David Barton to Keynote Fundraiser for Scott Lively

Scott Lively’s Redemption Gate Mission Society is hosting a Thanksgiving fundraiser [PDF] featuring none other than fellow pseudo-historian David Barton! Perhaps Barton is helping Lively’s ministry after he came to Barton’s defense when his latest book The Jefferson Lies was pulled off the shelves by its Christian publisher over its many factual inaccuracies, thanks in no small part due to the heavy criticism it received from evangelical scholars such as Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter, whose book Getting Jefferson Right thoroughly exposed Barton’s errors and distortions.

Lively rushed to defend Barton from Throckmorton since the Grove City College professor also criticized Lively’s book The Pink Swastika, which argues that homosexuals were behind Nazism and the Holocaust in order to seek revenge on the Jewish people, and his work in Uganda, where he advocated for homosexuals to either be imprisoned or ordered to go through conversion therapy. Lively’s work also helped inspire Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death, although Lively later distanced himself from that specific provision.

As Throckmorton notes, Barton and Lively have both arrived at the conclusion that criticism of Barton’s work, even from other evangelicals, is driven by the “homosexualist” movement and therefore they don’t need to make any serious effort responding to it.

On November 9, David Barton is slated to appear at Scott Lively’s Redemption Gate Ministry. Perhaps this boost to Lively’s credibility comes as a pay back for Lively’s conspiracy theory about why The Jefferson Lies was attacked by so many Christian historians prior to being pulled off the shelves by publisher Thomas Nelson. In August, Lively linked my blog posts debunking The Pink Swastika in 2009 to my recent book with Michael Coulter (Getting Jefferson Right) debunking Barton’s book The Jefferson Lies. Since everything has to do with homosexuality for Lively, he opined that our book fact-checking Barton’s book was written because David Barton is anti-gay. Barton ran with that idea by tweeting the article to his followers, and having Lively on his Wallbuilders show.

The whole conspiracy idea (and it is a false one – we wrote the book about The Jefferson Lies because it had just come out and because Barton made/makes many false claims) was used by Barton to deflect the substantial criticisms we made in Getting Jefferson Right. Neither Lively nor Barton have responded directly to the evidence we presented about their various claims. Instead, their tactic has been to launch ad hominem attacks against me and others. The primary strategy of both Lively and Barton has been to invent a narrative where I am a liberal who has somehow persuaded scores of conservative people to write critically about these two men. Barton’s right hand man, Rick Green, compared me and others conservative Christian scholars to Adolf Hitler and Saul Alinsky because we pointed out blatant errors of fact in David Barton’s work.

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