It was nice to see so many familiar faces on prime-time
television — R. J. Rushdoony, Rev. Morecraft, Bob Thoburn, Arnie
and Barbara Simkus. And everyone looked good and sounded good.
Technically, it was a beautiful job — from the bucolic views of
Vallecito to the sunny Simkus kitchen. It showed people —
specifically, Christians — in the process of reconstructing America,
not just talking about it: writing books, building churches, teaching
children, getting involved in politics. But hovering over the
entire presentation was the question: are these people a danger to
The questions Moyers posed Rush were the expected ones, the
difficult ones concerning the Bible’s references to capital offenses,
and Rush answered them forthrightly. The punishments called for in
the Bible were not necessarily those Rush preferred or advocated.
In any case, he made it qaite clear that he opposed coercion and
that a reconstructed America could only corne about when and if the
vast majority of people had voluntarily accepted the Bible as their
Moyers focused on the issue of democracy because that is the
liberal skewer on which all values are cooked. And that’s probably
why Moyers never adequately defined democracy, because in America
the word evokes aromas, feelings, and images but not much thought.
Moyers ignored the fact that the Founding Fathers warned us of the
perils. of democracy • it seems as if Rush were the first in
American history to cite the dangers of majority rule. And of course
virtually no time was given to showing what majorities can do to
minorities when not restrained by God’s law. After all, Hitler was
put into power by a majority of Germans voting under the most
democratic and permissive government the Germans had ever had, the
Also, there was no one to correct Norman Geisler’s mis representations of Christian Reconstruction. The idea that Reconstructionists
can, or even want to, impose their rule over the United States against
the will of the majority is so preposterous as to be laughable.
Unfortunately, many people will believe Geisler or, at the least, use
Geisler’s words as justification for their wildest nightmares about
the religious right.
And so the major issue that was bandied about was the potential
use of coercion by civil government to impose the rule of “the
righteous.” Obviously, “the righteous” were referred to in the
pejorative sense: self-styled Biblical moralists who want to impose
their moral values on others. Yet, no mention was made of the coercion
liberals are presently using against Christian schools and home schoolers
in this tolerant, humanistic democracy. The stories of harassment,
prosecution and jailing of Christian parents have found no responsive
chord among the celebrants of pluralism and variant lifestyles .
Democracy, Moyers inferred, is a system of tolerance, in which
variant lifestyles and values systems live side by side in competitive
but brotherly harmony. Such a system might indeed be ideal if all
lifestyles were acceptable to God. But the Bible clearly tells us
what is permissible and what is not.
Not surprisingly, Gary North emerged as the heavy in this
debate, even though he refused to be taped or interviewed by Moyers.
Moyers simply quoted North at his worst, and that was enough to set
the skewer. spinning and the juices boiling.
Yet, on the whole, what emerged from the video was, I believe,
basically positive — all the criticism of Christian Reconstruction
notwithstanding. What emerged was an image of Christians in control
of themselves, leading productive lives, providing lifesaving spiritual
answers to a society in the throes of social, cultural, and moral
Yet, nothing can come of the movement if people are repelled by it.
And it obviously has repelled such moralists as Norman Geisler
But Rushdoony wrote in Intellectual in 1961,
“For Scripture, the godly man is the saved man, not the self-consciously
good man. It is not a contrast between moral and immoral but between
godly and ungodly, holy and wicked, and the moral man, as witness
the Pharisees, can epitomize ungodliness.”
What attracts people to Christian Reconstruction is its adherence
to Biblical principles, its reliance on God’s word as a guide to
living, its uncompromising stand on the vital moral issues of the day,
its strong support of family life, its advocacy of economic freedom,
its vision of Christian liberty, its hope for the future. It is a
movement of godly parents anxious to raise a new godly generation.
That is why Christian Reconstruction is particularly strong among
Another positive point made by Moyers is that the Reconstruction
movement is attracting people from all denominations, from all
races. It is even attracting Jews. The scenes in the Atlanta
church gave the impression of enormous potential power to Reconstructionism when fired with charismatic energy.
Obviously , Moyers
viewed this potential development more with apprehension than joy. So the positive seemed to outweigh the negative in this
production. Even though this is not what Moyers may have intended.
Clearly, what we saw was Christian Reconstruction seen through the
eyes of a troubled liberal, sophisticated enough not to see modern
Calvinists as witch-burning bigots, but betraying his prejudices
by way of his focus. I came. away feeling that Moyers is of two
minds concerning Christian Reconstruction: he liked Rushdoony but
tended to believe Geisler. Which means there is hope for Moyers.
He may convert!
(This article was written in the mid 1990s.) For more of Sam’s work please visit his archive: http://campconstitution.net/sam-blumenfeld-archive/
On November 5, 1605, the Gunpowder Plot was thwarted. An anonymous letter tipped it off. Guy Fawkes, who had fought for Spain, joined with conspirators to place 36 barrels of gunpowder in an unused cellar beneath Parliament’s House of Lords.
The plot was to kill King James I, who was speaking in Parliament that day, and return England to a Catholic monarchy. The Gunpowder Plot caused James I to be suspicious and intolerant of any religious group: Catholic, Puritan, Presbyterian, as well as the Pilgrims.
In 1605, St. Vincent de Paul was sailing from Marseille, France, when he was captured by Turks and sold into slavery in Tunis, North Africa. After sharing his faith with one of his master’s wives, she convinced her master to let him escape in 1607. He founded a hospital and an organization to ransom slaves.
Islamic Global Jihad declared war against America on September 11, 2001, in an attack
that killed nearly 3000 Americans in the Twin Towers in Manhattan. the Pentagon in
Washington, D.C., and in four hijacked airliners. Had the fourth airliner succeeded in
reaching Washington, it might have crashed into the White House or the Capitol with
even more loss of life. But, thanks to the brave passengers on the plane, the attack was
thwarted and the plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
Anyone who has watched videos of ordinary men and women jumping out of the Twin
Towers to their deaths will never forget the horror perpetrated by Islamic jihadists on that
day. The attack took months of intricate, detailed planning by the terrorists, but our
government was simply too inept to prevent it from happening.
Meanwhile, Muslims around the world danced in the streets at their great victory over
America and their spectacular advance in the war against the West. The goal of the
Jihad is to impose the Islamic religion and Sharia law over the entire world, and the
attack on 9/11 was just the visible tip of the iceberg in what has been and will be a very
For example, there is an Islamic missionary organization active throughout the world in
recruiting converts to Islam. It is called Tablighi Jamaat, and according to reliable
sources, it is estimated that about 15,000 of its missionaries are active in the United
States. It is particularly active among Black Muslims and criminals in our prisons.
And so, while American soldiers are fighting and dying in Afghanistan against the
jihadist enemy, the enemy is quietly subverting the American homeland with virtually no
resistance from the American people.
It should be reminded that Islam is a totalitarian, genocidal political movement operating
under the guise of a peace-loving religion. It is intolerant of other religions and despises
the governing principles of the United States. Islam does not believe in the separation of
church and state, as clearly demonstrated by the regime in Iran. Yet President Obama
refuses to acknowledge that we are at war against Global Jihad or even radical Islamic
terrorism. Terrorism, by the way, is just one of the means the war is being fought
against the West.
And this Global Jihad is being fought by bombing trains in Madrid, bombing subways
and buses in London, bombing a night club in Bali, attempted airplane bombings by the
shoe bomber and the Christmas underwear bomber, an attempted bombing in Times
Square, the murder of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood by a jihadist in uniform, suicide bombings
in Israel, the murder of a cinematographer in Holland, the beheading of an American
journalist kidnapped in Pakistan, bombings and massacres in India, Indonesia and
Uganda, the killing of Christians and burning of churches in Pakistan, Kenya, and
elsewhere. There is no end to the atrocities being committed by jihadists. In the U.S. a
Muslim father killed his daughter because she was becoming too Americanized.
So it should not take a political genius to figure out why the Muslims want to build a
mosque at Ground Zero. They want to commemorate and honor those jihadists who died
crashing those planes into the Twin Towers. Where better to honor them than at Ground
Zero? And not just an ordinary mosque, but a 13-story, $100-million mosque. The
developer of the project is Feisal Abdul Rauf, born in Kuwait of Egyptian parents with a
known tradition of Islamic radicalism. Rauf was brought to America at the age of 17 by his parents when his father moved from
Malaysia to the U.S. to set up the Islamic Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. Rauf then
got a BS in physics at Columbia University. In 1997, Rauf established the American
Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) with funding from Gloria Steinem’s Ms.
Foundation, New York Carnegie Corporation, U.N. Population Fund, Rockefeller
Brothers Fund, and Hunt Alternatives Fund.
The project is significantly called the Cordoba Initiative, to commemorate the return of
Islam to Spain where it was expelled in 1492. According to Raymond Ibrahim, the
Christian city of Cordoba “was conquered by Muslims around 711, its inhabitants
slaughtered or enslaved. The original mosque of Cordoba — the namesake of the Ground
Zero mosque — was built atop, and partly from the materials of, a Christian church.
Modern day Muslims are well aware of all this. Such is the true — and ominous —
legacy of Cordoba. More pointedly, throughout Islam’s history, whenever a region was
conquered, one of the first signs of consolidation was/is the erection of a mosque atop the
sacred sites of the vanquished.”
The Ground Zero mosque plan is akin to a project initiated by Rauf’s late father in 1965.
That year, Muhammad R. Abdul Rauf came to New York to plan the construction of an
Islamic Cultural Center that took many years to complete.. He bought prime Manhattan
real estate at 96th Street and 3rd Avenue, where a huge mosque was built, with funding
from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Libya.
The mosque at Ground Zero will contain a community center and will draw thousands of
Muslims to worship at the very site where 3000 innocent men and women were murdered
by their brave, dedicated jihadist martyrs. It will have a swimming pool and a basketball
court to attract the young, an auditorium and culinary school, a library, art studios, and
meditation rooms. But it will still symbolize not only a glorious Islamic victory, but also
the impending surrender of America to Islam. It will also have a “memorial” dedicated
to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, which makes the project even more odious,
hypocritical, and dangerous. After all, it will be easy enough to claim the perpetrators of
the crime as “victims” of an unjust West.
That Americans are willing to permit this Trojan Horse to be built in what is now
considered hallowed ground, where so many men and women lost their lives in the worst
terrorist attack visited on America, should make us realize how weakened America has
become in this life and death struggle under the Obama regime in Washington.
According to Salah Choudhury, a journalist and author, who has exposed the work and
motives of Feisel Abdul Rauf: “Rauf’s early UK education and familiarization with
American popular culture and values made him an acutely adept practitioner of Islamic
taqiyya – deceptive speech and action to advance the interests and supremacy of Islam….
Now, Imam Rauf is set to construct his dream project, wherefrom possibly the radical
Islamists will start Islamization of America. This will not be a mere mosque, but a tower
of terrorism to further flex the muscle of militant Islam right inside the heart of United
Liberals like Mayor Bloomberg of New York, who seems to live in a fantasy world, use
the argument of freedom of religion to approve the construction of the mosque at Ground
Zero. They do not accept that we are at war with Global Jihad which is determined to
destroy us. It doesn’t occur to them that the U.S. Constitution is not a suicide pact. But
maybe Bloomberg believes that that Muslims have a Constitutional right to Islamicize
America and destroy our Judeo-Christian heritage in the name of religious freedom. I
wonder what he would say if Christians decided to erect a giant cross at Ground Zero or
if Jews wanted to erect a giant Star of David or a replica of the Ten Commandments at
There is no doubt that if the mosque is built, Ground Zero will become the center of daily
religious and political conflict with competing demonstrations, speakers, pamphlet
distributions, and even violence. The resentment against the mosque is so great among
ordinary Americans that it may well inspire greater resistance to this blatant Islamic plan
to conquer America.
Meanwhile, it is hoped that enough New Yorkers rise up against this evil project and kill
it before it becomes the focus of hatred and dread, an arrogant, brutal affront to the men
and women who died at Ground Zero.
The estimated 15,000 Tablighi missionaries reportedly active in the United States present
a serious national security problem. At best, they and their proxy groups form a powerful
proselytizing movement that preaches extremism and disdain for religious tolerance,
democracy, and separation of church and state. At worst, they represent an Islamist fifth
column that aids and abets terrorism. Contrary to their benign treatment by scholars and
academics, Tablighi Jamaat has more to do with political sedition than with religion.
Feisal Abdul Rauf, the prospective developer of a $100 million, 13-story
mosque 600 feet from Ground Zero, presents himself as a Muslim
moderate. Yet Kuwait-born Feisal Abdul Rauf also boasts of his issue
from an “Egyptian family steeped in religious scholarship”. Indeed,
Feisal Rauf’s Muslim Brotherhood provenance, radical by definition, is as
authentic as it gets.
Rauf’s father, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Rauf [1917-2004] – an Egyptian contemporary of
Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna – conveyed to Feisal his family’s long
tradition of radicalism, which he acquired at Islam’s closest equivalent to the Vatican,
Al-Azhar University. The elder Dr. Rauf studied and taught there before fleeing Egypt in
1948. That year, Feisal Abdul Rauf was born in Kuwait.
Feisal Rauf has planned for some time to further develop his father’s U.S. Islamic
expansionism. In 1990, Rauf opened the tiny al-Farah Mosque at 245 West Broadway in
lower Manhattan. Area residents did not even notice the mosque until 2006, when the
New York State Liquor Authority [SLA] refused to license a new bar on the same block
and started yanking others’ liquor licenses.
Rauf attended grammar school and high school in the UK and Malaysia, according to his
biography. He probably first lived in America only in 1965, at age 17, when his father
moved from Malaysia to New York to plan and head the Islamic Cultural Center [not
built until the mid-1980s]. Rauf then obtained a BS in physics at Columbia University. In
1971, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Rauf’s father headed the Islamic
Center on Massachusetts Ave. His father, buried in Suitland, MD, at the for-profit
Washington National Cemetery, also founded three Malaysian Islamic studies programs,
including the International Islamic University of Malaysia.
Rauf’s early UK education and familiarization with American popular culture and values
made him an acutely adept practitioner of Islamic taqiyya – deceptive speech and action
to advance the interests and supremacy of Islam. To further that Islamic advancement,
Rauf in 1997 established the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA). His
Kashmir-born wife Daisy Kahn, an interior designer by profession, has run the
organization since 2005.
Rauf then began cultivating new spheres of influence. In about summer 2002, Rauf
started lecturing on Islam at the 750-acre southwestern New York campus of Chautauqua
Institution, a 136-year-old non-profit where religion director Joan Brown Campbell took
Rauf under her wing. Under the rubric of the “Abrahamic” faiths, a convenient cover for
Rauf’s Islamic activities, Campbell subsequently named him the prospective head of a
Muslim house now planned on campus by another Rauf brainchild – the 501(3)c
organization Muslim Friends of Chautauqua. Rauf also befriended Karen Armstrong, the
former British nun and devotee of Islam.
In 2003, Rauf befriended leaders of Denver’s Aspen Institute, including former executive
director and four-term Aspen mayor John S. Bennet. In 2004, under ASMA auspices,
Rauf organized a meeting of 125 young Muslims and formed Muslim Leaders of
Tomorrow. With Bennet’s help, he co-founded the Cordoba Initiative in Aspen,
purportedly to “improve” Muslim-West relations. Rauf gets funding from a variety of
other liberal organizations, including, for example, Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Foundation.
Now, the same Rauf is set to construct a mosque at Ground Zero, which he claims will
prove that ‘Islam is not a violent faith’.
As Islamic attacks on September 11, 2001 destroyed the World Trade Center towers,
falling jet debris simultaneously crushed the five-story 1923 structure some 600 feet
away that until that morning housed a robust Burlington Coat Factory store. Over the ruin
of the former retail outlet, Rauf now plans to build a 13-story, $100 million mosque. Rauf
says the Cordoba Initiative bought the former retail building to prove to the world that
Islam is not a violent faith.
Imam Rauf says that New York Muslims provided nearly $5 million in cash to buy the
Park Place building. Yet in fiscal 2009, Rauf’s ASMA received large international
donations. In the year ended June 30, 2009 – days before Feisal closed the purchase –
ASMA received at least $1.3 million. The largest donation, $576,312, came from Qatar.
That Persian Gulf nation has long harbored terror financiers, and even the government
stands accused of funding international terrorism. Qatar also has, for decades, hosted
Muslim Brotherhood spiritual chief Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The elderly sheikh, a large and
founding shareholder in the terror-financing al-Taqwa Bank, champions sharia law, wife
beating, and suicide bombing.
ASMA also received $481,942 from Holland’s Millennial Development Goals Fund
[MDG3], $144,752 from New York’s Carnegie Corporation, $53,664 from the U.N.
Population Fund [UNFPA], plus donations from the Rockefeller Brothers and Hunt
Alternatives funds, among others.
The Ground Zero mosque plan is more than a little reminiscent of a program initiated by
Rauf’s late father in 1965. That year, Muhammad R. Abdul Rauf moved to New York to
plan and head a huge Islamic Cultural Center that took decades to realize. He bought
prime Manhattan real estate at 96th St. and 3rd Ave – roughly two thirds of a city block –
apparently with $1.3 million in funding from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Libya. The late
Rauf long retained some of that land in a personal trust. But when construction started on
the $17 million mosque in 1984, it had received funding from 46 Islamic nations. By
2010, the enormous Islamic complex had added another two buildings. Since 1984, its
founders-envisioned apartment unit has been restricted to Muslims alone.
Whenever Feisal first considered building a mosque across from Ground Zero, he had the
idea firmly in mind by 2004, when he wrote What’s Right with Islam. The book was
translated into many languages. In Indonesia’s Bahasa, its title translates as “The Call
from the WTC Rubble.” Rauf promoted the book in December 2007 at a Kuala Lumpur
gathering of Hizb ut Tahrir — a terror outfit banned in Germany since 2003, and also
outlawed in Bangladesh, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, and Saudi
Arabia, among other places – and ideologically akin to the Muslim Brotherhood. Both
seek to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law [Sharia], and eventually impose
Islam and Sharia law worldwide. Most North American Muslim Brotherhood
organizations avoid widely publicizing that aim. The Hizb Ut Tahrir however, at a July
2009 Khalifah conference at a suburban Chicago Hilton, openly promised to replace
capitalism with Islam and Sharia law.
Now, Imam Rauf is set to construct his dream project, wherefrom possibly the radical
Islamists will start Islamization of America. This will not be a mere mosque, but a tower
of terrorism to further flex the muscle of militant Islam right inside the heart of United
Hope Americans will realize this, before it is too late!
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a journalist, columnist, author, amd editor of the
“Weekly Blitz”. Email him at email@example.com
HOME May-June 2010 Featured Stories Background Information News On The Web
A REVEALING SKETCH OF IMAM RAUF:
FOUNDED GROUND ZERO MOSQUE PROJECT.
HELPED FUND THE GAZA FLOTILLA
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is the founder of the Ground Zero mosque project. He’s also part
of a group that’s funding another group that helped organize the flotilla. Too far
removed for culpability? Let’s see.
The imam behind a proposed mosque near Ground Zero is a
prominent member of a group that helped sponsor the
pro-Palestinian activists who clashed violently with Israeli
commandos at sea this week.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a key figure in Malaysian-based Perdana
Global Peace Organization, according to its website.
Perdana is the single biggest donor ($366,000) so far to the Free Gaza
Movement, a key organizer of the six-ship flotilla that tried to break
Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip Monday.
Here’s Rauf’s bio at the Perdana website.
Chairman, Cordoba Initiative, USA
Feisal Abdul Rauf has been Imam of Masjid al-Farah in New York
City since 1983. Through his sermons and writings, Imam Abdul
Rauf seeks to provide spiritual seekers with answers to their eternal
questions that often hinder them from developing a personal
relationship with the Divine.
He is the founder of the ASMA Society, dedicated to furthering
Islamic Art and Culture. He invites non-Muslims to experience the
spiritual impulse of Islam, and Muslims to develop on the spiritual
He teaches Islam and Sufism at the Center for Religious Inquiry at
St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, and at the New York
Seminary. He has been particularly effective with non-Muslims who
seek to discover and assimilate the spiritual dimension of the Qur’an
and Islam’s ritual teachings, and who seek to understand the Islamic
experience from within.
He is the author of Islam: A Search for Meaning, in which he defines
Islam as the universal religion that goes beyond the cultural settings
of the Prophet Muhammad, and Islam: A Sacred Law, What Every
Muslim should know about the Shari`ah.
Born in Kuwait of Egyptian ancestry, Imam Abdul-Rauf was educated
in England, Egypt, Malaysia and the United States, and is a graduate
of Columbia University in New York. He speaks Arabic, English and
Imam Abdul-Rauf is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic
Center of New York, and of the Interfaith Center of New York. He
lectures regularly at Synagogues, Churches and Mosques, and on
radio and television programs in the United States and abroad.
Reuters confirmed with the Free Gaza Movement — whose supporters include
William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, natch — that its biggest donation did indeed
come from Perdana. Any reason to fault Rauf for belonging to a “global peace
organization” willing to give money to another group that promises only “civil resistance
and non-violent direct action”? Well, it depends. Did he know that the flotilla was
being co-organized by a Turkish charity with terrorist ties? Did he know that goon
provocateurs would be aboard the flotilla, some of them from the Muslim
Brotherhood? Does he realize that the stated mission of the Free Gaza Movement,
i.e. to “establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world,” will
assuredly result in weapons shipments to Hamas? If he didn’t know those things before
— and maybe he didn’t — does finding out now change his opinion of the FGM?
Inquiring reporters should want to know.
But as intriguing as the Post’s report is, it’s actually missing a bigger story. Go take a look
at who the most prominent member of Perdana is. Right — Mahathir Mohamad,
former prime minister of Malaysia, Jew-baiter extraordinaire, and prominent … 9/11
Truther. Actual quote: “There is strong evidence that the attacks were staged. If they
can make Avatar, they can make anything.” Question for Rauf: If you’re all about peace
and healing at Ground Zero, why stick with a charity that’s being spearheaded by a guy
who blames the U.S. government for what happened there?
Which brings me to a point that’s been drowned in the uproar over the mosque. A few
days ago, Greenroomer CK MacLeod accused the mosque’s critics of playing into
jihadists’ hands by conflating radical Muslims with all Muslims. Why punish all
members of the faith collectively by denying them a mosque near Ground Zero, asked
CK, when it’s the Bin Ladenites who are culpable for bringing down the towers? The
problem is, Islam isn’t divided cleanly into “radical” and “liberal” camps, with Osama
emblematic of the first camp and, say, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (who, incidentally, opposes
the Ground Zero mosque) emblematic of the other. It’s a spectrum, which includes true
jihadis, who are willing to commit violence; those who support them morally (and
financially) but are unwilling to commit violence themselves; those who oppose violence
but nonetheless believe in Islamic supremacy; those who believe civil law should be
supreme but nonetheless condone various forms of cultural self-isolation; and of course
truly assimilated, liberal Muslims like Jasser, who risks his life every day speaking out
against the scum on the other end.
At what point on the spectrum does Rauf fall? Does his association with Mahathir affect
that judgment? How about the fact that, as Greenroomer J.E. Dyer notes, he’s
coincidentally chosen to name his mosque after a great Muslim victory over the west? Or,
if all that’s too heady, what about his insistence on bringing his symbol of “healing” to
Ground Zero despite the fact that the idea’s had quite the opposite effect for many New
Yorkers? As I’ve said before, that’s a curious bit of cultural insensitivity, particularly
when no one’s objecting to the idea of a new mosque located pretty much anywhere else
in the city. Just wondering: If some imam decided he wanted to build a mosque on
Ground Zero itself, at the foot of the never-to-be-completed Freedom Tower, shouldn’t
we indulge him per CK’s logic? And if he decided he wanted to build it in the shape of an
airplane — just to “reclaim the symbol” from the evil jihadists who attacked on 9/11,
mind you — shouldn’t we indulge him that, too? At what point is it okay to question
THE TWO FACES OF THE GROUND ZERO
by Raymond Ibrahim
Depending on whether Islamists address Americans or fellow Muslims, the same exact
words they use often relay diametrically opposed meanings. One example: when
Americans hear Muslims evoke “justice,” the former envision Western-style justice,
whereas Muslims naturally have Sharia law justice in mind.
Islamists obviously use this to their advantage: when addressing the West, Osama bin
Laden bemoans the “justice of our causes, particularly Palestine”; yet, when addressing
Muslims, his notion of justice far transcends territorial disputes and becomes
unintelligible from a Western perspective: “Battle, animosity, and hatred — directed from
the Muslim to the infidel — is the foundation of our religion. And we consider this a
justice and kindness to them.
West perceives fighting, enmity, and hatred all for the
sake of the religion [i.e., Islam] as unjust, hostile, and evil. But who’s understanding is
right — our notions of justice and righteousness, or theirs?” (Al Qaeda Reader, p. 43).
Of course, that Osama bin Laden — slayer of 3,000 Americans and avowed enemy to the
rest — exhibits two faces, one to Americans another to Muslims, is not surprising. Yet
the reader may well be surprised to discover that the controversial Cordoba Initiative,
which plans on manifesting itself as the largest American mosque, situated atop Ground
Zero — that is, atop the carnage caused by none other than bin Laden — also has two
faces, conveying one thing to Americans, quite another to Muslims.
The very name of the initiative itself, “Cordoba,” offers different connotations to different
people: In the West, the Andalusian city of Cordoba is regularly touted as the model of
medieval Muslim progressiveness and tolerance for Christians and Jews. To many
Americans, then, the choice to name the mosque “Cordoba” is suggestive of
rapprochement and interfaith dialogue; atop the rubble of 9/11, it implies “healing” —
a new beginning between Muslims and Americans. The Cordoba Initiative’s mission
statement certainly suggests as much:
Cordoba Initiative aims to achieve a tipping point in Muslim-West relations
within the next decade, bringing back the atmosphere of interfaith tolerance and
respect that we have longed for since Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together
in harmony and prosperity eight hundred years ago.
Oddly enough, the so-called “tolerant” era of Cordoba supposedly occurred during the
caliphate of ‘Abd al-Rahman III (912-961) — well over a thousand years ago. “Eight
hundred years ago,” i.e., around 1200, the fanatical Almohids — ideological predecessors
of al-Qaeda — were ravaging Cordoba, where “Christians and Jews were given the
choice of conversion, exile, or death.” A Freudian slip on the part of the Cordoba
At any rate, the true history of Cordoba, not to mention the whole of Andalusia, is far less
inspiring than what Western academics portray: the Christian city was conquered by
Muslims around 711, its inhabitants slaughtered or enslaved. The original mosque of
Cordoba — the namesake of the Ground Zero mosque — was built atop, and partly from
the materials of, a Christian church. Modern day Muslims are well aware of all this. Such
is the true — and ominous — legacy of Cordoba.
More pointedly, throughout Islam’s history, whenever a region was conquered, one of the
first signs of consolidation was/is the erection of a mosque atop the sacred sites of the
vanquished: the pagan Ka’ba temple in Arabia was converted into Islam’s holiest site, the
mosque of Mecca; the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, was built atop
Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem; the Umayyad mosque was built atop the Church of St.
John the Baptist; and the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque upon the conquest
(Speaking of, in 2006, when the Pope visited the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, there was a
risk that the “Islamic world [would go] into paroxysms of fury” if there was “any
perception that the pope is trying to re-appropriate a Christian center that fell to
Muslims,” for example, if he had dared pray there — this even as Muslims today seek to
build a mosque on the rubble of the Twin Towers.)
Such double-standards lead us back to the issue of double-meanings: As for the literal
wording of the mosque project, “Cordoba House,” it too offers opposing paradigms of
thought: to Westerners, the English word “house” suggests shelter, intimacy — coziness,
even; in classical Arabic, however, the word for house, dar, can also mean “region,” and
is regularly used in a divisive sense, as in Dar al-Harb, i.e., “infidel region of war.” Thus,
to Muslim ears, while “Cordoba” offers allusions of conquest and domination, dar is
further suggestive of division and separation (from infidels, a la the doctrine of al-Wala’
wa al-Bara’, for instance).
Words aside, even the mosque’s scheduled opening date — 9/11/2011 — has two aspects:
to Americans, opening the mosque on 9/11 is to proclaim a new beginning with the
Muslim world on the ten-year anniversary of the worst terror strikes on American soil;
however, it just so happens that Koranic verse 9:111 is one of the loftiest calls for
suicidal jihad — believers are exhorted to “kill and be killed” — and is probably the
reason al-Qaeda originally chose that date to strike. So while Americans may think the
mosque’s planned 9/11 opening is meant to commemorate that date, cryptically speaking,
it is an evocation for all out war. A “new beginning,” indeed, but of a very different sort,
namely, the propagation of more Islamists and jihadists — mosques are, after all,
epicenters of radicalization — on, of all places, soil sacred to America.
Some final thoughts on the history of Cordoba and the ominous parallels it bodes for
America: though many Christian regions were conquered by Islam prior to Cordoba, its
conquest signified the first time a truly “Western” region was conquered by the sword of
Islam. It was also used as a base to launch further attacks into the heart of Europe (until
decisively beaten at the Battle of Tours), just as, perhaps, the largest mosque in
America will be used as a base to subvert the rest of the United States. And, the sacking
of the original Cordoba was facilitated by an insider traitor — a warning to the U.S.,
which seems to have no end of traitors and willing lackeys.
Such, then, is the dual significance of the Cordoba Initiative: What appears to many
Americans as a gesture of peace and interfaith dialogue, is to Muslims allusive of Islamist
conquest and consolidation; mosques, which Americans assume are Muslim counterparts
to Christian churches — that is, places where altruistic Muslims congregate and pray for
world peace and harmony — are symbols of domination and centers of radicalization; the
numbers of the opening date, 9/11/11, appear to Americans as commemorative of a new
beginning, whereas the Koranic significance of those numbers is suicidal jihad. Of
course, the two faces of the Cordoba House should not be surprising considering that the
man behind the initiative, Feisal Abdul Rauf, also has two faces.
Going along with the historic analogy, there is one bit of good news: As opposed to the
vast majority of onetime Western/Christian nations annexed by Islam, Cordoba, Spain
did ultimately manage to overthrow the Islamic yoke. Though only after some 700 years of occupation.
Ed Martin, host of Pro America Report recently interviewed Camp Constitution director Hal Shurtleff. Ed’s show is heard on a number of radio stations and podcast platforms: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/shurtleffhal/episodes/2023-11-13T14_02_16-08_00
Hal Shurtleff, director and co-founder at Camp Constitution, joins Ed to discuss his Supreme Court victory last year, in which the Supreme Court upheld his right to fly the Christian Flag in a precedent-setting First Amendment case. Hal and Ed also discuss the importance of educating people about the Constitution.
Ed Martin is the New York Times best-selling author of The Conservative Case for Trump. He’s a former CNN political contributor and has appeared on every major TV network and hundreds of radio stations. He serves as an articulate advocate for Donald Trump’s policies that put Americans first. Formally trained as a lawyer and ethicist, Ed is the president of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles and the hand-picked successor to Phyllis Schlafly. He was the Missouri Republican Party chairman and a member of the Republican National Committee from 2013-2015. He lives in Virginia (in the swamp, not of the swamp!) with his wife and four children.
Dyslexia is an exotic word, concocted from the Greek dys, meaning ill or bad,
and lexia, meaning words. It was invented to describe a condition that affects
many normal and intellectual youngsters who, for some reason that seems to baffle most educators, parents, and physicians, can’t learn to read. The difference between a dyslexic and a functional illiterate is purely social.
Dyslexics are usually adolescents from middle-class or professional families
whose parents assume that their child’s reading difficulty is more of a medical or
psychological problem than an educational one. The child is too smart to be that
The functional illiterate is simply someone who has kept his reading problem
to himself and goes through life pretending he can read, avoiding situations which
involve reading, choosing, jobs which do not reveal his reading disability. He assumes he’s dumb, not sick or mentally disturbed.
However, in the last ten years, with the growth of federally funded Special Education and the proliferation of early testing, more and more children with reading
difficulties are being labeled “learning disabled,” or LD, in the first grade or even
kindergarten. These children are being “diagnosed” as suffering from minimal
brain damage, minimal brain dysfunction, neurological impairment, perceptual
impairment, attention deficit syndrome, or dyslexia.
What are the symptoms of dyslexia? The Academic American Encyclopedia
(Vol. 6, page 320) gives us as good a summary of the disease as we shall find
anywhere. It says:
“Dyslexia refers to an impaired ability to read or comprehend what one reads,
caused by congenital disability or acquired brain damage. Dyslexia is independent
of any speech defect and ranges from a minor to a total inability to read.”
Specialist used the term specific dyslexia to refer to inability to read in a person
of normal or high general intelligence whose learning is not impaired by socioeconomic deprivation, emotional disturbance, or brain damage. Psychologists disagree about whether specific dyslexia is a clearly identifiable syndrome. Those
who think it is clearly identifiable note that it persists into adulthood despite conventional instruction; tends to run in families; and occurs more frequently in males. It is also associated with a specific kid of difficulty in identifying words
and letters, which dyslexics tend to reverse or invert (reading p or q, or example
or on for no). Competing theories exist about the causes and nature of dyslexia.
Although there is disagreement among “experts” over the causes of dyslexia,
there is general agreement that the most effective “cure” is remedial programs that
Dr. Orton’s Findings
But it is somewhat puzzling that there should be so much disagreement over
the cause of dyslexia, when, as early as 1929, a leading physician attributed its
cause to a new look-say, whole word, or sight method of teaching reading that
was being introduced in the schools of America. In February 1929, there appeared
in the Journal of Educational Psychology an article entitled “The ‘Sight Reading’
Method of Teaching Reading as a Source of Reading Disability.” written by Dr.
Samuel T. Orton, a neurologist at Iowa State University.
Dr. Orton, a brain specialist who dealt with children’s language disorders, had
been seeing a lot of children with reading problems at his clinic. In diagnosing the
children’s problems at his clinic he came to the conclusion that their reading disability was being caused by this new instruction method. He decided to bring these findings to the attention of the educators, and he did so in as diplomatic a
way as was possible. He wrote:
“I wish to emphasize at the beginning that the strictures which I have to offer here
do not apply to the use of the sight method of teaching reading as a whole but
only to its effects on a restricted group of children for whom, as I think we can
show, this technique is not only not adapted but often proves an actual obstacle to
reading progress, and moreover I believe that this group is one of considerable
size and because here faulty teaching methods may not only prevent the acquisition of academic education by children of average capacity but may also give rise to far reaching damage to their emotional life.”
This warning to the educators was quite explicit: this method of teaching will
harm a large number of children.
D. Orton expected the educators to respond to his findings. They did – negatively. In fact, they accelerated the introduction and promoted of the new teaching methods throughout the primary schools of America. And it didn’t take very long
before America began to have a reading problem.
The Disease Spreads
Although Dr. Orton went to become the world’s leading authority on “dyslexia,”
and in effect created on of the most effective remediation techniques, the Orton-Gillingham method, his 1929 article is nowhere referred to in the literature on the
I came across it quite by accident while doing research for my book, The New
Illiterates, which was published in 1973. But why the experts on dyslexia have not
found it, I don’t know. In any case, dyslexia was virtually unknown in this country until the 1940s when, suddenly millions of American children were coming
down with the disease. Life magazine reported in April 1944:
“Millions of children in the U.S. suffer from dyslexia which is the medical
term for reading difficulties. It is responsible for about 70% of the school failures
in the 60 to 12-year-age group, and handicaps about 15% of all grade-school children. Dyslexia may stem from a variety of physical ailments or combination of them – glandular imbalance, heart disease, eye or ear trouble – or form a deep-seated psychological disturbance that ‘blocks’ a child’s ability to learn. The article then described the treatment for dyslexia giving a young girl at
Chicago’s Dyslexia Institute on the campus of Northwest University: “thyroid
treatments, removal of tonsils and adenoids, exercise to strengthen her eye muscles. Other patients needed dental work, nose, throat or ear treatment, or a thorough airing out of troublesome home situations that throw a sensitive child off the
track of normality.”
Enter Dr. Flesch
In 1955, Dr. Rudolf Flesch published his famous book, Why Johnny Can’t
Read, in which he revealed to parents the true cause of the reading problem. He
“The teaching of reading – all over the United States, in all schools, and in all
textbooks – is totally wrong and flies in the face of all logic and common sense.”
And then he explained how in the early 1930s the professor of education
changed the way reading is taught in American schools. They threw out traditional alphabetic-phonics method, which is the proper way to teach a child to read an alphabetic writing system, and put in a new look-say, whole-word, or sight
method that teaches children to read an alphabetic writing system, and they put I a
new look-say, whole-word, or sight method that teaches children to read English
as if it were Chinese, an ideographic writing system. Flesch contended that when
you impose an ideographic teaching method on an alphabetic writing system you
cause reading disability.
Dr. Orton had said as much in 1929, but in 1955 Flesch could cite millions of
reading-disabled children as substantiation of what he was saying. Naturally, the
educators rejected Flesch’s contentions.
Most people, of course, don’t know the difference between an alphabetic system and an ideographic one. But one must know the difference in order to understand how and why look-say can cause dyslexia.
Ours is an alphabetic writing system, which means that we use an alphabet.
What is an alphabet? It is a set of graphic symbols – we call them “letters” – that
stand for the irreducible speech sounds of the language. In other words, alphabet
letters are not meaningless configurations. They actually stand for something.
Each letter represents a specific sound, and in some cases more than one sound.
All alphabets are the same in that regard. The Russian, Greek, and Hebrew alphabets all stand for sounds of their respective languages, and the English alphabet stands for the sounds of the English language.
How does one teach a child or anyone else to read an alphabetic writing system? For hundreds of years it was done very simply in three steps.
First, the child was taught to recognize the letters of the alphabet; second, the child was taught
the sounds the letters stood for; and third, the child was then given words and sentences to read.
How was the child taught the letter sounds? Usually it was done in the simplest
mechanical way possible. For example, the child was taught the consonant sounds
and then drilled on the consonant-vowel combinations arranged in colwnn form,
such as ba, be, bi, bo, bu; da, de, di, do, du etc. the purpose of the drill was to enable the child to develop as quickly and easily as possible an automatic association between letter and sound. Developing that association is at the heart of learning to read an alphabetic writing system.
Pictographs and Ideographs
The first alphabet was invented about 2,000 B.C. Prior to that invention, the
earliest form of writing we know of is pictograph – the pictures represented objects and actions. You didn’t have to go to school to learn to read pictographs, for the symbols looked like the things they represented.
However, as civilization became more complex, the scribes had to begin drawing
pictures of things that did not lend themselves to easy depiction. For example,
how would you draw pictures of such concepts as good, bad, dream, reality, persuasion, confidence, memory, intent, liberty, justice, etc? You can’t. So the scribes drew symbols, none of which looked like the concept they represented.
Thousands and thousands of such symbols – called idiographs – were created.
And now you had to go to school and be taught what all these symbols meant.
The result was that literacy was limited to a small class of scholars, scribes and
priests. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics is an ideographic writing system, and so
is modern Chinese. The Chinese use 50,000 ideographs, of which 5,000 must be
mastered if an individual is to be able to read a Chinese newspaper. Thus, ideographic writing is cumbersome, difficult, and time-consuming to master.
However, somewhere around 2,000 RC. someone in the area of ancient Phoenicia
(today’s southern Lebanon and northern Israel) made a remarkable discovery. He
discovered that all the human language, everything we say, is actually composed
of a small number of irreducible speech sounds arranged in end.less combinations.
It occurred to him that by creating a set of symbols to stand for the irreducible
speech sounds of the language, he could create a new form of writing based on
actual transcription of the spoken word. And so alphabetic writing was invented.
Advantages of tbe Alpbabet
And now for the first time an had an accurate, precise means of transcribing
the spoken word directly into written form, and an equally precise means of translating the written word back into its spoken form. It was the most revolutionary invention in all history. It did away with hieroglyphic and ideographic writing and
accelerated the speed of intellectual deVelopment. It also made learning to read
simple and available to the population as a whole. The invention of the alphabet also had great spiritual significance for mankind.
It permitted the word of God to be put down on paper accurately and precisely in
the form of the Scripture. It made the word of God accessible to the human race.
Clearly, alphabetic writing had enormous advantages over ideographs: I it permitted greatly increased speeds and accuracy in communications, it was easy to master, and it facilitated a tremendous expansion in vocabulary, permitting the human
mind to develop ideas hitherto inconceivable.
In the light of all these advantages, it seems strange that professors of education in the 1930s would decide to teach American children to read English if it were an ideographic writing system. How could you possibly teach children to
read that way? To a logical mind the whole idea seems not only absurd but insane.
Yet, that is what the professors did.
Their idea was that it was better for children to look at whole words as pictures
and have them associate them directly with objects, actions and ideas rather than
have them learn to associate the letters with sounds. And so they eliminated step
two in the three-step alphabetic learning process and had the children go directly
from step one to step three; sometimes they would even skipped step one and
started out with whole words. Essentially, the method works as follows: the child is given a sight vocabulary
to memorize. He is taught to look and say the word without knowing that the letters stand for sounds. As far as the pupil is concerned, the letters are a bunch of
arbitrary squiggles arranged in some arbitrary, haphazard order. His task is to see
a picture in the configuration of the whole word – to make the word horse look
like a horse.
Of course, the word horse does not look like a horse. So how does a child remember that the word is horse? Anyway, he can. There isn’t a professor of education anywhere in the world who can tell you how a child learns a sight vocabulary. The only research we know of that addresses that question was done by Josephine H. Bowden at the elementary school of the University of Chicago around
1912. A description of the studies was given by Prof. Walter F. Dearborn in 1914
In the first study of pupils, who had no instruction in reading, were
taught by a word method without the use of phonics and the problem was
to determine by what means children actually recognized and differentiated words when left to their own devices. The following quotation indicates the methods employed by the experimenter: “First, incidents; for example, one day when the child was given the cards to read from, it was observed that she read with equal ease whether the card was right side up
or upside down. This incident suggested a test which was later given. Second, comments of the child; for example, when she was asked to find in context the word ‘shoes,’ she said that ‘dress’ looked so much like ‘shoes’
that she was afraid she would make a mistake. Third, questioning; for example, she had trouble to distinguish between ‘sing’ and ‘song.’ When she had mastered the words she was asked how she knew which was which.
Her reply was, ‘by the looks.’ When questioned further she put her finger
on the ‘i’ and the ‘0.’ These three types of evidence correspond to introspection with an adult. The fourth type of evidence is comparison of the words learned with the words not learned as to the parts of speech, geometric form, internal form, and length. Fifth, misreadings; for example, ‘dogs’ was read ‘twigs,’ and ‘feathers,’ ‘fur.’ Sixth, mutilations; for example ‘dogs’ was printed ‘digs,’ lilac’ was printed ‘laJci.”’
Some of the conclusions may be cited, first as regards the kinds of
words most easily learned on the basis of the word form. Four out of six
children learned more ‘linear’ words, i&., words like “acorns,” “saw,” in
which there were no high letters, than of any other group. In but one case
were the “superlinear” words more easily recognized misreadings or the mistaking of one word for another occurred most frequently in these early stages, first when the words were of the same length (which again converts Messmer’s findings); secondly, when words had common letters, the “g” and “0” of “igloo” caused it to be read as “dogs”;
thirdly, when the initial letters of words were the same; and fourthly, when
the final letters were the same. Words were recognized upside down
nearly as easily as right side up, but [ only] two children noticing any difference. The word seems to be recognized as a whole, and as the author notes, recognized upside down just as the child would recognize a toy upside down. The general conclusion of the study may be quoted:
“The comments and the questions, as well as misreadings, seem to
show that children learn to read words by the trial-and-error method. It
may be the length of the word, the initial letter, the final letter, a characteristic letter, the position of the word in the sentence, or even the blackness of the type that serves as the cue. . .. There is no evidence that the child
works out a system by which he learns to recognize words. That he does
not work out phonics for himself comes out quite clearly in the transposition test. Furthermore, only once did a child divide a word even into its syllables. There is some evidence that conscious of letters, except in the
case of “E,” who so analyzed the word “six.” Sometimes, when the child
seems to have made a letter analysis, he failed to recognize the word a
second time, and in some cases did not learn it at all.”
And so it was obvious to the professors as far back as 1914 that the sight method
was a totally horrendous, inefficient and illogical way to teach a child to read.
And despite Dr. Orton’s warning in 1929 that the method would harm many children, they proceeded to put their new reading programs in all the schools of America.
Of Course, they beefed up their sight vocabulary approach with a battery of
“word recognition strategies.” They provided configuration clues – putting sight
words in frames; picture clues – loading the page with illustrations depicting the
words; context clues – inane stories in which the word could be easily guessed on
the basis of context; and phonetic clues – teaching initial and final consonant
sounds to reduce some ridiculousness of some of the guessing.
It is important to note that teaching phonetic clues is not the same as teaching intensive, systematic phonics. The latter helps the child develop an automatic association of letters and sounds and teaches blending. The fonner simply teaches isolated consonant sounds with no connection to the rest of the syllable.
That this method of teaching can cause symptoms of dyslexia is not difficult to
surmise. What are the symptoms? Dr. Harold N. Levinson, founder of the Medical
Dyslexic Treatment Center in Lake Success, New York, and author of Smart But
Feeling Dumb which he dedicated to “40 million dyslexic Americans,” lists the
symptoms as follows: (1) memory instability for letters, words, or numbers; (2) a
tendency to skip over or scramble letters, words, and sentences; (3) poor, slow,
fatiguing reading ability prone to compensatory head tilting, near-far focusing,
and finger pointing; (4) reversal of letters such as Q, g, words such as saw and
was, and numbers such as 6 and 9 or 16 and 61.
Most of these symptoms sound like the very mistakes made by those children
back in 1912 who were trying to learn a sight vocabulary. Some of those children
even read words upside down!
But it is obvious that if you are told to look at words as a picture, you may look
at it from right to left as easily as from left to right You will reverse letters because they look alike and you have not been drilled to know them by sound as well as by sight. You will be a poor speller because the sequence of letters seems
completely arbitrary, with no rhyme or reason. Of course, to a phonetic reader the
sequence of letters is most important because it follows the same sequence in
which the sounds are uttered. Other symptoms include transposing letters in a word, for example, abroad for
aboard, left for felt, how for who; confusing words with others of similar configuration, such as, through, though, thought, or quit, quite, quiet, guessing at unknown words.
Dr. Kenneth L. Goodman, America’s top professor of reading, calls reading a
“psycho linguistic guessing game.” And that’s exactly what it is for most American children in today’s primary schools. The result is an explosion in Special Education, which has become the growth industry for educators so worried about
falling enrollment. The primary schools create the learning disabilities, and the
federal government is funding a new industry to deal with them. In the 1976-77
school year there were 976,000 learning disabled students in Special Education.
In 1983-84 there were 1,806,000. Dyslexia is booming!
Obviously, the prevalent teaching method causes dyslexia. I have visited many
American cities on my lecture tours and have seen for myself the look-say basal
reading programs being used in today’s primary classrooms all across the country.
You can imagine my feelings when I know that the minds of millions of American children are being permanently crippled, their futures handicapped, their self-esteem destroyed by educators who should have known better. This criminal malpractice is going on right now in your community. And yet there is little one can
do about it. The professors of education won’t listen – after all, they write the
textbooks. The book publishers publish what the educators want and what the
textbooks committees adopt. The classroom teachers, as a whole, now no other
way to teach; the professional organizations promote look-say; the principals,
administrators, and superintendents leave the teaching of reading to the “experts.”
Circumventing the System
But there is some hope. There are a growing number of private and church
schools that are teaching children to read by alphabetic, systematic, intensive
phonics. Also, the home-school movement has largely adopted phonics as the technique to teach reading. And here and there one finds a teacher in public schools
who uses an alphabetic-phonics approach or even a school district that has
adopted a phonics-oriented basal.
However, for the nation as a whole, there is little hope that the vast majority of
schools will change their teaching methods in the foreseeable future – unless a
group of well informed top business leaders make the teaching of reading a top
priority issue and force the educators to change their ways. But considering how
poorly informed our business leaders are and how difficult it is to reach them, let
alone brief them on this rather complex subject, there is little likelihood that they
will act effectively on behalf of the children entrapped in the public schools.
(The quotation from Dr. Dearborn is from The Psychological Researches of James
McKeen Cattell: A Review by Some of His Pupils, Archives of psychology, No.
30, 1914, pp. 40-41.)
The above article was written in the mid 1980s and can be found along with much of Sam Blumenfeld’s works in the Sam Blumenfeld Archive: http://campconstitution.net/sam-blumenfeld-archive/
The emormous failure of our government school system was nicely
summed up by a Boston high school teacher in a recent issue of Education
Week (12/9/98). He said:
“I have about 30 kids in my U.S. history class. They come from nine
different countries; most of them can’t read. Even if they can read the text,
they don’t know what it means. How am I supposed to teach U.S. history to
kids who can’t read? I could come in here every day for 20 years and still
not figure out how to do it.”
Obviously, this particular teacher had no idea how these kids got into
high school without knowing how to read. He had no idea what goes on in
primary school that prevents these children from learning to read, and he
had no idea what to do with older students who are functionally illiterate.
Clearly, the teacher himself is part of the problem. His ignorance of how the
system functions prevents him from helping his students get through it in
one piece. In other words, the compartmentalization of teachers explains
why so many of them have no idea of how the total system works and why
the system can lurch from crisis to crisis without any effective change taking
The real blame for the system’s dysfunction, however, must lie with the
professors of education, the state departments of education, and the
administrators who have all conspired to create the functional illiteracy that
plagues the public schools of America — once considered the most literate
and advanced nation on earth. Deliberately induced illiteracy among
students is a vital part of the plan to dumb down Americans so that they will
be unable to resist the imposition of social and political control by an
arrogant universitarian elite determined to create a new world order based
on humanist-socialist values.
This “education” plan is part of the utopian socialist agenda set down
by the progressives at the turn of the century. The progressives were
members of the Protestant academic elite who no longer believed in the
religion of their fathers. They put their new faith in science, evolution, and
psychology. Science explained the material world (matter in motion),
evolution explained the origin of life (organisms crawling out of the
primordial ooze), and psychology explained human nature and provided
the elite with the scientific means of controlling human behavior.
These men were also socialists. Why? Because they had to deal with
the problem of evil. The Bible tells us that evil is the result of man’s innate
depravity, his innate sinful nature. But since the progressives did not
believe in the Bible, they decided that evil was caused by ignorance,
poverty, and social injustice. And what was the cause of social injustice?
Why, it was this horrible capitalist system with all of its inequities. Socialism,
it was believed, would remove these inequities and thereby solve the
problem of evil. By the way, the progressives did not get their model of
socialism from Karl Marx.
They got it from an American by the name of
Edward Bellamy whose book, Looking Backward, published in 1888,
projected the fantasy of a socialist America in the year 2000.
And so, the progressives, dedicated to their utopian ideal, decided to
do all in their power to change America from an individualistic, capitalist,
and religious society into a socialist, collectivist, humanist or atheist society.
How were they to accomplish that? Through the education system. They
would change the curriculum and teaching methods in the public schools so
that American children would emerge as young socialists willing to change
our way of life into a socialist one.
The socialists realized that the transformation might take as much as a
hundred years to complete. In fact, John Dewey wrote in 1898: “Change
must come gradua.lly. To force it unduly would compromise its final success
by favoring a violent reaction .” Dewey then outlined the long-range strategy
which the progressives were to adopt:
What is needed in the first place is that there should be a full and frank statement
of conviction with regard to the matter from physiologists and psychologists and from
those school administrators who are conscious of the evils of the present regime.
Educators should also frankly face the fact that the New Education, as it exists today, is
a compromise and a transition: it employs new methods but its controlling ideals are
virtually of the Old Education. Wherever movements looking to a solution of the
problem are intelligently undertaken, they should receive encouragement, moral and
financial, from the intellectual leaders of the community. There are already in
existence a considerable number of educational “experiment stations,” which
represent the outposts of educational progress. If these schools can be adequately
supported for a number of years they will perform a great vicarious service. After such
schools have worked out carefully and definitely the subject-matter of the new
curriculum,–finding the right place for language-studies and placing them in their right
perspective,–the problem of the more general educational reform will be immensely
One hundred years later we can see how successful the Dewey plan
has been in transforming our educational system into one that serves the
needs of the atheist socialist state. Dewey was aided and abetted by a
cadre of reformers that included such luminaries as Edward L. Thorndike,
James McKeen Cattell, Elwood P. Cubberly, George D. Strayer, Charles
Judd, James R. Angell and a host of others. Thorndike, Cattell, and Strayer
ra~ an educational mafia out of Teachers College (Columbia), Cubberly
reigned at Stanford, and Angell became president at Yale.
Change in the curriculum of public education has happened so
gradually that most parents haven’t the faintest idea what is happening to
their children, four million of whom are being drugged daily with Ritalin so
that they can sit in their classroom seats and be socialized without
What is truly amazing is the coherence and continuity of the
progressive agenda which is as much alive today at it was when Dewey and
company were pontificating. For example, The Whole Language Catalog, a
sort of bible of the whole-language movement published in 1991, has 15
entries for John Dewey in its index. After citing his debt to Dewey, Kenneth
Goodman, the leading guru of whole-language philosophy, writes:
Whole language picks up where the progressives left off . … [It] takes the
philosophy and positive, child-centered view of the progressive educators and adds
the knowledge of language, of learning, of child development, and of teaching, and
builds a strong scientific base under them . It is this combination of science and
humanistic educational and social philosophy that forms the foundation for whole
language curriculum . … We use the psychological concepts of Piaget and Vygotsky to
underscore Dewey’s concept of learning as transaction: pupils making sense of their
world and being changed themselves in the transactions. (p. 281)
In the early days, the progressives were mainly supported by the major
Today the reforms are being underwritten by
federal and state governments. Three recent federal programs are funding
the massive restructuring of American education in accordance with the
progressives’ plans: Goals 2000 (enacted 3/31/94), School-to-Work
Opportunities Act (enacted 5/4/94), and the Improving America’s Schools
Act, a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of
1965 (enacted 10/20/94). Thus, the Congress of the United States has
become an accomplice in the progressive plan to restructure American
education in the socialist mold.
Apart from needing the funds to carry out their plan, the progressives
also realized that coherence and continuity of their agenda over a hundred
years was vitally necessary if the plan was to be successful. Thus, in 1901
they created the National Society for the Study of Education, wherein the
progressive leaders would be able to formulate their programs of reform,
debate their effectiveness, and pass on the baton to their loyal disciples. By
studying their yearbooks, the first of which was published in 1902, one can
follow the inexorable progress of the socialist takeover of American
All of this was accomplished by tenured professors of education and
behavioral psychologists, working within a maze of well funded professional
organizations, publishing journals, writing textbooks, holding hundreds of
conferences, seminars, and conventions each year. None of this has been
visible to the average parent who puts a child in a public school. Parents
assume that their schools are run by local school boards, superintendents,
principals, and teachers. What they don’t see is the invisible hand behind
this constant pressure for reform that keeps recreating the curriculum .
The average teacher may feel that there is some kind of invisible hand
at work, but teachers would rather blame failure on cultural trends,
excessive television viewing, dysfunctional parents, and such student
disabilities as attention deficit disorder and dyslexia.
Obviously, this is a system of education that cannot be supported by
any Christian. Local control no longer exists. It was inevitable that a
government education system would become a federal system controlled
by those who have been leading us toward totalitarian socialism. Do I
exaggerate? To be convinced that the end goal is a totalitarian system, all
one has to do is read the Student Data Handbook for Early Childhood,
Elementary, and Secondary Education (NCES 94-303). This is the official
guidebook for the computerized data-gathering system dreamed up by our
totalitarian bureaucrats. The data will include massive information on
health, family, religion, attitudes, psychological assessments, etc. For
example, the attitudinal test is described as: “An assessment to measure
the mental and emotional set or patterns of likes and dislikes or opinions
held by a student or a group of students.
This is often used in relation to
considerations such as controversial issues or personal adjustments.”
All of this sensitive, personal data will be housed in a central computer
in Washington making it easy for “educators” to control just about everyone.
But the question is simply this: does the government of a free people have
the right to collect this kind of information on all of its citizens for its own
political or social purposes? Should the government of a free people record
the attitudes and opinions of its citizens so that it can engineer thei r
The time has come for Christians to realize what has become of the
“land of the free and the home of the brave.” If Christians want to restore
the full measure of our freedoms, they will have to do what they are
reluctant to do: remove their children en masse from the public schools.
What is needed now is not accomodation to the plans of the American
Pharoah but a full-fledged exodus of Christian children. That’s the easiest
and most peaceful way to put an end to the socialist agenda and return
America to its basic constitutional principles. Will Christians have the
courage to do what must be done? That test will be upon us sooner than
(The above article was written in 1998. It is part of the Sam Blumenfeld Archives-a free on-line resource: http://campconstitution.net/sam-blumenfeld-archive/
What the people of Argentina are going through is possible in any country that uses paper “money” as the basis of its economic activity. Today’s paper money has no backing and therefore is only worth what the government or central bank says it is worth. We call that kind of paper money “Legal Tender.” In other words, the government invests its faith and credit in the value stated on the paper note. Money is supposed to be a medium of exchange and a storage of wealth and we accept paper money because the government backs its stated value. But such a system can only work if the people have trust and confidence in their government and their government behaves responsibly. If we go back to the early days of economic activity, we find that barter was the earliest form of exchange.
A person could exchange a cow for sausages. In other words, one gave value for value. The medium of exchange was awkward and cumbersome, and the two individuals involved had to make value judgments about what they were getting for their commodity. But then it was found that gold would be accepted by many sellers in lieu of a perishable commodity as a medium of exchange, because of its scarcity and convenience. Gold also became an excellent storage for wealth. You could hold gold without its spoiling for as long as you wanted, and people would gladly exchange commodities for it. But then, as civilization ‘progressed, keeping gold became inconvenient. It could also easily be stolen. So, people began putting their gold for safekeeping in banks, and the banks issued gold certificates or banknotes. The banknotes were worth their weight in gold. But then the banks used the gold deposits as security for high-interest loans, which they made by issuing banknotes. But when the loans were not repaid, and the owners of gold cashed in their banknotes, the bank became insolvent, and their notes were no longer honored.
This was the case in early America, where the Farmer’s Almanack up to 1863 actually listed “Worthless and Uncurrent Bank Notes in New England.” Thirteen banks in Boston alone were listed as having worthless bank notes. None of today’s currencies have any backing at all except the faith and credit of the government behind it. In Argentina, the faith and credit of the government no longer exists. And so, its citizens hold paper money that has already lost half its value by government devaluation. The Argentine peso cannot be said to be a storage of wealth. Only those individuals who were smart enough to buy gold or U.S. dollars will come out ahead of the game, because they did not trust their government to maintain the value of Argentine currency. So, what is money today? The money that becomes figures in a computer must still be earned the old-fashioned way, by working for it, or earning it through prudent investment. That is, for most people. The expansion of government has made it possible to pay the needy in welfare checks and food stamps.
It is still possible to use gold as a storage of wealth. As long as paper money is susceptible to inflation, the dollar will continue to decrease in value. Thus, we have experienced exactly what the Argentines have experienced but over a much longer period of time. Those people in Argentina who owned gold came out ahead of everyone else, because the price of gold is set on the world market in London, and it is now worth as much as holders of the Argentine peso have to pay for it. Also, those who owned valuable real estate did well.
Once you understand the vulnerabilities of paper money, you have to invest your money and store it in ways that will maintain and hopefully increase its value. Putting it in the bank at today’s low interest will not increase its value. The stock market is still the best way to grow wealth. But you must buy stock in companies that you know will grow and prosper. Real estate is one of the best ways to store wealth, particularly in areas of increasing value. It makes sense to take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates to buy a house. Antiques and valuable works of art also make good investments. As for gold, it is a commodity. Its price is subject to periodic fluctuations caused by political and economic crises. There is no way of knowing for sure what the price of gold will be tomorrow. In other words, those who bought gold when it was $800 an ounce lost half its value as it declined to $350. It all depends at what price you buy it and at what price you sell it.
(The above article was written in the 1990s and is found among much of Sam’s work in the Sam Blumenfeld Archives: http://campconstitution.net/sam-blumenfeld-archive/
On this day in 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis formally surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a French and American force at Yorktown, Virginia, bringing the American Revolution to a close.
This is from This Day in History: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/cornwallis-surrenders-at-yorktown