David Barton is charitably called a pseudo-historian by those not taken in by his shtick, and a straight up liar by longtime observers like Chris Rodda. Rodda was so incensed by Barton’s “Gish Gallop” on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, she decided to give her book Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right’s Alternate Version of American History – Vol. 1 for free electronically.
Which brings us to David Barton’s appearance on ‘Celebration’, a Christian program on the Daystar Television Network wherein he provides this little nugget:
… the founding fathers … already had the entire debate on creation/evolution … and you’ve got Thomas Paine, the least religious of the founding fathers, saying you got to teach creation science in the public school classroom, the scientific method demands it!
Keep in mind that Charles Darwin didn’t publish On the Origin of the Species until 1859, so there was no ‘debate’ during the Constitutional conventions decades prior since the theory hadn’t even been established yet. But, that’s par for the course for the kind of bizarre mish-mash of assertions an individual like Barton can spout in 30 second sound bites. He spews so many varying half-truths, distortions and outright falsehoods in such quick succession that it takes too long to refute all of them in the short time slots afforded someone in a television format. As Mark Twain put it, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
My favorite claim (other than the Revolutionary War being fought to end slavery) is his extrapolation that the Founding Fathers, like Ben Franklin, would be against net neutrality today.
But we talk about it today because it is a principle of free market. That’s a Biblical principle, that’s a historical principle, we have all these quotes from Ben Franklin, and Jefferson and Washington and others on free market and how important that is to maintain. That is part of the reason we have prosperity. This is what the Pilgrims brought in, the Puritans brought in, this is free market mentality. Net Neutrality sounds really good, but it is socialism on the Internet.
That would almost be like claiming to know what Julius Caesar’s opinions on cable TV lineups might have been.