David Barton’s Pants Are On Fire… For Jesus

Long time ally of Rock Beyond Belief, Chris Rodda (right) is in the middle of a press storm again. She is the author of Liars For Jesus, which explains the relatively recent phenomenon of history revisionism in the name of Christianity. David Barton is the worst offender, and bears the brunt of the majority of her assault.

He is guilty of quote-mining and using out of context historical references, or shockingly just outright lies about our nation’s history. He wants Americans to ‘know’ that the nation was founded on Christianity. He is able to find several obscure and often second-hand references to the founder’s private letters, sometimes with single sentences that suit his needs. This is of course while he leads his readers along in Olympic-level mental gymnastics, overlooking the mountain of documentation contrary to his version of history.

The Emperor Had New Clothes – But They Caught Fire

(Which of course explains their invisibility)

Last week, an admittedly uneducated ‘historian’, David Barton was on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Weeks ago, prominent Christian right-winger Mike Huckabee joked about forcing Americans at gun point to learn from him. Glenn “Too crazy for Fox News” Beck has placed Barton in a prominent spot in his ‘university’. Sadly, my home state of Texas has used him as an expert for re-writing the text-books. It will take years, possibly decades to undo the damage done to public education.

David Barton wants your kids to believe that America was founded on Christianity.

Treaty of Tripoli anyone?

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

It was submitted to the Senate by President John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and signed by Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797.

*If this isn’t considered a gaffe, it should be
David Barton and Mike Huckabee – March 2011


In addition to writing books, and articles on Talk2Action and Huffington Post, she works at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), as Head of Research. MRFF is representing me and hundreds of other Soldiers in upcoming litigation partially stemming from the story I broke about the *mandatory* Spiritual Fitness testing and remedial training for all US Soldiers. So, I’ve had about 6 months to grow a pretty close friendship with her. I know her to be sharp-witted and possessing an unreal ability to pay attention to detail. I’m not surprised to see her book about the situation jumping back onto the radar. It is spot on.

The inexplicably successful disinformation tactics Barton employs are put to shame in Rodda’s book, Liars For Jesus. But with this particular round of resurgent publicity, Chris Rodda had an epiphany.

You can now download her book, Liars for Jesus (PDF), for free.

She writes on Ed Brayton’s ScienceBlogDispatches from the Culture Wars:

A few hours ago, I was about to sit down at my computer to do my usual thing — write about the Daily Show interview, and debunk the specific lies that Barton was able to get in. But instead I found myself staring at the big Ben Franklin poster on my wall, and changed my mind. Sure, I could write about the particular snippets of disinformation and dishonesty that spewed forth from Barton during this particular interview, but what good would that do? Been there; done that. Then, staring up at the face of Ben Franklin, it was his words, “Do well by doing good,” that suddenly popped into my head.

“Do well by doing good” — the words of a man who could have become outrageously wealthy by patenting his inventions, but decided to just let everybody have them for the public good — have now been stuck in my head for hours, and aren’t going to leave until I do what I’m about to do — give my book away for free.

Can I afford to do this? No. Do I need to do this? Yes! Will lots of people download it and read it? I have no freakin’ idea. It’s just what I need to do to bee able to look Ben Franklin in the eye on that poster on my wall.

Unreasonable Faith has a nice run-down and the related Daily Show videos.

***UPDATE 8 May, 5:00AM***

Our Facebook community has reacted strongly in a show of support for Chris Rodda – Many are refusing to download the free version of Liars For Jesus, opting to pay for it instead (or in addition to downloading).

Mike: well I’ve just been to Amazon UK and bought the book – two reasons – firstly, 400+pages of pdf is just too much to read on screen, and secondly, if Chris is prepared to give it away although we she can’t afford to, those of us who CAN spare $30 ought to cough up.

Jacqueline I’m with Mike – I’ve ordered her book, also. I like to make my own notes and have books of this calibre on hand for quick references. Because I’m in Germany, I’ll read the PDF before my book even gets here!! Thanks for posting – and thanks to Chris for making this available and free. :0))

Purchase Liars For Jesus by Chris Rodda here.

[via Amazon approx $20 US]

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  • I just downloaded the free version and then went to Amazon and purchased the Kindle version of her book as well. I’ve seen her book multiple times, just hadn’t purchased it yet. I look forward to reading it even more now that I’ve been researching David Barton.

    Secular Marine Corps Veteran

  • Tim

    I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but I’m looking forward to it. On a side note, if you want an idea of what Madison was thinking when he wrote the Bill of Rights, check out http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/qmadison.htm

    For example:
    “Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together” (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).

    • Justin Griffith

      Well said. Thank you for that quote – very appropriate.

  • Kevin C Jenkins

    Is there any chance of an audiobook version for those of us with vision problems or other issues that may make traditional reading problematic? If the book was released under a creative commons license, could it be submitted to LibriVox.org where people produce audio versions of books in the public domain?

    Also, I’d guess that many of you are aware of the National Center for Science Education’s ongoing fight against the many anti-evolution bills, laws, etc. throughout the US. Louisiana currently has one, and there are folks fighting for its repeal. http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-louisiana-to-teach-real-science-in-public-schools-not-creationism-and-climate-change-denial

    • An audio version might be a bit difficult to do with this book because so much of how I showed the lies is visual, by the use of three different typefaces to distinguish the lies I was quoting from the real documents and my commentary. My videos, however, cover many of the most often used and widespread lies debunked in the book, and, for the most part, don’t really require seeing the video to follow because I used different electronic voices “reading” the historical documents I quote and the actual audio of Barton, so you can tell when it’s him talking, me rebutting him, or an actual historic document being quoted.

      My videos are all on my website. The newest ones are all on my homepage, and there’s also a page of my older ones. Just go to http://www.liarsforjesus.com and you’ll find them.