In '05 and '08, Todd Akin Entered American History Lies in the Congressional Record: The Congressional History Lie Project
"The Bible was foundational to development of our country. The English Puritans came to the New World to follow the Bible according to the convictions of their own consciences. Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 24 had what today would be considered Bible college or seminary educations. Only a few years later, in 1782, Congress itself authorized the printing of the Bible." -- Congressional Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, Thursday December 6, 2005, statement to Congress during National Bible Week
While Representative Akin's statement on the Bible and the Puritans was accurate, his claim on the "Bible college" or "seminary" educations of 24 of the signers, which traced to claims advanced by David Barton, was not, and Akin's statement that "Congress itself authorized the printing of the Bible" was also false. Congress did nothing but certify the accuracy of a Bible edition printed by Thomas Aitken, and did so for secular reasons - to promote the struggling American book printing industry, under pressure because of a British blockade.
Akin also read the same statement in Congress on September 26, 2008, for the occasion of National Bible Week. But even more importantly, Rep. Akin was one of the original cosponsors, along with Rep. Randy Forbes, of the history lie-packed House Resolution 888, that Forbes introduced in Congress on December 18, 2007 (see subsection on H. Res. 888, and its history lies, towards the end of this article).
Since then, the style of history lies promoted in H. Res. 888, exemplified in the work of author David Barton, has been denounced even by conservative evangelical scholars as factually challenged and in 2012 conservative evangelical publisher Thomas Nelson withdrew from publication Barton's bestselling book The Jefferson Lies because of numerous factual errors.
While the historical accounts of Christian nationalist author David Barton have at long last been widely recognized as inaccurate and misleading, neither mainstream media nor mainstream academia have acknowledged the extent to which Barton's brand of Christian nationalist pseudohistory has permeated national politics, manifested through the spectacle of national politicians declaiming, with fair frequency, Barton-esque American history lies on the floor of the U.S. Congress, and sponsoring Congressional resolutions packed with such history lies.
Why does any of this matter? Why should we care? Talk To Action cofounder Frederick Clarkson explains, in a trenchant essay, History is Powerful: Why the Christian Right Distorts History and Why it Matters:
"The notion that America was founded as a Christian nation is a central animating element of the ideology of the Christian Right. It touches every aspect of life and culture in this, one of the most successful and powerful political movements in American history. The idea that America's supposed Christian identity has somehow been wrongly taken, and must somehow be restored, permeates the psychology and vision of the entire movement. No understanding of the Christian Right is remotely adequate without this foundational concept."
Several years ago, driving through New Jersey, I stopped by to visit Chris Rodda, author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History. One of our topics of conversation that day was a sheaf of papers about two inches high, Chris' notes on a survey of history lies emitted by United States Senators and Representatives in Congress over the twenty-odd years searchable through the THOMAS system in the Congressional Record.
Chris Rodda, who has made debunking the religious right's history lies - concocted to emphasize America's Christian heritage and the piety of its founders - her specialty, told me that to the best of her recollection, her survey showed that 97% or 98% of American history lies entered into the Congressional Record came from Republicans.