The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Evangelical Broadcasters to Drop Controversial Course, at Very Last Minute

By Don Terry on September 24, 2013 - 3:36 pm, Posted in Christian Right, Neo-Confederate

A controversial course on the United States Constitution developed by a board member of the neo-Confederate, pro-secessionist League of the South (LOS) and aired by the influential National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is “to be removed” from the network, a spokesman for NRB told Hatewatch today.

“It is actually going to be going down,” the spokesman, Kenneth Chan, said of the 12-week course presented by the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), which was co-founded by Maryland-based lawyer Michael Peroutka, the LOS board member who developed the course and teaches it on NRB.

But it’s unclear when the course will be removed from the NRB lineup. Only one session remains to be broadcast and is scheduled to air Thursday. Chan referred further inquirers on timing and on the impact of a pastor’s petition drive seeking to have the program removed to the president of the network, Troy Miller.

Miller, however, did not respond to an interview request.

For the last several days, a multiethnic group of evangelical pastors and other clergy in Cincinnati have been organizing a petition drive on Change.org, asking NRB to drop the course from its programming because of its “divisive ideology.”

“It has come to our attention that NRB airs, and endorses, a program by Michael Peroutka: Institute on the Constitution,” the petition states. “Mr. Peroutka is an unashamed board member of the League of the South, and has pledged his business and family resources to that effort.”

The petition says the LOS endorses secession from “the current government,” a return “to the Confederate Constitution of 1861,” and seeks to see “the South become a separate nation led only by whites.”

“Our commitment to unity makes it impossible for us to overlook this promotion by the NRB,” the petition continues. “As leaders, we must hold NRB responsible for the divisive ideology it has espoused through connection to Mr. Peroutka.”

This past summer, a school board in suburban Dayton, Ohio, was forced to cancel the IOTC course it planned to offer over the summer after parents and alumni vigorously objected, saying the classes pushed a religious interpretation of the subject and a religious agenda.

The fears of the protesting parents and the petitioning pastors are well founded.

Peroutka, the founder of IOTC, was the 2004 presidential candidate for the Constitution Party, a far-right theocratic third party. The League of the South, on whose board Peroutka now sits, wants to form a “godly” nation, run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (read: white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state. It is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which publishes this blog, as a neo-Confederate hate group.

Warren Throckmorton, a conservative evangelical who teaches at a Christian liberal arts college, has been sounding the alarm about Peroutka and his course since the summer school board battles in Ohio. Throckmorton – who recently wrote an important book debunking theocratic claims about Thomas Jefferson and the foundation of the United States – has blogged extensively on a list of factual problems with the IOTC course. Some examples:

“After I became aware that the IOTC founder and teacher was also involved in the League of the South, I was troubled by aims of the League,” Throckmorton said in an E-mail interview with Hatewatch today. “I think the emergence of a neo-Confederacy element in mainstream evangelical circles is distressing and should be opposed.”

  • Jane Doe

    Stupid is as stupid does…..I wish the secessionists would buy an island where they could all go and live together in peace! They’d be happy and we’d be happy because we wouldn’t have to listen to this insane drivel.

    They’d last a few years till their food stores ran out then they’d starve because no state will be willing to have anything to do with them.

    Problem solved. See how easy that was?

  • Gregory

    Sam,
    Supersonic was offering good advice, not making a personal attack. A personal attack would have suggested that you were too stupid, or stubborn, to learn and we know that not to be the case.

    You have yet to provide a specific example to support your claims about the UN, just the same vague generalities that you have repeated in this and other threads. Surely you can find at least one instance since you are asserting that these injustices to the US occur consistently.

    On the other hand, if you are suggesting that the Confederacy was a fanatical regime with values that are repugnant to our morality, then we might have some common ground.

  • Reynardine

    Sam: Peacefully, my Equus asinus. They fired on Fort Sumter, which made them, in the alternative, either (a) insurrectionists; or (b) a hostile foreign power, which in either case was (c) a casus belli.

  • supersonic250

    Sam:

    That wasn’t a personal attack, that was an honest plea. You don’t have ANY clue what you’re talking about and you’re making… well… more of a fool of yourself than usual.

    First off, the USA is a member of the UN Security Council, and one of the founders of the UN. If, hypothetically, a second Confederacy identical to the original were to rise and separate, there’s no WAY the UN would support it.

    Also, the UN does not grant legitimacy to rebellious states until they have gained true independence, and shown that they can play nice with the rest of the world. Considering the Confederacy broke away ILLEGALLY from the United States, was in open insurrection, and was founded on ONE SINGLE illegal ideology of slavery…

    Yeah, that wouldn’t happen. Also, this whole discussion is stupid since the UN didn’t come into being until over half a century later, so we’re all arguing over nothing.

  • Sam Molloy

    supersonic, stick to the points raised and avoid the personal attacks so evidential of a failed line of reasoning.
    Legalhound, an insurrection would include a coup or attempt to take over the Federal Government but not an attempt to peacefully leave it.

  • Sam Molloy

    The UN consistently favors the self determination of fanatical regimes over the comparatively Libertarian countries like the US. So, to repeat, it is quite logical that they would not only have favored Southern Secession had they been around, they would favor secession today to gain power over sovereign states.

  • Erika

    Sam, once again i point out that many Confederate soldiers were forced to join the Confederate Army on fear of being summarily imprisoned or even executed. And again there were many instances where opponents of the Confederate regieme or opponents of secession were summarily executed.

    For some reason the UDC and SCV fail to mention that.

  • http://theblogthatam.yolasite.com/theblogthatam.php IludiumPhosdex

    In essence, what the League of the South wants is to distort the Balfour Declaration of 1917 (as established the doctrine that Jews were entitled, by religio-historical precedent, to establish a “national home” in Palestine) and claim such gives them “precedent” to claim that the “Confederate Southern American peoples” have a “natural right to self-determination” by reasserting the Confederate States of America to be their “national home.”

  • Mitzymoon

    How long will it be before we see Rand or Ron Paul keynoting speeches at an LOS convention?

  • legalhound

    Sammy I hate to rain on your parade, but when the states accepted the body of the Constitution (Before the Bill of Rights) they also accepted the clause that not only allows, but actually requires the Federal Government to put down any and all armed insurrections. That is exactly what secession was an armed insurrection. Those who were involved in it were technically traitors. Instead of hanging the Confederate Generals they were let off the hook because Lincoln was war weary and so was Grant.

  • aadila

    Sam, our moderate right wing President Obama just went to the U.N. and pulled a Bush, saying in no uncertain terms that the United States considers itself a global empire which has the right to wage war to secure oil, presumably in order to keep the corporations happy who fund both Democrats and Republicans in equal measure.

    And he didn’t even pay the U.N. dues, which now totals hundreds of millions in arrears. I am beginning to think the left wing has no real say in this administration at all. Congress is a fund-raising organization and the Senate, well, maybe there is still some honor among them. But not much. E.g. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex) waxing poetic on Dr. Seuss merely to hold the floor.

  • supersonic250

    Okay, I’ve avoided being baited into this for a while now, but I can’t hold out any longer….

    Sam Malloy, PLEASE. Do us ALL a favor and find your local community college and enroll in A: A civics course, B: EVERY history course they have, C: An economics course, D: every course on international politics they have…

    …And come back to us when you actually understand what the fudge you’re talking about, and aren’t just pulling it out of your rear.

  • Gregory

    Sam,
    I don’t suppose you could give an example of how badly the UN treats us?

    As for self-determination, what of the 38.7% of the Confederate population who were slaves?

  • Aron

    Sam, just keep digging. Eventually you’ll find that gold.

    Maybe.

  • Sam Molloy

    Hardly any Confederate soldiers owmed slaves. The UN today treats Christian killing, Gay hanging, Woman disrespecting nations better than they treat us, so logically they would support the CSA as a group of people who want to govern themselves.

  • Gregory

    aadila,

    No, I would never suggest sockpuppetry with these two distinct personalities.

    The Großvater reference is for those German and Confederate apologists whose ancestors fought in those losing efforts. Their argument goes basically like this, my father/uncle/grandfather/great grandfather/etc fought on the losing side and he was a good person. Therefore, the Nazis and Confederate cause could not be evil.

    While it is true that not every German soldier was a camp guard or war criminal nor did every Confederate soldier own slaves, they both fought to maintain regimes that many of us consider to be evil.

  • Erika

    Meanwhile it seems that Sam’s trolling has completely distracted from what should be the real topic here – namely what is a “religious” broadcaster doing broadcasting something which is explicitly political (even leaving aside the extremist nature). Anyone who has ever listened to religious broadcasters knows that much of the programming has a decidedly political stance – almost always far to the right. A large part of that seems to be that the fundamentalists and other right wing groups seem to have the money (one prominent religious broadcasting network seems to share Jack T. Chick’s view from Angels that Satan controls the music industry and that therefore all forms of contemporary music (especially so called “Christian music”) so you basically have to stick with 100-200 year old White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant (of course!) hymns to be safe) to broadcast.

  • aadila

    Gregory,

    Are you suggesting Sam is really Deep Ecology? (the Großvater thing). If so, one would think he might be happily enjoying Oktoberfest instead of irking his interlocutors in this forum. Even though it’s against my religion I will happily buy Sam a beer if it means he’ll just hush for a while.

  • http://theblogthatam.yolasite.com/theblogthatam.php IludiumPhosdex

    Quoth Dietrich:

    The South is incredibly Anglo-Celtic, and they see themselves as the original Americans with other Americans being invaders. It’s also why Anglo-Celtic whites are doing worse than other white people. Because they’re all in the South and South has a lot more poor and uneducated.

    No doubt having much in common with their spiritual and ideological brethern among the Afrikaner Peoples of South Africa, descended themselves from Dutch, German and French Huguenot stock as settled in the Cape of Good Hope under Jan van Riebeck’s leadership in 1656.

    Who, themselves, justified apartheid as being essential to maintaining Afrikaner identity and securing Afrikaner dominance over the South African economy, hoping to (as one Afrikaner Nationalist leader explained it) “seize this foreign model [of capitalism] and adopt it to our national character.”

  • Gregory

    Setting aside the fact that Sam has no clue, is this the same Sam who repeats JBS conspiracy theories about the UN imposing international law on ‘Murka and is now saying that the same set of (mostly non-existent) laws justify southern secession? And he accuses others of wanting to have it both ways? LMFAO.

    News Flash– History is written by the winners. That is why Nazi Germany and the Confederacy are considered the bad guys, even if your Großvater or great-grandpappy fought for either side. The Holocaust and slavery will do that.

  • Erika

    Sam, please just stop you are embarassing yourself. You know nothing about history and even less about law.

  • aadila

    Sam, the theory of nullification was proven wrong at gunpoint in the civil war. I should think you of all people would respect that.

  • Erika

    Odd also that Sam tries to impose his perception of the modern U.N. without noting that slavery has been recognized as a violation of the norms of international law and a crime against humanity for over a century.

    The U.N. would not back a regieme whose sole stated purpose is to commit crimes against humanity. Even in the 19th Century, no government recognized as legitimate a government whose sole stated purpose was to promote whiet supremacy and preserve slavery.

    Learn some history.

    and don’t even attempt to discuss international law because you are clueless.

  • Sam Molloy

    The process for leaving the Union is legal under international law and protected today by the UN as self determination. It is also implied as an inalienable right. Oh, I’m this, I’m that. Liberals believe the rules do not apply to their causes, and the end justifies all means to advance their Cause Du Jour. You are reading history written by the winners.

  • Gregory

    Well, it looks like the real Sam Molloy came out to play today. Sam, we’ve deconstructed this TeaBircher nonsense in the past, so most of this will familiar to you.

    The process for admitting a new state into the Union is well defined by the Constitution but there is no process, nor any mention, for leaving. When the issue has reached the Supreme Court, unilateral secession has been ruled unconstitutional. See Texas v. White.

    As in the past, your speculative statement on what actions the UN would take demonstrates that your understanding of that body comes from the John Birch Society. In your hypothetical scenario, there is no reason to believe that the CSA would have been recognized as legitimate nor is there any reason to believe that the ensuing war would be considered illegal, based on how the UN actually works. Unless, of course, you are a fever addled NeoConfederate, in which case reality need not apply.

    Once again, Sam, you are wrong.

  • Dietrich

    Anglo-Celtic is more than just white. It’s also a rejection of Americans that came across from Europe later of German, Italy, and other Eastern European creeds.

    You can see what they mean by looking at national origin maps of the US:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....ted_States

    The South is incredibly Anglo-Celtic, and they see themselves as the original Americans with other Americans being invaders. It’s also why Anglo-Celtic whites are doing worse than other white people. Because they’re all in the South and South has a lot more poor and uneducated.

  • Reynardine

    Sam, your wits have just taken a long walk off a short pier.

  • Erika

    looks like our little Sammy has went and gone full neo-Confederate on us.

    In any case, please actually read the Constitution and learn why you are extremely wrong legally and historically. You really don’t have to go past the first line.

    and point to any time when the UN has approved a rebellious state illegitimately created by non-democratic means who quickly moves to become a tyrannical government which systemically disenfranises and murders people who disagree with them – because that is what the real Confederates did.

    The U.N. would probably have joined with the North to protect the pro-Union Southerners (who in many areas of the South comprised a majority of even the white population but have largely been erased from history by the fact that the initial histories were written by racist “Lost Cause” sympathizers like Woodrow Wilson) from the rebels.

  • Aron

    Sam, remind me who fired the first shot?

    Seriously. Shut up.

  • Sam Molloy

    I hate to bust your bubble, but if a group can vote to join the Union it can also vote to leave it. Your revered United Nations would back me up on that. And, more you won’t like. If the CSA was therefore a legitimate sovereign state, it was an illegal act for the Union to invade it. The UN would also define it as the “War of Northern Aggression”. They would probably censure the CSA for Slavery and the postwar Apartheid, but likely could not have ended either one.

  • concernedcitizen

    “the current government,” a return “to the Confederate Constitution of 1861,” and seeks to see “the South become a separate nation led only by whites.”

    What is it that causes people to look into the eyes of civility and intelligence, ” that states Americans should stand together and not be divided”, and then they still run away towards the road of ignorance that teaches people lies about God being theirs based on color of skin.

    God belongs to all of us we were all made in his image which tells us that God is many colors and every color, God is all. Let those rule who earn it. Do not let those rule who must base their rule on lies and oppression of their own fellow country men and women.

    In order to win our battles Americans must stand united there is no other way. We need to ground ourselves into civility and tolerance, and acceptance.

  • Erika

    given that almost all “Christian” broadcasting seems to be much more motivated by spreading far right wing politics over spreading religion it is nice to see that so called religious broadcasters finally found a line they wouldn’t cross.

    Of course, while neo-Confederacy is too far, these “religious” broadcasters will no doubt continue to broadcast extremely political programs like Focus on the Family’s hilariously slanted “Family News in Focus” or Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law And Justice’s “Laugh at Jay Sekelow as he Mangles Even the Most Basic Principles of Constitutional Law” [not its real title].