This week’s edition of Non-Fiction Friday is going to be quick. This week has left me mentally and physically exhausted. I need a vacation.
Have you heard about America’s Christian heritage? Did you know that we were founded as a Christian nation? Did you know that the separation of church and state was a myth, a conspiracy by godless liberals to destroy the United States so that we can go out and eat babies while we dance naked in the moonlight? For decades now this kind of bullshit revisionist history has been peddled by the religious right as part of a larger plan to dismantle the democratic fabric of the very country they unconvincingly pretend to defend.
Those among us who ever bothered to study American History or read the founding documents for ourselves will immediately see through the transparently thin veil of propaganda but the average layperson may not be so equipped. Many who aren’t well versed in history but remain skeptical may be inclined to believe that these are simply myths unintentionally spread by the well-meaning but ignorant. Of all the falsehoods put to rest by Chris Rodda’s book, Liars for Jesus, perhaps the most thoroughly dispelled is the notion that these are innocent mistakes. It takes a special kind of liar to misrepresent, omit and distort history the way people like David Barton seem to do without remorse or apology.
Be warned though. This is a book of scholarship. It isn’t written primarily to entertain or tell a thrilling tale, though if you are like me you might get both out of it. This is a book that is fairly well referenced and utterly destroys the arguments it sets out to answer. It is the first in what is supposed to be a set of three. I await the others with an anticipation verging on madness. The author, realizing how truly important her work is, opted to make a digital version available online for free. You can download it here. If you can afford it, please buy a copy. It is also available on Kindle.
If you encounter the piously ignorant half as often as I do, this book will be worth its weight in gold.