Breaking: Evangelical Publisher Pulls Barton’s Book on Jefferson

More to come on this, but huge news today as Thomas Nelson Publishing “decided to cease publication and distribution of David Barton’s controversial book, The Jefferson Lies.” Here is TFN’s press release.


Barton’s The Jefferson Lies was the subject of a TFN Education Fund review published last month that found numerous inaccuracies and distortions

August 9, 2012

The Texas Freedom Network commends Thomas Nelson Publishing for its decision – as reported today in WORLD Magazine – to cease publication of David Barton’s latest, controversial book, The Jefferson Lies.

For years Barton has brushed aside criticisms of his distorted work by claiming he is the victim of attacks from anti-Christian secularists and liberal academics. That makes today’s decision by a leading evangelical publisher even more damning, said TFN President Kathy Miller.

“It’s clear that even the evangelical community is starting to see David Barton for what he is – a propagandist who distorts history for political and ideological purposes. The question is now, will politicians and pundits who have promoted his views have the integrity to follow suit and repudiate Barton?”

Barton has long been a fixture in far-right politics in Texas, serving as vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party from 1997 to 2006. Barton also served as an “expert” reviewer during the Texas State Board of Education’s controversial revision of social studies curriculum standards in 2010. More recently, he has been embraced by influential political figures like Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee and Glenn Beck.

In July, the TFN Education Fund joined the growing chorus of Barton critics by releasing a scholarly review of The Jefferson Lies written by Dr. Steven Green of the Center for Religion, Law & Democracy at Willamette University. The review by Dr. Green found that Barton’s book on Jefferson includes many of the same problems as his previous works, reinforcing widespread criticism that Barton distorts history in the service of an ideological argument. Some of the more glaring distortions found by Dr. Green are Barton’s claims that Jefferson was a religiously devout, near-evangelical Christian who never intended to keep church and state separate.

Dr. Green’s review of The Jefferson Lies is here. Additional resources on Barton are located here.

16 thoughts on “Breaking: Evangelical Publisher Pulls Barton’s Book on Jefferson

  1. “More recently, he has been embraced by influential political figures like Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee and Glenn Beck.”

    Influential political figures? More like influential but clueless whack-jobs.

  2. I’m almost speechless.
    Is it possible they are coming to their senses? Can it be they are starting to realize that this buffoon’s lies, distortions and historical revisionism makes them all look like the theocratic endorsing morons we know them to be?

    Sorry, there has to be more to this. A Leopard doesn’t suddenly change its spots, nor Xtian fundamentalist deniers of truth their agenda.

  3. It’s good to see that fraud Barton finally getting his comeuppance. This week he’s been featured in an NPR article about his Jefferson lying and in a piece by a John Locke expert. Barton writes about Locke on his web site and is taken to task for his faux history.

    This is long overdue. Now it’s time for the GOP to throw him under the bus.

  4. When I get back from vacation, I plan to send a personal message to Thomas Nelson to thank them for their wise and truthful decision.

    By the way, here at my vacation hotel, much to my surprise, a salesman from Beka Books rented one of the exhibit rooms and was selling textbooks and other educational materials for Christian homeschoolers. I thumbed through several of the science and history books. The high school biology text had Charles Darwin and evolution woven throughout it in the same way that fundies often claim regular high school biology textbooks do—except that it was for the purpose of tearing down Darwin and evolution, Nazi argument and all, at ever turn in the book.

    This is just my personal opinion. People in general can do what ever they will. Based on what I saw, the state educational systems in this country need to STOP, END, DESTROY, CEASE homeschooling. We are allowing large numbers of our kids to grow up as propagandized “Stepford” Kids.

    1. I am an atheist who was brought up as a religious homeschooler. In spite of the brainwashing (the brain is resilient, it can repair massive amounts of damage) I feel I turned out better for my parents’ general teaching method: Read, write, basic arithmetic, and *how to locate/parse information*. TheThat was about the time the internet was up and coming, and once I read through some explanations of logical fallacies, the rest rather fell into place.

      The homeschooling/unschooling movement is gaining even more momentum with the advent of resources like Kahn Academy (, and it is outgrowing its religion-influenced beginnings. is a recommended look-see on the issue of the standardized “education” industry

      1. It is also worth noting that there is no “our” kids. “We” are individuals, not a collective. All parents, as far as I can tell, propagandize their children. It’s from the same root as is “propagate”. The transmission of culture IS propaganda, and learning social skills from a wide diversity of your relations instead of hundreds of 6 year-olds leads to a more mature, well-balanced individual.

        Re: “allow”, “we” don’t “allow” parents to propagandize their children just like I don’t “allow” you to eat meat.

        OK I’m done I’ll leave it at that

    2. The state can’t “cease” homeschooling, only homeschoolers can cease homeschooling.

      -Homeschooled Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering

  5. By the way, that was the first time I had ever seen any actual, really for real, Christian school/homeschooler type textbooks. I dare say that many people have not. You would all do well to get some copies and thumb through them. Even the atheists here will say, “Oh my Go-o-o-o-o-d!!!” Betcha!!!

    Jesus “Yes.” Whacko religionists “No.”

  6. For a good while now Barton has had a discourse about John Locke on his Wallbuilders site. I ran across this critique of Barton’s wrting on Locke yesterday; my first clue that is spelled trouble for Barton was when the author said “I’m not a scholar of Thomas Jefferson, but I am a scholar of John Locke.” Oh no, not an expert. Damn educated liberal…oh wait, it’s yet another conservative crashing Barton’s Library of Lies.

  7. Chris Rodda ( deserves much of the credit for this development, although she is not getting it.

    Her book, Liars For Jesus, came out in 2006, and meticulously documents what Barton and his ilk have been doing. Her research is impeccable and has been “borrowed” over and over again.

  8. Chris Rodda gave it a good try, but she was not that good at getting the word out, which is one reason Barton has been so successful. I wonder why the news media has totally ignored Barton. This is the sort of thing that should have been on 60 Minutes years ago.

    Loke Rundt. What I said stands.

  9. Barton seems to believe if you do like the way history unfolds, change the facts. For someone who claims he is a Born Again Christian, is there not a lie he will tell to support his belief? Does God need such liars to propagate his will?

  10. Get ready to spew your morning coffee. Here is the best Daily Beast reader comment below the Goldberg article:

    BrotherVirgil 5pts 18 hours ago

    *SNIFFLE* I always cry at happy endings…