Bartonizing Jefferson

Dictionaries of the future will feature “bartonizing,” after Texas mathematics teacher David Barton, with a reference to “bowdlerization.” Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars details a recent flurry of correcting a Barton misapprehension of history about one of Thomas Jefferson’s studies of the gospels, which resulted in a book called The Jefferson Bible.

The issue is a strange claim by Barton, repeated by Dr. D. James Kennedy at Coral Gables Ministries, that Jefferson wrote the thing in an attempt to convert Indians to Christianity. Students of Jefferson immediately recognize that claim as contrary to Jefferson’s character on several fronts.

The discussion is enlightened and enlightening; I noted the similar claim that Jefferson built a church and hired a priest for the Kaskaskias (in Illinois), with federal funds, is similarly in error. The fight against revisionist history — revising history to add errors — continues.

(One current edition of the Jefferson Bible on sale at Monticello features a forward by Rev. F. Forrester Church, minister at senior minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City; that must frost Kennedy and Barton.)

Please play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes. While your e-mail will not show with comments, note that it is our policy not to allow false e-mail addresses. Comments with non-working e-mail addresses may be deleted.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: