Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hacking History

Bobbo,

You replayed your interview with that hack David Barton, and I just can't let it pass without commenting.

You see, Barton is not a historian. He's a former science teacher at a fundamentalist high school with no formal training in history. Further, actual historians (people with advanced degrees in history) think very little of Barton's work. One historian described Barton thusly: "He's not a trained historian. He can be very convincing to an uninitiated audience. He's intelligent. He's well-spoken. But a lot of what he presents is a distortion of the truth..."

So Barton is a hack, but he's right up you alley, because you're a typical loud-mouthed, ignorant doofus.

Anyway, I want to take up a couple of your "logical" points.

First, you railed against the attempt to strike down California's Proposition 8 on the basis that it is unconstitutional. You figure that if a provision is in a constitution, then the people have spoken and the provision is constitutional. Wow, what sloppy reasoning! Beyond begging the question, your "argument" would allow for the tyranny of the majority!

If a proposition is Constitutional merely because the proposition is in the Constitution, then a majority of citizens can alter the Constitution in extremely problematic ways. This would allow the majority to run roughshod over the rights of the minority! Think about it this way: If the electorate of Michigan ratified a provision to the Constitution that stated all pregnant women under the age of seventeen must have an abortion, would you agree that the provision is Constitutional merely because it was in the Constitution?

Next, you proposed to test the intent of the Founding Fathers by looking at the actions they took at the time of the ratification of the Constitution. You paraded out your regular list of horribles, all in an effort to support the claim that the Founders somehow supported Christianity. But what about the other actions of the Founders that demonstrate that they were antireligious?
  • Why did many of the early State Constitutions have provisions banning Clergy from holding public office? (BTW, the Tennessee Constitution of 1870 contained an exclusion of clergy provision, but this provision was made into a dead letter by a United states Supreme Court decision. This means Constitutional provisions can be unconstitutional!)

Bobbo, you like to pretend that you are somehow protecting and educating you listeners. But really, you're just spreading ignorance, fear, and disinformation. Why don't you repent so you can have even a modicum of respectability?

Irl

4 comments:

Lumberjack said...

Surely, Irl, some will quibble with your posting a link to People for the AmericanWay as if it somehow reduces your credibility. It does not and should not.

To be sure, Barton was named by Time Magazine’s 25 most influential evangelicals in 2005 yet even folks from his side of the house find his work sadly lacking.

One wrote:
“Barton is clearly more interested in current cultural squabbles than he is in history. Put simply, Barton is a bad historian. In fact he has no training as a historian -- his BA., from Oral Roberts University, is in math education. He retrieves only those aspects of history that, often taken out of context, match his emphasis on America’s Christian identity. And by levying ad hominem attacks on his detractors, he remains outside genuine historical discussion.”

And where did I find this?

On Page 22 of “Christian Century,” October 31, 2006, that's where.

It was written by Kurt W. Peterson, PhD., teacher of history at North Park University in Chicago.

djtyg said...

Nice list.

Jeff said...

Once upon a time, Bob promoted a David Barton book about how the Democrats are just like the Klan. Good stuff.

I do have to correct Irl in his post, however. It wasn't John Adams who ratified the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli. Rather, the treaty was ratified unanimously by the Senate. So that's even better.

Lumberjack said...

And Jeff, if memory serves, that was the FIRST time the Senate voted unamonously on anything.