Presenting the GOP’s newest star: Arthur Robinson
Rand Paul was not the most extreme Republican nominated last week.
Let me repeat that:
Rand Paul was not the most extreme Republican nominated last week.
I propose the title of “most extreme” be awarded to one Arthur Robinson, who won the GOP nomination for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District.
As pointed out by the BigCityLib blog, Robinson has quite the curious background. While BigCityLib links to some examples, there are plenty of others that are worth the look.
This is Robinson’s most famous cause, and his Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) is the progenitor of “The Oregon Petition”, a very well known AGW science-denial prop that has been insightfully exposed as a fraud by many - search the internet if you need more information about it.
What matters here is that the Oregon Petition is just part of the picture, and not the worst. Yet the Oregon Petition is what gets Robinson the attention, for example on Glenn Beck’s radio program.
Robinson has used OISM, and a newsletter he edits and writes (though not exclusively - it includes reprints from other authors) called Access To Energy (ATE). It is through the latter outlet that a great deal of strangeness flows.
For example, ATE promoted the works of Bryan Ellison and Peter Duesberg, notorious for their denial that AIDS is first and foremost a viral disease (HIV), by pushing that lifestyle (homosexuality) was the problem.
Before we delve further into “lifestyle” issues, let’s look at another one of Robinson’s favorite topic. Indeed, he calls it (part) of his “work that is our ministry and our professional life”:
Robinson’s OISM site hosts a series of newsletters on civil defense credited to “Physicians for Civil Defense”, an organization whose site is replete with links to WND and the like. I suppose if some eager lizard were to look through those newsletters hosted at OISM one could find any number of strange and wonderful things.
Well, you might think this is material from the 1950’s and 1960’s, no? No. It is from the 1990s. Not only that, Robinson sells through his OISM site a DVD package updated as late as 2008. A DVD set that includes a title “Fighting Chance Project, Ten Feet to Survival.”
“Survival”… hmm… What do they call people whose work is “survival”? Oh, that’s right, survivalists.
(We’ve only begun… you might want to take a potty break before continuing.)
OK, so the guy is into CD, everybody has to have their own quirk, right? Let’s get back to science. We already know that he is an AGW science-denier and promoted the HIV-deniers, what else is next?
Arthur Robinson wrote:
Evolution is no more true of God’s standards of right and wrong than it is of creation.
Well, ok, that is a gimme, given that we’ve already revealed that he is somewhat religious. But let’s quote the context as a whole:
Most of the solutions involve cooperation and communication with other people. You know, relationships. Let me get theological here for a second. God’s LawWord is the mediator between people if they are to get along well and are mutually beneficial to one another. It is up to you to learn to take the Bible seriously (no more discounting of God’s instructions about life that we find in the first 5 books of the Scriptures), study it, and make it part of your genetic makeup. Evolution is no more true of God’s standards of right and wrong than it is of creation.
Community has been lost in our largely apostate age because we have forgotten God’s Law - the very thing our Savior came to reconcile us to.
You could have guessed by now (if you clicked the preceding link) that Arthur Robinson is into homeschooling, and even guessed the reason why. He has an entire website/business set up called “The Robinson Curriculum”. He describes his motivation:
Home schooling is no more than a tool that can be used to keep a child out of the World.
If a young person is kept out of the World, the Lord will raise him (or her). Little else is necessary. The links to the Lord are already built into the child. He will follow those links and will directly help the child. All children receive this help. Parents really need do very little in addition.
Here is a video of him describing homeschooling, pay attention to him starting at 9:10 into the video, where he plainly states why parents homeschool.
Back to science (non technical types may want to skip this):
Now Arthur Robinson likes to sell himself as a “scientist”, brandishing his Ph.D. as an authority tag. He likes to sell the idea that he is knowledgeable, and brags that real science should be taught to children, by which he means calculus based physics:
Contrary to the typical public-school science sequence. physics should be the first science formally studied in the classroom. […]
Introductory physics usually starts with mechanics, since this is the simplest subdivision and is also that part of physics upon which most of the Industrial Revolution is based. All of mechanics was discovered by Isaac Newton. When Newton discovered mechanics, he simultaneously invented calculus because he found it too difficult to solve real-world mechanics problems without calculus.
If Isaac Newton could not do mechanics without calculus, how can a teenage student do so?
Sigh… No, “Dr.” Robinson, you’re wrong. Yes, Newton created three laws of motion that are very important and worthy of study, but he did not discover “all of mechanics”; later physicists (such as Lagrange and Hamilton) filled in many details and solidified our understanding of classical mechanics. Yes, Newton did invent a type of calculus. Calculus was also developed independently by a guy named Leibniz. Indeed, Leibniz’s notation style is the more commonly used (by far) than Newton’s (which uses dots over variables.) In fact, Robinson, on the very page (linked) where he expounds on the greatness of Newton uses Leibniz’s notation style rather than Newton’s.
Arthur Robinson is an idiot, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.
Ok, so what of education in general, not just science. What does Robinson have to say?
It is simply not biblical to place academic excellence at the pinnacle of child training values and to sacrifice other important values in the process. But this error comes quite naturally to westerners who have breathed deeply of the humanist air drawn from ancient Greece and filtered through Enlightenment Europe. The humanist worldview puts man at the center of the world and man’s mind as the supreme arbiter of truth. In this system education is all-important, education being defined in terms of intellectual achievement. Notice how the humanist solution to every problem known to man is more education, as if a well-trained mind will lead to virtuous living. Is premarital sex and its related diseases rampant? We need sex education? Does a teenage boy drive too fast and get speeding tickets? He needs more driver education. And on it goes.
Now I’m not saying that our brothers who propose the superiority of Christian schools over homeschooling are Enlightenment lackeys. But I believe they are showing a bias toward intellectual achievement that is not drawn from the Bible.
Wow, disparaging the Enlightenment and declaring that intellectual achievement should be drawn from the Bible… this is beginning to sound like…
Well, if Robinson was really into this stuff he’d be a follower of Rushdoony’s, wouldn’t he?
Guess what… (yeah, you couldn’t see this one coming, could you?), Robinson has several references to Rushdoony on his curriculum site, here, here, and here. The latter is an essay by Rushdoony on writing, a subject about which Robinson rants in several places.
Ok, but how can Robinson be worse than Rand Paul, given the Paul’s soft-on-racism stance?
In one place Robinson makes a plea:
My advice to homeschool parents is to teach geography, history, and government largely from books which were written in the 1950’s and earlier, before it became popular to teach overt racism under the rubric of “multiculturalism.”
First, racism is morally wrong. It should not be taught to students. Second, the world is composed of people of many different races and background with whom your students will interact as they go through life. Every person they meet during their lives must have an equal opportunity in their eyes—eyes that have been trained to see the similarities between all human beings and not the differences.
Racism has no place in the education of an upright young Christian—it is a false religion. Teach the truth to your students. Leave lies like “multiculturalism” and other racist activities to the schools of the secular humanist state.
Sounds quite a bit like something Rand Paul might say, no?
Yet Arthur Robinson, in his curriculum, strongly pushes not only pre-1960’s books, but even pre-20th century. Robinson is a big fan, and pusher of one G. A. Henty [link to pdf]:
Our initial printing emphasizes the wonderful collection of historical novels written by G. A. Henty. While some of these books have been in print, two-thirds of them have been out of print and generally unavailable to home school readers.
G. A. Henty wrote at a time when the teaching of a deep Christian faith, high moral character, sound ethical principles, a strong work ethic, simple personal humility, and self-confidence based on real accomplishments were considered essential to the education of each young person. This is in sharp contrast to today’s tax-financed schools where these values are deliberately excluded. The Henty books provide training in history and in many of the highest aspects of human character, while holding the attention of the reader with tales of adventure written by a master story teller. Not only do Henty’s heroes serve as excellent examples to people of all ages, his own vocabulary, grammar, and literary skills serve as outstanding examples to young writers, readers, and speakers of the English language. In learning to write, as in learning to speak, the examples that children follow are the most important factors in their accomplishments.
American young people should read not a few Henty books, but all 99 of them. Taken together, they constitute a superb course in world history and an education in some of the the highest aspects of human behavior in the heroes - and in some of the lowest aspects in the villains.
To the modern reader, Henty’s books are notable for their hearty imperialism, undisguised racism, and jingoistic patriotism.
Even a Henty fan (and seller of his books) writes:
The other complaints against Henty amount to charges of racism and imperialism. He might cheerfully admit to his praise and unabashed imperialist proclivity. Against imperialism lie the charges of domination and inconsideration towards conquered peoples. These accusations do contain merit.
You can read Henty’s books online at Google. Here is his Sheer Pluck: books.google.com
Be sure to read say Chapter VIII “To the Dark Continent”. In fact, read more.
This Henty is the person that Arthur Robinson promotes as being the most important writer of literature for young people to read, claiming Henty’s fiction books make for a “superb course in world history.”
So the Republicans of Oregon’s 4th Congressional District nominated (by a wide margin) a pretend-scientist, racist-literature-loving Christian Reconstructionist Survivalist. That district has been electing Democratic Party candidates for some time, so it is not clear to me that Robinson has even Rand Paul’s chance for winning.
Still, Robinson illustrates well the condition of the GOP in 2010.
PS. Oh - special bonus! Robinson is a Ron Paul supporter!