Institute on the Constitution Posts Spurious Thomas Jefferson Quote

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The Institute on the Constitution just can't seem to get quotes right.On their Facebook page, the neo-Confederate organization periodically features quotes they claim come from the founders. However, the quote are often spurious.  The most recent one attributed to Thomas Jefferson was posted earlier this month: How fitting for the times we are in!www.theamericanview.comPosted by Institute on the Constitution on Tuesday, April 7, 2015This appears to be derived from … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday Thomas Jefferson

In honor of our third president, I can suggest a worthy gift given to anyone in his name. Written mostly to debunk David Barton's The Jefferson Lies, the book stands on its own as an examination of Jefferson's views on religion, the Bible, and slavery.Barton spent a lot of time at the Faith Baptist Church telling the audience that the founders all followed Blackstone's ideas that our government was based on the Bible. Thomas Jefferson wasn't impressed with that argument as … [Read more...]

Historian Thomas Kidd on Deism During the Founding Era

This brief primer by Thomas Kidd in how deism was understood during the founding era is well worth reading.Kidd cuts through the fog often generated by Christian nationalists (e.g., David Barton) and the new atheists regarding the religious beliefs of the founders. A brief sample: So what was deism? In spite of all its diversity, deism was a strain of rationalist religion – many of its advocates, like Jefferson, would have called themselves Christians – which focused on the ethical, rat … [Read more...]

Dear David Barton: Virginia Law Allowed Manumission of Slaves After 1782

In his pulled-from-publication book, The Jefferson Lies, David Barton took the position that Virginia law did not allow Thomas Jefferson to free his slaves. In our book on Jefferson, Getting Jefferson Right, Michael Coulter and I demonstrated that slave owners were allowed to manumit (free) slaves after Virginia lawmakers passed the 1782 Law on Manumission. However, Barton keeps spreading the misinformation.In February, Barton told Charis Bible College students George Mason was not allowed to … [Read more...]

Pastor Jack Hibbs Takes Lessons from David Barton

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The third video in Jack Hibb's mini-series (see a previous post on a prior episode) with David Barton features Hibbs trying his hand at historical interpretation. Watch Hibbs talking about Washington and Jefferson as slave owners (for context, here is the complete segment).In this clip, Hibbs makes some Bartonesque statements about Washington and Jefferson. Below I give the claim and then after that what I believe to be the truth.  Hibbs said:1. George Washington was one of the ten we … [Read more...]

Note to Evangelical Culture Warriors and Pastor Tullian Tchividjian from Benjamin Rush

The Father of Psychiatry, Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), signed the Declaration of Independence  and was a delegate to the Constitutional Congress. Rush was good friends with both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Despite his universalist beliefs, he is a favorite of David Barton and other Christian Nationalists because he was a founder who articulated many Christian interests and pursuits.I thought of Rush after reading a World Net Daily article today by John Aman criticizing Coral Ridge … [Read more...]

Conference on Faith and History: Taking It To The Streets: Engaging Bad History In Public

I just returned from the Conference on Faith and History which was held at Pepperdine University from September 24-28. On Saturday, I presented a paper as part of a panel titled, Professors, Prisoners, and the Polls: Engaging the Past in the Public Square. The session was chaired by Dwight Brautigam, Huntington University. Other papers given were: "In God We Trust": Teaching Faith In and Through the U.S. Capitol, by Fred Beuttler, Carroll University and former Deputy Historian for the U.S. House … [Read more...]

Anniversary of the Deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1826; Happy Independence Day!

In addition to being Independence Day, this is the day that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826. On this day in 1826, former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who were once fellow Patriots and then adversaries, die on the same day within five hours of each other. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were friends who together served on the committee that constructed the Declaration of Independence, but later became political rivals during the … [Read more...]


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