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Barton's 'Jefferson Lies' book yanked
David Barton's book attempted to dispel the popular notion that Thomas Jefferson was a secular politician.
August 10th, 2012
05:15 PM ET

Barton's 'Jefferson Lies' book yanked

By Eric Marrapodi and Dan Gilgoff, CNN

(CNN)–A best-selling book is getting boxed up and returned to the publisher after complaints of historical inaccuracies.

Publisher Thomas Nelson has withdrawn 'The Jefferson Lies" after a lengthy review found the author, David Barton, had included "historical details that were not adequately supported," said Brian Hampton, a senior vice president and publisher for Thomas Nelson.

Hampton said the move was "extremely rare" and he could not recall a time in the publisher's history when it had recalled a book in this manner. "We’re disappointed for everyone concerned," Hampton said.

Barton is the founder and president of the Texas-based WallBuilders, a group that describes itself as "dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious and constitutional foundation on which America was built – a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined," according to its website.

"The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson," was published in April.  In it Barton attempted to dispel the popular notion that Thomas Jefferson was a secular politician who pioneered the idea of strict church-state separation.

It was Barton's first book with Thomas Nelson and was released to great expectations.  By May 13, 2012, the book landed on The New York Times Best-Sellers list.

But even before the book was published, Hampton said Thomas Nelson began receiving complaints.

"First concerns came our way from people who hadn’t read the book," he said.  The publisher thought the complaints were from people on the opposite ideological spectrum from Barton, a conservative political star who has long billed himself as an evangelical historian.

"We still took them seriously and began a review process," Hampton said.  Despite the complaints, the book still went to press.

As Thomas Nelson was conducting its own review, so were academics.

Warren Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology, and Michael Coulter a political science professor,  both at Grove City College, a conservative Christian school in Pennsylvania, were also conducting their own review.  They published their own e-book that fact checked Barton called "Getting Jefferson Right."

Barton had written off other critics as "liberal elites," but this was a searing attack from within the evangelical community.

Hampton said there was no outside tipping point for the publisher.

“We were monitoring everything that was happening out there,” he said.

He said concerns were expressed about the book from a variety of sources. “What was most compelling to us was engaging with the manuscript.”

“The first thing we did was go back to the book and see what was a matter of opinion or analysis,” Hampton said.

After the internal review of Barton's book, Hampton said, “We became convinced there were parts of the book that were not historically supported.”

“Both withdrawing it from the marketplace and reverting the rights back to him seemed like the best thing for us to do,” he said.

Barton told Bob Smietana, a religion reporter for the Tennessean, a Nashville-based newspaper, “All I got was an e-mail saying it was canceled,” he said. “It was a complete surprise.”

In a statement issued by WallBuilders late Friday night Barton said, “while Thomas Nelson may have ‘lost confidence’ in the work, others have not and thus the book has already been picked up by a much larger national publisher and distributor. Even at the time Nelson dropped the work, they admitted that it was still selling very well.”

A representative for WallBuilders would not name the new publisher, suggesting the details were not final and the final word would come through their website once those details could be worked out.

Barton’s statement pushed back hard against Thomas Nelson’s review of his material.
“As is the case with all of our published items, we go above and beyond with original source documentation so that people can be thoroughly confident when they see the truth of history for themselves,” the statement read.

“We find it regrettable that Thomas Nelson never contacted us with even one specific area of concern before curtly notifying us they had dropped the work. Had they done so, we would have been happy to provide them with the thorough and extensive historical documentation for any question or issue they raised; they never asked,” the statement continuted.

“The Jefferson Lies has not been pulled from publication and it will continue to sell nationally,” it concluded.

The book is still available through Barton’s website. Amazon.com was no longer carrying the book on Friday through its regular processes, instead was directing customers to used booksellers who carried the book.

Barton told the Tennessean he thought some of Throckmorton's critiques were off base.

“This is one of the cases where he is just nuts,” Barton told the Nashville paper.

Barton wears a variety of hats in Republican and conservative circles. He is a former top official in the Texas GOP and a sometimes consultant with the Republican National Committee, a behind-the-scenes political operative who advises presidential candidates and coordinates trips to Israel for the likes of Glenn Beck, and a prolific author, speaker and Washington tour guide on the evangelical circuit.

Beck wrote the forward to 'The Jefferson Lies."

Barton and his work were also featured prominently in former "Growing Pains" star Kirk Cameron’s movie “Monumental,” about the role of religion in American history.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Church and state

soundoff (861 Responses)
  1. ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq vs. llɐqʎʞɔnq

    Will the real bucky ball please stand up?

    August 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      We've already been through this. The real one is only signed in, in blue header, from WordPress. So sad. Too bad.
      ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq, only appears with his WordPress blue.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • llɐqʎʞɔnq

      Obviously the handle shouldn't go to the one who is willing to divide it. Let it go to the one who can define "fullerene".

      August 10, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Solomon? Is that you?

      August 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      A Buckminster Fullerene is a carbon molecule, which resembles a geodesic dome, (from Buckminster Fuller). Sorry. You lose.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Can be C-60, or C-70.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • llɐqʎʞɔnq

      No, you win. I do want you to have your handle back.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Hmm ???
      Have you heard Bucky's Folly ? The proof that morality does not come from gods. I cooked it up for a debate this past week. I'm rather proud of it. It got a standing ovation.

      Gods are not the source of morality. The Platonic Conundrum.

      1. Something is wrong, because god says it's wrong.

      2. Why did god say it's wrong ?
      3. Did he have a good reason ?

      4. If there is no good reason, then it could be right.
      If there is a good reason, that reason exists, apart from god.

      5. Could he have said it's right ?
      If he could not say it's right, then truth and moral value exist apart from god.

      6. Is it wrong because god says it's wrong, or is it wrong, because it's objectively wrong, and god had to say that ?
      7. Would it be right if god says it's right ?

      If god could not have said it's right, and still be god, then the source of the moral law is not god.
      If it would still be wrong even if god says it's right, then the source of morality is not god.

      If the source of morality is not god, then we must look elsewhere for guidance

      August 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Observer

      This is familiar. It draws from several arguments arising from what is now called the Euthyphro dilemma (of Plato). Pretty concise.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  2. TheVocalAtheist

    What's the significance of Barton's lapel pin and what are the two paintings in the background?

    August 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      It identifies him as a minion of Sauron.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Okay, that made me laugh.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The portrait is of the Lutheran (and Anglican??) Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg flashing his congregation.

      Apparently he was the colonel of the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army and the portrait shows him removing his clerical robe to reveal his Colonel's uniform.

      You can buy a print here ... seeing as you can't buy Mr. Barton's book any more.
      http://shop.wallbuilders.com/Rev-John-Peter-Gabriel-Muhlenberg-Print

      More relevant and interesting information is here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Peter_Gabriel_Muhlenberg

      August 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV,

      Great find on the painting! I was looking all over for one of Oral Roberts in a resplendent get-up!

      August 10, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Still haven't found the lapel pin ...

      August 11, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  3. realbuckyball

    Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), the tireless zealot for papal authority – he was the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) – even wrote:
    "We should always be disposed to believe that which appears to us to be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides."

    August 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Observer

      That was excellent advice for the time. The Jesuits were pragmatic.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  4. therealpeace2all

    Reblogged this on peace2alldotme.

    August 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  5. realbuckyball

    Lying for Jeebus is nothing new. He stands in quite the sacred tradition. He may not have admitted it yet, but many of his predecessors have : St. Paul, Eseubius, St. Jerome, Clement of Alexandria, St. John Chrysostom, etc etc etc.

    http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/lying.htm

    August 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bucky, off-topic, but I miss your "upside-down-ness"!

      August 10, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Yeah, I want to know how that works.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Henderson

      Jesus never lied about Thomas Jefferson, why would a Christian lie about him on His behalf? Only a total moron would think Jefferson was Christian. Are you claiming Barton is a moron?

      August 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Some a–ho'le decided to impersonate me. I had to protect moi.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Who is this "Henderson" ? Can't she follow a conversation ? No one said Jeebus lied.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • llɐqʎʞɔnq

      It's not really inverted letters. The universal font set is quite large and includes characters that resemble other characters turned upside down.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I see, Bucky. Seems to be a common problem here.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Buckminster

      Don't divulge our 'divine' secret of the upsidedownbackwards 'magic' ! 😀

      Peace...

      August 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Henderson

      Bucky I liked you better when you were upside down. Do you really expect us to believe an "asshole" Christian impersonated you? No true Christian would do something like that. It would not be Christian at all. True Christians do as God and Jesus commanded them to do.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq
      I suppose I could write under two headers.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Henderson,

      You say: "Only a total moron would think Jefferson was Christian. Are you claiming Barton is a moron?

      as I understand it, the premise of Mr. Barton's book is that Thomas Jefferson was a full-on Christian, and not some loosey goosey deist or, God forbid an atheist.

      I will let you take your syllogism to its natural conclusion.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Henderson

      @GOPer, do you really think a total moron could get published? That would make the publishers look like morons and they would have no reason to do this. Do you think Thomas Nelson would let themselves be made a fool?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The publishers obviously can't be too bright if they allowed Glenn Beck to write the foreword.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Henderson,

      no, the choice of the word 'moron' was yours.

      I think Mr. Barton is a smarmy con-man who outsmarted himself and caught telling lies to shill books to paranoid believers who are caught up in the rhetoric of an imaginary atheist war on history that painted men of the enlightenment era, scions of generations of wars fought in the name of religion, as something other than the Evangelical Protestants they wish the founders were.

      In truth the founders were a mixed bag representing their country. Deists like Jefferson and Madison, social-climbing Anglicans like Washington for whom religion was part of the furniture of his life, Unitarians like Adams, the dissolute and impious like Franklin and no doubt some strong believers as well.

      They created something amazing. A 17th century government with no references to God and founded on religious freedom and they accomplished this without the systematic carnage of revolutionary France.

      They weren't anything like the Evangelical Christians want to imagine them to be, but they weren't atheists either.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – 18th century, not 17th century and got caught telling lies.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  6. Jack

    Hello folks. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're almost as annoying as Chad.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • BG

      Well, considering that you're the blog's authority on annoying I'll have to avoid you and whoever this Chad is. Why aggravate my life with two of you...

      August 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, why do you? I certainly didn't invite you here.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • BG

      It seems I made a minor grammatical error with Tom. I used of second person rather than third person. I'll watch that in the future..

      August 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you find me so annoying, then why did you come back?

      August 10, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What is it HeavenSent is always braying about "big egos"? Guess she/he/it should direct said diatribes against those who think they are the cause of the demise of threads due to their overwhelming skill at debate.

      Too bad most of the twits like Chard kill threads because everyone else gets bored.

      August 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  7. Rufus T. Firefly

    The common thread between the discussions of creationism on this blog and the story of Barton's book being recalled, is the frustrating irony in the values of so many Christians that it is okay to lie – to lie outright and to never apologize for your dishonesty – as long as you are lying in the name of Jesus.

    Somehow it is considered moral and righteous to knowingly spew absolute falsehoods to argue in favor of Christianity. Chad's dishonest arguments about evolution (which themselves are merely plagiary of thousands of other Christian lies) and Barton's stubborn misinformation about American history are just two examples of this willingness to stand with their hands on their hearts in front of the cross and lie, lie, lie.

    The only benefit of the doubt that I can even offer them is that they are so brainwashed by this idea that "if it disagrees with the word of God, then it by definition cannot be true" that they simply cannot recognize what is real and what isn't, and end up lying in order reconcile the real world with what their preachers are telling them.

    August 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That was great, Rufus. I appreciate your clarity.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Someone

      Dude. Calm down. Seriously, what are you proving by taking issue with what a lot of people hold important? Do you really think you're the only one to think, "Oh, religious people just haven't thought it though! It's so simple!" It doesn't necessarily follow that just because you have a different world view, that therefore people of faith are outright idiots. That's the exact argument you're making.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      " It doesn't necessarily follow that just because you have a different world view, that therefore people of faith are outright idiots. That's the exact argument you're making."

      That's not at all the argument I'm making. My point is that everything is in fact not a "difference of world view." There are real, knowable things in the world that are not a matter of opinion. These are facts, and to knowingly misrepresent them is the basis of dishonesty. I'm not arguing that these people are idiots, I am making the argument that these people are liars.

      "Though you are entitiled to your own opinions, you are not entitled to your own facts." (paraphrased)

      August 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Someone

      I don't know, man. I take your point about liars, but your making some pretty sweeping generalizations.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      To clarify, my criticism is aimed at historical revisionists who would say anything to argue that our founding fathers intended this to be a Christian nation, and at creationists who will say anything to try and convince people that basic biology and geology are in doubt. Although this accusation can easily be extended to include people who claim that being gay is a choice, who claim that every word of the bible has been proven by archaeologists, and so on and so on.

      I am not asserting that all Christians are dishonest. I am pointing out that there is a fairly outspoken subset of Christians who apparently believe dishonesty is excusable if it is done for the sake of promoting their faith. That said, it sure would be reassuring to hear a louder voice from within the Christian community condemning this behavior. Silence accommodates it.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Rufus T. Firefly,

      I have to admit I admire your handle.

      Gentlemen, Barton here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot. I implore you, send him back to his father and brothers, who are waiting for him with open arms in the penitentiary. I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      GOPer, this is off the subject you are discussing, but why, oh, why do I bother to post anything to Chad?

      August 11, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TTTPS,

      I can't say why. Sometimes it's inevitable. Like squeezing a zit. You know it's going to hurt but you feel compelled to see just how much you can squeeze out of it.

      I put him in my top 10 most irritating religionists arguments today and paid for my 'sin'.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Dear Tom Tom. You can't say you weren't warned! However, we at Chadwatch (a public service) are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle. And that candle is ... don't engage The Chad.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You crack me up. That's a great analogy, too.

      He just irritates the bejesus out of me with his smarminess.

      Anyway, good night. I'll probably have nightmares...

      August 11, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thank you, Chadwatch. I should have heeded that warning. I shall be more disciplined in the future. At least tomorrow...morning.

      My dad used to tell me to just ignore such people. To be funny, I guess, he always said the word "ignore" as "IG-ner". I can still hear him. "Just IGner him."

      Good night.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      For not a GOPer:
      "Well, that covers a lot of ground. Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself. You better beat it – I hear they're going to tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here? You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle."

      August 11, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TTTPS,

      I have a collegue with the following sage advice on his whiteboard:

      "Never argue with an idiot, it just spins you up, and takes you down to their level"

      Good night to you too.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Rufus T. Firefly,

      Hail hail Freedonia, land of the brave and free!

      (singing)
      If any form of pleasure is exhibited, report to me and it will be prohibited!
      I'll put my foot down, so shall it be... this is the land of the free!
      The last man nearly ruined this place he didn't know what to do with it.
      If you think this country's bad off now, just wait till I get through with it!
      The country's taxes must be fixed, and I know what to do with it.
      If you think you're paying too much now, just wait till I get through with it!

      August 11, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Why a four-year-old child could understand Barton's book. Run out and find me a four-year-old child, I can't make head or tail of it.

      Good night notGOP and Tom Tom. Don't let the bedbugs bite.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Mrs. Teasdale:
      Your excellency, the eyes of the world are upon you. Notables from every country are gathered here in your honor. This is a gala day for you.

      Rufus T. Firefly:
      Well, a gal a day is enough for me. I don't think I could handle any more.

      With that, good night to you too.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly "Somehow it is considered moral and righteous to knowingly spew absolute falsehoods to argue in favor of Christianity. Chad's dishonest arguments about evolution (which themselves are merely plagiary of thousands of other Christian lies) "

      =>example please?

      some guidelines to help you out:
      1. Something along the lines of "Christians say evolution isnt true when we all know it is", is to vague a statement to begin with.
      "evolution" is defined only as any change across successive generations in the inherited characteristics of biological populations

      that word alone does not distinguish between

      -. Evolutionism (atheist): is the atheistic worldview that says life developed without God and without purpose, namely that purely random genetic mutations preserved by natural selection is the process by which we have arrived at the current complexity of life from the first proto-cell.

      -. Theistic evolution: the theistic worldview that says life developed at the direction of God, either through direct intervention or by supernatural orchestration of natural processes.

      2. Atheists tend to fling the term "dishonest" around, every time someone disagrees with them..

      Dishonesty is defined as: to act without honesty. It is used to describe a lack of probity, cheating,[1] lying or being deliberately deceptive or a lack in integrity, knavishness, perfidiosity, corruption or treacherousness. Dishonesty is the fundamental component of a majority of offences relating to the acquisition, conversion and disposal of property (tangible or intangible) defined in criminal law such as fraud.

      atheists have this extraordinarily odd view that anyone that doesnt agree with their viewpoint, and provides data supporting an opposite viewpoint, is automatically being dishonest. very odd..

      3. The atheist claim that "Christians arent allowed to use data presented by atheist scientists to support their arguments"

      Atheists have this weird conviction that unless a scientist agrees with your interpretation of the data, you arent even allowed to discuss that data.. when in reality, challenging interpretations is the HEART of science.
      weird, irrational...

      August 11, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ Rufus T. and Not a GOP:

      Your daily dose: =====><========;) 😀 @@@@@ ?? get it?

      August 11, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly "There are real, knowable things in the world that are not a matter of opinion. These are facts, and to knowingly misrepresent them is the basis of dishonesty. I'm not arguing that these people are idiots, I am making the argument that these people are liars."

      =>example please..
      and, please try to read the guidelines above first..

      August 11, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      No thanks, Chad. It would be like wading into a history debate with Barton. Yours and his arguments are not constrained by facts, and that renders the whole discussion worthless.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Tom Tom, I wonder if those keys on his keyboard are completely worn down?

      August 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't know, Rufus, but I'll bet he never has to look to find 'em. They're the computerized equivalent of a nervous tic for the Chard.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly "There are real, knowable things in the world that are not a matter of opinion. These are facts, and to knowingly misrepresent them is the basis of dishonesty. I'm not arguing that these people are idiots, I am making the argument that these people are liars."
      @Chad "example please.., and, please try to read the guidelines above first.."
      @Rufus T. Firefly "No thanks, Chad."

      the magic of "example please" at work 🙂
      no quicker way to shut down a thread..

      August 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, therein lies the danger of assuming causation from correlation. You as.sume the thread died because you asked a "hard" question. The thread has died because you joined it, Chad.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Chad

      well, you're still here

      and, you wont back up your accusations of dishonesty..

      pretty typical 😉

      August 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "====><====" @@@@

      Yes, I like it! 😉 Can you purchase replacement "2/@" keys?

      Like a bad penny, Chad will always turn up.

      A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. – Sir Winston Churchill

      August 11, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What is it HeavenSent is always braying about "big egos"? Guess she/he/it should direct said diatribes against those who think they are the cause of the demise of threads due to their overwhelming skill at debate.

      Too bad most of the twits like Chard kill threads because everyone else gets bored.

      August 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad, aren't you married and relatively young? And enamored of babies? Why is it you're not romancing your wife and making some? Can't get it up?

      August 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son


      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDLTtUAdm10&w=640&h=360]

      August 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • sigh O

      some retards can only think about getting it up and getting it down even on a belief blog. Tom is yours up now???

      August 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  8. therealpeace2all

    Wow... Is anyone really that shocked that this happened ? Literally got slammed by some fellow christians.

    Good for the christians, and anyone else, religious or not, that pulled this apparent baloney from the shelves.

    Peace...

    August 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Observer

      But we need something like this. Barton's Book of Lies could serve as a model for apologists and con-men of all stripes. Not just historians.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      I noticed also that many Christian historians were among those that criticized the book. Considering the social pressure that the religious right can apply, the honesty and courage of those historians is to be applauded.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Observer

      You got that right, my friend.

      Peace...

      August 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      The publishing company also deserves some praise here. If it was a best seller it was clearly making them some serious money. It shows commendable integrity on their part to pull the book and cancel the contract.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • BG

      @ Peace

      From the article:

      “The first thing we did was go back to the book and see what was a matter of opinion or analysis,” Hampton said. After the internal review of Barton's book, Hampton said, “We became convinced there were parts of the book that were not historically supported.”

      I haven't read the book, but with all this controversy, I'd like to know those "parts" and the objective facts that convinced the reviewers to reverse the author's assertions and his initial evidence. This matter will remain an issue of subjectivity, perception and influences. It's curious that -anyone- could advance anything conclusive about what were obviously Jefferson's own subjective atti tudes from that that long ago. They're not just debating history here, but historical thought.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @BG,

      which suggests that Mr. Barton told a couple of real whoppers, for the publishers to willingly remove a 'bestseller' from the shelves.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @BG

      Hi -BG...

      Yes, I haven't read the book either, and I, too am 'very' curious as to what the objective facts are that apparently were so blatant, that it caused the publisher to actually do a full re-call.

      If I can borrow a copy from some of my friends, if they have it, I'll give it a read.

      If... you happen to read it, let me know, and we can have a more serious dialogue on this matter.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      BG,

      I wondered about that too. Here is a bit from the link in the article:

      "They [Throckmorton & Coulter] find without fail that the claims [in The Jefferson Lies] fall into one of the following categories: 1) complete falsehoods (there are plenty of those); 2) misleading falsehoods (such as the story about wanting Christian imagery on the national seal – true, but on the other side of the seal, had Jefferson gotten his wish, would have been a pagan story); 3) true, but entirely irrelevant and ultimately misleading statements (such as signing doc.uments with “the Year of our Lord,” which he did because pre-packaged treaty forms had that language, and had about as much meaning as signing “Dear” in our salutations in letters to complete strangers); 4) statements with a “kernel” of truth but blown so far out of proportion as to end up being false (such as Jefferson wanting federal funding for Indian missions, when in fact the t.itles of the bills simply took on the name of already existing religious societies; 5) baffling assertions that are so far out of the realm of reality as to be neither “true” nor “false,” but simply bizarre (such as Barton’s defense of Jefferson’s views on race, which were disturbingly ugly even by the standards of his era).

      In each of these categories, as Throckmorton and Coulter gently put it, “we find the reality is often much different than the claim.” That’s their way of saying that the claims are, mostly, “pants on fire,” to use the language of Politifact, the Tampa Bay Times’ fact-checking project. Others rate a “false” or “mostly false” label, while there isn’t a single one (other than minor statements of fact, such as date of birth or dates of his Presidency) that rates “true,” or even “mostly true.”

      August 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • BG

      I'm not disagreeing with you. I'd just like to know what those 'whoppers' were, and how they were 'caught.'

      August 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • BG

      Initial response to GOP'er. My fault, gang. I'll start addressing my posts as we're getting 'fast and furious' here. (Oh, sorry.)

      @ Frayed,

      So, reduced down we've got:

      – complete falsehoods (there are plenty of those)
      – misleading falsehoods
      – irrelevant and ultimately misleading statements
      – baffling assertions that are so far out of the realm of reality as to be neither “true” nor “false”

      Sounds like contemporary politics to me – everything old is new again.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @BG

      " I'm not disagreeing with you. I'd just like to know what those 'whoppers' were, and how they were 'caught.' "

      I know your not... I was just mentioning that I was as interested as 'you' are about putting further exploration into this matter.

      Peace...

      ---------------

      @A Frayed Knot

      Very interesting start.

      Peace...

      August 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • BG

      @ Frayed, Peace, GOP'er

      Damn. Now I'm actually interested in this.

      http://wthrockmorton.com/2012/07/26/david-barton-takes-aim-at-his-critics-in-part-two-of-the-blaze-series/

      August 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @BG @Frayed not @GOPer

      Very interesting, concerning Mr. Barton... his beliefs, and things he actually said.

      http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/organizations/wallbuilders

      Peace...

      August 10, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @therealpeace2all,

      hey thanks for the right wing watch link!

      Looking at Mr. Barton's statements is like following Alice down the rabbit hole or through the looking glass.

      Curiouser and curiouser!

      He is a major league delusionist. ... that the Founders “already had the entire debate on creation-evolution,” long before Charles Darwin was born!!!

      August 10, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      BG & therealpeace2all,

      Yes, interesting links. Thanks. Reading the comments on one of them, it looks like quite a few folks had Barton's number a while ago.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Deuteronomy 17:15
      be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.

      According to Mr. Barton this is used "verbatim" in ...

      Article II, Section I
      No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Const'tution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • BG

      So, this guy is a bona fide loon. Begs the question how he got his manuscript past the publishing house editors in the first place. I'd still like to see the disputed book contents in question, if for no other reason than comedy relief.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @BG,

      Henderson of this parish seems to think it's some kind of plot. I'm not sure what exactly.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • BG

      @ GOP'er

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Henderson

      @GOPer, do you really think a total moron could get published? That would make the publishers look like morons and they would have no reason to do this. Do you think Thomas Nelson would let themselves be made a fool?
      +++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Missed that one. Your response was eloquent but evasive with respect to the rationale for his book being published. I suspect that the publishing house proceeded with it for much the same reasoning that Amish romance novels are published. It's feelgood, yet innocuous, pabulum. I mean, really now... Jesus doesn't believe in the minimum wage? What a setup line for a Dangerfield's standup comic

      Let me know if you stumble on this book online.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @BG,

      will do.

      It looks like the religionist brigade attempted to come to Mr. Barton's rescue today.

      August 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  9. Abortion is not healthy for children and other living things

    If there were a natural mechanism by which a woman could abort at will without intervention by anyone, then she could claim the right to abort. She could argue that it is her body to control as she wills. Too bad that's not the case. Bringing what was once done in hidden places into nice clean clinics full of supportive people does not make it any less loathsome.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, well. Go tell the SCOTUS. I'm sure they're all just waiting to hear from a great legal beagle like you. Until then, as for the past 4 decades, abortion is a choice women have and nobody gives a fvck what you think of it, since it's not your body that's pregnant.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm sure you'd prefer that women do what they did when abortion was illegal and poison themselves or insert sticks into their uteruses.

      It's so lovely how much you value human life.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Henderson

      Did I miss something? Did Barton get an abortion? What does abortion have to do with Barton?

      August 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Observer

      I think it was meant to cheer someone up.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Henderson

      Who would be cheered up by abortion?

      August 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Observer

      You're a few steps behind, Henderson. Maybe you should turn in. "After all, tomorrow is another day."

      August 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Henderson

      @Observer, it's a day away, did you just watch Annie? What do Barton's lies have to do with abortion?

      August 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  10. Taylor Burton Edwards (@twbe)

    That removes more than context... it misrepresents Jefferaon's point. The point was that Christianity had BEEN perverted from its simpler form which Jefferson considers "the most sublime & benevolent." In other words, he saw what he considered to be "pure" Christianity to be the premier philosophy of all. His quarrel was with what he saw as the obfuscations of "priestcraft" and theologians, not Christianity (as he sees it) or even "religion" per se.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I assume your post is misplaced.

      The quote is ambiguous it says:
      "the most sublime & benevolent, but most perverted system"

      Yes, the issue is with priestcraft and interpretations. To me the obvious questions is just which interpretation did Jefferson consider to be the "most sublime & benevolent" – his own psuedo-bible.

      My source by the way was the Monticello website. It wasn't random quote mining.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Here's a fuller version (wikiquote)

      "Yours is one of the few lives precious to mankind, and for the continuance of which every thinking man is solicitous. Bigots may be an exception. What an effort, my dear sir, of bigotry in politics and religion have we gone through! The barbarians really flattered themselves they should be able to bring back the times of Vandalism, when ignorance put everything into the hands of power and priestcraft. All advances in science were proscribed as innovations. They pretended to praise and encourage education, but it was to be the education of our ancestors. We were to look backwards, not forwards, for improvement … This was the real ground of all the attacks on you. Those who live by mystery & charlatanerie, fearing you would render them useless by simplifying the Christian philosophy — the most sublime and benevolent, but most perverted system that ever shone on man — endeavored to crush your well-earned & well-deserved fame.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I guess we can assume that since the letter was to Joseph Priestley, Jefferson was an admirer of his – as a scientist who discovered oxygen and a founder of Unitarianism.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  11. Dyslexic doG

    this has renewed my faith that america has a future that is not run by the christian taliban.

    Well done Publisher Thomas Nelson!

    August 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Dave

      Not so fast dog.

      Atheists, as usual, are pulling a fast one. David Barton – 07/12/2012 takes on his critics.

      http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=118208

      August 11, 2012 at 3:55 am |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.

    -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

    August 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  13. Dyslexic doG

    Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 30 July, 1816

    August 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Henderson

      Only an idiot would try to claim that Thomas Jefferson was Christian. Barton is obviously not an idiot, he is a published author. No true Christian would make up blatant lies about non-Christians. That would be hypocritical and go against what Christ taught.

      Barton must be a fake Christian trying to make real Christians look bad by making up idiotic lies about others.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Henderson

      This is at least the 2nd time you've said..."No true christian"...etc... Are you just trying to have people jump in to point out your "No true scotsman" fallacy to you ?

      It is so very blatant.... curious.

      Peace...

      August 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Henderson

      If it is "so very blatant" why are you curious? Barton's actions are extremely unchristian and his words totally irrational.

      Do you really think we are supposed to believe this guy is an irrational Christian?

      August 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Henderson

      Please study up on the "No True Scotsman Fallacy" argument. If, somehow, you can prove, that in this case... in terms of your a-s-sertion, that it doesn't apply here, please let me know your thoughts.

      I'd be happy to discuss.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Dave

      Atheists, as usual are pulling a fast one knowing most folks don't do their own research. David Barton – 07/12/2012 takes on his critics.

      http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=118208

      August 11, 2012 at 3:56 am |
  14. Henderson

    I do not believe it.

    Why would a Christian spread such blatant lies? That is so unchristian. It completely goes against what Christ taught. Barton must be a Christian imposter trying to make all other Christians look bad. No true Christian would try to spread lies about non-Christians like Thomas Jefferson. They would never go against Christ and their own religion. It would be sacrilegious and hypocritical.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yay No True Scotsman fallacy.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Answer

      Always the true christian context.. so laughable.

      Why don't you christians sort out a method to yield yourself a "true christian" and then apply that standard to be followed?
      The reason why you religious tards don't is because your religion is all messed up. You ALL WANT a slice of the right to call your brand the 'truth'. Just absolutely pathetic.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Henderson

      @Answer, a true Christian believes in the Bible and Jesus. Barton obviously does not as he is so willing to make up lies about historical figures. Did Jesus make up lies about Thomas Jefferson? No, He did not.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Answer

      @Henderson

      Oh, so antiquated dogma from a book and a zombie.. nice to hear.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ Answer- RE: "Why don't you christians sort out a method to yield yourself a "true christian" and then apply that standard to be followed?"

      Well, we tried that already...but it turned into such a P.R. nightmare, and the word 'inquisition' just never did shake the negative connotations...

      August 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ Answer:

      P.S. Laugh son, it's a joke! 😀

      August 10, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  15. Rufus T. Firefly

    This news helps reinforce my faith in humanity! This guy is so obviously a hack and a charlatan, he makes honest writers and researchers wretch. I just wish that his tarring and feathering would attract as much media attention from the right as have his dishonest books.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      (addendum: a quick Google search for "Fox News David Barton book recall" confirms that Fox News is not even reporting this story. Sad, but not unexpected.)

      August 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I've been praying hard for you to stop posting this tripe.

      Apparently it hasn't worked yet.

      August 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      I can not help it. It is true. Prayer really does change otherwise rational people into believing in an imaginary friend.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @ GOPer "I've been praying hard for you to stop posting this tripe."

      =>who/what have you been praying to?

      August 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Really-O?

      To Francis Collins and his Church of Evolutionism. HAAAAA!

      Sweet merciful crap...Chad is a tool. (GOPer – that's not argumentum ad hominem, simply an insult).

      August 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Oh Chad,

      drat it all. You've caught me in my web of deceit. 😉

      I lied. No praying at all. Just wishful thinking, that's all. But then again, how exactly is praying different from wishful thinking again?

      August 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • just sayin

      With wishful thinking you have an idiot involved, with prayer the greatest force in the entire universe is involved, God. God bless

      August 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, so you're not involved in the prayer, then, just sayin?

      August 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @just sayin,

      and presumably an even greater idiot.

      Bless you too.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You said it MUCH better than I did, GOPer. And it'll probably sail right over just sayin's pointy little noggin.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • just sayin

      Oh shit, I almost forgot. The strongest force in the universe is actually the nuclear interaction between a proton and a neutron. After that it would have to be humans' ability to play make believe and pretend to have imaginary friends like religious people and children do.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I'll happily cop to the charge of being an 'idiot' for wishing that the 'prayer changes things' troll will stop.

      The willing self-delusion of prayer is long beyond me.

      I often wonder though, when 'just sayin' says "God Bless", does it really mean it? When I read it, it always sounds like a different two word epithet.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  17. TheVocalAtheist

    "Priests...dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live."

    -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Correa de Serra, April 11, 1820

    August 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Dave

      Aren't witches just another branch of the illuminati?

      August 11, 2012 at 3:57 am |
  18. TheVocalAtheist

    "If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? ...Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814

    August 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Dave

      Atheists, as usual are pulling a fast one knowing most people don't pay attention.

      David Barton – 07/12/2012 takes on his critics.

      http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=118208

      August 11, 2012 at 3:58 am |
  19. TheVocalAtheist

    "Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

    August 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Dave

      Typical lying atheist.

      Atheists, as usual are pulling a fast one. David Barton – 07/12/2012 takes on his critics.

      http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=118208

      August 11, 2012 at 3:57 am |
  20. TheVocalAtheist

    "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity."

    -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

    August 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I was so happy with this news I didn't even think to quote mine Jefferson.

      here we go ...

      "“...those who live by mystery & charlatanerie, fearing you would render them useless by simplifying the Christian philosophy, the most sublime & benevolent, but most perverted system that ever shone on man, endeavored to crush your well earnt, & well deserved fame.” – Thomas Jefferson March 21, 1801

      August 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The short form of the above quote is:

      "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man

      but that does remove some context. The above is from a letter to Joseph Priestly.

      August 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • hinduism, denial of truth

      Christianity is hinduism, criminality of hindu's, criminals of Egypt and Persia, hinduism, corruption of truth absolute by twisting teaching's of truth absolute to substantiate hindu Mithra ism, filthy savior ism, Pharaoh's as owner of half god hood and his pot head hindu shamon priest of other half, They just not hind, violate teachings of son of blessed Mary, but deny human equality enshrined in fundamentals of American foundation, truth absolute, nothing else. A theology, hypotheses of hindu, criminal sanatans, goons in violation of American values.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • billdeacons

      I read this as Jefferson's indictment of some practisioners, such as the author of this book, as well as an endorsement of the faith itself. I would caution anyone from using this quote to construe that Jefferson was anti-Christian.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @billdeacons,

      indeed. I was surprised by the Monticello website version. The full quote is about half-way up the page courtesy of wikiquote. It is a complex quote and appears to refer more to pre-enlightenment thinking as 'perversion' of the "Christian philosophy" compared with Priestley's Unitarianism.

      If anything it is a warning about absolutism which is apt here. People like Mr. Barton pervert the truth (for want of a better word) in the name of religion.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:05 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.