Will Makes Bork Up to Look Pretty »« FRC: Single People Have No Right to Have Sex

Barton Brings His Lies to Michigan

Last weekend, David Barton was at Fellowship Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan, about an hour from where I live. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it down there, but Right Wing Watch has some of the transcript of Barton telling the same old lies. Like his claim that the Constitution contains “direct quotations” from the Bible.

And if you know the Bible and you know and read the Constitution, you will see Bible verses and Bible phrases all over the Constitution. It quotes Bible phrases everywhere. People today say ‘oh, it’s a godless Constitution, it’s a secular document.’ If somebody tells me it’s a secular document, I know that they’re biblically illiterate. They don’t recognize a Bible verse when they see one because the Constitution is loaded up with direct quotations out of the Bible.

This is a lie, of course. Every example he has ever offered was not only not a “direct quotation” but was an absurd interpretation of both the Bible and the Constitution in a ridiculous attempt to make them sound like they vaguely mean the same thing. But his audience was undoubtedly too ignorant and delusional to know that. Then he repeated his new lie about the Supreme Court allegedly claiming that reading the Bible causes “brain damage.”

[In 1963] the Supreme Court said no more Bible in schools. Now why would they do that? We have 320 years, literally, of the Bible in school; the Supreme Court itself said this is without any historical precedent. There is no historical precedent in our history for not having the Bible in schools, but it’s time to take it out. Why would they take it out?

Well, the Court explained why they would take it out. As a matter of fact, they called on the testimony of a psychologist – they didn’t have any historical precedent, they didn’t have any legal precedent, but Dr. Solomon Grayzel told them what was going to happen if kids read the Bible in schools and they said ‘that’s what we thought.’ And so here’s the quote the Supreme Court pointed out in its decision on why we took the Bible out of schools; they said ‘if portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and had been, psychologically harmful to the child.’

We’ve now discovered the Bible causes brain damage; we can’t let you kids suffer brain damage, we’ve got to stop the brain damage. That’s the reason given by the Supreme Court on why the Bible went out of schools; it was psychological harm to children.

Every part of this is a lie. The Supreme Court did not base their decision on this, it was one minor piece of testimony from the trial court that was not cited in the ruling in support of the conclusion. And Grayzel did not say anything about “brain damage,” nor did he say that the mere act of reading the Bible caused any such thing. What he did say, quite reasonably, was that reading the Bible in school creates an atmosphere for non-Christian kids that can cause mistreatment, ostracizing and emotional problems.

Barton would rather fly all the way to Michigan to tell lies rather than stand in place and tell the truth.

Comments

  1. azportsider says

    I think Barton’s a fine example of the brain damage reading the wholly babble can cause.

  2. Phillip IV says

    That’s the reason given by the Supreme Court on why the Bible went out of schools; it was psychological harm to children.

    I would rate that one a half-truth. It was not the reason the Supreme Court gave, but it’s actually a pretty good reason.

  3. Trebuchet says

    Apparently the Constitution was written in archaic Hebrew, archaic Greek, or 16th century English. Who’da thunk it?

  4. matty1 says

    What he did say, quite reasonably, was that reading the Bible in school creates an atmosphere for non-Christian kids that can cause mistreatment, ostracizing and emotional problems.

    If I remember he caveated even that, saying that if the Bible was presented as literature with a discussion of how there have been many interpretation of what the text means it might not cause such problems.

  5. palmettoyankee says

    I attended one of Barton’s presentations in 2011. He is a human assault weapon, assaulting history, intelligence and reason at 300 words per minute. I had never heard anyone sling bull shit that fast in my life.

    It was a forty minute rapid fire harangue of lies, made up quotes and distorted history that had his supporters swooning under the combined power of the holy spirit (we were in a Baptist church) and unbridled pseudo-patriotism. You just want to jump up and holler BULLSHIT as loud as you can, but by the time you did it, he’s already a half mile down the liar’s highway with a whole new load of crap.

  6. Michael Heath says

    We need to hold our own to the same standard we use to condemn and ridicule David Barton. Otherwise we lose the moral authority to take on the likes of Barton with any credibility.

    If a group tries to mutate “offensive speech” about religion to falsely mean harassment to justify banning such speech, we need to condemn that group for their dishonesty. If someone quote-mines another person to make it easier to defame them, we need to castigate that person. If that person lies they did no such thing when in fact they did, we need to ostracize that person for not owning up to their dishonesty.

    If someone purposefully defames another, we need to condemn that person and their behavior; and if they lie they ever did such a thing, we should ostracize that person. When someone defends defamers by claiming the target is not a good person we need to condemn the enablement of such dishonesty. When someone twists the plain meaning of what somebody said into something far worse, with no evidence that person meant the horrible thing projected onto them, we need to criticize such behavior. This last one was just recently demonstrated by two false claims that Richard Dawkins supported the conversion of Muslims to Christianitywhen in fact the cite relied on to support this extraordinary claim had Dawkins clearly and unambiguously asserting we shouldn’t support either religions’ conversion efforts.

    David Barton is horrible human being for doing the very things I describe above. Sadly, it seems to me this forum of commenters is rapidly losing the moral authority needed to condemn him. Instead we’re becoming more tolerant and protective of those who use fallacies to defame their opponents. A good start is not to merely amuse ourselves with how badly our political opponents behave, but to also consistently hold our own accountable to the standard we use to condemn our opponents. It seems we’re increasingly encountering people who are instead learning to use the types of arguments Barton makes for their own ends, rather than leveraging Barton as a case study to learn such behavior has no place amongst people who claim to have integrity.

    When Ed was at ScienceBlogs, he had liars on the left as well, but he also enjoyed plenty of commenters who refuted such bad behavior and the time to castigate them himself. That awesome feature is a benefit I think we’re losing in this forum. And because I’m sure Ed doesn’t comment as much as he used to because he’s too busy, the onus now falls more on his regular commenters to maintain a high standard of honesty. That is, if we want this to be a forum which can credibly claim to have integrity.

  7. martinc says

    Michael Heath @ 6:

    Sadly, it seems to me this forum of commenters is rapidly losing the moral authority needed to condemn him. Instead we’re becoming more tolerant and protective of those who use fallacies to defame their opponents.

    Hear, hear.

    When Ed was at ScienceBlogs, he had liars on the left as well, but he also enjoyed plenty of commenters who refuted such bad behavior and the time to castigate them himself.

    I’m not sure of the exact timing of it, but Dispatches from the Culture Wars has certainly deteriorated in recent times in the way you describe. It used to be pretty intellectually rigid, but now it seems to me there’s a lot more loons willing to castigate everyone else for not being 100% behind the program. In addition the few people we have on here who argue against us are more likely to be met by spittle-flecked abuse than reasoned argument. If someone honestly and politely puts forward argument that can be refuted, why not refute it instead of calling them an idiot and confirming their belief that we are all knee-jerk leftists? I’d hate to see DftCW become an exact mirror-image of right-wing websites, where they all sit around congratulating each other on how much they agree with each other, and then band together like rabid dogs to tear at anyone presenting a variant view.

  8. Ichthyic says

    I attended one of Barton’s presentations in 2011. He is a human assault weapon, assaulting history, intelligence and reason at 300 words per minute. I had never heard anyone sling bull shit that fast in my life.

    so we’ve gone from the Gish Gallop to the Barton Barrage?

  9. Ichthyic says

    . In addition the few people we have on here who argue against us are more likely to be met by spittle-flecked abuse than reasoned argument.

    your perceptions as to why that is are inaccurate however.

    what happens is that, over time, people weary of making the same arguments over and over and over again, and so end up just retorting with invective as the loss of patience sinks in.

    I’ve seen it happen in every discussion group I have ever been involved with over the last 20 years.

    it’s inevitable.

    don’t like it? there is only ONE solution: move on to a new discussion group.

  10. Ichthyic says

    Heath is using false equivalence as an argument.

    Barton is SUPPOSED to be a historian, yet DELIBERATELY misrepresents history to sell snake oil.

    you really think that the random musings of Dawkins are comparable?

    that’s laughable.

  11. Ichthyic says

    That is, if we want this to be a forum which can credibly claim to have integrity.

    *yawn*

    oh, sorry, shall I fetch the fainting couch for you?

    you know what’s even more sad than forums that have degraded to invective? Forums that contain too many self-righteous aggrandizers.

  12. Ichthyic says

    I note, in an OP shortly after this one was posted, Mr. Moral Authority said:

    George Will is a serial liar. But the far bigger problem here is that the Washington Post and Mr. Will’s national syndicators spread his lies.

    I rest my fucking case.

    now, get up off the fainting couch and have a pint with the rest of us, you twit.

Leave a Reply