BOSTON, MA – Liberty Counsel has sent a demand letter to the City of Boston to approve a permit to raise the Christian flag on a Boston City Hall Plaza flagpole, next to the American flag, as part of a permitted cultural event sponsored by Camp Constitution. The event will celebrate the contributions of Christianity to American freedom and the rule of law, and will highlight the need for racial reconciliation through Christ. In addition to the flag raising on the steps of Boston City Hall Plaza, the event will include short presentations by clergy members from diverse national and ethnic backgrounds, and a brief history of Boston as “the city set on a hill.”
Camp Constitution’s Hal Shurtleff began the permitting process in July 2017 and offered the City several proposed dates in September. The City stonewalled, and the camp followed up multiple times, only to receive a written denial from the City on September 8:
“I am writing to you in response to your inquiry as to the reason for denying your request to raise the ‘Christian Flag.’ The City of Boston maintains a policy and practice of respectfully refraining from flying non-secular flags on the City Hall flagpoles… According to the above policy and practice, the City of Boston has respectfully denied the request of Camp Constitution to fly on a City Hall flagpole the “Christian” flag, as it is identified in the request, which displays a red Latin cross against a blue square bordered on three sides by a white field…The City would be willing to consider a request to fly a non-religious flag, should your organization elect to offer one” (Emphasis added).
This denial is unconstitutional. The City’s past and current practice (and permit application) provides that City Hall Plaza flagpoles are available for privately-selected flags to be flown upon request of virtually any private association or activity.
Numerous private organizations have raised flags related to their respective events. These events have included ethnic and other “cultural celebrations,” corresponding with the raising of the flags of various countries or causes, and announcements of the same on the CityHallPlazaBoston.com website. Approved flags flown at such events include those of Albania, Brazil, Ethiopia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, as well as of Communist China and Cuba. The flag of the private “Chinese Progressive Association” has been raised. The “Juneteenth” flag has been raised by the private National Juneteenth Observance Foundation. A homosexual rainbow flag has been raised by the private organization Boston Pride. Even a “transgender” pink and blue flag has been raised. Since these are all allowed, the City cannot deny Camp Constitution’s permit request to fly the Christian flag.
“Government officials cannot just cry ‘Establishment of Religion’ whenever Christians seek access to a public forum,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Free Exercise and the Free Speech Clauses also protect religious expression. There is a crucial difference between government endorsement of religion and private speech, which government is bound to respect. Private religious speech in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted does not violate the Constitution. Censoring religious viewpoints does violate the First Amendment. Where the City of Boston allows any other flag by numerous other private organizations, it may not ban the Christian flag as part of a privately-sponsored event,” said Staver.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
Today is the birthday of Uncle Sam Wilson who was born on this day in 1766 in the town of Arlington, MA. As a boy, he witnessed Paul Revere’s famous Midnight Ride and served as a courrier for the Committees of Safety. He and his family moved to Mason, NH where Sam spent his boyhood years. At the age of 22, Sam along with his older brother, Ebeneezer walked to Troy, NY to seek their fame and fortune. Sam started a brick making factory and a meat packing business. During the War of 1812, he had a contract to supply meat for the military. He marked his meat barrels with the initials U.S. and the rest is history.
Campers and staff have visited the Uncle Sam House in Mason, NH. Here is a link to the video “A Walk Through the Uncle Sam House
Several week ago while driving in rural New Hampshire, I turned on the radio and the first thing that came on was a talk show on NPR. The host was interviewing a college professor on the subject of cursive. The professor, a mother of a teenage boy, informed us of a study she conducted on the difference between students who know cursive vs. those who do not. She had my attention. Her study led he to conclude that cursive writers had better grades. Alas, I thought, a Sam Blumenfeld disciple, and on NPR no less! I pulled over the van in order to write down her name, and contact info. But a minute later, this professor said she was against teaching cursive. She explained that her son was traumatized by it. The poor dear. She claimed that cursive was unnecessary, a product of a bygone era. Was she advocating the dumbing down of America? I think so. I never did write down her contact info.
A week later, I visited the Lillian Nordica Homestead in Farmington, Maine to donatesome artifacts to the homestead that were in Sam’s estate. The curator, Crystal Williams, lamented that a young lady volunteer was unable to read cursive, and therefore unable to read Lillian’s numerous cursive letters.
Sam was a strident proponent of cursive first. He pointed out that all toddlers use circular motions when scribbling, and rightfully noted that cursive was natural. Sam wrote the book “How to Tutor” which contains lessons on cursive. Here is a link to the lessons:
If taught using these lessons, your children will not be traumatized.
Camp Constitution was denied a permit to raise the Christian flag on Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Hal Shurtleff, the camp’s director and co-founder, applied for a permit back in late July. After several follow up E-mails, and phone calls, he was finally told by a city official Tuesday (September 5) that the permit was denied without an explanation. Shurtleff, a life-long resident, U.S. Army veteran and a member of Sons of the American Revolution, explained that during one of his follow up phone calls to the city, he was told that it was “his right to fly the flag” and that the city official couldn’t understand what was taking so long to grant the permit.
The event was planned for a Thursday in late September. The ceremony would have included short presentations by clergy members, a brief historical overview of Boston- “the city set on a hill”, and the raising of the flag. Confirmed speakers included Rev. Steven Craft, an instructor at Camp Constitution’s annual family camp and a member of its speakers bureau, and Pastor William Levi, formerly of the South Sudan, and now a U.S. citizen living in Western Massachusetts. Rev. Craft’s topic was racial reconciliation.
Shurtleff mentioned that dozens of organizations including Columbians, Haitians, Ukrainians, Mexicans, supporters of Communist China, Black Nationalists, and Transgenders raise their flags. Shurtleff believes that the decision to deny the permit was ideologically motivated. “Camp Constitution has been setting up information tables on Boston Common for years without a problem. We distribute free copies of the U.S. Constitution, and we have been well received by folks on both sides of the ideological spectrum,” Shurtleff said.
For more information please visit www.campconstitution.net
Rev. Steve Craft
Camp Constitution’s Hal Shurtleff, accompanied by Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore, conducted five presentations in Maine last week and Sunday exposing Agenda 21 in the towns of Waldoboro, Lincoln, Houlton, Presque Isle, and Medway. The Medway presentation was a last minute addition. Camp Constitution made many new friends, and got a chance to visit some old friends as well. Hal received three future opportuntitues to expose Agenda 21 in the state. In addition to the presentations, Hal and Dr. Kishore visited Millinocket to get some video of Agenda 21 and NAFTA in action-closed mills, and empty storefronts and a visit to the Lillian Nordica Homestead to donate some artifacts from Sam Blumenfeld’s Estate. More on that in a future blog. Thanks to all who helped make this trip a success with a special thanks to Mrs. Pat Truman and her family, Jeannette Wheeler, Bob Roy, Phil Merletti, Adrian Villa, Peggy Stanley and Dr. Kishore.
(Sam wrote this article in 2005. A link to the original document is posted below)
Should a child be forced to attend a public school that will turn him into a functional
illiterate? Since no public school will guarantee that a child will be taught to read in a
manner that will help him achieve high literacy, why should a parent send a child to that
kind of school? Indeed, why should compulsory school attendance laws force parents to
do something that wil1 harm their children?
It is assumed by the vast majority of Americans that the issue of compulsory school
attendance is a settled matter, part and parcel of every civilized nation-state, and a
prerequisite of a democratic society. We all acknowledge that a representative form of
government requiTes an educated electorate for its survival.
But what happens when that government’s schools no longer know how to teach children
to read and write, when those schools turn children not into civilized citizens, but into
barbarians? What happens when millions of parents feel compelled to remove their
children from government schools in order to make sure that their children do get an
education? What happens is that the basic premises of compulsory attendance and
government education come into question.
The glaring fact is that despite our compulsory attendance laws, we now have more
illiteracy and more ignorance among Americans than before such laws were enacted. The
first compulsory school attendance law was passed in Massachusetts in 1852 and by 1918
every state in the Union had such a law. Yet, the fact is that these laws have merely
increased the amount of time children spend in school, not the amount of learning or
knowledge they acquire.
The Way It Was
To find out how much better educated Americans were before compulsory attendance
laws and government schools existed, all we have to do is read DuPont de Nemours’
fascinating little book, National Education in the United States ofAmerica, published in
1812. He writes:
“The United States are more advanced in their educational facilities than most countries.
They have a large number of primary schools; and as their paternal affection protects
children from working in the fields, it is possible to send them to the school-master–a
condition which does not prevail in Europe.
“Most young Americans, therefore, can read, write and cipher. Not more than four in a
thousand arc unable to write legi bly–even neatly .. ..
“England, Holland, the Protestant Cantons of Switzerland more nearly approach the
standard of the United States, because in those countries the Bible is read; it is considered
a duty to read it to children; and in that form of religion the sermons and liturgy in the
language of the people tend to increase and formulate ideas of responsibility.
Controversy, also has developed argwnentation and has thus given room for the exercise
“In America, a great nwnber of people read the Bible, and all the people read a
newspaper. The fathers read aloud to their children while breakfast is being prepared–a
task which occupies the mothers for three quarters of an hour every morning. And as the
newspapers of the United States are filled with all sorts of narratives… they disseminate
an enormous amount of information.”
Obviously, back in the very early days of this republic, education was a family affair
closely connected to religious practice. A nation built on Biblical principles had to ba a
highly literate one. In addition, all of this education was achieved without any
government involvement, without any centralized educational bureaucracy, without any
professors of education, or accrediting agencies or teacher certification. And, most
significantly, without any compulsory attendance laws.
The Way It Is
Contrast that happy picture of complete educational freedom and high literacy with the
present situation in which the State has asswned the function of educator, at great
expense to the taxpayer, with all sorts of laws and regulations forcing the population to
patronize a system that is turning out functional illiterates by the millions.
According to an article in the Spring 1989 issue of Education Canada, published by the
Canadian Education Association:
“It is currently estimated that one million Canadians are almost totally illiterate and
another four million are termed ‘functionally illiterate.’ In the United States these figures
are estimated respectively at 26 million and 60 million.”
Both Canada and the United States have had compulsory attendance laws for decades.
The purpose of these laws was to make certain that every child was educated. The laws
were particularly aimed at the children of the poor, and yet it is they who have suffered
the most at the hands of government education.
Even Secretary of Education Cavazos, in 1989, admitted in the frankest terms that the
government education system was failing the American people. In his sixth annual report
card on American schools, he repeated the well-known litany of failures that still plague
American education: declining SAT scores, declining interest in math and science,
declining literacy, and a soaring dropout rate in Washington, DC. He said that we were
still wallowing in a ”tide of mediocrity,” and that “we must do better or perish as the
nation we know today.”
Has anything changed since 1989? Yes, it has all gotten worse. In fact, it was an
alarming report on American literacy issued in 2007 by the National Endowment for the
Arts that informed Americans that the reading problem had deteriorated further since
Secretary Cavazos issued his own alarming assessment. The chairman of the
Endowment, Dana Gioia, stated:
‘This is a massive social problem. We are losing the majority of the new generation.
They will not achieve anything close to their potential because of poor reading.”
The Endowment report revealed that the number of 17-year-olds who never read for
pleasure increased from 9 percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004. Almost half of
Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 never read books for pleasure. Why? Because
reading has become a painful, tortuous exercise that they wish to avoid.
The simple truth is that literacy is not at all difficult to achieve, provided the schools use
the right phonetic teaching methods. Indeed, the home-school movement has already
proven that parents can actually do a better job of teaching reading than our high-priced
It has also been shown that children progress better academically when taught at home,
and that the cost of educating a child at home is less than $1,000 a year.
So why do we need compulsory attendance laws? We need them so that the ruling liberal
elite can dumb down the population and make sure they can’t read. For proof of this,
listen to the words of Professor Anthony G. Oettinger of Harvard University, given in a
lecture to an audience of Telecom executives in 1982:
“The present ‘traditional’ concept of literacy has to do with the ability to read and write.
But the real question that confronts us today is: How do we help citizens function well in
their society? How can they acquire the skills necessary to solve their problems?
“Do we, for example, really want to teach people to do a lot of sums or write in ‘a fine
round hand’ when they have a five-dollar hand-held calculator or a word processor to
work with? Or, do we really have to have everybody literate–writing and reading in the
traditional sense–when we have the means through our technology to achieve a new
flowering of oral communication?
“What is speech recognition and speech synthesis all about if it does not lead to ways of
reducing the burden on the individual of the imposed notions of literacy that were a
product of nineteenth century economics and technology? ..
“It is the traditional idea that says certain forms of communication, such as comic books
are ‘bad.’ But in the modem context of functionalism they may not be all that bad.”
I doubt that there are any parents in America who send their children to school to learn to
read comic books. If anything, they want their children to be taught to read and write in
the traditional manner. They don’t consider learning to read as a “burden imposed on the
individual.” Rather, if taught in the proper phonetic manner, learning to read becomes a
joyful experience for children eager to expand the use of their minds and language.
Although the compulsory attendance laws were enacted to make sure that everyone
learned to read, their new application by the likes of Professor Oettinger and his liberal
colleagues is to make sure that the population can be controlled and manipulated by
schools that serve the agenda of the ruling elite.
There is no longer any need for compulsory attendance laws since the ruling class no
longer believes that literacy is for everyone, the poor and the rich. In reality, the
compulsory attendance laws are the linchpin in the plan for a socialist world government.
Such laws have been used by every modern dictator to control the people and mold the
minds of the children. Such laws are not only not needed in a free society, but ultimately
lead to its demise.
Sam Blumenfeld use to say that “you don’t need puppets popping out of trash cans to teach children to read.” He created “Alpha-Phonics” which has been used to teach thousands to read. Here is a link to testimonials to Sam’s most important work:
Since the creation of the Blumenfeld Archives, thousands of people have downloaded the “Alpha-Phonics” free of charge. Please consider donating to Camp Constitution so we can expand our program and reach out to more people. Donations can be made via our PayPal account accessed from our homepage:
There may not be a question more difficult to answer for Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self-Governance and spokesman for its Convention of States Project (COS), than this:
Since the federal government ignores the Constitution as now written, why would it obey an amended Constitution?
This is a fair question, considering COS has spent several years and millions of dollars from undisclosed sources1 on paid lobbyists and “senior advisors” who crisscross the country leaning on legislators to pass resolutions asking Congress to call an Article V convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution, ostensibly to limit the federal government.
All the while, at the local level, COS has been carrying out a massive public relations campaign claiming to be a grassroots movement with a “solution as big as the problem.”
But Meckler’s group has a solution that has nothing to do with the problem! Since the problem is a federal government that has overreached its powers by ignoring our Constitution, logic alone tells us that amending our Constitution, the very document being ignored, can’t possibly fix the problem.
On 7/6/17 (Part 2 at 37:00), Mark Meckler was heard on Red Eye Radio answering that question in an interesting and illogical way:
A caller asked: “Once the amendments are proposed and ratified, how are they actually implemented?”
In response, Meckler said, “… [the amendments] just automatically become part of the Constitution…part of the structure of governance in America…and that means that government then has to begin operating according to those amendments in the same way that they do with the rest of the Constitution.”
He continued, “And functionally, ultimately that means government will shrink, they will have the authority to do less. And if they fail to follow those amendments, then obviously, there is litigation that ensues up to the federal courts and ultimately up to the Supreme Court, if necessary.” (Emphasis added.)
But wait! COS has contended for years that the Constitution needs to be amended precisely because of decisions by activist judges who have undermined the original intent of the Constitution and allowed the federal government to usurp powers not delegated by our Constitution.
In other words, Meckler gives us a circular argument. He’s saying that COS will add more verbiage to the Constitution to counter activist judges; and then, when the federal government ignores the new wording, as they have in the past, there will be lawsuits to force the government to follow the original intent of the framers. And lawsuits generate still more decisions by activist judges!
It should be noted, too, that our Constitution already limits the federal government to its enumerated powers; and any changes such as a Balanced Budget Amendment, will expand the power of the federal government.
State governments already have the power to resist unconstitutional acts of the federal government – they simply need a backbone!
The last caller, only 10 minutes later, hit upon the circular argument and got a different response from Meckler:
Caller: “…What happens, if say, we call a “convention of states” [and] we get some great reform amendments made to the Constitution to undo a lot of damage that has been done by activist judges and left-wing congressional majorities and presidents. What happens if we have future…laws…that violate the new amendments…and… new activist judges on the Supreme Court that then give rubber stamp approval [to the unconstitutional laws]. …Is there a bullet-proof, really good way to stop the same process from cycling over and over again after we get new amendments [at a convention]?”
Meckler: “You know, I think that’s one of the best questions there is. And I’m going to give you the short and blunt answer which is NO!”
That’s right, Mark Meckler asserts there is no way to stop the federal government from ignoring amendments proposed by a convention that later become ratified! And the entire process places our current Constitution at risk—for what?!
Meckler elaborated philosophically: “There is no way to prevent the cycle from happening because the cycle is the cycle of human nature. In our history, you can go back to the Roman Empire and look at what happens… So, I think what happens is, you correct course, you put the ship on course, and eventually it will begin to be blown off course.
“History tells us it takes about 100 years for amendments to stop being effective…I think, for example, the first amendment about 100 years ago started to come under assault. So, it had been in place for well over 100 years; so, I expect the slide to happen.”
Let’s get this straight. The convention lobby is pouring massive resources into putting our Constitution at risk in convention because Mark Meckler is trying to steer the ship back on course, somehow predicting that in 100 years our children’s descendants will need to go through the same process, subjecting our Constitution to risk once again (assuming it survives the second federal convention he is trying so hard to invoke?) Why haven’t he, his lobbyists or “senior advisors” brought this up at legislative hearings?
Why not work on enforcing the Constitution we have, instead of rewriting 2,000 annotated pages of Supreme Court decisions, and very probably the entire Constitution? Why not encourage our State Legislators to stand up against and refuse to comply with unconstitutional federal dictates now—that’s what they are supposed to do, according to our Framers.
Article V was meant to correct defects in the Constitution, and this explains why it is not a solution for reining in an overreaching federal government.
If the main COS proponent thinks his “Solution” is a temporary “fix”; and his method of implementing Amendments resulting from an Article V convention is no different than the system that created the problem in the first place, one must wonder…
What is the real reason COS is being bankrolled to advance an Article V convention whose Delegates, as direct Representatives of the People, would have the inherent Right “to alter or to abolish” our “Form of Government”? (Declaration of Independence, paragraph 2). While we are unable to determine all the sources of the funding for Meckler’s group; the ultimate source of much of the funding for the push for an Article V convention is the mega billionaire Koch Brothers of Texas.
Judi Caler lives in California and is Article V Issues Director for Eagle Forum of CA. She is passionate about holding our public servants accountable to their oath to support the U.S. Constitution.