The Jefferson (& Barton) Lies

The Jefferson (& Barton) Lies

While writing my last commentary touching on the atheist's absolutist interpretation of Thomas Jefferson's metaphor explaining the legislative intent behind the meaning of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause – The Wall (and the Atheists of Palisades Park) – I was reminded of the atheist vanguard's similar efforts to recreate Jefferson in its own image. People are often quite shocked to learn that Jefferson did not give birth to a slave's child. That is a myth created by the media. See, e.g., The Myth of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.

That myth and others like it were superbly debunked by Christian historian David Barton in his book The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson, published last April. Almost immediately, the atheist strike forces began firebombing Barton's argument, publishing with rocket-speed. Their ad hominem attacks pervade the internet. Mikey Weinstein's radical leftist hate organization, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), dispatched its "senior research director," Chris Rodda, to counter Barton with a book entitled Debunking David Barton's Jefferson Lies: #2 - Jefferson Founded a Secular University. (No doubt she is busily preparing six other books to try to debunk the other Jefferson lies Barton documents).

So, who's telling the truth about Jefferson? Was he or was he not a God-fearing Christian? I met Barton when he addressed the ADF National Litigation Academy I attended several years ago. Barton is a regular guest on the Glenn Beck's radio and internet programs. He is a Freedom X Christian who has done the research historians either refuse to do or, more often, choose to distort. In August, the Christian publishing company that had been marketing The Jefferson Lies recalled the book ostensibly on the basis of complaints it had received concerning the book's alleged factual errors. This news was like Christmas for atheists.

But the book publisher handled the matter rather oddly. For one thing, it made the decision to stop the publication without consulting with the author beforehand in an effort to correct any perceived errors. Barton learned of the decision through an e-mail only after the recall was implemented. Interestingly, the publisher apparently did not satisfy its fact-checking concerns before publication, which is a professional publisher's duty. In August, Barton appeared with Beck on his internet broadcast to reveal that the publisher had, in fact, excised approximately 30 percent of the manuscript he turned in. That means at least three things: either the publisher did a poor job of fact-checking prior to publication, removed extensive information that would have ensured greater accuracy, or both.

The good news for Barton is that Beck will be republishing The Jefferson Lies soon and will ensure its accuracy. Certainly if historical accuracy means anything, historians fall woefully short in honoring it. As World Magazine editor Martin Olasky points out, "The most popular American history book at colleges, Howard Zinn's leftist A People's History of the United States, is full of inaccuracies, and folks on the left don't seem to mind because they need fables to increase their faith." (See "A message to WORLD readers on the David Barton controversy").

I would encourage anyone who cares to know the truth to read Barton's book and subscribe to Beck's web site. Then check the facts against the left's foolish attacks, which seek to cloud minds and vilify a good and sincere man.

The atheists on the left wish to remember Jefferson as an anti-Christian "free-thinker." They further hope to deny Barton his authority as a historian. Historical revisionism, ad hominem attacks and other tactics make up a large part of the left's offensive arsenal. Only the truth can set us free. (John 8:32).

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