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Dec 08 2013

Barton: Everything Good in the US From the Bible

David Barton offers his usual revisionist history, claiming that everything good in American history came from the Bible. In fact, “it’s from this book that we get civil rights.” He must be reading a different Bible than I am. In fact, he says it was the Bible that was responsible for ending slavery, which is a staggeringly ridiculous statement.

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  1. 1
    raven

    Barton: Everything Good in the US From the Bible

    This could be Barton’s biggest lie yet.

    In Acts, it says to obey the rulers and pay your taxes. The rulers at that time were all kings and emperors. Democracy was known at that time but it isn’t mentioned in the bible. Communism is however, mentioned with approval in the New Testament.

  2. 2
    Mr Ed

    Raven, you missed the surprise twist at the end of third Kings where a bicameral legislature, executive and independent judiciary were revealed. I think the interstate highway system is described in Ruth, one of the Psalms lays out the 40 hour work week and the minimum wage. Maybe Barton means something different when he says good than we do.

  3. 3
    Modusoperandi

    The Bible was responsible for ending slavery. Eventually.

  4. 4
    raven

    For fans of the giant Rorschach inkblot, here it is.

    Romans 13 NIV:

    4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

    6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

    So for any fundie xians reading this, god says to obey, honor, and respect the rulers. Who are god’s servants on earth. That right now is….Obama. I’m expecting Fox News and Glenn Beck to fall in line any day now.

    And oh yeah, pay your taxes. God’s servants need the money.

  5. 5
    busterggi

    Lets see – genocide (the attempted extermination of native Americans), slavery, racism, misogyny and theocracy are all supported by the bible. Maybe its just a difference of opinion on what best means.

  6. 6
    julial

    Y’all are missing the point.
    It ain’t about truth. It’s about social cohesion.
    The weirder and wronger an assertion, the tighter the in-group when they all claim not only to believe the ludicrosity, but that they believe it absolutely and it could never have been otherwise.
    Why do Atheistes worry whether a claim is backed up by Truth by Evidence?
    Follow the money.

  7. 7
    Michael Heath

    The demonstrably false assertion that the Christian god is, “the creator of all good things” is a conservative Christian meme I’m increasingly exposed to in meat-world.

  8. 8
    Reginald Selkirk

    “Jesus wept.”

  9. 9
    Pierce R. Butler

    Everything Good in the US From the Bible

    I just searched the whole text of the KJV, and it said nothing about blueberries.

    And did Barton steal that sweater from Jimmy Carter or Mr. Rogers?

  10. 10
    cptdoom

    So is Barton acknowledging that it was wrong to nominate a Mormon for President?

  11. 11
    dogfightwithdogma

    I much prefer The Great Agnostic, Robert G. Ingersoll’s, take on the bible. A quote from his 1894 essay, About the Holy Bible

    Ministers wonder how I can be wicked enough to attack the Bible.

    I will tell them: This book, the Bible, has persecuted, even unto death, the wisest and the best. This book stayed and stopped the onward movement of the human race. This book poisoned the fountains of learning and misdirected the energies of man.

    This book is the enemy of freedom, the support of slavery. This book sowed the seeds of hatred in families and nations, fed the flames of war, and impoverished the world. This book is the breastwork of kings and tyrants — the enslaver of women and children. This book has corrupted parliaments and courts. This book has made colleges and universities the teachers of error and the haters of science. This book has filled Christendom with hateful, cruel, ignorant and warring sects. This book taught men to kill their fellows for religion’s sake. This book funded the Inquisition, invented the instruments of torture, built the dungeons in which the good and loving languished, forged the chains that rusted in their flesh, erected the scaffolds whereon they died. This book piled fagots about the feet of the just. This book drove reason from the minds of millions and filled the asylums with the insane.

    This book has caused fathers and mothers to shed the blood of their babes. This book was the auction block on which the slave- mother stood when she was sold from her child. This book filled the sails of the slave-trader and made merchandise of human flesh. This book lighted the fires that burned “witches” and “wizards.”

    This book filled the darkness with ghouls and ghosts, and the bodies of men and women with devils. This book polluted the souls of men with the infamous dogma of eternal pain. This book made credulity the greatest of virtues, and investigation the greatest of crimes. This book filled nations with hermits, monks and nuns — with the pious and the useless. This book placed the ignorant and unclean saint above the philosopher and philanthropist. This book taught man to despise the joys of this life, that he might be happy in another — to waste this world for the sake of the next.

    I attack this book because it is the enemy of human liberty — the greatest obstruction across the highway of human progress.

    Let me ask the ministers one question: How can you be wicked enough to defend this book?

    Yet another from the same essay:

    There are many millions of people who believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God — millions who think that this book is staff and guide, counselor and consoler; that it fills the present with peace and the future with hope — millions who believe that it is the fountain of law, Justice and mercy, and that to its wise and benign teachings the world is indebted for its liberty, wealth and civilization — millions who imagine that this book is a revelation from the wisdom and love of God to the brain and heart of man — millions who regard this book as a torch that conquers the darkness of death, and pours its radiance on another world — a world without a tear.

    They forget its ignorance and savagery, its hatred of liberty, its religious persecution; they remember heaven, but they forget the dungeon of eternal pain. They forget that it imprisons the brain and corrupts the heart. They forget that it is the enemy of intellectual freedom. Liberty is my religion. Liberty of hand and brain — of thought and labor, liberty is a word hated by kings — loathed by popes. It is a word that shatters thrones and altars — that leaves the crowned without subjects, and the outstretched hand of superstition without alms. Liberty is the blossom and fruit of justice — the perfume of mercy. Liberty is the seed and soil, the air and light, the dew and rain of progress, love and joy.”

    The essay from which these two lengthy quotes come is itself quite long. But well worth the time investment. Theists, and some of our fellow atheists, think some of us atheists today are too harsh in our criticism of religion. Criticism from today’s atheists, however, often pales in comparison to the lambasting Ingersoll often directed at religion. Talk about a take-down. Ingersoll was a master craftsman of the takedown when it came to christianity.

    One final quote from Ingersoll on the bible that applies to Mr. Barton:

    “The inspiration of the Bible depends upon the ignorance of the gentleman who reads it.”

    It is obvious to me, as it should be to any thinking person, that Barton’s ignorance is stupefying in its breadth and depth.

  12. 12
    Michael Heath

    Great post dogfightwithdogma, thanks!

  13. 13
    uzza

    He cites two verses as the source of civil rights, so I looked them up. It’s been a while since I’ve had any psychotropic substances, but I’ll be damned if I can find any connection to civil rights in either acts 17 or revelations 7.

  14. 14
    tsig

    According to the bible the US should not exist.

  15. 15
    matty1

    According to the bible the US should not exist.

    Why exactly? Three possibilities come to mind.
    -It should not have had time to exist as Jesus was due back within a generation to bring about the end of the world
    -The Americas are not mentioned in the bible and therefore must be a figment of David Barton’s imagination
    -The US has no biblical right to exist since it was founded in rebellion against God’s anointed king

  16. 16
    raven

    but I’ll be damned if I can find any connection to civil rights in either acts 17 or revelations 7.

    Acts 17:

    24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

    28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]

    It’s just routine god babble. Gibberish.

    It says god made everything. That is good and evil. God made jesus, satan, angels, demons, Obama, Palin. God make the good, the bad, the ugly, everything. It says the same thing in Isaiah.

    So according to the fundies god made everything good in the USA. And he also made…everything bad in the USA. In fact, he made everything, end of story.

    Which makes it a meaningless claim.

  17. 17
    uzza

    It is out of this book that we get civil rights. There are two great verses, Acts 17 and Revelation 7.

    then he shifts into the staggeringly ridiculous part, about Mass. freeing the slaves and imprisoning the slaveowners. Help me out here, I’m desparately seeking some tenuous connection with civil rights in the vain hope that Barton has a train of thought.

  18. 18
    jnorris

    Raven at #4: “So for any fundie xians reading this, god says to obey, honor, and respect the rulers. Who are god’s servants on earth. That right now is….Obama. I’m expecting Fox News and Glenn Beck to fall in line any day now.”

    We all know Fox ‘News’ and Mr Beck will not. So is it any wonder God has withdrawn His protective hand from America and we are not His BFF?

  19. 19
    williamhumenansky

    Barton seems to be incorrigible, intractable, and a danger to the morals and intellect of Americans in general. I, for one, wouldn’t believe him if he said good morning on a summer’s day. And much as I detest his stand on history I really regret that his continued stupidity and lies must continually be reported and combated as preventive measures to the welfare of the more gullible. Really, he doesn’t have the integrity or intellect to even be a fundie.

  20. 20
    Michael Heath

    williamhumaenansky writes:

    Really, [David Barton] doesn’t have the integrity or intellect to even be a fundie.

    Mr. Barton is a classic example of the fundamentalist integrity. He’s promoting the very story-line of what fundamentalists already believe.

    As for his intellect, fundamentalists are his marks; where we know he’s purposefully lying at least some of the time. For example, when he quote-mines and changes the text to make it read differently than what was actually written. So no, he doesn’t have the intellect of a standard-issue Christian fundamentalist, instead he’s demonstrably smarter.

  21. 21
    tsig

    According to the bible the US should not exist.

    Why exactly? Three possibilities come to mind.
    -It should not have had time to exist as Jesus was due back within a generation to bring about the end of the world
    -The Americas are not mentioned in the bible and therefore must be a figment of David Barton’s imagination
    -The US has no biblical right to exist since it was founded in rebellion against God’s anointed king

    According to the bible we’re supposed to obey the government so by rebelling against the English the American colonists were disobeying the bible.

    “13 Obey the rulers who have authority over you. Only God can give authority to anyone, and he puts these rulers in their places of power. 2 People who oppose the authorities are opposing what God has done, and they will be punished. 3 Rulers are a threat to evil people, not to good people. There is no need to be afraid of the authorities. Just do right, and they will praise you for it. 4 After all, they are God’s servants, and it is their duty to help you.”

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