Thursday, August 16, 2012

Praying the Lies Away? Barton Still Wrong

Previously I mentioned that pseudo-historian David Barton had his book pulled by a Christian publishing company because they lost confidence in its contents. Not least because he makes things up. And of course he is trying to strike back at his detractors. He appeared on Bryan Fischer‘s American Family Radio.

Sorry if you watched that.

But here is the interesting bit to me. Barton attacks the authors of a book that debunks his work, and those authors are themselves conservative Christians. Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President by Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter goes through the sorts of myths people like Barton have propagated (also nicely debunked by Chris Rodda's Liars for Jesus), and Throckmorton gets the biggest barrage by Barton and Fischer. It's odd they attack Coulter less since he is a political science professor, while Throckmorton is a psychologist. Why?

Because Throckmorton used to think that you could change a person's sexual orientation. Yeah, the idea of "pray the gay away." Now, one thinks that such an idea can be refuted simply by asking yourself when you choose to be attracted to the opposite sex (I think it was a Tuesday for me), but Throckmorton did his research over years and finally concluded that it doesn't work. And that is a sin that discredits historical analysis?

To quote Fischer:
[Throckmorton] believed in reparative therapy, for instance, for homosexuals… and it seems like when he changed his mind about that, when he switched sides on the issue of homosexuality, then it was inevitable that in the course of time, he was going to be an enemy of the Truth, basically, in all of its forms.
Oh, the non sequiturs!
Has the Religious Right becomes so anti-empirical that any deviation from their artificial dogma it discounts everything they say?

This is why I make my creed of "where does the evidence point", because anything else just hurts my brain.

Now, this isn't the only counter-attack Barton and his allies have performed. There are also some things going on between Chris Rodda and lackey Rick Green. Green said he would post any substantive response to Barton's work that showed a factual error. And as is predictable to the dogmatic, an attack on an idol is automatically wrong. And Barton is the same; PhD-holding folks that agree with him are right, and PhD-holding folks that don't are liberal, commie, socialist, god-hating, baby-eating monsters that are destroying True America.©

Nonetheless, that a significant number of conservatives are loosing faith in Barton that he can't keep his books on the shelf means things are going against him. Will he be replaced? Stay vigilant.


Ralph Rollins said...

Anytime I post on a Beck-Barton page or site and use the names Roger Williams and John Leland, my post are deleted and I am banned. They will leave ad hominem and criticism of their facts, but urgently remove post about early Baptist and their mission of faith known as Individual Liberty of Conscience. I believe they fear this type of discussion and it need to be brought to them. The early secularist need to be heard.

Aaron Adair said...

You are right that folks such as those that run Beck/Barton pages do poorly with contradicting opinions, and all the more-so when they are well-informed. That's what I have seen with the reaction to Chris Rodda.

However, at this blog, I allow all non-spam/non-abuse comments. Even the crazy ones (and there are a few around here). Which makes more intellectually honest than the people you have dealt with (which isn't much of a bar to jump).