I posted a transcript of a speech by David Barton and broadcast last week by Focus on the Family. I did not know it at the time but the speech is not a new one. Perhaps he is still delivering the same one he did 4 years ago. I found video of that speech on Google and here it is:
This is a little over an hour long. The transcript referred to by Focus fits right along with this speech.
Barton confuses me at times. He said in a radio message that Jefferson said he was a Christian and looked like a “Bible thumping evangelical.” Here in this speech, he admits that Jefferson was not a Christian.
Now I will quickly acknowledge that neither Jefferson, nor Franklin, neither one of these two guys right here is a Christian. Now Jefferson’s gonna fight me on this, because in his own writings on several occasions he says, “I am a Christian; I am a true Christian; I am a true follower of Jesus.” I’ve got to disagree with him, because, you see, by any orthodox definition, he doesn’t fit.
Now he thought that Jesus was a great prophet sent by God, just like Moses or David or Samuel. And you better pay attention to the teachings of Jesus, just like any other prophet. But was Jesus divine? Oh no, He wasn’t divine. He wasn’t the Son of God or the Savior of the world. So, by an orthodox definition, despite what Jefferson calls himself, I’ve got to say that today we would not qualify his definition as Christian. So, let’s say that Jefferson and Franklin are not Christians. Beyond those two, you prove to me that anyone else up on that screen is not a Christian, much less that he’s an atheist or an agnostic or a deist and you [sic] got your work cut out for you.
Barton is quite defensive of the idea that John Adams was an evangelical. Given Adams’ rejection of the Trinity and his horror at the thought of Jesus dying for the sins of the world, I would not be able to call him an evangelical.