Saturday, April 21, 2012

Glenn Beck and David Barton lie about Thomas Jefferson

Remember my previous post about seeing Glenn Beck and David Barton on a stage together? Well, it turns out that wasn't a coincidence at all. It turns out they're actually "good friends" and Beck has invited him to plug a book that outright lies about the life of Thomas Jefferson.

Barton, being the unqualified fake historian for Jesus that he is, claimed that Jefferson created his abbreviated Bible for missionaries to give to Native Americans. One problem with this claim is that this abbreviated Bible would be outright rejected by missionaries because it cuts out much of the Christian myths, most notably the assertions that Jesus was divine and resurrected. And another problem is that claim is a bold-faced lie, as shown in this letter he sent to Joseph Priestley. He did it to show his view of Christianity, which he specifically states in the letter is a deistic one. While he didn't accomplish everything he wanted to in the letter, the Jefferson Bible did mostly follow a deistic view of Jesus.

Another thing Barton says is that the Jefferson Bible contains examples of Jesus performing miracles. This is also proven a lie if you actually do what Barton implores you to do(but counts on the probability you'll just take his word for it): read it. It's mostly Jesus telling parables to his disciples. He performs no miracles at all.

The Jefferson Bible, however, isn't perfect when it really comes to morality. For example, the passages where he orders his followers to steal horses in his name doesn't really translate to a good moral example. Or where he says you should pluck out your eye if it offends you.  And "take no thought of tomorrow" should need no explanation as to why that is a bad idea.

All in all, the Jefferson Bible was a interesting attempt to strip the Bible of supernatural crap and focus on the central character. But Barton doesn't do Jefferson, the Jefferson Bible or himself any favors by outright lying to try and square the circle of Jefferson's deism with Christianity. Beck only allows this because it furthers his crazy religious and political views. Both men should be ashamed, but that's not gonna happen anytime soon.