Twisting Truth

Through Facilitated Consensus

Using the Bible to promote inter-faith "dialogue" and "common ground" in communities and public schools

By Berit Kjos






"The Bible and Public Schools: A First Amendment Guide was prepared by the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center [1] and the National Bible Association. It encourages schools to offer courses in the Bible as literature....  The guidebook says supernatural happenings and divine actions described in the Bible may not be taught as historical fact. And it says students should be exposed to a variety of religious and secular Biblical interpretations."  [Diverse Groups Endorse Bible Study Guide for Schools]

"Critical to any teaching about religion in the public schools should be inclusion and respect for a full range of religious and nonreligious voices, and a recognition of religious pluralism as a source of strength for American society...."[2]  The American Assembly

"This is an historic day when we can announce a broad consensus on teaching about the Bible in our public schools.... We have found common ground for common good." Chuck Stetson, vice chairman of the National Bible Association.[3] "Bill Clinton will be a great president… if he can make America the creator of a new world order based on consensus.” [4]  Mikhail Gorbachev

Its high-level "friends" may threaten the Church far more than its obvious enemies. One such dubious ally, the nice-sounding Freedom Forum, has won the support of many Christian leaders by joining their quest for "religious freedom" in public schools. Few seem to realize that the cost of this questionable partnership is the purity of God's Word. Remember, the Bible's message ceases to be God's uncompromising Truth when slashed by inter-faith criticism, judged by group consensus, and molded to fit politically correct standards.  

Yet, Christians across the country praise this revival. With their approval, a compromised view of the Bible blends with other sacred writings and religious messages in the classroom. By a strange consensus, these religions are being adapted to fit a new interpretation of the First Amendment -- one that twists its promised freedom into pretext and control. Thus, schoolchildren learn "about the Bible" through a pre-planned group process which twists God's truths into the evolving ideals of the planned global spirituality. (See Mind Control)

       Leading this movement is Charles Haynes, former director of the First Liberty Institute and "senior scholar for religious freedom" at the Freedom Forum. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Character Education Partnership (see Character Training For Global Citizenship) and edited the acclaimed book, Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion and Public Education. His popular inter-faith program has joined such unlikely partners as:

These strange alliances alone should raise questions about Charles Haynes' First Amendment Guide. So should his membership on The Pluralism Project's Advisory Board, which includes Wiccan author Margot Adler and Professor Diana Eck, an authority on Hinduism who chairs Harvard’s Committee on the Study of Religion. 

"Pluralism is an achievement.... It requires relationship, it requires engagement around a common  table, so to speak, of our civic society."   

Dr. Diana Eck, whose Pluralism Project CD, On Common Ground:  World Religions in America, won praise from Charles Haynes.

But there is a bigger reason for concern. His program plays a vital part in a worldwide movement that demands religious compromise, a pre-planned community consensus, and a global ethic which turns God's values upside-down. Take a look at this context for Dr. Haynes' program:  

Promote the UN vision for global solidarity.

For more than half a century, UNESCO has pursued the goal of its first Secretary-General, Julian Huxley -- an avowed Socialist leader like his brother Aldous.  Now as then, the UN agency in charge of education, science and culture has shown little tolerance for those who refuse to bend to its goals:

"The mission of UNESCO... is that of advancing... international peace and the common welfare... We have witnessed... the resurgence of nationalism, the growth of fundamentalism and of religious and ethnic intolerance. The roots of exclusion and hatred have shown themselves even deeper and more tenacious than we had feared... Peace... requires, in the words of the Constitution, 'the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind'." [5] (emphasis and link added)

To achieve solidarity, UNESCO must win public consent for mind-changing psycho-social strategies that would mold and monitor the way people think everywhere. To win this consent, it needs a public crisis -- one that's either real, exaggerated or merely an illusion. Reality matters far less than public perception. 

 The crisis summarized in the UNESCO mission fits the need. With help from the media, it has already persuaded people around the world that "the resurgence of nationalism, the growth of fundamentalisms and of religious... intolerance" is a global threat.  

This perception can now be used to conform, not only nations and "fundamental" Christians to the UN vision, but also the Bible itself.  

Christians who love God's Word know that His family is made up of people from "every tribe and nation." In Christ, people from every race and culture become one. Yet, Biblical Christianity is considered too narrow and divisive for the globalist leaders who have been planning the new solidarity since 1945. Notice the blatant intolerance toward Biblical truth and other "certainties" in this 1946 statement by Dr. Brock Chisholm, first head of the World Health Organization:

"We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents.... The results are frustration, inferiority, neurosis and inability to... make the world fit to live in....

"It has long been generally accepted that parents have a perfect right to impose any points of view, any lies or fears, superstitions, prejudices, hates, or faith on their defenseless children.... [People with] guilts, fears, inferiorities, are certain to project their hates on to others.... Such reaction now becomes a dangerous threat to the whole world...."[6]

God's absolute, unchanging truth simply doesn't fit the new ideology. His absolute truth offends those who pursue conflicting  beliefs and lifestyles. It seems "intolerant" and "hateful" to those who seek public approval for their own ways. Charles Haynes summarizes this view well:

“Bitter culture wars over abortion, homosexuality and other social issues are acerbating (sic) our religious differences. Exploding diversity is changing the face of our nation, unleashing fear, intolerance and hatred in the process. And many Americans are fast retreating into their own cultural and ethnic ‘tribes.’" ["21st-century America must build ties, not rifts"]

Our leaders have a new word for this crisis: separatism. During a 1991 speech at a Communitarian Conference in Washington D.C., Al Gore said, "Seeing ourselves as separate is the central problem in our political thinking." (See Clinton's War on Hate Bans Christian Values)

The opposite of Mr. Gore's separatism is the other "s" word: solidarity. To understand its ominous meaning, come with me to Habitat II, the 1996 UN Conference on Human Settlements. It included a day-long mini-conference on "Solidarity" held at an elegant Turkish palace in Istanbul. Here, a panel of global leaders moderated by Robert McNeil (of McNeil and Lehrer), outlined the UN agenda for religious unity and social control. I taped and transcribed their comments. Compare some of their remarks (in boxes) with the comments by Charles Haynes and others who have joined his crusade.

Use spiritual unity to build the global community  

 “I have gathered leaders with tremendous wisdom and prestige. They are bringing the spiritual dimension—the only ingredient that can bind societies together.” (Conference Secretary-General Wally N’Dow)

“What’s needed is an interfaith center in every city of the globe. The new interfaith centers will honor the rituals of every… faith tradition… and provide opportunity for sacred expressions needed to bind the people of the planet into a viable, meaningful, and sustainable solidarity.”  (James Morton, Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Temple of Understanding)

The Temple of Understanding, housed in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, serves as a meeting place for various occult, inter-faith, and UN groups. Here international policy-makers have planned their steps for establishing the global spirituality needed as an ethical foundation for the envisioned global community. The Temple helped establish the Parliament of World Religions as well as Gorbachev’s International Green Cross.  According to its Winter 1993 Newsletter

“The purpose of the Temple of Understanding is the worldwide promotion of interfaith dialogue and education, to achieve understanding and harmony among the people of the world’s religions and beyond. … We invite your active participation and support.”  (emphasis added)

A 1991 Temple Newsletter shows the inter-faith/occult institution's agreement with- and support for Charles Haynes and his Bible curriculum. Considering that liberal media leader Henry Luce III, who signed the Williamsburg Charter, was also a Temple board member, the broad associations should be no surprise:

“The Temple of Understanding is collaborating with three other international interfaith organizations to form the International Interfaith Organizations Coordinating committee, which has been meeting to develop plans to celebrate 1993 as 'A Year of Inter-religious Understanding and Co-Operation' by sponsoring a centennial celebration in Bangalore of the 1893 World Parliament of Religions…..

Hartley Films Offered Free to the Public Schools.  Elda Hartley, who began in 1965 to produce films on all the world’s great spiritual traditions [not including Christianity], has made her award-winning films on Eastern religions available through the Temple of Understanding to school libraries throughout the United States.

[Statement by Elda Hartley:] “We all wonder what we can do to promote global understanding. One way is to spread understanding of other people’s beliefs, and here at the Temple of Understanding we think that the best place to start is with young people in their formative years.

We are encouraged by the fact that teaching ‘about’ religion in the schools is receiving official approval in a growing number of states. ...  five states in the U.S. have offered pilot programs with a religious-liberty curriculum issued by First Liberty Institute, a coalition of educators and religious groups formed in 1988....

Charles Haynes, director of the institute has written that ‘Growing numbers of educators throughout the United States recognize that study about religion in social studies, literature, art, and music is an essential part of a complete public school education. States  and schools districts are issuing news mandates and guidelines for the inclusion of teaching about religion in the curriculum....'"[7] 

Redefine terms for a new social contract 

“Citizenship for the next century is learning to live together. The 21st Century city will be a city of social solidarity.... We have to redefine the words... [and write a new] social contract.”  (UNESCO head, Federico Mayor)

In his article, "21st-century America must build ties, not rifts," Charles Haynes wrote, 

“One key deterrent to the ‘disuniting of America’ lies in reaffirming what it means to be an American…. An ‘American’ is one who has an abiding commitment to the democratic first principles….”

Is it? That's not what I learned when I became an American citizen. These "democratic first principles" are part of Mr. Haynes' definition of the First Amendment. They represent a new way of looking at the Bill of Rights -- one that ties the right to express one's faith to a responsibility to participate in a manipulative group dialogue. (See Trading U.S. Rights for UN Rules) This form of dialogue teaches each person to replace individual thinking with collective thinking under the noble banner of "common good."  But his definitions include other details.

The much acclaimed manual, Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to religion and Public Education, outlines the social contract for the global village. Edited by Charles Haynes, it illustrates how its group of authors did "redefine the words" and introduce a new social contract. Quoting from the Williamsburg Charter, which laid the foundation for The First Liberty Institute headed by Dr. Haynes, it states,

"The Compact Must be Mutual.   ...that rights are universal and responsibilities mutual is both the premise and the promise of democratic pluralism….. From this axiom… derives guidelines for conducting public debates involving religion…."

"First, those who claim the right to dissent should assume the responsibility to debate: Commitment to democratic pluralism assumes the coexistence with one political community of groups whose ultimate faith commitments may be incompatible, yet whose common commitment to social unity and diversity does justice to both the requirements of individual conscience and the wider community. A general consent to the obligations of citizenship is therefore inherent…." 

"Second, those who claim the right to criticize should assume the responsibility to comprehend…. Genuine tolerance honestly weights honest differences and promotes both impartiality and pluralism. Debased tolerance results in indifference to the differences that vitalize a pluralistic democracy…."

"Third, those who claim the right to influence should accept the responsibility not to inflame…." [8]

The last statement points to a basic, though unstated, ground rule for the consensus process: Don't offend group members with politically incorrect expressions. Unpopular facts or ideas clash with the emphasis on building trusting relationships. Naturally, it doesn't take long before the group's disapproval intimidates most dissenters into silence. Few dare voice contrary facts or beliefs that could violate another person's comfort zone.  

Trade individual thinking for collective thinking.

“Change your whole way of thinking, because the new order of the spirit is confronting and challenging you.” (Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity)

In 1995, UNESCO's Commission on Culture and [human] Development issued a  report titled, Our Creative Diversity. On page 11, it states that...

“The challenge to humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of organizing itself in society, in short, new ways of living."

The message behind these words is staggering. Everything must be changed -- especially the way we think of ourselves in relationship to the "greater whole."   When applied to religion, the "new ways of thinking" means setting aside "narrow" or inflexible beliefs for the sake of unity and "common good."  Christianity must either bend or break.  

When students evaluate the Bible from this pluralistic or collective point of view, they are forced to criticize their own beliefs and compromise all truths that don't fit their new mental framework. Only a cross-less, malleable, ever-changing form of Christianity would pass the test. 

To make sure high school students don't escape this mental training, Charles Haynes calls for a conclusive course for high school seniors. In his article, "The Relationship of Religion to Moral Education in the Public Schools," co-authored by Professor Warren Nord (University of NC at Chapel Hill) and posted on the Communitarian Network), he said,    

"We also believe, however, that there should be room in the curriculum for a capstone course that high school seniors might take, in which they learn about the most important frameworks of moral thought, secular and religious, historical and contemporary, and how such frameworks might shape our thinking about the most urgent moral problems we face.

"...It is striking to us that most economics texts (quite properly) include discussions of Marxism and socialism, but none that we have seen says anything significant about religious ways of thinking about economics." [9]

Guide change in the "right" direction 

“We should stop bemoaning the growth of cities. It’s going to happen and it’s a good thing, because cities are the vectors of social change and transformation. Let’s just make sure that social change and transformation are going in the right direction…. (Dr. Ismail Serageldin)

"The right direction" means shifting from the Christian worldview (or paradigm) to the Global worldview. Some call it a paradigm shift. Look at the three main paradigms (ways of thinking and understanding reality) of the last fifty years. Notice that secular humanism was only a brief transition stage. By the turn of the millennium, our culture had generally embraced the global paradigm. Religion is once again acceptable -- as long as it reflects the new pluralism.

Three Cultural Paradigms showing the spiritual transformation of America


Old Paradigm




New Paradigm

The Bible reveals reality Science alone explains reality  Feelings and experience (often based on imagination and manipulation) prove reality
God is personal (loves us) and greater than His creation God is a crutch, an illusion An impersonal universal force or spirit (pantheism) makes all things one (monism)
Teach personal responsibility Teach human rights Teach collective duties or responsibilities
Don't tolerate sin (but love sinners) Tolerate all lifestyles Don't tolerate dissenters (zero tolerance)
Trust God Trust self Trust the state

Professor John Goodlad worked on the 1987 Study Commission on Global Education with Bill Clinton and Ernest Boyer, former president of CFAT (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching).  Boyer, in turn, supported Charles Haynes' agenda for using the Bible to spur interest in interfaith dialogue. In his Preface to Schooling for a Global Age, Goodlad wrote:

“Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now…. Parents and the general public must be reached also, otherwise children and youth enrolled in globally oriented programs may find themselves in conflict with values assumed in the home.” 

Does this sound like manipulation and brainwashing? It should! Successful "social engineering" must mold the minds of the masses so effectively that no rational argument can persuade the people to turn back. In the light of Professor Goodlad's vision -- and of the paradigm shift shown above -- consider the meaning behind the following statements from UNESCO’s report, Our Creative Diversity:

 “Education must inform… but it must also form, it must provide them with a sense of meaning to guide their actions….  Education should promote ‘rational understanding of conflict, tensions, and the processes involved, provoke a critical awareness… and provide a basis for the analysis of concepts that will prevent… chauvinist and irrational explanations from being accepted….’

"Its primary task is to provide information, explain and analyze problems and subject them to criticism….  It should cover adults as well…. The principle of lifelong education… should be the aim of all societies.” [10]

The second paragraph shows three important steps in the consensus process: Provide the selected pieces of  information needed to persuade the group members, explain the problems (or crises) from the global or pluralistic perspective, then subject it to the criticism of the group. The members will think their ideas are their own, never realizing they were suggested to them by the information and context provided by the facilitator. Eventually, these steps to "Finding Common Ground" becomes a lifestyle.


Back in the fifties, Edward Hunter wrote the book, Brainwashing, an insightful expose documenting Soviet brainwashing strategies in China and other Communist countries. A summary of his book can be found in the U.S. Congressional Record. (See Communist Psychological Warfare) Mr. Hunter's warnings should shine a red light into our foolish presumptions that this process couldn’t be used in our free nation.[11] Compare his warning below with the above comment from Our Creative Diversity:

“Even when he stands by himself, the truly indoctrinated communist must be part of the collective. He must be incapable of hearing opposing ideas and facts, no matter how convincing or how forcibly they bombard his senses.  A trustworthy communist must react in an automatic manner without any force being applied.”[12]

Finally, the following statement from "The Relationship of Religion to Moral Education in the Public Schools" by Charles Haynes and Warren Nord is less explicit but brings a similar message:

Moralities are grounded in worldviews that make sense of them, that render them rational, that give them cultural and intellectual force."[13]     

In other words, the key to change is establishing in the minds of people the new world view -- the collective way of thinking, of seeing and of understanding social issues. The main strategy for accomplishing this change is the consensus process.

Break down boundaries and build consensus

The UN vision for global solidarity demands continual measurement of social capital in every community. To raise their score on this international assessment of community oneness, leaders are seeking ways to involve everyone in the consensus process.  Two of the more common labels for this process are "Conflict Resolution" and "sensitivity training."  While it often helps to resolve genuine conflicts (that's the crisis needed to bring people into the process), it's main purpose is to change the way people think and relate to each other.

The vision for this social transformation was articulated back in 1948 in a statement titled, "Mental Health and World Citizenship”, prepared for the International Congress on Mental Health, which met in London. Notice their strategy for change:

“Social institutions such as family and school impose their imprint early … Thus prejudice, hostility or excessive nationalism may become deeply embedded in the developing personality… often at great human cost.... Change will be strongly resisted unless an attitude of acceptance has first been engendered.” [14]

Now, Finding Common Ground, the acclaimed report edited by Charles Haynes, tells us that,

Establishing a climate where people listen to one another requires that we go beyond labels and rebuild trust….  Putting aside labels and stereotypes and taking seriously the position of the ‘other side’ are the starting points for genuine dialogue.”

Sounds good, doesn't it?  People long for a climate of trust and friendliness.  The question is: can you trust this process? Designed to manipulate groups toward a pre-planned change in values, Mr. Haynes' principles will indeed "create an attitude of acceptance" for the new way of thinking. But this attitude tends to immunize children against Biblical faith. Rather than promoting neutrality, it promotes pluralism and a universalist distortion of Christianity.

Mr. Haynes assures his followers that his guidelines teach respect for all beliefs. That's partly true. The new consensus won't end religious diversity.  "Conflict and debate are vital to

Yet Mr. Haynes assures his followers that all beliefs must be respected. That's partly true. The new consensus won't end religious diversity.  "Conflict and debate are vital to democracy," he writes in Teaching the Role of Religion in American History

But his assurances only make his program more deceptive. Keep in mind, conflict and debate are vital to the consensus process as well. The trained teacher/ facilitator cannot lead the dialogue effectively without some form of tension created by diversity. You can't train people to compromise (or synthesize) without opposing views -- a "thesis and antithesis." That helps explain why the consensus process must include all these elements:

·   a diverse group

·   dialoguing to consensus

·   over a social issue

·   led by a trained facilitator

·   toward a pre-planned outcome [15]

The true dialectic group never reaches a final consensus. It just practices compromise with each facilitated dialogue. Day by day, the members become more comfortable both with the group and with the process. Eventually, they learn to discard all their old mental anchors -- the facts and faith that maintained their convictions. They become like boats adrift, always ready to shift with any wind or current that comes their way.     

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum (ASCD, the curriculum arm of the NEA) has supported Mr. Haynes programs  for many years. In 1970, it published To Nurture Humaneness, which offers a glimpse of the envisioned goal: 

"...absolute behavior control is imminent.... The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will... never self-consciously know that it has happened."[16]

This statement by Professor  Raymond Houghton points to the effectiveness of today's sophisticated version of the old Hegelian dialectic process -- the heart of the Soviet brainwashing system.  It was infused into the U.S. education even before 1985, when President Reagan and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev signed a formal U.S. - USSR Education Exchange Agreement. Charles Haynes' Finding Common Ground fits right in. Consider its "civic groundrules" for the process of change: 

1. "Agree on the Ground Rules"

2. "Include All of the Stakeholders"    

3. "Listen to All Sides"

4. "Work for Comprehensive Policies"  

1. "Agree on the Ground Rules" [Leaders agree, others follow]:

Finding Common Ground states: 

"These principles are the ‘ground rules’ within which we negotiate our differences…  At the heart of these principles, are the ‘three Rs’ of religious liberty: Rights… Responsibilities… Respect….

“If these… civic ground rules are in place, then all sides come to the  table prepared to take responsibility to protect the rights of others and to debate differences with civility and respect…”

Hidden in the new definitions of respect and responsibility is the understanding that absolute facts and uncompromising faith in God's Word are not appropriate in the consensus process. Words that imply that your beliefs might be more true than other beliefs could offend the group. Therefore, participants may freely share their thoughts and feelings, but not their uncompromising positions. 

In this context, it makes perfect sense that Charles Haynes and Warren Nord would emphasize the law that backs this rule:

“…the courts have made it clear that public schools cannot teach students that the Bible is true….”  [17]

In his online article, Educators, theologians agree on Bible-teaching guidelines for public schools, Mr. Haynes rephrases this essential understanding: 

“Supernatural occurrences and divine action described in the Bible may not be taught as historical fact.

This policy is as important to the new international education program (see Mind Control) as it is to Mr. Haynes and the Freedom Forum. Back in 1989, Dr. Shirley McCune summarized this policy in her keynote speech at the Governors’ Conference on Education:

“The revolution… in curriculum is that we no longer are teaching facts to children…. We no longer see the teaching of facts and information as the primary outcome of education.” [18] 

"What will take the place of logic, fact and analysis in the coming age?" This rhetorical question was raised by Dr. Donald A. Cowan, president emeritus of the University of Dallas. His revealing answer exposes an important step toward the new consensus: 

"The central way of thought for this new era will be imagination.... Imagination will be the active, creative agent of culture, transforming brute materials to a higher, more knowable state." [19]

Why is the imagination so important to the new way of thinking? Because, unlike fact and faith, the imagination can be manipulated through all kinds of stories, myths, and images. By putting "teaching about the Bible" into a context teeming with timeless myths and inter-faith idealism, God's Word becomes little more than just another myth, a collection of stories -- one that may seem far less noble than other, less honest, "sacred" books.    

2. "Include All of the Stakeholders"

Remember the UNESCO goal: solidarity. To reach this goal, its worldwide education system must involve everyone -- young and old -- in the consensus process. To end separatism, every mind must be molded to fit the new paradigm. Each person must learn to think collectively and follow the group -- which in turn must be manipulated by a trained facilitator. 

Finding Common Ground echoes this aim: “If agreements and policies are to inspire broad support in the community, all stakeholders must be fully represented in the discussion...."

To help schools deal with resistance from Christian parents, it offers this advice, “When school boards or administrators reach out to critics… particularly religious conservatives, they must look beyond media stereotypes and identify those representatives most interested in dialogue and consensus.…”

Engaging your "enemies" in the consensus process is vital to the new global management system. That's why the same advice is emphasized in strategy reports from the United Nations, from the President's Council on Sustainable Development, from the U.S. Department of Education (See The U.N. Plan for Your Community), and from Church Growth managers across the country. 

Linda Grenz has won the praise of Charles Haynes. She wrote the Doubleday Pocket Bible Guide for the National Bible Association at the request of its vice chairman, Charles Stetson. Her management program, Dynamic Strategic Planning is a method of effectively pursuing a goal or goals in a rapidly changing world."

“[It] is an ongoing process of planning that enables a congregation to make plans but also to adapt and change….  In fact, the underlying assumption is that the plans will change and that they must change if the Church is to be effective in today's world." 

UNESCO leaders would smile. In the 1993 report, Education and Human Development, they wrote that UNESCO Education “is aimed at two essential goals”:

socialization:  “Education… for all the world's citizens… is essential because education is the principal means for preparing people to participate effectively in the development of their communities ….”

tRAINING FOR GLOBAL WORKFORCE: “Education must prepare the citizens of today to live and work… in a world in which the only constant will be change.

"All the world's citizens" naturally includes parents. So it makes sense that Mr. Haynes and Mr. Nord, writing for the Communitarian Network, echo our Department of Education's goal of involving all parents in the consensus process. In their section on "Parental Rights and Responsibilities," they write:

"A civil public school is also one that recognizes, in the words of the Statement of Principles, that parents have 'the primary responsibility for the upbringing of their children, including education.' This means that parents should be informed and involved when the school addresses religion and religious liberty."

That statement may sound innocent enough, but it tells us that Haynes is working right along with our Department of Education on involving parents in the new "seamless" system of Lifelong learning. As Professor Goodlad said, parents must be drawn into the process in order to minimize resistance to the new global agenda


3. "Listen to All Sides"

Finding Common Ground tells participating schools that...

"Establishing a climate where people listen to one another requires that we go beyond labels and rebuild trust. … Putting aside labels and stereotypes and taking seriously the position of the ‘other side’ are the starting points for genuine dialogue.”

That sounds good until you apply the ground rules that create a climate of intimidation for all politically incorrect beliefs and facts. Since unpopular beliefs might offend the group, dissenting voices are often silenced or minimized in the group's concluding opinion or "common ground."


4. "Work for Comprehensive Policies"

Finding Common Ground, encourages teachers to “begin the search for common ground with the areas where agreement is most likely to be achieved… Once the first agreement is reached, a foundation is created for consideration of more divisive questions.”  

It makes sense, doesn't it. Once a group has built a measure of programmed "trust" and established pattern of compromise and consensus on small issues, its far easier to compromise on bigger issues. Eventually, no one dares think or conclude any significant issue without considering the feelings of the group. Few now dare dissent for fear of violating the group standard for supportive relationships.   

Follow God's unchanging guidelines

Using Charles Haynes approach to "teaching about the Bible," would Christian children learn to stand firm, as God instructs, on the basic -- but politically incorrect -- truths of the Gospel? For the likely answer, ponder these differences:


Consensus Thinking Biblical Thinking

 God Says

Relationship to the group or community determines personal identity. Relationship to Jesus Christ determines personal identity. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me...." Gal. 2:20
Aim to please the group. Don't violate the group's comfort zone with offensive facts or beliefs.  Aim to please God, not people. Do good to others, but don't depend on their feel-good responses.  "Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ." Gal. 1:10
Trust group consensus to evaluate beliefs, define values and give meaning.  Trust God's Word, not group opinion.  Our faith must be grounded in the Bible, His revelation of the eternal, unchanging and inerrant truth for all times.  For "without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
Always be ready to compromise for the sake of group relationships. Stand firm, don't compromise.  No matter what the pressure, don't let politically correct ideals change God's message through His Word.  Instead, "stand against the wiles of the devil. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."  Ephesians 6:11-12
Establish solidarity through the community by manipulating minds, through UNESCO's "lifelong learning," and by changing the culture.    Seek peace and unity in Christ, not in human plans.  Good intentions can't win spiritual battles. Apart from Christ, peace and unity are illusions.  "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Conform to evolving group views to the pre-planned values of the envisioned global community.    Be transformed by His Word, not conformed to the world.  The "new ways of thinking" bring deception, while His thoughts bring the delight of His presence.   "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God...."  Rom. 12:2

" have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness...." 1 Timothy 3:15-16


Professor Diana L. Eck, an expert on Hinduism, chairs Harvard’s Committee on the Study of Religion. She created a multi-media CD for the Pluralism Project titled "On Common Ground:  World Religions in   America."  "Pluralism is an achievement,” she explained. “…It requires relationship, it requires engagement around a common  table, so to speak, of our civic society." There's "no  question" the  project has "the potential to wake people up to the importance of  religion in the   curriculum," said Charles Haynes.  [Holly J. Lebowitz, Religion News site, 11-19-97.]

1. Charles L. Overby, the chairman and CEO of The Freedom Forum, was editor and corporate executive for the Gannett Company, America's largest newspaper company, which owns USA Today.  It founded the Gannett Foundation, which was renamed The Freedom Forum in 1991. It has international offices in Hong Kong, London, Buenos Aires and Johannesburg. 

[2] On March 23, 2000, The American Assembly convened a three-day conference to "define policies and actions concerning the role of religion in American public life." Titled Uniting America: Toward a Common Purpose, it aimed "to reverse some of the most difficult and divisive forces in our society." Charles Haynes was a co-director of this Assembly. Haynes also moderated a panel discussion which included Forrest L. Turpen as a panelist. The liberal and global-minded Ford Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation helped fund this Assembly. 


[4] Mikhail Gorbachev, “New World Order: Consensus,” The Cape Cod Times, January 28, 1993.

[5] UNESCO's Education and Human Development website:

[6] I have a copy of Brock Chisholm's entire 1946 message.

[7] Temple of Understanding Newsletter,  1991. Here is the rest of the statement quoted in the text above: "The  productions feature such outstanding scholars as Huston Smith, Alan Watts and Joseph Campbell...  Titles currently offered by the Hartley Film Foundation include  Buddhism: the Path to Enlightenment; Hinduism and the Song of God; Requiem for a Faith (Tibetan Buddhism); Taoism and Trip to Awareness: A Jain Pilgrimage to India."

[8] Charles Haynes, ed., Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion and Public Education (The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, 1994), pages A:11-13.  

[9] The Relationship of Religion to Moral Education in the Public Schools at <>. According to the first footnote in this article, this paper is a shorter version of another article by Nord and Haynes titled Taking Religion Seriously Across the Curriculum, which was published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in August, 1998. "Background documents and consensus guidelines for understanding the civic framework outlined in the paper may be found in Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion and Public Education (1994, 1996, 1998), edited by Charles C. Haynes and Oliver Thomas. The educational framework is developed at considerably greater length in Warren A. Nord's Religion and American Education: Rethinking a National Dilemma (1995)."

[10] Our Creative Diversity, UNESCO, p.169, 171.  

[11] See a comparison between Communist brainwashing strategies and tactics used to change values in U.S. classrooms at Brainwashing and "Education Reform.

[12] Edward Hunter, Brainwashing: The story of the men who defied it (Pyramid Books, 1956), 201.  

[13] "The Relationship of Religion to Moral Education in the Public Schools" at

[14] "Mental Health and World Citizenship”, a report by the International Congress on Mental Health, London, 1948. I have a copy of this paper.

15. Dean Gotcher is founder and president of the Institution for Authority Research. To learn more about the consensus process from this respected authority, write him at Box 233, Herndon, KS 67739. Phone:  626-859-4073

16. Raymond Houghton, To Nurture Humaneness: Commitment for the '70's (The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development of the NEA, 1970).

[17] The Relationship of Religion to Moral Education in the Public Schools," posted on the Communitarian Network website]

[18] I have transcribed Dr. McCune's speech from a conference video.

[19] Dr. Donald A. Cowan, at a 1988 forum address at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. This address formed the nucleus for Cowan's book Unbinding Prometheus: Education for the Coming Age (published by the Dallas Institute Press.)

* "The guidebook says supernatural happenings and divine actions described in the Bible many not be taught as historical fact. And it says students should be exposed to a variety of religious and secular Biblical interpretations."  [Diverse Groups Endorse Bible Study Guide for Schools]


UNESCO Declaration of Principles on Tolerance

  • Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures… It is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement.

  • Tolerance involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism…. [Biblical truth?]

  • Tolerance… means that one’s views are not to be imposed on others. [Would this end freedom to share the gospel with others? Could the UN still share its views?]

  • Intolerance… is a global threat.

  • Scientific studies and networking should be undertaken to coordinate the international community’s response to this global challenge, including analysis… of root causes and effective countermeasures, as well as… monitoring….

  • Tolerance promotion and the shaping of attitudes of openness, mutual listening and solidarity should take place in schools and universities, and through non-formal education... at home and in the workplace.

  • Promote rational tolerance teaching methods that will address the cultural, social, economic, political and religious sources of intolerance—major roots of violence….  

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