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121 of 173 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2010
*** Please read note FIRST at the bottom of this review ***

I am a big fan of David Barton's work. I think it is obvious for anyone who has read American history honestly (and is not on the ACLU's payroll) that Barton is correct about God's central role in America's founding, and foundation. However (and maybe I am not seeing something correctly) but, Separation of Church & State p.6 has three quotes that Mr. Barton uses that do not seem to match the official "Journal of the Senate" records from the same date referenced in his book for September 3, 1789.

Example #1: Mr. Barton's quote: "Congress shall not make any law establishing any religious denomination." The Journal of the Senate's first version of the amendment states that Congress should not support any "one religious sect or society in preference to others."

Example #2 Mr. Barton's quote: "Congress shall make no law establishing any particular denomination." The Journal of the Senate states" Congress shall not make any law infringing the rights conscience, or establishing any religious sect or society."

It doesn't change his very valid points, but it is very important to me (especially considering what's at stake) that original sources are quoted accurately. If I am wrong in my amateur research please show me I will immediately apologize and change this post. I have included the link to The Journal of the Senate date in question. [...]

*** PLEASE NOTE *** after two years someone was able to show that Mr. Barton was indeed correct in using the quotes he did in this book. Barton's research WAS NOT "off" as I first asserted. I am sorry that I made this mistake, it was an honest one. Please look at "The Journal of the Senate has two entries for consideration in for the Third Article in question to religion. Please see this link: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hlaw:1:./temp/~ammem_oBSx::

Now Barton used both of the quotes from the journal. If you go the very bottom of the journal entry made on September 3, 1789 you would see that they tabled this for another session of the Senate to discuss."

As the conversations in this thread are very interesting and illustrative, I hope that I will not offend by keeping this post as is.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2014
I recently hosted 33 individuals into my home last Sunday afternoon, July 20, 2014. I gave a verbal presentation of what that great 'Historian', Dave Barton's research had given to us in his pamphlet, "Separation of Church and State: What the Founders Meant" and the copies of letters that the signers of our Constitution had written to each other. Dave Barton makes it very clear that in 1947, the Supreme Court used only eight words of the letter that President Thomas Jefferson had written to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut. The Supreme Court said that Jefferson gave the Supreme Court the authority to have the State (the Supreme Court) prohibit the Church (or individuals) from expressing their Biblical beliefs in the Schools, Courthouse or National Parks --
Their statement was exactly the opposite of what Jefferson had said in his full letter. Jefferson had said that our First Amendment gave Churches and individuals the Freedom of Expression of Religion and that the State (the Government) would NEVER prohibit
that Freedom of Expression because the Constitution has created a SEPARATION of Church and State. Always before 1947, the Supreme Court had printed the full letter from Jefferson to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists so one could easily ascertain what Jefferson had meant when he said, Churches and individuals had the FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

On that date, July 20, 2014, 33 individuals signed up to purchase this very pamphlet so that they could memorize and tell their friends and neighbors what our great historian, Dave Barton had researched and found to be TRUE.

All of us must understand the deception of the Supreme Court in the year of 1947.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2015
This is really not a very in-depth or even-handed look at this very important issue since the very beginning of our republic. Even if it were free, I would not recommend taking the time to read it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2014
Everything a person wants and should know about our constitution; i.e., how it came into existence, what the issues were (and why), AND the spiritual foundations of it. It also provides copies of original documents, activities, and congressional activities. Most importantly, it proves, without a doubt, that the founders and rulers of our country and it's government NEVER intended a "separation of state and government" here in the United States.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2015
Fundamentalist revisionist tripe. In regards to books published by "Wallbuilders, please be aware that this is Barton's Texas-based group that sells many books and DVDs pushing his vision of religious patriotism.
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on February 26, 2015
Great book. Explains original intent jn great detail.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2015
The usual selective quoting that the Christian fundamentalist crowd is wont to indulge into: Anything that even remotely might provide support for theocratic agenda is presented, the rest is just ignored. The views of many of the founders (like Jefferson or Franklin) on organized religion and the separation of church and state are well known to anyone who reads their works with honesty - and they do not support Rev. Barton's outdated views.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2015
TRUTH!Too bad many more people don't know the truth found in this book. It's eye opening to see how far we have drifted from the founders original intent!
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60 of 96 people found the following review helpful
When looking for a good book on the history of religion in early America, the hope is that if we better understand the nature of our religious heritage, and its impact on the development of the United States, it will help us make more informed decisions on contemporary issues, and the ever-debatable line between church and state that affect each of our lives.

But if you choose to read this book, abandon all hope! David Barton is a "shill," not a historian. He does not cite his sources accurately, he takes quotes (and misquotes) out of their context, he "cherry-picks" only the evidence that supports his point of view (without acknowledging conflicting information) and draws unsubstantiated conclusions or makes false assertions.

This is not a history book, and Barton is not a historian. As alternatives, here are six (6) excellent history books on the vast and complex subject of religion in early America: 1) The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America by Frank Lambert; 2) The Faiths of the Founding Fathers by David Holmes; 3) So Help Me God by Forrest Church; 4) Founding Faith by Steven Waldman; 5) The Search for Christian America by Mark Noll, Nathan Hatch and George Marsden; and 6) Was America Founded as a Christian Nation by John Fea.
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on March 3, 2015
I was happy with it.
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