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.
For Such a Time
“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under Heaven;
A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to break down and a time to build up;
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance;
A time to cast away and a time to gather;
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain and a time to lose;
A time to keep and a time to throw away;
A time to tear and a time to sow;
A time to keep silent and a time to speak;
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time of war and a time of peace…
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Also He has put eternity in their hearts…” Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
A Time to Stand
There are times when we must stand up, step out and speak up, fighting the good fight of Faith. This Scripture teaches us that we need to be ready to defend our family, our Faith and our future. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the Faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8
Lessons from God’s Creatures
It is noticeable that God has provided His creatures with weapons. Almost every animal has some means of defense, for flight, or fight, means of camouflage to defend themselves and their loved ones. God has equipped His creatures with claws, talons, teeth, horns, hooves, and tusks. How can it be that the Creator has provided His Creation with weapons and with the instinct to protect their lives and their young, but Christians whose names written in the Lambs’ Book of Life, believers, are expected to instead be pacifist doormats, like salt that has lost its saltiness, good for nothing, but to be thrown outside and trampled underfoot!
Be Armed and Prepared
Our Lord Jesus Christ told his disciples: “He who has no sword, let him sell his garments and buy one.” Luke 22:36
Self-Defence is Mandated in God’s Law
The Law of God is clear: “If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no quilt for his bloodshed.” Exodus 22:2. The Law of God establishes the basic right of self-defence. Any person is justified in defending himself, or his family, whenever they are attacked, or their lives are in danger. Any weapon is permissible for use in self-defence. The Law of God does not say that the homeowner is guilty if he uses a sword, but innocent if he uses a club! The issue is not one of weapons, tools, but the right and duty of self-defence.
A Father’s Duty
Fathers and husbands are required by Almighty God to provide for their families. This includes providing food, housing, clothing, education, medical care, love, discipleship and spiritual guidance. But he must also provide protection. Of what worth are all the other provisions, if one does not provide protection as well? Anyone who fails to provide for their family has denied the Faith and is worse than an unbeliever. In fact, those who refuse to protect their young are worse than an animal. What animal will not fight to protect its offspring?
Violent Threats from Pimps
Through the years, I have received numerous death threats. This has included from pimps who violently objected to outreaches we have conducted outside their brothels, and to our publications such as Finding Freedom from the Pornography Plague.
Death Threats from Communists
Numerous Communists, including the Ministry of Justice, Department of Religious Affairs, of FRELIMO controlled Mozambique, responding to my Mozambique Report documenting the persecution of Christians and massacres perpetrated by the Marxists in Mozambique, bluntly declared that if I returned to Mozambique, they would kill me!
Death Threats from the Sudan Government
The official government of Sudan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, website, even posted an article, which stated that “Hammond should expect to be bombed in Sudan…he should expect to be shot on sight…his writings make him an enemy of the state!”, in response to my Faith Under Fire in Sudan book. To underline the seriousness of the government of Sudan’s threats, our Frontline Mission base in Sudan was subjected to ten aerial bombardments and I came under fire on a number of occasions, including by aerial bombardment, rocket fire and artillery barrage, while ministering at church services in Sudan.
Death Threat Fatwa from Muslim Extremists
The publication of my history book on Slavery, Terrorism and Islam – The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, earned me a death threat Fatwa from some Islamic radicals. In accordance with Biblical Principles, I have made all reasonable precautions in hardening the target/strengthening our defences at both home and Mission. Regular visits to the shooting range, keeping armed and alert are essential daily precautions for a public speaker and writer who has earned the animosity of people with a violent track record.
The Pope and the President
However, there are lessons to be learned from public figures too. We must do what we can, and trust God to do what we cannot. For example, both Pope John Paul II, and President Ronald Reagan, despite having the very best security in the world, were both shot in 1981, and both survived.
Christianity is Not a Pacifist Faith
Pacifism is in defiance of historic Christian teaching. The 39 Articles, The Foundational Statement of the Church of England, states clearly in article 37: “It is lawful for Christian men to carry weapons.”
The Westminster Catechism, considered the finest expression of Biblical teaching, states, under the Sixth Commandment, that the prohibition against murder requires as our duty: “All careful studies and lawful endeavours to preserve the life of ourselves and others, by resisting, by just defence, against violence, protecting and defending the innocent.” (Q135)
“Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.” Proverbs 25:26
Farmers at Risk
With over 4,000 farmers and their family members having been murdered in South Africa since Nelson Mandela became president in 1994, white farmers in South Africa need to be vigilant and alert, living in condition orange and red most of the time, armed and prepared to respond to murderous assaults at a moment’s notice.
Even churches today need to have a security ministry. In one weekend, 15 -16 September 2013, over 70 churches in Egypt were attacked by Muslim mobs, bombed and burned. In just 5 years, over 1000 churches were attacked and 17,000 Christians killed by Boko Haram jihadists in Northern Nigeria.
The St. James Massacre
When St. James Church of England in Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa, was attacked by APLA terrorists of the Pan African Congress (PAC), 25 July 1993, one of our missionaries was in the congregation and returned fire, injuring the terrorist who was spraying the congregation with his assault rifle from the doorway. This resistance, by a single member of the congregation, with a snub-nosed point 38 revolver, caused the terrorists to break off the attack and flee.
“Do not be afraid of them, remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14
So, just as personal, family and church defense is necessary, so too are there time when national defence is required.
Augustine and Just War
The great Christian Theologian Augustine of Hippo taught that a Christian could be a soldier and serve both God and his country honourably. Augustine spelled out the Christian criteria for a just war. This involves three aspects: Jus ad bellum (the right to go to war), Jus in bello (the right conduct during war) and Jus post bellum (the conclusion of a war).
A just war requires a just cause. Innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. Only duly constituted authorities may wage war. War must be a last resort, only after exhausting all peaceful means. There must also be a reasonable probability of success to justify involvement in a war.
Just conduct in a war requires that it be limited to military targets and not endanger civilians, nor damage the environment, nor harm animals. The Scripture is clear that soldiers are not even to chop down fruit trees during war. The benefits of the war must be proportional to the costs and risks of the war. In a just war there must be a clear distinction between combatants and non-combatants. Enemy combatants who surrender, or who are captured, are not to be mistreated in any way.
Military necessity should be governed by the principle of minimum force. Every means must be taken to limit excessive and unnecessary death and destruction, nor may combatants use weapons or methods of warfare which are evil.
A just war must be concluded with a just peace. Revenge is not to be permitted. Life and property is to be respected and rule of law upheld.
By these Biblical standards there have been many senseless and unnecessary wars in which neither side was at all concerned with righteousness and where both sides share the guilt. However, we can also discern in history many necessary wars, which were defensive and just.
The Battle of Tours, AD732, in France was one such landmark battle. Charles Martell the Hammer, rallied the Christian soldiers of Europe on the plains of Portieres in the Battle of Tours and courageously stood for firm resisting six furious charges of the Muslim cavalry, routing them and sending them fleeing back across the Pyrenees Mountains. The Reconquista, which liberated Spain from 800 years of Islamic occupation and oppression in 1492, the Great Siege of Malta, 1565, and the Battle of Lepanto, October 1571, were other vital defensive battles which protected Europe from being overwhelmed by Islamic invasions. The lifting of the Turkish siege of Vienna, 1683, was another major turning point, which protected Europe from becoming Eurabia.
The Bible states: “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. And he shall say to them ‘Hear O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart feint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you’.” Deuteronomy 20:1-4
Many of the Psalms are prayers to God for guidance in war, or hymns of thanksgiving to the Lord for victory in battle. The Scriptures reveal that God is a God of war, as well as a God of peace, because God is primarily a Holy God of justice. On occasions, God not only permitted war, but commanded it. In the Bible, military defence against invaders is given the same status as capital punishment for murderers. If all the people with a conscience refuse to fight – then it will leave the battlefields in the hands of men without a conscience.
However, foreign military adventurism does not fulfil the requirements for a just war. Instead of sending in the Marines! We should send in Missionaries. There is no military, or political solution to the complex crisis endemic to the volatile Middle East, because the problem is primarily spiritual. Muhammad is a false prophet. The Quran is a false book. Allah is a false god. Islam is a false religion. The Muslims in the Middle East need the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of sending bombs, we need to sow Bibles throughout the Middle East. Instead of intervening in their incessant wars, we need to bombard them with Gospel radio broadcasts, ministry through the internet, Bibles online, and wholeheartedly work to fulfil the Great Commission throughout the Middle East. We will do more to undermine terrorism by fulfilling the Great Commission, than we will by any military expeditions. There are frequently alternatives to war, including diplomatic and economic measures and the more excellent way of Christian love and Gospel ministry.
We were involved in a just war in Rhodesia and South West Africa defending these peaceful nations from communist terrorist attacks and building the line against Soviet expansionism. Yet, during our Bible study and Prayer meeting in the South African Army, the Lord gave me the vision of responding to the communist hate with Christian love. They are sending terrorists to us. We need to send Missionaries to them. They are smuggling in landmines, limpet mines, grenades, to sow terror in our communities. We need to smuggle Bibles and Christian books into their territories and win converts, make disciples, undermining their communist tyranny with the fulfilment of the Great Commission.
The wise Christian does not seek to selfishly avoid the problems of the world, but courageously steps out in Faith to be part of the solution.
There are times when sinful men need to be restrained by laws and by force. Liberty needs to be defended. Freedom often comes through, and often needs to be maintained by hard fighting.
If all Christians became pacifists, would all the Muslims, atheists, communists also become pacifists? Not likely. It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism – while the wolf remains of a different opinion.
For those pacifists hoping for worldwide peace, listen to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9). You have to make peace. It takes action. Sometimes military action. Most times missionary action. May God find us faithful to His Word and may we be prepared to defend the defenceless, and to rescue the innocent. When we have to fight, may God grant that we will be fast and accurate. Make disciples. Teach obedience to all things that the Lord has commanded. The Bibles of the Christians are more powerful than the bombs of the Muslims and Marxists. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
History of Veterans Day
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France.
However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918,… is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples. (The above is from the Veterans Administration.)
Camp Constitution salutes our nation’s veterans and active-duty military.
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/
In September, Camp Constitution Speaker’s Bureau hosted six speaking engagements for Charl van Wyk in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
Charl Van Wyk was just an ordinary Christion man until July 25, 1993 – the day that would become known as the St. James Massacre. It was on this date that Charl van Wyk shot back at the terrorists who were attacking an innocent congregation gathered in worship and saved many lives in the process. Charl tells his story on this video. Charl, now a missionary in Africa is the author of several books including Shooting Back The Right and Duty of Self Defense, Reloaded Shooting Back Again, and How to Win A Gunfight Without Being a Great Shot available as a free PDF download here: http://campconstitution.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/How-to-Win-a-Gunfight-Even-If-Youre-Not-a-Good-Shot.pdf
This presentation took place at the Lane House in Lexington on Monday September 18, and videotaped by our friend Bill McNally
You can visit Charl’s website at https://www.shootingbackbook.com/
My late friend Sam Blumenfeld remarked “You don’t need puppets popping out of trash cans to teach children how to read. Indeed, in his highly acclaimed Alpha-Phonics, he used no pictures as Sam explained “pictures distract the students.” Here is a video playlist of Sam teaching all 128 lessons of his Alpha-Phonics:
The on-line version of Alpha-Phonics can be found here: http://campconstitution.net/blumenfelds-alphaphonics/
And, readers can order copies of the Alpha-Phonics from our on-line shop: http://campconstitution.net/product/alpha-phonics-by-sam-blumenfeld/
First: What is the “Militia”?
Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) tells us:
“The body of soldiers in a state enrolled for discipline, but not engaged in actual service except in emergencies; as distinguished from regular troops, whose sole occupation is war or military service.
The militia of a country are the able-bodied men organized into companies, regiments and brigades, with officers of all grades, and required by law to attend military exercises on certain days only, but at other times left to pursue their usual occupations.”
Article I, Sec. 8, clause 15 grants to Congress the power to provide for calling forth the Militia to [among other things] “repel Invasions”.
So! One of the functions of the Militia – that body of weekend warriors trained by the States and whose officers are chosen by the States, is to defend the States against Invasions.
But what if the federal government refuses to act?
Alexander Hamilton provides the answer in Federalist No. 29.
“…it would be natural and proper that the militia of a neighboring State should be marched into another, to resist a common enemy…
True, it was contemplated that the “United States” would normally be the entity which protects the States against Invasion (Art. IV, §4). But when the federal government has demonstrated its determination that the States are to be overrun by invaders, then the States are within their Retained Sovereign Rights to employ the Militia to defend their People from those into whose hands the federal government has demonstrated its determination to deliver them.”
So, clearly, the Sovereign States may use their State Militias and engage in War to defend themselves from the Invasions.
Notice Hamilton did not suggest lawsuits as the answer!
Neither did Madison. Neither did Jefferson. Etc.
For more study (and there is much more), go here: https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/the-invasion-of-arizona-the-remedy-when-the-federal-government-refuses-to-do-its-duty/
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/