David Barton and the Matter of Interpretation
As David Barton has been fighting to salvage his reputation over the last few weeks, one of the main claims that he and his supporters are making is that the disputes over the veracity of Barton’s work all boil down to simple matters of interpretation.
Rick Green, for instance, claims that the attacks on Barton are nothing more than "empty rhetoric using the tiniest of semantics over one fact out of thousands to try and discredit the entire premise of the book."
In Green’s view, people are just nitpicking Barton’s work because they disagree with his interpretation of facts … but, as we have repeatedly pointed out, people are questioning Barton’s interpretation of facts because he has a long record of intentionally misinterpreting them in order to promote his own agenda.
And today on "WallBuilders Live," Barton offered up another perfect example of this when he discussed the controversy that surrounds Jerry Boykin:
He’s actually a three-star general and he got in a lot of trouble from the secular guys because he talked about God in a church. Can you imagine him doing that? He spoke in a church and he talked about God. They beat him up and demanded that he be kicked out of the military and went to the President and said "you can’t let a guy speak about God when he is in church" and he’s taken abuse and a beating.
He was dis-invited from speaking up at West Point last year under the Obama administration because he is the head of a group that deals with domestic terrorism, that deals with the threat of Islamic terrorism but how it applies itself domestically and the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. So because he points out where there are threats, he as a guy who recognizes a threat when he sees it, who had Delta Force special forces, was kept from speaking at West Point by the Obama administration.
So that is Barton’s "interpretation" of what happened and, you will be shocked to learn, it does not correspond very closely to reality.
In fact, Boykin got in trouble not for talking about God in church but for appearing in full uniform before a religious group to declare that Muslims hated the United States "because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian … and the enemy is a guy named Satan" and that Boykin knew the US would win because "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."
After retiring from the military due largely to the controversy he generated with this address, Boykin then turned his attention full time to anti-Islam activism, calling on Christians to “pray over mosques and go on the offensive against Islam while declaring that Islam should not be protected under the First Amendment and that America should ban the construction of mosques. And it was this long and documented history of anti-Islam activism that led Boykin to withdraw from his speaking engagement at West Point.
This perfectly demonstrates why the matter of Barton’s reliability as an "interpreter" is central to the concerns about the reliability of his historical claims because, as we have said several times before, if he cannot be relied upon to accurately "interpret" information pertaining to recent events that anyone with access to Google can easily check and verify, how can anyone trust the arcane claims he makes about complex events in early American history?