David Barton Attacks; Tells Me How to Do Psychology

Of late, David Barton and his staffer Rick Green have savaged me due to their perception that his book, The Jefferson Lies, was pulled by Thomas Nelson publishers because of our book Getting Jefferson Right. Green linked the professors who reviewed his book with the tactics of Hitler and Alinsky and now Barton is attacking me over my academic position on reparative therapy. Roll the tape:

So let me get this right. Barton says I have no basis to critique his claims about Jefferson because I am not trained as a historian. However, he can make moral judgments about me because of my position on a psychology related matter.

I know some will be taken in by this. I expect that. Barton says he is going to release rebuttals to our work bit by bit. Well, believe it or not, I welcome that. He made light of our work on his claim that Jefferson chose to include “in the year of our Lord Christ” in presidential documents. While he acknowledged that the form was pre-printed, he did not deal with the fact that the language was not chosen by Jefferson. And because the language was required by the treaty with Holland (as well as other treaties), the Congress could not simply change it.

However, I will say what I have said all along: If Mr. Barton has evidence to counter any of my posts, or aspects of the book, we would like to see it. Contrary to the conspiracy theories which animated Barton and Fischer today, we wrote this book because the evidence we examined did not support the claims. If we are wrong, we will say so.

  • Gus

    Well, bless their hearts, at least they didn’t call you a Christ-hater.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Dr. Throckmorton,

    Thanks for all you do. I appreciate your integrity and your humility. Its quite refreshing .. especially after visiting some of these other folk’s pages.

    God bless,

    Dave

  • Dan

    What the AFA segment and the Lively piece have in common: neither has anything to do with the contents of your book. It is all about how you are no longer on the right team, how your motives are impure, how you are picking on Christians, how you have been coopted by, or are conspiring with, gays, etc. But nothing about the merits. Believe me, if they had anything to say on the merits, they would have done so.

    I am so proud of you for pursuing truth, wherever it leads, and not bowing to these personal attacks, just as you refused to bow to LaBarbera’s attacks a couple of years ago. I have no doubt that if new evidence came to light that supported Barton’s book, or supported reparative therapy or supported anything else that conflicts with your existing views, that you would go with the evidence. I cannot express to you how rare that is and how worthy it is of respect.

    But accolades aside, I hope you’ll think about why, by continuing to self-identify as a Christian, you willingly associate yourself with people like Lively and Fischer and Barton. To be blunt, you are too good for this religion. You denigrate yourself by associating yourself with it, as it has become a beacon of anti-intellectualism, politics, prejudice, fear, and meanness. Give yourself the respect that you deserve and leave Christianity.

  • http://padresteve.com/ Steven Dundas

    Thanks for taking the point against Barton. He is a hateful and ruthless demigod with delusions of actual knowledge. The sad thing is that he is actually believed by so many people. I have two history degrees (BA and MA) as well as a Masters of Divinity and am a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. I have served in the military over 30 years. I was told to leave a denomination because after serving in Iraq and dealing with a faith crisis I was now “too liberal.” I know Barton’s type of Christian quite well. Keep up the good work. Peace, Steve+

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

    Dave and Dan – Thanks, much appreciated. And you are right, if anyone has evidence that is relevant, bring it on.

  • ken

    So Warren, since moving to the left on reparative therapy, based on your knowledge of the research in that area, means you move to the left on every</em.issue, does this mean you now have Pro-Choice and Obama bumper-stickers? :)

    I'm curious if Barton and Fischer are really so color-blind that than can only see everything in black and white or if they are deliberately distorting your record to try to save face.

    Have you tried to contact Fischer and/or AFA to see about getting equal time (or better still, an actual debate with Barton)?

  • Terrence Mohn

    David Barton is going to attack you personally. He will and maybe with the help of other conservative radio hosts attempt to discredit your religious beliefs, your career, your character, and your claims as a conservative.

    I hope for your sake you are prepared for the personal hit you might take as a result of coming into the view of some powerful people.

  • patrick

    Keep it up. There should be a thousand more like you. What say (if anything) you about what is going in Louisiana with public money and charter schools? Ever read about Dover School Board vs Parents,from about 2004? Thought you might be interested. You are a wonderful person and are performing an invaluable service.

  • Steve-O

    Amazon.com is selling David’s book, I just bought one. Show your support and go to Amazon & buy the book.

  • Grokken

    Wow, that’s the closest I’ve heard Barton to come with answering his critics, and still he fires personal shots. And Ken, Barton has been offered chances to debate.. he won’t.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    “To be blunt, you are too good for this religion. You denigrate yourself by associating yourself with it, as it has become a beacon of anti-intellectualism, politics, prejudice, fear, and meanness. Give yourself the respect that you deserve and leave Christianity.”

    Fascinating, Dan. Warren. Foul begets foul.

    That said, David Barton’s counterattack on you is the beginning of the end, or at least the end of the beginning. He should have stayed hidden behind the veil of differing interpretations and plausible deniability. Now he has crossed a line.

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

    @Dan wrote:

    But accolades aside, I hope you’ll think about why, by continuing to self-identify as a Christian, you willingly associate yourself with people like Lively and Fischer and Barton. To be blunt, you are too good for this religion. You denigrate yourself by associating yourself with it, as it has become a beacon of anti-intellectualism, politics, prejudice, fear, and meanness. Give yourself the respect that you deserve and leave Christianity.

    I must respectfully disagree, though I’m no Christian. Yes, “Christianity” as it is commonly practiced in the USA today is “a beacon of anti-intellectualism, politics, prejudice, fear, and meanness”. That’s the norm now, not an exception, at least amongst those who are politically active. The rest are just enablers, few of whom speak out in other than muted tones, and almost never get involved in town hall meetings and the like.

    Christianity, to non-Christians like me, has become Pharisaic in the most pejorative sense of the word. Irrational, uncaring about mere facts, spiteful, proud, and cruel.

    But unless people of goodwill like Warren call themselves Christian, this situation will not improve, and will only get worse.

    The only area I fault him in is that he’s too innocent, believing until absolutely proven otherwise that others are rational and with goodwill. I think the comments on the Wallbuilders site have been educational for him.

    And if it’s a fault – it’s one I share too. There are worse ones to have. I think the only difference between us is that I’ve been exposed to the malice rather more often than he has, and less to the many people who actually follow JC’s teachings.

    I want Warren to wake up and smell the coffee, not to be discouraged.

  • Lynn David

    The dogma of the ultra-elitist self-righteous conservatives – either you bow down in agreement or you’re not just Switzerland but France.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Ah, the true colors are showing now, eh? The truth has no agenda but to be known. Barton is clearly making this up as he goes along. His work is nothing more than propaganda in it’s purest form. If history does not show a classic, protestant, Christian motivation to any good thing that happened, then history must be wrong, or so goes his ideology. Answer: reshape history in their image, one that is familiar and friendly to their cause.

    All this seems to feed into the bizarre hybrid national “American Religion” that has replaced Christianity for so many on the right. It’s appealing I suppose, as many nationalistic movements are, but there is good reason to both fear and fight it — history, real history, informs us of that clearly.

    My own prayer, if you could call it that, is that these people will awaken one day to the fact that what they have done has corrupted God in the eyes of more people than anything they ever railed against. And if that happens, may God show them more mercy than they have shown others.

  • Chris

    Keep up the good work, but Mr. Throckmorton, make sure you give Chris Rodda any credit that she is due. Not many others have researched these topics as heavily as she has.

  • David29073

    I have been watching this “battle” about facts between you and Barton for some time now. The bar was raised a few days ago when his book was axed by his publisher. What I don’t get is how you are to blame for that. I have been reading all sorts of experts blogs and articles which take Barton’s book apart piece by piece. Because of your blog and that of PoliticusUSA I have not only read some of your rebuttals, but have gone to the library of Congress and actually read the letters or policy analysis of Jefferson.

    I have never considered your rebuttals an “attack” but a presentation of facts to disprove shoddy or deliberately distorted historical narrative.

    I have read the Lively rebuttal, as well as the Green presentation and blog. I added my two cents to Greens Challenge and was surprised to see it actually published on the Blog. (never knew you were doing the bidding of puppet masters…wow!!!)

    Being Jewish, I really don’t have much of a stake in this interesting debate, if that is what it is suppose to be, seems more like a street brawl between a bunch of ideological goons and some pretty sensible people…but I am enjoying the back and forth between you and the screaming ideologues who have their draws in a wade because you have the audacity to question their interpretation of history…wow!!!

    The result of all this is I know a bunch more about my countries history then I ever knew in school…if that was your intent…thanks. It’s a wild ride that I am enjoying immensely.

    Oh, by the way, I’m on your side of this “debate”. Barton doesn’t seem to have a clue. I’ll stay tuned. But again, thanks for making me go back into history and love it…again.

  • Dan

    “But unless people of goodwill like Warren call themselves Christian, this situation will not improve, and will only get worse.”

    The brand is irreparably damaged. It is like communism in the last century. You probably could find some decent communists around the world who wouldn’t harm others and would never support totalitarianism. But the reality is that communism was defined by the police states that adopted it as their official ideology and imposed it on hundreds of millions of people. The decent individual communists who were smart eventually realized that the brand was hopelessly tainted, took the salvageable elements from the ideology, repudiated everything else, and crafted something new. That is what decent Christians like Throckmorton should do.

    Why should people like Warren and, say, Tony Campolo, be associating their moral system with that of Brian Fischer, Scott Lively and Martin Ssempa? They don’t practice the same religion, so why pretend that it is the same?

  • ken

    Grokken says:

    August 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    “And Ken, Barton has been offered chances to debate.. he won’t.”

    Yes, I am aware of that. But it is important for those giving Barton a microphone to see that. And the best way to show it is for Warren, Michael and any of Barton’s other critics to continue to offer to have such a debate. To show that they aren’t afraid to face Barton, but that he is afraid to face them.

  • James Ferguson

    Honestly, Barton is acting like a child who go an F on his history paper.

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

    @Dan

    The brand is irreparably damaged. It is like communism in the last century. You probably could find some decent communists around the world who wouldn’t harm others and would never support totalitarianism

    Professor Norm Geras comes to mind. My Favourite Marxist, and if all Marxists were like him, I’d be waving the Red Flag myself.

    Naturally, his commitment to Rationality, Humanity, Intellectual Integrity and the like means he has been castigated by the True Believers.

    I know him well enough to call him my friend, even though by Australian standards, I’m on the Right. We disagree on minor details, methods rather than objectives. We’re both prepared to abandon cherished beliefs if the evidence for them being wrong is strong enough, yet prepared to state what we see is true no matter how unpopular that view may be, nor however strong the opposition to it. We’re our own severest critics, constantly re-evaluating our beliefs to make sure we’re in the right as best we can see that.

    Warren’s of the same genus, to state the obvious. I’d like to meet him one day.

  • Pingback: David Barton and Bryan Fischer Get All Three-Year Old on Their Critics

  • Diane

    Just downloaded your book and am starting to read it, but I wanted to congratulate you.

    Thank you for standing up to the bullies in the world. David barton and his ilk are ‘christian ‘bullies.

    So sure that none will even question their words, they result to name calling and denigrate others.

    Never thought their publisher would remove his book, but that too, is a victory!

  • Teresa

    As one other commenter mentioned on this thread, this whole debate has interested me so much, that I’m actually learning so much about early American History, and enjoying the heck out of it … and, that interest and integrity to truth is what true education is all about. Little did I know anything about standing ‘apart’ from an issue and learning, as best we can, what the issue is, taking us wherever it leads, and finding the joy that truth always brings … versus being ‘a part’ of an ideology that destroys and wrecks everything in its path.

    I, too, as Zoe mentioned, would love to spend an evening with Warren … as, I’ve come to find out I’d love to spend an evening with Zoe, Dan, Dave, Ken and so many others that have stretched me outside of my little shoebox world on this blog.

    Warren, I pray as I’m sure many others do, that you remain steadfast throughout this brouhaha, knowing that you have the support of so many of us, not in the sense of ideological support, or argument for argument’s sake … but, because “truth sets us free”.

  • Bernie

    Barton & Fischer, two dominionists acting like children who have had their toys taken away. Now that they have been disarmed of their propaganda, they have no other alternative than to attack you personally? It is a fascist tactic, to attack personally, when you have nothing else.

    Once again, if Barton has this mountain of documents and underwhelming evidence, then invite to debate the matter.

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

    @All – thanks for the supportive comments. Those who are attacking us are going the way of name calling and stereotyping. We are just going to keep our focus as much as possible on the issues.

  • Gavin McDougald

    I don’t know the good Doctor from Adam, nor have I read any of Barton’s books, nor do I intend to, but listening to this video, I just can’t help but ask, “what’s with this obsession about gay folks?”

    I mean seriously, it’s gay, this gay that…

    Is this what American evangelical belief is all about? Where is the rest of the Bible? The nice bits? The charity, the tolerance? These fellers seem to focus entirely on man on man sex because Leviticus said so. (Where does it say in there anywhere about lesbians btw?)

    Regardless, I like Jefferson. I don’t think his history needs a reinterpretation like the latest Spiderman reboot.

    Let history live. Don’t let it be rewritten to fit into this asshat’s gay-obsessed personal mandate.

  • Nick

    “So let me get this right. Barton says I have no basis to critique his claims about Jefferson because I am not trained as a historian.”

    Well, sure…Barton’s the historian here. Oh, wait…he’s not. But he is, apparently, an expert in “religious education” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Barton_(author). Well, that figures.

    In any case, good for you, Dr. Throckmorton…your book is excellent, well-researched, and clear to understand.

  • Laurie

    Interesting. Who is attacking? “…To put all of this in a proper perspective, lets assume for the sake of argument that every criticism of every critic is accurate and not merely a question of different takes on the underlying facts and context (as I believe). Lets even go further and allow solely for argument’s sake that David Barton exaggerated some of the facts. Is the attack on the man in proportion to his perceived fault? For the sake of preventing further damage to our already fractured Christian unity in this dominant humanist culture couldn’t this have been handled more prudently? Or is David Barton’s entire career being destroyed and all of his years of working tirelessly to advance the cause of Christ in American society being retroactively invalidated on purpose by a puppet-master with a hidden motive?

    Who exactly benefits from this? If you listen hard you can hear their gleeful cackles as they pat Warren Throckmorton on the back. ” http://www.defendthefamily.com/pfrc/newsarchives.php?id=8239619

  • Teresa

    Laurie said:

    For the sake of preventing further damage to our already fractured Christian unity in this dominant humanist culture couldn’t this have been handled more prudently?

    Laurie, how more prudently could it have been done, than simply authoring a book that countered Barton’s claims; and, asking to debate the facts in a framework of objectivity, not partisanship? The salvo of name-calling, outrageous attacks on one’s character, has not come from Warren Throckmorton or Michael Coulter, in my opinion. I contend the video accompanying this blogpost is sufficient answer to who has lost all prudence.

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

    Laurie – You are trusting the wrong people. Scott Lively has deceived you about what took place with his book. He says in the article you cite:

    He [Throckmorton] even corralled a newly-arrived faculty member at Grove City to write a criticism of my book The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party. I called the man who wrote the critique, intending to challenge him to a debate. He told me that he had been very uncomfortable with Throckmorton’s request and didn’t intend to repeat the collaboration.

    Here he is talking about JD Wyneken’s two part series on The Pink Swastika on this blog. However, he is wrong about everything else. The two men never talked by phone. They exchanged emails and they did not say what Lively says they did. I will soon have copies and if need be will expose them. He was not uncomfortable with the request and told Lively that his book was not history.

  • Boo

    Laurie- ls lying the proper way to advance the cause of Christ? Yes or no?

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

    Laurie – BTW, I contacted Barton by email and phone message with no response. And at least 12 other Christian scholars and several ministers approached Barton privately before this all became public. You should ask Mr. Barton about handling things prudently.

  • T.M. Cleaver

    David Barton is about as much a “Christian” as Osama Bin Laden was a “Muslim.” Take the words Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu – all Big Nouns that represent Big Ideas. Put the word “fundamentalist” in front of them and they become adjectives. Fundamentalism is its own false religion, and it tries to hijack the real religions. Note how much a “Fundamentalist-Muslim” has in common with “Fundamentalist-Christian.” Both set themselves above the law, declare only they can define the law, and are willing to commit terrorist acts in furtherance of their conspiracies.

  • Dan

    I can’t wait to see the Lively/Wyneken email exchange. If it falsifies Lively’s claims in his latest column, you and/or Wyneken should follow up and demand a retraction.

  • Dan

    You should also confirm with Wyneken that there was no telephone conversation in addition to the email exchange. If possible, it would be good to get that confirmation in writing.

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  • Ron Lester

    You can dish it out, but you certainly can’t take it, Warren, you’ve been “deThrocked!”


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