why we need to have a financial incentive to help poor people. Money is the religion of America, and it demands human sacrifice.”

    So true a statement. Sadly, the majority of actual “sacrifices” seem to be a great many of these underprivileged, inner-city, minority youth who are offered up on alters of gunfire, drug-overdoses, long-term prison sentences, multiple teen pregnancies and homes not condusive to placing value on education. I know there are no easy solutions to these problems; yet they so desperately need to be addressed if America is ever going to be a truly fair and just Nation.

    * “free market” of course is in quotes due to the socialization of risk including demands for government subsidies means it is not really a “free market.”

    Wonderful how the Dieties of deregulation did not hesitate to bail out the big banks and speculators once they ran the economy into the pooper. I don’t recall those “free market” institutions making a great deal of “free market” small business loans in the “free market” economy after they had their bacon saved by an already deficit riddled, Republican run government. Sadly, the “socialization of risk” seems only to benefit those “too big to fail.”

  • Erika

    After my fake legal history last Friday i have new found “respect” for the work of David Barton. While i was trying to make things up for humor purposes rather than propaganda purposes, its actually kind of hard to make up facts out of thin air – no wonder he fails so misarably at it ;)

    aadila, its the way of the modern Randian Republican – worship Mammon and the “free market”*, put a price on everything, privatize everything especially profits, and socialize risk.

    * “free market” of course is in quotes due to the socialization of risk including demands for government subsidies means it is not really a “free market.”

  • aadila

    “I wonder today why Mr. Gingrich, nor any other politician for that matter has not suggest an after-school program in which students who performed well academically get paid to tutor those who come from disadvantaged home-life situations.”

    I wonder why we need to have a financial incentive to help poor people. Money is the religion of America, and it demands human sacrifice.

  • Wendell Witten

    “Let’s finally consign Barton’s propaganda to the slag heap of baseless and obnoxious ideas where it belongs, and get on with a serious debate about the future of our troubled country.”

    What a truly wonderful statement Mr. Potok. Let’s consider for a moment one of the brilliant, Republican, failed Presidential candidates, and an idea he put forth at one of the debates to solve one aspect of our “troubled country:” Newt Gingrich suggested that inner-city, poor, minority students replace Union Janitors in an effort to teach them the value of work, and give them a little spending money, all the while saving the tax-payers from greedy Janitor unions.” (Paraphrased barely) I wonder why this brilliant politician who endorses Mr. Barton as a must-read author. I remember Newt’s comments getting thunderous applause from the conservative crowd in attendance. I wonder if they would have given Mr. Gingrich a standing ovation if he suggested those students replacing the janitors wear yard-jockey uniforms while performing their various tasks.

    I wonder today why Mr. Gingrich, nor any other politician for that matter has not suggest an after-school program in which students who performed well academically get paid to tutor those who come from disadvantaged home-life situations. They could earn a little spending money; provide positive peer-pressure to learn then earn; understand that education breeds success; and most importantly, that regardless of their personal situations they matter.

    The reason we don’t hear ideas such as these coming from these people of conservative prominence who advocate the readership of Mr. Barton is because they are “not brilliant” as Mr. Potok so adeptly points out.

    There are no easy solutions to the problems of our beloved Nation, and solving them is going to require a great deal more than children disguised as authors, politicians and pundits arguing over whose fairy-tale best suits coming up with solutions to very complicated problems.

    Lastly, allowing trolls to post racist rants is instrumental in understanding the mentality of the Religious Right. One need but read their fear-based themes regarding people who differ from them physically and politically in order to understand why seemingly intelligent people like the politicians and pundits mentioned in Mr. Potok’s article endorse the fairy-tales that best fit their agenda, that being to remain in power and privilege.

  • Erika

    ugh! I can’t even get my own joke case right. It obviously should have been “the First Amendment protects the right to argue about science fiction characters in private”

    Apparently my mind was already lying on the beach in a Find Radiant Joy in Peach Bottom bikini

  • Erika

    Apparently all of you are forgetting that based upon the writings of Ben Franklin and in the wake of the shocking duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton which most people are unaware started over a discussion about Star Wars, Congress passed the Nerds Act of 1806 which called for people who argue about which character from science fiction was better in the pressence of “a faire madien” to be punished by spending time in the stocks until they realize that they as impressive as their knowledge of science fiction may be, it is not going to impress anybody who counts.

    This law was upheld in the landmark but little known 1808 Supreme Court decision of United States v. Geeks written by Chief Justice John Marshall who noted “under the English common law since Dorks Case (1386), there has been a long tradition of punishing people who insist upon sharing their vast knowledge about subjects for which no one who anyone would actually want to impress would care. As the great legal writer Blackstone noted “anyone who cares enough to get into an argument in public over which character from a fictional program constitutes a public nuisance.” While our First Amendment protects the right to argue over science fiction in public without punishment, such arguments become public nusiances when aired in public.”

    Some debate did remain on whether the Nerds Act only applies to discussions in front of “faire maidens” as originally stated from Dork’s Case (1386) and the original Nerds Act of 1806 or whether it applies to all discussions of science fiction in public places. That appears to have been settled by later interpretation which removed gender distinction within various statutes. Finally, any doubt was removed by the “Nerds Act Amendments Act of 1986″ which recodified and amended the original Nerds Act to remove any reference to gender. That act also provided for strict licensing requirements for Sci Fi conventions. Whether that was because following the sexual revolution there were fewer “faire maidens” around is also subject to debate. Oddly enough, Congress kept the punishment as being confinement to the stocks. That law also made it punishable by death to mention that Ronald Regan once played second banana to a monkey in the Bonzo Amendment – however, the Bonzo Amendment was struck down by the Supreme Court in the case of Americans for Hilarity v. Reagan (1987).

    (obviously, its Friday before a long weekend and I’m feeling silly)

  • Aron

    Kirk or Picard? Pssssh!

    They suck. Janeway’s where it’s at!

  • Kiwiwriter

    Actually, my favorite captain is Bruce Greenwood as Christopher Pike, in the last movie. He radiated experience and authority.

    I’m glad he made Admiral at the end of the picture, and isn’t flashing lights like in the original series…I hope they let him walk again and get a role as the admiral in the next movie.

  • Aron

    And Gorn. Gorn was definitely pro-Kirk.

    Pro kicking Kirk’s behind!

  • CoralSea

    Ian –

    I believe you.

  • aadila

    And the Green Woman. She was in Kirk’s camp.

  • Ian

    Coral,

    The were firmly in the Picard camp.

    So were Confucius, Jesus, Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Jonas Salk, and that guy that saved a ton of people by landing his plane safely in the Hudson.

    You know who was in the Kirk camp?

    Hitler.

  • Kiwiwriter

    “@ Kiwiwriter,

    Not to nitpick, but since you are keen on getting the historical details correct, I don’t think that we can say that Steve Jobs is the ” Inventor of the technology that gave us the SmartPhone,”. It is fair to say that he gave us the iPhone, but I don’t know if he actually holds any of the patents for the technology.

    The term “SmartPhone” was coined by Ericsson in the ‘97 timeframe, IIRC, and has been in use since to describe a variety of handheld devices.

    I will give Jobs his due as a marketeer and visionary with a fine product, but he did not invent the technology.”

    Okay, Gregory, I’ll take the nitpicking. My understanding was that Steve Jobs invented the thing.

    I think the rest of my points hold, though, particularly the ignorance of people who make use of his technology, and don’t know who Steve Jobs is.

    I have also met educated people who don’t know who Winston Churchill is, which is equally frightening.

    I hope the rest of my points held up, though.

    By the way, speaking of how badly history is taught… history textbooks always get vague on what Helen Keller did after she graduated from university. They talk a great deal about how she overcame blindness and deafness to gain her education, but they don’t mention much what she did with it. She’s just vaguely described as a “humanitarian” and “activist.”

    The answer is: she was a Communist. She wrote essays praising the newly-founded Soviet Union, and blasted capitalism as being the cause of blindness among industrial workers due to disease or industrial accidents. She drew a great deal of condemnation for her stands.

    But you won’t find that in the textbooks. Too bad. I think it makes her more interesting.

  • CoralSea

    Oh, my, I am late joining this thread. I was busy commenting on some EPA guidance issues — sorry.

    Ian — are you sure that the founding fathers settled Kirk vs. Picard? Because I thought the jury was still out on that (I’m in the Picard camp, fyi).

    A part of me hopes this imbecile continues spewing his stupidity (the whole Darwin business is wonderfully entertaining!). For one thing, it really makes it easy to spot the hopelessly stupid and/or willfully ignorant among us by researching lists of his endorsers. However, considering how intensely wrong and backward thinking appears to be entering the public consciousness (such as it is), this idiot needs to be challenged at every opportunity.

    As an environmental consultant and someone who deals with risk communication and technical communication, I have seen first-hand the damage done (or the damage not averted might be a better characterization) by the climate change deniers. I am frequently both saddened and astounded when I talk with people and they mention that climate change is “a liberal hoax” and that it is something “Al Gore thought up.” The fact that we have news media that no longer questions the spinnings of industry media consultants or researches much of anything is imperiling our democracy.

    In regard to the rampant spreading of demonstrably erroneous information, especially bastardized history and science, by people seeking to further religious agendas is damaging because the unsuspecting or easily duped (or those who are simply looking to justify their own religious bigotries) see this crap on the bookshelves and believe it! And homeschooling and the garbage that many of them use to “teach” their kids is creating a generation of indoctrinated morons.

    My sister homeschooled her kids using this tripe. She is now getting paid by the state she lives in (I’ll give you a hint: she lives in Sarah Palin’s state) to tutor other people’s home schooled kids because their parents are too dumb to do it. She is, among other things, teaching them biology. She is going to mention evolution “in passing” for balance, but most of her efforts will concentrate on teaching the “real” truth.

    I fear for all our futures if these influences continue.

  • Erika

    Ian, its quite possible you are actually too intelligent to understand Barton’s interpretation :)

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    If you’d like to see more evidence of Barton’s lying(as well as Glenn Beck’s support for his lying), check out the book Liars for Jesus and the website of its author, Chris Rhoda.

  • Ian

    I think I’m just not smart enough to understand Barton’s interpretation of the Seventh Amendment:

    http://youtu.be/bOoGuPJ8pM8

    For the record, this is what it says:

    In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    No word yet on whether this part of the Constitution was also taken verbatim from the Bible.

  • Sam Molloy

    I need a heavier gage tinfoil hat

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    ” He also says “Church was held in this very room in 1800?, apparently unaware that the original Capitol was burned in 1812 and that one was not built yet in 1800.”

    That’s just what the LIBERALS want you to think.

  • Reynardine

    The “flood” you talk about is actually a number of cataclysmic releases of water that occurred as the continental glaciers melted down. Lake Agassiz, Lake Missoula, the Black Sea flood, and a number of less well-known marine transgressions all contributed both to flood legends. The release of water from the immense Lake Agassiz alone may have raised worldwide sea levels rapidly enough to send a bore up the estuaries of the Tigris/Euphrates system; the first recorded flood legends from that area are Mesopotamian. The psychological impact of the Black Sea Flood has likely left its mark iinto the present time.

    No one knows for certain how quickly the Baltic Basin was salted, or whether the Doggerland submergence was always gradual or involved catastrophic events. Another Agassiz, however, could be lurking under the Greenland ice cap, and as a Floridian, I am not altogether at ease.

  • Sam Molloy

    This could be a double post. I’m still having trouble due undoubtedly to the aforementioned liberal worldwide conspiracy(ies). David Barton has a video where he’s showing off paintings in the Capitol of “Teaching Pocahontis about the Bible” and other highly optimistic versions of history. He acts like they are irrefutible photographs. He also says “Church was held in this very room in 1800″, apparently unaware that the original Capitol was burned in 1812 and that one was not built yet in 1800. He is an extremely dangerous revisionist historian who wants America to become a Theocracy. That said, there is nothing dangerous or hateful about Creationism by itself, and there is reasonable evidence of a rapid draining of a flood and no real evidence of trans species Evolution.

  • Gregory

    @ Kiwiwriter,

    Not to nitpick, but since you are keen on getting the historical details correct, I don’t think that we can say that Steve Jobs is the ” Inventor of the technology that gave us the SmartPhone,”. It is fair to say that he gave us the iPhone, but I don’t know if he actually holds any of the patents for the technology.

    The term “SmartPhone” was coined by Ericsson in the ’97 timeframe, IIRC, and has been in use since to describe a variety of handheld devices.

    I will give Jobs his due as a marketeer and visionary with a fine product, but he did not invent the technology.

  • Lawrence Rockwood

    We on the American Left have the equivalent of Barton, they are called Trotskyites. “There were no mass murders and torture chambers under Lenin. Life was a democratic dream until Stalin.

  • ORAXX

    David Barton lacks the requsite education to teach history at the grade school level and, may as well be calling himself an astronaut. He’s just one more religious con man getting rich on the gullibility of Christian fundamentalists.

  • Whatever

    Ian… well played.

    As a geologist, I tend to get pretty upset at creationists… especially those that like to scream the battle cry of “religious intolerance” when school boards decide to teach science instead of “religion as science”/ ie creationism.

    Creationism is solely founded on ignorance.

    It is a thought process that claims ALL of the following are hoaxes:

    geology
    paleontology
    radio isotope dating
    the fossil record (which proves plate tectonics)
    physical anthropology
    stratigraphy
    certain branches of oceanography

    I could go on and on and on.

    It is the similar mindset that if a woman is raped her ladybits can magically shut down her whole reproductive system.

    Bizzare, but all to common in the religious right/ teabagger movement.

    It almost makes me ashamed to be an American.

  • Sam Molloy

    In his video David Barton points out various propaganda paintigs, like teching Pocahantis the Bible, as though they were photographs. He also says Church was held “right here in this building in 1800″. The crowd of uneducated seniors from his tour bus eats it up, not realizing that the original Capitol building, on Wall Street in New York, was burned in 1812 by the British , and the current Capitol wasn’t all there until like 1843. That said, Creationism has nothing to do with Gay except maybe it proves that it is normal (read Take Back The Word if you don’t think so) and I for one believe it.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Well, “ParkMotok” is the latest variation on a troll who has entered this board numerous times before, spouting his “cut-and-paste” rubbish, and by Willy Dingo, this is indeed cut and paste from his previous posts!

    Tell us who has forced you to “assimilate” and when the US was an “Only white” country.

    Anyway, “ParkMotok” just wants to derail the discussion, like all trolls, so I will get back to the discussion.

    I’m not surprised by the rubbish Mr. Barton is spouting on American history…Americans still believe that Columbus discovered the country, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Washington cut down the cherry tree and threw a silver dollar across the Rapahannock, Besty Ross sewed up the first American flag, and that Colin Kelly flew his crippled B-17 down the funnel of the Japanese battleship Haruna.

    A lot of Americans also believe that the government orchestrated Pearl Harbor and 9/11, sad to say.

    Even more scary, this year, when Steve Jobs died, people were Tweeting on their Smartphones, “Who is Steve Jobs?” Inventor of the technology that gave us the SmartPhone, folks. They also didn’t know who Rodney King was, and expressed amazement that the movie “Titanic” was about a true story…only the love triangle of Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Zane, and Kate Winslet was fake.

    Americans don’t know their own history, and I blame that on many things: romanticization and perpetuation of myths, the public’s short memory, this country’s anti-intellectualism, the appalling American History textbooks we use, history teachers who either have penknives to grind or have no knowledge of the subject, and the fact that it is taught as a procession of inevitabilities in which the good guys always win.

    With that as the theme of American history, it’s no wonder kids find it boring, and ignore it. If it’s a series of inevitabilities in which the good guys always win, they, as American citizens, can play no role in the shaping of America’s future beyond paying taxes, showing up for jury duty, and not complaining about anything. They learn just enough to pass the test, and forget it as soon as they’re done.

    Harry Truman said that the only thing you have to learn is the history you do not know. He never went to university, but he was more familiar with the ancient Romans and Greeks than many university graduates. He pointed out how the ancient civilizations had to grapple with many of the same issues we deal with today, just in different terms. He was right.

    The way history is taught in this country is pretty sad. If we don’t know where we’ve been, we’ll never get where we’re going.

    And by the way, another myth: John Paul Jones never actually said, “I have not yet begun to fight.” His descendants spread that around. His actual comment at the time, recorded by his British opponents was, “Asked to surrender, he replied in the most determined negative.”

    He probably said, “King George III’s mother wears army boots,” which, while insulting and effective, doesn’t sound too good in the history books.

    On the other hand, just in case some troll brings it up, which they will: the Holocaust is absolutely true, in nearly every detail. If anything, I think the stated body count for the Holocaust is actually less than it was…I think the Nazis cold-bloodedly butchered a heck of a lot more people than is listed on the baseball card.

    Every inning of that particular human slaughter was carefully and meticulously inscribed by the Nazis themselves. As they told Primo Levi, they expected to write the history books on that particular chapter. The neo-Nazis are just trying to do it for them. Fortunately, they’re doing a pretty fatuous job of it.

    And that includes “ParkMotok.”

  • Ian

    Other controversies the Founding Fathers settled:

    Stem-cell research
    Same-sex marriage
    The ethics of nuclear weapons
    Global climate change
    Facebook’s new format
    Kirk vs. Picard
    Whether or not Tom Brady was sacked or fumbled in the Raiders playoff game back in 2002
    Who shot JR

  • Erika

    Is David Barton contributing to those comicly awful children’s “history” propaganda cartoons which Mike Huckabee is trying to sell now?

    I seriously pity any poor homeschooled or religious school student who actually gets subjected to those things. They are terrible.

  • Gregory

    It would appear that “Park” answered RRoberts question.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Thanks for providing a window into the bizarre fantasy world in which White Nationalists live, “Park”.

    Anyway, someone asked what this has to do with tracking hate in the US. David Barton bolsters the cause of extreme reactionaries by telling them that America was meant to be a Christian nation, meaning that Christians(and not necessarily all Christians) should be 1st class citizens above the rest. He also helps fan the flames of a persecution complex(see “Park Motok’s” bizarre rant for a glimpse at an extreme incarnation of that delusion), and reinforces the idiotic idea that there is a “liberal” conspiracy to hide this information from the public.

  • Aron

    To this latest troll,

    You’re right. I want to kill all whites. And all blacks. And all Asians. And all Indians. And everyone else.

    I want everyone to die.

    Then maybe I could get some peace and quiet.

    (To the mods: why did you let that trash through? It’s not new. It’s not different. It’s just the same damned Creed pasted by Stormfronters everywhere.)

  • Reynardine

    Park, you are singularly unoriginal.

  • Park Motok

    “Anti-Racists” ALL agree that white children only deserve 2 options:

    Either embrace their global genocide via massive non-white immigration and forced assimilation targeted at ALL & ONLY white countries;

    OR

    They are a naziswhowanttokillsixmillionjews & deserve to be harassed, censored, fired, jailed, intimidated, threatened or beat up until they’ve learned to embrace their genocide.

    Anti-Racist is a code word for Anti-White.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold?feature=mhee CriticalDragon1177

    Mark Potok,

    David Barton is such a joke. Not only is just about everything in his “Jefferson Lies” utterly false, some of his claims are refuted by just about every text book on American History, including the ones used in Elementary school. Not to mention that whole thing about Darwin that you pointed out, which I imagine that even he is aware of. It doesn’t even take a historian to debunk much of his lies. Much of what he’s saying could be debunked by a high school student. Anyone who isn’t a child who takes him seriously ought to be ashamed of themselves.

  • adamhill

    Excellent article. I wish the fact that Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Michelle Bachmann endorse the likes of David Barton would result in comparable denunciations for them as those Barton is now receiving for his warped notions of history.

  • Gregory

    Glenn Beck converted to Mormonism as an adult. Part of their narrative is that the aboriginal inhabitants of the New World were descendants of Hebrew “lost” tribes. And that Jesus appeared to them after his crucifixion. Of course, none of this remotely comports to the archaeological record, despite more than a century of Mormon sponsored Indiana Jones wannabe expeditions.

    Given that Beck is predisposed to believe those fairytales, it is little wonder that he likes Barton.

  • RRoberts

    I am wondering what this story has to do with combatting hate in America?

  • Mark

    I really hope the “Jefferson Lies” is the proverbial nail in the coffin for this guy as a so-called history expert. It really has be pretty hard to defend the guy when 10 major conservative historians won’t back up his book and its been pulled by its publisher.

    Also, do you think he ever got even a slight sense of irony when he decided to call his book the “Jefferson Lies”?

    My last point on the issue is I think sadly there are lots of hacks in history due to the fact a market exists for it. I’m not even sure all of them believe what they write. I just think that as long as there are thousands of people lining up to read these books someone will write them. There are sadly thousands of people in this country that want to read fairy tales about the founding fathers being Christians, that the Civil War was fought over state’s rights and that McCarthyism was necessary. That being said the problem of make believe history is much bigger than just David Barton.

  • Reynardine

    Kinda makes you want to get a bumper sticker that says, Instill Ignorance”, doesn’t it?…

  • Aron

    Hear, hear! Stick it to him, Mark :)

  • Erika

    “The Jefferson Lies” may be the most ironically appropriate name for something since the “Know Nothing” Party of the 1850s.

    Anyone who thinks that had Charles Darwin existed before Thomas Jefferson that Jefferson wouldn’t have been an total Darwinist simply knows nothing about the man.

    The most embarassing thing is that Newt Gingrich actually has real degrees from real colleges and universities in history and actually taught at a real university. Okay, no one will mistake Kennesaw State for Harvard (or even UGA or Georgia Tech for that matter) – but still, it is a legitimate college. That he – as a [sort of] real historian – would endorce such a snake oil salesman who just makes stuff up proves what a slimy man Newt Gingrich is.