Institute on the Constitution Doubles Down on Exploitation of Martin Luther King, Jr.

MartinLuther King picIn the Fall of 2013, the founder and director of the Institute on the Constitution Michael Peroutka made some outrageous claims regarding Martin Luther King, Jr. First, on the Steve Deace Show, Peroutka said King did not call for civil rights for blacks in his “I Have a Dream” speech. At the time, I demonstrated that the claim was false.  Then, Peroutka produced a video which repeated the same false claims. Then, Peroutka followed up by asserting that civil rights laws should not have been passed and that the government should not define discrimination for private employers.
Despite Peroutka’s false telling of King’s work and his rejection of civil rights statutes, the IOTC claims to truly understand King’s work. Recently, Jake MacAuley rewrote Peroutka’s 2013 article on King and made the same false claims.  MacAuley claims that the riots and unrest surrounding Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson demonstrates the failure of civil rights. He then lifts, word for word, from Peroutka’s 2013 article:

But it was not, as many have falsely claimed, a call for “civil” rights. In fact, in my view Dr. King was not a champion of “civil” rights. He was a champion of God-given rights.

MacAuley added his own spin to the false claims:

Unlike many modern day welfare state proponents, Dr. King’s demands were right because they were based on a righteous pretense (sic).
It appears to me that this concept of “civil rights” was a gross distortion of his work. This bastardized version of truth would actually only serve to compound power into the already corrupted task master, the human heart, or more specifically stated the human occupied civil government institutions.

As I pointed out in 2013, King’s writings contradict Peroutka’s claims.  And now I want to add to the rebuttal by citing again King’s own words every day this week. With help from Grove City College colleague Todd Allen, I have identified several of King’s writings which address King’s views of civil rights and his self-identification as a leader in the civil rights movement.
If MacAuley’s point was that King would have rejected violent protest, he would have been correct. However, MacAuley moves in a different direction. He makes a case for theocracy.

It appears to me that this concept of “civil rights” was a gross distortion of his work. This bastardized version of truth would actually only serve to compound power into the already corrupted task master, the human heart, or more specifically stated the human occupied civil government institutions.
At one time in our history, we looked to God’s Word to determine what was right and wrong. This was a fixed and certain standard.
Having jettisoned this fixed, objective standard, government tramples our God-given rights and now pretends to issue what it calls “civil rights”.
But “civil rights” are make-believe. Real rights come from the Creator.
In Ferguson, Missouri we have witnessed the folly and the futility of make-believe “civil rights”.

While King believed that human nature was tainted by sin, he also looked to non-violent protest to help move the “human occupied civil government” to guarantee by statute equal treatment before the law for all citizens.
As indicated by his statements here, MacAuley and the IOTC want a theocracy where the Bible (as they understand it) is the governing document. While many founders believed the government’s respect for the natural rights of all citizens was consistent with the Bible, they did not enshrine the Bible as the “fixed, objective standard” from which all civil rights are derived. In the real America, the foundational governing document is the Constitution.
What kind of rights could people expect under a biblical government as envisioned by the IOTC? According MacAuley’s employer, Michael Peroutka, civil rights legislation should never have been passed. Peroutka told Steve Deace:

The civil government has no authority to tell any private employer what kind of employees to hire and fire, or what constitutes discrimination. And obviously, I do mean and I would include the so-called civil rights laws are not law, they never should’ve been passed, they’re not law now, they weren’t law then, they aren’t law now because there is no such thing as a civil right.

On the point of discrimination, Peroutka’s website hosts an article consistent with his statements to Deace. On the website, a 1956 essay by Calvinist writer Frederick Nymeyer describes discrimination which is permitted within a society:

The word discriminate has in late years acquired a bad flavor. There are three kinds of discrimination which are under special attack: discrimination on the basis of religion, discrimination on the basis of race, and discrimination on the basis of nationality. We wish to challenge the validity of objections to these discriminations. We see no reason why men should not discriminate on grounds of religion, race, or nationality, if they wish. We wish to present the case for the right of any and all discriminations except discriminations which involve injustice (violation of Second Table of the Law).

The second table of the law involves prohibitions against theft, murder and coveting after one’s neighbor. According to Nymeyer, one may discriminate against a neighbor based on his race, as long as one doesn’t use that freedom to discriminate as a basis for killing, stealing or coveting. 

But the moral crux of the problem of discrimination is the discrimination against unalterable characteristics. Is it moral to discriminate against unalterable characteristics regarding which a man is helpless? Here is where the race problem becomes so sensitive. A man with a white skin cannot do anything about it; a man with a black skin cannot do anything about it. Why discriminate against (choose against) a man for that for which he has no remedy, for an unalterable trait that is unattractive to you and maybe others? Here is where cruel injustice appears immorally to intrude itself into the situation. But is it injustice?

If the writer has made an earnest effort to carry a tune and keep time (which he has) but is unable (which happens to be the fact), is an injustice done h i [him] because he is “discriminated” against by a choral society which discriminates against a trait he had which is unalterable for h i [him]? Of course not. Justice does not consist in denying reality or the facts of life; injustice is not identical with recognizing reality (that I cannot sing).

And so we hold – in the name of happiness, and in the name of liberty, and in the name of the right to discriminate – that there is no more “injustice” in discriminating against an unalterable trait than against an alterable trait; neither is an injustice. For us, every discrimination is valid except a discrimination involving injustice.

Peroutka’s declaration that the government has no right to tell an employer what constitutes discrimination is consistent with this article on his website but flies directly in the face of Martin Luther King Jr.’s work. King fought for the very civil rights laws that Peroutka condemns. 
Channeling Peroutka, MacAuley ends his article by saying:

In both private and public policy, we must remember that God created only one race – the human race. Therefore, all elevation or denigration of individuals or groups based on skin color is immoral and shameful because it violates the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God!

This sounds nice, but I wonder what it means. Peroutka told Steve Deace that the government has no authority to enforce discrimination laws and Peroutka’s website includes a justification for discrimination based on race. I can’t make any sense of these contradictions.
In contrast to IOTC’s claims about King, Jr.are his own words. Consider this segment of the “I Have a Dream” speech:

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. (my emphasis)

Peroutka’s website justifies discrimination based on race. Peroutka told Steve Deace that the government shouldn’t define discrimination for employers. Clearly, King Jr.’s eloquent teaching about the indignity of discrimination contradicts Peroutka.
In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, King Jr. mentioned white ministers who believed in God but did nothing to help gain civil rights. King, Jr. wrote:

I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South’s beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: “What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?”

Religious voices were mixed with some silent but others opposing equality. In the face of religious confusion, King reminded his readers that civil and legal remedies were required:

My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights.

Here King, Jr. refers to the rights he sought as being “constitutional” and “God given.” While King, Jr. believed that equality of the races was a natural right, he also believed, in contrast to Peroutka, that civil rights must be gained through government and civil action. Since the privileged Southern segregationists and the oppressed civil rights advocates differed on what God wanted, the government had to guarantee those rights or else they would never come. It is fine in the abstract to say government exists to guarantee God given rights, but the devil is in the details. There are many views of who God is and what He wills. Thus, “determined legal and non-violent pressure” was necessary to make civil rights gains over the objections of those who thought God didn’t approve of racial equality.

As an antidote to the wild IOTC misrepresentation of King, I urge you to read the entire Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

My intention is to feature something from King, Jr. each day this week to address the IOTC distortion of his work.

Minnesota State Rep Cindy Pugh Plugs Institute on the Constitution

Readers in Minnesota’s state House district 33B (Saint Paul), your representative, Cindy Pugh, is plugging the theocratic Institute on the Constitution.

Among other assignments, Pugh sits on the Higher Education and Finance committee. The IOTC course is riddled with errors and so it is disappointing to see it get a high profile endorsement.

No Minister of the Gospel Shall Be Eligible to the Office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor or a Seat in the General Assembly

Does this title represent a sinister new proposal by the godless left to keep Christian ministers from political office?

Hardly. Rather, this is a section from the 1817 Constitution of the State of Mississippi. Apparently, the framers of that Constitution believed that the care of souls could be distracted by the care of the government. After posting Jake MacAulay’s article on the issue of belief in God as a requirement to hold office, I checked out the original Mississippi Constitution. Section 6 contains the words quoted by MacAulay. However, the very next section forbids Christian ministers from seeking public office.

Section 6. No person who denies the being of God, or of a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.

Section 7. Ministers of the Gospel being by their profession, dedicated to God, and the care of souls, ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions. Therefore, no minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to the office of Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or to a seat in either branch of the General Assembly.

Jake MacAulay lauded Mississippi for including belief in God as a requirement for public service. Will he also laud Section 7 which disallowed ministers from public office? Which of these planks is the so-called “American view” of law and government?

The framers of the federal Constitution were wise to specifically prohibit religious tests. The American view is reflected in their work.  The Institute on the Constitution is an organization dedicated to misinforming the public and cannot be trusted.

Institute on the Constitution Uses Spurious George Washington Quote to Mislead Followers

The Institute on the Constitution, founded by former League of the South board member Michael Peroutka, bills itself as an educational outreach of Peroutka’s law firm. I have contended for over a year that the IOTC is a theocratic enterprise which does not educate but rather misleads followers about the Constitution.
Today I note an illustration of how the IOTC subtly misinforms followers. On their Facebook page, the IOTC attributes to George Washington the following spurious quote:

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible

According to the IOTC Facebook page, this post has been shared 66 times. That is a lot of ignorance going around.
According to Mt. Vernon website, there is no evidence that Washington ever said this.  The exact quote has never been located in Washington’s works. A similar quote was first included, without citation, in an book published long after Washington’s death. There is no evidence he ever said this.
This is not the first fake Washington quote used by the IOTC to advance their agenda.
The IOTC course on the Constitution is riddled with errors and cannot be trusted as a source on the subject. In addition, the IOTC has posted material on the organization’s website defending racial and religious discrimination. Peroutka believes the wrong side won the Civil War.
The IOTC is making a strong push to establish what they call “American Clubs” in public schools. In my view, these clubs are dangerous and should be resisted by parents. It is beyond disgusting that the Liberty Counsel, affiliated with Liberty University, defends the American Clubs in school districts who attempt to resist them.
 

League of the South President Lauds Michael Peroutka's County Council Victory

As noted earlier today, former League of the South board member and founder of the theocratic Institute on the Constitution, Michael Peroutka, won the District 5 County Council race in Anne Arundel County MD.
His friend Michael Hill, president of the League of the South, offered his congratulations to Peroutka on the League’s Facebook page.
LoSCongratsPeroutka
 
 

Michael Peroutka Wins Anne Arundel County Council Race

Michael Peroutka won the Anne Arundel County (MD) District 5 Council seat over Patrick Armstrong by around 1900 votes.
Peroutka, founder of the Institute on the Constitution and former League of the South board member, will on paper give the Republicans a majority on the Council. However, more accurately, the Council now consists of three Democrats, three Republicans and Peroutka, a Theocrat who believes the wrong side won the Civil War.
 
 
 

Decision Day for Michael Peroutka and Republicans in Maryland Tomorrow

A lot of important elections tomorrow. One I have been following is Michael Peroutka’s bid to gain a seat on Anne Arundel County’s county council. Peroutka is the subject of an election eve article in The American Prospect. The article asks if a neo-Confederate, theocrat can get elected in one of the richest U.S. counties. Good question; we’ll soon find out.
Peroutka, who doesn’t believe in civil rights or public schools but deceives the public about having one of his Constitution clubs in the public schools he dislikes, might win. Even though he was a defender of the white separatist League of the South until recently, and according to a source who does not want to be named, still supports the League financially, Peroutka might garner enough votes to defeat his Democrat challenger.
No matter how you look at it, a Peroutka win would be a disaster for the GOP.

No Institute on the Constitution Club at Logan High School

Recently, the Institute on the Constitution used a video of an unidentified teacher to claim they had established another American club in a public school. (See below)

More recently, the IOTC posted a better produced video of the same teacher (an intervention specialist at Logan High School) and a student discussing how easy it is to start an American club in the public school.

As it turns out, the claim is false. The high school in question is Logan (OH) High School and there is no American Club at this school.
On Friday, I spoke with Jim Robinson, principal at Logan High School. He had not heard of the club and told me that no clubs by that name or with the themes of the American club had applied to be recognized at the school.
This false claim is not the first time the IOTC falsely claimed to have an American Club at an institution. In May 2014, the IOTC said an American Club had been formed at Calvin College. The college administration flatly denied that claim:

Bob Crow, Dean of Student Development, informed me that the Institute on the Constitution’s Director Michael Peroutka met with a small group of students when he visited campus. However, about an American Club, Crow said, “I can confirm that no such student organization exists at Calvin College.” Furthermore, given the affiliation of Mr. Peroutka with the neo-Confederate League of the South, Mr. Crow said, “it is unimaginable that such a group could exist here.”

Peroutka and the IOTC are using the American Club concept to raise “a money bomb.”

Prospective donors should know that there is no evidence that IOTC is a non-profit organization which means donations are not deductible. Furthermore, it is hard to know how donations could help establish American Clubs since it costs nothing to establish one in a school.
And in this case, there is no club.

Peroutka Should Not Be Surprised by White Separatism in the League of the South

Michael Peroutka told the Baltimore Sun that he quit the League of the South when he found online some views of interracial marriage held by League members that were “contrary to his beliefs.” I find this to be extremely doubtful. Peroutka has been going to League of the South meetings since at least 20o4 when he was endorsed by the League in his Constitution Party quest for president. While I realize he may not have attended this session, League of the South president Michael Hill presented his opposition to interracial marriage at the same 2o12 League of the South conference where Peroutka led the crowd in singing “I Wish I Was in Dixie” (at 50:34 into the video) and called it the “national anthem.”
At 45:30 minutes into this speech, Hill describes his hope that his children marry in his race.
[youtube]http://youtu.be/ovLGfoEo0Sc?t=44m[/youtube]
He proceeds to extol white pride and the superior accomplishments of Western Civilization.
Again, it is possible that Peroutka missed this session but it seems unlikely to me that he never heard these views spoken at a League meeting.
 
 
 

Michael Peroutka Should Elaborate on Reasons He Quit the League of the South

I heard early yesterday that former League of the South board member Michael Peroutka and leader of the theocratic Institute on the Constitution quit the organization. In an article dated today in the Baltimore Sun, Peroutka is quoted as saying he quit the League. He declined to give reasons.
Update: Somehow I missed this section from the Sun article (comments in italics added on 10/18)

Peroutka, a Millersville Republican, said he left the group prior to Labor Day because he discovered statements members made on the subject of being opposed to interracial marriage were “contrary to my beliefs.” He would not elaborate.

I saw the article as soon as it was posted the night before; perhaps this section was added. In any case, I apologize for the omission.
Peroutka’s “discovery” is suspicious. The League has made no secret about white separatist views and Peroutka has been going to and speaking at League of the South meetings since at least 2004 when the organization endorsed his candidacy for president. 
After defending the League of the South early in his campaign for Anne Arundel County Council, Peroutka now suddenly announces he is no longer a member and he doesn’t want to talk about it. To me, that is not sufficient. Peroutka needs to further explain his reasons for first defending and then quitting a group which defends white separatism, especially since that group does not hide those views. Although Peroutka says the move was not for political reasons, without a more plausible explanation there is no reason to believe him.
Peroutka also told the Sun that he was taken out of context when he led the audience in singing the song “I Wish I Was in Dixie” at a League of the South meeting. He called the song the “national anthem.” The entire video is on You Tube (see below). He wasn’t taken out of context. That he continues to spin the situation is an indicator that he is still not being straightforward.
Peroutka even wrote League of the South president Michael Hill when he won the GOP primary for county council and asked for League support. Perhaps the League didn’t come through.
Furthermore, I have heard from a source close to the situation that Peroutka continues to support candidates who have ties to the League of the South, most notably the GOP candidate for sheriff Joe Delimater.
David Whitney, the co-teacher at the Institute on the Constitution, is still listed as chaplain of the Maryland-Virginia chapter of the League of the South.
It is quite possible that Peroutka quit the League in order to preserve his connection to Ken Ham. Ham is supposed to present his creationist position on behalf of Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution this coming weekend. Ham’s organization denied Peroutka was a member of the League and refused to address clear evidence that Peroutka did belong to it. Perhaps, Ham threatened to back out if Peroutka remained a member.
If Peroutka wants this move to be taken seriously, he needs to do better than he has so far and explain his departure from the League.
Watch Peroutka lead the League of the South in Dixie, or in Peroutka’s words, the national anthem.
[youtube]http://youtu.be/mPhRtS0WdcU?t=50m36s[/youtube]