White Nationalist Radio Host to Teach Institute on the Constitution Course

From the white nationalist forum Stormfront and on the program website:

ATTENTION: Memphis area listeners of The Political Cesspool Radio Program
If you have ever wanted to know more about Law, Liberty and Government, then consider joining a group of like minded individuals as they study the Constitution of the United States.
Political Cesspool co-host Eddie “The Bombardier” Miller will be teaching a 12 week course put together by the Institute on the Constitution. There will be a nominal fee for the main textbook, but otherwise no charge for the course, which will be open to the public and held on the campus of Macon Road Baptist Church in Arlington, Tennessee.

Stormfront describes itself as

We are a community of racial realists and idealists. We are White Nationalists who support true diversity and a homeland for all peoples. Thousands of organizations promote the interests, values and heritage of non-White minorities. We promote ours. We are the voice of the new, embattled White minority!

The Political Cesspool radio program describes itself as

The Political Cesspool Radio Program stands for the The Dispossessed Majority. We represent a philosophy that is pro-White and are against political centralization.

Two of the goals of those involved in the radio program are

to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races.
Secession is a right of all people and individuals. It was successful in 1776 and this show honors those who tried to make it successful from 1861 – 1865.

Institute on the Constitution founder and director Michael Peroutka has appeared on the Political Cesspool.
I wonder if the Macon Road Baptist Church folks know what they are hosting.

Texas Church Says Institute on the Constitution Speaker Doesn't "Reflect Their Values"

In a column out today, Bud Kennedy at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram focuses on the Founding Faith conference which Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin backed out of last week. According to Kennedy, the church where the conference was to be held decided against it in part because the views of Institute on the Constitution teacher (and MD chapter of the League of the South chaplain) David Whitney “‘do not reflect the values’ of High Point Church.”
The conference appears to be canceled. The website is password protected and the promoter’s website does not list it as an upcoming event.
Kennedy’s column places an emphasis on the secession aims of the League. I suspect what also rankled the High Point Church folks was the League’s white Southern nationalism.

Is Sheriff D'Agostini Interposing or Following the Law?

I say he is just following the law; at least when it comes to his relationship with the Forest Service.
Institute on the Constitution and League of the South board member Michael Peroutka’s commentary today claims El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini is following the principle of interposition by suspending the powers of the United States Forest Service in his county. Peroutka wrote:

Fed up with the repeated harassment his constituents were experiencing in the national forest within his county, Sheriff D’Agostini informed the feds patrolling the forest that their powers there were suspended.

Peroutka holds the view that local officials may take jurisdiction over federal agents when those federal agents seek to enforce a law the local authorities deem unconstitutional. At least that is what he told the League of the South.
According to this report, D’Agostini has removed enforced power from USFS personnel because they were not conducting themselves in line with his expectations.

 
It may sound like he is overruling the feds, but he is not because, as the professor on the clip said, he actually has authority under California law to do so. CA code 830.8(a) provides authority for federal agents in CA under certain circumstances. However, certain federal personnel are exempt and only have authority if given by the local sheriff. Note those who require local consent:

This subdivision does not apply to federal officers of the Bureau of Land Management or the United States Forest Service. These officers have no authority to enforce California statutes without the written consent of the sheriff or the chief of police in whose jurisdiction they are assigned.

According to CA law, the local sheriff can deputize USFS personnel but can also revoke that authority. On this talk show, D’Agostini clarifies that he is acting consistently with CA state law. He also notes on the talk show (at 16:53) that the USFS has federal authority to enforce forest service travel rules. While D’Agostini may or may not like those rules, he is clear that the forest service will continue to enforce them.
Thus, speaking of the suspension of federal powers is not accurate. Prior to D’Agostini’s actions, the USFS only had powers granted by the sheriff pursuant to state law. Any actual federal powers remain as before.

Lt. General Jerry Boykin Backs Out of Conference Sponsored by Institute on the Constitution (UPDATED – IOTC Appears to be Out)

UPDATE (8/9/13) – Alex Seitz-Wald also wrote about this situation and added some detail, including the fact that Glenn Beck had been promoting this conference.
See additional update following the post…
Yesterday, in my post on the radicalization of the League of the South, I linked to a conference sponsored by the Institute on the Constitution. I noted that

…several  mainstream evangelicals are speaking in September at a conference sponsored by IOTC and held at a major mega church in Texas.

If you click the links you will go to something called the Founding Faith Conference 2013 (now unavailable without a password). Until earlier today, Lt. General Jerry Boykin was slated to be a key speaker at the conference. However, I learned earlier this afternoon via a source at the Family Research Council (where Boykin is an executive vice-president) that Lt. General Boykin recently became aware of ties between the Institute on the Constitution and the League of the South and, as a result, has backed out of the conference.
For sure those ties are real. Founding Faith Conference speaker David Whitney is the chaplain of the Maryland chapter of the League of the South. At the 2013 conference of the League of the South, IOTC founder and director Michael Peroutka’s was selected to join the League’s board of directors. Then, at the end of his speech, Peroutka, pledged the resources of the IOTC to the efforts of the League.  Watch:

 
UPDATE (8/8/13) – IOTC is now missing from the sponsor page on the conference website (screen cap earlier today) and David Whitney is no longer listed as a speaker (screen cap earlier today). At this time, I don’t know what that means for the other speakers, except to note that they are still listed.
At the end of the Salon piece, Margaret Andrews supplied a statement about her response to Boykin’s departure. I can add that I contacted her on 8/6 before I wrote anything about the conference. She did not make any obvious changes until the afternoon of 8/8, after Boykin disclosed his intention to exit.
 

Will the Real Institute on the Constitution Please Stand Up?

Last week, a representative of the Institute on the Constitution, John Lofton, touted a  new initiative to alert elected officials that they must administer God’s law rather than make their own laws. Called the God and Government project, Lofton wants followers to go to town council, school board and other local government meetings with 2-3 minutes speeches promoting the IOTC view of civil government.  You can read all of them at the link, but I will cite the first one.

Suggested Statement for Those Going Alone
(The greeting you are most comfortable with but one that is respectful)
My name is __________________. And I wanted to come here this evening to tell about what God says is the duty of those holding the public office you hold.
In the 13th chapter of the book of Romans in the New Testament, God’s says that those who govern us, such as this (yourselves, this Council, whatever) are ministers of God — that actual word “minister” is used. And that you are a minister of God to us for good, for good, as defined by God’s Word. And that you are, conversely, to bring wrath on those who are evil — evil as defined by God’s Word.
Thus, your job is ministerial and not legislative. Your job is to administer and apply God’s Law. And this means it is not the role of government to house or feed or clothe or give health care or education or welfare to anyone.  There is no Biblical authority for that kind of thing. The provision of those things is the job of Christ’s Church.
Romans 13 also tells us that a law is just or unjust depending on whether it is in accord with what God says or whether it is at odds with God’s Law. That is the teaching of the Bible, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, the British jurist William Blackstone and Martin Luther King in his “Letter From The Birmingham Jail.”
In that “Letter,” Dr. King said, and I quote: “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God….An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law,” unquote. King said, and again I quote him directly: “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’.” The word legal in this letter is in direct quotes, King’s point being that what Hitler did in Nazi Germany was not  legal because it was against the Laws of God.
Thank you very much. And may God bless us all as we obey Him.

There is a lot wrong here, but I want to focus on the surprising citation of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Let’s review: The IOTC’s founder and director is Michael Peroutka who is a board member of the neo-Confederate, Southern secessionist League of the South. Peroutka pledged the resources of the IOTC to the League and even told a League audience that he acquired what he knows about government from the League. What does the League think of Martin Luther King, Jr.?
One could start with this review of a book on Martin Luther King, Jr., by John Lofton. After reviewing recitations of allegations about King’s character and morality, Lofton concludes:

In a nutshell,’ what Mr. Garrow’s book demonstrates is that King was one of the most grossly immoral hypocrites in American history.

and then

Well, indeed, Martin Luther King was not a saint, to put it charitably. And thanks to the scholarship of David Garrow, we now know that he was “perhaps worse” than even Buchanan imagined. But to think that this man is honored with a national holiday, and for as much as a week at a time he is honored as a saint in thousands of our public schools. What a disgrace! 

If he is such immoral person, then why quote him Mr. Lofton?
Then, in a press release in 2005 from the League of the South on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we learn the League’s view. Written by Peroutka’s fellow board member and League president Michael Hill, the release leaves no doubt about the League’s position on King:

In a day when every facet of traditional Anglo-Celtic Southern heritage is called evil—including the thoughts and actions of Lee and Jackson—I am in no mood to mince words. The “Reverend” “Dr.” Martin Luther King, Jr., far from being the saint of recent liberal myth, was nothing but a philandering, plagiarizing, left-wing agitator. Conversely, Lee and Jackson were paragons of Christian manhood, though not without fault. But this year, as always, King is the object of veneration by liberals of every color and stripe, while Lee and Jackson are held in utter disdain. Even some so-called “conservatives” sing MLK’s praises, choosing to keep silent about Lee and Jackson, in hopes that they will not be called “racists” by the left-wing media.

and…

Only a sick and reprobate society would elevate Martin Luther King, Jr., and demonize Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The former sought to manipulate white guilt and use the power of national government for the ends of black racial advancement; the latter risked their lives on the field of battle to preserve the true principles of Constitutional government and the integrity of their homeland. To King and his ilk (both then and now), the U.S. Constitution and the Bible are nothing more than words to be twisted in service of the liberal vision of the good life. To Lee and Jackson, and those who honor them, they are the wellsprings of Christian liberty and prosperity.

There can be no compromise between the worldviews of those who follow MLK and those who salute Lee and Jackson. Moreover, there is no way that a man can, in good conscience, pay homage to both sides at the same time. 

At present, the IOTC appears to pay homage to both sides. On one hand, Michael Peroutka writes for League publications, speaks at League meetings, gladly joined the League’s board of directors and pledged the resources of the IOTC to the League. On the other hand, his organization favorably cites Martin Luther King, Jr. What a hypocritical ploy this is.

King’s letter from the Birmingham jail was addressed to clergy who opposed his non-violent resistance approach to inequality. The League of the South has no sympathy for African-Americans who suffered under Jim Crow laws and worse. In fact, Michael Hill defended Jim Crow laws. In a League essay, Hill said:

Whereas whites and blacks in the antebellum South had lived and worked together in close proximity, once the situation changed at the end of the war (especially with the passage of the Reconstruction amendments) some new arrangement became necessary if whites were to preserve their society. Few Southerners of the late nineteenth century believed that whites and blacks could live together in a state of equality without serious social consequences for both races. Therefore, postbellum Southern blacks were disenfranchised and “Jim Crow” laws resulted in a segregated South (today “Jim Crow” has been replaced by what might be called “Jim Snow” policies that discriminate against whites). Through these measures white Southerners were able to exert some control over a still primitive black population. Nonetheless, the “black community” of the late nineteenth century began to experience problems largely absent prior to 1865: black-on-black crime, illegitimacy, abject poverty, disease, and family disintegration, among others. Despite trillions spent on welfare and other programs, these problems–and many others–still plague the “black community” in the present day. Clearly there is an ever-present problem here that emancipation and money did not solve. 

In another essay (see also this one), Hill decried the civil rights movement led by King:

Sadly, our true interests were compromised and sold for a mess of pottage by our so-called leaders a long time ago. For instance, if the South had had real leaders of the people there would have been no second reconstruction known as the civil rights movement. 

Either the IOTC has betrayed the League or there is an effort to obscure the sentiment of the League to which the IOTC has been pledged.  If the IOTC really wants to celebrate civil rights and the legacy of King, publicly and decisively step away from the League of the South.

League of the South President Says Immigration Reform Could Spark True Civil War

Michael Hill, president of the League of the South appeared on the American Nationalist Network on Saturday (8/3). The ANN is the radio arm of a new white nationalist organization, the American Nationalist Association. It appears that the ANA leaders are Holocaust deniers/revisionists.
On the program, among other things, Hill said if the Congress passes immigration reform, there will be a secession or a civil war. At 47:40 into the interview, Hill says:

Michael Hill: You talk about a transformation in 1965? That would be a slow and gradual transformation compared to what will happen if they pass this amnesty act in 2013 or 2014. The changes there will be immediate and drastic.
Rodney Martin: Absolutely.
Hill: The South will either leave the union, or there will be another civil, a true civil war.
Martin: You know, you mention civil war, I think if they do, if they ramrod this amnesty bill through, then I think where I talked about the United States being a Soviet Union, I think overnight, we become Yugoslavia, and it becomes not a pretty picture.
Hill: It’s going to be extremely ugly.
Martin: I’m not sure that this power elite in Washington really understand how people feel about when they look out their front doors and see that their government, obviously its not our government anymore, they don’t represent us. They’re looking to replace us. They’re looking to ethnically cleanse us from our own lands.
Hill: This is genocide.
Martin: That’s exactly what it is.
Hill: This is genocide; this is anti-white genocide.

The American Nationalist Association promotes the American National (radio) Network. One of the first guests was David Duke; other early guests were leaders in the American Nazi Party. On their website, the ANA lauds Hitler and Goebbels in a section of the website titled “fundamental truths.” The Hitler quote indicates their position on Jews:

“He who would live must fight. He who does not wish to fight in this world, where permanent struggle is the law of life, has not the right to exist.”
“Should the Jew, with the aid of his Marxist creed, triumph over the people of this world, his Crown will be the funeral wreath of mankind, and this planet will once again follow its orbit through ether, without any human life on its surface, as it did millions of years ago.
And so I believe to-day that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord.”
– Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Earlier in the broadcast, Hill advertised the League of the South’s rally against demographic displacement to be held in Uvalda, GA. According to the League, Mexicans are taking jobs that he says should belong to whites (“Anglo-celtic southerners” to use his term) and so they are protesting a mayor there who supports the immigrants.  Despite his warning over civil war, Hill acknowledged that he hopes immigration or the “gun issue” leads to people being willing to consider Southern secession.
Hill was asked to name the main concern for League of the South members. Hill responded (22:54):

I tell you what the unifying issue is for people in the League: It is that we must have our independence in order to assure our survival and well being as a people. That overshadows everything, our survival, our well-being hinges on our independence as a people.

What people is Hill talking about? Earlier in the program (7:25) he identified the group.

First of all, this is about our survival as a people, white Southerners of European descent.

Some commenters on this blog and in emails have asserted that the League is interested in preserving Southern culture and less interested in matters of race. While that might have been true at one time, it appears to me that the League in recent years has moved more toward white nationalist position. He was certainly clear on this program that the League’s concerns are “blood and soil,” i.e.,  race and region.
Given the fact that Institute on the Constitution founder, director and teacher, Michael Peroutka, just joined the League board of directors and pledged the IOTC’s resources to the League, it was surprising to hear Hill say at 26:38 that the members of the League are not “constitutionalists.”

The Constitution has been a bad deal for the South; we’re anti-Federalists. We believe they should have stopped with the Articles of Confederation.

Which state seems most ripe for secession? According to Hill, South Carolina. A problem is they have a large black population. Hill later said he believes there will be a non-binding resolution for secession in SC sometime in the next two or three years. Hill said the League is always looking for a good “Leipzig-like” moment to provoke such a resolution. For Hill, as noted above, immigration reform could be that hoped-for moment.
As I was listening to this, I reminded myself that the same person who has a show on the National Religious Broadcasting network and Liberty University Network is a board member of the League and has pledged his resources to achieving the ends Michael Hill described on the broadcast.

League of the South President Says League Will Do Whatever It Takes To Gain Independence

In a message distributed to supporters recently and published on League websites, League of the South president Michael Hill says his supporters will do “whatever it takes” to gain independence. Hill proclaimed this in the context of defending armed conflict with what he called the “U.S. empire.”
Hill began his column by recounting an appearance on the Alan Colmes radio show. On the program, Colmes asked Hill if “Southerners would physically defend ourselves if we were denied our rights, including the right to self-government and self-protection.” Hill’s answer startled Colmes:

He was startled when I answer unequivocally “Yes!” “You mean,” he asked, “you Southerners would take up arms against the US government if they threatened your rights?” He simply could not believe that someone in modern America could contemplate actually defending themselves and their rights by force!

He adds:

The modern American regime seeks to destroy real manhood, especially among us Southerners, because it knows—both instinctively and historically—that it is only real men who will dare stand against tyranny. And if you know your history, you know that Southerners are “defenders of the blood.” We are mostly Anglo-Celts (or we are descended from other European ethnicities that have a martial tradition), so it should not come as a surprise to those who know our history.

In Hill’s mind, time is short, and decisive action may be needed:

When you take stock of the current position of our people and what the future likely has in store for us if things continue as they are, we will be outnumbered, dispossessed, and have no land on which to live, work, worship, and raise our families. That is unacceptable. But it will become the reality unless we stand and do something to stop it.
For nearly twenty years The League of the South has advocated for the survival, well being, and independence of the Southern people. We want our separation from the US empire to be peaceful, if possible. But when the Southern people are rallied to our cause in sufficient numbers to effect a separation, then we will do whatever it takes to secure our independence and establish our own nation based on our own self interests.

Hill seems to think there is a critical mass of Southern white males who are ready to use violence to fight the “U.S. empire” for Southern independence.  I have no idea whether or not Hill is serious, but the rhetoric is ominous.

Institute on the Constitution Supports Controversial PA Police Chief's Actions to Nullify Gun Control Legislation

UPDATE: Kessler was suspended by his city council for using borough weapons for non-borough purposes. According to local media, Kessler’s supporters showed up armed to the teeth.
……….
Mark Kessler is the Chief of Police in Gilberton Borough, PA and is making some people nervous. Today, Change.org is promoting a petition to the mayor of Gilberton in opposition to Kessler. Kessler has garnered some national attention for his efforts to nullify any gun control legislation in his borough.
Someone who isn’t nervous about Kessler is Michael Peroutka, director of the Institute on the Constitution. Peroutka thinks Kessler’s efforts to nullify all gun control laws is just what the country needs:

On January 3rd of this year, Kessler drafted a “Second Amendment Protection Resolution” for his Pennsylvania town which, when passed by city officials a few weeks later, nullified every single gun control law in the nation.
“If you want to own a firearm,” Chief Kessler said, “the Second Amendment is your concealed carry permit, period. It has nothing to do with self-defense: it has to do with freedom from tyranny.”
Police Chief Kessler went on to say: “Nullification is the key. We just have to tell them, ‘that’s it’. I drew my line in the sand back on Jan 3rd. One person can make a difference: you just need to do something about it.”
Well, Amen.
Remember, when a law enforcement officer, like Chief Kessler, refuses to enforce an unconstitutional act, he is not breaking the law, he is upholding the law.
This is because unconstitutional acts of legislatures are NOT the law.

Thus, it is up to Kessler to decide what is constitutional or not and go by his own analysis. You don’t need a permit to carry a gun, you already have one Kessler opines. Thus, he is not going to enforce any gun control laws and the IOTC is fine with that.
Peroutka recommends support for an organization of like-minded police chiefs and sheriffs which promotes nullification.

We recommend that you give your support to the Constitutional Sheriff and Police Officers Association, whose mission is to equip sheriffs, peace officers and public officials with the necessary information and public support to carry out their duties in accordance with their Oaths of Office.

Peroutka, in a speech before the neo-Confederate League of the South, extolled the virtues of nullification and interposition and says his IOTC course is helping to create a consensus around nullifying laws. At 45:49 into the video, Peroutka describes how Carroll County in MD passed an ordinance forbidding any county resources for the use of implementing a MD gun control law. The sheriff pledged not to enforce the law there. Then at 47:33, speaking about the MD law, he says:

We don’t care what the legislature passes, it’s not valid, we don’t recognize it, and it’s not going to be enforced in Carroll County. And that’s the first step of nullification. The next step and what we really need is the step of interposition. Where we need the sheriff and the police to come out and the county executive to come out and say we not only are not going to enforce that but if somebody else comes into our county and tries to enforce it, we’re going to arrest them. That’s the step we need and some counties have done that.

Peroutka then explains the actions of Kessler and Gilberton Borough as being an illustration of nullification and interposition. He added that Kessler intends to arrest anyone who attempts to enforce a gun control law of any kind.
The oath of Kessler’s “Constitutional Security Force” sounds non-violent, but his videos (note the Confederate flag in this onestrike a more confrontational tone (NSFW – profanity) .
The concepts of nullification and interposition can be traced back to James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. See these two articles, first by Kevin Gutzman and the second published by the Heritage Foundation and written by Christian Fritz for conservative analyses of the concepts.
Gutzman points out that fans and opponents of nullification can use Madison as an authority because Madison took both sides at different times and for different causes. Toward the end of his life Madison noted that one state alone could not nullify federal law. Gutzman noted that at the end of his life, Madison said:

The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions, is that the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated. Let the open enemy to it be regarded as a Pandora with her box opened, and the disguised one as the serpent creeping with deadly wiles into Paradise.

In 1835, Madison also stated his opposition to John C. Calhoun appeals to Madison’s earlier writings on nullification. About a single state nullifying a federal law, Madison wrote the following:

But it follows from no view of the subject that a nullification of a law of the United States can, as is now contended, belong rightfully to a single State as one of the parties to the Constitution, the State not ceasing to avow its adherence to the Constitution. A plainer contradiction in terms, or a more fatal inlet to anarchy cannot be imagined. 

As Fritz documents, Madison did not consider nullification, in the sense Peroutka advocates, to be constitutional. In fact, I don’t know of anyone outside of the Confederates or neo-Confederates who consider nullification to be constitutional. Perhaps my readers will help out if there are others who make a constitutional case for nullification.
It remains to be seen what will develop from these nullification impulses and actions. What does seem clear is that Peroutka hopes that teaching the IOTC course will lead to more actions which Madison called “fatal inlet[s] to anarchy.”

Institute on the Constitution: Bringing Puritan Back

Thursday nights at 8:00pm (eastern), the National Religious Broadcasting Network is showing the Constitution course developed by the Institute on the Constitution.  A version of the IOTC’s course was planned as a public offering by the Springboro (OH) School District from July through September but was canceled at the last minute due to complaints from community members.
Unlike the Ohio course, the NRB broadcast version does not include David Barton or John Eidsmoe. Rather, IOTC co-founder Michael Peroutka and pastor David Whitney teach this version of the course. In prior posts, I have pointed out that Peroutka is a board member of the League of the South and Whitney is the chaplain of the Maryland chapter of the League.
I watched session two of the course last Thursday. The session was about the influence of Puritan political theory on the founders and the religious views of the founders.  In this post, I want to make a few observations about Peroutka’s views of the Puritans.
In the first part of the session, Peroutka discusses what he believes are contributions of the Puritans to American law and government. Generally, he attempted to draw a straight line from the Puritans to the American Constitution. For instance early in the program, he said, “Civil government has jurisdiction over our actions but not our conscience. Conscience is between God and man.” Peroutka claims this principle comes from the Puritans. However, in my opinion, his effort to find liberty of conscience in the Puritan theory of government fails because he ignores what the Puritan government did.
While it may have been fashionable at one time to link the Puritans to liberty (and some Puritans did speak about “liberty of conscience” — e.g., British clergy William Perkins), a review of basic events will contradict that notion. It is well documented that non-Puritans were not well tolerated in Massachusetts. For instance, Roger Williams was exiled to Rhode Island and set up real religious freedom there.  Of course, there is problem of the witch trials. Furthermore, Quakers were often tortured and sometimes killed for their beliefs.
For instance in the Annals of Salem, this order was passed in 1661:

May 22d. General Court sat. Wm Hathorne and Edmund Batter were Deputies. The former was chosen first reserve Commissioner for the Colony. The Court order that Quakers when discovered shall be made bare from the middle upwards tied to a cart and whipped through the town towards the boundary of Massachusetts, and if returning, that they shall be similarly punished with the addition that some them shall be branded with an R on their left shoulder, and if coming back a third time that they be banished on pain of death.

Pain of death had already visited dissenters prior to the Salem edict. The Boston Martyrs were four Quakers who were executed for their beliefs beginning in 1659. Eventually the British King stopped the executions in 1661.
Nineteenth century historian, George Edward Ellis described the Puritan view of “liberty of conscience:”

The inane assertion, so often flippantly repeated that the Massachusetts colonists came here to seek and to provide a field for the enjoyment of liberty of conscience, and then proved faithless to their profession by securing the right for themselves and denying it to others is simply false to all the facts of the case. What is now really meant by the phrase liberty of conscience was something which those Puritans regarded with shuddering abhorrence. It might with much more truth be said that the leaders of the colony came here to be rid of the liberty of conscience, which was working and showing its fruits in England as will appear on our future pages. Nor is it an adequate interpretation of their errand here to say that they were seeking liberty even for their own consciences. That liberty was already pledged and fettered put under bonds and limitations it was held in subjection to a stern and exacting rule of life and duty found not in their own thinkings and willings but in the Word of God. This complete abnegation of the privilege and license which we associate with liberty of conscience must be kept in mind in all our reading about the beliefs and doings of these Puritans. Fallen and wrecked as in their belief the nature of man was, they would not entertain the thought that any one, however earnest he might be, could find his rule within his own resources of thinking and believing. They read the sentence repeated several times in the Book of Judges that in the lack of any supreme authority every man did that which was right in his own eyes as equivalent to saying that he did what was wrong in the eyes of everybody else.

During the session, Peroutka uses the topic of  liberty of conscience to condemn hate crimes legislation. He says several times, “There is no such thing as a hate crime.” He adds that you can’t punish thoughts and opinions. However, his Puritans did. The Puritans passed laws regulating life in minute and intrusive ways. Contrary to Peroutka’s claims that the Puritans gave us liberty of conscience, consider the Cambridge Platform of 1648. The following principles promote the state regulation of private religious belief and action:

It is the duty of the magistrate to take care of matters of religion and to improve his civil authority for the observing of the duties commanded in the first as well as for observing of the duties commanded in the second table [of the Ten Commandments]. They are called gods. The end of the magistrate’s office is not only the quiet and peaceable life of the subject in matters of righteousness and honesty, but also in matters of godliness, yea of all godliness. (p 84)
Idolatry, blasphemy, heresy, venting corrupt and pernicious opinions that destroy the foundation, open contempt of the Word preached, profanation of the Lord’s day, disturbing the peaceable administration and exercise of the worship and holy things of God, and the like are to be restrained and punished by civil authority. (p, 85)
If any church, one or more, shall grow schismatical, rending itself from the communion of other churches or shall walk incorrigibly or obstinately in any corrupt way of their own contrary to the rule of the Word, in such case the magistrate is to put forth his coercive power as the matter shall require.  (p 85)

Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts because he “broached & dyvulged dyvers newe & dangerous opinions against the authoritie of magistrates” Anne Hutchinson was banished due to her beliefs about worship. Clearly the Puritans in power punished thoughts and opinions.
Actually, a more interesting aspect of Puritan history is the transition from theocratic impulses to the American revolution. The people in the colonies went a long way from state religion and control to a Constitution which contained no meaningful religious reference and no religious test for office. Peroutka’s Constitution course completely misses this, apparently because he wants to teach American law and government as a Puritan invention.
In the next post, I will address Peroutka’s thoughts on the religious beliefs of the founders. They are quite Barton-like and so it is familiar ground.
 

Springboro Confederate Flag Waving, League of the South Defender Says He Was Misunderstood

This is why it is good to shine light in dark places.
Defending the indefensible often leads to backpeddling.
In actuality, Sonny Thomas, the fellow who showed up at the Springboro School Board meeting and defended the Constitution course written by a League of the South board member didn’t back off much. He now says he was trying make a point about symbolism. I guess in a way he did what he set out to do. However, the symbolism which most people associate with the Confederate flag is repulsive.  He acknowledged that most people viewed it as racist, a sentiment which was confirmed in the Cincinnati.com article by Cincinnati area minister, Damon Lynch.
Not sure how Sonny’s reframing of the situation will sit with his ideological peers. On at least one white nationalist blog, he was getting cheers for his efforts. Occidental Dissent posted a link to the Daily Caller article on the subject with the headline, “Go, Sonny, Go.” According to the blogger, Sonny was in attendance at the unabashedly white nationalist Council for Conservative Citizens 2013 conference.
Kelly Kohls, president of the school board, told me in an email that she was surprised by Thomas’ remarks. She told me that board policy allows prearranged speakers to talk about whatever they want to talk about for three minutes. She said she felt between “a rock and a hard place” because she disagreed with his message but also worried about a free speech lawsuit if she shut him down.
Looking into Thomas’ background, it is hard to see how his remarks were surprising. This is not his first national media rodeo. In 2010, he was in the news for making disparaging remarks regarding Hispanics via twitter.  There were ripples throughout the tea party world; for instance, James Traficant and others pulled out of a Springboro tea party event due to Thomas’ involvement.