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Professors Explore Popular Christian Claims About Thomas Jefferson

Contact: Warren Throckmorton, 724-967-5644

GROVE CITY, Penn., May 3, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- In their new book out today, Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President, two Christian college professors analyze popular Christian claims made about Thomas Jefferson. Professors Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter use Jefferson's correspondence, contemporaneous accounts, and other primary sources to fact check key claims made in such recent Christian works as Kirk Cameron's documentary, Monumental, and David Barton's new book, The Jefferson Lies.

"Unfortunately, there is often a wide gap between popular Christian speakers and writers and Christian social scientists on historical claims, particularly about early American history. Our book evaluates key claims about Thomas Jefferson and religion using primary sources, especially Jefferson's own words. In short, reality is complicated and we expose many of these claims to be inaccurate or, at best, misleading," said Warren Throckmorton.

Getting Jefferson Right assesses questions about the Jefferson Bible (e.g., did he make it to give to missionaries for use with Indians?), Jefferson's view of church and state (e.g., did he sign his presidential documents, "In the year of our Lord Christ"), his religious views (e.g., did he merely question orthodoxy, or did he reject it?) and Jefferson's purpose for the University of Virginia (e.g., did he found it as a transdenominational Christian college?). Many other claims are examined in detail with material and images from original sources, rarely encountered in works on Jefferson.

Professor Michael Coulter said "We think the first duty of a scholar, Christian or otherwise, is to get the facts right and in their proper context, and that is what we have sought to do in this work. This is a matter of scholarly integrity. Moreover, getting the facts right is more important than re-making an historical figure in our own image which we think some people do with Jefferson."

John Fea, Chair of the History Department at Messiah College said, "Getting Jefferson Right* is an intellectual and historical take down of David Barton's pseudo-history of Thomas Jefferson by two Christian professors who teach at a conservative Christian college... I have yet to read a more thorough refutation of Barton's claims."

Getting Jefferson Right is available on Amazon.com.

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For more information on the book, see Getting Jefferson Right.

Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Michael Coulter is Professor of Political Science, both at Grove City College (PA).