ANOTHER TERRIFIC EAGLE COUNCIL GOES INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS. Eagle Council
XXXI will be remembered for Sean Hannity's rousing luncheon speech, for Phyllis Schlafly's stirring
narrative and film record of the battle against ERA at the Friday evening banquet, and for many
other thrilling moments.
Eagles gathered at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia September 20-22 for the 31st
annual leadership conference, preceded by a round table meeting for state Eagle Forum chairmen
to share their accomplishments of the past year. Two new state chairmen were introduced and
warmly welcomed: Debbie Johnson of Alaska and Terrie Paske of Montana. Our prayers were
requested for Florida Chairman Lanny Moore who is ill.
The opening general session Friday afternoon focused on serious threats to our public educational
system. The program began with Pacific Justice Institute's Brad Dacus relating shocking examples
of anti-family and anti-Christian bias in our schools. Larry Gipson, a co-founder of Mathematically
Correct, spoke on the successful fight against "fuzzy math" in California. Next came a hard-hitting
presentation on the accelerating federalization of American education, still being implemented as
outlined in the School-to-Work scheme with its appalling "workforce" planned-economy ideology.
Members of Minnesota's watchdog Maple River Ed.Coalition painted a frightening picture of students
being tracked into dead-end job categories as early as seventh grade, and of federally imposed
standards, tests and textbooks all coming to your state soon. Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA)
closed the afternoon session with a warning of the many ways we are losing our privacy rights in
the wake of the September 11 attacks.
Karen Santorum, wife of pro-life leader Sen. Rick Santorum (R, PA), was honored as Homemaker
of the Year at the Friday evening banquet. Mrs. Santorum has a law degree, but chooses to stay
at home and home-school her seven children. Phyllis Schlafly then led the crowd in a celebration
of the 20th anniversary of the defeat of ERA by giving her personal recollections of the battle she
led, accompanied by an exciting film record, and climaxed by the music of Bill and Prudence Fields
singing "The Impossible Dream" and "Great Day."
Saturday morning's sessions focused on the weakness of our border security and unchecked illegal
immigration, as presented by columnist Joel Mowbray, Center for Immigration studies scholar
Steven Camarota and columnist and author Michelle Malkin. The question of the combat readiness
of our U.S. Armed services was addressed by Rep., Roscoe Bartlett who lamented the "coed
nonsense" in our military, and by Eagle Elaine Donnelly, who described the dangers of double
A cheering crowd of Eagles and guests were "Hannitized" at the Saturday luncheon, and stood in
long lines to get autographs on their copies of his best-selling book, Let Freedom Ring: Winning
the War over Liberalism. In Saturday afternoon's panels, Eagle Cathie Adams showed how the
U.N. pits poor nations against rich ones and encourages class warfare; and Eagle Maude
Rathgeber related how more and more private property is being seized and taken out of
productivity in the West, and warned that environmentalists and federal programs like "Scenic By-Ways", urban sprawl and the Conservation and Restoration Act threaten us all. Dr. Verne
Bacharach of Appalachian State University produced evidence that pre-school education such as
North Carolina's "Smart Start" at a cost of $300 million, do not improve the academic or intellectual
performance of children at all, and are merely free baby-sitting. In a panel on Doing the
Impossible, Carole Nunn told how she and other parents had challenged and won a court case
against a New Jersey "nosy questionnaire" in the schools; and Nevada Eagle leader Janine Hansen
shared her advice on stopping totalitarian health powers.
Saturday evening featured the Presentation of Eagle Awards, and a stimulating but disturbing
description by Pat Buchanan of the decline of Christianity (and birth rates) in the West while Islam
is on the move, as outlined in his book The Death of the West. Buchanan warned, "When faith
dies, culture dies."
Following religious services, Sunday morning's program opened with a second panel on Doing the
Impossible, featuring the dynamic freshman Virginia Delegate Winsome Sears, who won election
against an entrenched incumbent and over impossible odds, giving God the credit; labor and
delivery room nurse Jill Stanek, whose courage and persistence resulted in the passage by
Congress of the Born Alive bill; and Oklahoma City TV Reporter Jayna Davis, who is still battling
to force U.S. authorities to recognize the evidence she uncovered about Iraqi connections to the
Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.
Our luncheon speaker, Major Gen. Bob Hollingsworth, testified to numerous instances in combat
during his long military career in which he credits God and the prayers of his loved ones for
keeping him safe. He paid his highest compliment to Phyllis Schlafly and the Eagles by comparing
their dedication, honor and courage to the Marines. The Council was brought to a close with the
traditional singing of "God Be With Us Till We Meet Again."