David Barton's The Jefferson Lies
In his book The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson, Christian nationalist pseudo-historian David Barton professes to correct what he claims are seven modern revisionist lies about Thomas Jefferson.
Barton accuses modern historians, writers, and even the courts of revising history, essentially claiming that everybody except for him has been lying about Thomas Jefferson for decades and that his book sets the record straight.
In August 2012, four months after it was released, Barton's The Jefferson Lies was pulled from publication by Christian publisher Thomas Nelson because its historical inaccuracies had caused the publisher to "lose confidence" in the book. To the amazement of those unfamiliar with the almost cult-like devotion of his followers, Barton's popularity and influence were not at all diminished by his book being pulled from publication. His recovery was almost immediate. With the help of his pal Glenn Beck, an aggrieved Barton quickly had his followers convinced that he was being silenced for telling the truth – and even the Christian publisher Thomas Nelson was part of the conspiracy! If anything, Barton became even more popular than ever.
And The Jefferson Lies being pulled by its publisher did not make this book go away any more than it made Barton himself go away. Barton is still selling off the thousands of copies he bought back from Thomas Nelson, and, although his claim that the book has been picked up by Simon & Schuster is certainly just another one of his lies, it will no doubt be republished by somebody when the supply of Thomas Nelson leftovers runs out. Therefore, I've continued my debunking of Barton's little masterpiece of historical revisionism.
Barton's book contains seven chapters, each titled for what he claims to be one of the seven modern lies about Jefferson:
Lie #1: Thomas Jefferson Fathered Sally Hemings’ Children
Lie #2: Thomas Jefferson Founded a Secular University
Lie #3: Thomas Jefferson Wrote His Own Bible and Edited Out the Things He Didn’t Agree With
Lie #4: Thomas Jefferson Was a Racist Who Opposed Equality for Black Americans
Lie #5: Thomas Jefferson Advocated a Secular Public Square through the Separation of Church and State
Lie #6: Thomas Jefferson Detested the Clergy
Lie #7: Thomas Jefferson Was an Atheist and Not a Christian
It is David Barton, however, who is doing the lying, and not those whom he accuses of being the revisionists. Through a series of seven short books, one devoted to each of Barton’s seven Jefferson lies, the real liar will be revealed.
Two of the seven books in the Debunking David Barton's Jefferson Lies series (which are not being released in the same order as the chapters of Barton's book, but rather in order of relevance to today's issues) are available now:
#2: Thomas Jefferson Founded a Secular University debunks Barton's many lies about Thomas Jefferson and education, beginning with Jefferson's own education and continuing through all of the various education plans that Jefferson was involved in over the course of five decades, ending with numerous lies about Jefferson's founding of the University of Virginia.
#5: Thomas Jefferson Advocated a Secular Public Square debunks dozens of Barton's lies about Jefferson's actions during each phase of his political career, from his time as a member of the Virginia legislature through his presidency. This volume also debunks Barton's lies about numerous Supreme Court cases and contains an appendix debunking many of the often-seen stories of alleged persecution of Christians in today's America.
Debunking Barton's Jefferson Lies