Happy Birthday to Thomas Jefferson – Share the Land

On April 13, 1743, Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell, Virginia. Over 270 years later, Jefferson is trending on Twitter. Many people want to claim Jefferson. Today, for instance, the Heritage Foundation has an article claiming that the Tea Party embodies Jefferson's legacy.Jefferson had many sides and wasn't perfectly consistent. The letter to James Madison below might be a surprise to many of Jefferson's conservative fans. Thomas Jefferson to James Madison28 Oct. 1785Papers … [Read more...]

Debunking One of David Barton’s Oldest Stories: Thomas Jefferson and the D.C. Schools

David Barton was a guest on Michael Brown's Line of Fire show recently and spun some familiar yarns.A story that has been around awhile (since Barton's 1989 book Myth of Separation) is his claim that Thomas Jefferson incorporated the Bible and Isaac Watts hymnal into the curriculum of the Washington D.C. schools while Jefferson was president. This claim has been thoroughly debunked before by others, notably Jim Allison and Chris Rodda. While those authors documented well their rebuttal to … [Read more...]

David Barton Praises the Use of Primary Sources Then Cites a Third Hand Jefferson Quote

In the midst of his campaign for Ted Cruz, David Barton took some time to appear on Michael Brown's Line of Fire radio show. While they didn't mention my name, I suspect the Pennsylvania psychology professor was me. I did learn that I don't hold to "basic Christian teachings" (which ones, David?) and that none of his critics were history guys. I don't know how he sleeps at night.He said a bunch of stuff he usually says (and which I have debunked) but, in light of Michael Brown's praise of … [Read more...]

How Did Thomas Jefferson Come Up with the Idea to Cut Up the Gospels?

Reading through the new edition of The Jefferson Lies, it is clear that David Barton has changed aspects of the first edition to reflect the fact checking work done by Michael Coulter and me in Getting Jefferson Right. In the new edition of The Jefferson Lies, Barton removed the story of Jefferson's praise for Virginia preacher James O'Kelly and he eliminated the claim that James Madison announced support for chaplains at the University of Virginia.Today, I bring you another change in … [Read more...]

David Barton Can’t Decide When or Why Thomas Jefferson Got His Quran

David Barton is a confusing fellow. Sometimes he tells one story and other times he contradicts himself. Take the facts surrounding Thomas Jefferson's Quran.Jefferson owned a Quran and Barton has told a couple of different stories about it. First, he told Glenn Beck that Jefferson bought the Quran while on a mission to Islamic nations so he could understand his Islamic enemies. He later modified this story to make it somewhat more accurate. Actually, Jefferson bought his copy of the Quran … [Read more...]

David Barton: Thomas Jefferson Would Like Ted Cruz for President

Over at World Net Daily, David Barton says that [Ted] Cruz is the candidate who comes closest to Jefferson and what he believes were the third president’s principles on “debt, religious liberty, and the war on Islam.”Barton has been elevated to "historian and Thomas Jefferson scholar" and uses his WND platform to assert that the Founders are relevant to politics today. Barton says Cruz and Jefferson hold similar policy positions.It now seems clear why Barton and WND brought out The Jeffe … [Read more...]

Happy Religious Freedom Day 2016; Happy Freedom to the Five Americans Released by Iran Today

Today, we remember Thomas Jefferson's work in writing Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom (full text here) which was adopted by the Virginia legislature on January 16, 1786. From Obama's presidential proclamation: When the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was adopted on January 16, 1786, it formed a blueprint for what would become the basis for the protection of religious liberty enshrined in our Constitution.  Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the statute proclaims that "all men shall be … [Read more...]

David Barton Tells Listeners Virginia Law Kept Slave Owners from Emancipating Slaves; Admits it Happened in New Edition of The Jefferson Lies

Yesterday, David Barton said again that Virginia law did not allow slave owners to free their slaves. He usually tries to make that case in relationship to Thomas Jefferson, but yesterday on his Wallbuilders' program, he said George Mason could not free his slaves because of Virginia law.At about 37 seconds into this clip from the program, Barton says Mason didn't free his slaves "because in Virginia it was illegal for guys like him to release their own slaves." Listen:I have … [Read more...]


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