I was thrilled to see that my friend Rob Boston did an interview with my friend Chris Rodda about her new book, the second volume of Liars of Jesus, for which I wrote the foreword. It’s in Church and State magazine, published by Americans United, but it’s also available online.
Q. Let’s talk a little more about Barton specifically. You and I and others have been debunking him for years, and his last book was actually withdrawn by its publisher for its many errors. Nevertheless, he remains popular in Religious Right circles. Why is this so?
Rodda: He did some extremely effective damage control, with a lot of help from his biggest cheerleader, Glenn Beck. With Beck’s help, he was easily able to convince his audience that his book was pulled because of a liberal conspiracy to silence him and keep the “truth” about history from coming out. He was even able to get his audience to believe that his publisher – the Christian publisher Thomas Nelson – was part of this liberal conspiracy. This tactic of making himself out to be the victim of a liberal conspiracy to silence him worked like a charm and made him more popular than ever.
Q. Do you believe we’re making any headway against Barton? If people are going to believe whatever they want regardless of the facts, why should we even continue?
Rodda: It does get very frustrating, and there have been many times when I’ve asked myself why I even bother trying to fight this guy, especially since 2010 when he hooked up with Beck and suddenly had a reach that was exponentially greater than he had ever had before. What stops me from giving up are things like the occasional emails I get from Christian homeschooling parents who happen to stumble upon one of my articles or videos and write to me saying that they no longer want to use Barton’s materials and asking me to recommend a reputable history curriculum. So, there are those glimmers of hope. Plus, once you know that something like this is going on, you can’t just ignore it and do nothing, no matter how impossible it might seem to fight it.
I agree with this completely. It can be frustrating, just as it’s frustrating to continually see atheists sharing fake quotes and bad history. But I keep at it because it at least serves as a resource for others.