Revisionist Historian David Barton's Book Yanked For Inaccuracies. Will He Still Choose Texas' Social Studies Textbooks?

David Barton
NPR ran a story on Wednesday about David Barton, the Aledo-based pseudo-historian who has built a career arguing that America was established on Christian principles. It found that his claims aren't particularly hard to debunk. For one, Barton has only a bachelor's in Christian education from Oral Roberts University, with no formal training as a historian. And all those parts of the Constitution he said were taken directly from the Bible, verbatim? They weren't.

Still, Barton has remained a favorite of the far right. Mike Huckabee, for example, suggested that America would be a better place if everyone was forced, at gunpoint, to listen to Barton. Nor have his well-documented inaccuracies prevented him from serving for a decade as vice-chair of the Texas Republican Party or of being brought in as an expert consultant when the Texas State Board of Education revamped its social studies curriculum in 2010 or of reaching The New York Times best-seller list with his most recent book, The Jefferson Lies.

It surprised no one when scholars summarily debunked many of the claims the book makes. It surprised everyone when publisher Thomas Nelson announced yesterday that it had "lost confidence in the book's details" and was pulling it off the market.

In the past, Barton has dismissed critics on the grounds that they are liberals or have an inaccurate view of history or are simply jealous of his influence. But to be shown the door by a conservative Christian publisher like Thomas Nelson seems harder to cast aside.

"It's gratifying to know you can't build a career distorting history and get away with it forever," said Ryan Valentine, deputy director of the SBOE watchdog Texas Freedom Network.

The larger question, though, is whether Barton will retain his influence with those who have been sufficiently enchanted by his assertion that America is a Christian nation to ignore his myriad misrepresentations.

Bud Kennedy at the Star-Telegram sees Thomas Nelson's decision as a sign of Barton's waning influence.

Valentine's not so sure. "That'll be the interesting story in the next few days." He expects Barton to continue to be a regular guest of Glenn Beck, but whether he will continue to be so enthusiastically cited by politicians like Huckabee and Michelle Bachmann is not clear.

Also unknown is Barton's future influence on the famously conservative SBOE. The board is set to adopt new social studies textbooks in 2014 and will likely form committees to help vet them.

"It's entirely possible they could invite Mr. Barton back to play a role," Valentine said.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

The people want to hear and read this bullshit.When President Obama was elected they went crazy and developed all kinds of new bull shit. I don't know in this day what is real and not. I heard things from politicians in the past few month things I know are not true yet they are allowed to repeat this madness over and over.


I want to know the exact date and time in our American history timeline when 'all conservative white people in Texas' became batshit crazy and started frothing about the Tea Party and American Exceptionalism. Was it when the Great Pretender Ronnie Raygun was elected or was it when Richard Nixon segued from 'plain old mendacious meshugana' to 'first tier Machiavellian meshugana?'


In any case, this 'caustic caucasian singularity' is beginning to rival 'the moment that Skynet became self-aware' in terms of apocalyptic overtones.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Perhaps this whack-a-doodle denies that the Inquisition and the Crusades occurred, as well.


He's also a member of the indidious "Dominionist" movement, which essentially would like to see the US be a Christian theocracy. If that sounds nutty just do some googling on "Dominionism" and select articles from reputable sources. The interesting thing about a guy like Barton which distinguishes him from other religious loons is that he clearly is a deliberate deceiver. He's a liar, pure and simple, not merely confused or the victim of propoganda. That only reason why the GOP's association with nuts like this hasn't resulted in people leaving the party in droves is because of the Democrat's irresponsible embrace of divisive identity politics. Well, that and the fact that about 90% of both parties are chauvinistically loyal no matter how nutty the candidate.


My poor dear grandmother used to attend a pretty conservative Baptist church, and she bought me a copy of Barton's Original Intent at a book signing he did there.  She was just sure I'd love it since I had just finished a 1st Amendment internship in DC.  Now I don't claim to have finished it; so maybe it got better in the second half, but the part I read was so obviously intentionally false and so poorly documented that I gave up.  The man is not just blinded by fanaticism; he's a cold, calculating fraud.


can you imagine how much this guy spends on face cream?


Even the Christians think he's batshit crazy.......


@jerikjonsson Intentionally false because you know the wrong things or he knows the wrong things?  Just playing devils advocate and honestly not choosing sides.  How do you know what you were taught was correct?  Have you actually looked at the real documents?  Most of us haven't.  One of the problems in this country is we don't really investigate the truth, we just believe things.  After all it's on the internet.  Bonjour!!

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault