David Barton: Master Historian


The Family Leader, a wingnut group in Iowa, is going to “celebrate the family” — that is, they’re going to attack families that include gay people or consider them human beings — by bringing in lying fraud David Barton for a dinner in November. And you’re gonna love how they present him:

The FAMiLY LEADER will host its “Celebrate the Family” fundraising dinner on Saturday evening, November 23, at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel, 800 50th St., West Des Moines, IA.

Dr. David Barton, president of Wallbuilders (www.wallbuilders.com), will be the keynote speaker at the “Celebrate the Family” dinner. Dr. Barton is a master historian who eloquently presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage. His exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues. He has been labeled as “America’s historian,” and Time Magazine called him “a hero to millions” and named him as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals.

Is anyone else reminded of the old Jon Lovitz sketch on Saturday Night Live, the Master Thespian? One can almost hear Barton ending one of his dishonest stories by yelling “HISTORY!” Of course, Barton is not a historian at all. His only degree is in Christian education, with no training in history at all. And real historians, including Christian ones, pretty much universally consider him a fraud.

Comments

  1. Johnny Vector says

    C’mon Modus, you’re slipping. That was boring and predictable; you can do better than that. I’ve upped my game, now up yours.

  2. Doug Little says

    From what I’ve seen (Daily Show) Barton is careful to correct people when they refer to him as a historian. I’m sure he will be quick to correct these people, right?

  3. says

    @3 – Doug: I’ve seen other defend Barton on this point, and he occasionally does deflect the accolade when it suits him, but you’re right, he typically has no problem when others call him a historian, and it’s not hard to find examples of such on his own website. Plausible deniability is probably what he’s shooting for, but he can’t help bask in the accolades heaped on him by his fellow Christians.

  4. Doug Little says

    taciyus,

    Yeah absolutely see it that way as well. When in an environment he can get called on his bullshit he will swear up and down that he does not refer to himself as a historian.

  5. Mr Ed says

    Congratulations you’ve had your sixth book publish by WND press you have enough experience points for level 11 – master Historian. You can now misquote Madison.

    I always play as a wizard but historian is a fun class too

  6. Alverant says

    Historians aren’t licensed like plumbers (I’m looking at YOU not-Joe the not-Plumber) so how does one qualify as a historian? This question isn’t about Barton, it’s about historians in general. I got a minor in History in college, am I a historian? How about my interest in history? Are the performers at the Ren Faire historians?

  7. tbp1 says

    @#7: For me, academic credentials, while not unimportant, aren’t absolutely mandatory in any field of endeavor. A historian is someone who engages in actual historical research, and adds in at least a small way to the sum total of historical knowledge. The gold standard is, of course, peer reviewed publication in established, credible outlets, but honestly, I would accept someone as a genuine historian if he/she only published local history in the local newspaper, as long as the work was sound.

    If you’re doing this, as far as I’m concerned, you’re a historian. If you just read a lot of history books, that makes you a history buff (a fine thing in itself), but not a historian.

    Barton, of course, doesn’t come anywhere near even the local history in the local newspaper standard, but it’s the shoddy work, not the lack of a history degree, that makes him not a historian.

  8. says

    Johnny Vector “C’mon Modus, you’re slipping. That was boring and predictable; you can do better than that. I’ve upped my game, now up yours.”
    I’m sorry. I only have so much time between guilty verdicts. I’m a terrible lawyer.

  9. says

    A more appropriate Lovitz character for Barton is Tommy Flanagan. Barton is a Historian who won the prestigious Pulitzer Nobel prize. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  10. exdrone says

    “Dr. Barton is a master historian who eloquently presents America’s forgotten imagined history and heroes” … typo

  11. martinc says

    Alverant @ 7:

    I got a minor in History in college

    OT, but I love that particularly American phrasing. I’d like to see a college have a ‘Trouble’ department, so its graduates can say with a straight face, “I got a minor in trouble in college”.

  12. skinnercitycyclist says

    martinc:

    I got a minor in Dutch, is that close enough?

    I agree with tbp1. I have a BA in history, I enjoy reading history, but would never refer to myself as a historian. Since I have an MA in Germanistic, I feel I can call myself a Germanist from having done more advanced work in the field, though I usually characterize myself as having studied Germanistic. I know the methods and can be counted on to explicate texts in a way consistent with the discipline. Barton is no historian since, like all Christianist apologists, he starts with his fairy tale and discards whatever does not fit it. It’s not history, and it sure as hell ain’t cricket.

  13. Michael Heath says

    skinnercitycyclist writes:

    Barton is no historian since, like all Christianist apologists, he starts with his fairy tale and discards whatever does not fit it.

    That’s only a small part of what he does. He also creates false narratives, promotes false quotations, and edits text to have it mean something different than the meaning of the original text. I’m sure I missed other actions Mr. Barton takes to misinform his audience. So the man isn’t merely an overly zealous partisan, he’s a fraud who goes to outrageous lengths to lie.

  14. billyeager says

    “a hero to millions”

    . . .of fucking idiots.

    Hmm. Was debating whether to actually expand on this post, decided it is factual enough as it is.
    Thank you for your Time.

  15. says

    @2&10:

    Can’t we all just gag along?

    @ 12:

    That Jon Lovitz was funny, the new “Dennismillerized” version:

    http://tv.yahoo.com/news/jon-lovitz-rant-on-obama-has-web-buzzing.html

    not so much. I did like this (from the link):

    “Later in the podcast, the “SNL” alum discussed his past work on the sketch comedy show, saying he played characters who were “arrogant idiots” — people who “think they know everything but they’re a moron.” Smith, without missing a beat, asked, “Like people who go on about the government?”

    Ellen Barkin is not popular with the ReiKKKwing these days, at least in part because she dissed Lovitz and his mouthbreathing constituency–no link because, well, there’s a shitstorm of self-righteous wingnutz hap’nin on teh intertoobz; not hard to find.

    Jon Voigt is apparently not getting enough attention these days, either:

    http://www.rightwingnews.com/health/invitation-from-jon-voigt/

    I can’t think of anything I’ve seen him in, since Midnitght Cowboy, anyway, that didn’t look like he was mailing it in.

    I wonder if these people all have the same “life coach” telling them that becoming a useful idiot for the GOPeabaggers is a good career move.

  16. Michael Heath says

    democommie writes:

    I can’t think of anything I’ve seen [Jon Voight] in, since Midnitght Cowboy, anyway, that didn’t look like he was mailing it in.

    I thought his scenery chewing role in the movie with the anaconda was very entertaining.

  17. freehand says

    Historians are folks who do serious history, that is, they research, write, or teach. Same with scientists – my daughter and my wife both have science degrees, but they neither teach science nor research, so are not scientists.

    Barton is an historian in the same way that Deepak Chopra is a physicist.

  18. Ichthyic says

    Is anyone else reminded of the old Jon Lovitz sketch on Saturday Night Live, the Master Thespian?

    I blame alcohol.

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