Video: David Barton tells Glenn Beck that the Smithsonian is lying about Jefferson’s beliefs
David Barton wants a do-over.
The imaginative pseudo-historian, whose aptly-titled book The Jefferson Lies was pulled last week after publisher Thomas Nelson “lost confidence in the book’s details,” told Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze” that he wants to revise his book, fixing some errors and adding evidence to “disprove” the claims of his critics:
Barton seemed anything but shaken by the controversy when he spoke via telephone with The Blaze. He freely answered questions about the controversy and explained that he’s prepared to respond to some of the critiques, while dismissing what he believes is an “elevated level of hostility that’s not really rational in many ways.”
While he stands by his central arguments about Jefferson, Barton isn’t pretending to be immune from error. The historian said that the book has already gone through three or four printings and that there have been word and text changes based on spelling or grammar errors along the way. Also, he addressed a willingness to amend historical items, should they be pointed out and proven wrong by other academics.
“Our policy from day one on every book we’ve done [is] that if someone shows us valid things to change, we’ll change them,” Barton said.
Well, here are a couple of “valid things” he may wish to look into. The Jefferson Lies, which a May poll by the History News Network was voted the “least credible book in history”, characterizes Jefferson – a slave-owner and deist who famously questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ – as an ultra-Christian champion of civil rights.
And WWJ[efferson]D about Barton’s continued efforts to recast him as a Christian hardliner?
Let’s take a gander at some of the man’s own words on the subject of lies and the lying liars who tell them. In an 1800 letter responding to a friend’s warning that Philadelphia clergy were attacking Jefferson for his unorthodox beliefs, Jefferson wrote,
The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes, & they [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: & enough too in their opinion, & this is the cause of their printing lying pamphlets against me. . .