Who is HLSDA?

HSLDA was founded by Michael P. Farris. Below is background information concerning Mr. Farris:

The election of Ronald Reagan gave increased impetus to right-wing moral crusaders. Under the leadership of attorney Michael Farris in the early 1980s, the Washington state Moral Majority sued the State Library for a list of school districts or their employees who had checked out a sex education film called ‘Achieving Sexual Maturity.’ The suit was dropped after the library said no school districts had checked out the film… (After the Moral Majority folded, Farris moved out of the state.

In 1993, he ran unsuccessfully as the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, gaining 46 percent of the vote.)

Report on the Religious Right in Washington State
by Dan Junas, June 1, 1995

In June of 1998, five prominent Religious Right leaders signed a joint letter urging support for Ashcroft’s presidential bid, saying, ‘America needs a dedicated man of faith, experienced in government, who has displayed the integrity expected of those who would seek the highest office in the land.’ The signers were Robertson attorney Jay Sekulow, home schooling advocate Michael Farris, censorship proponent Donald Wildmon, longtime Religious Right activist Paul Weyrich and Tim LaHaye, a fundamentalist pastor and coauthor of a series of best-selling pot-boiler novels giving his view of the end of the world…

While fighting to keep his Senate seat in 2000, Ashcroft received broader financial support from the Religious Right than any other Senate candidate. Former Family Research Council head Gary Bauer’s Campaign For Working Families gave Ashcroft $2,500. Farris’ Madison Project Fund, school prayer booster William Murray’s ‘Government Is Not God’ political action committee and Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum also contributed financial support.

The Religious Right’s Hand-Picked Attorney General
John Ashcroft, January 9, 2001

Patrick Henry College
Founded by Michael Farris

The stated vision of Patrick Henry College is ‘to aid in the transformation of American society by training Christian students to serve God and mankind….’ The mission of the Department of Government at Patrick Henry College is ‘to promote practical application of biblical principles and the original intent of the founding documents of the American Republic.…’

It is impossible for Patrick Henry College to promote at the same time two mutually exclusive goals. Patrick Henry College cannot at the same time promote the Biblical covenant model of civil government and the social contract inherent in the U.S. Constitution. Patrick Henry College cannot at the same time promote the religious test oath the Bible requires of the civil magistrate and the prohibition of the religious test oath in Article VI of the U.S. Constitution. It is only by obfuscating the true nature of biblical covenantalism that Patrick Henry College can pretend to accomplish this goal…

There is much more interesting reading here:

Contemporary Authors with Federalist Perspective

Given the way Farris has spent most of his public life, it’s not hard to understand why some view him as an extremist. This is, after all, a guy who first entered civic life urging advertisers to boycott a TV station that aired “The Deer Hunter” because it contained obscene words. A guy who tried to get “The Learning Tree,” a book honored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, removed from a high school curriculum as blasphemous. A guy who chooses to teach his eight children at home, rather than surrender them to a “godless” public education system — a system that he says promotes “evolution, hedonism and one-world government.”

Farris is the kind of candidate whose good-natured smiles pique voters’ optimism. But there is rhetoric from his past that might send shivers up some voters’ spines. He’s a candidate who looks a little like Bobby Kennedy but sounds more like Bob Roberts.

In a 1981 debate with another ACLU official, Farris exploded when his opponent postulated that the theory of a husband being ordained by God as the head of the family was misogynistic.

According to a newspaper report, Farris “suddenly turned to fulmination and shouted, ‘I take serious offense… This is one of the most unbelievable things I’ve ever heard. I don’t appreciate your slander against the word of God.'”

Farris eventually prompted a local backlash, in the form of a group of Olympia residents who incorporated themselves as the “Immoral Minority.” They essentially dedicated themselves to taunting Farris and his organization. “I’m not sure he qualified as the leader of a mass movement, but that sure didn’t stop him from promoting himself,” says Bob Shirley, one of the group’s founders. “His ego could fill a good-sized gymnasium. I think he skipped the part in the Bible about humility.”

This was a lengthy article, a profile of Mr. Farris.

Mike Farris, For God’s Sake Does He Have a Prayer of Becoming Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor?
Yes — and some say that’s the problem.
Washington Post – August 5, 1993
(No Longer Available Online)

According to Clarkson:

Many other Christian Right thinkers and activists have also been significantly influenced by Reconstructionism: the late Francis Schaeffer, whose book A Christian Manifesto was an influential call to evangelical political action that sold two millions copies; John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, a Christian Right legal group, and Michael Farris, 1993 GOP candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia, among others.”

Many references to Mike Farris are included in
Reconstruction Theology and Home Education
by Mary McCarthy

Social Network Diagram for Michael P. Farris
Posted – June 20 2003: 11:47:30 AM

Oh my – you’ve been busy. I have some stuff on the Moral Majority in WA. I did some research but was never able to actually connect Michael Farris to the founding or management of the WA chapter of the Moral Majority. In a nutshell, this is it, but as you read remember that Stephen Bates’ information is based on interviews with Michael Farris. I bought the annual reports from the state.

—- In 1980, Michael Farris founded the Washington State chapter of The Moral Majority. (Stephen Bates, Battleground, One Mother’s Crusade, the Religious Right, and the Struggle for Our Schools, New York: Henry Holt and Co. Inc., 1993, page 114. ISBN 0-8050-3516-8)

In 1980, Michael Farris founded the Moral Majority chapter in Washington State during which time he sued the Mead School District to remove from their curriculum Gordon Park’s novel The Learning Tree. Two levels of federal courts rejected his arguments. He further “sued the Washington State Library to get a list of any school districts or school employees that had borrowed the explicit film Achieving Sexual Maturity. He dropped the case before trial.” (Stephen Bates, op cit., page 114.) “In October of 1980, Michael Farris, executive director of Moral Majority of Washington State, claimed that his membership of 12,000 was the largest of the fifty state chapters. By simple arithmetic, if every state had that many members, Moral Majority would be 600,000 strong – not 2 to 3 million.” (Jeffrey K. Hadden and Charles E. Swann, Prime Time Preachers: The Rising Power of Televangelism, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, page 164.)

Other sources also indicate Michael Farris was head of Moral Majority of Washington and The Bill of Rights Legal Foundation in the early 1980’s. The 1981 Washington state annual report for Moral Majority of Washington indicates Michael P. Farris was the registered agent but not an officer or director of the corporation. The Bill of Rights Legal Foundation was an active Washington corporation from November 9, 1982 until August 6, 1990. Washington State annual reports for 1985-1990 do not list Michael P. Farris as and officer, director or agent for the Bill of Rights Legal Foundation. (Washington Secretary of State, State Modular Office Bldg., Tumwater WA 98504. Annual Reports for The Bill of Rights Legal Foundation (corporation account #23238330), 116 Lee St., Tumwater WA 98501; 1985-1990. Moral Majority of Washington (corporation #D299694) annual report dated January 5, 1981, Michael P. Farris, registered agent, 2610 Pines Road, Spokane WA 99206. President Pastor Duane Wells, Vice President Pastor Keel Dresback, Secretary/treasurer Pastor Michael Hanford, Directors Pastor Don Strong, Pastor Ken Blue, Pastor Dennis Brown, Pastor Ray Morrison, Pastor Scott Montagne.)

Michael Farris indicates the name of the Washington Moral Majority chapter was changed to Bill of Rights Legal Foundation. He likened it to ‘People for the American Way’ being an arrogant name because it assumes “that anyone not in sympathy with this group’s aims in un-American.” He suggests that the name of any organization is important to gain acceptance, particularly in a political sense. (Cromartie, Michael Editor, Disciples & Democracy: Religious Conservatives and the Future of American Politics, Grand Rapids MI: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1994, page 97. )

“Many other Christian Right thinkers and activists have also been significantly influenced by Reconstructionism: the late Francis Schaeffer, …and Michael Farris, 1993 GOP candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia, among others.

During Michael Farris‘ campaign for Lt. Governor in 1993, charges of extremism continued to follow him. Much was made of the fact that his name appeared as a co-author of a policy paper by a group called Coalition on Revival, which has called for the United States to reclaim itself as a ‘Christian nation.’ (Farris says that he only worked on an early draft of the document and that the organization included his name without his permission.)” (Leslie Kaufman, “Life Beyond God,” New York Times Magazine, October 16, 1994.)

“Farris’s name appears among ninety-seven Christian intellectuals who signed the Coalition for Revival’s 1986 ‘manifesto’ which declares, “We believe America can be turned around and once again function as a Christian nation as it did in it’s earlier years. The document lists Farris and…Virginia C. Armstrong as co-authors of the section entitled ‘The Christian World View of the Law,’ which states, ‘We affirm that a society must inevitably choose between conflicting legal foundations and views of law and should choose Christian views and a Christian foundation because the Christian system is vastly superior to all alternatives.” Farris denies ever signing the document or co-writing the section on a Christian view of the law although Armstrong recalls that she and Farris wrote different parts of the section and “he certainly seemed to be in general agreement” of the finished version. (Rozell and Wilcox Second Coming The New Christian Right in Virginia Politics, Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, page 103-104.) He continued to deny past statements and claim others were taken out of context throughout the campaign.

The Christian World View of the Law is posted at COR’s website: http://www.reformation.net/cor/cordocs/law.pdf

For those who want a wide-lens view of major HS player Michael Farris:
More than a dozen briefs throw support to Texas in sodomy lawsuit

Alliance Defense Fund lists Mike Farris and his Center for the Original Intent of the Constitution as among a dozen who filed briefs at the United States Supreme Court in support of Texas’s sodomy law.
Here is the direct link to his brief, in PDF form:

Amazon.com’s list of books authored by Mike Farris:

Va. Senate Candidates Disclose Campaign Contributions
By Andrew Martel
The Winchester Star
Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Middleburg Vice Mayor Mark Tate, who had the lowest fund-raising numbers for the last reporting cycle, was the top collector in this cycle, which ran from Jan. 1 through March 31…Tate also has a $250 donation from Michael P. Farris, the president of Patrick Henry College who organized a Feb. 15 Republican caucus aimed at beating Potts in the primary and running a more conservative candidate in the general election.”

CASE TITLE: Michael P. Farris, Petitioner, v. Ralph Munro, as Secretary of State, et al, Respondents. NATURE OF ACTION: The petitioner sought an injunction preventing the Governor from enforcing the state lottery act or, alternatively, to compel the Secretary of State to accept referendum petitions on the act. Supreme Court: By an order dated August 17, 1982, the court DENIED the requested relief. In this opinion giving the reasons for the denial, the court holds that the petitioner had standing to challenge the actions of state officials, that the constitutional amendment permitting lotteries was proper in form, and that the legislation establishing the state lottery was necessary for the support of state government and not subject to referendum. COUNSEL: MICHAEL P. FARRIS, pro se.

Michael P. Farris argued the cause for appellant, New was informed that his unit would be deployed in October of that year as part of the U.N. Force. Id. New learned that, as a member of that force, he would be required to wear a U.N. shoulder patch on his uniform and distinctive, blue U.N. headgear. New objected to the particular uniform requirements as unlawful. He informed his squad leader and platoon leader that he would not comply with those requirements unless they were shown to be justified by constitutional authority.

Mike Farris is listed as a member of Council for National Policy.

His bio there reads: Michael P. Farris – CNP Member 1996, 1998; Baptist minister; attorney, specializing in constitutional law; president, Virginia chapter, National Federation of Republican Assemblies; chairman and founder, Home School Legal Defense Association; chairman, Christian Solidarity International (CSI) in USA and steering committee for CS International; international vice president, former general counsel, Concerned Women for America; member of the steering committee of Jay Grimstead’s Coalition on Revival (COR); 1993 Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia; delegate to Virginia and National Republican Conventions; appointed to National Republican Education Task Force; appointed to Republican governor George Mien’s Blue Ribbon Strike Force; author, Where Do I Draw the Line; Constitutional Law for Christian Students, Home Schooling and the Law, The Homeschooling Father; frequent speaker on college campuses. President, Patrick Henry College; Director, National Christian Forensics and Communications Association;Formerly known as Christian Response International (CRI), Christian Solidarity U.S.A.(CSI) is devoted to the pursuit of religious freedom and the support of Christian individuals and religious organizations in countries which it has identified as lacking freedom of religion. Founded in l983 as CRI, the organization changed its name in l987 or early l988… The organization is the U.S. affiliate of Christian Solidarity International, based in Zurich and established there in l977.(1)

Other members of CSI include CNP’s David Breese, president of Christian Destiny and a member of the National Advisory Board of the right-wing evangelical lobby, Christian Voice. D. James Kennedy (CNP) is on the Religious Roundtable and a former member of the Executive Committee of the Coalition for Religious Freedom.(1) Chris Smith is congressional advisor to Christian Voice.(1) Joon Gon Kim is the director of Southeast Asia programs for Campus Crusade for Christ.(1). [Group Watch: CSUSA]
Coalition for Religious Freedom
: Started by Rep. George Hansen in 1984. CFR Executive committee members have included Tim LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, James Robison, Rex Humbard, D. James Kennedy, and Jimmy Swaggart. “…According to CRF president Dan Sills, [CRF] has received at least $500,000 from Moon sources.

A prominent CRF spokesperson and executive committee member is Joseph Paige…Paige received $60,000 from the Unification Church for his school, which in turn gave Moon a much publicized honorary doctorate. Paige is also active in CAUSA.” [1986] “the Moon organization opened an international front in its ‘religious freedom” campaign. According to Moon’s New York City Tribune, the World Council on Religious Liberty (WCRL) was founded in December 1986…The Chairman of WCRL is Joseph Paige, and its “Chairman of the North American Caucus is Don Sills. They have recruited Dr. Robert G. Muller, assistant Secretary general of the United Nations as chairman of the Council’s International Advisory Committee. The Council’s headquarters are in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is also home to Paige’s Shaw Divinity School.”
[Covert Action # 27, p. 42] Full listing of CNP members.

Also according to Group Watch, Mike Farris “was counsel and is on the board of governors of the Concerned Women for America Legal Defense Foundation.”

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