In the Texas Freedom Network’s new report on the appalling content of many of the Bible courses offered by public schools in that state after the passage of a state law encouraging them to do so, they note that many of those courses include a lot of the fake quotes that we see again and again in “Christian nation” discussions, most of which can be traced to David Barton.
“The most common technique for making such arguments is to string together quotations lauding the Bible, Christianity or religion in general from political philosophers, historic documents, the Founding Fathers and other famous Americans. These quotations are typically cited in a completely decontextualized manner, almost as if they are biblical proof texts with self-evident meanings. Fake quotes never actually uttered by the speaker to whom they are attributed are cited side by side with legitimate ones. Even authentic quotes are sometimes presented in such a way as to misrepresent the views of their sources, and no quotes that would support alternative viewpoints are discussed or acknowledged.”…“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (attributed to Patrick Henry)
“The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.” (attributed to Herbert Hoover)
“The Bible is the source of liberty.” (attributed to Thomas Jefferson)
All fake quotes. All have been debunked many times. And all of them appear in more than one Bible course in a Texas school.