Evangelical author David Barton’s controversial Thomas Jefferson book, which was dropped by its publisher for inaccuracies last week, may have found a new home with Glenn Beck.Barton’s book, The Jefferson Lies, purports to “correct the distorted image of a once-beloved founding father”, arguing that Jefferson was an orthodox Christian who did not believe that church and state should be separated.
It was named the least credible history book in print last month by the History News Network, and two conservative Christian professors, Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter, even wrote a book criticising its claims, saying that “as Jefferson did with the Gospels, Barton chooses what he likes about Jefferson and leaves out the rest to create a result more in line with his ideology”.
The Jefferson Lies was dropped by its publisher, Christian press Thomas Nelson, last week, but now Barton has said that Beck’s publishing arm Mercury Ink is negotiating to publish a new edition. The new version “will not include any substantive changes, but I will rephrase some things to remove any potential confusion,” he told Publishers Weekly. The evangelical writer will also include content cut by Thomas Nelson, he said, adding: “I have actually run across more supporting documents that strengthen my case, not weaken it.”
Beck, the right wing US radio host who has written numerous bestselling titles himself, launched his own publishing imprint Mercury Ink last year, in conjunction with Simon & Schuster. He wrote the introduction to Barton’s book, saying that the title “takes on this long-held falsehood about the separation of church and state and proves once and for all that our Founding Father was no secularist”, and that “the Left” know that “if they are able to discredit and dismiss Jefferson and our other Founders, then we are that much closer to surrendering our birthright and our natural freedoms”.
Barton also appeared on Beck’s show to defend himself against accusations of inaccuracy.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk
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