A few weeks ago, an atheist group put up a billboard in California featuring a quote it attributed to Thomas Jefferson saying “I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. It is founded on fables and mythology.”
It turned out that there was no evidence that Jefferson had ever said such a thing and when the head of the group was informed that the quote was unverified, he admitted that he was wrong and “should have done the research before I put my billboard up.”
Now, David Barton, of all people, is using the incident to promote his own book on Jefferson to be released next year:
The need for this book was recently made evident by an atheist group’s California billboard allegedly quoting Jefferson condemning Christianity … The only problem with this quote is that it doesn’t exist. It has never been found in any Jefferson writing; yet it remains one of the many lies about Jefferson told by the Secular and Academic Left over the past century.
Strikingly, Jefferson’s position on religion is actually the opposite of what is often claimed today. To see the authoritative documentation of this fact, look for The Jefferson Lies (to be released in the Spring), and discover from Jefferson’s own writings not only the truth about this particular lie but also many other Jefferson myths and lies that we were steadily fed throughout the twentieth century.
This is the same David Barton who falsely claimed that Jefferson said the “wall of separation” was “one directional” and designed to keep “the government from running the church but it makes sure that Christian principles will always stay in government.”
This is the same David Barton who claimed that the report that Jefferson had fathered children with his slave Sally Hemmings was part of a conspiracy designed to protect Bill Clinton.
This is the same David Barton who has posted on his website a list of “Unconfirmed Quotations” he has used in the past but admits cannot be verified.
And whereas the man behind the erroneous billboard took responsibility for his mistake, Barton falsely insists that he’s never had to retract anything and that critics have never been able to find anything wrong with his work.
You really do have to admire the amount of utter shamelessness Barton must possess in order to try to use an incident like this to promote his own book called, ironically enough, “The Jefferson Lies.”
Frankly, we couldn’t have come up with a better name for Barton’s book if he had asked us to do so ourselves.