I don't know why or how David Barton thought that he could go on The Daily Show and NOT end up getting ripped to shreds by Jon Stewart for his warped version of American history, but I guess that just proves what we already knew: The guy is completely delusional.
The "historical reclamationist" was trying to promote his new book The Jefferson Lies, an argument against the modern belief that Thomas Jefferson was an atheist. Or a secularist, or something.
Because, in case you didn't know, "atheist" groups all over the country apparently use Thomas Jefferson as an excuse to ban prayer in schools and take the Christ out of Christmas and do all kinds of other anti-Jesus stuff.
"I've never thought of Thomas Jefferson as an atheist," said Stewart, the look on his face adding, "and I'm pretty sure nobody else does either, so WTF are you talking about, man?"
Too bad only eight minutes of the interview aired on TV, because Stewart continued to call Barton out on his vague, rambling lies for a full 40 minutes! (Which are totally worth watching online!)
I think the following bit was one of my favorite parts -- starting with Stewart's response to Barton's claim that making kids say the Pledge of Allegiance ("one nation under god") isn't unconstitutional because coercion isn't the same thing as being "forced."
Stewart: But you are being forced to be in school.
Barton: Look at all the pressure that goes through school, whether it's drugs or anything else, and we don't rule that unconstitutional.
Stewart: Well, no, because there's not the teacher saying, "You have to smoke pot."
Stewart: Are you really — and this is, I think, where I get to something that's more difficult to take — you believe there's a hostility —
Barton: Oh, Jon.
Stewart: — to Christianity.
Barton: You would not believe the number of arrest cases in the last year of Christians — a 67-year-old man in Georgia who gave out a gospel tract to somebody on a park bench, two days in jail.
Stewart: I think there is real persecution of Christians.
Barton: There is some.
Stewart: I think it happens in China, but I don't think it happens in this country!
Barton: No, but how do you keep it from becoming like anywhere else? You stop it right when it happens.
Stewart: Because we've had 240 years of evidence that it won't. One of the reasons that we separated it from the public square is to avoid these types of situations.
I sincerely wish every politician with a backwards belief system was required to debate publicly with Jon Stewart.
Did you see David Barton on The Daily Show? What did you think?
Image via The Daily Show