By Aaron Klein
© 2010 WorldNetDaily
A so-called spiritual conference at which Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., called for the U.S. border to become an “irrelevancy” was led by a slew of extremists, including a Marxist who reportedly compared the tea-party movement to Hitler.
Conference speakers include radicals with deep ties to President Obama.
Yesterday, TheBlaze.com, founded by Fox News host Glenn Beck, posted a video from a conference led by the Network of Spiritual Progressives, or NSP, in which Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress, declared to about 400 attendees that “God willing,” the U.S. border will become irrelevant.
Stated Ellison: “No security policy position can be premised on military might. …The way it works is we are a country guided by ideals of equity, generosity and engagement in our relations with other nations and those philosophical ideals create safe borders … and, God willing, one day the border will become an irrelevancy.”
Ellison continued, “And you know, the fact is, it’s time for us to answer a critical question, and that is how are we going to shape a progressive foreign policy agenda that provides a platform for the U.S. government in the 21st century.”
WND has learned the conference was led by a slew of extremists who have had close relationships with Obama.
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One of the main speakers was avowed Marxist Michael Lerner, editor of the pro-Palestinian Tikkun Magazine. Lerner has been accused of using the magazine to justify Palestinian terror and has written articles in which he suggested the 9/11 attacks were a response to U.S. policies.
According to an account of the conference by Baltimore Sun columnist Marta Mossburg, who attended the two-day event, Lerner compared tea party activists to Hitler at least five times.
Mossburg wrote that Lerner used the conference to bolster support for Obama.
“We’re here to support Obama. …We’re here to help him to be the Obama Americans thought they elected,” she quoted Lerner as saying.
Lerner said Obama attended Tikkun meetings in Chicago and used to read the magazine, according to conversations he had with Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Lerner identifies himself as an ordained rabbi. However, as Discover the Networks notes, Lerner received a controversial private rabbinic ordination by “Jewish Renewal” rabbis, whose ordinations are recognized only by those within the Jewish Renewal community and the out of mainstream Reconstructionist Judaism.
Orthodox Judaism, the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly all consider such ordinations invalid.
Lerner was an activist in the 1960s anti-war movement, the Students for a Democratic Society, from which the Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization splintered.
Meanwhile, a co-chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives conference at which Ellison made his remarks is Princeton professor Cornel West, an avowed Marxist and honorary member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Obama named West, whom he has called a personal friend, to the Black Advisory Council of his presidential campaign. West was a key point man between Obama’s campaign and the black community.
West served as an adviser on Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March and is a self-described personal friend of the Nation of Islam leader. West authored two books on race with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was at the center of the controversy last year in which Obama criticized Gates’ treatment by police outside his home after a report of a burglary.
Another speaker at the Network of Spiritual Progressives event was Heather Booth, founder of the Midwest Academy, which teaches the community organizing tactics of radical Saul Alinsky.
WND was first to report that the Woods Fund, a Chicago nonprofit on which Obama served as paid director alongside Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, provided funding to Midwest Academy.
WND also broke the story that the executive director of Midwest Academy was part of the team that developed and delivered a group of volunteers for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Also, in August 1998, Obama participated with Booth in a panel discussion following the opening performance in Chicago of the play “The Love Song of Saul Alinsky,” a work described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “bringing to life one of America’s greatest community organizers.”
Ellison’s entry into Congress drew attention when he posed with his hand on a Quran instead of a Bible after taking his oath of office in January 2007. His campaign was bolstered by the work of staff members of the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations.
As WND reported last year, Ellison defended CAIR when members of Congress sought to investigate whether CAIR was placing interns with members of strategic security committees, as revealed in the book “Muslim Mafia” by Dave Gaubatz and Paul Sperry.
Ellison read a statement in Congress criticizing the call for an investigation.
“The idea that we should investigate Muslim interns as spies is a blow to the very principle of religious freedom that our founding fathers cherished so dearly,” Ellison said.
“If anything, we should be encouraging all Americans to engage in the U.S. political process; to take part in, and to contribute to, the great democratic experiment that is America,” he said.
U.S. prosecutors, however, believe CAIR, while claiming to be a civil-rights group, is actually a front group for Hamas and other terrorists. The Justice Department stated in September 2007 during its prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation in Dallas – the largest terror-financing case in history – that CAIR “has been identified by the government at trial as a participant in an ongoing and ultimately unlawful conspiracy to support a designated terrorist organization, a conspiracy from which CAIR never withdrew.”
With research by Brenda J. Elliott