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David Barton's revisionist screed on Thomas Jefferson has been chewed up and spit out, by conservative Christian scholars. Amazing.
Nathan Duffy's profile photoGary Longsine's profile photo
I like David Barton's kind of in-your-face-ness, attitude, and general stance, but my impression was always that he wasn't much of a scholar (though I never cared enough to dig and find out). Anyways, thanks for the link.
Right, you like David Barton because he boldly says things that support your preconceived impressions about how things ought to be. Things, however, are not that way. Facts matter. This seems to be a fundamental distinction between liberalism and conservatism. Christopher Hitchens doesn't say things that make me feel good. He says things that make me think.
Not really. On the issue of Jefferson and the "Christian-ness" of our foundations, I think Barton's pretty far off-base and I would side more with Hitchens & these chaps -- I also don't think it would be some kind of big coup for him were he even right.

However, I do think he's right about the common understanding of church & state now being different than it was then, (not necessarily as it relates to Jefferson specifically, but in general). And that the separation/wall is hard-and-fast in some senses (really only one main sense), but ought to be porous in others. I would think this whether Barton had 100% of his facts right or whether Hitchens had 100% of his right, since the only pertinent fact is the text of the Constitution, which I can read for myself.
It's not a simple matter of factual error, with Barton, and I suspect you know this. Barton has an axe, and he grinds it. It's no accident that Christians don't like Jefferson, because the Jeffersonian understanding of the separation of church from state is exactly what the modern Dominionst whack jobs don't like. They're not stupid. They're just fascist. The real fanatics work tirelessly to excise Jefferson from education. Moderates like you pretend that it's just a matter of an evolving notion of what separation of church from state means. If you're not a Christian Dominionist (fascist theocrat) then you really should distance yourself more completely from David Barton and this revisionist crap.
There may be more than one valid lens through which to interpret history, but there are infinitely many wrong lenses.
Those of you who are not familiar with David Barton, here's an example of his hateful ignorant crap, and his attitude which Nathan admires.

_"The Bible again, it's right every time, and studies keep proving that and that's why AIDS has been something they haven't discovered a vaccine for, because it's the fastest self-mutating virus known to mankind. Every time they just about get a vaccine discovered for it, it transmutes into something new and they have to start over again. And that goes to what God says, hey you're going to bear in your body the consequences of this homosexual behavior."
--David Barton_
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