Archive for the ‘Media Coverage’ Category

Original Article Sent to the Daily Herald

This is the original letter I sent to the Daily Herald which was greatly distored in the 4/11/10 front page article entitled “Parents accuse BYU, Alpine District of socialist conspiracy”. To read my rebuttal, go here.

Is Truth Dead?

Does truth really matter anymore? The professors of our day say it’s just democratic. It’s what the majority says, right? Morality is all relative, right? Truth is just different things to different people, right? If more people say God doesn’t exist than those that say he does, then he doesn’t exist right? Welcome to democratic knowledge, a basic tenet of humanism.

If the BYU motto is right, and the glory of God is intelligence, or in other words light and truth, and truth is knowledge of things as they were, as they are, and as they will be, then it must be logical to assume that knowledge is not democratic and never has been. Shades of gray only apply to human limitations, but for God, truth exists and our quest as honest seekers of the truth, is to find those absolutes.

In the recent Alpine School District debate over the terms democracy and republic and what form of government our nation has been founded upon, a number of people are asking questions of why it matters what term is used. Is truth dead?

The U.S. Constitution guarantees every state a republican form of government. The word democracy does not appear in the Constitution at all. The simple truth is, we are a constitutional republic which elects representatives to do the business of the people. The purpose of the website I set up at www.UtahsRepublic.org was to help restore this basic truth to the K-12 state history standards, where the term “republic” didn’t appear even one time.

However, beyond this, there is something far more important which has come to light inside the motives of those who are trying to change our language and remove the notion that we are a republic with natural rights bestowed upon us by God.

To begin, it’s clear the word democracy has changed over time. The online Merriam-Webster’s dictionary actually has 2 contradictory meanings for the word, one as in the true meaning of democracy (mob rule) and the other quite close to what the term republic means. What isn’t so clear is why the meaning of the term democracy has changed and what the driving force is behind that change.

John Dewey was one of the original signatories on the first Humanist Manifesto, a document which describes itself as a religion meant to transcend and replace deity-based religions. Their work was based on the Communist Manifesto written by Marx and Engels which they held as an effective means of transforming society into one based on moral relativism, atheism, and democratic knowledge, only accepting that which the 5 senses can detect.

For the last hundred years, we have accepted gradual doses of the secular religion of humanism in direct violation of the Constitution of the State of Utah. Our state constitution says the legislature shall provide for the establishment of an education system which “shall be free from sectarian control.” This means the self-proclaimed religion of humanism cannot be taught through our school system.

John Goodlad, a follower and recipient of the John Dewey award, and keynote speaker at a John Dewey conference, came to BYU in 1983 to establish the Public School Partnership with 5 surrounding districts. Goodlad has done this numerous times with universities and school districts around the nation. BYU’s education department drew heavily on his book entitled “The Moral Dimensions of Teaching.” One of Goodlad’s “moral dimensions” is entitled “enculturating the young into a social and political democracy,” which is the text and controversy surrounding Alpine School District’s large plaque inside their teacher development center.

What does Goodlad mean by this? Is this an innocent phrase meant to instill a sense of patriotism and participation in the democratic process? Or is this revealing of Goodlad’s ultimate motives?

John Dewey said that education is a responsibility that society must execute using techniques “previously ignored as trivial, futile, or even condemned as positively evil.” (School & Society, pg 112)

What did he have in mind? Perhaps we can see some of this evil when we examine what his follower John Goodlad has said. Here are several quotes illustrating Goodlad’s belief system.

“Again, we are looking for a balance—for an institution, really—that will consider the interests of parents, state, and children. Parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.”-Goodlad

“Education is a task for both parents and state. The state, parents, and children all have interests that must be protected.” -Goodlad

“Education, public schooling, is necessary to maintain citizenry capable of maintaining a democracy. The knowledge of how to run a democracy is not possessed by all parents equally.” -Goodlad

“In the quest for learning, educators must resist the quest for certainty…So it is with morals and patriotism.” -Goodlad

“…belief in some that there exists ‘objective knowledge’ and a ‘correct’ view of the world.  This is incorrect.  All knowledge is partial and subjective.” -Goodlad

Which of you believe the state has a right to your children and has interests that must be protected in the education of your child? Which of you believes it is up to the schools to educate your children because parents don’t understand how to run a democracy? Which of you believe morals and knowledge are subjective?

Goodlad then proceeded to get BYU to become a founding member of the National Network for the Renewal of Education (NNER). From their website we find these quotes.

“The NNER pursues the Agenda for Education in a Democracy [the Agenda] and its implementation in member settings, with other educators and partnerships…”

“Why Do We Focus on Democracy? Many different forms of government have tried to meet this challenge: fascism, socialism, communism, and democracy, to name a few. Democracy, while certainly not without its flaws, seems to offer the best hope of enabling us to live together in relative peace and prosperity. This is because democracy has a great virtue that the others generally lack: real democracy strives to ensure that everyone in a society contributes to the decision-making processes that affect their lives.”

In other words, the NNER has an ultimate Agenda. Part of that Agenda is to promote democracy as our form of government and to make societal decisions democratic (ie. moral relativism).

Do you as a parent want this for your child? Do you want Goodlad’s and Dewey’s Agenda “enculturating [your child] into a social and political democracy”?

Ezra Taft Benson said, “I feel to warn you that one of the chief means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educational institutions. There is more than one reason why the Church is advising our youth to attend colleges close to their homes where institutes of religion are available. It gives the parents the opportunity to stay close to their children, and if they become alerted and informed, these parents can help expose the deceptions of men like Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, John Keynes and others. There are much worse things today that can happen to a child than not getting a full education.”

So is enculturating our young into a social and political democracy harmless? Hardly. When a group of people set on a deliberate course of action to subvert the moral fabric of a society in the goal to eliminate the worship of deity and replace it with the worship of man, we come to the crossroads of our culture, and must make that final decision as to who the God of this land really is.

The question we must now address is, with this knowledge coming into in the public space, will those who accepted the good parts of Dewey’s and Goodlad’s teachings which no doubt attracted them in the first place, now recognize and reject the poison (Agenda) that came with it. If there is not a purging of the poison from the well, the 99.9% crystal clear water, will still continue to harm and kill those that partake of what deceptively appears to be a cool and refreshing well of truth.

Oak Norton

****************

Post note. In retrospect, I never should have said the water is 99.9% clear. It’s not. It’s much less than that.

Parents are NOT Accusing BYU and ASD of a Socialist Conspiracy

Sensational headlines sell papers I guess and thus the “Parents accuse BYU, Alpine district of socialist conspiracy” article in the Provo Daily Herald got the headline completely wrong. The point is not a conspiracy at the schools, it’s that there is poison in the well in the form of “educational consultants” like John Goodlad, a humanist atheist who believes in moral relativism. His philosophies are permeating our school system from the top down.
http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/education/article_7bccc151-cb34-5dd2-ae52-fab607b81b17.html

I have just posted my original article to the Daily Herald on this site which was the foundation Caleb Warnock went to for my comments. If you read it, you’ll see quite a different picture from the one portrayed in the newspaper article.
https://www.utahsrepublic.org/media-coverage/original-article-sent-to-the-daily-herald/

If you’re new to this list and petition and don’t know who John Goodlad is, you can find a number of shocking quotes here and get caught up on why Alpine School District has identified itself as a poster child for education reform.
https://www.utahsrepublic.org/democracy-media-fiasco/

If you’re not LDS, just skip this, but for those of you that are LDS, if you missed Elder Christofferson’s talk last week, he actually spoke about some of these very issues at General Conference related to moral relativism and social justice.
http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1207-12,00.html

Here’s a few additional quotes from LDS leaders related to education:
https://www.utahsrepublic.org/get-educated/education-quotes/

And some fantastic articles/talks on Freedom from LDS leaders and others here. One of my favorites is by Charlton Heston:
http://www.oaknorton.com/articlestalks.cfm

Last, if you want to hear Ezra Taft Benson, former Secretary of Agriculture to President Eisenhower and later President of the LDS church, talk about his visit with Kruschev, you can download this little clip or hit the podcast play button at the top of this post.

Ezra Taft Benson on giving Kruschev a Tour

Media and Blog Frenzy

To all those visiting the site and agitated that a bunch of nut job (can’t deny it, it comes with a name like Oak) parents are getting nit-picky over the term democracy, I have written a new page of this site to explain the whole story which cannot be explained in a couple of sound bytes in a news story. It’s much more involved. If you want the whole picture, please check it out here. It’s not just the term democracy, but the individual behind it who says the state has a right to your children and that morality is democratic (determined by a vote).

https://www.utahsrepublic.org/democracy-media-fiasco/

Daily Herald and Tribune coverage

Here’s links to a couple of articles in the media this week.

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/education/precollegiate/article_dd9e4c33-f27e-51d0-b785-266338310af9.html?mode=story

http://www.sltrib.com/Utah/ci_14797234

One more from the AP:

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=10238942

Daily Herald Runs Susie Schnell Response

In response to the opinion piece in the Daily Herald last week, Susie Schnell wrote a comment and the Herald has published it as a new opinion column. Please check it out here:

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/opinion/utah-valley/article_a8051b72-93ad-590f-8cf7-8b05d0b2f900.html

“Some Alpine School District parents recently raised concerns about a Web link and phrases in the district’s mission statement. Former district teacher and current UVU professor Axel Donizetti Ramirez responded recently, prompting the following comments from a local parent.”

Daily Herald: What Social Democracy means to Utah County Educators

The Herald Journal published an opinion piece by Axel Donizetti Ramirez called “What ‘Social Democracy’ means to Utah County Educators.” Below is my response to his piece, which I hope motivates him to re-evaluate the motives behind those who use the phrase in question.

***************

Lets look at the history behind the “Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy”. This phrase comes from one of the 4 Moral Dimensions of teaching by John Goodlad. Mr. Goodlad was hired by BYU to come and set up a Public School Partnership in 1983. Mr. Goodlad is a follower of John Dewey and Horace Mann. All 3 of these individuals are humanists, atheists that want to enculturate the young to only believe in what they can prove with the 5 senses. From Mr. Goodlad’s book “Developing Democratic Character in the Young” we get these two juicy tidbits.

“Again, we are looking for a balance—for an institution, really—that will consider the interests of parents, state, and children. Parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.”

“Education is a task for both parents and state. The state, parents, and children all have interests that must be protected.”

Which of you believe the state has a right to your children and has interests that must be protected in the education of your child? Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Herald Video from ASD Board Meeting

If you missed the Alpine School District Board Meeting on March 9, 2010, here’s a video provided by the Provo Daily Herald showing clips of many of the speakers. Contrary to the press article title about “angry parents”, the mood was quite calm and respectful.

Here are links to 2 press articles reporting on the event:

Red Meat Radio Update

For those of you that missed the show this morning, here’s the audio. I even got a pop question from someone who emailed the show asking, “if this is a Republic, should you even be looking at a petition, or should you be working through your locally elected school board to address the issues that you’re finding with the Alpine School District?”

Listen to the audio and see if you’re satisfied with my answer.

Scathing Rebuke of ASD in Herald Editorial

The Provo Daily Herald ripped Alpine School District for trying to brush Susan Schnell’s email under the rug and for telling the public that she misrepresented their views. After their own investigation, the Herald found everything Susan claimed and wondered why on earth ASD would be teaching our children that we live in a Social Democracy. Here’s a link and the fantastic ending to the article if you’re not going to read the whole thing.

Alpine District has explaining to do (2/28/10)

This business of “social democracy” deserves close scrutiny. “Social democracy” is a form of socialism, one that stresses political domination of society and the economy. It’s not the outright ownership of the means of production, but rather a sort of “socialism lite” found today in the welfare states of many European countries.

And this again raises the question why this is part of Alpine School District’s mission statement and emblazoned on big signs at district offices. If our educators use such a slogan knowing what social democracy is, they have considerably more explaining to do.

If they are unaware of what “social democracy” is, they should find other professions where ignorance of politics, history and economics wouldn’t be such a liability.

Red Meat Radio Update

Audio: 9 Minutes

Today’s on air update covers this week’s Alpine School District board meeting where ASD claims they’ve been misrepresented by someone telling their own personal experience. How does that work? If it’s their experience of what a teacher said to their child and what they saw in the school district building, and what they found on the district’s website, and what they found on the website the district linked to…how exactly does that misrepresent the district? Senator Howard Stephenson offers the answer. Perhaps if ASD disagrees and has another answer they’d care to provide it below in the comments or to send it to me to publish in it’s own prominent post for the public to get the full story…