The Jefferson Lies – Book Review
Thomas Nelson Publishing recently recalled The Jefferson Lies written by David Barton of WallBuilders. Our third President and writer of the Declaration of Independence, along with Presidents Clinton, LBJ and Kennedy has been singled out as unfaithful to his marriage vows. Since I’m suspicious of censorship, I immediately purchased a copy for personal examination.
To be clear my personal Bible was published by Thomas Nelson and GIVEN to me by them after a recent version fell apart. I’ve also read portions of what is called the “Jefferson Bible.” Additionally, I’ve attended a seminar featuring Mr. Barton; own some of his books; and heard him speak on radio and TV. Mr. Barton takes his information from his huge library of Founding Fathers early U.S. documents, second only to the Library of Congress. (Frankly I’ve never encountered more detail-oriented information on this topic.)
A. The 7 Famous Jefferson Lies Often Repeated
Below is a review of Mr. Barton’s revelations based upon over 700 documented references concerning President Thomas Jefferson.
1- Jefferson NEVER fathered children with a black slave woman – 107 references. The misconception was spread as proof positive by incomplete DNA test results published in Nature magazine. However, it was reversed 3 months later, but never publicized. It provided cover for President William Jefferson Clinton during his Impeachment trial concerning an affair with Monica Lewinsky in the White House’s Oval Office. (Jefferson’s relative was actually responsible.)
2- Jefferson founded the University of Virginia as a trans-denominational school allowing ALL Christian denominations to teach their ministers. He even funded them – 122 references. (Previous universities were founded and controlled by single denominations; William and Mary – Anglican; Yale – Congregationalists; Princeton – Presbyterians; etc.)
3- Jefferson never wrote a Bible. He gathered all the teaching and philosophy of Jesus into a single volume to show Jesus’ superiority above all other well-known philosophers – 66 references. Titled The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth, it was a) written to evangelize Indians; b) words were taken only from the 4 gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).
4- Jefferson inherited his slaves and was forced to keep them BY VIRGINIA LAW. He wasn’t a racist – 100 references. He actually paid slaves when they worked overtime or on special projects. The King’s law and later Virginia law prohibited the release of slaves without paying substantial financial penalties and splitting up families. He constantly argued and lobbied for the end of slavery!
5- Jefferson NEVER advocated separation of church and state – 121 references. His statement is taken out of context. He didn’t want one person to be head of both the country and the church. England’s King Henry VIII made up his own rules, so he could marry/divorce whomever he wished. (Jefferson said the head of the church is Jesus Christ.) Religion should not be removed from the public square, but rather only that the government could not limit or regulate it.
6- Jefferson embraced the Clergy and even supported them financially – 64 references. Jefferson opposed Northeast “Federalist” (political party) ministers who wanted to set their faith as the only Christian denomination. Sadly, these ministers participated in incredibly dirty politics of the time including character assassination. They wanted their own denomination to become the U.S.’s only sponsored faith!
7- Jefferson was a solid Bible–believing Christian and spent his life promoting and establishing churches, and getting Bibles published – 92 references. The Unitarian Church before Ralph Waldo Emerson had 4 tenants: a) strong emphasis on teaching morals; b) strong position against slavery; c) emphasized interdenominational cooperation; d) embraced all those who called themselves Christian.
B. Current Political Philosophies
Barton exposes philosophies of those who are tearing down our Nation’s Founding Fathers in The Jefferson Lies. In this well-written, easy-to-understand volume, Mr. Barton exposes the following philosophies:
1- Deconstructionism – is a steady flow of finding, then belittling and negative portrayals (constant critiques) of Western heroes, belief, values and institutions.
2- Poststructuralism – is discarding of absolutes and historical truths.
3- American Exceptionalism – Whereas God gave Israel its land and nation, The United States actually chose God, and then prospered because of adhering to HIS principles. (This is a philosophy discarded by atheists and non-Bible believing immigrants.)
4- Modernism – examines historical events and persons as if they occurred today. It severs history from its context and setting, misrepresenting historical beliefs and events.
5- Minimalism – unreasonable insistence on oversimplification on reducing everything to monolithic causes and linear effects. (Similar to relying on out-of-context sound bites used by politicians.)
6- Academic Collectivism – Writers and “supposed Collegiate scholars” quote each other and those in their peer groups instead of consulting original sources. (This precisely exhibits lazy academia!)
C. Thomas Nelson Publishers has been sold.
I also investigated Thomas Nelson publishing and found it had been recently purchased by HarperCollins, owned by Rupert Murdoch. I also learned the critics pressuring the publisher had a stake in the debate. They are liberal pastors and a little known professor from a little known university who wrote a book using far less credible documents. Just imagine his embarrassment. (Better meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool caught in his folly.)
D. Conclusion and Recommendation
If you can obtain and read a copy of The Jefferson Lies before they are all destroyed, I heartily recommend it! It includes President Thomas Jefferson’s views, motives and actions, against a background of incredibly dirty politics second only to what we currently experience.
For More Thoughts on Government see below:
Keep our Nation Strong click here
Government Excess Quotes click here
1913 – a Book Review click here