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home : opinion : letters September 15, 2014


1/8/2013 6:00:00 AM
Kingman Letter: Jefferson and religion

The belief that Thomas Jefferson was a deist who founded the University of Virginia as a secular institution devoid of Christianity, clergy and Christian professors is patently false. The first error is repeating today's academic writers who, rather than using original source material, quote each other's false statements. Jefferson's own words alone dispel this academic malpractice.

America's universities contained three similarities, all founded on one particular denomination, president and clergymen the same. Illustrative is Harvard, 1636, Congregationalist; William and Mary, 1692, Yale, 1791, Anglican; Princeton, 1773, Presbyterian; and College of Rhode Island (Brown), 1764, Baptist.

Jefferson and his board founded the University of Virginia as a trans-denominational school, causing modern critics to wrongly believe it was secular. Thirty years prior, the Anglican Church alone was legally acknowledged in Virginia, so Jefferson penned the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, putting all churches on equal footing. It was on this he founded the U of VA, saying, "In conformity with the principles of our Constitution which places all sects on equal footing...we have proposed no Professor of Divinity."

Presbyterian Clergyman Samuel Knox, who penned similar beliefs, was selected as first faculty member - all others being of various denominations with none deists or Unitarians. Fees were waived for students studying for Gospel ministry - a preferential treatment.

Jefferson personally directed "teaching the proofs of the being of God, Creator, Preserver and Supreme Ruler of the Universe ... author of all morality ... and the laws and obligations these infer," also directing teaching of Biblical Hebrew, Greek and Latin so students could study the "earliest and most respected authorities on the Christian Faith." The library was stocked with Christianity's greatest writings and the Rotunda was designated for religious services students were expected to attend.

Jefferson's words: "provision is made for giving instruction in ... the earliest and most respected authorities of the faith of every denomination ... developing those moral obligations in which all sects agree."

So common became the trans-denominational approach, de Tocqueville wrote, "The sects existing in the U.S. are innumerable ... within the great unity of Christianity."

Linda Athens

Kingman




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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“David is the author of numerous best-selling books”

Nope, he is not.

“Even The Jefferson Lies was on the New York Times Bestseller list.”

I stand corrected and apologize for posting misleading information. Barton’s error filled tome did rise to position 22 on the 6 May 2012 list of NY Times bestsellers.

However within three months the NY Times reported the following, “Last month the History News Network voted David Barton’s book ‘The Jefferson Lies’ the “least credible history book in print.” Now the book’s publisher, Thomas Nelson, has decided to stop publishing and distributing it.
“According to the Christian magazine World, Jay W. Richards, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and who has appeared at many conferences with Barton, asked 10 conservative Christian scholars to assess. Barton’s work and the results weren’t pretty. Glenn Moots of Northwood University in Midland, Mich., said that Mr. Barton had neglected evidence that Jefferson stood outside ‘orthodox, creedal, confessional Christianity.’ Gregg Frazer of the Master’s College, a Christian liberal arts school in Santa Clarita, Calif., raised an eyebrow at the claim that 52 of the 55 delegates at the Constitutional Convention were ‘orthodox, evangelical Christians.’”
“What is the problem with publishing your own books?”

As a rule in the publishing industry only hacks who cannot obtain a legitimate publisher will self-publish. And Barton is a hack.

What you seem to miss are the facts that Barton admitted, in his own words on his website that he lied in his various books and advised people to NOT use his information as being factual.


Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

BM: Let's hear ONE LIE from The Jefferson Lies. Can you come up with even ONE LIE David is accused about? I won't hold my breath.

Meanwhile, here are more of his creds. Hard to fit them all in with the word limitation. Do you have those credentials for your woman yet?

David Barton - recipient of several national and international awards, including:

Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor (1998)

Geo Washington Honor Medal (1995, 2006)

Who's Who in America 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009,

Who's Who in the World 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2008

Who's Who in American Education 1996, 1997, 2004, 2007

International Who’s Who of Professionals

Two Thousand Notable American Men Hall of Fame (1995

Who's Who among Outstanding Americans 1994

Who’s Who in the South and Southwest 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001

Outstanding Young Men in America 1990

There are many more awards. Hard to believe they have all erred and you alone using one woman with no credentials are right, isn't it?

David has a B. A. from Oral Roberts University

He has an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College.

And again - Time Magazine listed him as one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals in America.

But of course we know, your great expertise in research makes all of these many, many awards over a couple dozen years all null and void. Right?

You hang yourself on Barton being a liar. You forget, I have posted when he once found he had made errors, he openly pointed them out himself before anyone else even found them, made the necessary corrections - unlike your sources that endlessly lie about our Founding and NEVER admit their lies.


Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

"“Noone disputes Washington placed his hand on the Bible or kissed the Bible.”

I don’t know who “noone” is or what his (her) level of expertise is, but many historians have refuted the claim that Washington said “So help me God” at his inauguration."

Perhaps she is referring to Peter Noone, who used to be the singer for Herman's Hermits. Not sure what he would know about Washington's inauguration though.


Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“BM: Here is what even your beloved Wikipedia says about Barton.”

Wikipedia is not my “beloved” and where you came up with such a concept is beyond me. However, you have many, many times denigrated Wikipedia here and now suddenly you are using it as a source in defense of the charlatan David Barton? Very curious flip/flop on your part.

“Meanwhile, Barton has many best sellers and is a prolific writer.”

Prolific at spewing nonsensical trash, yes. Bestselling author, no.


Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Five places in the Declaration refer to oaths. Their manner of being done was neither unique nor original as all states and Congress long before the Constitution and long after already followed the same pattern. All declared oaths inherently religious as did also dozens of Founders/Framers.

JAMES MADISON - an oath - the strongest of religious ties.


JOHN ADAMS - Oaths in this country are ...universally considered sacred obligations.


JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - The Constitution .. provided all public functionaries of the Union/fed state govts ...be under oath or affirmation... The homage of religious faith was thus superadded to all the obligations of temporal law to give it strength.


NOAH WEBSTER - A solemn affirmation or declaration made with an appeal to God for the Truth of what is Affirmed. The appeal to God in an oath implies that the person imprecates (calls down) His vengeance and renounces His favor if the declaration is false. Or if the declaration is a promise, the person invokes the vengeange of God if he should fail to fulfill it.


In 1834 the most popularly used Judicial handbook declared of oaths: """required the hand to be laid on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God in token of his engagement to speak the truth as he hopes to be saved in the way and method of salvation pointed out in that blessed volume.


DANIEL WEBSTER - “What is an oath?” . . . It is founded on a degree of consciousness that there is a Power above us that will reward our virtues or punish our vices. . . . our system of oaths in all our courts, by which we hold liberty and property and all our rights, are founded on or rest on Christianity and a religious belief. '

All decidedly Christian.


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

I heard obama say "So help me God" today while taking the oath.

Imagine that - doing something just like our first POTUS. His daughters looked lovely but unlike obama, I hate Ms O's bangs.

She is already severe looking and they make her look square and more severe in the face. Just one old woman's opinion - I think an elegant upsweep would have been nice for the occasion. High fashion you know


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research

Can we ask the KDM admins to close this comment thread due to unreasonable absurdity?

BTW, Andrew Jackson came to me in a dream and told me we should be praying to Aman Ra and carrying the actual arms of our defeated foes under the second amendment.

Who's to say I'm not correct?


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@Linda

"Their big problem is, they simply won't do the legwork required themselves and they hate David for debunking the lies and crap they print, most of which sells little.

Please carefully read Barton's credentials and awards. He didn't get them for being wrong."

And yet you keep ignoring the fact that even Barton admitted on his website that he lied and made up quotes. LoLoL


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“Noone disputes Washington placed his hand on the Bible or kissed the Bible.”

I don’t know who “noone” is or what his (her) level of expertise is, but many historians have refuted the claim that Washington said “So help me God” at his inauguration.

“Why on earth critics are now saying he did not say ‘So help me God’ when all states legally required it is beyond me.”

And we care what the states legally required when the Constitution of the United States does not address the issue, to wit, Article Two Section One, “Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’”

It is amazing how you continue to fly in the face of empirical evidence that disputes your claim.


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“I will again post just SOME of David Barton's credentials.”

I find it amazing that you insist upon using Barton’s “credentials” that exist only on his own website and in his mind.

“Perhaps you would like to list the credentials of the woman you copy/paste?”

The copy and paste that I have done comes from Barton’s own website where he admits he lied in his books and as mentioned previously his self-published trash has never risen to the level of being “best selling books” as you insist.

“His exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues and he serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators,…”

Any hack can be a consultant to anyone, means nothing.

“.. has participated in several cases at the Supreme Court,..”

Incorrect information. Barton is not a lawyer and has never appeared before the Supreme Court.

“.. and has helped produce history textbooks now used in schools across the nation.”

I will now challenge you to name just one textbook. Thank you

”A national news organization has described him as ‘America's historian,’…”

As I said before any recommendation from FAUX News is valueless.

" and Time Magazine called him ‘a hero to millions - including some powerful politicians. In fact, Time Magazine named him as one of America's 25 most influential evangelicals.”

Which means – literally nothing.

The point that you keep missing is that BARTON HAS ADMITTED TO LYING IN HIS BOOKS - on his own website, in his own words. To defend him is like insisting that Lance Armstrong did not dope now that he has admitted he did.

w/c298


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

BM:

David is the author of numerous best-selling books

YOU SAID - Incorrect. None of his books have ever risen to the level of being a “best seller” and each of his books has been self-published through his own company

You are incorrect. Even The Jefferson Lies was on the New York Times Bestseller list. Check for yourself. You have just been caught in yet another lie.

What is the problem with publishing your own books? Absolutely none. People do it every day. That is what Wallbuilders does. Puts out stories of our true Founding. DUH!!!!!!!

And, interesting fact. All the people claiming The Jefferson Lies has lies in it. NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON, NOT ONE SINGLE ACCUSER HAS COME OUT WITH EVEN ONE SINGLE LIE IN THE BOOK. How do you square that BM? Could it be David stands by every single word in his book and they are too fearful to come out with their own lies? They can't stand it that he is a master at our Founding and THEY ARE NOT!! It tears apart their nasty little stories about Jefferson fathering a slave baby (FALSE), Jefferson writing a Jefferson Bible, leaving out major parts of the Bible (FALSE), etc.

He can prove it all. They know it. They are keeping mum with their accusations. COWARDS!!


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

BM: Here is what even your beloved Wikipedia says about Barton. I QUOTE:

>>>David Barton is the founder of WallBuilders, an organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage. David is author of numerous BEST-SELLING works and a NATIONAL AWARD WINNING HISTORIAN who brings a fresh perspective to history.<<<

Oh dear, what do YOU do with that?

Meanwhile, Barton has many best sellers and is a prolific writer.

The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers.

Benjamin Rush - Signer of the Declaration
America's Godly Heritage
The Second Amendment
The Jefferson Lies
Original Intent
Separation of Church and State-What the Founders Meant

American History in Black and White
New England Primer
Four Centuries of American Education
A Guide to School Prayer
Impeachment - Restraining an Overactive Judiciary
What Happened to Education?
The Myth of Separation




Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

BM:

I will again post just SOME of David Barton's credentials.
Perhaps you would like to list the credentials of the woman you copy/paste?

David is the author of numerous best-selling books, with the subjects being drawn largely from his massive library of tens of thousands of original writings from the Founding Era. He also addresses well over 400 groups each year.

His exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues and he serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several cases at the Supreme Court, was involved in the development of the History/Social Studies standards for states such as Texas and California, and has helped produce history textbooks now used in schools across the nation.

A national news organization has described him as "America's historian," and Time Magazine called him "a hero to millions - including some powerful politicians. In fact, Time Magazine named him as one of America's 25 most influential evangelicals.

David has received numerous national and international awards, including Who's Who in Education, DAR's Medal of Honor, and the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

I don't seem to see Fox News in there anywhere.


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

The legal status of taking oaths after the adoption of the Constitution stipulated that "So help me God" be part of the legal process whether taken by elected officials, appointed judges, jurors, witnesses in courts of law.

For instance, CT legal code required elected officials to "swear by the great and dreadful name of of the everlasting God...so help me God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ". New laws in 1718, 1726, 1731, 1742, etc all retained the same including the mandatory "So help me God."

GEORGIA required the same...taking the oath "in the presence of Almighty God...so help me God" and not only that they take the oath on the Bible but specifically "on the holy evangelists of Almighty God.

On and on states went. Geo Washington's inauguration was done in New York City and their law required that "the usual mode of administering oaths" be followed ie: "So help me God" but they added the person taking the oath place his hand upon the GOSPELS and then KISS THE GOSPELS at the conclusion of the oath. All of these legal provisions remained the legal standard for years.

Clearly, using the phrase "So help me God" as well as placing one's hand on and then kissing the Bible was established legal practice throughout the Founding Era.

Noone disputes Washington placed his hand on the Bible or kissed the Bible. Why on earth critics are now saying he did not say "So help me God" when all states legally required it is beyond me. It would be, in fact, the OMISSION of him saying it that would be an obvious aberration from established legal practice of the day and THAT would have made news. In fact, no such thing was ever reported.


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

For two centuries it was universally accepted that Geo Washington said "so help me God" during his oath taking.

Notables affirming this were Chief Historian of the U S Capitol Historical Society, Library of Congress, US Supreme Court and numerous Justices, Joint Congressional Committee of Inaugural Ceremonies, Architect of the Capitol among others.

Enter the God haters. One, using USA Today (certainly not an authoritative historical source) says there is no eyewitness documention, therefore it could not have happened. Other atheists/secularists joined in calling it a legend/myth.

An approach that something is false because it hasn't been proven true, using that as substitutionary proof is wrong methodology. That's like having a breast lump, never seeing a Dr, then declaring you are cancer free because no Dr declared you have cancer.

First, seven different religious activities were part of the First Inauguration so it was permeated w/Christianity.

SECOND, THE ENTIRETY OF AMERICAN LEGAL PRACTICE AT THAT TIME INCLUDING SPECIFIC STIPULATIONS OF STATUTORY LAW, REQUIRED THE PHRASE "SO HELP ME GOD" BE PART OF ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIATED OATHS.

Third, Washington himself and numerous other Founders affirmed many times that an oath of office was a religious act and oft rejected the notion an oath was secular.


The First Inauguration (1789) was loaded w/Constitutional experts. The inauguree was a signer of the Constitution, one fourth of Congress had been delegates w/GW at the Constitutional Convention.

This same Congress penned the First Amendment and it's religious clause. In fact, the numerous religions activities on that First Inauguration may be said to have had the approval and imprimatur of the greatest Congressional Collection of Constitutional experts America has even known.


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“There are no lies in Barton's new book.”

Yes, there are and you continually stating there not will never alter the facts that Barton is a charlatan and liar. So much so that he has to self-publish his books because no legitimate publisher will touch his garbage.

“If you will carefully read my posts, I have pointed out how the Barton haters, most of whom are extremely jealous of his long list of credentials … always attack any new book by Barton.”

Again, I will point out that Barton himself has admitted to lying in his books, making up false quotes and history to fit his right wing agenda. Why you continually blame others is beyond me when it is Barton himself who has admitted that he lied.

“I would add, most are atheists with an agenda to wipe out every vestige of Christianity in ALL of America.”

As usual you result to calling people who disagree with you atheists and as the one who has been the most voracious in correcting you, I will point out – again – that I am not an atheist and I belong to a religion that you have long stated great respect for.

The “Christianity” you refer to is one practiced by people who are not truly Christians but specialize in bearing false witness about not only our nations history, its founders but the current president of the United States.


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Hey, Former Midwestern - There are no lies in Barton's new book. If you will carefully read my posts, I have pointed out how the Barton haters, most of whom are extremely jealous of his long list of credentials and the fact he and his organization have been blessed by God with over 100,000 original source documents, always attack any new book by Barton. I would add, most are atheists with an agenda to wipe out every vestige of Christianity in ALL of America.

They, and I could give you the list of names of the elitist professors who complained, are the ones who did complain to Nelson. Nelson never even checked it out, nor did they ask Barton to show his original source material for his writings in that book. Had they asked, he would have done so.

Their big problem is, they simply won't do the legwork required themselves and they hate David for debunking the lies and crap they print, most of which sells little.

Please carefully read Barton's credentials and awards. He didn't get them for being wrong.


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew



Ms Athens

“David is the author of numerous best-selling books …”

Incorrect. None of his books have ever risen to the level of being a “best seller” and each of his books has been self-published through his own company, Wallbuilders, because no legitimate publisher will touch his error filled garbage. The only actual publisher to ever go near his trash was forced to dump the books after it was revealed Barton had lied throughout the text.

“A national news organization has described him as ‘America's historian,’”

Being named anything by FAUX News does not provide credibility to anyone.

“And yet you call him a liar and quote the pathetic source you use..”

Once again – I call him a liar because he has admitted to being one on his own website, going so far as to admit his “historical quotes” were made up and advising people to never use them. One example - Barton so loved a quote supposedly uttered by Benjamin Franklin that it was included in a biographical sketch WallBuilders (owned by Barton) sells, saying it "fully sums up what David believes and teaches." Barton now admits the quote is "false" and recommends people not use it.

The “pathetic source” is actually Barton’s own admissions on his own website. Defending low-life charlatans who have admitted to lying is … well, you know.

w/c226


Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

[Comment deleted for terms of use violation.]

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Dr. GS Hurd

Ms. Athens is happy to insult, and denigrate all those better educated than she is. She calls them "god haters," "satanists," and "traitors."

Sadly, they are all people who have a greater understanding of historical and scientific evidence than she does.


Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2013
Article comment by: Former Midwestern

Linda Athens -

If you go to the follow site:

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/high-tide-and-turn/2012/aug/23/david-barton-gets-lesson-honesty/

You can read a story from the Washington Times (Aug. 2012) about how the publisher of Mr. Barton's new book removed it because of all the lies and dishonest remarks within it.


Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“He is wrong. Washington did in fact say "So Help Me God" and in fact …

Your attempt at revising the history of our nation by believing the lying charlatan David Barton once again falls flat.

A quick search provides massive amounts of evidence in the contrary to Barton. There is no contemporary historical evidence showing that George Washington added anything to his presidential oath of office (BTW “So Help Me God,” is NOT in the oath.) This American legend made its debut in 1854, sixty-five years after the event, in the book, "The Republican Court or, American Society in the Days of Washington," by Rufus W. Griswold. Griswold may have picked up this bit of nonsense from the writings of Washington Irving. However, neither of them ever disclosed just how they came by their version of Washington's oath.

As far as can be determined, the first President who is known to have added those words to his presidential oath is Chester Alan Arthur. He appended "so help me God" to his oath when he was sworn into office on Sept. 22, 1881 after the death of President Garfield. Later on, several other Presidents during the first third of the 20th Century adopted this practice. The last President, who did not use those words, was Herbert Hoover. This, unfortunately, has been the unbroken practice since FDR's Inaugural Ceremony in 1933, and there is absolutely no early record that this practice started with George Washington.

“Just as Governor Huckabee said recently concerning David Barton's The Jefferson Lies, you simply CANNOT dispute Barton's sources.”

Yes you can and it has been done multiple times by many people leading to Barton’s publisher dumping his book because is so full of incorrect information and even Barton himself admitted he lied when he made numerous postings on his own website advising people to not use his quotes because they were made up.

Defending Barton is not really a good thing to do if one expects to be taken seriously.


Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Inauguration time:

Now we have the God haters coming out stating as fact that George Washington never said "So Help Me God". One was on O'Reilly last night. His goal was, of course, to remove all things Christian from everything in America but especially from anything to do with government.

He is wrong. Washington did in fact say "So Help Me God" and in fact, there were six or seven other Christian things done during his inauguration. It was a legality in those days that "So Help Me God" had to be said after many things including in this instance.

No matter how hard these nuts push, the paper trail is there and cannot be disputed. Just as Governor Huckabee said recently concerning David Barton's The Jefferson Lies, you simply CANNOT dispute Barton's sources. God made sure it is all there.


Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

BM:

Here are but some of Barton's creds.

David is the author of numerous best-selling books, with the subjects being drawn largely from his massive library of tens of thousands of original writings from the Founding Era. He also addresses well over 400 groups each year.

His exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues and he serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several cases at the Supreme Court, was involved in the development of the History/Social Studies standards for states such as Texas and California, and has helped produce history textbooks now used in schools across the nation.

A national news organization has described him as "America's historian," and Time Magazine called him "a hero to millions - including some powerful politicians. In fact, Time Magazine named him as one of America's 25 most influential evangelicals.

David has received numerous national and international awards, including Who's Who in Education, DAR's Medal of Honor, and the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. His work in media has merited several Angel Awards, Telly Awards, and the Dove Foundation Seal of Approval.

And yet you call him a liar and quote the pathetic source you use - a woman who has carefully kept her creds hidden, because she has none. She's one hell of a liar though. I'll give her that.


Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“When someone like David Barton comes along proving them wrong, they visciously attack.”

As stated numerous times here the charlatan Barton has not been “viciously attacked.” What has been shown here are the lies that he admitted to, on his own website, publishing in his various books.

“Barton's credentials - (1) recognized as an historical expert by both state and federal courts…”

Incorrect data with no basis in fact.

“2) Called to testify as an historical expert by both the federal and state legislatures”

Nope, never happened.

“(3) Selected as an historical expert by State Boards of Education across the nation to assist in writing history and social studies standards for those states:”

Also incorrect

“(4) Consulted as an historical expert by public school textbook publishers, helping write best-selling history texts used in public schools and universities across the nation.”

Also incorrect, never happened.

The above were pulled from Barton’s website where he attempted to puff up his credentials, which are moot since he is an admitted liar.

“Barton makes our history uncomplicated, making elitists irrelevant.”

Barton makes up lies to sway the intellectually challenged to his own Right Wing Loon conception of our nation’s founding – and he admitted to making up his stories.



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