Yet another twist in the ongoing David Barton saga. WORLDmag has an article that cites several historians that have been praised by Barton and by Glenn Beck, who have appeared on their shows, criticizing Barton’s revisionist history in regard to Thomas Jefferson.
Meanwhile, let’s look at one of the key points in contention. Most historians prior to Barton described Thomas Jefferson as a life-long religious skeptic, but Barton writes in The Jefferson Lies that there “never was a time when [Jefferson] was anti-Jesus or when he rejected Christianity.” Barton states that for much of Jefferson’s adult life his faith was “nothing less than orthodox.”
The Jefferson Lies commends Daniel Dreisbach, an American University professor, calling him one of the few Jefferson scholars who employs a “sound historical approach,” so I asked Dreisbach whether he agreed with Barton. Dreisbach replied that he has a “very hard time” accepting the notion that Jefferson was ever an orthodox Christian, or that Jefferson ever embraced Christianity’s “transcendent claims.” …Louisiana State University professor James Stoner, one of Glenn Beck’s “Beck University” lecturers, says Throckmorton and Coulter’s book seems “entirely in line” with what he knows about Jefferson’s faith. Stoner describes Jefferson as a “rationalist skeptic.”
Professor Kevin Gutzman, who has appeared both on WallBuilders radio and the Glenn Beck program, argues that “Jefferson was not a Christian, if the word ‘Christian’ has any meaning,” because he rejected the Bible’s “supernatural content.” Gutzman thinks Jefferson’s skepticism certainly predated 1813.
Gutzman’s statement is important. Jefferson not only rejected the idea that Jesus was divine, he argued that Jesus had never even claimed to be divine, believing that to be one of the many myths created by the gospel writers that he called a “band of dupes and impostors.” He also rejected the atonement, the resurrection, the virgin birth, the trinity and all claims of miracles. There’s no way in hell Barton would consider him a Christian with those views if he didn’t have to do so to support his absurd revisionist history.