I think David Barton is guilty of selective reading.
I have studied Paine's writings in depth. Especially the
New Age of Reason, parts 1 and 2, wherein Paine roundly
blasts christianity, and does in fact and in word declare
himself a deist.
I usually believe what a person says about himself.
Do you believe what Thomas Jefferson said about himself when he said, "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."
Many atheists, deists and Christians alike think they know Jefferson better than he knew himself.
Yes. He does that often. Barton is (unfortunately) the Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas and most of his history is very selective and very biased toward whatever political point he is trying to argue at the moment