David Barton

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Salty, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Salty

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    David Barton, a graduate of Oral Roberts U was the guest speaker on In Touch (Charles Stanley) today.

    His subject was about how current historians have left out the fact that Christianity has played a major part on the genesis of the USA.

    Does anyone know more about him?

    thoughts

    Salty
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    MP will be glad to try to tell you about him. Then you can go elsewhere and check the facts.
     
  3. Martin

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    ==That Christianity has played an important role in American history is beyond doubt. There is even a major college/university level U.S. History textbook called "Unto A Good Land" that "takes religion seriously". Some historians have tried to down play the role of religion. However anyone who studies American History knows better.

    As for David Barton, he is the founder of Wallbuilders Ministries. His work focuses on the Christians among the founders. That is not a bad thing since there were Christians among the founders. My only real problem with Barton is that he often fails to apply the theological and historical contexts to what he is saying. Thus his readers/listeners often think someone was a devout Christian even though that person was heretical in many of his beliefs (denied the Trinity, Deity of Christ, etc).
     
  4. Scarlett O.

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    I'm not a big fan of David Barton.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    David Barton runs a business called Wallbuilders that began about 20 miles from where I live in Aledo, Texas.

    Barton's two primary assertions are that (1) the institutional separation of church and state is a "myth" begun and perpetuated by athiests; and (2) America has drifted from God as a direct result of the quantity of prayers being greatly diminished since the school prayer decisions of 1962-1963 made it illegal for schools to prompt schoolchildren to pray.

    Barton builds his case using heavily-documented books and videos, but if one actually goes back and checks his sources, you will find that he often misquotes, misrepresents, and mischaracterizes the sources that allegedly support his assertions. About 15 years ago when I first exposed his lies, it was very hard to demonstrate he was lying because his sources were not readily available. Today, it is nearly trivial to check things out on the Web.

    I have a very busy afternoon and evening ahead of me, but I'll document some of his most obvious deceptions over the next few days.
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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    Good for MP and good for those of you who care enough to check the facts!
     
  7. EdSutton

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    One definitely needs to be able to separate the grain from the more than adequate amount of chaff, IMO.

    Ed
     
  8. Magnetic Poles

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    Thanks for calling upon my expertise. And I agree, everyone should check the facts for themselves. That goes for any subject matter. Remain skeptical of claims from anyone until you check and recheck the evidence.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    Wrong, he asserts that it has been redefined by folks like you.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    Nope. He makes it very clear in his books, such as "The Myth of Separation".

    Have you actually read "The Myth of Separation"?
     
  11. Revmitchell

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  12. LadyEagle

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    Don't confuse anybody here with facts, Rev. It's no fun. :laugh:
     
  13. billwald

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    >Thomas Jefferson had no intention of allowing the government to limit, restrict, regulate, or interfere with public religious practices. He believed, along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination – a fact he made clear in a letter to fellow-signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush:

    Agree 100%! Utah should have been permitted to have a Mormon state.
     
  14. Baptist Believer

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    Okay, Barton has slightly revised his view since my copy of his book, "The Myth of Separation" was printed. Barton is constantly making shifts to his positions while fundamentally keeping the same emphasis. Apparently he now concedes that the term "separation of church and state" was used during the time of the writing of the First Amendment, but he does not concede that the principle fundamentally means the same thing today as it did back then.

    Barton still completely ignores Jefferson and Madison's work to pass, the "Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom" in Virginia, which establishes their views of religious liberty and separation of church and state and Jefferson's direct allusion to the writings of Baptist Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island (which was founded with separation of church and state) in his letter to the Danbury Baptists, where Williams in 1644 wrote:

    "First the faithful labors of many Witnesses of Jesus Christ, extant to the world, abundantly proving, that the Church of the Jews under the Old Testament in the type, and the Church of the Christians under the New Testament in the Antitype, were both separate from the world; and that when they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of Separation between the Garden of the Church and the Wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the Candlestick, and made his Garden a Wilderness, as at this day. And that therefore if he will ever please to restore his Garden and Paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world, and that all that shall be saved out of the world are to be transplanted out of the Wilderness of the world, and added unto His Church or Garden."

    Added to that, Barton also ignores Madison's, "A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments", where Madison argues for religious freedom through the disestablishment of churches, and the whole fight for religious liberty taken up by Baptists (including Isaac Backus and John Leland), Methodists and many other "New Light" religious groups.

    Frankly, I'm really short on time today because I have to finish a project before I go to sleep tonight, so I don't much time to spend with this and I'm not interested in arguing this point anyway... there's too much room for interpretation.

    However, I will show over the next few days that Barton has misrepresented his sources, which is about as objective as this discussion can get, and demonstrate he is an untrustworthy guide to this discussion.
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    Twisting you mean.

    Good luck with all the twisting..
     
  16. Baptist Believer

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    I see you found my response, read it, checked the lengthy references (including reading several somewhat lengthy documents in 18th century English), carefully came to the conclusion that I was "twisting" the truth, and posted your response within four minutes.

    That's quite impressive.
     
  17. Magnetic Poles

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    Facts don't matter to those who feel entitled to their own set of "facts".
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    You negated any need for that with:

     
  19. Martin

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    ==Roger Williams is an interesting figure in early American history. In fact, my graduate research dealt with his role in King Philip's War. So needless to say I've read a lot of his writings (etc) and I found him to be very interesting and sometimes inspiring man. He takes on the Puritans time and time again challenging them to behave like Christians. Whether it be on religious freedom, the Puritan's treatment of the indians, or some other issue, he boldly calls on them to make changes. So while many today admire Roger Williams, and many of the things he stood for, he was not popular in his day.

    In some ways Thomas Jefferson followed in Williams' footsteps, but they were very different men. For example, Williams was a Bible believing Christian while Jefferson was not. Williams approached the issue of seperation of church and state from the standpoint of a Christian while Jefferson did so from the standpoint of a deist. So while they had similiar goals in this area, they were very different men. A wonderful religious biography on Jefferson has been written by Dr. Edwin Gaustad. It is called "Sworn on the Altar of God" and I highly recommend it.
     
    #19 Martin, Jul 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2009
  20. Baptist Believer

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    Absolutely. In some ways, Williams is still not popular among many religious people.

    Well said.

    I'll have to check this one out. I read Gaustad's bio of Williams back in the early 1990s and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was readable and scholarly.

    Thanks!
     

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