Back in 2012, Religious Right pseudo-historian David Barton published his book “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson,” through which he sought to portray Jefferson as someone who would make today’s Religious Right seem moderate by comparison.
Barton’s thesis and his scholarship were so roundly criticized that ultimately his book was pulled from publication by the publisher. Despite the fact that he produced one of the least credible works of historical scholarship in recent memory, Barton continues to defend his book and even featured the authors of a new book on Jefferson on his radio program yesterday, claiming that their book supports and validates the claims that he made in his own book.
And Barton was very intent on letting his audience know that these authors both held a Ph.D, making sure to mention it three times in less than a minute:
That’s why, we we came out with the book “The Jefferson Lies” that tore down all this stuff, man, the left went viciously through the roof and said “oh, that’s not true.” Well, now it turns out that other scholars, a couple of Ph.Ds have come out with a new book called “Doubting Thomas” that indeed reaches the same conclusions that we did on the faith of Jefferson … And so now Ph.Ds are out with this kind of stuff and we thought this is good because people need the apologetics on Thomas Jefferson because if you can take Jefferson away from left then it becomes very naked what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to impose their own personal agenda. It no longer has anything to do history or credibility. And so this will be a fun interview to look at Jefferson through the eyes of two PH.Ds who have done research work on Jefferson that has not been done in this generations for sure and I don’t think this kind of work has been done in Jefferson in the last one hundred years, quite frankly.
Not surprisingly, the authors of “Doubting Thomas: The Religious Life and Legacy of Thomas Jefferson” whom were featured on Barton’s program are both Religious Right activists.
Jerry Newcombe is a long time Religious Right activist and radio host with the conservative group Truth in Action Ministries who received a Doctorate of Ministry from Knox Theological Seminary in 2008.
Their theological degrees are utterly irrelevant, but Barton’s insistence on repeatedly noting that the authors both held “Ph.Ds” seemed pretty clearly designed to create the false impression that they were historians by trade.