The global school board: by rejoining UNESCO, the U.S. government is aiding the UN's grab for power and boosting the Earth Charter crusade to paganize our children. (Education).
Although children are not allowed to pray in the government schools to the one true God who made the cosmos and everything in it (including our planet), they are being encouraged, under the new "global spirituality," to adopt the pagan religions of indigenous cultures and to worship the Earth itself. The UN-appointed high priest of the new Earth cult, Mr. Gorbachev, has declared his creed: "Cosmos is my God; Nature is my God." Will your children follow him, chanting their mantras of praise to the Earth goddess Gaia, or some jungle deity or sacred dung beetle? You will not have much say in the matter, if Gorbachev and company have their way. And they do intend to have their way. Thanks to President Bush and a compliant Congress, these Earth Charter evangelists recently received a major boost to their sinister crusade.
Earth Charter Stealth Campaign
Last year President Bush announced his decision to have the United States rejoin UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the principal UN organ promoting the Earth Charter. Congress has already appropriated the funds, and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars are now flowing into the UNESCO coffers to fund its subversive programs. The Earth Charter is one of UNESCO's major efforts, but far from its only concern. The one-world architects at the UN have big designs for UNESCO: They intend for it to become the global school board that will set global academic standards, design and certify curricula, guide school accreditation standards, monitor national educational compliance with UN mandates, fund education programs -- and much more.
"As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to UNESCO"' said President Bush, in his address to the United Nations on September 12, 2002. "This organization has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning." Anyone who surveys UNESCO's programs will quickly see good reason to question these claims of reform and will find absolutely chilling any suggestion that we "participate fully in its mission."
How, pray tell, might UNESCO assist our children in "tolerance and learning"? One of the principal ways, it appears, is through an already prepared and operational global curriculum based on the Earth Charter. It is an indoctrination program designed to produce children who will be ardent one-world, New Age socialists. The Earth Charter Commission that drew up this new "sacred" text was co-chaired by Mr. Gorbachev, a lifelong Communist, and Maurice Strong, the Canadian billionaire socialist who served as secretary-general of the 1992 Earth Summit. Joined by Steven Rockefeller and other UN-designated "wise persons," these anointed lu- minaries produced a document perfectly suited to UNESCO's global collectivist agenda.
As the Earth Charter itself declares, "we urgently need a shared vision of basic values to provide an ethical foundation for the emerging world community." This grand "shared vision of basic values" was formally unveiled to the world last September at the United Nations World Summit on Biological Diversity (Earth Summit II) in Johannesburg, South Africa. * Transported to the UN summit in the Ark of Hope, a sacrilegious parody of the sacred Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible, the Earth Charter was presented for all to venerate and adopt as the life-guiding new holy scripture. Although most Americans still have not heard of the Earth Charter, they will soon feel its dangerous impact. The Charter is being adopted and accepted by schools, universities, cities, counties, churches, businesses, and professional groups as a basic handbook providing moral direction for all human action, including all legislation and public policy.
The Earth Charter Initiative organization, one of the document's major proponents, refers to the Charter as "a soft law instrument that provides an ethical foundation for the ongoing development of environmental and sustainable development law." In globalese this means that widespread adoption and acceptance of the seemingly innocuous Earth Charter ("soft law") will lead, inexorably, to the adoption of later "hard law' as exemplified by UN environmental and social treaties, such as those concerning deforestation, global warming, biological diversity, sustainability, habitat, children's rights, etc. These treaties involve significant transfers of jurisdiction and power to international institutions within the UN system.
Give Me That Earth-friendly Religion
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the UNESCO curriculum promoting the Earth Charter is the blatant proselytizing for pagan "Earth-friendly" religions. A none-too-subtle theme permeating the UNESCO programs is that these alternative (good) religions offer belief systems and lifestyles in harmony with nature and Mother Earth, in contrast with (bad) Christianity and Western Civilization, which are supposedly exploitive of, and antagonistic toward, nature.
This slant toward "indigenous" religions infuses UNESCO's Internet curriculum, entitled Teaching and Learning for a Sustamable Future. In one lesson, for instance, students study the sustainable lifestyles of the people of the Anapurna region of Nepal. They read an interview with Mm Bahadur Gurung, a village elder, who explains: "Our culture and religion provide education for nature conservation. In every village we have a forest sanctuary where we worship our forest god. The forest is prohibited from any use.... Our sacred forests are set aside above our village.... Our forests shape our lifestyles and behaviours."
Likewise, in a companion interview, Om Bahadur Gurung, a Buddhist priest, tells the students: "We respect the forest because it is the home of our god.... We tell people not to cut down trees and not to kill animals."
Ah yes: peace, harmony, unity, interdependence, sustainability. Enlightened, selfless, tree-hugging Buddhists versus rapacious, tree-killing, Christian loggers. The choice is obvious -- once students have been sufficiently steeped in green theology. After reading the interviews with the Anapurna tree god worshipers, the students are instructed to "identify the relevance of the nine principles for sustainable living followed by people in the Anapurna area" and compare it to their own religion. The pupils are then told to "rate the relevance of each of the nine principles of sustainable living to your chosen religion," and to "summarise how people in your chosen religion do (or perhaps do not) practice these principles."
The UNESCO curriculum materials are replete with similar lessons extolling the supposedly superior wisdom and ecological sensitivity of pantheistic "indigenous spirituality." A robust diet of this classroom fare will surely transform many erstwhile Christian children into fervent pagans.
"Transformation" and "fundamental change" are central themes in the UNESCO and Earth Charter agendas. But what must be changed and transformed? Everything, say the new messiahs. The Preamble to the Earth Charter warns: "An unprecedented rise in human population has overburdened ecological and social systems. The foundations of global security are threatened." To avert global catastrophe, it declares, we must "form a global partnership to care for Earth and one another or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life. Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions, and ways of living." (Emphasis added.)
"As never before in history," the Charter says in its conclusion, "common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning." This, it insists with evangelical fervor, "requires a change of mind and heart. It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility." Accordingly, the document declares that we "have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom" initiated by the "global dialogue" that brought forth the Earth Charter.
Green Outside, Red Inside
To those familiar with the Earth Charter's genesis and UNESCO's history, it will come as no surprise to learn that the transformation envisioned by the UN's global savants is one which would change each of us into a submissive, obedient socialist and dutiful world citizen.
The germs of the Earth Charter can be found in many of the writings and speeches of Mikhail Gorbachev and the programs of the State of the World conferences hosted by the Gorbachev Foundation. Over the past decade, these mini-summits of the one-world elite and New Age gurus have served to hone the new global ethic embodied in the Charter.
One of the keys to understanding the real meaning behind the Earth Charter's fuzzy, feel-good, globo-speak is Mr. Gorbachev's 1995 book, The Search for a New Beginning: Developing a New Civilization. In fact, the above quoted passage from the Charter about humanity seeking "a new beginning" appears to have been recycled from the cover of his book. Having been appointed at the 1992 Earth Summit to head the Earth Charter Commission that would draft this wondrous new document, Gorbachev had, by 1995, worked out its main contours in his The Search for a New Beginning.
A close reading confirms what is overwhelmingly evident from his other productions as well: Despite cleverly polished rhetoric couched in terms meant to convey the popular impression in the West that he has broken completely with his Communist totalitarian past, Gorbachev is still a Bolshevik and is still committed to the glorious socialist revolution.
"First of all," Gorbachev writes, "we must return to the well-known human values that are embodied in the ideals of the world religions and also in the socialist ideas that inherited much from those values." (Emphasis added.) In typical Marxist fashion, he declares that "the wealth of some means the poverty of others," and he posits that in the "new civilization" he envisions, "cooperation will gradually supplant competition." He insists that "the values of the Western world are becoming more and more anachronistic," and that we should, therefore, "take a sober and unprejudiced view of the strengths and weaknesses of collectivism." (Emphasis in original.) It is clear that he has thrown in "weaknesses" to give the appearance of objectivity, but it is the alleged strengths of collectivism that he is vigorously promoting. This is consistent with the vision expounded in his earlier book, Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World. In that masterpiece of deception, he admitted that Soviet dictator and mass-murderer V. I. Lenin was "an ideological source of Perestroika." Of Lenin he rhapsodized: "His very image is an underlying example of lofty moral strength, all-around spiritual culture and selfless devotion to the cause of the people and to socialism." All of which is well to keep in mind when reading the Earth Charter's appeals to moral, spiritual, and cultural "norms" and "values."
Gorbachev and his Earth Charter comrades are after global collectivism, under a global government. A paramount requirement of our time, says Gorbachev in The Search for a New Beginning, "is unqualified compliance with international law. Today, international law is the product of the collective efforts of virtually all states that comprise the United Nations. What they create must be put into effect with unswerving determination." (Emphasis added.)
This is nothing if not an open appeal to transform the UN into a global legislature, and it at least implies that this legislative authority should be backed up by force. How else would its laws be "put into effect with unswerving determination"? The Earth Charter echoes this appeal, urging steps toward "hard" international law. In its penultimate paragraph, it declares: "In order to build a sustainable global community, the nations of the world must renew their commitment to the United Nations, fulfill their obligations under existing international agreements, and support the implementation of Earth Charter principles with an international legally binding instrument on environment and development."
Among the many UN agreements that Gorbachev and UNESCO are pushing is Agenda 21, the mammoth, socialist ecomanifesto that emerged from the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Agenda 21 is an Orwellian plan for regulating all human activity and regimenting every person on Earth. UNESCO's Educating for a Sustainable Future tells students that "the kind of change required by sustainability implicates each community, each household, each individual." Next, the students learn that "all over the world people are working together to build a sustainable future at the local level." And these people are building this sustainable future, we find out, by implementing "the local community version of Agenda 21," efforts known as "Local Agenda 21 initiatives." One of the many lies that UNESCO transmits to the unsuspecting youngsters in this lesson is that these "local" initiatives are local. In truth, they are top-down programs built on the Soviet model in which the Communist Party produces a central plan and then sends it d own the ranks for local soviets (councils) to implement, under a facade of local participation and input.
Education in Sustainable Deception
The socialist bent of the Earth Charter/UNESCO program is to be expected, considering the history of UNESCO and the makeup of the Earth Charter Commission. Chairman Gorbachev is surrounded by like-minded comrades. Take Leonardo Boff, for instance. This revolutionary Franciscan monk has been at the center of radical Marxist activity and liberation theology in Latin America for decades. He has been called on the carpet repeatedly by Pope John Paul II and Vatican officials. This distinction obviously qualified Boff, above all the other possible candidates from among thousands of Catholic clerics, for a spot on the Earth Charter Commission.
Recently, Friar Boff was one of the featured celebrity participants at the 2nd World Education Forum, held in January in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The overarching theme for the conference, cosponsored by UNESCO and hosting thousands of teachers from around the globe, was "Education and Transformation: Public Education in the Construction of a Possible New World." The Earth Charter shared center stage with Boff in a session entitled, "Living together: understanding and living the Earth Charter." According to an enthusiastic report from the Earth Charter Initiative, "Boff closed the session with a highly inspirational oration in which he quoted several times from the copy of the Earth Charter he was holding tightly onto." The same report noted that Boff was joined in the session by members of the Paulo Freire Institute, a center of revolutionary activity named for Paulo Freire, a Marxist educator from Brazil who worked closely with UNESCO and various Communist regimes around the world.
As with all utopian schemes, the Earth Charter's master planners have greatly emphasized transforming the younger generation. Thus, the Earth Charter Initiative's website declares: "The Earth Charter values and principles must be taught, contemplated, applied and internalized. To this end, the Earth Charter needs to be incorporated into both formal and non-formal education. This process must involve various communities, continue to integrate the Charter into the curriculum of schools and universities, and constitute an ongoing process of life-long learning." We're talking total saturation indoctrination here -- lifelong.
It also says this: "We seek to increase the participation of young people in utilizing the Earth Charter as a guideline in their work as active agents of change." Of course; having been properly catechized in the new Earth ethic, the juvenile disciples will become militant change agents to help usher in the new civilization.
Synthesis, a paper produced by the Earth Charter Education Advisory Committee in 2001 "to articulate an educational philosophy for the Earth Charter and identify priority tasks for the education programme," notes that the Charter "can be used to achieve three key educational objectives: consciousness-raising; application of values and principles to local and global problems; and a call for action and partnership amongst all sectors and actors."
In this, the Advisory Committee appears to have borrowed directly from Paulo Freire's "classic" work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which sets forth, in almost identical terms, a theory and program for transforming children into Marxist activists through the educational process.
According to UNESCO's website, "education for a sustainable future should permeate the entire school curriculum, with every subject area, at every year level, dealing with aspects of sustainability in some way." It lists some of the subject areas: "Agricultural Studies, Home Economics, The Arts, Mathematics, Commerce and Business Studies, Manual Arts and Technology, First Language Studies, Religious Education, Second Language Studies, Science, Health and Physical Education, Social Studies."
Yes, sustainability is the sacred totem before which all must bow. Its dogma "should permeate the entire school curriculum," says UNESCO. Yet UNESCO admits that there is "no agreed definition" on the meaning of sustainability! "Much has been written in academic terms about the meaning of sustainable development and the need to integrate ecological and economic principles into personal and public decision-making," notes Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future. "However," it continues, "there is no agreed definition of the concept and perhaps there is no need for one. This is because sustainable development concerns a process of change.... Thus, sustainable development is an 'emerging concept'" How absolutely convenient! The would-be global dictators who intend to micromanage every facet of every life on Earth can thus make up new definitions for this "emerging concept" to fit their needs as they go.
The vast majority of your friends, neighbors, and pastors still have not seen or heard of the Earth Charter. Most of them also know very little about UNESCO. Both of these emerging forces soon will be coming onto center stage. We know this is so because of two major developments: the U.S. return to UNESCO and the recent multi-billion dollar commitment of the World bank to the global UNESCO-driven Education For All program. These developments are providing an enormous jumpstart in prestige and financial aid to UNESCO and the Earth Charter. Here are some other indicators:
* On February 13, 2003, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige helped launch UNESCO's Literacy Decade.
* The School Sisters of Notre Dame, a teaching order of Catholic nuns, have launched an educational campaign focused on the Earth Charter in their schools throughout North America.
* All 35 members teaching "The University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future" at Florida Gulf Coast University use the Earth Charter. This class is a graduation requirement in all five colleges of the university.
* The Global Higher Education for Sustainability Partnership -- a partnership of the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, Copernicus-Campus, the International Association of Universities, and UNESCO -- is working to "develop and disseminate college-level teaching materials on 'Earth Ethics and Sustainable Development'" based on the Earth Charter.
* The Global Elementary Model United Nations, a worldwide elementary school program, adopted the Earth Charter as its overarching theme for 2002 and asked participating students to use UNESCO teaching materials on the Charter.
* "Earth Charter: Pathway to a Sustainable Future" is the title of a course taught by Dr. Laurie Thorp at Michigan State University.
* Earth Scouts, a new national youth program, was launched last year "based on the Earth Charter: A Declaration of Interdependence," with badges for the Charter's 16 principles.
* The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and Prescott College have endorsed the Earth Charter, with plans to eventually integrate it into all departments.
* The U.S. Conference of Mayors and many organizations and local governments have endorsed the Charter.
* Mr. Gorbachev will be traveling in the United States this year to promote the Charter.
* The Ark of Hope and Earth Charter are being taken to U.S. cities and communities to aid the campaign for its adoption.
The Earth Charter stealth campaign is now coming into the open. UNESCO is preparing for massive expansion. These dual threats must be confronted in their early stages; now is the time for parents, educators, pastors, and concerned citizens to become alarmed, informed, and active in stopping these threats, before their insidious influences become embedded in our schools, communities, and local governments.
* See "The New World Religion" in THE NEW AMERICAN for September 23, 2002. A link to this article is located at www.thenewamerican.com/focus/earth_charter/.