John Adams to Rick Perry: Don't meddle in religion

This morning, Religion Dispatches published my article with advice for Rick Perry from our second President, John Adams.  David Barton is right about one thing: John Adams was a religious person. Adams twice called for national days of prayer and fasting during his presidency and attended many churches of different views. Although Adams had no patience for Calvinists or Catholics, Adams had immense respect for Jesus as an enlightened teacher.  Knowing this, Benjamin Rush lamented to Adams … [Read more...]

David Barton on America’s Founders (Video)

I posted a transcript of a speech by David Barton and broadcast last week by Focus on the Family. I did not know it at the time but the speech is not a new one. Perhaps he is still delivering the same one he did 4 years ago. I found video of that speech on Google and here it is:This is a little over an hour long. The transcript referred to by Focus fits right along with this speech.Barton confuses me at times. He said in a radio message that Jefferson said he was a Christian … [Read more...]

David Barton misleads Focus on the Family on death penalty case

Last week, Focus on the Family produced a series of broadcasts titled the Founding of America, featuring David Barton. In one of them, Barton told the audience that the Supreme Court overturned a murder conviction because the prosecutor used a Bible verse in his closing arguments. Here is Barton's version of the case:I mean, you do something religious in the courtroom and you're in a lot of trouble, as evidenced by the case that we had at the Supreme Court not long ago, called Commonwealth v. … [Read more...]

David Barton page

By request, I have created a page with links to the major posts on the claims of Wallbuilders' leader David Barton.Although more cumbersome, you can get all posts where Barton is tagged here.Happy Independence Day weekend! … [Read more...]

John Adams' Holy Ghost letter: David Barton strikes back

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David Barton claims Obama soft on porn

In the "Wait, what?" category, David Barton claimed on his radio show that the Justice Department is not prosecuting pornography cases. Right Wing Watch has Barton's claim:Barton: We’ve got laws against illegal pornography, and you can’t stop all pornography but even the liberals recognize that some pornography is over the top.Green: I mean an easy one is child pornography.Barton: Simple. And you’ve had this Administration in three years has not prosecuted a single what’s called ‘obscen … [Read more...]

Should you believe David Barton when he speaks about history?

Last week, I wrote a quick post noting that David Barton thought a woman posing as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War was a good thing. Today women can serve openly, but this seemed odd to me in light of religious right concerns about gender bending.Barton told the story about the female soldier on Glenn Beck's Founder Friday show. The rest of the show was actually quite interesting with several stories about female, African-American and Jewish patriots. I found myself enjoying the … [Read more...]

David Barton on John Adams – The Holy Ghost letter

During his appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, David Barton claimed that John Adams believed in the Trinity and avoided discussing the meaning of John Adams letter to Benjamin Rush where Adams invokes the Holy Ghost. Last week, I noted that John Adams denied the Trinity in correspondence to Thomas Jefferson, who also denied it. In this post, I take up the letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush where Adams discusses the Holy Ghost. On the Daily Show, Jon Stewart read a portion of the … [Read more...]


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