My First iMovie Project: A Video About David Barton
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 05:52:34 PM EST
On October 25, 2008, I attended a presentation given by Christian nationalist history revisionist David Barton. After his presentation, I approached him and gave him a copy of my book, Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History, a book debunking many of his lies, as well as those of a number of his fellow revisionists.

On January 16, 2009, I became the subject of a segment on Barton's WallBuilders LIVE! radio show, in which he lied about me, my book, and our encounter at his presentation.

Rather than just write about the lies Barton told about me on his show, I decided to make a little video with iMovie, something I've never tried to do before. I ended up getting a bit carried away, making a video that's over an hour long, but once I got started, I wanted to address not just the lies Barton told about me on his show, but also the lies he told in the presentation I attended in October.

For those unfamiliar with Barton, he is not only the most popular of all the Christian nationalist history revisionists, but a former vice-chair of the Texas Republican Party who was used by the GOP in recent elections to travel the country stumping for their "family values" candidates, and is very well connected with the far right members of Congress. In 2005, was named one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America by Time Magazine. But, outside of evangelical Christian circles, and those of us who fight the religious right, few people know who he is.

Barton's pals in Congress, who regularly appear on his radio show to push their far right agenda, include Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Randy Forbes (R-VA, Mike Pence (R-IN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Trent Franks (R-AZ).

Another one of Barton's buddies, described by Barton as "One of the Really Cool Guys," is Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. During Jindal's gubernatorial campaign in 2006, Barton appeared with him at churches in Louisiana, and, on October 18 and 19, 2006, had him on his radio show for a two part interview. Referring in the opening comments of the program to Jindal's election to Congress two years earlier, Barton remarked, "That is the election in which we saw a huge increase in Christian voter turnout, and he is part of that product of what we were able to put in office in 2004."

I realize that only those people already interested in Christian nationalist history revisionism will be likely to watch this entire video, but I would urge those not familiar with David Barton to at least watch enough of it to see how easily he is able to dupe his audiences into believing that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, a necessary element in getting these people to vote for and support the agenda of his political cohorts.

The video is split into nine segments because of the ten minute limit on YouTube. The first four segments are primarily about what Barton said on his radio show, with a few examples of the lies from his presentation thrown in where they relate to the radio show segment. The last five segments debunk a number of other lies from the presentation itself.


Hi Chris, thanks for posting this video -- I just watched it all the way through.  I already knew that Barton was a liar and a fraud, but I didn't realize the full scope of his mendacity.  He really is to historians what Duane Gish is to evolutionists (right down to his Gish Gallop).

BTW: In part two, near the end, you still have a long pause and restart you probably meant to edit out.

by tacitus on Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 08:26:33 PM EST a video. People don't realize when I write about Barton's lies that he has the affect he does on a live audience, which is how he gets away with his crap, and why his followers will so adamantly defend him.

And, thanks for the heads up about the gap in Part 2. I fixed it and am uploading the new file to YouTube right now. When I made the video, I had a little text window at the bottom of my screen with notes that I could glance down at so I would remember all the points in the long sections, but in the really long ones, the window wasn't big enough and I had to be scrolling down while I was talking and trying to look at the camera. That took way too much coordination for me, which is why I screwed up a bunch of times and had to do a bit of editing where I had to start a sentence over.

You actually saved me quite a bit of time and aggravation because I was just starting to export the entire video as one piece to put on my website when I saw your comment, and would have had to make and upload that huge file over again.

by Chris Rodda on Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 09:49:29 PM EST

Glad to be of assistance :)

If you plan to do more of these (I hope so) then I believe there are at least a couple of free teleprompter-style apps you can use while reading from your script.  (I don't have any specific info, but I remember finding one or two when a friend of mine was talking about doing some video blogging.)  If it's good enough for Barak Obama....

by tacitus on Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 11:08:24 PM EST
Parent for me. I just need to have the key points and any exact quotes where I can see them. I wouldn't be able to use something that moves at a steady speed, like you would reading a speech, because for some parts I have a bunch of stuff typed, and for others where I don't really need notes, I have little or nothing. My real problem was that I was doing this on a laptop with a very small screen, so I couldn't make my text window big enough not to have to scroll for some parts.

And then, of course, there was my big beast of a dog sleeping on the couch right behind me, who, every once in a while, would let out a nice, loud snore and make me have to repeat the last thing I said.

by Chris Rodda on Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 11:37:15 PM EST

As a retired US Army military man and a former leader I found it necessary to instill discipline in some individuals by, shall I say, hard means,until they learned to obey and follow orders. Some people, thankfully very few, only learn when they get hit in the head with a baseball bat. So Mr. Barton I suggest you pay attention to Lincoln's letter to Edwin Stanton, his Secretary of War, dated 11 Feb 1864 in which Abe wrote: "Individuals, in or out of the church, who become a threat to the public interest, must be CHECKED...." Get the message Barton?????

by Bonatti on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 02:50:54 PM EST

EXCELLENT! I have enjoyed your excellent research and writing in the past, but you really topped yourself this time! I was going to watch a couple clips and catch the rest over the next few days. Watched them all, one after another and have already got an e-mail blast out to my list.  This will be a valuable resource from this day forward. Get the link out far and wide.

Here in New Mexico, we defeated one of Forbes' initial co-sponsors of HR-888. The information contained in that brilliant series was a tipping point with a couple of learners.

Seems like it doesn't matter if it is theocracy, politics, or ethics, the fundis and right-wingers have the attitude that if the truth hurts, just make stuff up and try to change history.  We owe it to the kids to make sure they don't get away with it.

"The disadvantage of men not knowing the past is that they do not know the present." GK Chesterton And that makes them suckers for the con-men, hustlers, and warmongers.

by PlacitasRoy on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 04:20:38 PM EST

I can't do the research my self so this is of great value considering the alternate and parallel organizations and interlocking infrastructure that Barton has to draw on and you do not. From the radio/TV monopolies to home schools and their own universities churning out whole cookie cutter students to be part of a near monolithic culture they wish to impress upon all of us. Just imagine an entire educational system being run this way and people like Barton are their pillars of knowledge? Something we need to avoid at all costs.

by Nightgaunt on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 05:44:25 PM EST

enormous effort, with these videos, to show just how deceitful Barton etc. really are. The problem is, as can be seen here, that it takes quite a bit of research and open minded thought to be able to see the truth, and I don't see very many of the people who really should see this, doing that at all. As another commenter mentions, Barton has a huge megaphone to spew his garbage, and those who attend his blatherings and read his books are already in position to believe him over the truth, even if it's shown to them.

I'm certainly not saying that this is a waste of time; I just wish that the playing field were a bit more level.

by trog69 on Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 03:41:04 AM EST

Because Barton is hoarding original documents, your work demonstrating his campaign of misinformation and disinformation is crucial. Your work needs to be continued, expanded, validated and publicized, and we need to support you as a critical resource.

by Panglos on Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 10:02:44 AM EST

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