John Fea on David Barton’s Make Believe Thomas Jefferson

Messiah College history prof John Fea recently authored a history of the American Bible Society. In it, he describes the efforts of certain founding fathers (e.g., Elias Boudinot) to make sure the new United States would be a Christian nation. The American Bible Society was one of those efforts.In the minds of the ABS founders and supporters, some of their fellow patriots were a threat to their Christian nationalist aims. One such founder was Thomas Jefferson. And yet, Fea notes in a History … [Read more...]

Dear Fred Clark: Thanks But I Think John Fea and I Are in Good Shape

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Fellow Patheos blogger Fred Clark (Slacktivist) is worried for Messiah College prof John Fea and me. He says: But I’m worried for both of them. Specifically, I’m worried because this is an election year and that means that the ever-shifting goalposts of the white evangelical tribal gatekeepers may well shift between now and November. Depending on the outcome of the upcoming Republican presidential primary races, the bounds of theological acceptability could shift in such a way that both of thes … [Read more...]

Are Conservatives Rethinking David Barton?

Maybe.Reacting to the news that David Barton had been appointed to head up the Ted Cruz supporting Keep the Promise Super PACs, Messiah College historian John Fea wrote this: Recently I have been in conversation with some Christian conservatives who have decades of experience as Christian Right insiders.  These Christians are growing more and more concerned about Barton's views of the American past and are worried that they have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to their understanding … [Read more...]

MD County Official Uses Faux George Washington Prayer in Violation of Judge’s Order

A First Amendment case is brewing in Maryland involving sectarian prayers and a prayer book wrongly attributed to George Washington. The prayer recited by Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier Thursday that she said is from George Washington has been proven to not belong to the first president, but is often used by Christian Conservative politicians, according to a scholar. Friend and Messiah College history professor John Fea provided the expert commentary: John Fea, chair of the History … [Read more...]

Wheaton’s Inhabit Conference: Race and the Christian Nation Question

I am hearing good things about the Inhabit conference held at Wheaton College this past weekend. I had wanted to attend but couldn't due to a previous commitment. One topic of discussion at the conference was the problem of the Christian nation concept.John Fea notes that the Christian nation theory is offensive to many African-American evangelicals. Here is a taste: On Friday evening I was inspired by the Wheaton Gospel Choir and messages by Pastor Ray, Chris Beard of Peoples Church in Cin … [Read more...]

What can be learned from the David Barton controversy

John Fea posted a must-read article on Patheos this morning about what can be learned from the debacle over The Jefferson Lies. He brings together many threads and items of relevance to the entire controversy. I hope those who still think criticisms of Barton's history are only coming from Alinsky-inspired liberals will read this piece.The truth is out there. The effort to paint us all as academic elitists and liberals is just a way to try to change the subject.Go read Fea's post; it is … [Read more...]

Take The Jefferson Quiz; Buy the Jefferson book

Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President is now live on Amazon.One way we are getting the word out about the book is The Jefferson Quiz. Go check it out and test your Jefferson knowledge. You can see the answers and  the results of others who have taken it after you are done.Read the book on any digital device or computer you own. Click here to see how to do it.If you have any questions about the book, leave them in the comments section here or at the … [Read more...]

What Barack Obama and Thomas Jefferson have in common

Both of them were/are considered infidels and anti-Christian during their tenure in public life by the religious right of their era.I started this post when some Christian right leaders went ballistic over Barack Obama's reference to his religious views at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month. Then, Rick Santorum called Obama's theology "phony." And then today I see that my friend at Messiah College John Fea is at the heart of a storm over his statement that Barack Obama is "the … [Read more...]


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