Later in Thomas Nelson Pulls David Barton’s Book I told you the publishing company:
has decided to cease publication and distribution of David Barton’s controversial book, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson, saying it has “lost confidence in the book’s details.” (See “The David Barton controversy,” Aug. 8.) (source)
Alexander Nazaryan of NY Daily News now tells us:
Glenn Beck will boldly go where mainstream publishing fears to tread. The conservative commentator’s publishing company, Mercury Ink, will release David Barton’s “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson,” which was dropped by the Christian publishing Thomas Nelson earlier this month for what are believed to be widespread inaccuracies.
The book was first published in April and had been selling well… Barton remains unrepentant in the face of accusations he errantly portrays Jefferson’s religious beliefs and glosses over his complex relationship with slaves. (source)
One of the lies that Barton has been telling for a very long time in his presentation and TV appearances is that Thomas Jefferson signed his presidential documents not just “in the year of our Lord,” but “in the year of our Lord Christ.”
For many years, Barton had claimed to have in his possession a document that proved that Jefferson signed his documents, but he had never revealed in his books or on his website exactly what this mysterious document was. (source)
Despite the Mormon Glenn Beck’s support, it would appear that the Christian Right continues moving away from David Barton. This is not a recommendation of the late Chuck Colson, Prison Fellowship or Breakpoint.
I present the following from Break Point because it’s newsworthy that those who would once have stood with the NAR’s Barton are seeing through his American mythology:
David Barton was American evangelicals’ favorite historian. He taught us about the Founding Fathers’ almost uniform commitment to Christian principles, and secular historians’ attempts to bury our Christian heritage under reams of revisionist distortions. He gave us firepower in support of our mission to return America to its godly founding principles.
He gave us what we wanted. But now David Barton has been credibly charged with serious distortions of his own.
The story has been told in both the secular and the Christian press: Barton’s most recent book, The Jefferson Lies, was riddled with misinformation. Its publisher, Thomas Nelson, pulled it from distribution. Barton is standing firm in his position, but reliable historians—strongly conservative Christian scholars among them—continue to hold him in error, and not just because of this work but because of others as well.
I am no historian, so I am in no position to form an independent judgment of his veracity. Few of us are. But that doesn’t excuse our eager acceptance of his inaccuracies. With a bit of care, any of us could have known of the serious questions that have surrounded Barton’s work for a long time. These recent revelations are nothing new, except in the degree to which conservative Christian scholars are involved in calling him to account.
Nevertheless we became for him a devoted cadre of disciples. We knew our country’s founding principles were vitally important. However, so is historical accuracy. It looks as if Barton compromised one to make a case for the other…
Barton fended off criticism by blaming it on the liberal academy’s antipathy to Christianity. That had more than a little believability to it. I am quite sure that liberal academics often hold to an ideological agenda that motivates them to discredit Christianity’s part in our nation’s history. Thus, it was easy (and it still is) to be suspicious of their criticisms in this case.
But the ideology defense is no help when it’s conservative Christians making a case against Barton—especially when it’s a case as verifiable as this is proving to be. It’s not political opinion that’s stacking up against him now. It’s well documented facts. (source)