In the nation he helped create, the legacy of Thomas Jefferson is under attack as never before.
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At the university he founded, the University of Virginia, there is a campaign to prevent school officials from even quoting Thomas Jefferson.
Statues honoring Southern heroes are being torn down in the former Confederate states, and both proponents and opponents of the campaign predict the effort won't stop with the purge of men who fought for Southern independence. Jefferson, Washington and other American icons are next.
There is pressure to ban schools from being named after the Founding Fathers and even remove their names from schools. There is already open discussion by journalists about tearing down the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. Even at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's iconic home, tour guides smear the author of the Declaration of Independence with a relentless defamation campaign.
As Americans honor the birth of their nation on Independence Day, the men who established the country are at risk of being deconstructed and vilified by a radical- left campaign to reinterpret all of American history.
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More than anyone else, it is Jefferson, the most mysterious Founding Father and the man who laid out the country’s founding principles, who seems to be the biggest target.
Yet the attack on Jefferson is borne out of historical ignorance.
A New York Times bestseller -- carefully fact-checked by one of the largest publishers in the world, backed by hard-copy documentation verifying each quote, footnote and fact -- laid out the true story of Jefferson and would have rebutted the lies of the historical arsonists.
It was a revolutionary work of American history that posed a mortal threat to the anti-Christian narrative promoted in lockstep by academia, the mainstream media and secular militants determined to conceal the truth about the American founding.
And despite its enormous sales, it was pulled and pulped by its own publisher, as the corporation caved to an unprecedented smear campaign by politically motivated activists determined to manipulate the facts for their own agenda.
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The book is "The Jefferson Lies."
The author is David Barton. And now, for Independence Day, Americans eager to defend Jefferson's memory should look to the revised new edition of the New York Times bestseller they don't want you to read. And just as Jefferson's own memory is being attacked, so must the truth be told behind the cynical attempt to destroy the most feared history book in the world.
Discover the truth behind the most mysterious Founding Father. Read the book which a fanatic media offensive pulled from publication – now available once again only from WND. "The Jefferson Lies" by David Barton. Don't miss it!
The story of a smear
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Barton contracted with internationally known publisher Thomas Nelson to write "The Jefferson Lies" in 2011. After publication in April 2012, the book almost instantly became a bestseller, appearing on the New York Times bestseller list by May 13.
Thomas Nelson had fact-checked the text before publication, as is customary. Following editors' final reviews, Barton sent Thomas Nelson a large carton filled with hard-copy documentation verifying the claims he made in the book that, according to Barton, "even those the editors had not asked about."
Indeed, a review process at Thomas Nelson investigated complaints about the book even before "The Jefferson Lies" went to press. Evidently, the concerns were dismissed, as publication still moved forward.
But on Aug. 9, Thomas Nelson claimed it had "lost confidence in the book's details" and withdrew it from publication.
Thomas Nelson's vice president and publisher called such a step "extremely rare" and unprecedented in his own experience.
Interestingly, only a few weeks before the book was dropped, HarperCollins completed a long-delayed takeover of Thomas Nelson. The president of the newly created Christian publishing division, created by combining Thomas Nelson and the previously acquired Zondervan, stated everything about the business was suddenly "under review."
It was in that context reports began circulating of supposed "conservatives" attacking "The Jefferson Lies."
But Thomas Nelson did not contact Barton about verifying any single fact in the book, thus denying the author any opportunity to respond with the thorough and extensive historical documentation already assembled. Barton actually learned the book had been pulled after a reporter called him about it, and his publisher never confronted him about supposed faults in the book.
However, there was an obvious question: If Thomas Nelson thought "The Jefferson Lies" was worth publishing only weeks before, what had changed?
While self-defined progressive critics had been hostile to Barton and his work from the beginning, "The Jefferson Lies" aroused opposition from some ostensible Christian conservatives. As a progressive writer in The Atlantic sneered, "The truly good news about Barton's recent setback is that it has come from his own side."
And as the Christian magazine World admitted on Aug. 16, 2016: "Left-wing historians for years have criticized Barton. We haven't spotlighted those criticisms because we know the biases behind them. It's different when Christian conservatives point out inaccuracies."
Thus, Thomas Nelson thought it was facing a rebellion from inside conservative ranks. But was this true?
Who are the critics?
The first attack came from Jay Richards of the Discovery Institute, who made headlines by charging 10 conservative Christian professors reviewed Barton's work and assessed it negatively. But only four actually provided written responses to Barton's work. Of those, only one specializes in religion and the American founding, and his critique did not even address the book. Instead, it referenced a video called "America's Godly Heritage."
Discover the truth behind the most mysterious Founding Father. Read the book a fanatic media offensive pulled from publication – now available once again only from WND. "The Jefferson Lies" by David Barton. Don't miss it!
Another Christian group widely promoted as leading opposition to the book was a group of ministers near Cincinnati, Ohio.
However, the group known as Cincinnati Area Pastors' (CAP) opposition was not driven by concern Barton was overstating the case for Jefferson's Christianity or was somehow discrediting conservatives, but by their contention Jefferson, in president Ray McMillian's words, "hated African Americans." The group's president is credited with organizing the group to "address the racist heritage of our country and founding fathers."
It's precisely one of the "lies" Barton debunks in his book.
CAP's Facebook group, largely inactive since 2013, was concerned with organizing another tone-policing campaign, this one against a group called the Institute on the Constitution, urging the National Religious Broadcasters to drop their partnership with the group. The only person seemingly supporting this campaign on the Facebook page was Warren Throckmorton.
Throckmorton is Barton's most consistent critic. He is not a historian, but a professor of psychology at Grove City College. Along with his colleague Michael Coulter, a professor of humanities and political science at the same school, Throckmorton penned "Getting Jefferson Right," an attempted takedown of "The Jefferson Lies," which appeared about a month before Thomas Nelson pulled the book.
Though a professor at a conservative school, a past contributor to National Review and a self-defined "traditional evangelical," Throckmorton's conduct over the past few years reveals a relentlessly negative approach toward Christian conservatives.
Throckmorton has endorsed the far-left and domestic terror-linked Southern Poverty Law Center's call for the American Family Association to be considered a hate group characterized with the likes of Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. He has described conservative pro-family groups such as the American Family Association, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and Liberty Counsel as an "evangelical culture war complex" only interested in the commandment, "thou shalt demonize the gays."
He has even condemned former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his participation in "The Response" prayer gathering.
This hostility to evangelicals is surprising as Throckmorton was once seen as a key authority in the effort to help homosexuals refrain from same-sex sexual activity through counseling. He produced a documentary, "I Do Exist," that showed change is possible for homosexuals. He was also critical when the American Psychiatric Convention canceled a dialogue on the role of religion in homosexuality at its convention.
Discover the truth behind the most mysterious Founding Father. Read the book which a fanatic media offensive pulled from publication – now available once again only from WND. "The Jefferson Lies" by David Barton. Don’t miss it!
However, Throckmorton seems to have reversed his position on homosexuality. He now says he "regrets" the video was used "as a part in the culture war surrounding homosexuality."
Furthermore, he says, "I now believe durable change in basic attractions is very infrequent."
According to the Sexual Identity Therapy he created, "The emergence of a gay identity for persons struggling with religious conflicts is a possibility envisioned by the recommendations."
Throckmorton has also stated that accepting one's homosexuality can be "healthy." Finally Throckmorton has attacked the "Day of Truth," the Christian response to the "Day of Silence" created by homosexual activists.
He has even gone so far as to republish a post from the ACLU referring students to the Gay-Lesbian-Straight Education Network, a homosexual activist group he had previously accused of offering "spin" on the issue of whether schoolchildren should be indoctrinated to support same-sex marriage.
Throckmorton is now a contributor at Salon and the Huffington Post, a site he characterized as "far Left" as recently as 2008. He's also a regular source for Americans United for Church and State and "Right Wing Watch."
Throckmorton has protested attempts to call attention to this record, mocking the idea "as if what team he thinks I am on matters."
However, as it was the opposition of supposed conservatives that observers largely credited for the demise of the first "The Jefferson Lies," Throckmorton's "team" is highly relevant, especially when his sole professional focus at this point seems to be attacking Christian conservatives.
More importantly, it appears such “conservative” criticism was the key factor in getting Thomas Nelson to pull the book. But the testimony of unqualified critics, far-left ministers crusading against the Founding Fathers and a former conservative looking to make a name for himself in the liberal press are of questionable credibility.
In its own way, "The Jefferson Lies" made history as the first book of its kind to be victimized by the scourge of "political correctness."
The new edition of "The Jefferson Lies" contains a preface dismantling the claims of Throckmorton and other critics.
"Throckmorton is just wrong – on many, many fronts," Barton told WND.
Recalling the takedown attempt, Barton is eager for the chance Thomas Nelson denied him to meet his critics' charges directly. And he's grateful the American public won't be deprived of the opportunity to read the book that sparked one of the biggest scandals in publishing history.
He told WND: "Many in academia today openly proclaim their disdain for traditional American ideals and heroes, including Thomas Jefferson, routinely twisting his words to suit their own agendas. This is what happened four years ago. But through the new release of "The Jefferson Lies,", Americans will not only meet the unfiltered Jefferson as he speaks clearly for himself on a variety of issues, but they will also understand why he was so proudly esteemed by Americans for literally centuries, until trashed by modern professors and critics. I am thrilled that his wisdom and insight will once again be available to today's citizens, for it is needed now more than ever."
Discover the truth behind the most mysterious Founding Father. Read the book a fanatic media offensive pulled from publication – now available once again only from WND. "The Jefferson Lies" by David Barton. Don’t miss it!