Ken Ham's Organization Denies Facts About Conference Sponsors

Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis is misinforming questioners about Michael Peroutka who is sponsoring of next month’s creationism speech at a church in Severn, MD. According to AiG representative Troy Lacey, Michael Peroutka never was a part of the League of the South. Acting on a tip from a reader who first wrote AiG earlier in the day, I wrote the organization and asked:

I understand that Ken Ham is speaking at an event in Severn, MD sponsored by Michael Peroutka. Mr. Peroutka is a member and former board member of the League of the South, a Southern nationalist secession group. 

Is Mr. Ham aware of Mr. Peroutka’s affiliation with the League of the South?

Mr. Lacey answered on behalf of AiG:

Hello Warren thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis. Ken Ham is speaking at Severn Christian Church in Severn, MD on October 18th; not to an organization. He was invited by the church leadership to speak there on Creation evangelism topics. The group that is sponsoring the conference appears to be a conservative constitutional reform party, but nothing more that I can see. As an organization we do not involve ourselves in politics.
To answer your question, to our knowledge Michael Peroutka was not a member of nor ever a former board member of the League of the South organization.
I hope this has been helpful,
Troy Lacey

The ad for the event lists the Institute on the Constitution as the sponsors, not the church. I wrote the church to ask for comment with no response.
kenhamdebate
 
The church may be doing more than providing the venue, but it is clear that Ham is being featured by the IOTC which is a DBA label for Michael Peroutka.
There can be no doubt that Michael Peroutka is a member and defender of the League of the South. He refused to distance himself from them at his news conference last month, he wrote the League’s president Michael Hill and asked for support from them, he proudly served as a board member for nearly a year, and he pledged the resources of the IOTC and his family to the aims of the League.
Clearly, AiG is misinformed or hoping to mislead questioners. Ham is speaking at an organization sponsored event and Michael Peroutka was and is a member of the League of the South.
The question now is what will Ham do about it? The denial of Peroutka’s membership seems to imply that the League of the South connection could be a problem for Ham and AiG (as it was for General Jerry Boykin).  We shall see.

Capital Gazette (MD) Columnist: Michael Peroutka is Not a Republican

Mike Collins, columnist for the Capital Gazette, has a helpful summary of Michael Peroutka’s statements which build to the conclusion that Peroutka can be called many things, but Republican is not one of them. Peroutka is running for a seat on Anne Arundel County Council, founded the theocratic Institute on the Constitution and is a member of the Southern secession group League of the South.
In an odd twist, I suppose you could call him a RINO.
Collins exhorts his fellow Republicans to consider the impact of their vote:

Before Election Day, I ask Republicans in District 5 — and throughout the county—to think through some questions: Do you want this wretched man to take on the proud label of Republican? Does he truly belong in the party of Lincoln and Reagan? Does he have a real allegiance to our party?

You need to do so because a vote for Peroutka will make him not only your representative, but also your responsibility — and our party’s.

 

Ken Ham Headlines Institute on the Constitution Conference

Founder of the young Earth Creation Museum Ken Ham accepted the donation of a dinosaur from Michael Peroutka’s foundation in May 2014. Now Ham is going to headline an event with Peroutka and David Whitney and put on by Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution.
Peroutka is a member and former board member of the League of the South; Whitney is the chaplain of the Virginia/MD chapter of the League. The League of the South advocates for the Southern states to secede to form a homeland for whites of European heritage. Peroutka has pledged the resources of the IOTC to the work of the League, and Peroutka defended the League as a Christian group.
Just over a year ago, fellow right wing luminary General Jerry Boykin pulled out of a conference because of the presence of IOTC speaker David Whitney on the program.  Ham is a frequent speaker at right wing functions. Ham’s decision to partner with IOTC indicates the reach that the IOTC has developed within the Christian right.
The IOTC claims to properly represent and teach the Constitution. However, David Whitney teaches that only Christians should be allowed to be citizens:

Loving thy neighbor means protecting their God given rights as Exodus 12:49 commands. That means preserving the structure of civil government from all who would pervert the civil government into an agency of legalized plunder, whereby the God given rights of no one would be safe and secure. This means, as we have seen in the commands of Scripture, that we restrict citizenship to those who, because they are committed to the Covenant of Disciples of Jesus Christ, are willing to submit themselves to serve in the roles of responsibility in choosing leaders who will preserve God ordained order.  Those who will serve as Jurors, committed to do justice in judging the law by the eternal standard of God’s Law.  Those who will serve when called up as Representatives to serve in civil government to do justice by God’s Law, and those who will put themselves in harms way serving in the Militia – only in just wars as defined by God’s Law.

Citizenship should be restricted, according to Whitney and the IOTC, to those who are”disciples of Jesus Christ.” This is no small error and should be rejected by anyone who values the Constitution (see especially the First Amendment and Article Six).

Briefs and Updates: Uganda, Scott Lively, Mars Hill Church, IOTC and Steven Sotloff

I am not surprised that Uganda’s Parliament will again debate an Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The world famous bill passed Parliament late last year and was signed by President Museveni earlier this year only to be thrown out by a Ugandan court due to a procedural problem during passage.
[youtube]http://youtu.be/F5Jll-VG0JA[/youtube]
Scott Lively says he’ll drop out of the MA governor’s race if his tea party opponent wins the GOP nomination. Reaction from the rest of MA? Crickets.
In light of Mark Driscoll’s 6 week break, September’s Mars Hill Church vision breakfast has been cancelled.
Instead of executive elder Dave Bruskas, Josh McPherson of Grace City Church in Wenatchee, WA will preach this Sunday at Mars Hill Church – Bellevue.
I note the following tweet and am working to confirm:


 
MD Del. Herb McMillan wants to make it very clear that he does not endorse Michael Peroutka for Anne Arundel County Council. If only GOP Attorney General candidate Jeffrey Pritzker would be as vocal. In light of Peroutka’s statement impying that Pritzker agreed with his views, I wrote Pritzker a couple of days ago for a clarification. So far no answer.
Join me in prayer for the family of Steven Sotloff.

League of the South President: Relish Being a White Supremacist

In what is probably one of the clearest statements of the white supremacist views of the League of the South, organization president Michael Hill penned an article calling on League members to relish the white supremacist views of their Southern heroes. Anne Arundel County Council candidate and proud League of the South member Michael Peroutka told a news conference audience that he repudiated racists in the League and would pray for them. Well, he does know Michael Hill so he has some repudiating and praying to do. After reading the essay, I think Hill would just laugh at Peroutka’s prayers.
Hill reminds his readers that historically Confederates and their sympathizers saw the South as “white man’s country.”

1n 1928, historian Ulrich B. Phillips called the South “a white man’s country.” [“The Central Theme of Southern History,” American Historical Review 34 (October 1928), p. 31.] From the beginning of their history in the early 17th century, Southerners had taken this statement as an unchallenged fact, and the presence of an alien race in their midst drove it home with added emphasis. Few if any Southerners, or for that matter Northerners, believed in racial equality at the time of the War for Southern Independence nor in the decades to follow. That Phillips made his non-controversial (at the time) statement more than six decades after the end of that war speaks volumes about the stubbornness of what is now vilified as “white supremacy.” Thus, I think it is safe to say that our Confederate ancestors and their descendants for at least two generations would qualify as “racists” and “white supremacists” by today’s definitions of the terms.

That is just fine with Hill, and as it should be.
Hill cites the racist statements of Southern heroes such as Jefferson Davis, Robert Dabney and Alexander Stephens to demonstrate that the Confederate cause was to advance white people as superior to blacks. Dabney is an interesting case. Hill quote Dabney, a Presbyterian minister, as follows:

The offspring of an amalgamation must be a hybrid race incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race. And this apparently is the destiny which our conquerors have in view. If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough to fill that position of political subjugation, which they desire to fix on the South.

Dabney should be familiar to Peroutka supporters. He is a hero on the Institute of the Constitution website. In fact, Peroutka hosts an article on the IOTC website authored by Dabney which justifies unequal treatment based on the supposed inferiority of the African. From the IOTC website, Dabney is quoted as follows:

Hence, the general equality of nature will by no means produce a literal and universal equality of civil condition; for the simple reason that the different classes of citizens have very different specific rights; and this grows out of their differences of sex, virtue, intelligence, civilization, etc., and the demands of the common welfare. Thus, if the low grade of intelligence, virtue and civilization of the African in America, disqualified him for being his own guardian, and if his own true welfare (taking the “general run” of cases) and that of the community, would be plainly marred by this freedom; then the law decided correctly, that the African here has no natural right to his self–control, as to his own labour and locomotion. 

Just to be clear, this passage is not from the League’s website, but from Michael Peroutka’s IOTC site. There is also this gem, which justifies discrimination based on race and religion. Peroutka needs to decide what side he is on.
Perhaps, Hill is talking to Peroutka when he closes:

So when they call you a “racist” or a “white supremacist,” remember that they would have called your Southern ancestors that as well. Thus you are in good company with Lee, Davis, Stephens, and a host of other honorable men. Laugh in your accuser’s face and relish that good company!

Thus far, Peroutka has relished the company of the League, and has pledged his family and business resources to their aims.  Maybe he saves his laughter for when the cameras are off.

League of the South Leaders Lament "Cultural Genocide"

In this National Geographic article, Maryland/Virginia League of the South president Shane Long declares his belief that the South belongs to a particular group of people.

Shane Long, vice chairman of the Maryland chapter of the League of the South, takes a more radical position. Child or adult, legal or illegal—it doesn’t matter, he says. He asserts that “a large amount” of native Virginians and Marylanders share his belief that all of the above intrude on Southerners’ right to exist as a distinct people. “Any act or nonaction by the federal government to bring about such large influxes of non-Southern peoples is genocide and is viewed as [that] by native Southerners,” he says. “It is, in effect, an act of war upon our people.”

In the comments section, League president Michael Hill takes the sentiment further:

Shane Long and The League of the South are correct: this is an act of war against the Southern people. It is an invasion, the result of which will be the ethnic replacement of Southerners with Latinos. Such an aggressive campaign to bring in illegal aliens is nothing less than cultural genocide, and the US regime is complicit. These aliens need to be sent back to their countries of origin, and they need to stay there. The South is for Southerners; it is our homeland.

Let’s remember what Hill means by the “Southern people”:

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.

Anne Arundel County Council candidate Michael Peroutka’s lead trainer at the Institute on the Constitution is David Whitney who is chaplain of Shane Long’s League chapter. Michael Peroutka refuses to back away from the League.
 
 

Michael Peroutka to Speak at Northern Baltimore Co. GOP Club

Many within the GOP are turning away from Peroutka’s candidacy for Anne Arundel County Council. Here is one GOP group who is bringing him in to speak.
Michael Featured Speaker to Republican Club

Michael Anthony Peroutka will speak to Northern Baltimore County Republican and Civic Organization on the Christian foundation of America, and how our Biblical View is what made the people and their country exceptional. The introduction of the Pagan View into American culture is the primary cause for the decline of morality in society.

  DATE:Thursday, August 28th

 TIME:7:30 pm

 LOCATION: Parkton American Legion Hall, 19520 York Road, Parkton, MD 21120

Hard to believe, after all the press Peroutka has received, that this group would feature him as a speaker.

Michael Peroutka says Institute on the Constitution led him to the League of the South

I have at times suggested that Michael Peroutka’s “The American View” website (where he promotes the Institute on the Constitution) should really be called “The Confederate View.”
In this video, taken at the 2004 League of the South meeting, Peroutka says the Institute on the Constitution led him to embrace the League of the South.
[youtube]http://youtu.be/j1F1YZN3s-s[/youtube]
For those who say the IOTC is just teaching on the Constitution, I show them this and remind them that Peroutka has claimed that teaching the Constitution is preparation for secession.
Salon has an article featuring Peroutka prominently. I agree that the GOP needs to openly reject Peroutka’s candidacy and ideology.

On Michael Peroutka's Incorrect Charge that a Video of His Speech to the League of the South Was Changed

Video of Anne Arundel County Council candidate Michael Peroutka’s press conference yesterday is now available. The entire conference follows the excerpt I want to present first. In the presser, Peroutka was asked if his endorsement of Southern secession and singing of Dixie as the national anthem was a mistake. He responded by saying that I altered the video to suit my political objectives. Au contraire, Mr. Peroutka, you do not speak truly.
First here is Peroutka’s claim:
[youtube]http://youtu.be/kYKDRWKUjFk[/youtube]
You can go to the posts where those clips are embedded (on secession and on Dixie) and see that I did not alter his words. And in the second post (on Dixie as the national anthem), I included the entire video as recorded at the conference by League of the South leader Michael Cushman. Jonathan Hutson points this out as well in his Huffington Post article:

Peroutka asserted that Professor Warren Throckmorton had “altered” the revealing 2012 video of his controversial comments and “Dixie” chorus at the League convention before posting it online. In fact, Throckmorton had reposted the entire, unaltered, 51-minute video on the conservative Evangelical Christian blog Patheos. The video was shot by Michael Cushman, a former member of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group, who now leads the League’s South Carolina chapter. Cushman had posted it at RedShirtArmy, a League-affiliated YouTube channel.
Cushman, in an irate comment posted under Throckmorton’s piece, demonstrates that the video is authentic, because he insists that he made it, and he demands credit. He complains that “neither this hit-piece nor the Leftist bloggers who are linking to it give me any credit for shooting this video.” He adds, “Nor did they ask my permission to post it on their websites.” The unedited video on Patheos is identical to the one on RedShirtArmy. Several outlets, including RightWing Watch, Raw Story, and Gawker, have posted clips of the video, crediting Throckmorton with the find.

Watch the entire press conference here:
[youtube]http://youtu.be/6UpwSFrRWBg[/youtube]
Peroutka didn’t help himself with this performance. He refused to back away from the League of the South, he defended secession, and said calling Dixie the national anthem was just fine. If anything, he simply validated my reporting and that of others.

Steve Deace on the Mark Driscoll Controversies: Ingroup Bias Illustrated

Steve Deace is a right wing, religiously conservative radio show host in Iowa. He appears to have a sizable tea party following and weekly gives League of the South member and Anne Arundel County Council candidate Michael Peroutka a platform on his broadcast. Yesterday on his Facebook page, he discussed recent controversies surrounding Mark Driscoll, but ranted more about Rachel Held Evans (calling her “Rob Bell in drag”) and me than he did about Driscoll. He seems upset that Evans and I have been bringing facts to the public while people he likes more are being silent.
About Evans and me, Deace writes:

If Driscoll’s sins are so great, then surely we can find those within Christendom who actually have solid theological credentials as the means by which to hold him accountable for them. But I consistently see two names quoted regarding Driscoll’s misdeeds and malfeasance. And these are people that shouldn’t be taken seriously as a source on anything regarding the integrity of the faith until they publicly repent themselves.

One of them is Warren Throckmorton. Throckmorton is a moral heretic. A proponent of homosexuality. He also once claimed Michael Anthony Peroutka, a man I have known for years who has even been a guest in my home, is a racist all because he actually believes what the Founders believed. The other is a flat-out heretic/pretend evangelical named Rachel Held Evans. She’s basically Rob Bell in drag.

Deace says he doesn’t mind holding Driscoll accountable but then pines away for someone who thinks like him to do it for him. He illustrates his position in the comments section of his article by saying:

Many of the devil’s accusations against us are true, but that doesn’t make him a source worth citing.

In an earlier comment he chastises a reader who defends getting truth from “known heretics” because “we are legitimizing heretics in front of the sheep.”

Deace appears to be worried that those who get accurate information from me on Mars Hill Church might read other things I write and then be persuaded to believe ideas he opposes. I don’t know Mr. Deace but he seems to have a low view of his audience. I suppose it is possible that some Mars Hill readers will consider other materials on my blog and in my other writings. In fact, I hope they do. However, I hope they will consider them with the same critical thinking skills they use with the material on Driscoll. Deace seems to be afraid that our ideas (whatever he thinks they are) will be so compelling that they will be swept away into heresy via the truth presented about Mars Hill. It is a lame argument as many of the commenters on his post declare.

In his Facebook attack, Deace displays classic ingroup bias defined by social psychologist David Myers as “the tendency to favor one’s own group.” The ingroup is good and the outgroup is bad. Most, if not all people, have engaged in this kind of bias at one time or another. However, along with a frequent fellow traveler, confirmation bias, ingroup bias can have negative consequences. Often ingroup bias fosters stereotyping and prejudice against outgroups. In his social psychology text*, Myers explains:

We also ascribe uniquely human emotions (love, hope contempt, resentment) to ingroup members, and are more reluctant to see such human emotions in outgroup members…There is a long history of denying human attributes to outgroups — a process called “infrahumanization.” European explorers  pictured many of the peoples they encountered as savages ruled by animal instinct. (p. 328-9)*

To a lesser degree, Deace exhibits this negative side-effect. He repeatedly labels Held and me as “heretics” and calls Evans “Rob Bell in drag.” He calls into question the facts we present because we are not part of the ingroup as he has drawn the boundaries. As a matter of intellectual hygiene, I think it is desirable to become aware of and avoid ingroup bias. Such bias can lead to an avoidance of truth (as in this case) and harmful stereotyping.
I can’t speak for Evans, but in my case, his biases have led him to call me a heretic for two basic reasons: he says I am a proponent of homosexuality and he says I oppose Michael Peroutka. That’s it. For Deace, I am not credible for these reasons. Let’s examine them.
I don’t know what he means by “proponent of homosexuality.” Indeed, I am a proponent of equal treatment under the law for every citizen. I oppose stereotyping and prejudice against GLBT people. I believe Christians should be honest about research relating to sexual orientation. For instance, it is clear that sexual reorientation therapy doesn’t work and should be avoided. However, I also support the right of anyone to abstain from any sexual activity if their religion forbids it. Deace uses the phrase “proponent of homosexuality” as if one can create more of it by being in favor of it. This, of course, is inconsistent with any research on the subject and as a Christian I feel it is my duty to tell the truth about that. However, I learned years ago that being an ingroup member meant shading the truth or lying about it in order to preserve the prevailing beliefs of ingroup leaders.
On Peroutka, Deace says I oppose Peroutka because Peroutka believes what the founders believed. That is a bizarre and selective reading of my writing about Peroutka, the Institute on the Constitution and the League of the South. In fact, Peroutka believes some of what the founders believed but he distorts the founders to make them into Christian reconstructionists.
I have pointed out that Institute on the Constitution founder and Anne Arundel County Council candidate Michael Peroutka was once a board member of the League of the South, has been a frequent speaker at their conferences, pledged his resources to the League, and refused to distance himself from the League in response to criticism from current Republican leaders in MD. I have pointed out that the League of the South is working to generate support for Southern secession, and wants to establish a white homeland in the South apart from the rest of the nation. League president Michael Hill denigrates Martin Luther King, Jr., and Abraham Lincoln, while lauding Nathan Bedford Forrest (first grand wizard of the KKK). On Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution website, articles justify slavery and racial discrimination. Peroutka thinks the South was fighting for freedom and the right cause. He laments the fact that the South lost at Gettysburg. To the League of the South conference in 2012, he favored secession and led them in singing “I Wish I Was in Dixie” as their national anthem.  Peroutka says he is not a racist, but then he says he doesn’t know racists in the League of the South. The League of the South wants a white Southern homeland. What should we call that?
It is beyond me how Steve Deace can embrace Michael Peroutka and call me a heretic. I do not understand that way of thinking. However, if Steve Deace said the sky is blue or that Jesus rose from the dead, I would believe him.
On the other hand, I won’t believe him when he tells me that Michael Peroutka is promoting an honorable cause. I don’t reject Deace’s views about Peroutka and the League because Deace is not in my ingroup, but rather because I have evaluated the evidence with my own mind. And that is what Deace should do about Mark Driscoll, and Rachel Held Evans, and me. If he did, he might find truth in surprising places.
 
 
*Myers, D. (2010). Social psychology, (10th Ed.). New York:McGraw-Hill.