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Hey Look! Another Barton Lie!

There’s an old line about people who lie habitually to the effect that they would rather cross the street to tell a lie than stand still and tell the truth. This applies quite well to David Barton, who I doubt could write a grocery list without somehow distorting things. Right Wing Watch quotes from a recent talk he gave at a church, talking about the Supreme Court’s ruling in Abington Township v Schempp:

The Supreme Court, when it took the Bible out of public schools, said that this is without precedent; there is no precedent in our history for taking the Bible out of schools but this is the time to do it.

Now, if there is no historical precedent, why would they say the Bible has to go out of schools? I mean, everything we have in history says just the opposite, so why? They quoted Dr. Solomon Grayzel on the reason that we need to get the Bible out of schools … In the Supreme Court decision, this is what the Court said why the Bible has to come out of schools; the Court says this:

If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and had been, psychologically harmful to the child.

Time out. Let me see if I get this: if we keep reading the Bible in schools, our kids are going to suffer from brain damage? Yeah, that was the reason given by the Court for the removal of the Bible out of the classroom back in 62-63.

Leaving aside the leap from “psychologically harmful” in one sentence to “brain damage” in the next — those are not at all the same thing — RWW points out that he is absolutely distorting Grayzel’s research and his testimony in the district court trial. He was talking about how Jewish kids would be ostracized and singled out if verses from the New Testament were read in their classrooms.

Expert testimony was introduced by both appellants and appellees at the first trial, which testimony was summarized by the trial court as follows:

Dr. Solomon Grayzel testified that there were marked differences between the Jewish Holy Scriptures and the Christian Holy Bible, the most obvious of which was the absence of the New Testament in the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Dr. Grayzel testified that portions of the New Testament were offensive to Jewish tradition, and that, from the standpoint of Jewish faith, the concept of Jesus Christ as the Son of God was “practically blasphemous.” He cited instances in the New Testament which, assertedly, were not only sectarian in nature but tended to bring the Jews into ridicule or scorn. Dr. Grayzel gave as his expert opinion that such material from the New Testament could be explained to Jewish children in such a way as to do no harm to them. But if portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and, in his specific experience with children, Dr. Grayzel observed, had been, psychologically harmful to the child, and had caused a divisive force within the social media of the school.

So Barton takes Grayzel’s entirely reasonable testimony and turns into the crude caricature of reading the Bible causing “brain damage.” In other words, he lied. Again. I’m not sure he’s even capable of being honest at this point.

Comments

  1. says

    Basically, everything Barton says is a lie, including the words ‘and’ and ‘the’.

    Barton is so frequently dishonest that, were he to say ‘the Sun rises in the east’ I would strongly consider getting up early in the morning to verify.

  2. baal says

    Lying in service of the lord is a moral obligation.
    Alternatively, if you live a delusion, your ability to not lie is severely impacted.

  3. eric says

    The Supreme Court, when it took the Bible out of public schools, said that this is without precedent; there is no precedent in our history for taking the Bible out of schools but this is the time to do it.

    That’s also a lie. The Abingdon ruling says no such thing, and in fact cites a wide number of precedent cases as naturally leading to the result they order. These include the 1905 Murray case, Minor vs. Board of Education case from the 1800s, Engel vs. Vitale, the Everson vs. Board of Education dissents, and a number of others.

  4. ottod says

    I find it theologically inconsistent that there is support for, “praying away the gay,” and reparation therapy to address gender identity, but there seems to be no similar treatment for bearing false witness or innate pathological dickishness.

  5. says

    Two observations:

    That same claim, based on the same passage, was made some ten years back in the internet document entitled variously “Forsaken Roots” or “History Forgotten”.

    The reason this point had come up in the first place was that many school districts in the United States specified that Bible readings in school should be taken from a “non-sectarian” translation (that is, the King James Bible) and read without comment.

  6. Paulino says

    Barton is a living example that reading the Bible, even with explanations, can lead to brain damage…

  7. says

    composer99 @ 1

    “… were he to say ‘the Sun rises in the east’ I would strongly consider getting up early in the morning to verify.”

    Don’t do it! Dawn is a natural disaster, to be avoided at all cost. Best to sneak up on it from the other side and ambush it.

    Eo Raptor

  8. Ichthyic says

    I find it theologically inconsistent that there is support for, “praying away the gay,” and reparation therapy to address gender identity, but there seems to be no similar treatment for bearing false witness or innate pathological dickishness.

    …or an innate authoritarian personality.

    but then, I suppose if they prayed for that to go away, all the churches would disappear.

  9. pacal says

    sbh no. 5:

    The reason this point had come up in the first place was that many school districts in the United States specified that Bible readings in school should be taken from a “non-sectarian” translation (that is, the King James Bible) and read without comment.

    The King James Bible is “non-sectarian”!? Talk about LOL.

  10. dingojack says

    “And in other unrelated news, Barton’s gums seen to flap. Film at eleven.”

    Dingo
    ——-
    If Barton claimed water was wet I’d hold his head under it’s surface for 5 minutes or so, just to be sure.
    (On second thoughts, knowing Barton’s claims, even then I’d wait for the autopsy results).

  11. Doug Little says

    Time out. Let me see if I get this: if we keep reading the Bible in schools, our kids are going to suffer from brain damage?

    Yep, I couldn’t think of a more useless waste of time when you need to be filling your brain with more up to date information.

  12. says

    I have to disagree with you, Doug Little. I’m a firm believer that nothing inspires more people to become atheists than actually cracking that book open and reading some of the horror show that is “Gawd’s law”.

  13. ArtK says

    Barton lying? Must be a day ending in ‘y’.

    I agree with Paulino that Barton is a case study in how reading the Bible can damage your mental faculties.

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