Freedom Forum Part 3

Part 3 on the Freedom Forum from

Charles Haynes promotes an ideology at odds with the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Charles Haynes, is a Freedom Forum First Amendment Center expert and the Newseum’s Religious Freedom Education Project director.  Using the banner of the First Amendment’s “freedom of religion”, he actively abets the Islamist agenda both in Tennessee and nationally.

Haynes describes himself as coming from a “background shaped by progressive social views and Christian principles”.  He says he chose to attend Emory University because it was “a hotbed of discussion about God” because one of Emory’s religion professors had declared “God was dead.”  He served in student government, attended Harvard Divinity School, taught middle and high school and then returned to Emory to complete a Ph.D. in theological studies.  He joined the Freedom Forum in 1994.

His work focuses on promoting religious liberty in the public square and in particular, in schools.  One of his books The First Amendment in Schools and Finding Common Ground: A Guide to Religious Liberty in Public Schools was sent in 2000 by then President Clinton to every public school in the U.S.  Haynes believes that student religious expression and practice can be protected in public schools “as long as it does not violate the rights of others.”

In 2008, his Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum hosted a symposium for Muslim community leaders to help them better understand how to use the First Amendment to secure religious accommodations in public schools and perhaps later in the workplace.  The Council on Islamic Education (CIE) and the ACLU also participated.  As Haynes said, “The Muslim community is breaking new ground…in how we think about religious freedom….Today, Muslims are at the forefront of a new set of accommodations” to ensure that our public institutions comply with their religious beliefs.


Charles Haynes and “communitarianism”?

Along with his work at the Freedom Forum, Charles Haynes is the religious education expert for the Communitarian Network.

Communitarianism requires that individual liberties give sway to the collective, the community, and urges sacrificing for the common good.  Communitarianism has been described as, ‘community through coercion’”.  Hitler and Stalin are notable communitarians.

Former Harvard Business School professor George Lodge describes communitarianism as “creat[ing] a legitimate basis for the transnational governmental mechanisms required to manage globalization.”

Sounds like the rationale for the U.N.’s Agenda 21 with no more guarantee of our individual liberties supposedly protected by our Constitution.

Communitarianism, religion and public schools

Charles Haynes takes credit for using consensus-building to bring diverse religious and education groups to a communitarian vision of how to teach about religion in public schools.  Originally released in 1994, revised a few times and released again in 2007, Haynes co-authored “Finding Common Ground, A Guide to Religious Liberty in Public School”.  Continuing this theme, Haynes co-authored “Teaching About Religion in National and State Social Studies Standards” with Shabbir Mansuri, and Susan Douglass, founding director and principal researcher respectively of the Council on Islamic Education (see Newsletter #49).

According to Haynes, religion should be taught in public schools to “instill a community-focused sense of morality”.

In “The Relationship of Religion to Moral Education in the Public Schools”, published by the Insititute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington University, Haynes asserts it is the job of public schools to teach morality but only what can be derived from a consensus process:

“There is not a great deal of agreement about what moral education should be. We will argue that ‘moral education’ is an umbrella-term for two quite different tasks. The first is to nurture in children those (consensus) virtues and values that make them good people. But, of course, good people can make bad judgments. The second task of moral education is [to] provide students with the intellectual resources that enable them to make informed and responsible judgments about difficult (and controversial) matters of moral importance. Both are proper and important tasks of schools.”

What this statement means to the communitarian is that first, there is no absolute good or evil.  Good and evil is only that which the community defines and consents to.  Second, students should be taught (ie, use “intellectual resources”) to question religious moral absolutes because morality is simply a matter of relativity to however one chooses to define it.  No Ten Commandments here.

Here’s an example:

“Parents may have primary responsibility to raise children, but this is also problematic. If fundamentalist Christian parents tell their gay child that he or she is going to Hell, the school has some responsibility to expose the child to another point of view.”

Whether called moral equivalence or relativism, this is the same concept that allows for characterizing Hamas terrorists as a “resistance movement” and the jihad murders by Major Nidal Hassan as “workplace violence.”


“Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth” said CAIR’s then chairman Omar Ahmad in 1998.

When asked recently about the diminishment of others’ religious rights as a result of making religious accommodations for Muslims, Haynes replied, that when we stand up for the rights of others today, we are ensuring our own rights tomorrow.

Nice slogan Mr. Haynes but understand this:  kosher to Jews means that they don’t eat pork; halal to Muslims means that nobody eats pork, meaning that to protect the rights of Muslims and their Sharia law means depriving non-Muslims of rights such as freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

In 2006, Awadh Binhazim, an aggressive Muslim Brotherhood Islamist (see Newsletters 11 & 12), and Vanderbilt Muslim Student Association chaplain featured in the “Losing Our Sons” documentary, was on a First Amendment Center panel discussing the “Mohammed cartoons”.  Binhazim stated that “all Muslims” view the publication of the cartoons as a “provocation.”  He openly supported suppressing free speech saying that Muslims “do not share the value of free speech as it is recognized here”; a statement consistent with Islamic blasphemy laws and current actions by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Obama administration to criminalize speech that Muslims find offensive.  This is the same Binhazim who in a Vanderbilt MSA forum confirmed Islam’s not-to-be-questioned capital punishment for homosexuality.




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