Links and Comments: David Barton; Jeffrey Tayler

Salon calls out phony baloney historian David Barton: Meet the Tea Party’s evangelical quack: David Barton is Glenn Beck’s favorite “historian”

The larger issue here, of course, is about *narrative*: about how people need to adjust and retell history in order to make themselves feel special and important; and an example of how influential he is within certain Christian bubbles, who view history and reality as something special that they can control. Somehow it doesn’t matter to them that there is plenty of evidence, outside their bubble, that their narrative is self-serving and false.

Beginning in about 2011, two conservative Christian professors from Grove City College, Warren Throckmorton, professor of psychology, and Michael Coulter, professor of humanities and political science, published a critique of Barton’s The Jefferson Lies entitled Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President. The book was received well by scholars, and the authors’ credentials as conservative Christians undermined Barton’s defense that criticism of his work was ideological rather than factual. The Jefferson Lies was withdrawn by its publisher. One might expect under the weight of such resounding rejection, Barton would disappear into obscurity. Yet Barton’s supporters remain as devoted as before. Criticism from scholars (whether Christian or not) is dismissed as liberal, socialist, and even pagan. Discredited in the larger culture, Barton remains influential in the conservative Christian subculture.


Jeffrey Tayler at Salon keeps us grounded: Hatred is weaponizing Jesus: How violent evangelicals, faith-based con artists & serial abusers are using religion for the purpose of evil.

Such are the questions the tragicomic farce of religion presents us with. We know the answers. We need to act on the strength of our convictions, which must exceed in firmness the determination of the faith-deranged to impose their will on us.

This time, if we fail, we have everything to lose.

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