Rules for Radicals Revisited

Issachar Report

To watch the political landscape in America today is to watch a body’s immune system on over-drive; a condition that causes the body to attack itself unto death unless it is brought back under control. Lulled to sleep by relatively easy prosperity, Americans have for decades given up their freedoms piece by piece. The cries of the watchmen God placed upon the wall in the last four decades have fallen mostly upon a deaf population—until the election of Barack Hussein Obama.

With lightning speed, Americans have been thrust back in time with a “Hope and Change” philosophy that came to life in Saul Alinsky’s 1971 primer, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals.

One only has to read the book’s opening credits to under-stand the spiritual nature of the battle plan laid out in Alinsky’s mind and soul. In three dedications, Alinsky strives to rewrite history by alluding to the foundations of Judeo-Christian faith and America’s founding with a new Messiah (better known as the spirit of anti-Christ described in 1 John 4:3).

Establishing the Seeds of Doubt

Visually, on one page, Alinsky walks through a process that his primer strives to complete with re-education:

1) Acknowledgement of Scripture, but then

2) Weakened with The Age of Reason questions by a purported Deist, to

3) Acceptance of a new savior.

Reviewing Alinsky’s work through the 20/20 lens of hind-sight provides a sobering view of the current reality of the warfare taking place on American soil.

The first dedication:

Where there are no men, be thou a man. —Rabbi Hillel

Alinksy’s call for men to stand and be “a man” was actually a call to the uneducated—to those who knew not the truth. Rabbi Hillel, born in Babylon, went to Jerusalem with the intention of perfecting himself in the science of Biblical exposition and of tradition. Hardly a “radical” in his time, Hillel was eventually recognized as the highest authority among the Pharisees and scribes in Jerusalem. His title HaZaken (the elder) spoke of his position in the Sanhedrin.

In fact, the use of this quote should serve as the blowing of the shofar (trumpet) in warning to God’s people. Hillel’s actual words are:

The uneducated has no aversion to sin; the ignorant is not pious; the timid can not learn, nor the passionate teach; he who is busied with trade can not become wise. In a place where there are no men, study to show thyself a man. [emphasis mine]

The study of God’s Word and His law is the foundation to fight Alinsky’s lies mingled so provocatively with elements of truth.

The second dedication:

Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul… —Thomas Paine

Of all of America’s “Founding Fathers,” Thomas Paine is the most controversial. Quotes from his book Common Sense are sprinkled throughout many patriotic writings and calls to re-turn to the foundations from which America sprang.

Quotes from The Age of Reason are often found in atheist writings to prove America was not founded as a Christian nation; rather, it was founded by Deists who had no need for religion.

One atheist quote referencing Paine’s The Age of Reason is interesting: “Paine demonstrates the absurdity of a word of God existing in print. As a Deist, Paine believed that the true word of God is nature.” [emphasis mine] Lost on the atheist is the fact that even if he is classified a Deist, Paine believed in a Creator of the Universe and that He was manifest in nature. As with many of us today, the Founders struggled with religious doctrine, but few fell into the trap of dis-avowing a Creator as described in Romans 1:18.

Even within Paine’s quote, Alinsky’s atheist irony is evident. The complete quote is:

Let them call me rebel and welcome—I feel no concern from it; but should I suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea of receiving mercy from a being, who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him, and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America.

The reference to the coming day of wrath described in Revelation 6:16 is hidden in three little dots at the end of Alinsky’s quote—dots in which he gambled Americans knew not the truth. And few did, as we now face the tyranny of such a man in the role of President of the United States of America that Paine faced in the tyrant King of England, George III.

The third and final dedication:

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins—or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer. —Saul Alinsky

“Legends, mythology, and history” become Alinsky’s thesis upon which to rewrite the Biblical truths on which America was founded and lays a new cornerstone in hope and change—perhaps to replace a cornerstone ripped away nine short years earlier.

New Foundations

As we’ve discussed many times within the Institute, the 1962 Supreme Court decision in Engel vs. Vitale, which struck down voluntary prayer in schools, left America in a seemingly endless moral free fall. The 21-word prayer thought so heinous by the Supreme Court justices was a last clinging root to our Judeo-Christian values: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee and beg Thy blessing upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our Country.”

For those of us familiar with Dr. Missler’s teachings, the fact that this prayer is 21 words (divisible by 7) indicates we give it more than a cursory review:

First seven words: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon.” This phrase indicates the acceptance of El Shaddai and our humbleness (dependence) before Him.

Second seven words: “Thee and beg Thy blessing upon us.” This phrase indicates the knowledge of the “blessings and cursings” of Joshua 8:34, and the school children reciting this prayer chose blessing.

Third seven words: “our parents, our teachers, and our Country.” This is the phrase that breaks my heart every time I read it. The children who were in the care of parents, teachers, and fellow countrymen were praying for the blessing of Almighty God to be upon them, thus securing their future. To what eternal depths has this chain of trust been broken.

This was a simple prayer that echoes in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:2-4. It is a prayer that has gone silent in the succeeding generations.

David Barton released a report in 1988 entitled, “America: To Pray? or Not to Pray?” in which he illustrates with 100 pages of graphs and statistical analysis the dramatic increase in crime, venereal disease, premarital sex, illiteracy, suicide, drug use, public corruption and other social ills since that Supreme Court ruling.

The work had its third printing in 2002 as the effects of the Supreme Court decision only worsened with the dawn of a new millennium.

It is into this “new society” that Alinsky writes, “The outcome of the hopelessness and despair is morbidity. There is a feeling of death hanging over the nation.” His intent was to take the remnant of the corrupted “drop out” culture of the 1960s and turn it into an organized army of socialist radicals.

Once God was “officially” removed, their agenda could proceed less hindered.

Evolution of Terms

Like all revolutionaries, Alinsky first described the status quo of the world through his lens that he intended to change:

In this world laws are written for the lofty aim of ‘the common good’ and then acted out in life on the basis of the common greed. In this world irrationality clings to man like his shadow so that the right things are done for the wrong reasons—afterward, we dredge up the right reasons for justification. It is a world not of angels but of angles, where men speak of moral principles but act on power principles; a world where we are always moral and our enemies always immoral; a world where ‘reconciliation’ means that when one side gets the power and the other side gets reconciled to it, then we have reconciliation; a world of religious institutions that have, in the main, come to support and justify the status quo so that organized religion is materially solvent and spiritually bankrupt.

Alinsky’s response to fix what he considers a society broken by the weight of corrupt capitalism and spiritually bankrupt religion is one that is very familiar to Americans today.

Alinsky writes:

I will argue that man’s hopes lie in the acceptance of the great law of change; that a general understanding of the principles of change will provide clues for rational action and an awareness of the realistic relationship between means and ends and how each determines the other.

Once stripped of God-given inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Alinsky proposes a hope for a better tomorrow in “change you can believe in.” Hope and change do not mean what they once did in America.

Rules for Radicals Revisited

We are revisiting Alinsky’s work because many citizens new to the political scene in America are revisiting it. As so much information is being revealed in well-meaning media as to the “tools” in the radical toolbox, the inclination of many is to take up those tools to essentially “fight fire with fire.” This is a temptation the adversary would relish.

Unfortunately, we may one day wake up to the realization that “we have met the enemy and he is us.”

The roots of this battle lie in the warfare that has taken place on earth since the Garden of Eden. To fight it unarmed (read Ephesians 6) is spiritual suicide.

To become the enemy to fight the enemy in this war may be viewed as a “fool’s errand.”

In his book, America’s Ruling Class—The Perils of Revolution, Angelo Codevilla makes a parallel observation, “Any country party would have to be wise and skillful indeed not to become the Democrats’ mirror image.”

There is an inherent danger in wanting something so badly it becomes an idol. Patriotism and the desire to regain what appears to be a lost way of life can become that idol. Alinsky and his ideological progeny call for “revolution vs. revelation.” An article in the Patriot Post called for a choice of “restoration or revolution.”

Truly “restoration” is required—a return to Biblical foundations in the Christian country of America. Perhaps it is fitting to end this topic with quotes from Rabbi Hillel and Thomas Paine, which are more appropriate to the status of America and the battles we face.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? —Rabbi Hillel

But there is another and greater distinction for which no truly natural or religious reason can be assigned, and that is, the distinction of men into KINGS and SUBJECTS. Male and female are the distinctions of nature, good and bad the distinctions of heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth enquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind. —Thomas Paine

As for Alinsky’s dedication to Lucifer, we already know the end of that story….

Next month, we will discuss Angelo Codevilla’s book America’s Ruling Class—The Perils of Revolution through the lens of Scripture.



Alinsky, Saul D. Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radi-cals. Vintage Books, A Division of Random House, New York,  1989.
Codevilla, Angelo M. “America’s Ruling Class – The Perils of Revolution.” American Spectator, July 2010-August 2010,
Barton, David. “America: To Pray? or Not to Pray?” Wallbuilder Press, Texas, 1988, 1991, 1994, 3rd Printing August 2002.