Rebuttal to Daily Herald Article

For those of you that saw last Sunday’s Provo Daily Herald front page story, the reporter claimed I made a number of statements which I did not. I understand how a reporter occasionally gets things wrong, especially from oral conversations, but in this case, I gave the Herald a letter in writing and they completely destroyed what I wrote and put words in my mouth I never said. This is my response. Please pass this on to everyone you know to help people understand how wrong the Daily Herald got my story. The original article I sent the Herald can be read here so you can see exactly what I did write.


Last week’s article entitled “Parents accuse BYU, Alpine district of a socialist conspiracy” contained a sensationalized title and was a mischaracterization of an article I wrote at the Herald’s request. It did not accurately portray several important facts as we have never leveled such charges at BYU or ASD. The word “conspiracy” never appeared in my original article and the word “socialist” only appeared in a quote from John Goodlad from his NNER website where they listed various forms of government until they decided a democracy was the best one for us.

The Herald article went wrong by attributing serious charges I leveled against John Goodlad, to BYU and ASD. What parents have been working to do is expose Goodlad’s Agenda which we view as anathema to this community. It can accurately be said that Goodlad is a socialist, humanist, and atheist, and that his influence is filtering into our schools (case in point is the “Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy” sign in ASD’s District office).

I have posted in full, my original letter to the Herald on my website at should any of you wish to see that it barely mentions Alpine district and BYU except by way of their associations with John Goodlad.

It is Goodlad’s philosophy to remove God and traditional family values from the classroom. His main channel is through his NNER (National Network for Educational Renewal) which has on its website a subversive Agenda calling for the transformation of America into a social and political democracy. This Agenda follows the Humanist Manifesto, seeks to completely remove God from our schools, and seeks to ensure children are given a proper education away from parents who might unduly influence them. Here are a few quotes from Goodlad that illustrate his philosophy.

“Parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.” (John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, 2001, pg 164)

“In the quest for learning, educators must resist the quest for certainty. If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.”  (John Goodlad, Woods Learning Center, Education for Everyone: Agenda for Education in a Democracy, pg. 6)

“The curriculum of the future ‘will be what one might call the humanistic curriculum.'” (John Goodlad, NEA Journal, Directions of Curriculum Change, March 1966)

Humanism is replacing the worship of God with the worship of man and his “genius.” For those of you that are LDS, just a week ago at general conference there were strong warnings against moral relativism (ie. standards based on changing cultural norms) and the dangers of the humanistic Korihor doctrine.  It can accurately be said that John Goodlad is a modern day Korihor.

One other error in last week’s article was the notion that I believe a republic is based on the “power of God.” What I actually wrote was “we are a republic with natural rights bestowed upon us by God.” I do believe the Framers of the Constitution were inspired, but our Republic is based on principles of representation where elected officials exercise sovereign power on our behalf to protect our natural rights. If we don’t like the job they do, we vote them out. This differs from a democracy which Goodlad desires to transform us into through his Agenda where everything is subject to a vote of the people…issues, knowledge, and morals.

Now that this is fully public, I ask those at BYU and ASD who have accepted Goodlad into the educational fold to reject him. Does this community really want or need a humanist, atheist, and socialist dictating what the ‘Agenda’ or ‘Moral Dimensions’ are for our schools and thus our children? Honestly, what benefit does Goodlad or his NNER bring to BYU or ASD? I’d say it’s time to drop such dangerous philosophies and connections. I can’t imagine the benefits of this relationship outweigh the costs.


Oak Norton

9 Responses to “Rebuttal to Daily Herald Article”

  • Guest:

    Oak, first of all you have a ridiculous name, second you are a moron, third shut up with your agenda and home school your brats.

  • Redwood:

    So Oak, you don't see that following someone like Glenn Beck as ignoring “strong warnings against moral relativism (ie. standards based on changing cultural norms)”?
    Because what you are promoting is definitely changing someone's standards based on the cultural norms that radicals like Beck are promoting.
    I am also in Shock that you want to recreate the Aristocracy Republic (otherwise known as a Oligarchy) that our Founding Fathers tried to create.
    Also, your claims that Goodlad was trying to destroy God in the school's is way out of context. Goodlad was trying to prevent any ONE specific religion from promoting its religious views in our schools. That is exactly what the Founding Fathers wanted also. If you don't believe me then you have not read “The 5,000 Year Leap” as you claim to have done; since this website promotes that book like it is better than the Bible.
    Plus the issues that you and your sheep promote about state's rights over federal rights are scary. Do you guys really want a state to have the right to implement Jim Crow laws again. You do realize that sometimes the Federal government must step in and take away certain rights from States for the benefit of the people?
    I find it funny too, that you are pushing your Libertarian ideals onto Alpine School District when you claim they are trying to push their political ideals onto you. There is nothing like the smell of Hypocrisy in Highland, Utah.

  • mattevans:

    Oak (if I may),

    If you can't see how the Daily Herald reporter could infer from your letter (which I've read) that you are accusing BYU and ASD of participating in a socialist conspiracy, then you probably also can't see other, serious flaws in your arguments. Quite frankly, at least to this reader, you are tilting at windmills. You're obviously a good and moral man, and it's a shame to see someone like you caught up in such (obvious) nonsense. Please seriously consider reading Bertrand Russell's “Problems of Philosophy.” It will help you develop the mental tools necessary to understand what you are missing. You're right: our country is in peril. But you have misidentified the problem. Seriously. In my opinion, this peril is greatly increased because many good, honest, decent people like you have been swept up by the rhetoric of demagogues who want nothing more than to keep you angry and frustrated and marginalized (because it allows them to continue making money off you).

    I.e., Oak, believe it or not, you are feeding the very machine you purport to be fighting against.
    Good luck.

  • Guest:

    As much as you love playing with hairy, sweaty men . . . mmmmmmmmmm get some, Oak! Get some! :)

  • lewisbarnavelt:

    “What is a Democracy? A Democracy is a form of government where everyone gets a voice on every issue and it always ends in mob rule. A true Democracy only works on a small scale. It is unreasonable to have every citizen vote on every issue, and where this has been practiced in the past, it always destroys the peace of the people.”

    This is a great definition of a “direct democracy” but this is not how how democracy has been defined for the past 100 years. According to Webster's Dictionary democracy is: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

    Is there anything wrong with free elections or the people holding supreme power?

  • Hi Lewis,

    I'm all for free elections and representative government. I'm also for the people holding supreme power by being able to elect their representatives. I'm not in favor of “direct democracy” as you've pointed out. As you'll note in the quote above, a “true Democracy” is a direct democracy and believe it or not, there are those seeking to establish one here in Utah. The clearest case in point is the “Citizens Ethics Initiative” being floated for Utah by “concerned citizens.” If you haven't read the bill I encourage you to do so. Under the guise of “don't you want an ethical legislature?” (which of course everyone does) a group of 5 people have written into an initiative a system where if the Republicans and Democrats don't perfectly agree on the people to be on this committee, then the creators of the initiative get to be on the committee. I strongly encourage you to read the actual initiative and imagine your political opponents having a position of power where by law they were not allowed to have their actions reviewed by the attorney general, they have the power to make law as a committee (no *meat grinder* process and no signature from the governor) and they can make accusations public without letting the accused try to clear his/her name publicly. It's pure hubris on the part of the drafters and scary to think that a largely ignorant public may walk into the booth this November and without any background on the issue see something about having an ethical legislature and vote to enact this into law. That would be an overthrow of the law and an overthrow of republican government by a pure democracy…putting lawmaking into the hands of the people when it is not their constitutional authority to do it. It would be an overthrow of the government. Here's one writer's summary:

  • Jt_kelley:

    Wow. You are really mature.
    Just hurl names without attacking the issues.
    That is just the problem with progressive socialists … they just want you to shut up and get on board with the their programs.
    No wonder you see no problem with the what is going on.

  • Jt_kelley:

    Wow. You are really mature.
    Just hurl names without attacking the issues.
    That is just the problem with progressive socialists … they just want you to shut up and get on board with the their programs.
    No wonder you see no problem with the what is going on.