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Textbook War

Lounging in Liberal Land

By Karl C. Priest October 13, 2010 (revised 4-25-18)

It is rare that I meet a true liberal. Most professing liberals are levobortomites (1) who are much more extreme in their prejudices and religious dogma than any Christian fundamentalist. On Monday (10-11-10), I met a true liberal—the manager of Taylor Books in downtown Charleston. I cannot verify if the establishment leans to the left, but I figure random sample interviews of the clientele would produce an overwhelming amount of Obama followers. That fact alone put the manager between a rock and a hard place when deciding whether or not to give any hint of support for Protester Voices. To the manager’s credit, a book signing was scheduled.

Marvin Horan joined me for the book (literally—we sold only one) signing. To the left of our table was a display of books featured by the store. There were books by atheist evangelists Hicthens, Dawkins, and Hawking. I didn’t see anything by Crick, but sixties psychedelic drug guru Timothy Leary had a book there. Of course, Eat, Pray, Love was at eye level.

Most customers steered clear of us as if they wanted to avoid exposure to conservatism. Only three men spoke to us at length. One went into a rant (someone had to ask him to lower his voice) that was difficult to follow regarding the church and English literature. Another was a guy who claimed to be a Celtic Christian who gave us a lecture on church history. The two guys knew each other and got into a brief argument. The Celtic corrected me when I pronounced “Celtic” with the “c” sound” (I later checked and it is an acceptable pronunciation) instead of with a “k” sound. Then he said that I wasn’t “very well read” because I did not know the answer to a historical question he posed. I responded with, “Maybe I have just read other material than you.” Then I asked him if he had read the little booklet The Trail of Blood. He had not, but said that he has heard that it is good.

Right after I told Marvin we should steer any conversation toward our book, a guy came up and proclaimed that evolution is true. So much for my plans! He and I had a discussion that included his response to my challenge to show me something that has evolved. A virus was the answer he claimed. He could not tell me what a virus changed to— he hinted it was a bacterium (2). After he insinuated I lacked his level of sophistication, he ignored my query about if he had read Darwin’s Origins of Species. I have, as well as Dawkins’s The Blind Watch Maker and much other evo material. He said he would not read creationist nonsense. He claimed that the Bible teaches evolution. I told him that surely Taylor Books has a copy of the Bible and I would like for him to show me that. Finally, he would not jot down the information about how he could win $10K by claiming the Life Science Prize.

Following (in italics) is the Taylor Books Facebook (!/pages/Charleston-WV/Taylor-Books/83841413592) entries for the event. Can you see the liberal loathing? (My comments are in parenthesis.)

On the heels of Banned Books Week, Taylor Books has invited Karl Priest (actually Taylor granted Marvin’s request), activist and author of 'Protester Voices' in store for a book signing. He will be joined by his special guest, Marvin Horan.

Mr. Priest and Mr. Horan were both integral voices on the protester's side of the debate during the controversial 1974 Textbook Wars that shook Kanawha County and grabbed the entire nation's attention. Now, Priest has written a book called 'Protester's Voices' that purports to "tell the story liberals don't want heard."

From a recent article in Charleston Newspapers: (3)

To read more about Mr. Priest and 'Protester Voices', visit:

To learn more about the 1974 Textbook Controversy in general, visit:

Stop by the store on Monday Oct. 11th for what is sure to be a couple of hours of lively conversation and discussion on one of the most heated education battles of our time.

Karl Priest, author of 'Protester Voices,' with guest Marvin Horan
Today at 11:00am

(Comments posted as of October 11 with names removed.)

1. What a hoot! The irony of a book banner writing a book. (I sent this commenter a Facebook note asking her if she had read my book.)

2. I was a student at Thomas Jeffeso Jr High during those years. What I recall about them were being terrified by the bomb threats, having to march outside while all the lockers and garbage cans were checked for bombs. We were just kids and that was an incredibly scary time. The books werent nearly as upsetting as the protestors and the thought that some of them wanted to hurt us. No. My memories of those days are far from rosey. (This commenter also posted an apology for the typos.)

3. I was in grade school at the time, and I remember being terrified, too. It was a scary time, although I also remember being incredibly awed by and inspired by my mother and her friends who fought the good fight against the protesters with strength and dignity.

Had Taylor Books not invited/permitted Mr. Priest to do a signing in-store as he requested, it would have been a sort of twisted victory for those who would seek to censor, don't you think?

5. Hmmm, I think my blood pressure just went up. Not condoning violence is different from condemning it and disavowing any association with people who would perpetrate such acts. And the idea that "liberals" (might as well just say boogeyman) are hiding the true history in an attempt to corrupt children is just plain fear tactics.

So far commenter number one has not answered my note. I would like to explain that Marvin and I were among adults, in a private setting, and not using tax-money to indoctrinate anyone’s kids. Commenter three called us “censors” yet had the audacity to claim to me (in a conversation) to be an open-minded moderate. The subject of so-called moderates (some want to be called “ centrists") is covered in Chapter 20 of Protester Voices. People who want to stand in the middle of the road are a hazard to traffic in both directions. All of the commenters are victims of their own vivid imaginations, personal prejudices, and the immense propaganda that makes Protester Voices such an important book. I deal with the subject of violence in the book and put it in a reasonable context. The fear they say they felt should have been due to liberal book supporters since one of their leaders fired the gun that shot an innocent by-stander in the chest. Also, I document that many fire alarms were called in by kids just wanting to get out of school. Last, Thomas Jefferson Junior High was far away from the area that was heavily picketed by parents who were usually parents from the school, known by everyone, and overwhelmingly peaceful. Those facts are documented in the book. That is why liberals cannot tolerate Protester Voices.

Speaking for myself, I did not go to Taylor Books primarily to make book sells. I was pleasantly surprised that even the one book was bought. My goal was to enter a liberal domain and give liberals a chance to be true liberals. It is too bad that they did not take the opportunity to dialogue with us. It is especially sad that they missed a chance to meet Marvin Horan. Love him or hate him Marvin Horan is a significant figure in West Virginia history. The Textbook War is easily one of the top-three non-catastrophe events ever to occur in West Virginia. It is an historical event that had better be studied and understood. To forget it will lead to more problems. Liberals understand that better than conservatives.

Speaking of conservatives, so far, conservatives have given less attention to Protester Voices than liberals have. In that context, a local prominent Christian bookstore owner tried to con me that the split of a book sale gave him 60% and me 40%. To Taylor Book’s credit they used the standard split which gives 60% to the author. Integrity isn’t limited to conservative Christains.

Our couple of hours lounging in liberal land provided some opportunities to criticize and compliment true liberals. I pray that the man that bought the book and the store manager be opened to the truth about the 1974 Textbook Wars and the good people who were known as “protesters.” Those protester voices will be heard by anyone willing to open Protester Voices and read it.

Taylor Books has one* copy of Protester Voices to sell. I hope the book is placed alongside the anti-God books on the “featured books” shelf. Perhaps some truth seeker will pick it up while they lounge in liberal land and be enlightened.

(1) levobortomite (lev oh bor' tow mite) noun.

Anyone who believes and/or promotes left wing extremism, evolutionism, abortion, and/or anti-family activities such as sodomite marriage. These people are not limited to any particular political party.

(2) Bacteria are tiny, one-celled living organisms that can only be seen with a microscope. They live and breed in warm, moist environments in the body and elsewhere, growing quickly and causing infection. Bacterial infections can usually be treated with an antibiotic. Viruses are smaller than bacteria and cannot be seen with a microscope. They grow inside the body and produce toxins (poisons) that can cause rashes, aches, and fevers. Viruses cannot be killed with antibiotics.

(3) Article from local paper (unable to be censored by liberals) which was posted on the Taylor Books Facebook page.

*After this article was posted I was informed that Taylor Books has three copies of the book. Unless Marvin donated them, I have no record of the purchase.

More about liberals:

Liberalism is Evil
Liberals Don’t Have a Leg to Stand On
Liberals Lambasted

Protester Voices
Textbook War Home