Pennsylvania Pastors Not Concerned About Barton’s Lies

Warren Throckmorton, who teaches at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, notes that the Pennsylvania Pastors Network has invited David Barton to speak at a conference in Lancaster. He contacted Sam Rohrer, CEO of the pastors group, to ask why he would invite someone so astonishingly dishonest to speak. The answer is absurd:

Let me say that I appreciate you taking the time to express your concern about David Barton being part of the March 19 conference. Like you and me who write and speak a lot, we know how easy it is to for opponents or even overly zealous well intentioned people to parse a person’s words, and make a mountain out of a mole hill. The case that you cite is quite old, known by very few, discounted by most and without merit. I have personally talked with key people on this matter over the years and find the concerns to be short on substance and absent of malicious intent.

There is no one I’ve ever met who embraces Truth and integrity – including Jesus Christ – who hasn’t had someone try to build a case against them at some point. I believe that David is the kind of man that if he would ever mistakenly make an inaccurate statement that he would do his best to acknowledge it, make it right and go on. If only all those in positions of leadership would determine to do the same.

Throckmorton’s response:

It is hard to take Sam Rohrer’s comment seriously. Barton’s book was pulled less than three years ago in 2012. Rohrer has not talked to Jay Richards or me or anyone who could provide the rest of the story on the matter. However, I suppose this display of confirmation bias may help explain how Mr. Barton continues to be revered within certain evangelical circles while the rest of the world scratches their heads.

One of the reasons I continue to track Barton’s claims is because it makes a fascinating study in confirmation bias and in-group loyalties. I continue to be amazed at how Barton can make easily debunked claims like crime has gone up 694% since 1963 and that he played basketball at Oral Roberts University and that the Constitution quotes the Bible verbatim, and so many more without arousing concern among his true believers.

I agree. But let’s not pretend that this is limited only to Christians. We see the same kind of hero worship and knee jerk defense of tribal leaders far too often in the atheist community.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Pierce R. Butler

    Huh! Next thing ya know, our esteemed host will deny that the Constitution quotes Richard Dawkins!

  • abb3w

    @-2, Sam Rohrer:

    I believe that David is the kind of man that if he would ever mistakenly make an inaccurate statement that he would do his best to acknowledge it, make it right and go on.

    Rohrer’s belief appears to be based on faith rather than evidence — which would appears to instead point in a contrary direction. Somewhat stereotypical for a pastor, but disappointing regardless.

  • ursamajor

    Reminds me of when Oliver North was called to testify before Congress. I asked a Republican activist why the party was supporting a man who was not only a liar but who boasted of his lies and crimes. In essence the answer was well, he may be a scoundrel but he is our scoundrel and for now we can use him as a weapon to bash the Democrats with. The tribe is more important than truth or democracy for that matter.

  • Alverant

    “We see the same kind of hero worship and knee jerk defense of tribal leaders far too often in the atheist community.”

    I don’t know. I don’t see it to the same extent and we seem to be more willing to call out when our “heroes” act like jerks (Dawkins quickly comes to mind). Barton was asked to speak on a subject he lied about while I’m not sure an Atheist conference would be as eager to sign Dawkins on to panel a discussion about women’s rights.

  • theguy

    “There is no one I’ve ever met who embraces Truth and integrity – including Jesus Christ – who hasn’t had someone try to build a case against them at some point.”

    Stop right there. Complete.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Like you and me who write and speak a lot…

    But not in the Queen’s English.

  • 4ozofreason

    Well, there you go. I doubt Barton has ever “mistakenly” made an inaccurate statement in his life!

  • John Pieret

    how Barton can make easily debunked claims like crime has gone up 694% since 1963 and that he played basketball at Oral Roberts University and that the Constitution quotes the Bible verbatim, and so many more without arousing concern among his true believers.

    Didn’t the Bible have something* to say about that? “Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness.”

    _________________________________________________

    * Hey, if they can proof-text …

  • peterh

    Dang, #6 beat me to it.

    However, “I believe that David is the kind of man that if he would ever mistakenly make an inaccurate statement that he would do his best to acknowledge it, make it right and go on.” is a real knee-slapper. He just can’t be that naive. Can he? Oh. Wait…..

  • xuuths

    I’d have to disagree with your statement “We see the same kind of hero worship and knee jerk defense of tribal leaders far too often in the atheist community.” Neither in the same intensity, numbers, extent or in violation to evidence.

    There’s a difference between liking someone’s writing, and hero worship. Ed, I like your blog, but I don’t consider you a hero of mine. (no offense intended) Even considering the Four Horsemen as “leaders” (and I use that term loosely), I have no problem expressing disagreement with them on ANY topic — when they are in error.

    Look at the furor Dawkins gets for his tweets. Or Neil deGrasse Tyson, or Sam Harris. Hardly knee jerk defense. We’re usually the first ones to point out problems, because we hold Truth to a higher standard than others, and expect “leaders” to follow that. We’re not cults of personality, have no holy scriptures, and issue no fatwahs.

  • anubisprime

    What does anyone really expect?…Barton regurgitates, invents and flat out lies in his nonsense that pastors and braindead sycophants like Rohrer worship because it confirms their innate bigotry and extremely twisted, corrupted, world view.

    The Barton drivel plays to their advantage.

    The real target of course are the legions that the Pastors and theocrats need to corral, their business is confirmation bias and pandering to group delusion with all the fatuous drivel they can muster…Barton just provides convenient ‘hand holds’ for them to utilize in their pursuit of utter ignorance and the driving of agenda and influence.

    As for Ed’s assertion that Atheism also has it’s Bartonesque practitioners, well that may well be…but they are rapidly seen through by an audience that has slightly more cognitive ability then the average theist and besides very few of the ‘afflicted’ are ever elevated to such dizzying heights of renown and hero worship.

    Very few lies actually fly in Atheist circles before crash and burn..and what are there rarely influence policy or earn cash.

  • ah58

    I’m not really surprised and group of professional liars for Jesus would defend one of their own.

  • ah58

    oops… should read:

    I’m not really surprised that a group of professional liars for Jesus would defend one of their own.