NRB Network Breaks Silence On Institute On The Constitution

On their Facebook page this morning, NRB CEO Troy Miller pointed to an article by Michael Peroutka being “the truth” about the IOTC.
Miller wrote:

The last episode of this series has aired on the NRB Network. We appreciate your feedback about this matter. If you would like to further investigate the truth about the Institute on the Constitution, please visit – Troy A. Miller, NRB Network President & CEO

In July, I asked Michael Peroutka how he reconciles similar statements with his leadership role in the League of the South. He did not reply.
At this point, I am unable to reconcile the above article with other articles on the American View website, such as this one justifying discrimination based on race, or this one providing the theological justification for slavery, or this one declaring that the Confederate troops fought for government “of the people” (white people I guess), or this one calling Confederate troops “American forces” and defending the slave owning South as “fighting to defend and preserve an American way of life.”
Michael Hill, president of the League, said recently that the Southern people are white Southerners. Hill said that the League members are “ethno-nationalists.” Does Mr. Peroutka agree with his fellow board member? Hill said that white people need to control the land in order to preserve their people. Does Mr. Peroutka agree with this?
In my opinion, this is a conversation that needs to happen in the church.
UPDATE: On the NRB Facebook page, I asked if the IOTC course would be broadcast again. NRB Network’s response:

As with all of our programs, any future runs will be reviewed by the programming approval committee, and all information will be taken into account.

Notes On Session 12 Of The Institute On The Constitution On The NRB Network: US Infested With Communism

In the face of the growing controversy over the program, the NRB Network broadcast session 12 of the Institute on the Constitution’s course on the Constitution. The topic by speaker David Whitney was how to salvage the republic.  Here are some things I “learned” in session 12.
The first thing I learned is that David Whitney and his boss Michael Peroutka disagree about why IOTC teaches the Constitution. Whitney said he is teaching it because he believes the nation can be salvaged. Peroutka told the League of the South in a speech at the 2012 conference:

I don’t want the League of the South, for one minute to think that I am about reforming the current regime, and that studying the Constitution is about reforming the regime.

I was surprised to hear Whitney say he believes in reform since he is the chaplain of the newly formed Maryland-Virginia chapter of the League of the South. The prime objective of the League is not reform but Southern secession. In contrast to Whitney, Peroutka’s position is consistent with his position as a board member of the League. 
Although I already knew this, I learned that the IOTC believes that civil law should reflect the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. In contrast to the First Amendment’s prohibition on the establishment of  religion, the IOTC wants to establish Christian reconstructionism as the religious position of the nation (either the United States or a seceded South, I guess it depends on the audience).
I learned the United States is a communist nation. Whitney said:

That ignorance [of our Constitution] has allowed the infestation in our country of a foreign system of government, something foreign completely to what our founders  created in this constitutional republic. And that foreign system is communism.

Whitney said Karl Marx designed 10 “planks of the communist manifesto” as a test of the degree a nation is communist.  Then Whitney compared the US to those planks. I learned so much about my country that I didn’t know.
I learned that the government is my landlord and I pay rent to it.
I learned that an estate tax is “the abolition of all rights of inheritance.”
I learned that if you rebel against the government, the government will take all of your property (rebellion was not defined).
I learned that the Federal Reserve Board is the centralization of all credit.
I learned that the FCC represents the “centralization of the means of communication” and the TSA represents the centralization of all transportation.
I learned that the government owns the means of production in the economy and is in complete control of agriculture.
I learned that the government is in control of labor because there is a Department of Labor.
I learned that smart growth policies serve to distribute population and determine where I live. Whitney said:

Just the fact that the government is in control of this and determines where I’m going to live, that’s the goal of Smart Growth, the government will tell you where you can and where you can’t live is essentially the goal of Smart Growth.

I had no idea. I thought my wife and I determined where we now live.
I learned that free education is an indicator of communism.
I always thought that many framers thought education was the bedrock of republican government. At least Jefferson thought so, and wanted the Virginia legislature to appropriate money for his public education plan. Good thing I watched this session; Jefferson the Communist.
Regarding education, I also learned that Goals 2000 was bad. Hillary Clinton was behind an “education to work plan” which required that

every child by the time they were in kindergarten is told what career they are going to have; we’re going to train them for that career for the rest of their education. So we pick out the workers and we’re going to tell them do this and you’re going to do that by the time they are in kindergarten.

Again, I had no idea. I don’t remember that part when my kids went through school.
Bottom line what I learned was the future of the nation depends on everybody taking the IOTC course on the Constitution. Mr. Whitney was very clear about that point. He also said that those who watched the broadcast should go teach others about the Constitution. Actually I think teaching about the Constitution is a good idea, but unfortunately those who watched every session of the IOTC course will need to unlearn a lot of what they learned in order to do it right.

Status Of Institute On The Constitution Course On NRB Network Unclear

According to an article on the Southern Poverty Law Center blog, the Institute on the Constitution’s American View course is “to be removed” from the NRB Network.  However, it is not clear if the last session will air as scheduled tomorrow night. As of now, the final session remains on the NRB Network schedule. Another point that is not clear and has not been addressed by NRB Network is the status of future programming from IOTC.
I wrote the NRB this morning and NRB Director of Communications Kenneth Chan said that all inquiries about the course should be directed to the NRB Network based in Nashville, TN. I then wrote the NRB via email and social media with no response. My initial question about the matter was removed from the NRB Network Facebook page without response (although my second attempt remains on the page but with no answer).
UPDATE 9/26: The 12th part of the series was broadcast as scheduled.  I will have some notes from the program tomorrow.

Institute on the Constitution Misrepresents Study of Founding Era

The following information comes from session two of the Institute on the Constitution’s course which is this week completing a 12-week run on the NRB network. Because I was unable to secure permission to show video clips of the course, I was reluctant at the time to discuss the errors in the presentation. However, this misrepresentation of a study by Lutz and Hyneman is worth pointing out. In his effort to prove that the framers of the Constitution deliberately set out to base the Constitution on Biblical law, Peroutka cited a study of founding era documents by Donald Lutz.* Here is Peroutka’s description at about 25 minutes into the session:

I want to talk for a minute about this study that was done back in the 1980s by men named Lutz and Hyneman. And they did this study of the sources of authority that were used by these 55 men, these framers. They went back and looked at  letters, public papers of these 55 men, everything they could find. They reviewed 15,000 items, 3,154 references to other sources. So if they wrote a letter and they quoted something, who were they quoting? In other words, what were they looking to as the source of authority? And what they found with this was 34% of the quotations of the framers in their writings came from the revealed law, came from the Scripture, came from the Bible, 34%, one-third of all their quotations came from the Bible.  And actually if you add in the second, the second highest source of authority was Baron Montesquieu who was a Catholic and that was about 8% and Blackstone would have been about  7%. So if you take these 34% and those 15, you have almost 50%.

This is incorrect and presented in such a way as to be highly misleading. Here is what Donald Lutz said about his methodology:

Approximately ten years ago this author set out with Charles S. Hyneman to read comprehensively the political writings of Americans published between 1760 and 1805. This period was defined as the “founding era” during which the theory and institutions informing the state and national constitutions took final form. Reviewing an estimated 15,000 items, and reading closely some 2,200 items with explicitly political content, we identified and rated those with the most significant and coherent theoretical content. Included were all books, pamphlets, newspaper articles, and monographs printed for public consumption. Excluded was anything that remained private and so did not enter public consciousness, such as letters and notes. Essentially we exhausted all those items reproduced in collections published by historians, the newspapers available in the Library of Congress, the early American imprints held by the Lilly Library at Indiana University, the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, and the Library of Congress. Finally, we examined the two volumes of Shipton and Mooney, National Index of American Imprints, for items in the Evans collection of early American imprints on microcard. The resulting sample has 916 items, which include 3,154 references to 224 different individuals. The sample includes all of the Anti-Federalist pieces identified by Storing (1981) plus 33 more, for a total of 197 Anti-Federalist pieces. It also includes 190 items written by Federalists. Most of these items are identified in Storing (1976); the rest can be found in Hyneman and Lutz (1983), which lists 515 pieces. Although not exhaustive, the sample is by far the largest ever assembled, and neither excludes nor emphasizes any point of view. Excluding the proceedings of legislatures and conventions, upon which the sample does not draw, the sample represents approximately one-third of all public political writings longer than 2,000 words published between 1760 and 1805. Also, the distribution of published writings during the era is roughly proportional to the number of citations for each decade. (p.191)

See the differences? Peroutka said Lutz and Hyneman studied the writings of the 55 framers. Not so. Lutz and Hyneman studied the “political writings of Americans published between 1760 and 1805.” Their review was not limited to framers. Furthermore, Peroutka said Lutz and Hyneman read the framers’ letters. Again not so. They specifically indicated that they did not read letters that were private.
Peroutka told his audience that the study was of “the sources of authority” used by the framers. However, Lutz and Hyneman defined what they meant by influence and it does not correspond to Peroutka’s description.

Thus, “influence” is used here in a broad sense. Only close textual analysis can establish the presence of specific ideas in a text, and comparative textual analysis the probable source of the ideas. A weakness of the citation-count method is that it cannot distinguish among citations that represent the borrowing of an idea, the adapting of an idea, the approval of an idea, the opposition to an idea, or an appeal to authority. (p. 191)

These are crucial differences. Peroutka wants us to believe that the framers favorably referenced the Bible about half the time as a source of authority in constructing their political philosophy. He wants us to believe that the Bible was the basis for the founding documents. However, the general aim of Lutz’s study was to document the reading material available during the founding era which might then give clues about the diversity of influences on American political thought during that era. With an exception I will explain below, Lutz and Hyneman did not limit their study to the framers or attempt to determine how any of the sources were used by them.
The high percentage of Biblical references is interesting and is worth a longer look. Lutz provided additional context by noting that the high percentage of Biblical citations in printed material at the time was due to the large number of reprinted sermons made available by ministers. Lutz spoke to that point in his methods section:

If we ask what book was most frequently cited by Americans during the founding era, the answer somewhat surprisingly is: the Book of Deuteronomy. From Table 1 we can see that the biblical tradition is most prominent among the citations. Anyone familiar with the literature will know that most of these citations come from sermons reprinted as pamphlets; hundreds of sermons were reprinted during the era, amounting to at least 10% of all pamphlets published. These reprinted sermons accounted for almost three-fourths of the biblical citations, making this nonsermon source of biblical citations roughly as important as the Classical or Common Law categories. (p 192)

Note that Lutz did not reference the framers; he studied the writings of “Americans.” The type of citation is also important to note. Of course the Bible would be cited in sermons; but that doesn’t mean that the framers read or referenced them or that the sermons figured decisively in the framers’ political opinions and writings.
In addition to being inaccurate, his treatment of the study is incomplete. Peroutka fails to point out the most important part of the study for students of the Constitution. On page 194 of the study, Lutz charts the analysis of the citations in the Federalist and Antifederalist papers.


Note that the Bible was not cited at all by the Federalists. Those opposed to the Constitution, the Antifederalists cited the Bible infrequently. I wonder why Peroutka left this part out.
Peroutka continues to say that Blackstone and Montesquieu based their ideas on the Bible and so the framers influence from the Bible is closer to 50%. As noted, he gets the study wrong via his reference to the framers, and he is very far off on Montesquieu. While Montesquieu had respect for Christianity, he had respect for many belief systems and wrote that even false beliefs can have good political consequences. His interest in religion was pragmatic and political and even wrote that religious teachings seldom make a good foundation for civil law, exactly the opposite of the premise of this course.
There are other problems like this throughout the course.
*Donald Lutz. (1984). The Relative Influence of European Writers on Late Eighteenth-Century American Political Thought. The American Political Science Review, 78, 189-197.

League Of The South President Michael Hill Defines Southern People As White

In case there is any doubt about what the League of the South is about, one should listen to Michael Hill on the aptly named white nationalist radio show, The Political Cesspool.

The show, hosted by James Edwards, aired on the 15th of this month. The focus of the first half of the show was on the League’s anti-immigration rallies (aka “Southern demographic displacement”) in GA and the upcoming one in TN. Then at 10:31, Edwards asked Hill for a general description of the mission of the League. In response, Hill said:

We are for the survival, well-being, and independence of the Southern people. And when we say ‘the Southern people,’ we mean white Southerners. We are an ethno-nationalist movement and we want a free and independent South for our people, as our homeland. That’s pretty much what we are fighting for.

Then why get into immigration protests?

Now we’re doing the demographic displacement demonstrations to help with that first thing I said, the very survival of our people because if we don’t control the land, the soil with our blood, then we don’t have a place to live, we don’t have a place to work, we don’t have a place to worship, and raise our children. So the survival of our people [white Southerners] on our land is the first thing that we’re concerned about. And that’s why we’re having these rallies against our demographic displacement. But in the end, we want a free and independent South. We’re Southern nationalists; and as I said, we want an ethno, we’re ethno-nationalists, and we want an ethnic state for Southerners here.  

This is a clear statement that the League wants white people to have control of the South to form a white dominated state there. Hill and Edwards likened their cause to a struggle for the survival of whites; for them the alternative is “genocide” (a word they used).
Some have criticized the Cincinnati area pastors for linking Michael Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution with the League, calling their effort, “guilt by association.” However, the more proper descriptive phrase is “guilt by participation.”
Earlier this year, Peroutka gladly joined the board of the League of the South, he pledged the resources of the Institute on the Constitution and his family to the League’s cause, he also said that he learned almost everything he knows about law and government  from the League. He said he is teaching the Constitution to prepare people for secession or the collapse of the federal government.
For the benefit of those wondering, I can tell you that I have tried to engage IOTC in a conversation about the affiliation with the League. Thus far, they have declined to address the issue.  It is not an unfair to conclude that Peroutka agrees with Hill about the aims of the League. If not, seems like he should say so.
Signed the IOTC petition yet? Still can here…