WorldNetDaily column compares GLSEN to Hitler's youth

Well, that headline probably got your attention. Judith Reisman in a WorldNetDaily column today compared the two groups primarily because they both involve youth. In fact, the comparison, such that it is, ends there.
Naturally, GLSEN is none too happy being compared to Nazis. They issued a press release earlier today.

NEW YORK, April 1, 2009 – In a commentary called “GLSEN and the Hitler Youth,” World Net Daily columnist Judith Reisman today compared Day of Silence participants, GLSEN and students who participate in Gay-Straight Alliance student clubs to Hitler Youth. The column was featured on the front page.
“Last week at our Lobby Day in Washington, DC, I saw students aglow with joy after having the opportunity to speak directly with their elected representatives and take part in our democratic processes,” said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard. “Today I read a commentary comparing those young people, as well as me and my staff, to Nazis. We can only hope this is some sort of sick April Fool’s joke.”

Reading the commentary, it does not seem like Reisman means for the reader to chuckle. Reisman makes sweeping unsubstantiated statements like this:

Under color of a ‘Safe Schools Movement’ battling alleged ‘bullying’ of so-called ‘gay’ children (K-12), some see GLSEN as a modern version of the Hitler Youth and as preparing the ground for a larger, sweeping, schoolroom Youth Brigade.

Who are the “some?” She no doubt does but writes in an indirect fashion, as if the outrageous connections should be clear to the informed reader. Reisman also misleads readers via combining her views with serious scholarship. Here she quotes Ronald Berger but makes it seem as though he is a WWII elder who is troubled by the NEA and that he assesses the NEA and GLSEN as being comparable groups to the Nazi’s National Socialist Teachers Association.

The similarities between Hitler’s National Socialist Teachers Association (NSTA) and the Rockefeller and Playboy funded National Education Association (NEA) and American Library Association (ALA) troubles some World War II elders. Like Hitler’s NSTA, our NEA also largely guides the “ideological indoctrination of teachers.” (Ronald J. Berger “Fathoming the Holocaust,” Aldine Transaction, 2002, p. 50) Moreover, NSTA, the NEA, GLSEN and the Hitler Youth all seek to sever schoolchildren from their parent’s religious and sexual training.

I checked the Berger reference. His quote there is referring to the NSTA and not NEA or GLSEN. Reisman makes it seem that Berger said the NEA indoctrinates teachers in a manner similar to the Nazi group. I have no love for the NEA but this is not an honest approach to commentary.
I was surprised by one thing: she did not reference Scott Lively’s Pink Swastika once. But with this op-ed, she may have out done him.
If you would like to comment on the article, you can do so by contacting WorldNetDaily here.

12 thoughts on “WorldNetDaily column compares GLSEN to Hitler's youth”

  1. @Debbie Thurman:
    There is one of those connections I was talking about. Still no Nazis but a concern nonetheless.

  2. It is interesting that Kevin Jennings wrote the foreword and Bill Ayers wrote a glowing cover endorsement for “Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue about Sexualities and Schooling” by William J. Letts IV and James T. Sears. Any journalist worth his salt would want to explore that academic connection.

  3. @WND
    Rather than doing thorough work creating the links in a multistory edition…they have adopted the glib, sarcastic and cynical style; to their discredit.
    If people are made in God’s image, they are capable of being thoughtfully persuaded…living out our faith means we treat our readers with respect.
    If they can’t be persuaded, they can be loved…and that is our calling.
    WND just mimics, in style, the secular media.

  4. @ W and D
    Kinsey’s work and the myth of the “native man” in other social science studies seems pivotal.

  5. @Warren and Debbie,
    There is much reasonable work to do making these linkages to a deconstructionist dogma which entered higher education after WWII.
    Sarcasm and cynicism seem to be related tools to aid in deconstruction of traditional values viewed as coercive and exploitative of minorities.
    The appropriation of the animal model of man as well as the Freudian view of the unconscious and religion seem to be at the foundation.

  6. Bullying is a global student issue…whether mental illness, poverty, feminized boys or just awkwardness…
    See “lord of the flies.”
    For WND to see this issue in such a constricted and sarcastic way is unchristian.

  7. To be academically honest, one must do more than show similarity of ideas or methods to make a link between groups. There is much to dislike about the NEA and especially the early actions of GLSEN but they cannot be linked to other groups without some historical evidence of an actual linkage. Did Kevin Jennings study with Bill Ayers? Has anyone at GLSEN invoked Ayers work? I don’t know the answers to these questions (and nothing I’ve seen supports it) but this is what one would need to show before an argument of linkage would be taken seriously as scholarship.

  8. Reisman and WND might have made a more cogent argument assessing the Marxist influence of the Nazi-fleeing German Institute of Social Research (that chose Columbia University as its home) on teachers’ colleges, hence public education, and Bill Ayers’ not-so-subtle influence on teaching curriculum and the “queering” of education. Very easily substantiated. Their anti-authoritarian, anti-parents’ rights fingerprints are all over public education today. GLSEN and the NEA have plenty to answer for. Defending them usually requires lots of mental gymnastics. WND probably has more influence with their books these days, anyway.

  9. Dr T – WND does this all the time. Complain about it, and they do more, as they think they’ve “hit a nerve” in the “great homosexual alliance”. I kid you not.
    They are not honest. At least, not about issues like this.

  10. Warren,
    Isn’t this part and parcel of what WND publishes on a regular basis? As inflammatory as this article is – and I appreciate you pointing it out otherwise I would have never seen it – I guess I’m just not surprised WND published it .

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