David Barton’s 10 Dumbest Statements


You have to respect the efforts of the folks at Right Wing Watch to narrow the incredibly stupid things said by David Barton down to a list of ten. The man is like a human volcano, spewing lies and bullshit into the air at a staggering pace. Here’s their list:

And that just barely scratches the surface.

Comments

  1. Randomfactor says

    Not “parts of the Constitution were lifted verbatim from the Bible”?

    That’s always been MY favorite.

  2. d cwilson says

    Not sure if I would go so far as to call corporate interests “demonic powers”, but okay, Dave.

  3. UnknownEric says

    People are probably on welfare because they are not reading the Bible enough.

    Wow, that totally explains why, at the inner-city library where I work, all the people who are here all day because they have no other place to go are the ones reading all our Bibles and other Christian propaganda. Great job, Barton!

  4. Randomfactor says

    Maybe replace the next-to-last one, since life DOES begin before conception. Beelyuns and beelyuns of years before conception, in fact.

  5. Trebuchet says

    I was curious about the “one more bombing run” thing, but not curious enough to click on a Barton video. Was it supposed to be a nuke?

    The “AIDS is God’s punishment for sin” thing has of course been a right-wing/Christian meme for 30 years. Nothing unique to Barton on that one.

  6. slc1 says

    The founding fathers opposed the teaching of evolution.

    Pretty good trick considering that Darwin didn’t write his book until some 70 years after the Constitution was ratified. In fact, Darwin wasn’t even born when that happened.

  7. John Hinkle says

    The Bible opposes Net Neutrality.

    Holy shit that’s stupid. What’s even stupider is that the Bible is against Barton’s grossly incorrect caricature of Net Neutrality. I’d say he and Rick Green are sharing an IQ well below room temperature, but that would be overly generous.

  8. busterggi says

    Gee, life must have been wonderful during the centuries when theocratically approved royalty ruled Europe – you know, the Dark Ages.

    The US may just get there yet.

  9. Yoritomo says

    Maybe I lack cultural background, but I actually agree with one of those ten claims: If we interpret “spiritual revival” as “rise in religious fanaticism”, then rising intolerance of gay people may well be a sign of such a “spiritual revival”. Now that I think about it, events touted as “spiritual revival” by their proponents do tend to go along with a rise in intolerance, even if they’re not overtly religious and the victims may be other opportune groups of “others”.

    At the very least it’s not nearly as patently absurd a claim as the other nine. I’ll probably have to watch the Barton video; I cannot believe he accidentally didn’t lie.

  10. jman3030 says

    RandomFactor @5 beat me to it.

    I’ve always thought of life as a continuum that started out billions of years ago.

    Though David Barton seems to be saying it in more of a “God can violate causality if he wants to” sort of way.

  11. sqlrob says

    Huh. I would’ve thought “I am a historian” would be on that list some where.

    Thread over. +1 Internet to you.

  12. Didaktylos says

    I take it that this list is more or less congruent to “David Barton’s 10 most recent statements”.

  13. jimmiraybob says

    Intolerance of gays is a sign a nation is undergoing a spiritual revival.

    When I was growing up and through the high school years (1950s, 60s and into the 70s) in a poorer part of town, it was cool and culturally acceptable for the neanderthal dipwad contingent to go out on the weekends to beat up “the queers” and then brag about it. I doubt if any of them had ever read any part of the Bible or even attended or paid much attention to churchy stuff, but is sure gave them cover. They were motivated by the spirit of hate and ignorance.

    So, if this “spiritual revival” that Barton is claiming is anything like the old spiritual movement in its intolerance of “the gays” that was a remnant of the golden 50s & 60s, it is a spiritual movement of ignorance and hate and all he’s trying to do is get that culturally acceptable again. Of course, hiding it behind Jesus and the Bible.

  14. baal says

    Someone should forward the list to the Daily Show.

    “We can’t find a cure for AIDS because it is”

    AIDS is really intractable because it’s a retro virus. One of several hard to overcome problems is that it writes itself into your DNA. Your immune system has a really hard time finding a virus that may exist only as DNA within your chromosomes. There is actual science on this; no need to invoke a sadistic God.

  15. eric says

    Like @5 and @13, the one that pinged my radar was ‘life begins before conception.’

    Not only is it right in the historical sense, but both sperm and egg are alive before they join, so its right in the reproductive sense too. In fact, its a good argument against the pro-life stance because it highlights that development is a continuum.

  16. macallan says

    I’d say he and Rick Green are sharing an IQ well below room temperature, but that would be overly generous.

    Just switch to Celsius.

  17. robb says

    don’t use the Kelvin scale to compare their IQ to! you don’t want them saying, yeah, my IQ is below room temp, it is 250…

  18. andrewlephong says

    @5, @13, @18,

    Yes, it is technically correct that life begins before conception, and that extant life is essentially an unbroken chain of life going all the way back to the first living cell…BUT…

    You gotta check out Barton’s “reason” for why he believes this claim:

    I have to consider that Biblically, life begins before conception because it says “before you were in your mother’s womb I knew you.” So I gotta say, well it at least begins at conception. How you handle that Jeremiah verse that says before that I knew you, you know that’s an interesting question.

  19. sqlrob says

    You gotta check out Barton’s “reason” for why he believes this claim

    Yet someone with a miscarriage is only dealt with as a property crime. And I believe the same is true, but slightly more severe, up to 1 year old. From the same book he’s using as his source, fancy that.

  20. Pieter B, FCD says

    That verse in Jeremiah is Yaweh talking to Jeremiah, saying that Jeremiah is special, that He had plans for him before he was even conceived. It doesn’t apply to the rest of us non-prophets.

  21. eamick says

    Pretty good trick considering that Darwin didn’t write his book until some 70 years after the Constitution was ratified. In fact, Darwin wasn’t even born when that happened.

    I have no doubt Barton is full of it, but the concept of evolution goes back to Aristotle at a minimum. Darwin’s main contribution was devising the first plausible explanation of how it occurred.

  22. dcsohl says

    I like the one about Jesus opposing the minimum wage, and citing the Parable of the Vineyard Workers as “proof”.

    Short recap: “The kingdom of heaven is like a vineyard whose owner …” who hires a bunch of guys early in the morning offering a denarius to work his vineyard. He goes back at noon and hires a bunch more for a denarius. He goes back late in the day and hires some more for a denarius. When the first workers find out the latecomers are getting a denarius just like them, they’re pissed, but the owner says, “Hey, it’s my money, I want to pay them whatever I want to.”

    But this isn’t approval of the owner’s actions. It’s a parable, an analogy. It’s saying the Kingdom of Heaven is open even to deathbed converts, and they will be equal in the eyes of the Lord to those who were lifelong believers.

    I suppose Barton also thinks we should all be like the prodigal son? Maybe Jesus approves of extravagant living and disapproves of hard work?

  23. typecaster says

    Someone should forward the list to the Daily Show.

    While I love The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has proven that he’s not up to the challenge of taking Barton on, much less apart. He lets Barton get away with the most amazing crap, even after getting some help on the issue from Chris Rodda. It was painful….

  24. slc1 says

    Re eamick @ #24

    Is Mr. emmick claiming that Aristotle proposed common descent? It is my understanding that the first individual to suggest the theory of common descent was Darwin’s paternal grandfather, Erasmus Darwin. And the statement that Darwin proposed the first plausible explanation is wrong. Lamarck proposed a plausible mechanism before Darwin was born. The fact that Lamarck was wrong doesn’t mean the theory of inheritance of acquired traits was not plausible.

  25. Chuck says

    Re slc1 @27: eamick stated “the concept of evolution” (re-read his post: it’s right there in the text). That very much predates E. Darwin or Lamarck, and can be seen in both ancient Greek and Chinese philosophy. Words mean things: read them.

  26. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Can we be really sure that Barton isn’t a Poe that has gotten out of hand?

    Well, supposing he was. So what?

  27. dmcclean says

    Barton is fractally wrong, as usual. Here’s his reasoning (if you want to call it that) for claiming that life begins (may begin?, he doesn’t seem sure) before conception:

    If you consider that life begins at conception … and I have to consider that Biblically, life begins before conception because it says “before you were in your mother’s womb I knew you.” So I gotta say, well it at least begins at conception. How you handle that Jeremiah verse that says before that I knew you, you know that’s an interesting question.

    Before (the egg that became you was) you were in your mother’s womb the egg that became you was in one of your mother’s fallopian tubes, where conception usually occurs. Even if you grant, arguendo, his premise of biblical inerrancy his reasoning still doesn’t make sense.

  28. dmcclean says

    Actually, I don’t even want to let him off that easily.

    One more time, the quote:

    If you consider that life begins at conception … and I have to consider that Biblically, life begins before conception because it says “before you were in your mother’s womb I knew you.” So I gotta say, well it at least begins at conception. How you handle that Jeremiah verse that says before that I knew you, you know that’s an interesting question.

    The obvious dualist interpretation of “before you were in your mother’s womb I knew you” is that the soul exists before life as it (putatively) exists after death. There’s no reason to infer from this statement that “life” begins before conception, only that the soul exists before conception. From this passage alone there’s not even any reason to infer that “ensoulment” occurs at conception.

  29. fwtbc says

    Intolerance of gays is a sign a nation is undergoing a spiritual revival

    From where I’m sitting, all signs point to American society becoming increasingly tolerant of gays, so much so that even using the word “tolerant” rather than “accepting” makes me feel a bit icky.

    The “intolerance” Barton speaks of, assuming he isn’t just making more shit up is more likely the increased noise from the mouth breathers who are losing and not willing to go out quietly.

  30. slc1 says

    Re chuck @ #28

    Evolution, as it is currently understood, means common descent. The question was, whether Aristotle or anyone else prior to Erasmus Darwin propose common descent, namely that existing animals descended from earlier forms? Or putting it another way, did Aristotle or anyone else prior to Erasmus Darwin propose that, say, horses and cows had a common ancestor from which they evolved? If the answer is yes, I would appreciate a reference. If the answer is no, then Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck deserve the credit.

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