David Barton: Christian Professors Were Trained By Pagan Professors Who Hate God

During the same program where David Barton claimed that only four professors in the nation criticized The Jefferson Lies, he also had something to say (listen) about the Christian professors who have raised concerns about his claims.

What happens is, and Christian professors were basically trained by pagan professors who hate God, and they’re just repeating what they’re been told.

I was reminded of this line by reading the History News Network article about Barton’s claim about the four professors.

I think what he might mean is ‘Christian professors who disagree with me were basically trained by pagan professors who hate God.’

For Coulter and me, Barton’s theory doesn’t work out. My history training came from Cedarville University profs back when the school was more conservative than it is now. Everybody seems pretty fond of God around CU. Coulter went to GCC and then the University of Dallas.

More generally, though, that is quite a strong and insulting statement, one I doubt he can back up.

It’s not too late to join the #Barton4.

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  • Paul Harvey

    Well, it’s definitely true that John FEa and Thomas Kidd are pagan professors who hate God, as of course were Tommy’s mentors at Notre Dame (#sarcasm #irony). Oh, and my professors at Oklahoma Baptist University also trained me to hate God.. #FAIL

    • Richard Willmer

      For me the irony of this latest bartonic outburst is that my perception of the religion of Barton and his ilk is essentially pagan contract religion (‘follow our rules and God will reward you’) with some ‘Jesus tinsel’ stuck over its private parts. Nothing to do with Christianity IMO.

  • Paul Harvey

    Well, it’s definitely true that John FEa and Thomas Kidd are pagan professors who hate God, as of course were Tommy’s mentors at Notre Dame (#sarcasm #irony). Oh, and my professors at Oklahoma Baptist University also trained me to hate God.. #FAIL

  • Sharon

    Good grief. While it’s possible some of my professors at (secular! oh no!) Rice U. were pagan, I don’t recall any lessons on hating God. Is he saying that professors in general are unworthy of trust unless they come from an unbroken line of Christian professors at Christian colleges?

  • William Birch

    Barton has all the makings for #Great Cult Leader . . .

  • Tom Van Dyke

    Now only if the outrage swung both ways…

    http://theatheistconservative.com/tag/howard-zinn/

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

      Yes, Tom if only it did.

      • Richard Willmer

        I do not see an ‘equivalence’ between Barton’s rhetoric and that of, say, Jeremiah Wright. Wright’s rhetoric is a reflection of genuine historical (and present) grievances, and IMO understandable perceptions on the part of many of ‘who runs things’ and ‘for whose benefit’. I don’t see how that same thing could be said of Barton’s.

        (I’m not necessarily supporting what people like Wright say, by the way, but I do understand why they say it.)

  • Lynn David

    How many times can David Barton jump the shark before landing in its jaws?

  • Daniel S. Brown

    Not only does Barton not know a Christian brother or sister who tries to give him correction, he doesn’t know what a Pagan is. But, I presume he means to use the word in the same imprecise manner that most Americans use it in reference to all non-Christians.

    I don’t trot out my fundamentalist-evangelical-conservative pedigree often. I’m not going to name-drop now. Barton is trying to shift the focus away from his wrongs and I don’t want that to happen. The #Barton4 challenge him on the facts, not whether or not we attended Oral Roberts University as he did.

  • ken

    Warren said:

    “More generally, though, that is quite a strong and insulting statement, one I doubt he can back up.”

    If Barton could back up his statements he would have to constantly resort to ad-hominem attacks.

    • ken

      that should have been “he would not have to constantly”…

  • Boo

    Of course he can’t back up his statement, but that entirely misses the point. Like so much of modern conservatism, he’s a tribalist. He’s playing to the tribe, and if you let it become about who has the proper worldview instead of what is factually correct, you let him win.

    • Richard Willmer

      “He’s playing to the tribe …”

      Well put.

    • Patrocles

      To which tribe is he playing? To the Christian tribe?

      And you resent that?

      Why?

      • Boo

        Because even as a Christian myself, I value truth or falsehood over us vs. them.

      • Richard Willmer

        Well, I resent it primarily because I believe this kind of behaviour brings Christianity into disrepute. If Barton is a Christian, he should focus on being a minister of the Gospel, and not a peddler of narrow politics.

  • Zoe Brain

    I’m no christian. Never pretended to be. But nor am I “pagan” for that implies belief in non-christian gods of some kind.

    I no more hate God than I hate pixies, unicorns, or the Easter Bunny.

    No matter. Twas ever thus with those to whom The Truth was more important than mere facts which contradict it.

    “Those who assert that ‘the earth moves and turns’…[are] motivated by ‘a spirit of bitterness, contradiction, and faultfinding;’ possessed by the devil, they aimed ‘to pervert the order of nature.’”

    - John Calvin, sermon no. 8 on 1st Corinthians, 677, cited in John Calvin: A Sixteenth Century Portrait by William J. Bouwsma (Oxford Univ. Press, 1988), A. 72

  • Jonathan Wilson

    This is a good opportunity for me to associate myself with the Barton Four. I’m currently a graduate student and adjunct instructor in American history; I completed my undergraduate degree at the notoriously pagan LeTourneau University.

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

      Jonathan – Welcome to the #Barton4

      • Zoe Brain

        There are cookies.

  • Jack Haberer, Editor, The Presbyterian Outlook

    This is my first discovery of your site. My first discover of Barton was watching a video of him extolling the faith of George Washington, but quoting the 2nd inaugural, but conveniently and repeatedly replacing the word “providence” with God or Jesus. Unfortunately for him, I had a pause button on my remote control, so kept stopping to read the actual text he was so blatantly misquoting. I do agree with the other comments that, as an evangelical (trained at Gordon-Conwell Seminary and handed my M.Div. degree by Billy Graham — there’s one of my bona fides), that Barton’s brand of sloppy historiography in the service of radical right wing politics does the faith a great disservice. And his ad hominems only multiply the embarrassment to which we subjects the faith.

    • Tom Van Dyke

      My first discover of Barton was watching a video of him extolling the faith of George Washington, but quoting the 2nd inaugural, but conveniently and repeatedly replacing the word “providence” with God or Jesus. Unfortunately for him, I had a pause button on my remote control, so kept stopping to read the actual text he was so blatantly misquoting.

      That is likely accurate, Mr. Haberer. Barton’s critics should be held to the same exacting standards as he, and you have come up short here.

      First, Washington’s 2nd inaugural is 2 paragraphs long, and makes no mention of Providence or the Divine atall.

      http://history1900s.about.com/od/uspresidents/qt/washspeech.htm

      Washington’s 1st inaugural–to which you’re apparently attempting to refer, uses the word “providence” ZERO times, and “providential” only twice. There is no opportunity to slip in “Jesus” on the occasions [see transcript below].

      http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres13.html

      Your charge doesn’t add up. As an self-described editor of some sort, you owe David Barton either substantiation or a retraction.

      ________________

      * The relevant passage which we suppose Mr. Haberer is getting at–which these days is far less known than in previous eras–is an expression of “pious gratitude” which he calls his “first official Act.” Washington refers to the Deity 3 times directly, and several others by apposition:

      “Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station; it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. And in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their United Government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most Governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me I trust in thinking, that there are none under the influence of which, the proceedings of a new and free Government can more auspiciously commence.”

      For all his other errors, that Barton substituted “Jesus” in for the references to the Deity has not been his style; neither does the 1st inaugural provide much opportunity to do so. Proof is needed.

    • Richard Willmer

      I’m very encouraged by your words, Jack.

      I’ve always maintained – perhaps understandably, given that I am a (relatively liberal) Catholic Christian – that the essential problem with the likes of Barton is a THEOLOGICAL problem.

      The picture of God one seems to be given by these people is one of a God ‘who seeks to control’; it is therefore natural that they should advocate political philosophies and structures that represent attempts to ‘bring in the kingdom’ through a system of (often coercive) legislation or constitutional precepts. But the aforementioned picture is far far away – even arguably diametrically opposed to – the (ultimate and, for Christians, definitive) Revelation of God in Christ Crucified, and the profoundly revealing words (words which echo through the worldwide Church on a daily basis) of the One who is the Human Face of God: “Take this all of you and eat of it; for this is my Body which will be given up for you.”

      Historical tinkering does a great disservice to the mission of the Church; much greater still is the damage done by the bad (heretical?) theology that lies behind that tinkering.

  • Mark Kreslins

    @ Tom Van Dyke, can you please provide your background? I tried to search your name on google and want to make sure I have the right person.

    Thanks,

    Mark Kreslins

    • Tom Van Dyke

      Oh, I’m sure you found the right me, Mark. Businessman, musician, game show champ, bon vivant. Is this you?

      http://tinyurl.com/msfz5wg

      http://www.forgottenmen.com/about.html

      Quite a handsome fellow. And perhaps we may have the estimable David Gordon of mises.org in common. My home blog is

      http://americancreation.blogspot.com/

      and although I think Mr. Jack Haberer may have gone too far in pissing on David Barton’s grave for reasons given above, I do get Warren’s back in the comments section on this latest Barton stuff.

      Tom Van Dyke said…

      Mr. Fortenberg, David Barton screwed the pooch with this last Jefferson bit. Although his attackers are often unfair and inaccurate themselves, this time Barton is too far gone to be salvaged.

      Time for him to join Erich von Daniken and Hal Lindsey in the Thank You and Goodbye File.

      Tom Van Dyke said…

      Mr. Fortenstein, I have my own battles with Warren on these same grounds, but I think Throckmorton’s on solid ground here.

      Barton’s insinuating that only some ideological opponents are faulting his work, but the truth is even putative allies such as Daniel Dreisbach and Tommy Kidd cannot support him on this latest Jefferson thing.

      Which Warren rightfully and righteously links to

      http://www.worldmag.com/2012/08/doubting_thomas

      Pretty much there’s not a single historian, left or right, Christian or atheist, who’s getting Barton’s back on this latest Jefferson mess.

      And I say this as someone who’s previously taken the stance that some or many of his points are at least arguable. But no more–he has indeed “jumped the shark*” and is unsalvageable. For the good of everything he believes in [God and country), he should go away.

      But unfortunately, this is how he makes his living now, so he will not [cannot] quit. But it will never be the same.

      *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

      Anyway, Mark, feel free to give me props—or give me hell—as the case may be. Or just say hi.

  • Mark Kreslins

    Why indeed that is who I am Tom; pleasure to make your acquaintance. I wish I could say we shared a common friend in David Gordon, but sadly I cannot. Though privileged to have presented there, I must confess that it is unlikely a riff raff talk show host would be offered a position there! :)

    That said, I’m glad to see so many here pursuing the facts and truth of history, rather than what some may want history to be. Though I am not sympathetic, I do understand why some like David may want to paint a rather surreal mosaic of the founding of the Union and framing of the Constitution. However those desires, regardless of the motives simply cannot be allowed to outweigh the facts. It does no favor to anyone, including God Himself to simply make things up or distort historic events.

    In that regard, David is being provided ample opportunities to correct the record if you will and as a fellow evangelical, I pray he will.

    @Warren, my daughter Jennifer Kreslins-Moore and her husband Jonathan Moore both graduated from GCC with political science degrees. Jon is completing his PhD here in Oklahoma at OU. They both had Michael Coulter for a few classes I believe.

    Because I live here in Oklahoma I frequently have to deal with some of the “inaccuracies” from David, in fact I did just today. I can tell you this, I’m glad for the work you do with this site, as perhaps as unpleasant as it may be at times.

    Tom, in closing, I appreciate your desire to keep the critiques of David purely based on a fact base. As more and more of your work and Professor’s Throckmorton and Coulters and many others work emerges regarding David, there will be a natural desire to “pile on.” You’ve set the standard high, where it should be and thus take your place alongside the immortal Jack Webb – “Just the facts ma’am!”


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