Barton, Birther featured in Kirk Cameron’s new Monumental movie

Kirk Cameron has a new movie coming out called Monumental. It claims to search American history to find our natural treasure. Cameron interviews a variety of people, most of whom appear on the Christian nation wing of the church, to make his points. As RWW pointed out Friday, Cameron interviews David Barton about the Aitken Bible. Barton, as is typical, takes an interesting story and misleads his audience.

 

You can read Chris Rodda’s more accurate rendering of the situation here. I hope to have something on this within the month (stay tuned for more on a new project on this coming soon).

Another of Cameron’s “experts” is Herb Titus. Titus has been Dean of the Oral Roberts and Regent University law schools and is prominently featured on birther websites such as this one. (obamareleaseyourrecords.blogspot.com). Titus and Cameron go to Harvard to tell viewers that the separation of church and state is a myth.

A lot of evangelicals will go see this movie and will come away believing that Cameron has assembled unbiased scholars who are simply revealing what the evil statist academic machine wants to hide. Lots of potential for mischief there.

I will have to wait to see what conclusions Cameron provides, but an effort that leads with Barton and a Birther is not getting off to a good start.

  • http://slowlyboiledfrog.com David Hart

    We have presidential candidates making essentially the same claims. Newt’s a birther and Santorum claims that the Establishment Clause doesn’t mean what it means. Crackpottery – out of the closet and into the mainstream.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Truth Wins Out alerts us to a blockbuster article from the Southern Poverty Law center on NARTH.

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/queer-science

    Glad you were able to migrate the website to the new server. So far none of my comments have been held in moderation, so yeah for that!!! :)

    To be honest with you Warren, I mainly come to your website for information and research on Sexual Orientation Change. Articles on NARTH, Exodus, PFOX and similar are of interest to me, and I always look forward to your insights relative to SOCE and the players.

    You have also done an admirable job in leading discussions on bullying of sexual minorities and generally the Christian Rights persecution of sexual minorities and political situations relative to sexual minorities, always pushing for a Christ centered approach and pointing out approaches that are not in keeping with your particular Christian views. I hope this information is of help to you.

  • http://www.liarsforjesus.com Chris Rodda

    Ah … I wondered which law schools Titus had been dean of when I first saw this clip, but hadn’t had a chance to check. The way Cameron says Titus went to Harvard Law School, but then just says he was dean of two law schools without mentioning the names of the schools made me suspect that they were Fundamentalist Christian law schools. But this tricky omission will work on Cameron’s audience — all they’ll hear is Harvard and they’ll get the desired impression that he’s a smart, trustworthy scholar.

  • http://www.liarsforjesus.com Chris Rodda

    Oh, and I did a quick debunking of the other Bible story Barton tells Cameron in the clip:

    The other Bible shown to Cameron by Barton, which Barton claims was funded by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and various other signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, is a 1798 edition printed by John Thompson of Philadelphia.

    Jefferson merely owned a copy of this Bible, and had subscribed to it. All this means is that he pre-ordered a copy and most likely paid for it in advance, so his name is on the list of subscribers. It does not mean that he “funded” this Bible as Barton claims. Taking subsciptions for books was just a typical practice in the printing business at the time, when book printing was an expensive, time-consuming trade. This allowed the printer to cover their expenses and know how many copies to print.

    Jefferson’s fascination with comparing translations of the Bible is well known, so it’s not surprising at all that he would want to see this Bible, whose full title was “The Holy Bible, containing the old and new Testaments: Together with the Apocrypha; translated out of the original Tongues: and with the former translations, diligently compared and revised,” and ordered a copy.

    Barton’s claim that Jefferson “funded” this Bible because he “wanted to get the word of God out to every family” is a complete lie.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Chris – This illustrates Barton’s approach, take an otherwise interesting story and make it into something unrecognizable.

    Thanks for the comments….

  • Bernie

    Warren and Chris,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You guys are intrepid in exposing Barton and his sly ways of putting a spin on everything…oh screw being polite, the man lies. There, I said it.

    My concern is along the same lines as Warren’s…if evangelical ministers are at the pulpit advocating this movie to their congregations, they are going to walk away believing this to be gospel. It’s imperative that his(Barton’s) yarns are unwoven for all to see. Will that happen, I pray God so!

  • Ralph

    Warren,

    Don’t you think that you are getting a bit off course here? I don’t think anyone would disagree with the thought that most of our founders were Christian and had those kind of values, read the Bible and even bought copies of it and recommended it to others. Getting in to the nitty gritty of an academic pissing contest of who said, wrote, published, what to whom and who meant what, etc, it seems like it is a real waste of your precious time. You have made your point quite well that Barton distorts history, etc.. I think we have heard enough about Barton and the others and it is time to get back to your regular blog topics.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren Throckmorton

    Ralph – What is on course?

  • David M.

    While the views of the founding fathers are not an area of expertise for me, I for one appreciate that someone is willing to take on this Christian right nonsense of portraying the founding fathers as evangelicals. It is anacronistic and simply wrong. Like it or not, the US is not a Christian nation per se. None of our founding documents name Jesus Christ. There are nebulous references to God, but exactly who this God is remains unspecified. Thanks, Warren.

  • Gregory Peterson

    If memory serves, Mr. Titus was the fired dean of Pat Robertson’s Regent University Law School. Didn’t Titus contribute a piece to one of the volumes of Rousas John Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law. I vaguely remember reading it decades ago when I got interested in the eyebrow raising Christian Reconstruction movement.

    I confess that I’ve never figured out why Chancellor Robertson named his university Regent, where people go to learn how to be one of God’s regents, if ancient memory of an advertisement in Christianity Today is correct. A regent, after all, is one who rules in the name of a sovereign who is immature, incapacitated, or out of touch.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Yes, it was a Volume 2 appendix, “The Constitutional Law of Privacy: Past, Present and Future,” in RJ Rushdoony, Law and Society.” http://books.google.com/books?id=aOYJAQAAMAAJ&q=%22constitutional+law+of+privacy%22+titus&dq=%22constitutional+law+of+privacy%22+titus&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SeBeT568EOrm2AWK45izCA&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAA

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Address to the Ohio Legislature:

    http://youtu.be/PfG_3t7fP3k

    Pastor Bill Ledbetter of Fairview Baptist church

    It’s getting pretty bad.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Sorry, Oklahoma.

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  • Kay

    thanks for the post – especially Chris Rodda’s article! I came across this website looking for details on the movie since my child’s (private) school is pushing it, and I need to keep my child educated. I will guess that “Monumental” will motivate a surge in interest in Rodda’s book. I’m there.

    I have a basic question: how does it make sense that religious fundamentalists see congress as anointed with the power to choose a state religion, let alone a version of a bible, while they also want to drown government in the bathtub? I won’t even go into the hypocrisy of gutting social spending in favor of the filthy rich by so-called “christians”. I really want to understand what is going on. It appears to be a wedding of moneyed interests with institutions that would agree to an authoritarian state. Can someone comment on this and point me to more enlightening sources? thanks.

  • David M.

    Kay, my daughters spent part of their educational years in a private school. My wife was always more sold on the idea than I was. I look back now and wonder if that background was part of the reason my eldest rebelled so violently at 17. She moved out unannounced and married at 18. Fortunately my younger daughter spent the last couple of years of her high school education in a good public school. I can’t say what’s best for your child, but consider the potential cost of a private school. It’s a lot more than dollars.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Kay, I can’t be of help to you either. I just shake my head.

  • susanh

    I too stumbled on this website and it won’t happen again! Your views are one-sided and the door to your heart is closed. You refuse to see something you’ve never seen before and it is apparent that nothing will ever change that.

  • prissy

    i have read your comments and understand where u r coming from; but think, if u r all wrong they are right, Christ is the only way to heaven after we die, we go to hell; mabe we should study the Bible to understand it not to judge it, just saying;

  • Jayhuck

    Susanh,

    I too stumbled on this website and it won’t happen again! Your views are one-sided and the door to your heart is closed. You refuse to see something you’ve never seen before and it is apparent that nothing will ever change that.

    Sounds like there is a heart that is closed, but I don’t think it is the one you think :)

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