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Old 12-21-2011, 08:17 PM
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Thanks Chris!

YEah, I could give better warning. Pinto very plainly says that he's not referring to all founders and that some are straightforward, biblical Christian. It's the "All Were Christian" stance that Pinto is correcting. The reason for sharing this is because there are people infiltrating churches and twisting patriotism into a cult, an idolatry, such as David Barton. When you say that the "truth is in the middle," you are talking about head-counts and actually agree with Pinto in the film.

Paying attention while listening, one can see that Pinto has started doing research in a more formal fashion (e.g. using the letters of contemporaries, etc). The real meat starts when he gives examples of looking at one quote from a person and assuming too much about that person. It's good for helping the viewer with clear thinking. Pinto is actually correcting the "all-or-none" type thinking, such as how we've fallen into a fascism toward people groups, and said so plainly regarding the Signers (DoI). Your comment made it look like Pinto was on the "none" end, but he's more careful and didactic than that. I didn't get so detailed before about the video's contents because I expect people to be able to listen and pick up on what's plainly stated. (Hrm. I'm often told that people can't do that.)

For better warning, here: The first 1/3rd of the film is a little fluffy. The middle 1/3rd is where the meat is, but it's better not to skip ahead because Pinto is constructing a case. The last 1/3rd is less so, but not so fluffy. It's been a couple months since I've seen it. In the last half, you have to trowel through Washington's "closet" catholicism, but it's more like the producer is merely making his way around all the more famous guys as we'd expect from his opening thesis statement. Most of his focus in the middle is on the misinterpretation of Jefferson and Adams. Jefferson is popular to "Christianize" and Adams is a specific example that Barton twists. Pinto does plainly, here and elsewhere, state that there were biblical Christians, but that they weren't alone--it was a mix. The local populations were more Puritan/Presbyterian, etc than the guys who became more famous. The whole purpose in sharing this is that Barton et al.'s lies are becoming popular and leading people into a weird Americanist cult, devotion to nationalism above God. What's interesting is that once you know how these guys believed/thought, then "Creator" and "self-evident truths" take on a whole different meaning, even though our application is the same.

If you really want some fun stuff, start checking out Mike Heiser.

Originally Posted by Chris F View Post
I did a lot of work on this subject while get my MA. I have seen this movie before and I have heard Barton before. The truth is actually in the middle. Many founders were followers. In fact in most states following the birth of the nation one had to be involved in church in order to get elected. In fact more than half the states had state ran churches. The founders were primarily of the reformed theology (Presybeterian and such) There were some who were deist and some who were agnostic. Of the original signers of the DOI all but 2 were active in their church. However as we all know being active in church makes you a followers about as much as working in a garage makes you a car.

So take the video and anything you hear from Barton with a grain of salt and realize they have a personal agenda and a per-disposed hypothesis. When doing historiography it is very easy to read the sources that fit your views and ignore the one that do not. Both of them did that. I got to read the works of just about every player in the founding of America and I learned a lot of what I thought was true was not so much.

Last edited by Conrad; 12-21-2011 at 08:34 PM. Reason: It's long enough, had to cut something out!
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