A group blog to promote discussion, debate and insight into the history, particularly religious, of America's founding. Any observations, questions, or comments relating to the blog's theme are welcomed.
If they killed the book because of scholarly opposition, fine. If they shut it down based on the protest of some activist pastors with no standing as historians, it's a disgrace.
For those of us who advocate that we ostracize liars, this is a rare treat!
I don't really care if the book was killed due to good or evil intent. The book does deceive, and the basis of scholarly opposition is met. Best that it be killed. For me, results are more important than motive/intent.Even so, my impression of Barton is that he has good intentions, and I'm inclined to respect that.
Ben, that's the part that ever let me raise a finger in his defense. We used to have a commenter here who could find the Bible in every word of the Founding.Not that it was actually there, but he could actually see it, make himself see it, whatever.But I wrote when I first heard Barton was doing a Jefferson book that this one was not going to fly, in no small part because Jefferson's the last guy he should pick. [I'd rather take my chances with John Adams. Hell, Franklin's easy compared to TJ.]But I think at the end here, Barton has turned naughty and vicious, accusing his critics not just of secularist bias, but of jealousy. With such an unsparing attitude toward his foes himself, he relinquishes any claim to the benefit of the doubt.
.For those readers not familiar with the mind set of the inner circles of Evangelical Fundamentalist Populist Christians, they hold Jefferson in very low regard. Their prejudice will not be deterred by Thomas Nelson's action; but, they will talk with each other about how the devil is constantly working to undermine the truth..Can you believe their blindsidedness?.
Barton's attempt to "rehabilitate" (for lack of a better word) Jefferson was doomed to be a disaster. Once the Founders are forced to fit into a modern political ideology, that ideology will corrupt an investigation into their beliefs. The Founders -- particularly men like Jefferson and Paine -- lived with intellectual concepts that combined differently than they do now. Their suspicion of both church and state were of a kind. And their hostility towards traditional Christianity (or organized religion of any kind for that matter) is a matter of public record.
.Give a few references, Mark in Spokane..
I cannot vouch for its veracity, but here is a link to some quotes by TJ on religionhttp://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/jefframe.htm
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