David Barton Thinks You’re Stupid

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That seems a reasonable conclusion after reading David Barton’s review of the first draft of new social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. He clearly hopes that Texans are gullible enough to buy the “war on Christmas” nonsense he and other far-right fanatics have been screaming about the last few years.

Barton’s review attacks curriculum writers for replacing Christmas with the Hindu and Buddhist festival of Diwali in a standard on significant holidays and religious observances in cultures around the world. We told you that a far-right pressure group on Friday was making the same cynical criticism. Barton writes in his review:

“To mention five religions and then mention five holidays ignores the Free-Market nature of America, even among religions. American is not evenly divided among these five religions. . . . The culture of America is not accurately reflected by pretending that all five religions have equal adherents.”

Barton assumes anyone who reads his criticism won’t know that he’s talking about curriculum standards for a course on world geography and cultures, not the United States. The list of religions and holidays isn’t supposed to “accurately reflect” American culture. It’s supposed to reflect the variety of cultures from around the world. He also hopes they won’t learn that the curriculum writers included Easter as the Christian holiday or that teachers are free to include any other holidays as they discuss the world’s major religions.

Barton is determined to stir people up with some notion that they and their faith are somehow under attack. But under attack by whom? The Christians who make up the curriculum writing teams? He thinks most people are too stupid or lazy to ask that question. He’s hoping they will simply gather their torches and pitchforks and march on the Texas Education Agency. Well, that and send him and the advocacy group he leads a generous donation for “protecting” Christianity.

All of which brings us again to this question: why in the world is Barton, a professional political activist who has no real academic qualifications in the social sciences, playing such a leading role in revising our state’s public school curriculum?

15 Responses to “David Barton Thinks You’re Stupid”

  1. Charles Says:

    I didn’t even have to read the TFN post. Believe me, the feeling is mutual.

  2. yossarian Says:

    “All of which brings us again to this question: why in the world is Barton, a professional political activist who has no real academic qualifications in the social sciences, playing such a leading role in revising our state’s public school curriculum?”

    Because he tells the ideologues what they want to hear. There is no other criteria necessary. No objective means by which to meaningfully object.

    Don’t let them stop you, Hug a Hindu today.

  3. Charles Says:

    I have a Hindu friend who lives out in Las Vegas. He’s from India. For years now, I have been telling him:

    “What the rooster wants doesn’t really matter. All that matters is what the hen do.”

    He’s a very huggable Hindu.

  4. Josh Says:

    As a 9th grade World Geography teacher (a course much like the 6th grade version mentioned), this bothers me in the “big picture.”

    But don’t worry – I’ll be sure to include *more* than five major world religions. And yes, we will talk about Jesus’ birthday, too.

    On another note, I used to compare Barton to Kent Hovind – the Creationist tax felon who is sitting in jail. I wish Barton had the same issues during times like these.

  5. Cytocop Says:

    Well, I think David Barton is stupid.

    This is the kind of crap Max Blumenthal described in his book.

  6. PHarvey Says:

    Barton is a liar by misrepresentation of facts. This is the worst type of lying because it is premeditated. Which commandment deals with bearing false witness? Not that he would care.

  7. Charles Says:

    I have just been using my electronic Bible to review the various scriptural statements about falsehoods, lies, and liars. After reading those things, it occurs to me that David Barton in an asbestos mine at some time in his life. I was particularly drawn to the following scripture:

    [8] But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Revelation 21: 8)

    Now, I have to say that this is an interesting item. Notice the extra emphasis that is put on liars—- “…all liars… Yep, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, and idolaters are just your average, run of the mill sinner. God might be merciful and let some of them go—maybe even let a lot of them go. But n-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!!! ALL liars have to go to the Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire is bad enough to be sure, but does anyone here really want to deal with the risk of spending ALL ETERNITY at a lake cookout with Mr. Barton?

  8. trog69 Says:

    Charles, this is one thing that I envy of you Christians; While we non-believers can only hope for a tax evasion charge, or Mr. Barton’s hand, or other appendage, caught in the gay prostitute’s uh, cookie jar, Christians have the eternal hellfires to provide an inescapable sense of justice.

    Of course, I have no idea if you do believe in a fire and brimstone Hell, but hey, I’m just yankin’ your chain anyway. ;~)

  9. cayenne Says:

    David Barton’s world is very very small.

  10. trog69 Says:

    Josh, thanks for reassuring us that there are plenty teachers out there that will do the right thing in their classrooms; teach.

    Cayenne, I agree. That hasn’t stopped him from trying to force us all to live in there.

  11. Charles Says:

    With regard to Barton, the thing that bothers me is how willing large numbers of people are to accept every word that comes out of his mouth faithfully and unquestioningly, as if it had dripped from the mouth of God himself. I think the complicationg matter here is the authority of the church for people of faith. They come in the front door of the church with the expectation that everything they are going to hear inside has been checked out and validated as truth because they pay the church hierarchy, minister, and staff to do that—or so they think. They want a place where they can come to, turn off the “alert buttons” on their brains, absorb goodness like a sponge, and walk away feeling refreshed and uplifted. Given the hustle and bustle of this world, I can understand why one would need a place that feels that safe. However, the question is not how safe it feels. The key question is: “Just how safe is it—really?”

    Speaking as a person of faith, I think people need to know that they cannot turn off their brains when they enter a church. One minister is not always as good as another one. Some ministers are better educated than others. Some ministers are crooked in one way or another. Some ministers do not fully evaluate the implications of what they present to congregations. Some ministers have their eye on advancement upwards in the church hierarchy, and to do that, they have to go along with things from superiors they do not really believe (kiss butt) to get along and advance. Charlatans and liars can show up at a church and deliver false and misleading messages to a congregation.

    This is the point where the members of the congregation say, “Well Charles, if we can’t trust even the people down at our own church, whoever on Earth can we trust?” You can trust two things: 1) Trust Jesus more than your pastor and the people he invites to talk to you at your church; 2) Jesus gave you that brain in your noggin for a reason, and he means for you to use it. Write down (i.e., take notes) on what your minister and people like David Barton say when they come to your church. Then go out and do some independent research to see if it is correct. Call a legitimate historian at a state university like the University of Texas rather than a small church-affiliated college. As the old saying goes, “TRUST BUT VERIFY!!!”

  12. Texas Hill Country Tom Says:

    The man is woefully misinterpreting what is written in the founding documents and their original source is not known nor untedstood by him. He clearly does not understand the drift of history as a written record of the published elite. He will also find that only the landed gentry had any say in government or the drafting of these founding documents.

  13. trog69 Says:

    You’re right about his misinterpreting, THC Tom ( hehehe!) but his flagrant quote mining and flat-out lying, shows that does not have an agenda that requires careful observance to facts. The fact that he has admitted to errors, and then continue to make those same assertions shows that he does indeed understand the actual history, but chooses to revise it anyway.

    His work has shown that he is on a mission to revise the memory of the past for his audiences, who are more than happy to hear history the way he describes it, because it makes our country so exceptional to God, right after Israel.

  14. Art Harris Says:

    A few days ago, the El Paso Times fell for the “War Against Christmas” bit hook, line, and sinker with an editorial deploring said war and praising he who propagated the propaganda..

  15. trog69 Says:

    Art Harris, thanks for the head’s up. As I noted in the comments, how embarrassing for the less dogmatic employees/reporters of that paper, that they are employed by a dishonest company, because the Op/Ed gave no indication that the proposed changes were for a “World” Cultures curriculum, and thus insinuating that there was some anti-Christian agenda involved.

    That is just despicable.

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