It is perhaps the most damning indictment of Texas evangelist and pseudo-historian David Barton so far. Christian book publisher Thomas Nelson has ceased publication and distribution of Barton’s book, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson, over concerns that the book contains “historical details” that were “not adequately supported.”
Alabamians and other Americans have recently become familiar with Barton due to a scandal at Alabama Public Television regarding ousted APT Executive Director Allan Pizzato and his deputy, former Chief Financial Officer Pauline Howland. Evidence suggests that commissioners at the Alabama Educational Television Commission, which oversees APT, terminated Pizzato and Howland because Pizzato refused to air a documentary series by Barton’s organization, Wall Builders. That organization aims “to exert a direct and positive influence in government, education, and the family by …. educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country”. According to one report, APT executives had “grave concerns” that the Barton documentaries were not appropriate for public television.
According to World, a Christian magazine, Barton’s publisher has “lost confidence in the book’s details.” But they’re not the only ones who have a negative view of Barton’s work. In a July poll by History News Now, readers decided that Barton’s Jefferson Lies was the “least credible book in print” (a moniker that is now inaccurate because the book is no longer in print). World recently asked conservative Christian scholars what they thought of Barton’s work, and the response was far from positive. Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter, history professors from a “largely conservative Christian school” in Pennsylvania called Grove City College, recently published a full-length book of criticism of Barton’s writings and methods. And a group of evangelical pastors in Cincinnati has taken to boycotting publisher Thomas Nelson for publishing Barton’s book.
Judge orders that discovery in APT suit by ousted executive director go forward (also, testimony that firings were related to Christian programming and other juicy tidbits from APT hearings).