Liars for Jesus available online

| 46 Comments

After watching an episode of the Jon Stewart show, a frustrated Chris Rodda has decided to make her book Liars for Jesus available free as a pdf file. Ms. Rodda is senior research director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which I recently discussed here.

46 Comments

Listened to the extended John Stewart interview with David Barton. Wow is Barton one annoying person!

I downloaded the PDF of Chris’s book… next stop Kindle.

Thanks for posting the links Matt.

-DU-

Barton appears to be using exactly the same tactics that the ID/creationists started using back in the 1970s. And we now have a pretty extensive record of the misrepresentations of scientific concepts and evidence they have perpetrated in those 40+ years.

It appears that Barton intends to flood the overall historical record with old stuff that was hammered out centuries ago and make it appear that the writers of the Constitution, by not explicitly excluding sectarian interpretations of religion, really intended that these specific doctrines become the central thread of our society.

Jon Stewart had Barton weaseling on a lot of specifics; but the one that interested me was Barton’s constant sensitivity to the “hostility” toward Christians. It’s that lame old persecution complex that constantly gets hammered on from fundamentalist pulpits.

These sectarians never seem to understand that their constant meddling in the affairs of others is what gets them the cold treatment they earn from their activities. They still don’t get it that 40+ years of lying about science has earned them a really ugly reputation. These politically active sectarians deserve any skepticism that others throw at them.

The argument that “Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.” is another indication of their mindset. They think it is permitted for them to constantly mess around with other people’s lives and educations and inject their dogma hidden under the guise of “science.” Now they want to rewrite history and undo all the arguments that led to the Constitution as it was finally written.

If they aren’t entertaining the notion that this country should be a theocracy under their particular sectarian beliefs, why do they engage in highly organized political stealth, mischaracterize scientific concepts and evidence, and why do they engage in the constant dissembling?

Nobody wants the entire country to become another Salem. MA.

The argument that “Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.” is another indication of their mindset. They think it is permitted for them to constantly mess around with other people’s lives and educations and inject their dogma hidden under the guise of “science.” Now they want to rewrite history and undo all the arguments that led to the Constitution as it was finally written.

If they aren’t entertaining the notion that this country should be a theocracy under their particular sectarian beliefs, why do they engage in highly organized political stealth, mischaracterize scientific concepts and evidence, and why do they engage in the constant dissembling?

This has been on my mind a lot recently (mostly about same-sex marriage issues), and the only way I can really think they justify it is to vaguely allude to imaginary “Christian roots/basis/foundations” of our country and just leave that implying that their sectarian traditions should carry the force of law, or even be enshrined in law. They may not even recognize themselves how starkly at odds this is with the 1st Amendment’s religious freedoms protections, and definitely not how much they’d hate it if it was some other religion trying to do exactly what they are doing to work sectarian ideals into the law of the land.

The only way I can think to simply and easily explain the problem to anybody that’s capable of understanding it would be the following:
You’re arguing that our “Christian tradition” deserves the protection of law and should be the basis of our legislation. But in order to do that, you must first repeal the 1st Amendment. Feel free to try it, and then we’ll pick up the debate about (issue favorable to right-wing Christianity).

You’re arguing that our “Christian tradition” deserves the protection of law and should be the basis of our legislation. But in order to do that, you must first repeal the 1st Amendment. Feel free to try it, and then we’ll pick up the debate about (issue favorable to right-wing Christianity).

No, then we’ll pick up the rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.

“There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order.”

Stealing that, Patrick.

One of the patterns I see emerging as a result of Chris Rodda’s detailed Liars for Jesus book is that the Religious Wrong will continue to engage in the endless and detailed mud-wrestling that they do with science, especially with biological concepts and evidence.

It’s that old “stay-in-the-game” shtick in order to gain themselves credibility, but in this case, by riding on the backs of legitimate historians just as they do with legitimate scientists.

Like it or not, legitimate historians are going to be dragged into this war. But I hope we in the sciences can give them some advice on the tactics these fundamentalists use so that historians don’t lend their coattails to these hucksters.

There will be quote-mining, misrepresentations of concepts and historical events, Gish galloping, taunting, and setups for court battles to rule on “Historical Creationism” and “Intelligent History.”

If ever there was a true embodiment of a “Church of the Great Deceiver,” the Religious “Right” would be it.

Unfortunately, this is the view of a major front-runner for president in 2012…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mwGYr0OWzw

It’s available as a Kindle version, which I have purchased. I think that if something is worthwhile, then it’s worth paying for.

I think it illustrates the curse of the Internet. Anyone can find anything on the Internet to support their daffy opinions, whether AGW denialism, creationism, anti-immunization … History revisionism is just another in a long list.

Why does anyone listen to David Barton? Where does he get his authority? Is it just that he’s adept at multi-purpose Gish galloping?

James F said: Why does anyone listen to David Barton?

I would suggest it’s because he’s telling certain folks the story they want to hear, and the coherence of the story is not an issue.

Whew. I’m about a quarter of the way through the pdf, and the intro said this was only the first of three books. What strikes me is that some really minor and obscure footnotes of American history have been mined so extensively. And of course, that the techniques are exactly what we’ve all seen - quotes taken out of context, direct historical refutations simply ignored, copious statements contrary to historical fact (many of these made by Rehnquist, interestingly enough). No effort to make the lies self-consistent, since the purpose isn’t to present a coherent history, but to fabricate the false impression that the US government systematically supported, endorsed, funded, and otherwise encouraged Protestant (NOT Catholic!) faith.

A bit of the flavor of the book:

According to D. James Kennedy, in his book What if America were a Christian Nation Again?: Jefferson “wanted to bring the entire faculty of Calvin’s theological seminary over from Geneva, Switzerland, and establish them at the University of Virginia.”

There are two things wrong with Kennedy’s claim. The first is the time frame. Jefferson did consider a proposal to move the Geneva Academy to the United States, but this was in 1794 and 1795, thirty years before the University of Virginia opened.

The second is that,although the Geneva Academy was originally founded by John Calvinin 1559 as theological seminary, by the late 1700s it had been transformedinto an academy of science. The plan considered by Jeffersonwas not to import a religious school. It was to import a group of Europe’s top science professors.

Sound kind of familiar?

Wheels said: They may not even recognize themselves how starkly at odds this is with the 1st Amendment’s religious freedoms protections, and definitely not how much they’d hate it if it was some other religion trying to do exactly what they are doing to work sectarian ideals into the law of the land.

There’s also Article 6: “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

Strange Constitution to have been written by theocratic-minded men.

The Curmudgeon said:

Wheels said: They may not even recognize themselves how starkly at odds this is with the 1st Amendment’s religious freedoms protections, and definitely not how much they’d hate it if it was some other religion trying to do exactly what they are doing to work sectarian ideals into the law of the land.

There’s also Article 6: “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

Strange Constitution to have been written by theocratic-minded men.

Particularly since it’s a direct reference to the Test Acts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_act.

Those who are ignoring this link might want to click it. It leads to a short but interesting and highly relevant video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mwGYr0OWzw

I put in a request for our local public library to buy it.

Unfortunately, they are having a budget crisis like just about any local jurisdictions in the USA.

So I’m not hopeful. They didn’t have Chris Rodda’s book but they didn’t have Barton’s either.

The war on christmas, easter, anti-christian policies, all nonsense. Perhaps equally scary is the recent voting by conservative legislatures/governors to enact religiously motivated legislation, including anti-abortion, anti-healthcare, anti-public schools and expanding voucher programs for private & parochial schools, etc. Wisconsin is apparently stepping up the pace to enact such legislation before any possible recall of the republicans that would thwart their goals.

The war on christmas, easter, anti-christian policies, all nonsense.

I just looked at the National Council of Churches “progress” report for 2010.

Over 1 million people dropped off the church roles last year. US xianity is declining slowly.

There was an even sharper drop in the money they collect.

Way things are going, it is a race between whether US xianity shakes itself apart before they manage to destroy us.

Theocracies got their bad reputation centuries ago for good reasons. They don’t work. They end up hells on earth. The current leading ones are Iran, Afghanistan, and Somalia. The last notable European one was the era known as…The Dark Ages.

raven said:

The war on christmas, easter, anti-christian policies, all nonsense.

I just looked at the National Council of Churches “progress” report for 2010.

Over 1 million people dropped off the church roles last year. US xianity is declining slowly.

There was an even sharper drop in the money they collect.

Way things are going, it is a race between whether US xianity shakes itself apart before they manage to destroy us.

Theocracies got their bad reputation centuries ago for good reasons. They don’t work. They end up hells on earth. The current leading ones are Iran, Afghanistan, and Somalia. The last notable European one was the era known as…The Dark Ages.

I strongly suspect that much of the reason is due to the Ken Hams, the Kent Hovinds, the David Bartons, the Westboro Baptists, and the politically aggressive Evangelicals pushing revisionist history and science.

I the 40+ years I have watched the shenanigans of ID/creationists and the evangelicals, I have seen more and more people simply getting fed up with religion. And the scandals within the Catholic Church seem to have contributed to a mass (no pun intended) exodus of Catholics.

It’s unfortunate that the US has to relearn European church history. And we may be seeing the beginnings of the secularization of the Islamic world as well.

The ugliness of fundamentalist meddling just can’t seem to restrain itself. The result is a realization on the part of many even more moderate religious folks that maybe there is a disadvantage to living life according to magical fairy tales about deities whose existence is only attested to by other humans.

And those particular humans seem to be comprised primarily of meddlesome and quarrelsome individuals who don’t mind taking matters to the point of bloodshed and rigid oppression.

I strongly suspect that much of the reason is due to the Ken Hams, the Kent Hovinds, the David Bartons, the Westboro Baptists, and the politically aggressive Evangelicals pushing revisionist history and science.

Worked for me. I was a xian for nearly 5 decades and the MD assassins and creationists drove me out.

NCC:

Total church membership reported in the 2011 Yearbook is 145,838,339 members, down 1.05 percent over 2010.

According to the NCC, 1 1/2 million people dropped off the roles. These statistics are pretty soft. Some denominations inflate their numbers in various dubious ways. The RCC counts anyone baptized. Which would include my Catholic relative who in now a mid level church official,…in a Protestant church.

The moderates have been hit the hardest.

There is more info but since this is PT, I’ll just leave it and anyone can find the summaries on google.

At my prior church, a friend put up an article that claimed that Benjamin Franklin was a Christian. I explained to him that his article was incorrect. Being a good and decent guy, he removed it. So I think that for quite a few, it might just be a matter of educating them. (For the lunatic fringe types, there is, of course, no hope.)

Karen S. said:

At my prior church, a friend put up an article that claimed that Benjamin Franklin was a Christian. I explained to him that his article was incorrect. Being a good and decent guy, he removed it. So I think that for quite a few, it might just be a matter of educating them. (For the lunatic fringe types, there is, of course, no hope.)

When I was a Baptist, it was told to me that being a member of a church did not save you, but you had to be “born again”. Franklin may have been a church member in his youth, but when he was older he was definitely a Deist, not a conventional Christian. So he probably wasn’t “saved” in Baptist eyes.

Mike Elzinga said: I the 40+ years I have watched the shenanigans of ID/creationists and the evangelicals…

raven said: I was a xian for nearly 5 decades and the MD assassins and creationists drove me out.

Thank you both for making this midlife Crisee feel young. I hope I too can carry the battle for 40+ years.

Okay. Which one of you boys wanna tell me again that PandasThumb is about science and not religion?

FL :)

Pandas promotes science. Liars for Jesus fight against science. So Panda’s occasionally discusses Liars for Jesus.

Really, its not complicated.

FL said:

Okay. Which one of you boys wanna tell me again that PandasThumb is about science and not religion?

FL :)

PandasThumb centers on discussing issues about attempts to undermine and eliminate the teaching of evolutionary biology in United States schools. Overwhelmingly, attacks on evolutionary biology in the United States are generated by Christian religious fundamentalists. The tactics employed by many Christian Fundamentalists are employed by many of the same people, and people with allied interests, to attack other topics in science that are seen as dangerous to their ideologies, such as climate science, geophysics, astronomy, and now, American History.

As an exemplar to the ignorance, duplicity, hypocrisy, and self-deception of these people, any interested parties should peruse any of the postings of “FL.”

The whole point of David Barton’s exercise is to argue that it’s OK for the government to endorse Christianity (e.g., school prayer, teaching creationism and the Bible in public schools and skipping over anything that disagrees with them) because that’s what the Founding Fathers really wanted.

Thanks… I’ve downloaded it. What I’d like to see is a way to compensate Chris. Perhaps I missed something?

What I’d like to see is a way to compensate Chris.

Sorry, I should have made that clear - you do not have to accept the free version; you can go to your local, independent bookstore and order a copy.

FL said:

Okay. Which one of you boys wanna tell me again that PandasThumb is about science and not religion?

FL :)

Now don’t tell me you haven’t lied about science for Jesus yourself. I can point to innumerable examples on this forum alone. Heavens knows what lying stories you’ve told outside this circle.

FL said:

Okay. Which one of you boys wanna tell me again that PandasThumb is about science and not religion?

FL :)

Uhmmm, solid research VS half-baked notions, I’ll take The Scientific Method for $100.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

I don’t think anybody has said that this blog is about science and not religion, unlike cdesign proponentsists.

I just purchased Rodda’s bppl last month on Amazon along with a much shorter book - “Fighting Words - A Toolkit for Combating the Religious Right” by Robin Morgan. It is small enough to carry so you can have it available to hit some idiot right between the eyes with facts.

BTW, I’m a long time lurker with no science background, unless you count the “Biology for Non-majors without Lab” that I took 37 years ago. I make a point to check this site and NCSE site everyday. And, of course, support NCSE financially.

FL said:

Okay. Which one of you boys wanna tell me again that PandasThumb is about science and not religion?

FL :)

It’s none of your business what a blog you don’t administer is “about” and you’re free to put up a blog of your own anytime, but of course it’s about scientific reality. Religion comes up only when someone denies physical reality in the name of religion.

Incidentally, do you agree that it would be a good idea to force Americans, at gunpoint, to watch broadcasts of Barton? I strongly oppose forcing law abiding Americans to do anything at gunpoint. Where do you stand on that issue?

And, FL, what are you doing on May 21? Are all those “End-Timers” actually Christian nutcases, or are they onto something, and you’re planning to go with them?

I continue to chew through the pdf file, which is quite lengthy.

And the pattern is depressingly familiar. The Liars for Jesus have combed through every document in American history, just like they’ve combed through everything written by evolutionary biologists, finding anything they can possibly take out of context, recombine without saying so, embellish with outright fabrications, and so on.

And, much like the anti-evolutionists, most of these lies are not direct flat falsehoods. Instead, they are sometimes subtle misrepresentations, manufactured not by altering the quotes so much as by creating a completely nonexistent contextual history within which the quotes would be logical and make since - IF such a history had ever come to pass. Although the creative use of ellipses is a workhorse technique.

The target audience is, of course, one as ignorant of the details of that history, as the target audience of the anti-evolutionists are ignorant of the relevant science. What’s depressing is the repeated willingness of Supreme Court justices to accept it. Not that they’d be expected to know such minor historical details or to have spent the time learning them all, but rather that they did their research at the historical equivalent of AnswersInGenesis. They searched for what they WISHED were true, at places known to satisfy those wishes. This is most especially true of Justice Thomas.

The various Liars For Jesus who lie and demand that students be taught Christian-inspired propaganda and Christian-inspired pseudoscience are the same Liars For Jesus who insist on rewriting American History into fundamentalist Christian-friendly propaganda.

In fact, one of the last things a certain, conniving dentist in Texas did was to approve of an American History curriculum that had all mention and references to Thomas Jefferson deliberately excised because the former president and founding father was deemed too UnAmerican liberal to be worth mentioning to children.

One interesting theme of this book is that during and immediately after Jefferson’s lifetime, this dentist’s views were fairly widespread. Jefferson worked to keep religion from permeating his political administration and his university, and was viewed as anti-Christian. Much of what he wrote very clearly kept religion at arm’s length or further, sometimes rejecting it outright.

But the new religious right historians have now repositioned Jefferson as a champion of religion, working to get Protestant faiths inserted into everything he touched! The idea is, Jefferson was so broadly influential in writing the constitution and getting the new nation started, that it’s not plausible to claim the US is a “Christian country founded by Christians on Christian principles” UNLESS Jefferson becomes a religious fanatic posthumously. So POOF, Jefferson was born again!

Maybe McLeroy just didn’t get the memo yet.

I notice this book promises a lot of interesting things in Volume 2, which doesn’t exist. And volume 3 is promised as well. And yet this volume was published 5 years ago. Chris Rodda’s web site doesn’t even mention any more volumes. This is kind of a shame.

Flint said:

… And the pattern is depressingly familiar. …

Spend some time working for abortion rights, or gay rights, or real-world contraceptive education - any public issue with any sexual connection or other religious-right participation at all. The déjà vu will be dizzying.

Stanton said: The various Liars For Jesus who lie and demand that students be taught Christian-inspired propaganda and Christian-inspired pseudoscience are the same Liars For Jesus who insist on rewriting American History into fundamentalist Christian-friendly propaganda.…

Let us not forget that these Liars accept the main claims of Darwinism (natural selection/species mutability).

Ray Martinez, Protestant Evangelical, Old Earth-Young Biosphere Creatorist, Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist.

Ray Martinez said:

Stanton said: The various Liars For Jesus who lie and demand that students be taught Christian-inspired propaganda and Christian-inspired pseudoscience are the same Liars For Jesus who insist on rewriting American History into fundamentalist Christian-friendly propaganda.…

Let us not forget that these Liars accept the main claims of Darwinism (natural selection/species mutability).

Ray Martinez, insane idiot.

Shut up! They are not just claims of Darwinism. They are simply what we find in reality. Darwin merely discovered and reported that.

Ray Martinez said:

Ray Martinez, Protestant Evangelical, Old Earth-Young Biosphere Creatorist, Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist.

And those are degrees from what diploma mill?

That looks exactly like the profile of someone with a prior ideological commitment that forces him to assert what can and cannot be; and further, sends him out on a crusade of sneering at those who observe what actually is and who try to understand the how and why.

Please do not feed the Martinez troll.

Do we ever hear from a historian not emotionally invested in the teachings of Jesus examine the nation and preach the USA must start with the bible for all domestic and foreign policy?

If this isn’t biased (insert all world cultures) would be nodding their heads along with Mr. Barton

Thanks for the freebie.

I couldn’t find any reference in the index to the 1892 Trinity decision. Did I overlook it?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on May 8, 2011 12:13 PM.

Laboratory synthesis of an independently reproducing vertebrate species was the previous entry in this blog.

Pyrite is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.37

Site Meter