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The Lie: Evolution

Textbook War


Compiled by Karl C. Priest








Items are not arranged by priority.
(Typos are corrected when found without changing “update” reference.)

LAST UPDATE: 1-19-17


There is ample material to set the record straight.
Gold nuggets of truth will glitter among piles of gray gravel propaganda.

Many accusations are repeated multiple times in separate articles and reports. No attempt has been made here to cite every inaccuracy although some duplication (not identical) have been arbitrarily included.

For detailed documentation of how
the propaganda has been perpetuated

In order to fully understand the protesters as the Courageous Corps of ’74 and
the good citizens and patriots they really were


The Kanawha County Textbook War was arguably one of the top three non-catastrophe events in West Virginia history. It also ranks in the top echelon of conservative history in America. The Kanawha County Textbook War has generated multiple articles, research papers, chapters in books and entire books.

The citations on this page are not intended to insinuate that the authors were in agreement with the protesters. To the contrary, the purpose is to demonstrate that even the most biased writer or researcher discloses facts that contradict the widely held misconceptions of the protesters. The folks who stood up for their children and their country in 1974 were good people—the kind of folks most Americans would want to have as neighbors. It is time that the truth is told!

Religion was a key factor in determining how one felt about the books, but it was not only the protesters’ religion. The June 25, 1974 Charleston Gazette had an article “Ten Clergymen Endorse Books” in which liberal preachers expressed their “complete confidence in the professionalism and competence of the selection committee.” There is no way they actually read the books. So much for the ability of the selection committee--eight of the books were quickly rejected by the board of education. Charleston Gazette 6-28-74

Paul Cowan (author of The Tribes of America) was a self-described “political radical” and part of the “New York left” (13) wrote for the ultra-liberal Village Voice when he came to Kanawha County in 1974. His experience resulted in a chapter he titled “A Fight over America’s Future.” Cowan discovered that the war was mainly between Baptists and Episcopalians. He wrote, “The immediate issue was the textbooks that would be used in the schools. But the battle was really a cultural civil war between fundamentalist Christians and secular humanists over the kind of nation their children would inhabit.” (16).

“Reading them (the protested books) I could see, for the first time, how a theist, who was still embittered over the Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw school prayer, could believe that relativism and humanism represent a dogma of their own whose very skepticism implies a set of religious values.” (80) “In Kanawha County they found leaders to articulate their fury at the annihilation of every value they revered. They fought back.” (81) The secular Jew, Cowan, made an amazing statement when he wrote, “You cannot outlaw school prayer and still pretend that secular humanism—momentarily our national creed—does not carry its own deep assumptions about religion.” (90)

Cowan, Paul. The Tribes of America. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977

Dr. Jack Welch, associate professor in the Department of English at West Virginia University, stated that we must “look at the vital area of Appalachian folk religion… which is essential to understanding the textbook controversy. (Welch, Jack. “Cultural Revolution in Appalachia.” The Educational Forum Nov. 1976: 25.)

(O)ne is tempted to draw a comparison between the single action of Mrs. Alice Moore…with the single action of Mrs. Rosa parks…Both actions were initiated by women, both precipitated repercussions in communities that were culturally ready for change, and both found fervent leadership among religious leaders in the communities. ( Welch, Jack. “Cultural Revolution in Appalachia.” The Educational Forum Nov. 1976: 28.)

The existence of this organization (Business and Professional People’s Alliance for Better Textbooks) demonstrates that the protest cannot be characterized simply as a fundamentalist working-class or rural-based movement. Page, Ann L. & Clelland, Donald A. “The Kanawha County Textbook Controversy: A Study of the Politics of Life Style Concern.” Social Forces Sept. 1978: 271.
Paul Cowan attended a rally of two thousand (at least) protesters at the Charleston Civic Center. He described the protesters swaying back and forth while singing while waving “their right hands in the air to show they were born-again Christians.” (Cowan, Paul. The Tribes of America. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977: 91.) I (Karl Priest) was there and do not remember any swaying. Even if there was, so what? It is unclear if Cowan was being derisive. Would he have made a similar comment regarding a typical black church service? I have attended many services with black brother and sister Christians and participated in some spiritual swaying. Anyway, the folks with their hands in the air (left, or right or both in my and many other cases) were not signifying their salvation. Lifting hands upward is a common means of worship and praise. So much for Mr. Cowan understanding of Christians

Oddly Paul Cowan, was upset that Marvin Horan (protest preacher leader) quoted the third commandment (Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Deuteronomy 5:11). He said that Horan “threatened his audience.” (Cowan, Paul. The Tribes of America. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977: 91.) Why a Jewish man would feel threatened by a quote from the Old Testament since the same scripture is in his Pentateuch/Torah.

The leader of the pro-bookers*, liberal James Lewis deceitfully claimed to be a peace-maker. However he preached a sermon that mocked the protesters as blaming permissiveness for "every ill from flat feet to student rioting." Thoughout the protest, and the years since, Rev. Lewis has exhibited his own form of religious fervor. New York Times, 9-16-74, pg. 16

Frequently (one citation: Franklin, Ben. “Schools Closed in Textbook Rift.” New York Times: September 16, 1974: 16) the preachers who led the protest are referred to as “self-ordained.” The term is derogatory and its use in regard to the particular pastors Graley, Hill, Horan, Quigley, and Thaxton is erroneous. The implication is that thee men simply started calling themselves “Reverend” one day. Here is the truth.

Charles Quigley received a bachelor’s degree in theology from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. Liberals will hold that degree in distain since it is not from a seminary such as Virginia Episcopal Seminary from which pro-book* leader James Lewis graduated. But, let’s get back to Quigley’s school.

A bunch of men from a small community voted to start a college. Originally it was named after a preacher and had as its purpose to train fundamentalist ministers. The school’s motto is “Truth for Christ and the Churchand the rules state “ Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedom, let everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of Him (Prov. 2:3). Everyone shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in theoretical observations of language and logic, and in practical and spiritual truths, as his teacher shall require, according to his ability; seeing the entrance of the word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130)." Oh, wait a minute; I got Quigley’s school mixed up with Harvard. Look up the history of Harvard if you don’t believe me.

Thaxton and Graley, from two different denominations, had similar experiences to each other. After feeling that God had called them to preach, they began delivering sermons when they got a chance. After an indefinite period, a group of mature ministers (a “counsel” for Thaxton and a “board” for Graley) met with them and questioned them extensively. After gaining the approval of the seasoned spiritual leaders, an ordination service was held for each man. After Marvin Horan’s felt the call to preach he studied the Bible for three years before beginning his ministry. He received his License to Preach from the Methodist Church.

In Avis Hill’s denomination, he obtained a license to preach from his church; then served a year being mentored. After that year, an ordination service was held.

Alice Moore’s husband, Darrell, was a Bible major at Freed-Hardeman College, now University. His Church of Christ group doesn’t even use the term “ordination.” After graduation Darrell was appointed by a congregation to preach the Gospel.

Liberals may mock the “getting a call from God” to preach statement. But, the fact is that all liberal preachers had some kind of “call”—maybe from their own motivation--in order to decide to go to seminary. Also, no matter what church one considers, if it is traced back to the origin it had at some point a man who self-ordained himself.

When asked if he had a theology degree Avis Hill said, “M y degree in Kneeology!” Another person bragged about having a master’s degree, to which Avis responded, “Well you have a master’s degree, but I have met the Master!” The title after a man’s name is meaningless. What he does with his life is what matters.

Darwin said we evolved from lower animals. Marx said our history is about competition for money. Freud said instinct (mostly sexual) determines our behavior. All three philosophies place humankind at the mercy and mechanistic forces in our environment and inour nature and exclude reference to transcendent or spiritual dimensions to life…I do not myself accept Dawin, Marx, Freud, or any materialistic doctrine as more than a sort of truth limited by its very materialism, but I think materialism is coming to a head—for purposes of spiritual evolution which it is serving. (234) The "universal truths" just keep getting more comprehensive as we integrate our understanding of the world and evolve in consciousness.” (235) How to save one’s soul and how to save the world are the same. The spiritual way is the practical way. As we identify so we know only by identifying with the culture-free and cosmic nature of a Christ or Buddha does one learn what they tried to teach us and assume their power. (Moffett, James. Storm in the Mountains. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1988) Mr. Moffett was the senior editor of one of the most controversial protested books (Charleston Daily Mail 9-8-74) He admitted that he “expected to spiritualize some of public education.” (103) I guess his religion is an exception to the accusation of forcing religious dogma into “public” schools. For much more on Moffett see "Moffett’s Mystical March".

Sometimes the deprecations of Christianity which the protesters point out are explicit. More often they are implicit and, therefore, even more dangerous. (He goes on to elaborate for five pages.) Hillocks, George, Jr. “Books and Bombs: Ideological Conflict and the Schools—A case Study of the Kanawha County Book Protest.” School Review Vol. 86, No. 4 (Aug., 1978): 642

But they (protesters) do not insist that the doctrine and arguments of fundamental Christianity be taught, or even alluded to, in the schools. Hillocks, George, Jr. “Books and Bombs: Ideological Conflict and the Schools—A case Study of the Kanawha County Book Protest.” School Review Vol. 86, No. 4 (Aug., 1978): 651

Also see: Books and Bombs (Hillocks Hits Some Homeruns)

They (pro-bookers*) did not deny that some of the stories in the books depicted immoral acts of used street language. But that did not bother them. Burger, Robert H. “The Kanawha County Textbook Controversy: A Study of Communications and Power.” Library Quarterly 48.2 (1978): 156.

Because of her (Alice Moore) and her husband’s connections with local churches, she was able to fit her words and the content of her addresses to the expectations of the congregations of these churches and thereby make her arguments highly effective. (Burger, Robert H. “The Kanawha County Textbook Controversy: A Study of Communications and Power.” Library Quarterly 48.2 (1978): 153) This displays a lack of understanding of Mrs. Moore’s Church of Christ doctrine. As I say in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, Protestant churches (especially the Church of Christ) do not have picnics together. There are doctrinal differences. Mrs. Moore’s explanations of the books were not based on “connections” except that the other Christians and conservatives connected the dots about what was about to happen to their children.

"I felt I would be doing a service” he said. “Many of them think they can take over the government and make it a religious heyday. (Byers, Robert J. “Documentary to Feature Textbook Battle.” Charleston Gazette Sept. 23, 1996) That statement is from form Kanawha County Board member, Matthew Kinsolving who was referring to being interviewed for the documentary “With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious right in America.” As a Mason, Kinsolving surely knew the influence of Masons in American government. See “Masonry in US History -- through 1846” by James Davis Carter ( ) For information about the Masonic religion see “The Common thread Addendum” , “Ephesians 5:11” (, and “Ex-Masons for Jesus” (

Humanist liberals understood the battle for the minds of children. "The control of knowledge is the crux of tomorrow's worldwide struggle for power in every human institution." Alvin Toffler ( In an interview with (evolution believing) Toffler (Shane, June Grant and Harold G. “The Role of the Future in Education.” Today’s Education. January-February 1974: 72-76) Toffler said his 1974 book Learning for Tomorrow “was designated as a manifesto for a new reform movement in education.” “We are in the process of creating a new civilization...” (72) “In such a society and in such a period of time I can think of no more important role for education than to serve as one of the great adaptive mechanisms both for the social system as whole and the individual within it.” (72-73) “We realize that values are inculcated and transmitted in virtually any interaction between human beings. Therefore, despite our attempts to provide ‘objective’ curriculum or neutral cognitive materials, we find it cannot be done.” “It is a crime against learners to make them go through the educational process without at some point—if not at all points—encouraging them to ask themselves some serious questions, such as what life is for, why they pursue one direction instead of another, and why some things seem more valuable to them than others.” “For example, if we face serious problems of overpopulation, should I have more than one child or even one child?” (76)

Toffler sounds like a humanist to me. "We cannot say whether the emerging world will be mostly "good" or mostly "evil" because the very definitions of these terms will change, and it is not we, but our children and their children who will do the judging, according to their own values." (

I cannot unequivocally state that humanism (as the religion it is) was being knowingly evangelized by educational scholars in the 1970s. The term “humanism” was certainly used quite often. An article in the National Education Association magazine featured the term. (Smarr, Erwin R and Escoll, Phillip. “Humanism and the American Work Ethic.” Today’s Education. January-February 1974: 83-85) From that article we read these gems: “(W) have just been through about six years of a social revolution in which the rebelous youth culture attacked and rejected a good many of the values that make up the patterns of American middle-class life-style. The humanistic revolution had many targets...” (83-84) “In place of reason and responsibility, there was substituted the ethnic of pleasure and responsibility only to oneself.” “The whole movement was not without its effects, however. Witness the influence it has indeed had upon the educational system...” (84) “Do we not now more than ever need to push for renewed emphasis on humanism in American life—this time not only from a youthful revolt but, raher, from an enlightened adult dedication?” (85) That sure looks like a plan to me. Those who disagree (as the National Education Association panel did) will claim the word simply refers to “being human” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, 142). That sounds reasonable, but in reality it is based upon a philosophy that man has unlimited potential and there is no need for God if there even is a god.

Left-wing pro-book* preacher Jim Lewis said, "I can't stand in the pulpit and say go out in the world and live for Jesus. I've got to go out in the world and live for Jesus." "I saw groups of people let something happen in public education that shouldn't happen in public education--that is, indoctrination. They were confused about teaching religion and teaching about religion. They were frightened by a pluralistic society." Lewis described the situation as a marriage between right-wing religions and political factions. Allison, Penny (1976). Public School Textbooks as the Subject of Church-State Controversy, with a Case Study of Kanawha County West Virginia (Masters Thesis). Baylor University, Waco, TX ( p. 43 interview) One could take Lewis’s first statement and put it into the mouths of any of the fundamentalist preachers who were protesters. His so-called “pluralistic society” did not include Bible believing Christians. Also, Lewis did not mention that left-wing religions and political factions were shacking up.

...the West Virginia Council of Churches under the direction of John Price aligned itself with the pro-textbook camp. This council warned that attempts to impose religious ideas or other ideologies on public institutions is "antithetical to the very concept of religious freedom." Allison, Penny (1976). Public School Textbooks as the Subject of Church-State Controversy, with a Case Study of Kanawha County West Virginia (Masters Thesis). Baylor University, Waco, TX ( p. 44) Amen! But, the imposition of liberal religious ideas and ideologies did not bother the liberal Price and his liberal Council of Churches.

It would take only a minute or two to come up with obscenities, controversial stories and situations in the Bible more problematic than any dreamed up by modern textbook writers. In no time at all antibiblical forces could have the protesters’ Bible banned. (Marty, Martin E. “Taking Sides in Kanawha County.” Christian Century November 13, 1974: 1079) What marlarkey! With Christian brothers like Mr. Marty, who needs confused enemies? The Bible (for all practical purposes had already been banned). Christians have been teaching age appropriate Bible stories to children for as long as the Bible has existed.

There were shooting and beating incidents...If this is the way to make America Christian; we want no part of the action.
(“Book burners Alive and Well.” The Christian Century October 9, 1974: 924) As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Some of the most ignorant comments come from professing Christians as I document in item 19 on the Banned Book page. This “Christian” journal, purporting to be reporting the news, unquestioningly reported the propaganda of God-haters and adds an editorial comment to the article. The same article reported: Other clergy (as opposed to preachers leading the protest who were arrested) and the West Virginia Council of Churches tried to calm the situation and initiate dialogue between disputants. That was true to a certain extent. It could be argued that those clergy refused to take a righteous stand over blasphemy of God’s name. Also, conveniently not mentioned, is the fact that some liberal clergy made insulting comments about the protesters (as documented on page 168 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party) and dogmatically led the opposition (as documented throughout Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party). Oh, the protesters were not trying to convert America.

A former teacher told me “I understand why parents are angry. Children tend to believe what they learn in school is right.” The Reverend Marvin Horan, active in opposing the subversive texts, put it this way: “We won’t tolerate children being taught things against the principles that have kept this country great for two hundred years. We can’t take a chance on undermining society by teaching children to rebel against God and their country like those books do.” (Hoar, William P. “Parents Revolt—When Textbooks are Propaganda.” American Opinion Nov. 1974: 7. Mr. Hoar is probably the only conservative writer quoted on these pages. His comments are insightful.)

The common school movement promised to avoid religious issues and teach only the skills and factual information essential for future success. The progressive movement, which rose in protest to the lock-step, memory-based, conservative schools, promised to teach the students to solve problems so they could choose their own values more correctly. The point is neither side wanted any part of the thorny problem of what values should be taught and how it should be done. Watras, Joseph. “The textbook Dispute in West Virginia, A New Form of Oppression.” Educational Leadership October 1975: 21. (The article had one half-page photo of a classroom damaged by a dynamite blast.) Actually, the battle was all about which worldview would by imposed upon public school students.

It would be culturecide if experts joined hands to find ways to help the Appalachian people relinquish their strong hold on family ties, faith in God, and moral certainty so these people could be more accepting of differences and thereby be more successful in schools and society. But the formation of separate schools would also amount to culturecide...Fundamentalism would eventually wither as the children were consistently shown hat moral strength was punished in our society. (Watras, 22) Liberals have no qualms about destroying the culture of Bible believing Christians. Perhaps Professor Watras was unaware of that in 1975. His point about separate schools is arguable. The protesters would say that it is the only hope to save America.

The protestors wanted public funding to send their children to private schools. (Laats, Adam. The Other School Reformers-Conservative Activism in American Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015: 235) In the future, that concept would be known as “vouchers” and even some liberals saw some merit in that idea. Nevertheless, it is arguable that folks should not be forced to pay (taxes) to educate children other than their own and to pay for the indoctrination of their children in pagan schools. In about 25 years, key Christian education leaders (such as Exodus Mandate) realized that there is no Constitutional basis for forced government education and therefore Christians should not have any ties to public money.

On page 68 of Protestor Voices: The 1974 Textbook Tea Party the Protesters were called “‘mobs’ and ‘zealots’ (fanatics)”. In 2016 the American Indians got on the warpath over what they perceived was an assault on their religious values. “The protests are about water, fossil fuels, and questions of tribal sovereignty. But beneath all that, tribes from across the US say they're unifying around revitalized Indian traditions and religion.” ( Media outlets did not call them mobs and zealots (fanatics).

See the addendum to 'Godless Books': The 1974 Kanawha County Textbook Controversy for more points that confirm the Kanawha County Textbook Protesters were not religious fanatics.

*Pro-bookers is a non-complimentary term I use in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party.

This page is based upon points made in a Powerpoint presentation which was prepared to portray the truth about the 1974 textbook protesters to parry the pompous people who have poured propaganda into the public’s perception. Some of the material was overlooked or unavailable when the protesters’ book was being researched. More detailed material can be obtained from Protester Voices: The 1974 Textbook Tea Party. That is a book liberals do not want anyone to read!

The TRUTH is that the Kanawha Coutny Textbook Protesters were true patriots and heroes. They consisted of thousands of humble people who have suffered humiliation because they stood up for children and America in 1974. The Kanawha County Textbook Protesters deserve to be honored.

For documented facts that the Courageous Corps of ’74 were also NOT NARROW-MINDED, NOT IGNORANT, NOT CENSORSNOT VIOLENT, and NOT RACIST--click on each slur. Also, please see PERTINENT POINTS which do not fit the slur categories. Note: Some items may apply to more than one category. In that case the item is placed arbitrarily into whatever I feel is the best fit. The anchor for these particular pages is “The Facts”.

A detailed example of how propagandists disguised as professors have passed deception down the line since 1974 is in “A Tale of Three Tiny Tomes”.

A video is worth a million words. A video is worth a million words. See Textbook War videos and see if you believe your lying eyes and ears.