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Christian pseudo-historian David Barton, whose entire career has been built on convincing gullible Christians that his personal political agenda is always justified by the Bible, surprised even me with his latest outburst.

During a sermon over the weekend at Lancaster Baptist Church in California, Barton claimed the reason slavery persisted in the South before the Civil War is because, even though people in the South claimed to be Christian, they weren’t True Christians™.

… The Northern states were very anti-slavery because they were very Bible-oriented. The Southern states were very Christian-professing, but they didn’t know much about the Bible, and they didn’t read it much. They just professed to be Christians.

A guy who routinely preaches Christian Nationalism wants you to believe that True Christians™ just didn’t exist in the entire South because they had slaves. He’s pulling a No True Scotsman on slavery. Even though just about all the Founding Fathers these guys love to worship also owned slaves. Were they bad Christians, too?

There’s also no reason to believe the people in the South knew little to nothing about the Bible or “didn’t read it much.” What the hell else were they doing with their time, David?!

People who owned slaves often used the Bible to justify their cruelty — just as so many Republicans today point to the Bible in defense of bigotry and discrimination. The people who claim to understand the Bible better than most — Barton included — are the ones notorious for cherry-picking verses or using the Bible to defend whatever they wanted to do in the first place.

Don’t try to make it make sense. It doesn’t. All of it would be a lot more persuasive if Barton wasn’t citing the Bible to defend other kinds of hate or prolonging the pandemic. He seems so sure that the Bible is anti-slavery — and anyone who ever said otherwise was a bad Christian — while citing the same book as proof God wants to punish LGBTQ people and liberals in general.

David Barton is a professional liar. This is what he does. And the kinds of Christians he speaks to never have the guts to call him out on it.

These are the people, by the way, demanding that local public schools alter their history curriculum to include more Barton-style revisionism.

(via Right Wing Watch)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.