Mitt Romney took the stage at NBC's Education Nation to double down on his ridiculous past remarks that class size is "irrelevant" and "didn't make a difference." In light of Romney's remarks, American Bridge 21st Century launched ClassSizeMatters.com, featuring a great video and research revealing Romney's disastrous record on education.
Mitt Romney has said that "the effort to reduce classroom size may actually hurt education more than it helps." As governor, he proposed cutting $18 million in funding for class size reduction in Massachusetts. Yet when it came time to choose a school for his children, the Romneys chose an elite private school with an average class size of eleven students.
Mitt Romney wants small class sizes for his family -- but not for yours.
Eagle Forum’s Rachel Motte last weak appeared on VCY America’s Crosstalk with Jim Schneider to discuss her organization’s opposition to common core standards, which are meant to “define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers.” Advocates deny that by aligning divergent state standards they will create a nationalized curriculum since “local teachers, principals, superintendents and others will decide how the standards are to be met,” but Motte maintained that the effort will be used as a backdoor for the establishment of a uniform, countrywide curriculum.
Schneider even warned that the common core standards could advance “the promotion of homosexuality” in schools, along with “other areas that would violate so many parents’ system of moral beliefs.” Motte agreed and said that it was all part of a plan to “change a culture” by getting “a hold of its children and you train them in exactly the wrong things, you teach them to love the wrong things.” “The people who will be controlling what your children learn are not the people who you would want your children to emulate,” Motte warned.
Schneider: When we’re talking about advancing in algebra or going through some of the sciences, biology and so on, talking about needing to attain higher levels is one thing but what we have found is that what is coming through the educational system today is going into so many other areas. I’m talking about that which is sometimes called the social areas or the moral areas, such as the human growth and development type things, such as the promotion of homosexuality and don’t say a word in opposition to those who want to follow in same-sex relationships and so on that we have to be so politically correct. I just fear that this kind of a nationalized curriculum is going to beyond just some of these hardcore academic issues into all these other areas that would violate so many parents’ system of moral beliefs.
Motte: Oh absolutely, that is how you change a culture for the worse, you get a hold of its children and you train them in exactly the wrong things, you teach them to love the wrong things. That’s what’s happening, it’s heartbreaking, but that is exactly what’s happening. You see how the culture has shifted in the past decade; well expect more of that, especially if this goes into effect. The people who will be controlling what your children learn are not the people who you would want your children to emulate.
Yesterday, Phyllis Schlafly hosted E. Ray Moore on Eagle Forum Live to discuss the Christian Reconstructionist film, “IndoctriNation,” about the supposedly destructive nature of the public school system. Moore called public schools the “main culprit” on why young adults leave the church, likening it to “playing Russian Roulette with your children’s souls.” Throughout the show he said parents are mandated by the Bible to homeschool their children to place them in Christian schools, saying that while public schools are “godless and pagan by precept and design,” there should be “God in the math class and in the science class as much as in the Bible class.”
Moore: We have so much research showing that Christian children who stay in these government schools through their career, 80% of them of what we would call evangelical Christians are adopting a secular humanist or Marxist/Socialist worldview. We also know that we’re having terrible attrition in the Christian family when children get to be college age, 70-80% of them are dropping out of the church and just abandoning the Christian faith, and we believe that the main culprit for that also is the fact that so many Christians have left their children in these public schools.
Schlafly: Well we’re told that the public schools are trying to be religiously neutral, do you think that’s true?
Moore: No they’re not religiously neutral, they’re godless and pagan by precept and design. That’s another myth that we have to deal with that somehow math and science are religiously neutral, no, we want God in the math class and in the science class as much as in the Bible class.
Moore: Our own research shows 17-20% of Christian children seemed to have survived the experience.
Schlafly: Those aren’t very good odds.
Moore: It’s playing Russian Roulette with your children’s souls is what you’re doing.
Leslee Unruh, the founder of Abstinence Clearinghouse and a staunch anti-choice activist, today appeared on Truth that Transforms, the flagship radio program of Truth in Action Ministries, to discuss the falling teen pregnancy rate. The Centers for Disease Control noted [pdf] that “strong pregnancy prevention messages directed to teenagers” and the “increased use of contraception” may “have contributed to the recent birth rate declines.” However, states with abstinence-only-until-marriage policies continue to see higher rates of teen pregnancy compared to states with schools that teach comprehensive sex-education.
“The teen birth rate increased during the height of the federal investment in abstinence education,” Bill Albert of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy told Salon. “Researchers who have looked at it closely over the past several years tend to believe it is contraception that is making the difference.”
Upset about the positive attention given to the role contraception is playing in lowering the teen birth rate, Unruh told Truth that Transforms host John Rabe that comprehensive sex-ed programs, particularly those which include discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity, are actually going to lead to the “self-destruction” of society and are “based on profound ignorance about human nature.” She maintained that “all the data” backs abstinence-only-until-marriage education, adding, “you know what, the church ladies are having the best sex.”
Rabe: This isn’t just basic biological information this is really ideological indoctrination form a very liberal standpoint, isn’t it?
Unruh: Exactly and you know the information is really designed to have all kinds of family, regardless of how many people were involved, it’s about [sexual] orientation, gender identity, it’s out there, and I’ll tell you it’s really based on profound ignorance about human nature and what makes for a healthy family. It really is the next stage in really the self-destruction of what we call the traditional family and a healthy society. So it’s a fight worth getting involved in and fighting for our kids.
Unruh: All the data is there, and it is time for everybody to recognize it, both in the church and in the public sector that you know what, the church ladies are having the best sex!
Today on Washington Watch Weekly Family Research Council president Tony Perkins hosted California pastor Jack Hibbs, who is promoting a petition drive to overturn SB 48 through a referendum. SB 48 ensures that prominent LGBT historical figures are included in textbooks, and has been a majortargetoffierceoppositionfromReligiousRightgroups, including the FRC. “Our children are being under attack,” Hibbs told Perkins, “we need to stand up and take our schools back so we can rescue our children.” Hibbs concluded, “We’re fighting for our children’s lives, right here in California.”
What we need Tony of representatives across the nation is to stand for what’s right, we need to be very careful, we’re not standing for some political kingdom or some political direction, this has come to a point now Tony where our children are being under attack, on our watch. Jesus said, woe to the man who allows the littlest of these to be offended for it would have been better for him to have never been born. That’s a serious issue, as pastors, as Christians, as churches, for that matter, as concerned citizens no matter what your belief is, we need to stand up and take our schools back so we can rescue our children from quite frankly an ongoing group of people who I don’t think any longer has what’s best in my child in mine any longer. There is an agenda and we need to push back from that agenda.
Get people in California that you know to sign the petition. You need to be a registered voter, at our church for example, you can register to vote and then move right on over the piece of paper and sign the petition. Signing the petition, dear friends, if we cannot sign a petition when it’s as easy as this then what are we going to do when things really get tough? So, you asked Tony how is it going, it’s going well but it can be going better. We need people involved, we need people to step up. We’re fighting for our children’s lives right here in California.
Harvey: The [Ohio Education Association] has endorsed and officially recognized a caucus of the union called the GLBT Caucus, which stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Let me translate, this means that among the teachers who are representatives to this teacher professional group, there’s a subgroup of openly homosexual, bisexual and either transvestite or gender-changed teachers who are proud enough of all this that they’ve formed their own group. Are all your red flags on high alert at this point as mine are? Do you sense danger to our kids? Not to mention one sad lie upon another?
Well, take this piece of information and add the following, the same GLBT Caucus in this latest proposal are to have a representative sit on all the committees on the Ohio Education Association and one of the reasons they will serve on these committees is to ‘advance GLBT students’ constitutional rights.’
Sometimes it’s hard to cut through the layers of deception but here’s my take on all this: certain teachers who are open and proud homosexuals, bisexuals, or are confused about their God-given gender, are simply because of their involvement in sinful, God-dishonoring behavior, being given the opportunity to proudly represent this behavior and make sure students can go down this road also. And apparently in our Ohio teachers union there simply is no other viewpoint. Now this hasn’t passed yet so we can pray that it doesn’t. Where I wonder is the Christian Caucus? The Tea Party Teachers Caucus? The Abstinence-until-marriage Caucus? We won’t find them, friends, in our Ohio teachers union.
Yesterday on the American Family Association’s radio show Today’s Issues, Mission America president Linda Harvey told listeners that public schools promote “pagan ideas” and “occult spirituality” to children. Harvey, who last month in an interview with Truth in Action Ministries said that the Harry Potter series was leading children into the occult, now blames schools’ “multiculturalism and diversity” curriculum, particularly lessons that include making dreamcatchers, for pushing children into “occult spirituality.”
Harvey: Our children learn whatever we put in front of them, they are, to some extent, sponges. They’re learning from us as well but if you turn them over to the public school, they’re going to get a healthy dose of this, it’s whirlwind throughout the materials that are presented to them, it’s in some of the literature, it’s in the concepts about multiculturalism and diversity, will bring in pagan ideas. The units they’ll do on Native American spirituality, for instance, you’ll get a healthy dose of what is basically an occult spirituality and it’s given a lot of respect. It’s one thing to read about it, it’s another thing to make a dreamcatcher or go on a vision quest and things that are occult-techniques that are part of Native American spirituality. That’s frequently in the Fall when it they’re coming up to Thanksgiving, that’s what you’ll get in the public schools. You have to think ahead, do you want your children to be immersed in all this? Because they will be immersed in it.
Televangelist James Robison this week appeared on Daystar’s Celebration to promote his new book, ‘Indivisible,’ which he authored with Jay Richards, a leading figure in the anti-evolution Intelligent Design movement. Robison made the case against legalizing same-sex marriage to host Marcus Lamb — who in December, 2010, admitted to having an extramarital affair and was accused of using the network’s money to pay for his trysts — by arguing that same-sex relationships are “defiling the truth” and warning that “when you defile the truth you move into bondage.” He later explained that “out of control appetites” and “out of control behaviors” lead to such bondage because a “totalitarian” government will have to move in to control the urges of the people…just like in “The Hunger Games.” Robison, who once claimed that Glee is a demonic tool bent on bringing down America, argued that Hollywood and public schools are not letting the real message of “The Hunger Games” reach children because they seek to “take people captive and destroy them.”
We wrote the book ‘Indivisible’ because we are really convinced that most people in America don’t know the truth. They don’t know the truth about our freedom; they don’t know or understand the real truth about the value of life. We talk about marriage, we don’t get into all of the issues that people are discussing about same-sex marriage, we talk about what marriage is and therefore it cannot be ‘same-sex marriage.’ You may have some same-sex relationships, we may have all kinds of relationships that are contrary and opposite to the word of God, so we are actually defiling the truth and when you defile the truth you move into bondage.
Out of control appetites, the compulsive behavior of men, forms the prisons that hold us captive and we can’t build enough prisons to keep people in who have unchained appetites. We’re living as out of control people and you’ve got a totalitarian, an oppressive government that is moving in to take control. Even ‘Hunger Games’ right now, which is very popular among young people, shows the power of an overbearing totalitarian state that is pressing in upon people, I hope the young people can see that. But the sad thing is, a lot of times Hollywood and the entertainment community will have other messages that they’re also sending out so that you miss the hidden messages that we need. Now remember this, if you’re going to take people captive and destroy them, you’ve got to deceive them in their thinking and in their belief system. Our education system has undermined the principles and foundation stones upon which this nation was established and built, and we’re going to have to return to those foundation stones.
Based on the derogatory myth that gays and lesbians use schools to “recruit” children into becoming gay, cries of “homosexual indoctrination” have become a favorite tactic of the Religious Right to stoke fears among gay rights opponents and boost fundraising.
For example, Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy, the daughter of the late D. James Kennedy, yesterday in a fundraising email for Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, warned members that the “radical homosexual agenda” will make the “celebration of homosexuality” become “required by law”:
Today our children and grandchildren are under an attack to force them to grow up in a world where homosexuality is NOT simply “tolerated” ... but CELEBRATED.
Not because you want to, but because your celebration of homosexuality is required by law.
We, as God’s people, must oppose anything that contradicts His Word — including the radical homosexual agenda. We must take a stand now — or apologize, in the years to come, to the children and grandchildren whom we have left to be victimized themselves. [emphasis theirs]
Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, responding to a Faithful America campaign asking MSNBC to stop elevating the anti-gay rhetoric of Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, cautioned “Muslim activists” against working with the “Homosexual Lobby” because “they, too — as opponents of the sin of homosexuality – could become a target of the pro-‘queer’ silencing campaign,” which he says will begin “with the indoctrination of young children in schools”:
Do you see what is happening? The intellectual cowards on the Left — puffed up by a compliant media and suffused with enough “gay pride” and arrogance to presume that their aberrant sexual/gender ideology has NO LEGITIMATE OPPOSITION — are busier than ever trying to bully the media into joining their “Pro-Gay-Only” crusade. It is despicable, but worse: it is a grave threat to American liberty. Because when the media en masse kowtow to censorious activists — a road on which they are quite far along with the Homosexual Lobby — accountability, reason and fairness are jettisoned, paving the way for ever more reckless and extreme pressure campaigns against the dreaded “haters.” (That would be you, me and just about anyone who takes a public stand against homosexual behavior or “gay” agenda goals like same-sex “marriage.”)
Libertarians, secular-minded conservatives, and honest liberals, take note: if the Left succeeds in “silencing” all media voices critical of homosexuality and LGBT activism, it will move on to its next target, with gullible media sycophants in tow. Which perhaps explains why savvy Muslim activists and their allies have latched on to making frequent accusations of “Islamophobia” as a means to demonize their opponents (again, mostly Christians).
These opportunistic Muslims should reconsider their tactics. They forget that they, too — as opponents of the sin of homosexuality – could become a target of the pro-”queer” silencing campaign that brooks no dissent in its push for public approval and the power to enforce Political Correctness, beginning with the indoctrination of young children in schools.
Today Phyllis Schlafly hosted Guy Rodgers of ACT! for America on Eagle Forum Live where Rodgers discussed his anti-Muslim group’s new report arguing that children have been “indoctrinated in Islam” by textbooks. Rodgers called on parents to follow the example of famed right-wing activists Mel and Norma Gabler to pressure schools into rejecting textbooks the group claims have a “pro-Islam” bias. “We need another Norma Gabler,” Schlafly said.
Of course, the Gablers were notorious textbook censors who attacked the inclusion of evolution and anything they deemed part of the liberals’ “mental child abuse.” Diane Ravitch writes in The Language Police that the Gablers went after any textbooks they believed “taught ‘humanism,’ sex-education, ‘one-worldism,’ ‘women’s lib,’ or the occult” or promoted “a religion of secular humanism, in violation of the Constitution.”
While both of the Gablers have passed away, their group, Educational Research Analysts, was instrumental in crafting a successful Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) resolution condemning the “pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias” that “has tainted some past Texas Social Studies textbooks.”
As the Texas Freedom Network points out, “the Gablers had prominent roles in the Texas textbook wars for decades before their deaths” and an Educational Research Analysts’ newsletter on the supposed anti-Christian bias in textbooks was released just one month before the state passed its September resolution. The newsletter blasted “both militant Islamic cultural jihadists (backed by Arab petrowealth in the U.S. textbook industry), and American academic secularists, in their com¬bined assault on Christianity in World History classes” and called on the SBOE to resist the “Allah-lobby,” while noting that “Christian conservative mastery of detail in Texas' textbook approval process is power”:
High school World History will thus fulfill the Texas Education Code's legislative intent better than U.S. History, whose new standards stress free-market benefits much less emphatically. The SBOE should now add that while U.S. History texts must stop ignoring Christianity, high school World History books must cease attacking it. In World History the SBOE should take action in the interna¬tional as well as the national culture war. It should check both militant Islamic cultural jihadists (backed by Arab petrowealth in the U.S. textbook industry), and American academic secularists, in their com¬bined assault on Christianity in World History classes.
Many wrongly think Texas’ SBOE can reject only those textbooks that meet less than 50% of its course content standards, flunk certain manufacturing guidelines, or contain factual errors. But it can also dump those that clearly conflict with basic democratic values. For the first time ever the SBOE should invoke that power to warn publishers not to pander to Islam against Christianity – long a festering malaise (see the Manifesto within here) – in their new high school World History submissions.Christian conservative mastery of detail in Texas' textbook approval process is power … as vital to identify textbooks that so prostitute themselves, as it is to abort their local adoption statewide. Texas' elected SBOE is the one viable national democratic proven check and balance on textbook publishers' otherwise seemingly-unslakeable lust to kowtow to Allah-lobby conceits. All the oil money in Arabia cannot actually sell into American schools a book rejected by Texas' elected SBOE in response to documentation by knowledgeable citizen-voters
Back in 2009 and 2010, when David Barton was tapped as an "expert" to help the Texas State Board of Education rewrite the state's social studies standards, he claimed that he was not promoting any sort of agenda, but was simply dedicated to reintroducing into the curriculum ignored parts "of history that certainly should be presented."
Around the time this was all taking place, Barton appeared on some Rhode Island public access program where he said that his work on rewriting the Texas curriculum gave him tremendous optimism about the future of America because the textbooks written for Texas schools would be used all over the nation and influence the students over the next twenty to thirty years who will eventually be elected to public office:
Barton's involvement in rewriting the Texas standards provoked such an outcry that he now has to do all this sort of work in secret so that nobody knows just how or where he is reworking to inject this long term, right-wing political agenda into the nation's curriculum.
Mission America president Linda Harvey today addressed a potential constitutional amendment in her native state of Ohio that would legalize same-sex marriage and overturn a 2004 constitutional ban, warning that if it passes it would represent a “rebellion against nature, against civil order and against the beautiful design of God” and that it is a “pro-life issue” because it would turn children into “a problem.” Harvey also argued that marriage equality will lead to “pro-homosexual” education in schools, which she says makes children feel “anxious, stressed out and feel they have nothing to believe in sometimes.” “The deception that results is a dark cloud hanging over our educational environment and our culture,” Harvey said, “and it harms these precious, developing minds and hearts the most.”
Well it’s official, there is now going to be an effort by organized homosexuals and their allies in Ohio to undermine our constitutional amendment on marriage. A group called Freedom to Marry Ohio is launching a referendum drive to get the signatures to put the issue of same-sex marriage on the ballot, possibly this November. This group has filed the first step with Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office with their proposed ballot language, if it makes the Ohio ballot, it would read that marriage is “a union of two consenting adults regardless of gender” and also that “no religious institution shall be required to perform or recognize a marriage.”
People of this state already have the right to marry, adults in Ohio have the freedom to marry someone of the opposite sex because that’s what marriage is. Marriage law is simply a legal confirmation of what we see in nature, that a male and a female fit together anatomically, that this is how children and families are creation, that children and new humans are valuable, not a problem, so this is really a pro-life issue at its heart.
The fact that a few people have deviant desires and want to overturn marriage law for everyone is not an issue of equality, it’s an issue of morality. It’s rebellion against nature, against civil order and against the beautiful design of God. We need to tell the people and this effort a resounding ‘No.’
The question is sometimes asked, how would same-sex marriage harm your marriage? There are several simple answers. One, it changes what is considered normal and legal throughout our culture and therefore what is taught and modeled to our children and grandchildren. Do we want little Morgan in second grade to learn that when she grows up she might marry a boy or might marry a girl and either one is perfectly fine and she won’t know until she’s older which she prefers, but that’s OK. Do you think Morgan will develop with a secure and stable idea about her identity as a girl and woman with this shaky and morally irrational guidance? No wonder our kids are anxious, stressed out and feel they have nothing to believe in sometimes, they are being told what they can see themselves is foolishness and being told to swallow these lies and stay quiet if you don’t agree.
This nonsense is already being taught in some schools and in those states where same-sex marriage is legal it has exploded. Many schools now routinely shut off all debate about homosexuality, there is only one viewpoint and it is pro-homosexual. The deception that results is a dark cloud hanging over our educational environment and our culture and it harms these precious, developing minds and hearts the most. I urge you friends to stand against same-sex marriage.
Earlier today we reported that Rick Santorum’s campaign is promoting endorsements from anti-gay radicals like Sally Kern and Bobbi Radeck of Oklahoma and Ohio, respectively, and now the former Pennsylvania senator’s campaign is trumpeting the endorsement of Tennessee state legislator Joey Hensley, the chief House sponsor of the state’s “don’t say gay” bill. “We don’t want students to be exposed to alternate lifestyles,” Hensley said in defense of the legislation, which would prevent any discussion of homosexuality in K-8th grades classes. Hensley also criticizedModern Family because two of the show’s main characters are gay, calling it “inappropriate for children.”
After a Maryland school district decided to reconsider its flyer policy after the “ex-gay” group PFOX distributed material promoting the discredited and dangerous reparative therapy, Family Research Council senior fellow and PFOX board member Peter Sprigg responded with a furious op-ed in the Washington Times and an appearance on Today’s Issues with FRC president Tony Perkins. During the interview, Perkins said that “the homosexual community” is trying to stop children from getting “the options or the help that’s available for them if they’re struggling with [sexuality] issues” by opposing the distribution of ex-gay material, and lamented that “government officials [are] increasingly becoming really patsies for the homosexual activists.” Sprigg said that unless the ex-gay “message gets out in the schools,” then more and more confused kids who “would end up being perfectly heterosexual” would be “told by their teachers and guidance counselors, ‘well you are probably gay.’”
Perkins: When you look across the board in different incidences where the homosexual community is involved, they simply want to shut down any discussion, they don’t want children to be aware of the options or the help that’s available for them if they’re struggling with these issues, and now you see government officials increasingly becoming really patsies for the homosexual activists.
Sprigg: Right. It’s especially important that this message gets out in the schools because it’s normal for young people, adolescents to experience some confusion about their sexual identity. An important statistic that I read once was that there’s a survey done of 12 year olds that found at age 12, 25 percent of the students were unsure of their sexual orientation. But we know from surveys of the adult population that only maybe 2 to 3 percent of the adult population will actually identify as homosexual or bisexual. So you have this population of young people that left to themselves, 9 out of 10 would end up being perfectly heterosexual, but now with the politically correct environment in the schools, those kids are being told by their teachers and guidance counselors, “well you are probably gay, you were born that way, you just have to accept it and embrace it.”
Mission America president Linda Harvey has a stern warning for parents with college-bound children: don’t send your kid to a school with “a Gay Straight Alliance or any similar group” because “a faith-based school with a homosexual group has probably lost its first love for Jesus and His truth.” Harvey lamented that even evangelical and Catholic institutions are recognizing their gay and lesbian students that would make them stray from “God’s word” in order to “cave in to transient, trendy sexual preferences” and “aggressive homosexual activism.” She also railed against gender neutral campus policies and “deteriorating” standing of “moral judgment” in higher education:
Are you looking for guidance about where to send your son or daughter to college, well perhaps some recent news items about colleges will help. First, check out any trend toward gender neutrality on campus. More and more colleges are instituting bathrooms, showers and locker rooms for both males and females and whatever might me in-between, and you might be interested to know that there are now at least fifty-four colleges and universities in the U.S. with gender neutral housing. Yes, that means just what you’re thinking, students can be roommates regardless of their God-given genders. Another trend is toward bolder support for homosexuality, even at religious schools. We’ve been talking about the push to officially recognize homosexuals on the campuses of some evangelical colleges, which ones will remain faithful to God’s word and which will cave in to transient, trendy sexual preferences? It remains to be seen but if I were a parent I would check any potential college to see if a Gay Straight Alliance or any similar group comes up on a Google search.
Forty-three percent of Catholic colleges have some sort of homosexual group recognized on campus. This is recent news and another sign that moral judgment is deteriorating in the face of aggressive homosexual activism. So a faith-based school with a homosexual group has probably lost its first love for Jesus and His truth. Perhaps, parents, it’s a good idea to seek other alternatives.
Cindy Jacobs and her husband Mike on God Knows discussed a recent meeting they had with right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton where they agreed that problems such as “teen suicide, rape, murder [and] assault” are a result of a 1962 Supreme Court decision barring school-organized prayer. Claims that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Engel v. Vitale is responsible for America’s cultural and moral decline are commonplaceintheReligiousRight, and Barton even started his career by blaming the decision for a decline in SAT scores.
According to Cindy Jacobs, public schools in the U.S. had no problems besides “cutting in line” and “throwing spit wads” before 1962. Of course, Jacobs seems to ignore the egregious discrimination that African American students faced in the era of legalized segregation followed by the de facto segregation of schools, and even in integrated schools students like the Little Rock Nine in 1957 faced far more problems that spit wads.
While she argued that the end of school-organized prayer led to “every evil thing” in America today, her husband claimed that a recent meeting of prophets decided that the European Union’s current “fiscal hardships” are a result of the fact that “they refused to acknowledge God.” What they fail to mention is that Greece, the EU country facing the most severe financial problems, like other European nations actually has an official state church.
Cindy Jacobs: 1962, when prayer was taken out of our schools by the Supreme Court, and in 1967 when Bible reading was taken out of our public schools, what happened? I mean in ’62 our biggest problem that we had in the United States was cutting in line, throwing spit wads.
Cindy Jacobs: Yeah, these were our problems, after we took the law of God out of our school, what happened? Teen suicide, rape, murder, assault, kids bringing guns to school, does it matter whether we pray? Absolutely it matters. Does it matter whether we read the Bible? Absolutely it matters. You know Mike when we were kids here in the state of Texas, we began our school with prayer and we prayed in the name of Jesus, I mean nobody was forced to do it, they didn’t have to do it, and then we read the Bible and nobody complained. It was amazing what happened in the nation, but when you take out God out of the house, God out of the schools, what happens is every evil thing comes in, there’s a void place.
Mike Jacobs: Remember the prophets were talking specifically about the European Union and that one of the curses that’s on them right now, one of the reasons they are enduring some of the financial, fiscal hardships right now, is they said when they were doing the founding documents, they refused to acknowledge God.
The film warns that public schools are based on what Parshall called a “Hitlerian idea” and are led by atheist, communist teachers who Wampler says seek “the eradication of Christianity.” Staver warned that public schools have created a “society that is ripe for chaos and disorder” and Wampler went as so far to blame public education for “everything bad that is happening in our country today.” Of course, no Religious Right film can go long without criticizing gays and lesbians, as Parshall and Baylor criticized positive representations of LGBT community in education.
Many of the charismatic preachers, particularly those involved in the New Apostolic Reformation, claim that they are in the midst of taking control of the Seven Mountains of society: arts and entertainment, business, the church, education, the family, government and the media, through a mix of political advocacy and spiritual warfare. As Kyle has noted, we have already seen large prayer rallies with “the purpose of swinging elections, ending abortion, fighting marriage equality, converting Muslims, and even launching a presidential campaign,” and there is even a brand new effort to take dominion over Hollywood.
Now, there is a new spiritual warfare effort targeting public schools to bring about the return of government-organized school prayer.
Many Republican politicians and right-wing activists regularly and quite falsely assert that prayer has been outlawed in schools. As K. Hollyn Hollman, General Counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee writes: “Students, too, are free to pray voluntarily at various times of the school day, absent school involvement or disruption to others. There is simply nothing constructive to be gained from official prayer that advances or harms a particular religion. On the contrary, such prayers threaten individual freedom of conscience and violate the First Amendment’s promise of religious liberty for all.”
Brian Barcelona said he started a group called “the Christian Club” in a California public school that grew to hundreds of members and that thanks to his club “teachers have been healed of incurable diseases” and “students no longer have to turn to the counselors for advice.” He calls for students of all faiths to come together under Christianity:
This is a movement that is not about a denomination or a church, but a DEMONSTRATION of the Kingdom of God. Signs, wonders, and miracles have broken out amongst students and teachers alike. Teachers have been healed of incurable diseases, and students no longer turn to the counselors for advice, but the Christian Club for prayer and support.
A movement that doesn’t care if a student is a Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, Atheist, or anything in between, all are invited to encounter the Love of Jesus and what He has to offer.
He goes on to say that a series of Supreme Court decisions have resulted “in the effective banning of prayer and Bible verse recitation in public schools” and dramatic increases in teen pregnancy, STDs, divorce, cohabitation, out-of-wedlock births, violent crimes, abortion rate and a decline in SAT scores.
Of course, if this were true his “Christian Club” and thousands of other clubs in the U.S. would have been shut down. But it’s not and that’s why students are allowed to pray as they choose to, rather than have the government dictate and lead students in organized prayer.
As. Dr. W. Kenneth Williams of the Baptist Joint Committee points out, government-compelled prayer “violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and offends the consciences of those would not choose to participate in the prayers” due to their faith or lack of faith” and “many believers consider watered-downed, generic prayers to be deeply offensive.”
Most of all, Barcelona’s own example proves that students are not prevented from engaging in voluntary prayer, and surely he or others involved in his version of charismatic prayer may find vapid, government-written prayers offensive just as many students may not want to participate in a government-sponsored charismatic prayer.
Self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs told participants of the Prophetic Marketplace Conference that the public education system has Satanic origins because John Dewey, who led the development of progressive education, was a signatory of the Humanist Manifesto. Jacobs said that God told her to “go look up the Humanist Manifesto” to learn about who is instructing the people of America and the entire world. “I began to study this and I began to see that there was something desperately wrong because since 1933 the educational systems of the world had been totally diluted, deceived, coopted and taken over by this ungodly system,” Jacobs explained. She concluded that Satan “founded humanism” in the Garden of Eden, which now, because of John Dewey, has taken over public education.
“We don’t want to be part of the controversy.” That’s what Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, told NPR when asked why the foundation’s work on reproductive health avoided support for abortion care. While this was a grave disappointment to global women’s health advocates, it wasn’t altogether surprising. Despite the Gates Foundation’s staggering wealth and influence and willingness to try new – sometimes controversial – approaches, it steadfastly steers clear of political fights.
That’s why a recent award of $376,635 to a right-wing lobbying group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is raising eyebrows, and more, in progressive and philanthropy circles. Knowingly or not, the Gates Foundation has just stepped on a political landmine.
ALEC is engaged in all of the fiercest political fights of our day – working hand-in-hand with companies seeking to roll back healthcare reform, environmental protections, workers’ rights, corporate accountability, and taxes on the wealthy. The Gates Foundation, which is “dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy and productive life,” should know that those aims are incompatible with ALEC’s efforts to undermine Americans’ health, safety, and economic security to benefit the bottom line of its corporate backers.
The stated purpose of the Gates Foundation grant to ALEC is “to educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement.” On the face of it, this pales in comparison to ALEC’s other education work, which promotes large-scale voucher and privatization schemes that would destroy, not improve, the public education system.
Interestingly, Lee Fang recently reported in The Nation on the various ways that the Gates Foundation and ALEC are working – independently – to promote for-profit distance learning. These programs typically undermine public schools while benefiting technology and software companies, including Microsoft. The educational value of such programs is also highly contested.
But the bigger issue here is that the Gates Foundation – a grant-making behemoth – is legitimizing ALEC and all of its egregious lobbying by directly supporting a portion of the group’s work. One can only hope that the Gates Foundation staff responsible for the grant were narrowly focused on education policy and unaware of ALEC’s broader agenda. Either way, the foundation seems headed into the middle of a controversy, which is remarkable for an organization that took pains to avoid “the controversy” in the reproductive health arena.
For a primer on ALEC, see People For the American Way’s recent report:
When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting by minorities, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced. It’s win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.