Aug 12 2012

Will Barton’s Minion Rick Green “Have Time” to Post to this Comment?

I have just submitted a second comment to Barton’s mouthpiece Rick Green, this one giving one specific example of a lie in Barton’s book. This is precisely what Mr. Green asked for. From his second post:

“I’m still looking for specific examples. I’m not going to post ridiculous, unrelated, illogical ramblings, but I will gladly post legitimate questions of research or challenges to any point made in the Jefferson book. I know I will not have time to respond to every single one, but will do my best.”

But, as you can see in how he worded this paragraph from his second post, Mr. Green has kind of left himself a loophole, no doubt anticipating that I would do exactly what I just did. His loophole? He “knows” he will “not have time to respond to every single one.” Whadaya wanna bet that mine is one of the ones that he “won’t have time” to respond to? But, he doesn’t have to respond to it. I just want him to post it, and that only takes the time to click a button.

Here’s a screen capture of the comment I just submitted:


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  1. 1
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    I’m sure there was a Bible in a cupboard somewhere on campus. Therefore, Christian nation.

  2. 2
    aleph squared

    His exposition of your book’s chapter on the Northwest Ordinance is absolutely ridiculous. Apparently the willingness to lie threw one’s teeth is common in that whole circle.

  3. 3

    How can he have time to press the button on this? It’s got words, which he has to read, and reading is hard for him… at least, reading facts is hard, for him.

  4. 4

    Rick on August 11th, 2012 10:32 pm


    You mistake a request for facts as request for a debate. While I love debates, I save them for serious opponents that don’t just slander. Chris Rodda does not fit the first category. As stated in my blog just posted, I’m simply asking for someone to point out a single premise in David’s book that is false and to back it up with evidence. Chris Rodda trying to sell her book on my website hardly qualifies, but I still posted a link to her book. Folks are more than welcome to buy it, read it, compare sources and logic in her book and David’s. No one is duct taped or abused. This is not a debate blog, it’s an information blog. If you don’t like the information, then switch from being a long time reader to a former reader. Courteously inviting debate is not the M.O. of Chris Rodda.

    So, he seems to have reserved the right to simply not respond to anyone he doesn’t like.

    It’s not slander if it’s true.

  5. 5

    Chris, you may as well go downstairs and have a conversation with your furnace. You’ll get more intelligent responses than you ever will from these clowns.

  6. 6

    It really won’t matter. Everything you write is” ridiculous, unrelated, illogical ramblings,” in his mind. It’s the cheap and easy way to dismiss serious critics.

  7. 7

    I just love it when people use “ridiculous, unrelated, illogical” as euphemisms for “something I can’t actually respond to.”

  8. 8

    I’m shocked.. SHOCKED.. that he hasn’t let either post through moderation, much less responded.

    Okay, not really. I would like to see his answers, just in principle, but the fact that he still hasn’t unmoderated them speaks volumes.

  9. 9

    Now we need to get Chris Rodda on the Daily Show to correct the record and get the word out.

  10. 10

    I tweeted The Daily Show suggesting Rodda as a guest and linked this post. Others might consider doing something similar.

  11. 11

    Thank you, Chris, for staying on this jerk. I am sure the collapse of Barton we are witnessing was helped along by your work and that of others in the community of truth and reason. I very much liked you video presentation, and am sure that if Hitch were still with us, he would have appreciated the Hitchslap™ you put on Barton.

  12. 12
    Dan J

    Shorter Rick Green: “I won’t listen to anyone who disagrees with me. La la la… I can’t hear you.”

  13. 13
    Jeffrey G Johnson

    Here is the comment I posted on Rick Green’s “Alinsky” post. It is, of course, awaiting moderation.

    I recommend anyone who wishes to arm themselves with a true insight into the mind of Jefferson go to beliefnet and read his letters in the Founding Faith Archive.


    I would especially recommend the one to F. A. Van Der Kamp.

    Here is a summary of my take away. It is clear that Jefferson considered himself a Christian, but not by accepting the dogmas of the churches of his day, whom he referred to as fanatics, but as a free thinker who considered his interpretation of Jesus to be that of True Christianity. The prevalent forms of Christianity in his day he referred to as corruptions of Jesus’ philosophy. In particular he disliked the teachings of Calvin and the idea of the Trinity. Jefferson said there was one God, not three, by which we can infer, with backing from other quotes, that Jefferson did not believe in the divinity of Christ. Indeed he calls him a great “human sage”, and considered any teachings in the gospels that were outside of natural physical laws to be lies, including virgin birth and resurrection. Jefferson favored Unitarianism, which rejects the Trinity. Jefferson considered himself to have true Christian beliefs, unlike the corrupted fanatics who seem to fit the description of todays conservative Christians and Evangelicals. Jefferson’s descriptions of his own faith, which respected the moral teachings of Jesus, but not the supernatural miracles, seem to be consistent with Deism. I finish with this direct quote from the Van Der Kamp letter:

    ” I gave it the title of “The Philosophy of Jesus Extracted from the Text of the Evangelists. To this Syllabus and Extract, if a history of His life can be added, written with the same view of the subject, the world will see, after the fogs shall be dispelled, in which for fourteen centuries He has been enveloped by jugglers to make money of Him, when the genuine character shall be exhibited, which they have dressed up in the rags of an impostor, the world, I say, will at length see the immortal merit of this first of human sages. I rejoice that you think of undertaking this work. It is one I have long wished to see written of the scale of a Laertius or a Nepos. Nor can it be a work of labor, or of volume, for His journeyings from Judea to Samaria, and Samaria to Galilee, do not cover much country; and the incidents of His life require little research. They are all at hand, and need only to be put into human dress ; noticing such only as are within the physical laws of nature, and offending none by a denial or even a mention of what is not.”

    Notice at the end that Jefferson considers the incidents told of Jesus’ life that outside the “physical laws of nature” to be offensive and not worthy of mention. This is quite telling, and clearly indicates that Jefferson’s thinking was quite at odds with fundamentalist Christians.

  14. 14

    Quine @ 11
    I seriously doubt that we are seeing the collapse of Barton. There’s already been a run on his book by true believers who want to get a copy before “they” censor it, take away his First Amendment rights, and martyr him just like Hitler would have!!! Next, he has his own publishing house, so he’ll be able to churn out more copies for the faithful to gobble down as if they were Chik-fil-A sandwiches. After that he’ll take to the martyrdom speaking circuit. This brou-ha-ha may have tarnished his name with the rest of the world, but within the ranks of the Religious Right, it will make him a superstar.

  15. 15

    My comment, also in moderation (I used the name Dianne):

    Your comment is awaiting moderation. August 12th, 2012 4:34 pm

    Evidently Chris Rodda has offered a specific example (out of the dozens documented, with sources, in her book,) per your request.
    And her comment is still stuck in moderation. As I expect mine will be.

    By the way,

    “serious opponents that don’t just slander”

    It’s not “slander” if the allegations are true. And if, as you allege, Chris Rodda is not a serious opponent, why don’t you just publish her comments and let your readers judge that for themselves? Surely you have nothing to fear from an unserious opponent?

  16. 16
    Chris Rodda

    Jeffrey @ 13

    That Van der Kemp letter you posted is actually one on the ones I had already picked out for my debunking of the chapter in Barton’s book about the “Jefferson Bible,” and I chose it precisely because of the line you point out. People always go only to Jefferson’s letters to Adams and Rush on this, which I don’t understand because the ones to Van der Kemp are by far the clearest.

    Barton claims that people are wrong when they say Jefferson cut out everything “supernatural.” Jefferson said very plainly that he was cutting out everything not “within the physical laws of nature.” Definition of “supernatural”: “attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.” End of story.

  17. 17

    JohnMckay @14 I do think that we are seeing the collapse of Barton in the same way that Dover saw the collapse of the ID movement. You are right the true believers will still believe. However, he will no longer convince anybody new that he has a valid point of view.

  18. 18
    Jeffrey G Johnson

    It appears Rick Green is practicing censorship and is afraid to publish comments that disagree with his Christian bias. A letter from a few hours after mine has made it through moderation, and of course it is a pro god post.

    Perhaps he doesn’t like it that I compared modern fundamentalists and evangelicals to the contemporary Christians Jefferson dismissed disdainfully as fanatics. Jefferson seemed particularly hostile toward the Presbytarians, and more admiring of the Quakers and Unitarians. He detested the doctrine of the Trinity, which is central to most Christians today. And of the Presbytarians he specifically criticized for wanting to take over and place their sectarian beliefs above those of other Christians. He derided them for doing essentially what evangelicals and other conservative Christians do today, which is to try to use political power to push their views on everyone.

  19. 19

    @ johnmckay 14

    I agree that those who want him to be right will stay with him, and his book will sell to that audience. However, I am seeing things like this piece:


    that indicate that the conservative think tank class have stopped trying to use arguments form Barton for fear of blowback. While Barton stays in the echo chamber with Beck, he does little harm to the outside world, and provides us with excellent irrefutable examples of the “lying for Jesus” meme that we can show for the purpose of holding other religious speakers to the burden of truthful sources.

    His financial support may not collapse any more than that of Ken Ham, but his credibility with any with a brain has become crap.

  20. 20

    Listening to Chris debunk Barton’s claim about Jefferson’s use of “Christ” on documents, has reinforced my own determination not to do so. Of course, most kids in Sunday School just assume that “Christ” was the last name of “Jesus” and have no idea that it is a given title, meant to proclaim belief in Jesus as a (the) Messiah (and poke a finger in the eye of any Jews, present). This gets into the Christian redef of the Hebrew “anointed one” going back to the old tradition of anointing kings with oil. So, by direct translation, “Jesus Christ” means: “Jesus, the anointed” but Christians expanded it from there.

    I have now restricted myself to writing “historical Jesus” when I am going on about the man who may have lived, and “deified Jesus” in place of “Christ” to refer to the mythical legend of Christianity, much the same as I would “deified Nero,” another Roman myth.

  21. 21


    He must really hate you. He has allowed all matter of critical comments on his blog but refuses to post your comments

  22. 22

    Dead silence for several days, then the floodgates suddenly open. Maybe he figured out that letting no comments through looked too obvious, so he’s letting a lot through and only suppressing the really embarrassing ones.

  23. 23

    This has been very successful in showing the outright dishonesty of Barton and Green; the most recent blog post is now filled with requests to allow the examples through for all to see and demands for responses. Hilarious.

  24. 24

    Rock on, Chris!

    I just posted the following comment, which posted without moderation:

    Mr Green,
    You realize… you could make the pain go away by simply posting Rodda’s comment, right?

    Because right now, your intellectual credibility is nil. Rodda has made a screen shot available of her comment with a very specific example of a Barton lie, and the whole world can not only see that she submitted it, but also that you refuse to approve it.

    So you’re faced with a choice – you could continue refusing to post her comment (which is pointless at this juncture since everyone knows what you’re up to) or post it and deal with the reality of it.

    I know the prospect of having to publicly admit that someone met your challenge of finding a lie in Barton’s book is unappealing… but surely it must be preferable to being exposed as an intellectual coward.

    At this point, given mine and the many other comments visible on his post, there can’t be much doubt left in his mind that he’s backed into a corner. At this point we’re being given a case-study in the power of evasion. That in itself is pretty entertaining.

  25. 25
    Jeffrey G Johnson

    #22: I agree. The pretense for not printing adversarial posts is that they don’t address specific points in the book in a scholarly way.

    My post provided a link to Jefferson’s letters on beliefnet (@13 above). It really only took me about a half hour of reading through Jefferson’s letters to see that the main thesis of Barton is false. I regard his main thesis to be roughly that Jefferson was a main stream devoutly religious man who wanted the US government to based on accepted religious doctrine. Barton wants to characterize Jefferson in a way that confirms his claims that the founders intended the US to be a “Christian Nation”. It takes only a moment to see that Jefferson’s religious views were regarded as so contentious and controversial by church leaders that Jefferson did not want his views made public. He outright rejects the idea of the Trinity, which is effectively rejecting the divinity of Jesus. And he writes that the stories about Jesus that fall outside natural physical laws are offensive and not worth mentioning.

    It doesn’t take much scholarship to see that Barton is full of it, and therefore the direct link to Jefferson’s letters needed to be suppressed.

  26. 26

    Chris, it seems a lot of comments are going through unmoderated. Clearly the IP you’re posting from is being targeted for moderation.

    Why not hand the text to anyone else who could probably post the comment without any problem? If you put the text here, in fact, I’d be willing to bet that it could be posted on Green’s comment section really quick. Whoever gets it on there can just include a salutation “courtesy of Chris Rodda”.

    I don’t know if that would violate some esoteric internet social norm with which I’m not familiar… but it would work. It would put the information on his comments section and force him to either address it or delete it.

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