Throckmorton Critiques "Monumental"

A few weeks ago we did a post on Kirk Cameron’s movie Monumental.  I have not really followed the promotional hype for this pro-Christian America movie, but Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor at Grove City College, definitely has.  Over at Crosswalk, Throckmorton shows that the movie is riddled with historical inaccuracies.

Here is a taste of his piece:

…Barton then shows Cameron a copy of the very rare Aitken Bible, the first Bible printed in English in the United States. Barton says that Congress printed the Bible, which is simply not true. Robert Aitken printed the Bible at his own expense and when he was nearly finished, wanted Congress to sanction it. The extent of Congressional committee action was to ask the Chaplains to verify the accuracy of Aitken’s work which they did. Barton told Cameron that Congress said the Bible was “a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use in schools.” However, Congress did not say that. In Aitken’s petition to Congress, he used that phrase to pitch his Bible, but the resolution of Congress said the following:

Resolved: That the United States in Congress assembled, highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion as well as an instance of the progress of the arts in this country, and being satisfied from the above report, of his care and accuracy in the execution of the work they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation in the manner he shall think proper (p. 574, Journals of Congress, September 12, 1782).

There is nothing in that resolution about Congress recommending the Bible for use in schools in this resolution. However, that does not stop Cameron from showing a visual of the Education side of the Monument of the Forefathers, just after Barton repeats Aitken’s but not Congress’ words about schools.

The story of the Aitken Bible is interesting enough without these embellishments. Why distort the story? Does Cameron want the Bible to be given to public school children? Since I haven’t seen the movie, I don’t know where he ends up, but it certainly raises questions about the point of the story.

Read the entire article here.

Throckmorton and his Grove City colleague Michael Coulter have completed an e-book entitled Getting Jefferson Right.  (I am in the process of reading some it and it is very well-researched).  It will be released in conjunction with the publication of David Barton’s new book on Jefferson, The Jefferson Lies (foreword by Glenn Beck). 

In the meantime, I would encourage you to prepare for this new round of debate by reading Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction.  I heard it is pretty good.