When the Fail is so strong, one Facepalm is not enough / Picard & Riker / based on HaHaStop.ComThe Religious Right is relentless in its determination to rewrite history so as to place themselves — and their current political causes — back in time, even though most of their efforts, such as promoting Creationism and stopping abortion, are all decidedly contemporary notions. Their anachronistic views reveal their ignorance and expose them as liars. Two recent examples of this phenomenon follow, although they’re hardly unique.

First, I’m sure you heard about Sarah Palin’s NRA-propagandized version of Paul Revere‘s ride to warn the Massachusetts militia about the movement of British troops; Here, for example, is a CBS News story on her lies, which were compounded by a Wikipedia war to make it appear she was actually correct (WebCite cached article):

Dozens of changes were made to the Revere page on the Internet site Sunday and Monday after Palin claimed Revere’s famous ride was intended to warn both his fellow colonists and British soldiers.

Palin claimed, among other things, that Revere had been trying to “warn the British”; that he was firing shots into the air as he rode; and that he was ringing bells as well. Not one of those things is true, at least not in the Charlton Heston style that Palin told it. While he did end up warning the British about the militia, that was only after he’d warned the colonials — who’d been the intended targets of his warning ride — and had been picked up by British troops. By then, the cat was already out of the bag, so to speak, so he was able to tell them little of any value (and they eventually let him go). He absolutely did not fire his musket into the air as he went; secrecy had been his goal, he needed to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that the British were on their way to arrest them. (Not to mention, loading and shooting a musket while on horseback is not exactly a simple feat.) Revere also did not ring bells as he rode, for the same reason.

Politifact and FactCheck have weighed in on her idiotic and anachronistic comments. The best either of them can say is that Palin was “barely truthful” … and that’s being generous.

Even after caught lying, and putting NRA words into Paul Revere’s mouth, Mrs Palin irrationally insisted she was correct. That also is quite in line with Religious Right practice; no Religious Rightist ever concedes error. Ever. Not for any reason, no matter the facts, and no matter how idiotic they sound. Hence, the campaign by her supporters to make Wikipedia back up her version of Paul Revere’s ride.

My second example of the Religious Right’s ignorance of, and lies about, history is from David Barton, the man whom the R.R. hails as a historian, when in fact, he is not, and never has been a historian (either by virtue of having a degree in history or having published an article in a peer-reviewed history journal). Right Wing Watch reports (video included) on his claim that the Founding Fathers supported Creationism and dismissed evolution (WebCite cached article):

Naturally, Barton says that the Founding Fathers “already had the entire debate on creation and evolution,” and sided with Creationism.

The problem with this, of course, is that evolution wasn’t really known until the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859, nearly a century after them. The liar Barton went on to make an even more absurd and factually-incorrect claim:

“That’s why we said we want to separate from Britain, so we can end slavery,” Barton said.

Yes, folks, according to pseudohistorian Barton, the Revolutionary War was fought not to gain independence from Great Britain, but to free the slaves! The problem here, of course, is that the Constitution those same Founding Fathers wrote after that war, contained provisions allowing for slavery in the new country, and slavery wasn’t abolished until the end of the Civil War, again, decades later.

I have no idea what it is that Palin or Barton are smoking. But they’re hardly alone. The R.R. continuously represents itself as modern-day Founding Fathers, even though the R.R. is predicated on a form of fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity that did not exist in the F.F.s’ time. They apparently just can’t help themselves. In any event, whatever their motives might be, Palin and Barton’s lies place them squarely in my “lying liars for Jesus” club.

Hat tip: Religion Dispatches.

Photo credit: Based on HaHaStop.Com.

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4 Responses to “Religious Rightists Completely Ignorant Of History”
  1. Up until about a year ago, I was a loyal NRA member (for nearly 30 years). To be honest, I didn't renew because I'm not in a good financial place right now. The money that would have been spent on that renewal was needed elsewhere in my life. That being said, I'm still a firm advocate of the individual right to protect one's self , loved ones, and property using any means necessary. We're not here to discuss that, though.

    American politics is just an embarrassment to me; Weiner's wiener debacle, the greed and corruption, the idiocy, etc. Sarah Palin is at that top of that list of embarrassing things. If the NRA is endorsing her in any way, I probably won't ever renew my membership with that venerable organization. They had been leaning a bit too much to the right the past few years, anyway. I believe in my 2nd Amendment rights, as I state above, but I'm not going to "put my faith in God" or "pray" for this or that. They can kiss this atheist's ass before that'll happen.

    It sure is getting more difficult to be an atheist anarchist (non-violent) long-haired cat-loving biker these days. Can't we just all get along for crissakes?

    Later…

    • PsiCop says:

      Honestly, and generally, I support gun rights. The problem is, that particular issue has been absconded with by militant religionists who view their Jesus as a warrior, armed to the teeth and just scrapping for a fight. They pay attention to Matthew 10:34 but ignore Matthew 26:52 (not to mention Isaiah 2:4, Joel 3:10, and Micah 4:3, among many other Bible passages they ought to know but have never heard of). I also honestly question the mental health of a lot of the guys in the "militia movement" who are now the standard-bearers of the gun-rights movement.

      In any event, I'm damned sure that Paul Revere didn't trot up to a bunch of Redcoats and spew snotty, defiant NRA rhetoric at them. For Palin to claim that he did — and later insist that he did even after people laugh at her for having said so — is a fucking joke. What a goddamn nightmare this country has become.

  2. The Bible has always been read (and taught) selectively. No surprises here.

    "I also honestly question the mental health of a lot of the guys in the 'militia movement'…"

    Seriously. I knew people in the mountains of NC (when I had a cabin up there) who had half tracks in their tobacco barns and stocked cellars that would be the envy of any U.S. Nat'l Guard Armory.

    "What a goddamn nightmare this country has become."

    I think politics and government has ever been thus all the way back thousands of years. It's just more visible to the common man these days thanks to print, television, radio, the Internet, etc.

    "What has been will be again,

    what has been done will be done again;

    there is nothing new under the sun."

    ~Ecclesiastes 1:9

    A truly profound Bible verse.

  3. [...] even though he is absolutely no such thing. That’s to be expected; Rightists generally have only a very loose grasp of history in the first place, so they’re hardly able to tell the [...]

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