History shows our forefathers, in large part, fled Europe looking for a place where the government could no longer control everything to do with religion and education. They endured centuries in their Homeland during which a small group of elitists dominated both religion and the education of children. Those governments gave NO thought to how any citizen of those countries felt about or was impacted by the unilateral decisions made by this small group of power pundits. Our ancestors made it clear through the foundation process of America that both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion were rights solely retained by the People when our federal government was formed.
For about 250 years, those rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights were the guiding tenets of life in the United States. Americans took them for granted. Doing so maybe our downfall.
Today, both Christian religion and Christian education are being pummeled by the politically Left among us. And with the Left in total control of our government, activists in both areas have assumed their majorities in the U.S. House and Senate are something of a consensus given to Congress and the Democrat President to “change” both. And both are already — in just the first few months of the Biden Administration — under egregious assault.
How so? Please take a look with us.
Freedom of Religion
The right to worship freely is often called America’s first freedom. Our founding fathers understood religious freedom not as the state’s creation but as an inalienable right from God.
This universal right is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.”
Today, however, religious freedom is threatened or restricted entirely for millions of people around the world. Over 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries with high or severe restrictions on religious freedom. In far too many places across the globe, governments and others prevent individuals from living in accordance with their beliefs.
Recent reports by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) found that violations against religious freedom worldwide are ongoing and widespread.
For example, USCIRF’s Annual 2021 Report recommended to the U.S. State Department that 14 countries receive its most severe designation, “country of particular concern (CPC),” because of their respective governments’ engagement or toleration of “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations” against religious freedom. These countries included: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, India, Russia, Syria, Vietnam, and Nigeria.
Further, ACN recently concluded, “During the period under review, there has been a significant increase in the severity of religiously motivated persecution and oppression.” It found that, in total, severe violations of religious freedom are taking place in 62 countries around the world.
Concerningly, the report authors wrote that some of the worst offenders are from some of the world’s most populous countries. For example, in China, the world’s most populated country with 1.4 billion people, the Chinese Communist Party is committing genocide in Xinjiang against Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities.
Moreover, USCIRF and ACN reported that in some countries, the COVID-19 pandemic was exploited to blame, target, and discriminate against minority religious communities, in some cases denying them access to food and medical aid.
As these reports have shown, the denial of religious freedom is not an issue that is unique to any one country or group. Rather, it is a global challenge that requires strong leadership, bold action, and an unwavering commitment to overcome.
During his tenure, President Donald J. Trump was a champion for religious freedom. In June of 2020, he signed an Executive Order on Advancing International Religious Freedom. This executive order defined international religious freedom as a moral and national security imperative. It ensured that $50 million per year be allocated for programs that advance international religious freedom and required international religious freedom training for U.S. federal officials.
The Trump administration also launched the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance, a group of 32 countries committed to protecting religious freedom or belief.
Moreover, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted two convocations to Advance Religious Freedom in 2018 and 2019, bringing together leaders worldwide to promote and protect religious freedom.
As religious persecution and repression continue to be widespread, protecting international religious freedom should remain a U.S. foreign policy priority. The Biden administration should build upon the work of the Trump administration to defend this fundamental human right. But, so far, it appears that this priority to protect religious freedom both here and abroad is nowhere to be found in this White House or Congress.
Who would have thought that attacks on the Freedom of Religion prevalent in OTHER countries would find their way into OUR nation even now!
Christian Education: “Homeschooling”
Christianity in the U.S. in our education systems is being annihilated as we speak. Again, an attack on religious freedoms while attacking Christian messaging in our schools at the same time!
Early in 2020, Elizabeth Bartholet, a professor at the Harvard Law School, became notorious for advocating a “presumptive ban” on homeschooling.
The 3 to 4 percent of U.S. parents who chose to educate their children at home would have to prove to educational authorities that “their case is justified,” and if they could not do so, have their children sent to public schools.
An article about Bartholet in Harvard’s alumni magazine, reiterating a position she had taken in a lengthy law-review article published shortly before, provoked a furor among parents and young people, some of them Harvard graduates, who had enjoyed successful homeschooling experiences.
Then came the coronavirus lockdown. With public schools shuttering their brick-and-mortar classrooms and teachers’ unions promising to keep them shuttered throughout the 2020–21 school year and beyond, the percentage of homeschooling households suddenly surged — to 5.4 percent in late April 2020 and to 11.1 percent by the end of September 2020. Many new homeschoolers were otherwise politically liberal urbanites, and the anti-homeschooling movement quickly faded as a progressive cause.
But now the homeschooling opponents are back, with a new, more specific focus: Christian homeschooling. The impetus was the January 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol by disgruntled Trump supporters. It quickly became identified in the media with “white nationalism” and then with “white Christian nationalism,” on the premise that white evangelical Christians were an important voting bloc for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, and many had attended a huge Trump rally on the National Mall that day. From there, it was a quick jump to evangelical churches and schools and, of course, homeschools. Education pundits loudly urge the Biden Department of Education to push for accreditation entities across the nation to stop accrediting Christian schools that teach these alleged “white nationalism” and “white Christian nationalism” curricula.
On January 15, the Huffington Post ran a scathing critique of Abeka Publishing and the Bob Jones University Press, which publish textbooks and other materials used by many homeschooling evangelical parents: “Language used in the books overlaps with the rhetoric of Christian nationalism, often with overtones of nativism, militarism, and racism.”
Days later, Chrissy Stroop, a writer for the progressive website Religion Dispatches, chimed in: “It would be remiss of us to approach the ‘where were they radicalized’ question without addressing how the Christian schooling and homeschooling movement, along with many white churches and other evangelical, LDS, and ‘traditional’ Catholic institutions, fostered the subcultures” presumably responsible for the Capitol break-in.
A March 2 article in Ms. Magazine focused on “extremist, white supremacist” homeschooling curricula as “the product of a decades-long crusade to deregulate home-and private-school education, the fruits of which are visible in such phenomena as QAnon, COVID denialism, the Capitol riots …”
On April 22, numerous media outlets, including The Washington Post, ran a (now deleted) article from the Religion News Service by progressive pastor Doug Pagitt declaring that “homeschooling in conservative evangelical communities is a key channel for ideas to feed into Christian nationalism.”
“The conservative evangelical education system has become a pipeline of extremism,” Pagitt wrote.
Earlier, on March 30, Philip Gorski, a sociology professor at Yale who studies American religious trends, had tweeted: “Christian homeschooling was, and is often, if not always, a major vector of White Christian Nationalism.” (Gorski has since made his Twitter account private.)
None of this should come as a surprise. Although opponents of homeschooling have typically raised understandable concerns — such as whether parents with limited educations are equipped to teach math and reading, or whether some parents keep their children out of school as a pretext to abuse them — their actual animus as expressed in their writings is almost always directed at parents who are too religious for their tastes. That means evangelical and other conservative Christians (who still account for the vast majority of homeschoolers), along with Hasidic Jews who educate their children in their own yeshivas.
For example, in her article for the Arizona Law Review, Bartholet referred to what she called homeschooling parents’ ideological commitment to “isolating their children from the majority culture and indoctrinating them in views and values that are in serious conflict with that culture.”
Terms such as “indoctrinate,” “isolate,” views “far outside the mainstream,” and failure to “expose” children to “alternative perspectives” or to teach them to “think for themselves” — those are commonplaces of the academic writings of homeschooling opponents. To clarify whom they are talking about, these critics typically throw in a sarcastic reference to the Bible as “sacred, absolute truth.”
Up until very recently, however, homeschooling opponents kept their attacks reasonably subtle. That is, they didn’t come out and say directly that what they didn’t like about Christian homeschooling was the Christian part. Then, the January 6 invasion of the Capitol gave them an excuse to do exactly that, usually without being able to back up their attacks with evidence.
Yale professor Gorski, for example, admitted in a subsequent tweet that he had no idea how “big” the claimed “overlap between Christian Nationalists and Christian homeschoolers” actually might be.
It helps the critics’ cause, of course, that they and the media have redefined “nationalism” to mean mere patriotism or pride in America’s history and civilization and “Christian nation” to mean a theocracy instead of a country where 65 percent of the inhabitants of every ethnicity define themselves as Christians and hold some formulation of Christian ideals.
Hence, the trepidation over homeschooling textbooks from religious publishers that teach civic virtue asserts that God created the world as the Book of Genesis says and takes a dim view of such progressive shibboleths as feminism, transgender activism, the “1619 Project,” and climate alarmism.
The notion that parents, Christian or otherwise, should be forbidden by the government to educate their children in the values that they themselves hold dear — or be forced to “expose” them to values that they might find abhorrent but are definitely in the secular liberal “mainstream” (advocating unrestricted abortion or same-sex marriage, for example) — is totalitarianism at its crudest. And now that the gloves are off the anti-homeschoolers and their real aims, it’s also part of a particular war against a large number of Christians as well.
These same sycophants care not just about Christian homeschooling but are simultaneously attacking Christian schools, some of which offer the finest educations to today’s youth. Testing children from these Christian schools historical results in dramatically higher scores in the fundamental classroom subjects and life integrations with fellow students and others in their universe of contacts.
Christianity is a common trait. Therefore, Christianity MUST be driven out of our education system altogether. Sadly, their basis for doing so has nothing to do with the actual education of our children! Its sole purpose is to eliminate Christianity as an option to be considered while the maturation process occurs.
The saddest of all is that while the replacement god for the U.S. perpetuates the singular objective to eliminate Christianity, millions of Americans are sleeping while giving no thought to what’s happening. The pushback from even some Evangelicals is, “There’s no way that can happen! We have the guaranteed right to Free Speech. If they try that, the Law will back us up.”
Don’t forget: the other big target for these Leftists is to destroy the Rule of Law itself! Remember: sleeping Americans thought that would never happen either. But don’t forget this: it’s estimated there are actually 20-40 million illegal immigrants living among us today. “Illegal” means those 20-40 million broke federal law to come and remain here. Those federal laws that are numerous were broken, and no one does anything about it!
Knowing that, do you think it’s a far reach to believe no one will enforce the First Amendment’s obliteration in the cause to “keep Americans safe from white nationalism?”