This is the first in a series of videos by Chris Rodda, author of Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History. But let me give you the background first:
David Barton is an evangelical Christian minister who calls himself "an expert in historical and constitutional issues." His knowledge of history, such as it is, is entirely self-taught, but he's the darling of Christian revisionist loons like Glenn Beck and Mike Huckabee.
On Wednesday, he was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, still pushing the lies he's been steadily pushing for years. According to this guest post by Rodda, that was pretty much the last straw:
After nine years of battling Barton's lies, the first three or four of which were spent writing my book, Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History, I'm at a point of utter frustration as I watch this Christian nationalist liar get more and more influential. Jon Stewart's interview was the tipping point. If Jon couldn't nail this shameless and obvious history revisionist to the wall, I don't know who can.
A lie can be told in a few words. Debunking that lie can take pages. That is why my book, (which is only the first volume of what will be a three volume series), is five hundred pages long. Nobody is going to be able to adequately prove to any audience that Barton's lies are lies in an interview like Jon Stewart did last night, and David Barton is never going to agree to debate anyone that he knows can defeat him.
Lies can be simple, but the truth is often complicated. You frequently need some background information to understand the truth. Lies are easy, and when people really want to believe lies, they're notoriously hard to combat. The truth is hard, and often unwelcome, besides. If you don't want to believe it, are you likely to work very hard at it?
Well, Chris Rodda decided to release her book, Liars for Jesus, online for free download. Note that it's a 500 page book, and both the paper copy and a Kindle edition are still being sold. But Rodda has taken to heart Ben Franklin's admonition to "Do well by doing good."
I haven't read Liars for Jesus, or only parts of it, and I'm not likely to get it read anytime soon. But Rodda has also made a series of videos, like the first one which I've embedded above, which are available on her website.
They're not especially simple. The truth is more complex than the lies these Christian revisionists promote. But each video covers a single lie, or at most two, so they're easy enough to understand, if you pay attention.
So, I guess I recommend watching the videos, while keeping the link to her book for reference. Oh, certainly read it if you have the time. It's just hard to find the time for everything. No one knows that more than I do.
Also, note that she's got a footnote archive at her Liars for Jesus website so you can "view and verify the sources cited in the book's footnotes." And Rodda also writes for the Talk to Action website, such as this article about Thomas Jefferson's famous "wall of separation" letter, and how that's been distorted by Christian revisionists, including from the Department of Defense.
Scary stuff, huh?