I recall a conversation on politics last year. We stood in the hallway while others carried boxes of food to folks in need. She was lecturing me on American History. All she knew she learned at a series of events at a gun range. I don’t even recall the book in her hand except that she constantly referenced my need to read it. She came for a box of food but would save her money to buy me a copy. I politely declined.
During our conversation she assured me the United States Constitution was a Divine document. Glen Beck confirmed it. He may have endorsed the book she held in her hand. American Exceptionalism is a myth bought into by many, sadly.
My minor in college? History. Where? Oklahoma Baptist University. The 18 hours that comprise my minor do not make me an expert. But, it comes in handy to sniff out inaccuracies. I am hoping they have not entertained this sort of pseudo-history in the History Department there. It looks like the GOP has.
Last night I got home after a long day. Patty told me she may have to re-consider her party affiliation. She asked if I had heard of David Barton. I had. We had a discussion. Who knows? Maybe we will both become Independents. Marty Duren may yet convince me, if not Greg.
Recently I spotted a Facebook post by Nathan Finn. He also posted the same to Twitter. He noted,
Pastors need to quit treating David Barton like a historical authority. Advancing fake history won’t bring revival to America.
— Nathan Finn (@nathanafinn) August 7, 2012
He also Tweeted,
Thankful that Christian historians are publicly calling out David Barton on his agenda-driven “history” writing. ow.ly/cO5XN
— Nathan Finn (@nathanafinn) August 7, 2012
And today, Finn pointed to an article on the subject,
— Nathan Finn (@nathanafinn) August 9, 2012
Finn is a Baptist History professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I met Nathan in person a few years ago. We had online exchanges prior to that encounter at Northwest Baptist Association. I am glad he is calling attention to the matter.
The situation with Barton reminds me of the reaction I read to an incident in Arizona. In early reports conservative media outlets claimed Christians’ rights were being trampled for simply wanting to hold a Bible Study. Upon further investigation it seems the media and The Rutherford Institute supported the wrong side of that story.
I fear too many Christians are on the wrong side of the Barton story. At least too many hailing from the conservative side of the world. It is nice to note that Finn, a conservative Southern Baptist, is not taken in. May his tribe increase and his voice be heard often. Unfortunately it will be hard to stymy Barton’s voice and his alleged 30-year plan. Texas appears to have taken in the Kool-Aid.
Barton will be speaking at the GOP National Convention. Surely this is the consequence of Dr. Land’s call for nothing short of a marriage between the Religious Right and the GOP.
Not satisfied with the relationship between between the Republican Party and the religious right, Land said in March 1998: “The go-along, get-along strategy is dead. No more engagement. We want a wedding ring, we want a ceremony, we want a consummation of marriage.”
Who would have thought a reference to intercourse would be the chosen metaphor for the Religious Right? Such bedding would require synchronizing agendas and histories. Who could be surprised that a revisionist re-telling of American history in support of the marriage would be an important project? Conservative politics needs chapter and verse.
Over the years I have heard conservatives charge liberals with revisionist history. Every politician contorts history to support their campaigns and policies. This is no different. My wife sees right through this and she has never read any of the things I do.
Bob Robinson, of Vanguard Church, posted a link to this NPR story on Barton and his outrageous claims. I realize many of my readers will immediately form an opinion based on my reference to NPR. Since many of you consider yourselves fair and balanced, click on over and give it a listen for some balance to what you hear from Barton.
One more reason for my oft apolitical position on the upcoming election. No party is immune. All their beds are full.
UPDATE: Nathan Finn Tweeted that Thomas Nelson pulled Barton’s book on Jefferson.