David Barton: Favorite Historian of Theocrats

In the sense that Karl Marx is an important and influential economist (albeit one who is praised only by idiots and tyrants), as intelligent design is an important and influential theory in biology (promoted only by creationists), so too is David Barton working his way to becoming an important and influential historian (praised by both creationists and theocrats).

We’ve written about Barton a few times before. The first brief mention was in The Founders Rejected Evolution? — about an article by Bryan Fischer who quoted Barton as a source. That was our first clue. We’ve since learned a thing or two about Fischer (see Meet the American Family Association). But let’s not be side-tracked; we’ll stick with Barton.

You can learn quite a bit about Barton at Barbara Forrest’s website in this revealing article: Governor Jindal’s Friends in Low Places. We’ve also pointed out that he’s an “expert” whose knowledge is highly regarded by the Texas State Board of Education (see Texas Education: Creationism & Theocracy).

Barton is also a frequent guest on various shows at Fox News. We have a video of one such appearance (see Creationism on Fox News).

That’s all we’ve had to say about Barton until today Now check out the video at the top of this post. It lasts less than a minute. We first learned of it at Little Green Footballs, so they get the hat-tip.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “David Barton: Favorite Historian of Theocrats

  1. To get the low-down on the low down skunk Barton, there is no better source than Chris Rodda, author of Liars for Jesus.

    Stamping out Barton is a full-time game of Whack-a-Mole.

    Here is Chris taking out one of Barton’s lies and I’d encourage you to Google Rodda and watch her other well-researched videos.

    Barton Takedown

  2. Barton is clearly a liar with an agenda. But the aspect that I find interesting is widespread belief among theocrats (re. founding fathers) and creationists (re. dead scientists) that the more ancient the figure, the more wise and relevant they are today. In both cases, the people they revere lived in a completely different age with much less history or science to draw on than we have today. For example, the founding fathers were conducting an experiment with democracy, and did not know if it would succeed or not. If they had access to the experience of the past 246 years, would they have designed the government the same way? My guess is they would have abolished slavery and given women the vote, may have handled Indian affairs differently, and who knows what else. The founding fathers were exceptionally capable men, but in the end, they were men of their day, and not ours.

    The same goes for scientists, such as Newton and others, who the creationist love to include in their list of “creationist” scientists.

    Maybe it’s part of the psychology of religious belief, that wisdom exists only in ancient texts and long dead personages.

  3. Doc Bill, I agree with everything you say, especially recommending Chris.

  4. Also recall that Barton is the guy that professional ignoramus Mike Huckabee said we should listen to … at gunpoint, if necessary!

    Really, Mike? I know you don’t have to be smart to be president, that’s been proven, but old Huck takes stupidity and credulity to a deeper and lower level. However, on par with creationists in general.

  5. Barton ought to do a little more research. Our system of government and society comes from two sources: Classical Greece and Germanic tribes. Notice how neither of those are Biblical or Christian?

  6. Greg Camp says: “Barton ought to do a little more research.”

    Maybe he’ll be the first man in over 200 years to publish an annotated Constitution, with each provision footnoted to give a reference to the passage in scripture from which it was taken.

  7. Gabriel Hanna

    For example, the founding fathers were conducting an experiment with democracy, and did not know if it would succeed or not. If they had access to the experience of the past 246 years, would they have designed the government the same way?

    Given that they couched their arguments in moral terms of basic rights, probably not.

    And I know you’d like to think they’d liberate women and slaves if only they knew what we knew, but it’s not as though they didn’t know women and slaves were people who might resent not having full human rights. Most of them had wives and lots of them had slaves, after all.

    I’m only surprised you left out animal rights and gay marriage.

    If someone from the future comes to you and says that in the future it is right and moral for dogs to vote and young people to eat the elderly, and shows you the full sweep of history between now and then that led to those things, are you going to change your mind about them?

  8. Gabriel Hanna says:

    Given that they couched their arguments in moral terms of basic rights, probably not.

    They might have done some technical tweaking. Maybe term limits (which were in the Articles of Confederation). Maybe requiring that a bill in Congress could deal with only one subject (the Confederacy provided for that, and so do many states today). Maybe requiring a super-majority vote for borrowing (which had to be unanimous under the Articles). I can think of lots of little things. But maybe they considered all that and decided not to do it. All in all, they did a good job.

  9. Gabriel Hanna

    All in all, they did a good job.

    They did a SUPERLATIVE job; the US has managed to function under the Constitution for 235 years.

    Compare to France, which since 1789 has had five republican constitutions, two absolutist constitutions, and two monarchical constitutions. (The Vichy government wasn’t entirely their free choice, so I don’t count it.) None of the other Western democracies have operated under the same constitution for nearly as long the US has. (The UK of course does not have a written constitution and they change it whenever it suits them.)

    So while it’s important not to idolize the Founders certainly their accomplishment was of world-historical importance and we should give their ideas a great deal of deference. Since there were so many of them and they disagreed about so many things there is still plenty to argue about even so.

  10. Barton ought to do a little more research.

    What is funny, not so ha-ha, about this is that Barton relies exclusively on his audience NOT doing the research. Barton is demolished by Rodda and Barton knows it.

    Barton’s venues are churches and tightly controlled events, like the Glenn Beck show, where he can spout his nonsense unchallenged.

    What I found totally disturbing was Huckabee on the Jon Stewart show touting Barton and challenging Stewart to listen to the guy then decide. Great, the old hoary creationist of presenting “both sides to the students and let them decide.” Stewart countered that many qualified historians had decided that Barton was full of horses**t, but that didn’t deter Huckabee.

    Barton is not even a shadow of an historian, but so long as he pals around with the anti-intellectual crowd he’ll do OK. Sad, but true.

  11. SC: Maybe he’ll be the first man in over 200 years to publish an annotated Constitution, with each provision footnoted to give a reference to the passage in scripture from which it was taken.

    He has already come close.
    Article 1, Sec. 8 (Uniform Naturalization) — from Leviticus 19:34
    Article 2, Sec. 1 (President, Natural Born) — from Deuteronomy 17:15
    Article 3, Section 3 (Witnesses) — Deuteronomy 17:6
    Article 3, Section 3 (Attainder) — Ezekiel 18:20

    There are so many more, but it just gets sillier and more absurd.