Evangelicals in America are being duped by a fraud… and that is David Barton. Barton is not a historian as this blog clearly exposed in a previous post. Yet, he continues to write and speak to thousands of christians in America as if he were. His peculiar cause is presenting Thomas Jefferson as one of this country’s great evangelical heroes. Glenn Beck has become the primary proponent of Barton and his particular brand of pseudo-history. Beck continues to herald Barton as a true scholar, often granting him entire broadcasts to spread this dubious message.
Now comes Barton’s definitive work… if such a screed can be labeled as such. “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson” is not so much a scholarly study as it is a rambling collection half-truths, distortions, and outright lies. A book examining the shifts in Jefferson scholarship over the past decade could practically write itself, but Barton uses the extremes to attack scholars in general. Everyone has been wrong until now- the amateur historical sleuth finally solved Jefferson’s mysteries, and all in the name of Jesus. The ‘evidence’ offered in the book’s notes are random letters and documents where Jefferson may have mentioned christianity. Obscure treaties signed with nation states that required the terminology “the year of our Lord” are offered up as definitive proof of Jefferson’s evangelical streak. Lost in all this silliness is the complexity of Jefferson’s religious beliefs.
Barton’s book is rendered ludicrous by… his insistence that the Jefferson Bible does not exist. Jefferson did indeed piece together the gospels minus the supernatural in Greek, Latin, French, and English. Perhaps Barton would like to see the bible in person….it’s on display at the Smithsonian American history museum. To deny the existence of something so thoroughly researched and documented exposes Barton as nothing but a resounding fraud. Even his most ardent supporters cannot deny the egregious nature of this lie. Jefferson deserves better than this.