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57 Varieties of Radical Causes, Part I, Conclusion By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, September 28, 2004

To read the Introduction of this article, click here. To read the previous portion of this article, click here. To read the Endnotes, click here. To order the book, Click HERE.

Chapter 3: Saluting Radical Heroes

In 1993, Teresa Heinz Kerry decided to create the Heinz Awards “to honor outstanding leaders in areas of great importance” to her late husband, Republican Senator John Heinz.[67] The Heinz Awards Board of Directors – which includes Teresa Heinz Kerry and her son, André Heinz – selects winners in six areas.[68] Winners receive an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000 and a medallion in a ceremony in the nation’s capital.[69]

Paul and Anne Ehrlich. The very first year Teresa Heinz Kerry offered the Heinz Awards, she chose to honor environmental extremists Paul and Anne Ehrlich. The Ehrlich’s were chosen “in recognition of their thoughtful study of difficult environmental issues [and] their commitment to bringing their findings to the attention of policy makers and the public.”[70]

Paul Ehrlich gained notoriety in the 1960s and ’70s, most notably with their book The Population Bomb by predicting an impending ecological apocalypse. Among Ehrlich’s “thoughtful” findings:

  • “The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines…hundreds of millions of people (including Americans) are going to starve to death.” (1968)
  •   “Smog disasters” in 1973 might kill 200,000 people in New York and Los Angeles. (1969)
  • “I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” (1969)
  • “Before 1985, mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity . . . in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion.” (1976)[71]
  • Falling temperatures would cause the ice caps to sink into the ocean, producing “a global tidal wave that could wipe out a substantial portion of mankind, and the sea level could rise 60 to 100 feet.” (1970)
  • After switching from predicting an impending Ice Age to its logical opposite, Global Warming, he shrieked, “The population of the U.S. will shrink from 250 million to about 22.5 million before 1999 because of famine and global warming.”[72]

The Heinz Awards also praise the Ehrlichs for “their willingness to suggest solutions.” Glossing over their raving diagnoses, the Heinz Awards website claims, “Their prescriptions, sometimes misrepresented as draconian, are rooted in…Judeo-Christian principles.”[73] In his magnum opus The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich decreed, “We must have population control at home, hopefully through a system of incentives and penalties, but by compulsion if voluntary methods fail.” He suggested adding “temporary sterilants” to the water supply but thought “society would probably dissolve before sterilants were added to the water by the government.”[74] Ehrlich called China’s policy of forced abortion “vigorous and effective,” a “grand experiment in the management of population.[75] Far from Judeo-Christian, Ehrlich’s anti-human positions could better be described as “sacrificing children to Moloch.” Ehrlich’s predictions snared a generation of gullible reporters and hysterical Green activists in the 1970s, who gave his totalitarian prescriptions serious consideration, and apparently still do.

Luis Garden Acosta. Acosta is the 1998 “Human Condition” Award Recipient (with Frances Lucerna) for his work at El Puente. Acosta is founder, president and CEO of El Puente (“The Bridge” in Spanish), a Brooklyn “community organization” founded in the early Eighties. He also has established a high school, the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice.

Acosta was an early member of the Young Lords Party, the Puerto Rican equivalent of the Black Panthers, a radical and violent street gang. “The 13 Point Program and Platform of the Young Lords Party,” to which Acosta professed allegiance, is worth quoting:

Our Latin Brothers and Sisters, inside and outside the united states [sic.], are oppressed by amerikkkan business. The Chicano people built the Southwest, and we support their right to control their lives and their land…The armed liberation struggles in Latin America are part of the war of Latinos against imperialism…

Acosta has been motivated by this same toxic zeal all his life. El Puente is home to the “CHE Institute” (Community Health & Environment, but Acosta refers to it almost exclusively as the “CHE Institute” for reasons of euphony). El Puente’s website links to United for Peace and Justice and the Communist Paper, the People’s Weekly World. He should; he’s been favorably covered there.[76]

As Heather MacDonald reported in New York’s City Journal, “El Puente evaluates students on their commitment to ‘social and economic justice.’ The students have demonstrated such commitment by protesting a local incinerator as ‘environmental racism’; as part of El Puente's after-school program, they will soon staff a center intended to help the garment workers' union, UNITE, organize workers.”[77] The school calendar is loaded with protests, grievances and loony-left commemorations; it records, for instance, that August 7 is “Transgender International Rights and Education Day.”[78]

This mandatory left-wing activism explains why El Puente was a major force in New York’s antiwar protests before Operation Iraqi Freedom. Like the Thomas Merton Center, Acosta leads his underage students in hate-filled, profanity-laden protests where speakers often condemn their own country as “racist,” “imperialist” and “evil.” The New York Post recorded Acosta took a delegation – presumably of his students – to the February 15, 2003, antiwar march in New York City and led them in chanting “War is whack. Get out of Iraq.” El Puente art teacher Noah Jemisin also participated.[79] Another New York publication observed, “The [local] groups [including El Puente] have joined forces with each other and with nationwide organizations such as United for Peace and Justice, the A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) coalition, and Code Pink.” For this, El Puente receives not just nonprofit grants from Heinz but also federal funding.[80]

Acosta’s students aren’t just graded on their ability to shout shrill antiwar phrases; they’re also evaluated on their ability with a spray paint can. El Puente offers a class teaching students graffiti. Entitled “Hip Hop 101,” students learn how to deface other people’s property in the most artistic, eye-catching way possible. (Break dancing and hip-hop “music” are also discussed.) Such academic ephemera is offered despite the fact that, as MacDonald points out, “The school's average SAT scores in 1997 – 385 in verbal, 363 in math (out of a possible 800 in each) – lagged far behind the city's already abysmal average of 443 in verbal and 464 in math.”[81] A school built out of racialist envy, hostile to the government that funds it and unable to educate the children entrusted to it: this is the travesty Teresa Heinz Kerry wishes to honor and have others emulate?

August Wilson. In the most recent class of Heinz Award winners (2003), playwright August Wilson won the Heinz Award for “Arts and Humanities.” In the words of the Heinz Endowments, Wilson is constantly “stirring us with passion and challenging us to recognize the truths [sic.] about ourselves.[82] Two years before the award, he stirred passion with an e-mail exchange posted on the Slate website. The exchange began on September 10, 2001. The day after 9/11, Wilson counseled:

To understand the politics we need to look at the origins of the war and understand that it is not a war driven by territorial disputes and fought by standing armies but hatred for our arrogant display of power and our seeming callous indifference to the rest of the word's humanity. Then I think we can, as you say, begin to address “the deeper problems that made for this fanatic hate.”

Earlier in the day, he gave this Solomonic military advice:

I suggest we forgo any military action against a handful of elusive and destructive terrorists and use our resources, and the unconquerable will of the American people, to rebuild the World Trade Center on the exact spot (Phoenix rising from the ashes) as a testament to the resiliency of the American spirit. This, to my mind, would be the truly heroic thing to do.[83]

The next day (9/13), he reaffirmed that America finally got what she had coming:

If, as you say, this act of terrorism says to the world, “You will not live in your dream, you will live in ours,” then it is a reversal of roles. So much of America's policies and practices, its influence on global politics and economics has resulted in us saying the very same thing to the rest of the world. The terrorists may well be responding to the “profound psychic humiliation” of being colonized by another’s ideas.

He also expressed concern the deadly terrorist assault “will fan the flames of patriotism.”[84] These are hard “truths” indeed. A few months after receiving the Heinz Award, Wilson would make a similar diatribe during a commencement address in Washington state.

Dr. Julius Richmond. Also in 2003, Teresa Heinz Kerry bestowed the “Public Policy” award on Dr. Julius Richmond, the Surgeon General during Jimmy Carter’s administration. Richmond watched the tragedies of September 11 from the comfort of Castro’s Cuba. He had just finished touring the Stalinist island tyranny with four other physicians – including controversial Clinton Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders – all of whom were reportedly impressed with CastroCare and incensed, not by Castro’s relentless oppression of his populace, but by American foreign policy. When he returned two days after 9/11, his first public statement focused on – condemning the United States’ blockade of Cuba. While hundreds of people extinguished flickering hopes that their loved ones might still be alive inside the rubble of that evil attack, the good doctor called America’s economic Cuban boycott “an immoral and shameful policy.”[85] Richmond was outdone only by Elders, who reportedly said of Cuban health care, “Cuba’s is better. They work at keeping people healthy.”[86]

Ending the embargo of Cuba is a passion of Richmond's. He is a member of the Advisory Board for Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba. (The AHTC website links to the Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation, which features pictures of star-struck Rep. John Tanner, D-TN, fawning as Castro “autographs” an American flag.)[87] In May 2004, Richmond signed a letter calling on President Bush to lift trade restrictions against Cuba. The letter reads in part, “Forty-three years of the strongest embargo in our history has resulted in increased hardship for the people of Cuba while making no change whatsoever in the political makeup of the Cuban government. We can no longer support a policy carried out in our name which causes suffering of the most vulnerable – women, children and the elderly.” Richmond’s co-signers include Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola, Dwayne Andreas (of agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland), Jim Winkler (the General Secretary of the United Methodist Church) and Robert Edgar (General Secretary of the National Council of Churches).[88]

In 2003, Richmond and Clinton Surgeon General David Satcher endorsed the single-payer national health care plan proposed by Physicians for a National Health Program.[89] This is the same health plan endorsed by political savant Warren Beatty in his film Bulworth. (“Call it single-payer or Canadian way/Only socialized medicine will ever save the day/Now, let me hear that dirty word: So-o-ocialism!”) The PNHP’s single-payer plan is more socialistic than the “National Health Plan” Jimmy Carter proposed during Richmond’s tenure as Surgeon General in 1979. When the plan’s designers admitted Canadian-style rationing of services would ensue upon its passage, Richmond didn’t bat an eye.[90] He announced his support of single-payer health insurance in 2003, and apart from his very public endorsement – and his steady missives to the president about Cuba – he had lingered in obscurity since the Reagan years. Teresa Heinz Kerry’s award followed that December.

Peter Matthiessen. Kerry recognized the achievements of author, social activist and Zen teacher, Peter Matthiessen, with a Heinz Award in 1999. Primarily a nature writer, as the Heinz press release announcing this award notes Mathiessen also agitates for leftist change. According to the same release, his books In the Spirit of Crazy Horse and Indian Countryclearly challenges state and federal policies destroying [Indian] land and culture.[91], In the Spirit of Crazy Horse focuses on the trial of Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) convicted of shooting two FBI agents at Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. Matthiessen asked Bill Clinton to pardon Peltier during a private meeting with the president.[92] Peltier’s case, along with that of fellow leftist cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, is a cause celebre on the left.[93] In 2004, the Peace and Freedom Party selected Peltier as its 2004 presidential candidate.

On December 6, 1997, Matthiessen joined the “International Tribunal for Mumia.” The tribunal was organized by the Marxist group “Refuse and Resist” to “investigate the government’s conspiracy to silence, deny justice to and take the life of Abu-Jamal.”[94] Refuse and Resist is the creation of C. Clark Kissinger, a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, a Maoist sect. Kissinger also initiated the “Not In Our Name” antiwar project.[95] Other co-endorsers of the Mumia tribunal included Peltier, Ramsey Clark, the National Lawyers Guild, Panthers United for Revolutionary Education, Jacques Derrida, Cornel West, Angela Davis, Medea Benjamin and Howard Zinn.[96]

At Matthiessen’s suggestion, the Heinz Endowments made a $10,000 endowment to Medea Benjamin’s Global Exchange, an organization that takes citizens on tours of Potemkin villages in foreign lands, to demonstrate the evils of American foreign policy and the wonders of socialism. Teresa Heinz Kerry also honored his request to donate $1,000 to the Earth Island Institute. On September 14, 2001, the Institute’s website bore the headline “U.S. Responds to Terrorist Attacks with Self-Righteous Arrogance.”[97]

Some critics argue it is wrong to hold the Heinz Endowments responsible for what its grant recipients do after they receive their money. There are two replies to this. First, nearly every such action has a string of antecedents. In this case, Earth Island Institute’s founder, David Brower, had denounced the “imperialist” United States in a show of “solidarity environmentalism” with Nicaraguan Sandinista strongman Daniel Ortega in 1989 at the fourth International Congress on the Hope and Fate of the Earth, held in Managua. Brower wrote, “‘[S]olidarity environmentalism’ is the only kind that makes sense…Would George Bush and Margaret Thatcher be able to call themselves environmentalists if the effort to protect the ozone layer and stop global warming was linked to the Third World movement’s demands for a new, more equitable international economic system, an end to the Third World debt, and curbs on the free action of multinational corporations?”[98]

Teresa is well acquainted with the Earth Island Institute; she serves Brower on the Advisory Board of the Earth Communications Office (a group she funds). Also on the board are Paul and Anne Ehrlich, Al Gore, Randy Hayes of the violent Rainforest Action Network, Rep. Henry Waxman, Susan Weber of Zero Population Growth, Alex Pachecco of PETA, Tamara Lee Boyer of the National Resources Defense Council (a frequent Heinz grantee), Dr. Henry Kendall of the Union of Concerned Scientists (another Heinz favorite) and Dr. Michael Oppenheimer of the Environmental Defense Fund (a frequent grantee on whose board Teresa Heinz Kerry also sits).[99] Hayes of RAN agrees with Brower’s view of capitalism, calling it “an absurd economic system rapidly destroying nature.”[100] In this context, it is disturbing that Teresa Heinz Kerry agreed to distribute monies to this organization, and given its history of denigrating the United States, the Green leopard should not be expected to change its spots.

The second, less elaborate, argument holds that what the grantee does after receiving the grant is the only appropriate measuring stick of the grant’s impact and effectiveness. Philanthropy hopes to change the world; how else is one to define whether a donation has succeeded in doing so? And how else is society to hold the grantee – or the granter – accountable?

Dudley Cocke. Cocke received the 2001 Arts & Humanities award from Heinz. Cocke operates the Roadside Theater in Kentucky and seeks to be the cultural voice of Appalachia. At roughly the same time he received the Heinz Award, Cocke blamed worldwide terrorism on – Ronald Reagan. Of 9/11, he wrote: “A lot of this hatred is based on an ignorance that allows the hater to perceive the United States only in monolithic terms, as a heartless materialist and imperialist state…It is my contention that U.S. arts policy, beginning with the Reagan administration, has played a surprising role helping to create this misperception.” Specifically, “The Reagan administration’s withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1987 signaled to the international community that the U.S. no longer considered itself just one among many of the world’s cultures.” Cocke would have us believe al-Qaeda’s brand of Islamists – which forbids its adherents to enjoy any form of music whatever – bear a hatred borne not out of religious fanaticism, nor even the liberal shibboleth of “poverty and disease,” but of artistic rejection. He continues to champion our return to UNESCO, blithely unaware George W. Bush has already brought this about. Elsewhere, Cocke berated Reagan and other conservatives for daring to question the National Endowment for the Arts’ inalienable right to fund Robert Mapplethorpe and the “Piss Christ.” Dismissing their objections, he mused, “Ironically, those attacks were led by our own homegrown religious fundamentalists.”[101] Destroying thousands of lives – launching an unsuccessful bid to mildly reduce government funding for obscene “art”; what’s the difference?

Peggy Shepard. Shepard won the Heinz Environment Award in 2003. Shepard is the co-founder and executive director of West Harlem Environmental Action, which she inexplicably abbreviates “WE ACT.” (Perhaps she graduated from El Puente.) The Heinz press release dubs Shepard, “An environmental crusader…against a systemic form of racism that threatens to sacrifice the environmental health of poor urban areas.” Continuing her support of non-mainstream activists with a history of illegal protest, Heinz selected Shepard, who began her career in 1988, when she and a group of other protesters “donned gas masks and held up traffic near [a treatment] plant. They were promptly arrested, but not before they had made their point.”[102]

Shepard has become a pioneering activist in the fight against “environmental racism,” the “systemic form of racism” caused by no malice nor design and often brought on by the very conditions civil rights “leadership” sues to create. Shepard and WE ACT’s seemingly only project of note is a multi-year struggle against the Manhattan Transportation Authority. At issue is the fact that six of the MTA’s eight bus depots are located in Northern Manhattan, an area primarily populated by minorities. Shepard alleges (despite a dearth of medical evidence) that diesel exhaust has led to an asthma epidemic among area children, and this is a form of “environmental racism.” According to WE ACT:

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act states that no agency receiving Federal funds shall administer a program that discriminates against people on the basis of race. If an agency's actions have the effect of discriminating, the agency is in violation of Civil Rights law, even if discrimination is not intentional. “The MTA would not get away with putting the diesel depots and diesel bus parking lots in other neighborhoods in Manhattan,” said Ms. Shepard.[103]

She summed up, “We believe it's discriminatory because [MTA officials] are spending their money to place a disproportionate burden on low income communities and communities of color in New York City.”[104] Inverting forty years of civil rights rhetoric, Shepard interpreted increased government spending in “communities of color” as “discriminatory” – a calamity to be remedied by ratcheting up governmental regulation and expanding public health programs. And awarding financial reparations to aggrieved communities and their legal counsel, like Ms. Shepard. “Environmental racism,” in short, is a gentler term for extortion.

Obviously, cities situate bus depots in those areas most likely to use them, and studies have shown minorities disproportionately avail themselves of public transportation. Indeed, civil rights organizations have accused cities of racism for failure to locate more buses in minority neighborhoods. In other words, Shepard’s group has cried racism and filed a federal lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Transportation, because New York City is too attentive in providing taxpayer-subsidized services to minorities. No good deed goes unpunished.

Gen. George Lee Butler. When does awarding a Public Policy award to a retired U.S. Air Force General and former commander of the Strategic Air Command make people question your commitment to national security? When that general calls for the United States to enact a complete, unilateral destruction of all its nuclear weapons. In 2001, the Heinz Awards selected Butler for its Public Policy award specifically because he believed in nuclear abolition. The press release states, “Despite the fact that his beliefs were frequently not in keeping with official policy, congruent with professional bias or conducive to personal advancement, George Lee Butler has been willing to take the risks required to do what he felt was right. He has made the world a better place by drastically decreasing the numbers of, and the planned uses for, nuclear weapons.[105] Heinz did not specify what new “planned use” North Korea, the Islamic Republic of Iran or the People’s Republic of China have for their nuclear arsenals.

Butler calls for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons within America. He now shuns the term “abolition” (since it made people question his sanity), preferring the more sensible term “responsible reductions.” Still, he maintains, “the goal is and must be zero.” He began this call shortly before retiring from the military in 1994, the year North Korea threatened to develop nuclear weapons – or rather, the year Pyongyang began developing nuclear weapons after fooling another gullible arms control advocate named Jimmy Carter.[106]

A few years later, the Marxists lobbed a missile over Japanese airspace; it is assumed they are capable of striking Alaska or the western United States. In a world in which it is impossible to know with certainty when regimes are seeking to attain nuclear weapons, when President Bush is being criticized for launching a pre-emptive war to stop Saddam Hussein’s nuclear design, unilateral nuclear abolition seems an irresponsible course of action.

Carol Gilligan. Gilligan won the Heinz Award for the “Human Condition” in 1997, while she was the Chair of Gender Studies in Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. The award was given, in part, because, according to the Heinz Award’s press release, Gilligan “has transformed assumptions of what it means to be human. (No small feat.) [107] 

Her book In a Different Voice became an overnight classic for the feminist movement, garnering Gilligan Ms. magazine’s “Woman of the Year” award in 1984. In her work, Gilligan claims women lose their voice in patriarchal society, causing adolescent girls to suffer a crippling crisis of self-worth. Men use their “chest” voice, speaking their minds and ordering people around. However, society enculturates women to believe they must use their “head” voice: the flighty purr of a complicit pet. During adolescence, women learn “society” does not “value” their opinions, forcing them to use the “head voice,” and this causes profound withdrawal. The feminist establishment seized upon this pseudo-psychological theorem to invent a “crisis of confidence” leading young women into withdrawal, academic failure, low paying jobs, suicide or (worse yet) marriage. This, they asserted, and not the Sexual Revolution ethics they championed for decades, led to high teen pregnancy rates and low self-worth.[108]

Like Paul Ehrlich’s predictions before her, Gilligan’s assertions have since been turned on their head; more women than men succeed during high school and go on to college. Due to the educational advantage they have over men, one-third of all married women now earn higher salaries than their husbands – and the trend is only expected to increase.[109] This new reality has provoked talk that males are being “left behind.”

In the mid-90s Gilligan discovered the fount of all boys’ problems: separation from their mothers, and femininity in general, during early childhood. This leads to “more stuttering, more bedwetting, more learning problems...when cultural norms pressure [boys] to separate from their mothers.” This is when boys begin to “internalize a patriarchal voice” (which is very bad). These assertions, however, are bereft of any statistical, scientific or empirical data (as is much of Gilligan’s work); they are merely Gilligan’s philosophical projections upon human development.[110]

Ironically, after decades of feminist demands for equal treatment, Gilligan’s radical outlook put women back on a pedestal. In her research, she claimed women were more likely to care about people, whereas men care about abstract principles.[111] Hence, females are more caring and emotive; males have a built-in tendency toward emotional distance and fanaticism. Taken to its logical extreme, this means women are society’s nurturers, men its sadists and pillagers – an idea the feminist establishment readily embraced, despite its corrosive effect on the idea of equality. One can see the effect of this new feminist radicalism in Eve Ensler’s transformation of February 14th from “Valentine’s Day” into “Violence Against Women Day.”[112]

Oddly, like her statistics that prove boys are more likely to stutter if they spend more time in closer proximity to testosterone than estrogen, the data Gilligan used to reach her morality conclusions have not been made available for peer review. Three psychologists at Oberlin College independently administered a Gilligan morality test to male and female students five years after In a Different Voice hit the shelves. Their conclusion? “There were no reliable sex differences...in the directions predicted by Gilligan.”[113]

This has not stopped the Teresa Heinz from lionizing upon Gilligan. Others have followed her example. Jane Fonda donated $12.5 million to Harvard University’s Center on Gender and Education just as Gilligan left Harvard for NYU.[114]

Gilligan has applied her own principles to the political scene as a member of the Ms. Foundation’s Board of Directors. As Kimberly Schuld has noted in her indispensable Guide to Feminist Organizations, “the Ms. Foundation received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Microenterprise Development at the close of the Clinton administration for programs assisting low income women who create their own jobs. By contrast, after the first 100 days of George W. Bush’s presidency, it released a report claiming the president had ‘left women and children behind.’”[115] This partisanship undoubtedly appeals to feminists, as well. 

Gilligan did not change “assumptions of what it means to be human.” However, she has changed the original feminist assumption that women and men, though distinct, should be accorded equal dignity.

Paul Gorman. Gorman, who was awarded the1999 Heinz Environment prize, founded the National Religious Partnership for the Environment in 1991.[116] His primary accomplishment has been mobilizing liberal church hierarchs (e.g., Arch-heretic Frank Griswold of the Episcopal Church USA and A. Roy Medley of the American Baptist Church) and well-meaning conservative, religious men (e.g., Bishop Dimitrios of the Greek Orthodox Church) into supporting bad science.

The National Religious Partnership’s most recent manifesto is entitled “Earth's Climate Embraces Us All: A Plea From Religion and Science for Action on Global Climate Change.” This document begins: “The wealthier nations of the planet have a solemn moral obligation to help developing countries protect the poor in their midst as they seek to limit greenhouse gas emissions.” This “obligation” stems from the dire consequences of Global Warming, including “more frequent occurrences of heat waves, drought, torrential rains, and floods; global sea level rise of between one-half and three feet; increase of tropical diseases in now-temperate regions; significant reduction in biodiversity.” With the fervor of a street preacher, the clergy calumniate “policies that devalue scientific consensus, withdraw from diplomatic initiative, and seek only voluntary initiatives.”[117]

This certainty is adopted, despite the fact that significant scientific evidence casts doubt on the existence of global warming, while there is no consensus about what the effects of such change might be. As noted above, thirty years ago the world’s “leading” environmental scientists were predicting a new Ice Age; now, even the progenitor of the Global Warming theory has his doubts about the efficacy of limiting so-called “greenhouse gas” emissions.[118]

Laying its junk science aside, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment renders two invaluable services to the political left. These partisan clerics intone the proof-texts of the Green movement in the language of brimstone and redemption, conferring an air of sanctity to the left’s tired agenda. Teresa Heinz, herself a true believer, has made this a priority. The Heinz Endowments have channeled more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars first to the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, then to a group call “Enterprising Environmental Solutions, Inc.” for the “Interfaith Power and Light” program, which teaches opposing the environmentalist political agenda is a sin (indeed, possibly the only sin the Episcopal Church USA still recognizes). Interfaith Power and Light facilitates the environmentalist movement’s goals among liberal Christians, offering “a curriculum, Exploration/Expression, that explores connections between faith, religious spaces, and our environment.[119] This is often taught to elementary school children during Vacation Bible School in place of…the Bible. For example, summer campers at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church “discovered that the cost of one pizza from choir practice was enough to purchase renewable energy for their building for a month.[120] Truly, there is rejoicing in Heaven over one capitalist who repenteth.

The Religious Left also gives the Democratic Party a public relations windfall. Numerous polls show Democrats enjoy little support from those who regularly attend religious services. Joining hands in a press conference with the leading lights of the nation’s “mainstream” denominations – whom the media never identify as liberal – provides Democrats cover on “the God issue.” When conservatives point out that most religious conservatives oppose a given bill, the left can point to this coalition with equal fervor, although the size and influence of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment is miniscule compared to the Christian Right, another fact generally unreported.

The “philanthropic left” seems quite interested in developing an in-house religious presence. The Carnegie Corporation has given tens of thousands of dollars to The Interfaith Alliance, an organization established to counter the political views of the Religious Right. In the waning days of the Clinton administration, when The Interfaith Alliance was still in its infancy, the Alliance’s energy was directed to restoring “civility” to political dialogue. That was when the rhetoric of average Americans had begun to match their revulsion at President Clinton’s philistine morality. Now that the left regularly compares a Republican president to Adolf Hitler, castigates him for genocide and brutally questions his intelligence, The Interfaith Alliance seems to have lost its interest in decorum.

These themes found expression in John Kerry’s pronouncement, during his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, that “trees are the cathedrals of nature.” That they are. It may even be appropriate to, in Al Gore’s phrase, “revere” nature. But the prophet Jeremiah who lived in a time when fanatics caused a similar idolatry to be in vogue, cautioned, “The vanity of their doctrine is wood.”[121]

Marian Wright Edelman. Edelman is the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. She received the “Human Condition” award in 1995 for her long years of service in the leftist cause.[122] This mentor to Hillary Clinton has achieved mythical status among supplicants of the Great Society. Bill Clinton even awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000. In 1999, Teresa Heinz Kerry rewarded her programs with $700,000 of Carnegie Corporation grant money.

Edelman has had only one agenda during her many years in activist life: increasing federal spending on social programs and demonizing everyone who stands in her way. One conservative organization described the Children’s Defense Funds’s political orientation:

The Children Defense Fund’s own “Nonpartisan Voting Index” routinely grades liberals such as Sen. Ted Kennedy as 100 percent politically correct. Founder Marian Wright Edelman regularly scolds the government for not copying Europe’s socialist programs. On NBC, she pronounced: “We need to talk about the poverty of values of a country that let its children die because we don't provide [national] health insurance.” In 1990, Edelman even attacked liberal Reps. Tom Downey and George Miller for being too conservative on childcare spending, saying they were “willing to rob millions of children.”[123]

The long affinity between Edelman and Hillary Clinton is well known. Clinton once headed the Children’s Defense Fund, and after becoming First lady returned to its meetings to read part of her book It Takes a Village to Raise a Child (perhaps the least subtle phrase ever concocted by the Nanny State). Yet in the true fashion of the left, Edelman put political conviction above friendship in 1996.[124] That year, she organized the “Stand for Children” rally in Washington, D.C., to oppose Bill Clinton’s welfare reform policy. Numerous far-left organizations attended, including the War Resisters League.[125] In discussing the historic reform, she claimed her friend Clinton’s actions “will leave a moral blot on his presidency and on our nation…It takes no political courage to stand up to 2-month-old babies or to play election-year games of political chicken at preschoolers' expense.”[126] This rhetoric should have sounded familiar to Clinton, who accused Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole of taking food out of the mouths of hungry schoolchildren during the government budget crisis just months earlier. Applied to two Republicans caricatured by the liberal media, the language stuck. Used in reference to the “first black president,” who boasted that he balanced the budget while increasing social spending and cutting defense, these overwrought lamentations strained credulity.

Since the welfare reform bill was enacted, 2.3 million children have moved out of poverty, and the rate of poverty for black children has reached an historic low. No previous economic expansion since its creation has reduced the number of people utilizing the AFDC program. Yet welfare reform reduced welfare rolls by millions while nearly doubling the employment rate of poor mothers.[127] For this, Edelman charges Republicans and New Democrats with genocide.

Edelman’s constant refrain has been to increase federal spending – but not for every department. In her 1987 book Families in Peril, she wrote, “We must curb the fanatical military weasel and keep it in balance with competing national needs.”[128] National defense is, naturally, the only sector of government she wishes to trim. In 1996, she exhorted Jim Wallis’ leftist religious group Call to Renewal: “Let’s guarantee a job. Let’s guarantee health care and children care. [sic.] Let’s turn this welfare repeal into real welfare reform.[129] In three sentences she thus endorsed full employment, socialized medicine, federally funded babysitters for all, and infinite welfare benefits for those not inclined to forsake indolence.

Despite the decrease in child poverty during the Reagan era and the independence engendered by the Republican welfare reform bill Dick Morris convinced Bill Clinton to sign, Edelman has not rethought the soundness of her continual requests for bigger, more expensive and more expansive federal bureaucracies to “solve” the problem of poverty. 

Cushing Dolbeare, Dolbeare, head of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, was the winner of the 2001 Heinz Human Condition award.[130] Like Edelman, she is a longtime advocate of more federal spending, in her case for housing. She notes that since 1980, “the majority of the members of Congress no longer represent districts where poverty is a significant problem. Rather than rejoice at expanding national prosperity, she frets this will lead to cuts in welfare spending.

Nor is she above playing with statistics to enhance her point. At a 1999 academic conference, she inflated the extent of the national housing crisis, “It is a problem that goes well up the income scale if you take households that have to pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing.[131] According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spent 32 percent of his income on housing in the year 2000.[132] As one might expect, this varies greatly from one region to another, with a higher-than-average percentage of income demanded for housing on the two coasts, less in the nation’s interior. In other words, Dolbeare advocates “socialized housing.”

Her website dubbed April 21, 2004, “MASSIVE CALL-IN DAY TO STOP THE BUDGET CUTS!” (Screaming emphasis in original.) She instructed callers to demand Congress enact “No more draconian cuts in important programs” while distributing “unfair and unpaid-for tax cuts.[133] The site alleges in fiscal year 2005 “the budget would cut between $2 billion and $11 billion” from Medicaid. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a left-leaning think tank, on the other hand, acknowledges that Medicaid spending would increase from $177 billion to $182 billion.[134] Only in Washington, D.C., can budget increases be called “budget cuts,” and “draconian” ones, at that.[135]

Bernice Johnson Reagon. Lifelong activist, singer and Black History professor Bernice Johnson Reagon received the 2002 Arts and Humanities award from Heinz. Reagon, who is the (Bill and Camille) Cosby Chair Professor of Fine Arts at the Spelman College and a former professor of African-American History, is best known for her 30-year stint with the a cappella protest group “Sweet Honey in the Rock.” Reagon was formerly active with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, where she organized the Freedom Singers. Heinz pays Reagon homage, saying, “she has combined music, a commitment to social justice and academic excellence, and has earned esteem in all three.”[136]

Reagon has embraced a panoply of left-wing causes both in her activism and in her singing repertoire. Analyzing her “wholistic” approach to leftist causes while discussing today’s antiwar movement, she observed: “To say peace is to make it too narrow. There are people who are involved who are very disturbed over our invasion of Iraq; these same people are appalled at the absolute dishonesty and lack of integrity that's been revealed in the economic system.” Call it “solidarity sabotage.” She forthrightly stated, “this is not the country that I want to help support and help build and it is important for me to say it in some way.”[137] In her bid to help build a more peaceful world, she attended the Ruckus/Global Exchange riots in Seattle in 1999, calling their handiwork “a very important effort.”

The National Organization for Women planned to honor Bernice Johnson Reagon on September 9, 2004, at its “Second Annual Intrepid Awards Gala.” Also on the bill was “Vagina Monologues” author Eve Ensler, whose play portrays an adult lesbian’s molestation of a 13-year-old girl (after plying the minor with alcohol) as a beautiful experience for both. Delores Huerta was also slated to receive an Intrepid.[138] Gray Davis appointed Huerta a regent of the University of California although she has never earned a college degree. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America committed to racial preferences and other politically correct hierarchies.[139]

James Goodby. This former ambassador to Finland garnered the Heinz Awards’ Public Policy prize in 1994.[140] His 2002 work A Strategy for a Stable Peace gives a view of his powers of insight. He opens the book – published after 9/11 – with the utopian delusion, “The United States, Russia, and all the nations of Europe could eliminate war as a means of settling disputes among themselves. It will not be easy but it is within their reach.” To achieve this goal, he advised the United States to cut its active nuclear weapons inventory by ninety percent.[141]

This boundless confidence in the kindness of strangers is omnipresent in Gooby’s thinking. His lesson from 9/11? Call the French (and others). “The attacks in New York and Washington have shown that isolationism and unilateralism are no longer viable options for the United States.[142] Immediately after 9/11, he advised Bush to conciliate with the Chinese, asking them to make “broader efforts to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction,” an unusual call for the world’s chief proliferator of nuclear weapons and long range missiles to rogue regimes. In making this overture, Goodby writes, “Mr. Bush will have to correct the implications of what his administration has done to portray China as the successor to the Soviet Union,” which is “exaggerated and unproductive.”[143]

As friction over Operation Iraqi Freedom exposed the considerable chinks in Goodby’s U.S.-Russia-EU troika, he insisted the answer to Saddam Hussein’s “decade of defiance” was “Ike-Like Diplomacy Instead of War.”[144] Of course, Ike specialized in “brinksmanship,” threatening to launch a full-scale nuclear attack to force a peace treaty during the Korean Conflict, and again if the Communists continued to threaten the islands of Quemoy and Matsu. But this is not the diplomacy Goodby had in mind. When reality characteristically failed to live up to his expectations, Goodby accused his own Commander in chief of creating a Fortress Amerika. In a Financial Times article, Goodby wrote that under President Bush, “Fear has been used as a basis for curtailing freedom of expression and for questioning legal rights long taken for granted.”[145] On the campaign trail with her husband, Teresa Heinz Kerry must have thought this attack alone worth the $250,000.

George Woodwell. A founder of Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the World Resources Institute (all heavily funded by the Heinz Endowments), Woodwell garnered a Heinz Award in 1996.[146] In the overbearing opening sentence of an August 11, 2004, Boston Globe article, Woodwell seemed to capture the attitude of the Heinz Endowments board: “While we are all preoccupied with an unnecessary war costing billions of dollars and eating up time that might far better be spent on the alleviation of poverty and disease, global climatic disruption gains momentum and moves toward irreversible climatic chaos.[147]

Ernesto J. Cortés Jr. Cortés received the Public Policy Award in 1997. The citation noted that in 1971, Cortés “moved to Chicago to study at the Saul Alinsky Training Institute…Returning to his native Texas in 1974 under the auspices of Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), Mr. Cortés founded the first IAF affiliate there in his hometown of San Antonio.”[148] Saul Alinsky, a godfather of Sixties radicalism, wrote the book on radical agitation, a thin volume entitled Rules for Radicals. The Marxist Alinsky was Cortés’ formative influence, and Cortés spent years working for Alinsky in Texas. He has since opened an IAF affiliate in Los Angeles. What does his organizing consist of? He wrote in the Boston Review, “Imagine what would happen if, in 75 congressional districts, each candidate attended a meeting with 2,500 to 3,000 organized, registered voters-each of whom was committed to turning out at least ten of their neighbors on election day. What if at those public meetings each candidate was asked to make specific commitments to support an agenda which included…: a commitment to extended day enrichment programs for all children, universal health care, a family wage, long-term job training, affordable housing – the elements necessary to reduce inequality.[149] His vision of a socialist welfare state fits well with the orientation of other Heinz Award winners.

The composite picture these awards paint is discomfiting. The future their recipients envision is one in which a disarmed United States flagellates itself before Islamic fundamentalists for its past “arrogance” and “imperialism,” where tyrants are rewarded and politically correct murderers are set free, where junk science becomes the substance of our public policy discourse and our children’s Sunday school classes, where femininity is hallowed while masculinity is maligned, and where an ever-expanding nanny state is relentlessly harassed by a professional racial grievance industry.

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Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry's Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charitable Giving (2004).

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