David Barton’s Reality Vaccine

One of the ways that Christian fundamentalists inoculate their followers and make them immune to facts is by telling them not to listen to anyone who disagrees with them or says they might be wrong. Those are bad people, on the side of the devil instead of God. Here’s David Barton’s version to his followers:

What’s been interesting is that in the last twenty to thirty years, you’ve also had lots of Christians join in and say ‘hey, you can’t teach this kind of stuff.’ Now why in the world would Christians join with all these other groups to say you shouldn’t be teaching providential history? Why would Christians join in to say you gotta keep history secular?

And the answer is probably found a great passage that Jesus gave us in Luke 6:40 where he says ‘every student, when he is fully trained, will be like his teacher.’ What happens is you’ve got a whole lot of [professors] at Christian schools that were trained by really secular guys and every student when he’s fully trained will be like his teacher.

And so what happens is all these guys go through and get their PhDs but they’ve been trained by really secular-minded, higher criticism type guys and when they get there, they just communicate on to these Christian kids, or whatever kind of kids they’ve got, whatever they’ve been taught.

That’s why today if you do something like try to put God in history, you’re going to get nailed. A book that we did, “The Jefferson Lies,” made all sorts of national news because all these professors came out [and said] Jefferson didn’t believe in God, he wasn’t religious, he was a great atheist. I mean, they just went bonkers when we went back through and showed all the things Jefferson did … but man if you try to get God back into the position that we ha him in history for three hundred years, it just drives these PhDs nuts.

Now there are some good PhDs, there are some good professors out there, great guys, but by and large that profession as a whole is now the most hostile to God things as any profession in the nation.

It’s a mental vaccine, as is the whole litany of Christian right misology. They constantly denigrate intellect and learning and those who have them and elevate “common sense” and folk wisdom. Anecdotes are offered instead of evidence. It gives their followers a cognitive shortcut to get around any dissonance between their beliefs and the real world.

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