Don’t believe David Barton, Glenn Beck or me: Read the Jefferson Bible for yourself

Sunday and earlier today, I posted about David Barton’s recent appearance on the Glenn Beck Show where Barton made claims about The Jefferson Bible.

Barton said that Jefferson included miracles such as feeding the multitudes and raising the dead in his 1804 extraction from the Gospels (he didn’t). The best reconstruction of the 1804 extraction can be found in a 1983 book published by the Princeton University Press and edited by Dickinson Adams, titled Jefferson’s Extracts from the Gospels.

The Smithsonian Institute has provided an online way to view the 1820 extraction (Jefferson called it The Life and Morals of Jesus) which is quite user friendly. Click this link to see it.

Don’t take anyone’s word for it. Go look at it yourself.

 

David Barton spins the Jefferson Lies on Glenn Beck, Part 2

Sunday, I posted video of David Barton telling Glenn Beck that Jefferson’s 1804 extraction of verses from the Gospels contained miracles. Here again is the video and then the relevant transcription follows:

Continue reading “David Barton spins the Jefferson Lies on Glenn Beck, Part 2”

What Barack Obama and Thomas Jefferson have in common

Both of them were/are considered infidels and anti-Christian during their tenure in public life by the religious right of their era.

I started this post when some Christian right leaders went ballistic over Barack Obama’s reference to his religious views at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month. Then, Rick Santorum called Obama’s theology “phony.” And then today I see that my friend at Messiah College John Fea is at the heart of a storm over his statement that Barack Obama is “the most explicitly Christian president in American history.”

Glenn Beck is all over the Messiah history prof because of course one cannot view Barack Obama’s statements in the same way one views the religious statements of other Presidents.

For sure, though, there is a parallel between Obama and Jefferson.

During the campaign of 1800, Rev. Thomas Robbins wrote in his diary:

The Anti-Federalist ticket has prevailed in the city of New York, and they have chosen Democratic members for their assembly. It is said this will make a majority of Democratic electors in their legislature, and bring Jefferson into the Presidential chair. Blessed be God that all things are in His hands, and may He avert such an evil from this country, for His name’s sake. I do not believe that the Most High will permit a howling atheist to sit at the head of this nation.

As we know, the Most High did permit Jefferson to sit at the head of the nation.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Jefferson was very cautious about his correspondence surrounding his Presidential years because he feared the reaction of religious leaders – “genus irritabile vatum” (irritable tribe of priests ) he called them. Many in religious establishment in his day believed that Jefferson was antagonistic toward religion and opposed him politically. Sound familiar?

I am not sure I agree with John, although I am not convinced I disagree with his statement regarding Obama. I am sure though that Jefferson and Obama have at least one thing in common.

Fight the good fight, John.

Radio Station in Texas cancels David Barton's Wallbuilders Live During Show

An affiliate radio station of the Moody Network in East Texas, KBJS-FM canceled David Barton’s Wallbuilders Live radio program during the show yesterday while Barton was discussing Glenn Beck’s religious beliefs. Randy Featherston, KBJS manager, said the show was dropped due to Barton’s failure to distinguish between Mormon theology and Christianity.
“When David Barton said it doesn’t matter whether you are a Mormon or a Baptist or a Methodist, we felt we had to do something,” Featherston explained.
On the Tuesday program, Barton played audio of Glenn Beck saying that “the Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Redeemer.” Then Barton said he believed that Beck was a Christian based on his statement of belief and “his fruits,” meaning his good deeds. Based on Beck’s statements, Barton then asked co-host Rick Green, “Glenn says he’s Mormon. Ok, that’s fine. Based on what you heard, if you heard a Baptist say that or if you heard a Methodist say that…what would you say?” After Green answered that Beck’s testimony indicated a real conversion, Barton responded, “Why is it not a real conversion because of the label he wears?”
Throughout the program, Barton dismissed Beck’s Mormonism, saying at one point, “I don’t care what label Beck wears. I don’t care what Glenn thinks Mormon means.” Barton also asserted that Beck uses the same Bible, but added, “Now he may use the Book of Mormon, we never talked about the Book of Mormon.”  
Featherston added that the station received many calls during the broadcast with callers who objected to Barton’s views. All but two callers supported the decision of the station to drop the show.
Some callers also complained that Barton misuses history and “takes facts out of context” to create a false impression about the Constitution and founding of the nation, according to Featherston.
Featherston said the station did not take the action lightly, saying “I like a lot of what Barton has to say, but we don’t want to confuse listeners into thinking that Mormon doctrine and Christianity are the same.”

Scott Krus wrote to say that KBJS-FM is an affiliate of the Moody Network but not one of the 36 stations owned by Moody. Mr. Krus added that Wallbuilders Live is not carried by the Moody Network.

David Barton again defends Glenn Beck as a Christian

David Barton is feeling the criticism from Worldview Weekend founder Brannon Howse. Today, Barton responded to some of those criticisms as he framed them.
Howse is particularly concerned that David Barton’s partnership with Glenn Beck leads Christians to believe that Beck is a Christian or that Mormonism is just a form of Christianity.
Barton’s approach was to call Beck a Christian because Beck says that Jesus is his savior and redeemer  and point to Beck’s deeds to validate his faith. You can read essentially what Barton claimed on the air here on his Facebook page.
This post is mostly news with little analysis but I will say that Mormon and Christian theology about Christ is different and Mormons speak very similar words as do Christians when it comes to Christ. It appears that Barton is not aware of this or does not want to explore this in any depth. He seems to have no problem with Mormonism’s use of the Book of Mormon as Scripture and assumes that because Mormons also use the Bible, they are speaking the same confession.
A bit more of an aside: Given the way Barton treats history, I am not surprised that he treats theology in a similar manner.
Barton doesn’t “care what the label is” he is trying to influence policy which makes it fine. In the SevenMountain teaching of taking dominion over the mountains of culture, personal redemption is less important than societal salvation. Even if Beck is a Mormon, it is appropriate for Christians to recommend him and promote him because he is helping the Christians take over the cultural mountains.
Near the end of the program, Barton addresses the charges of dominionism. He dismisses dominionism, the New Apostolic Reformation, and reconstructionism as terms he doesn’t know.
Barton and Green revealed that Howse’s criticisms are having an impact in that Barton’s supporters are calling and writing about them.
Generally, I don’t like to make a big deal out of religious differences when it comes to how you treat people and how we all need to get along despite our differences. Here, however, Barton is again calling on people to obscure obvious distinctions as if they are not real. He does it in history and he is also doing it over these theological differences.

Glenn Beck wants America to turn back to God

Just a brief note. The hot ticket was in DC today where two rallies took place – Glenn Beck’s and Al Sharpton’s. As this article notes, two of the family of Martin Luther King spoke, one at each rally, on the anniversary of King’s “I have a dream” speech.

Reportedly, Beck said:

 “America today begins to turn back to God.”

This resonates with Christians but I have to wonder, which God? Beck’s, who is Latter Day Saint, or Alveda King’s who is conserative Christian? Or Sarah Palin’s who was once blessed by Thomas Muthee, pentecostal advocate of the 7 Mountains Mandate?

This is a relevant question, and one which is raised by the events in DC. In 1963, Martin Luther King gave his speech. In 1963, Martin Luther King, had he worshiped Glenn Beck’s god, could not have been ordained to the LDS priesthood. It was not until 1978 that African-Americans were eligible for that status in the LDS church, important here and more so in the afterlife.

People will leave there fired up but for what? And to do what?